With any luck to hockey fans, the NHL and its associated players union will be amenable in helping the league avoid a lockout in 2020. Until then, it's business as usual for players and head honchos pulling strings in the front offices. This preview highlights significant offseason moves that promise to shake up the fantasy hockey landscape.
Erik Karlsson (Defenseman) San Jose Sharks
Sharks Take the Bait, Sign Karlsson for eight years, $92 million
Karlsson's first season in the Bay Area yielded predictably strong results. The two-time Norris Trophy winner averaged 0.85 points per game, including two goals and 18 assists on the power play. While Sharks coach Peter DeBoer primarily deployed Karlsson alongside Marc-Edouard Vlasic in 5-on-5 situations, the Swede saw most of his rink run with six-time NHL All-Star defenseman (and fellow Norris recipient) Brent Burns. Regardless of position, elite skaters make each other better. Last season, Burns enjoyed a career year offensively while Karlsson, in a slightly reduced role working around injuries, outpaced his career average in points as measured against his nine years of service time in Ottawa. Having secured an eight-year, $92 million contract extension, all eyes are on Karlsson to make a huge splash in his second year with Team Teal. Forward Joe Pavelski's dispatch to the Stars may lead to more scoring opportunities for Karlsson, though it's clear from his 129:434 goals-to-assist ratio that he doesn't even need to light the lamp to make a ton of noise in fantasy hockey.