Fantasy HockeyJosh Kay

NHL Contract and Injury News Update: September 27th 2013

The last couple days have been quite noteworthy in the National Hockey League as teams are solidifying their rosters for the start of the regular season. Here are the biggest pieces of news that Fantasy Hockey owners and NHL fans alike should be aware of.

Cody Franson– The 26-year-old defenseman ended his contract stalemate with the Toronto Maple Leafs by signing a 1-year $2-million bridge contract with the club after holding out throughout the summer and preseason. The Leafs are quite lucky to have had Franson sign for less than he is worth, as he was requesting $3.5-million. Due to cap restraints that the Leafs dug themselves into, Franson was limited to just the $2-million.

The Leafs are expecting big things from their first-line center in 2013
The Leafs are expecting big things from their first-line center in 2013

That hole was created by the signing of center Tyler Bozak (right) to a 5-year $21-million deal that brings a cap hit of $4.2-million per season as well as a 7-year $36-million deal for winger David Clarkson. Clarkson immediately proved was a mistake after he got himself suspended for the first ten games due to leaving the bench to fight during the Sabres-Leafs line brawl on September 22nd.  In the end, the Leafs lucked out as Franson is an excellent young defenseman who we have ranked number 92 overall and as our number 24 defenseman.

Derek Stepan– The 23-year-old center signed himself a bridge contract with the New York Rangers for 2-years and $6.2-million. Stepan, a former second round pick in the 2008 NHL Draft posted a career season in 2012-2013 as he racked up 44 points in 48 games. Stepan is a player that New York could not afford to leave un-signed given the injuries to wingers Carl Hagelin and Ryan Callahan. Writer Jeff Hicks is highest on Stepan as he has him at number 83 overall in his Top-200 rankings.

Tim Thomas– The 39-year-old goaltender signed with the Florida Panthers on a 1-year deal reportedly worth up to $3.75-million. Thomas’s base salary is going to be $2.5-million with a possible $1.25-million in attainable player bonuses. The terms of the bonuses were not disclosed. For Florida, this signing comes along with the news of the sale of the team to new owner Vinnie Viola.  This deal would make sense if the Panthers were planning on going all Billy Beane on us, with intentions to sell Thomas to the highest bidder at the trade deadline, but Thomas has a “no-move clause” in his contract.

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