Mats Zuccarello Was The Best 2019 UFA Signing and Here's Why
I know Artemi Panarin was the big fish to land this off season and The New York Rangers did that, but it was former Ranger Mats Zuccarello that was the absolute best Free Agent signing.
And unlike other Hockey blogs we're going to back this up with reason. And the reason Zuccarello was the best signing was because he was the best value. We took a look at the top free agents signings for this off season and did the simplest thing... Figured out the cost per point. Panarin is the best player, no doubt about that. But in a cap world, we're seeing how savvy GM's need to be in order to field a competitive team and its no longer about acquiring all of the best players its about getting the best players at the right price.
Zuccarello is that player.
So in figuring out cost per point, Joe Pavelski actually came in at around $98,000 per point. Ever so slightly better than Zuccarello. Wayne Simmonds was just behind Zuccarello and Anders Lee just behind him.
How did we figure out cost per point? We took the last few seasons of ever player, added up their points and divided it by the amount of seasons and then we took that number and divided it by their new contract numbers. Simple.
So Joe Pavelski came out slightly ahead of Zuccarello by a few thousand dollars per point, but we gave it to Zuccarello best on age and length of term. Joe signed for 3 years while Zuccarello signed for 5. And much like Patrick Marleau we all know that third year is not going to be productive and was as much of a donation to lure the player in as it was anything else. I understand why Dallas gave him the third year... It's what you have to do to get the player... but we have to take it into consideration when it comes to evaluating the signings.
Paul Fenton obviously has a lot of work to do in Minnesota, but the cap has finally caught up to the dollar value with the Parise and Suter contracts (term is still a killer there though) and besides habitually trying to trade Zucker and having a lot of offensive responsibility resting with aging veterans Koiuvu and Staal... he's off to a good start with the best value signing this year!