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Grading the Free Agents: Centers

I grade this Summer's Free Agent Center signings

Jori Lehtera
Jori Lehtera
Martin Rose

Now the Centers. I already covered Stastny, Lehtera, Berglund, and Ott in the Blues Edition.

Brad Richards 1 year $2m Grade: A+

I would have been delighted to have Richards in St. Louis for 2 years at $3m AAV. Richards could out-produce this contract by 40 goals.

Mats Zuccarello 1 year $3.5m Grade: A

Zuccarello is in the top 100 in Corsi and Corsi Rel for the last 5 years. He's coming off a 59 point season that looks like a bit of an outlier, but I think he's the real deal. He should be a sought-after UFA next Summer.

Mathieu Perreault 3 years $3m AAV Grade: A-

Good Corsi numbers, 0.5 PPG, $2m less a season than Grabovski. Nice signing. Not sure why Anaheim let him walk.

Mikhail Grabovski 4 years $5m AAV Grade: B+

Grabo was 101 in Corsi over the last 5 years despite being in Toronto for most of it. Number 9 in Corsi Rel. Only about 0.6 PPG to show for it, though. $5m seems a bit high, but overall the Islanders took a big step in the right direction.

Ryan O'Reilly 2 years $6m AAV Grade: B

A lot of money for an RFA, but O'Reilly is a solid player. Seems like Colorado should have avoided some of the acrimony that came out of this negotiation.

David Legwand 2 years $3m AAV Grade: B

About right.

Ollie Jokinen 1 year $2.5m Grade: B

43 points last year was low for him. 43 points again this year would be a pretty good value.

Chris Kreider 2 years $2.5m AAV Grade: B

Seems reasonable for a 23-year-old RFA.

Benoit Pouliot 5 years $4m AAV Grade: B-

Like Grabovski, Pouliot has good Corsi numbers and little in the way of points to show for it. Seemingly brought in to replace Sam Gagner. He doesn't look like an upgrade at about the same price.

Mike Ribeiro 1 year $1m Grade: B-

I love this kind of gamble. Essentially no downside with lots of potential upside. Ribs has been close to a point-per-game player for his career. Last season, even with all the drama, he put up 47 in 80 games. I've read stories about his personal life that actually make me have some sympathy for the guy.

Derek Roy 1 year $1m Grade: C+

Unlike Ribs, who I think has a lot of upside, I think Roy is likely to produce about $1m worth of value. Still, he has more upside than the next group.

Manny Malhotra 1 year $850k Grade: C

Jay McClement 1 year $1m

Vernon Fiddler 2 years $1.25m AAV

Derek MacKenzie 3 years $1.3m AAV

I lump these guys together under the umbrella of "Manny Malhotra money for Manny Malhotra production". Not sure I understand 3 years for MacKenzie, except #FloridaPanthers.

Dominic Moore 2 years $1.5m AAV Grade: C-

More than Manny Malhotra money for Manny Malhotra production. 2 years too.

Lars Eller 4 years $3.5m AAV Grade: C-

If Bergy gets a "C" for 32 points and $3.7m then Eller gets a "C-" for 26 points.

Dave Bolland 5 years $5.5m AAV Grade: F

Amazing. Bolland is 1061 in Corsi, 1412 in Corsi Rel. Bolland would need to be 30 goals a season better than Steve Ott just to make this deal comparable and I gave Ott's deal an "F". Makes the contract given to Willie Mitchell look brilliant by comparison.