As we continue to await the Antti Niemi decision, numerous players re-signed with their teams either through arbitration or avoiding the process altogether. Although many of the names do not hold the same luster as Niemi, a few of these players should make an impact on your fantasy lineups.
Jason Demers signed a two-year contract with the Sharks, carrying the $1.25 million cap hit. At that affordable rate he should be a bargain for pools that weigh salaries as well as for his actual team. Back in June we thought Demers would benefit with Rob Blake’s retirement and still hold true to that theory.
Peter Regin re-signed with the Senators despite Jason Spezza remaining with the team. If Spezza were to be traded, Regin could have been a large benefactor but he will settle for Matt Cullen leaving for Minnesota. Regin signed a two-year deal with a million cap hit.
Tim Kennedy received a raise from his entry-level salary regardless if the Sabres felt he deserved it. The diminutive but versatile winger will make a million even this year following an arbitration award. With Drew Stafford falling out of favor due to inconsistency, the 24-year-old Kennedy could see himself in a top six role with his hometown team after playing a mostly defensive game this past season.
One of the biggest names, Blake Wheeler, got a hefty raise from his entry-level dead breaking the two million barrier. At 23, the man who turned down Wayne Gretzky signed a one-year 2.2 million dollar deal which could mean less room for Tyler Seguin. With the forward corps revitalized Wheeler could benefit and increase his production after his sophomore slump of a season.
Ian White earned the highest arbitration award thus far with his one year, 2.995 million contract. White played his first full season not alternating between forward and defense and earned his deal with his excellent offensive output. As we noted previously, he could be the best option in Calgary now that Jay Bouwmeester focuses more on the other end of the ice. If Bouwmeester can rebound, however, White will decrease playing time and effectiveness immediately.
None of these players figure to be taken in the top ten rounds of any draft but will play valuable roles for their teams, respectively.