The Year of The Poach!

POLL At the end of the article.

Where the UFA market may lag this year, the RFA market is heating up.

The new CBA has made this year the most likely year for teams to do an RFA poach, and for the first time since Dustin Penner was successfully poached we may have a few scalps. These teams have some interesting RFAs that could be lured away.

  • CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS - $5.1 M to cap, 17 players signed. Less than $1M per player. TARGETS: Nick Leddy (2nd Best Corsi against sheltered competition), Marcus Kruger (Possible 2nd Liner in future)
  • VANCOUVER CANUCKS - $3.8M to cap, 14 players signed. The Canucks will have a difficult time meeting the Cap. TARGETS: Chris Tanev (Possible Top 4 Defensive D), Jordan Schroeder (Projects as 2nd line Centre)
  • SAN JOSE SHARKS - $10.5M to cap, 13 players signed. TARGETS: Alex Stalock (Potential starter/quality backup at the NHL level), T J Galiardi (3rd line with possible 2nd line upside), Jason Demers (Offensive Defenseman, powerplay QB).
  • BOSTON BRUINS- $6.8M to cap, 16 players signed. TARGETS: Tuukka Rask (At $3.5M over 1/2 the cap leaving $500K per player), Jordan Caron (Big Power Forward for top 6 that the Oilers crave)
  • ANAHEIM DUCKS - $10.8M to cap, 16 players signed. TARGET: Kyle Palmieri (Projects as a future 1st liner, with great skills)
  • NEW YORK RANGERS - $10.8M to cap, 17 players signed. TARGETS: Derek Stepan (2nd highest points on Rangers and doing it against the toughs), Carl Hagelin (In Rangers top 6, 2nd best Corsi), Ryan McDonagh (Rangers top D for TOI)

I see some challenges in signing these players, some of these players are NHLer eating big minutes, and with $1.6M or less per player to sign these guys, they would make some interesting poaching targets. In some instances they are just top prospects that maybe able to be gotten on a one way contract that can't be readily buried in the AHL.

The Oilers, have Gagner, Paajarvi, Hartikainen and Peckham of note. But they currently have $20.8M to sign 6 players.

If Smid signs for $3.8M , Paajarvi for $1.8M, Hartikainen for $1.2M, that leaves $13.2M for 3 players including Gagner and possibly Fistric. Say $5M & 1.5M each.

That leaves $7.5 M for poaching & player/goalie. Without too much effort and not huge over payments either you maybe able to poach a decent player. Keep in mind the Rangers have already used 1 of their buyouts.

With Hemsky coming off the books the following year allows $5M for RNH, Horcoff's $5.5M comes off the following year for Yak. Then hopefully the league revenues are up a cap is up, and it allows Schultz & Petry to be resigned. But at the end of the day, you have to play for the win.

I think you have to be thinking poaching this year when so many teams will be up against it.

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this FanPost are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or position of the staff.