43-Year-Old Defenseman – Free Agent
Roman Hamrlik Contract Information:
Claimed on waivers by the Rangers in March of 2013.
Hamrlik announced on Monday that he will retire from professional hockey, NHL.com reports.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Roman Hamrlik.
Usually a lock for close to 30 points, Hamrlik posted a career-low 13 points last season, suiting up in 68 games. His best offensive days are behind him and the Caps have John Carlson and Mike Green to carry the load on the back end. With Dennis Wideman now in Calgary, Hamrlik could see some power play time, but his upside is essentially gone.
Hamrlik turned down an offer to rejoin Montreal and got an offer from Washington that he would not decline. The veteran will bring size and toughness as well as chipping in with a few points here and there. On draft day, he will not be coveted at this stage of his career, but come free agency time, he may be worth a look.
Hamrlik finished the 2009-10 season with numbers we are getting accustomed to from the aging veteran. He finished with 26 points with six goals and 20 assists. At his current age (36), Hamrlik still provides excellent durability playing in 75 games in each of the past four seasons. At some point Hamrlik's play should slow down but he is a grinder and plays excellent defense, which is why the Habs like him so much. For 2010-11, expectations should be low for Hamrlik to put up any respectable point total but he will provide the Habs with great leadership and toughness.
Hamrlik finished second among Montreal defensemen with 33 points last year behind all-star Andrei Markov, who finished second among all blue-liners with 64 points. He also finished second among Habsí defensemen with a plus-4 rating behind Josh Gorgesí plus-12 rating. The 35-year-old has put up steady numbers, given his advancing age, over the past five seasons with averages of 6.40 goals, 24.0 assists, and 30.4 points in an average of 73 games per season. We expect numbers similar to these this season as long as Hamrlik can stay healthy, which he has been able to do for much of his career.
Hamrlik, fantasywise, is on the upswing due to the departure of Mark Streit. That moves the Hammer to No. 2 on the team's depth chart of puck-moving D-men. Even if the team decides to move Kovalev to the point alongside Markov on the first power play unit, Hamrlik will see an uptick in power play minutes and a return to his customary 35-40 point level is in store. In the last 10 seasons in which Hamrlik has played at least 70 games, Hamrlik has scored at least 37 points seven times and has exceeded 31 points on eight occasions.
While Hamrlik won't score 26 goals this year like Souray did (neither will Sheldon in Edmonton), he will improve the team's overall defense. Media pundits have been decrying the Hamrlik acquisition this offseason but it seems shortsighted. Hamrlik did a lot for Dion Phaneuf in Calgary and managed to score 38 points in 75 games with a plus-22. He can excel at both ends of the ice unlike Souray (minus-28). In fact, the Hammer has averaged about a point for every other game played in his entire NHL career (505 pts in 999 games with 1,129 PIMs). Pencil in 10 goals and 40 points with around 80 PIMs.
Injuries wrecked Hamrlik's 2005-06 season, as a broken hand and two knee injuries kept him from ever gaining any momentum. His potential for 50 or 60-point seasons seems gone and the constant threat of injury sends off warning signs to all fantasy owners. While his 26 points in 51 games last season was serviceable, he is too much of a risk to really bank on his production.
Expect Hamrlik to improve on his 2003/04 numbers with the Islanders. He was relegated to a minimum of playing time because of an abundance of offensive defensemen, Adrian Aucoin, Kenny Jonsson and Janne Niinimaa. With Calgary his minutes will increase and he will be the main quarterback on the power play. This blueliner should be in the top 10 scoring for defensemen in the western conference.