NHL Fantasy Hockey Pool Strategy Guide

Training Camp Primer

As the calendar rolls into September, fresh excitement for the new 2013-2014 NHL season rises. After a lockout-shortened year in 2013, fantasy GMs are keen for a full hockey pool campaign. Minor developments continue to unfold since the release of the Fantasy Hockey Standard Regular Season Draft Guide, so here's a summary of the most important events. Of course, we'll be issuing our full rankings update during the preseason, on Sep. 20th.  

First to note is that NHL training camps open on Sep. 11, and that the 2013-14 preseason schedule gets underway on Saturday, Sep. 14th.  For the full schedule, click here.

The most recent big-name free agent signing is the Capitals' acquisition of Mikhail Grabovski. He signed a one-year deal worth $3 million. Where the center will eventually slot in remains unclear, but a top-six role is a good possibility.  See the Regular Season Draft Guide for a complete overview of the free agency picture.

Roberto Luongo finally answered questions about the Cory Schneider trade and his role with the Canucks in an interview by TSN host James Duthie.  Luongo's motivated to play for Canada at the Olympics, and he's ready to return as the starter in Vancouver and reestablish himself as an elite NHL goalie, but the entire debacle is what it is. You can read more of our take on the Luongo-Schneider-Mike Gillis saga throughout the guide.

Daniel Alfredsson also addressed the media regarding his decision to leave Ottawa, but it's basically just been a lot of finger pointing between the two sides.  One thing is clear: they were millions of dollars apart.  Alfredsson wanted about $6 million, while the Senators offered somewhere in the $4 million range (CBC).  He signed for $5.5M in Detroit.  Expect Alfie to return to Ottawa when his playing days are done to see his jersey raised to the rafters.

For the third year in a row, Teemu Selanne has remained a free agent through the summer.  We suspect that, also for the third year in a row, he'll be back with Anaheim when the season starts.  A chance to play at the Sochi Olympics is the carrot.  Speaking of the Ducks, Sheldon Souray is out 4-6 months due to wrist surgery.

*Update: Teemu Selanne re-signed with Anaheim on August 30th for one-year and $2 million.  2013-14 will be his 21st NHL season. 

In other injury news: Claude Giroux damaged tendons in his right index finger when his golf club shattered in his hand (NHL).  His recovery time (5-6 weeks) means he should be ready for the season opener. Eric Staal expects to be ready for camp after spraining his knee at the World Championships last spring.  And, although Ryan Callahan was initially expected to miss the first month of the season due to offseason shoulder surgery, he has recently be cleared for action and could even be ready for the opener.

Finally, for the first time in years, there will be no major restricted free agents holding out when the season starts.  The final two, Derek Stepan and Cody Franson, signed with their respective clubs on Sep. 26th.

The following RFAs have signed new deals:

  • Derek Stepan (NYR: twp-year, $6.15 million), 
  • Cody Franson (TOR: one-year, $2 million), 
  • Alex Pietrangelo (STL: seven-years, $45.5 million), 
  • Marcus Johansson (WAS, two-years, $4 million),
  • Mikkel Boedker (PHX: two-years, $5.1 million), Nazem Kadri (TOR: two-years, $5.8 million), and 
  • Cody Hodgson (BUF: six-years, $25.5 million).  

Click here for the full list of NHL free agents.

Be sure to follow our news headline feed for all the latest developments.


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