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Sunday, September 17, 2006

Top 10 Contract Year Guys

From TSN,

It's not a coincidence that players often have their best seasons just before their contracts are up. Fantasy fanatics take note -- the following is a list of players who are primed for big seasons because they will be signing new contracts after the 2006-2007 campaign.

1. Keith Tkachuk, LW, St. Louis Blues
Age: 34
2006-07 Salary: $3.8 million
After avoiding a potential guest spot on the Biggest Loser, Tkachuk should put up big numbers and the potential for another fat raise is on the horizon.

05-06 stats=15 g, 21 p, 36 points

2. Ladislav Nagy, LW, Phoenix Coyotes
Age: 27
2006-07 Salary: $3.0 million
Nagy's ascent to stardom gets somewhat buried in the Arizona Desert, but another point a game season will cost the Coyotes a hefty sum.

05-06 stats=15 g, 41 a=56 points

3. Chris Drury, C, Buffalo Sabres
Age: 30
2006-07 Salary: $3.154 million
Coming off his first 30-goal campaign since college, this ultimate winner will be a huge asset on the open market with a big season.

05-06 stats=30 g, 37 a=67 points

4. Mike Knuble, RW, Phladelphia Flyers
Age: 34
2006-07 Salary: $1.52 million
Another year alongside Forsberg should vault Knuble to the top of the list for teams desperate for goal scoring come early July.

05-06 stats=34 g, 31 a=65 points

5. Ryan Smyth, LW, Edmonton Oilers
Age: 30
2006-07 Salary: $3.5 million
After playing for well below market value a good portion of his career, a big year could finally net Captain Canada a big payday.

05-06 stats=36 g, 30 a, 66 points

6. Fredrik Modin, LW, Columbus Blue Jackets
Age: 31
2006-07 Salary: $2.204
Another 30-goal season while leading the Blue Jackets to the playoffs should make Modin one of the most sought after UFAs on the open market next season.

05-06 stats=31 g, 23 a, 54 points

7. Pavel Datsyuk, C, Detroit Red Wings
Age: 28
2006-07 Salary: $3.9 million
The torch has been passed in Motown and with back-to-back big years under his belt, Datsyuk could be a prime candidate for the next long term deal in Detroit.

05-06 stats=28 g, 59 a=87 points

8. Peter Forsberg, C, Philadelphia Flyers
Age: 33
2006-07 Salary: $5.75 million
He's already making big money, but should Forsberg stay healthy and continue to perform at an elite level for an entire season, there is no telling what his market value will be - if he doesn't retire.

05-06 stats=19 g, 56 a, 75 points

9. Jere Lehtinen, RW, Dallas Stars
Age: 33
2006-07 Salary: $2.774 million
Perhaps the most underrated player in the league, Lehtinen will command huge dollars with another 30-goal season to complement his stellar all-around game.

05-06 stats=33 g, 19 a, 52 points

UPDATE: Lehtinen signed a 2 year contract extension worth 8 million dollars yesterday.

10. Darcy Tucker, RW, Toronto Maple Leafs
Age: 31
2006-07 Salary: $1.596 million
Tucker is an extremely valuable team player, but with the newly added dimension of goal scoring, his value on the open market will profit.

05-06 stats=28 g, 33 a, 61 points

Honorable Mentions

Marco Sturm, Boston Bruins ($2.1 million) - As a member of one of the best young lines in hockey, Sturm's stock will rise dramatically heading into a free agent season.
Bill Guerin, St. Louis Blues ($2 million) - After sustaining an off-season buyout, nobody screams big season quite like a Bill Guerin when facing a contract year.
Tomas Holmstrom, Detroit Red Wings ($1.5 million) - With an expanded offensive role now in the cards, Holmstrom's value will skyrocket in the off-season.


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