As companion to Friday's 'Western Conference' edition, here's a look at a few noteworthy fantasy performers who landed with Eastern Conference teams this offseason, and how they fit in their respective new digs.
As it happens, the second time's the charm as far as Iginla's hooking up with the Bruins is concerned. After his springtime cup of coffee with the Pittsburgh Penguins, the former Calgary captain is locked in with the B's for a full season, and quite the successful campaign it should be. As long as he remains on a forward line with David Krejci and Milan Lucic, Iginla will near a point-per-game pace. Plus, if having a realistic shot at the Stanley Cup doesn't further inspire the 36-year-old winger, his one-year, performance-bonus-laden $6 million deal should.
Winger Loui Eriksson joins Iginla as a newbie in Beantown for 2013-14. Alongside linemates Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, the former member of the Dallas Stars should crack the 70-point ceiling once again. However, Eriksson isn't a lock on his new squad's top power-play unit, the way he was in Dallas.
Having worn out his welcome with the Carolina Hurricanes, McBain is looking to begin anew with the Sabres. Unfortunately for the 25-year-old, he isn't a lock to see regular minutes as a top-six defenseman. While McBain has the wherewithal to serve as the Buffalo squadron's No. 2 offensive defenseman behind Christian Ehrhoff, that post is far from set in cement.
Ron Hainsey, D, Carolina Hurricanes
On just about any other team, Hainsey doesn't register as a fantasy asset worth discussion. But with Joni Pitkanen out for the season, and the Hurricanes hurting in the experienced puck-moving defensemen sector (Justin Faulk can't shoulder the burden on his own), Hainsey will serve in some offensive capacity. Still, you're likely better off gambling on a young firecracker like rookie Ryan Murphy. What's Hainsey's maximum yield from October to April, 25 points? Borrrring.
Once healthy, Horton is expected to flourish again with a small-market team like the Blue Jackets. Unfortunately, he's out until late December or early January following offseason shoulder surgery. Once fit, the former Bruin and Panther will suit up on the Jackets' top power-play unit with Marian Gaborik, which renders him worth hoarding on IR in most leagues. In 40 games, Horton has the capacity to rack up 30 points.
Following one of the more jarring transactions of the summer, Alfredsson finds himself sporting a red sweater of a different feather for the first time in his 18-season NHL career. As a member of the Red Wings, the former captain of the Ottawa Senators is pegged to skate on a second forward line with fellow newbie Stephen Weiss and longtime Red Wing Johan Franzen. But it's the 40-year-old's spot on the point (alongside defenseman Niklas Kronwall) with the club's top power-play assembly that adds the most luster to his current fantasy résumé. While his most productive days are behind him, Alfredsson can still be counted on for a 50-point season.
He's baaaack. As a starting netminder, no less. After a season-long sabbatical, Thomas makes his return to the NHL on a one-year deal with the Panthers, nudging Jacob Markstrom into the No. 2 role and booting Scott Clemmensen right out the door. Now whether the former Vezina and Conn Smythe winner still has his first-rate stuff remains to be seen. Judging from the minuscule sample size of evidence provided in preseason, he looks capable enough. And, goodness knows, Thomas is well-rested. He'd better be. No team allowed more goals last season than the Florida club, and that stat can't be pinned on goaltending alone.
As for other key additions in Sunrise, defenseman Ryan Whitney is poised to challenge Dmitry Kulikov for the No. 2 offensive defenseman role behind Brian Campbell. And, despite his measly one-year, $1 million deal, winger Brad Boyes will likely skate as a top-six forward, so I'm sounding an official Sleeper Alert.
It's not that the Philadelphia Flyers were pushing Briere out the door, it's just that he was too pricey to keep in compliance with the salary cap. Hence, Philly's loss becomes Montreal's gain. Projected to skate on a line with Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais, Briere is also expected to garner hefty quality minutes with the man advantage. A 50-point drive, including a hearty portion of power-play goals and assists, is not too much to expect from the versatile veteran in 2013-14.
We could devote a column on its own to all the acquisitions made by Devils this offseason. So for the sake of space, here are the raw, essential details: Clowe is fixed to skate on a line with former Red Wing Damien Brunner and center Travis Zajac (or possibly Patrik Elias). After splitting playing time in Dallas and Montreal last season, Michael Ryder will compete as a top-six forward for the Devils. When healthy -- and he's been dealing with lower-body "soreness" of late -- Jaromir Jagr will get the chance to shine on the power play, even if he's occasionally stuck on the third line at even strength. Of the bunch, Clowe may actually hold the most fantasy promise as a steady producer and magnet for penalty minutes.
