39-Year-Old Defenseman – Free Agent
Ruslan Salei Contract Information:
Signed a contract with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the KHL in July 2011. Died Sept. 7, 2011 along with his Yaroslavl teammates in a plane crash in Russia. It is considered one of the sports world’s worst aviation disasters.
Salei was one of 43 people killed when a jet carrying his Yaroslavl (KHL) team crashed moments after takeoff in Russia on Wednesday. It is considered one of the sports world’s worst aviation disasters.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Ruslan Salei.
Salei brings a gritty style to the Avs' blue line. He hits, blocks shots and adds a little offense to boot. We have him pegged for about 20 points or so this year, but the addition of Kyle Quincey in the offseason may see Salei in more of a shutdown role. Careful of the downside, and draft only in deeper leagues.
Salei is a feisty, aggressive, workhorse defender who plays a physical game and can contribute offensively when called upon. He tends to struggle with his consistency, however, and is prone to making defensive gaffes that get him into trouble with the coaching staff. He should line up as one of the Avs' top four d-men this season and could see time on the second PP unit. He is worthy of consideration in deeper fantasy leagues.
Salei had a career-high 32 points last season, but many of those came as a stand-in on the blue line for a struggling power play. With imports Cory Murphy and Noah Welch expected to take over such roles going forward, it seems likely Salei's offensive numbers will sag back to the 20-point level.
The Panthers are extremely excited to add Salei while buying out the contract of Sean Hill. Salei will probably start the season paired with Jay Bouwmeester on the team's top defensive pairing, which should help his numbers. On the other hand, he has never scored more than 19 points in his nine-year NHL career, so even a career year wouldn't be worth much in the fantasy world.
Despite the fact Salei will be planted on one of the Ducks' top two lines, you shouldn't consider him for your fantasy squad. Salei is a tough-nosed, stay-at-home blueliner that doesn't have much offensive power. What he will give you, if your league awards it, are plenty of PIMs.