In the last post, I put together a First All-Star team of unrestricted free agents. Though restricted free agents tend to attract less attention, there could be some intriguing situations. While I broke down the last list of players into forward positions (left wing, center, right wing), this time I’ll just choose three forwards, plus two defensemen and a goalie.
Joe Pavelski, Bobby Ryan and Devin Setoguchi
There’s a big gap between the top forwards and the rest in both the unrestricted (Marleau, Kovalchuk) and restricted free agent forward pools (Pavelski, Ryan). I agree with PHT readers that Bobby Ryan is worth Ryan Getzlaf-Corey Perry type money, while Pavelski’s situation will be very interesting.
Setoguchi is my guess as the third-best forward, although Wojtek Wolski and Blake Wheeler are also good candidates. I give Setoguchi the nod because he’s younger and therefore might have a “higher ceiling.”
Erik Johnson, Braydon Coburn
I’m not sure how much either of these RFA defensemen will make. Johnson is a No. 1 draft pick ahead of the likes of Nicklas Backstrom, Jonathan Toews and Jordan Staal but has had some lows (the golf cart incident) to go with a few highs. The Flyers robbed the Atlanta Thrashers blind when they traded for Coburn, but will they be able to afford him this summer? It should be interesting to see how much these two receive, but theirs might be the clearest cases in which restricted free agency hurts a quality player’s earning power.
This dominant win is a heck of a way for the Kings to begin an imposing seven-game road trip, which continues against the New York Islanders on Thursday. The Bruins probably want to burn the tape on this one themselves, as they’re about to head on a six-game road trip.
Per @EliasSports: @LAKings had 9 different skaters score in a game for 5th time in franchise history. Last: Jan. 21, 1987 vs. PIT (10-5 W).
Some hockey players resist the urge to wear a visor, at least if they’re given that choice.
Perhaps a few will say “Hey, Nathan Beaulieu will just punch it off anyway.”
Maybe not, but Beaulieu provided a rather unique moment in his fight with Cedric Paquette during the Montreal Canadiens – Tampa Bay Lightning game. You can watch that bout in the video above, and see a cut on the Lightning pest’s face from that blow.