Imported via trade with the Vancouver Canucks, goalie Cory Schneider is in position to split starts with the seemingly ageless Martin Brodeur, though many believe that he'll get the higher share. With a limited workload, Schneider's fantasy value has a ceiling lower than those of the unquestioned starters around the league.
Another official Sleeper Alert here. After spending the first 10 seasons of his NHL career with the Minnesota Wild, Bouchard is plausibly sashaying into a pretty plum position with the Islanders. On a one-year, $2 million deal, the 29-year-old could prove to be a bargain, and an unanticipated fantasy darling, as accompaniment to John Tavares and Matt Moulson on the Islanders' No. 1 line. While his health has been a serious concern in the past, Bouchard was fit for most of 2013. Worth noting: The former eighth-overall draft selection (2002) averaged 60 points per season in Minnesota from 2005 until 2008.
Bobby Ryan, RW, Ottawa Senators
If not softening the blow entirely, the addition of Ryan following the jaw-dropping loss of Alfredsson provided some form of cushioning for fans of the Senators. And now that the initial shock at Alfie's departure has worn off, the Ottawa faithful are becoming justifiably pumped about having the dynamic (and much younger) winger on their squad. Fixed to compete alongside center Jason Spezza and winger Milan Michalek, Ryan could reach the 70-point plateau for the second time in his career, and half of those could easily come in the goals column.
Meanwhile, former Toronto winger Clarke MacArthur travels approximately 280 miles east to join the Sens as a top-six forward. And in his second turn with the Ottawa club, Joe Corvo has an outside shot at fantasy relevance, particularly if young Patrick Wiercioch struggles with his freshly inflated responsibilities as a prominent puck-moving defenseman. With Sergei Gonchar gone, superstar Erik Karlsson can do only so much on his own.
Vincent Lecavalier, C, Philadelphia Flyers
The No. 2 center behind Claude Giroux, Lecavalier may end up skating with wingers Scott Hartnell and Wayne Simmonds. That's a good-sized line -- averaging over 6-foot-3 and a combined 610 pounds -- and it's a line that's skilled at putting the puck in the net. (Brayden Schenn, no shrimp either, is another potential linemate.) If that's how the cookie crumbles in Philly, the former Lightning captain is in line for a 60-point season.
Other prominent offseason additions for the Flyers include defenseman Mark Streit and goaltender Ray Emery. Pencil in Streit for an easy 45-point campaign as the only offensive defenseman of note in Philadelphia not named Kimmo Timonen. As for Emery, don't be shocked if he muscles the majority of starts away from tandem partner Steve Mason as the regular season progresses.
As the No. 2 center for the Lightning, Filppula will get his share of opportunities to contribute. However, coach Jon Cooper is also interested in using the former Red Wing in a defensive role, when the situation calls for it. Don't count on more than 45 to 50 points from the solid two-way forward this season.
That 10-game suspension to start the regular season takes a bit of the shine off, doesn't it? But there's no point in crying over spilled milk -- or leapt boards, as it were. Once Clarkson is eligible to return (Oct. 25), he'll slide in alongside Nazem Kadri and Joffrey Lupul on the Maple Leafs' No. 2 line. In the meantime, fellow newcomer to the Blue and White, Mason Raymond, will get a shot at that particular top-six position. Beyond Clarkson and Raymond, Dave Bolland -- fresh from enjoying his second taste of Stanley Cup victory with the Chicago Blackhawks -- is slotted in as a third-line center with the Leafs.
GM Dave Nonis & Co. were also busy this offseason in bolstering Toronto's goaltending ranks. Acquiring the talented, if still unproven, Jonathan Bernier in a deal with the Los Angeles Kings, the Leafs give themselves two quality options from which to choose, night in and night out. Until one of them runs away with the No. 1 job, Bernier and incumbent James Reimer will serve as an alternating, one-two punch between the pipes.
So far, so good. Early returns from preseason play indicate that Grabovski is fitting in nicely as a second-line center and option to unleash with Alex Ovechkin & Co. on the Capitals' top power-play unit. And, still smarting from being kicked to the curb (in the form of a buyout) by the Maple Leafs, Grabovski has plenty to prove. The willingness to impress his new teammates and coaches, alongside the yearning to stick it to Toronto, plus the usual incentive provided by competing on a one-year deal makes for a nice combo platter from the motivation department. A 55-point campaign is well within reach for the 29-year-old.
However, the fantasy fallout from the addition of Grabovski remains a touch fuzzy. Where Marcus Johansson, Eric Fehr, Brooks Laich, Martin Erat and Troy Brouwer fit in -- or not -- among the top-six forwards still has to be worked out. Only Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom are truly safe from demotion to the third line.