Free-agent moves in the NHL are typically made with real-world success in mind. As front offices work to set teams up for postseason appearances and championship runs, fantasy owners may suffer from their decisions. A club bolstering its depth by adding a once prominent scorer to serve a third-line role with limited power-play time can drastically alter that player's production.
Here are four players who could have diminished fantasy hockey returns as a result of their respective free-agent destination.
Stastny put up 53 points over a full 82 games with the St. Louis Blues and Winnipeg Jets in 2017-18. It was his highest point total since the 2013-14 season when he was a member of the Colorado Avalanche.
The 32-year-old enjoyed a wildly successful postseason run with the Jets, posting 15 points over 17 games while playing 17:24 per game. Stastny chose to join a Vegas Golden Knights team for which three returning forwards enjoyed that much usage in last year's playoffs, and only center William Karlsson saw anything close to Stastny's 18:41 regular-season average ice time.
A deeper and more balanced attack in Vegas will likely limit Stastny's production, as he's expected to serve as the second-line center.
Plekanec isn't necessarily losing fantasy value, as he didn't have much, to begin with. It's more about losing the opportunity to produce, as he'll return to the team with which he spent his first 13-and-a-half seasons, and it now lacks a strong supporting cast.
The Montreal Canadiens are thin on scoring depth beyond the first line. Now reliant on assists for production, Plekanec is unlikely to have enough help to be fantasy relevant while buried in the bottom six.
He notched 60 points for the Canadiens back in 2014-15, but he's long removed from that type of production. The 35-year-old center hasn't attempted 200 shots on goal in a single season since that campaign, and he failed to tally either a power-play or shorthanded point last year.
Mrazek was once viewed as one of the best young goalies in the NHL, making him a top-end asset in any type of keeper league. He posted a combined save percentage of .920 over 75 starts (83 games) from 2014-16.
As the Detroit Red Wings roster deteriorated, so did Mrazek's fantasy contributions. He was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers this past season, where the hope was he could fix their everlasting goaltending woes. He wasn't offered a qualifying offer as a restricted free agent after he stopped just 89.1 percent of shots he faced.
As a result, Mrazek signed with the Carolina Hurricanes, where he's expected to back up starter Scott Darling. A limited role erases Mrazek's fantasy value and managers will need to wait at least one season for him to warrant consideration.
With Brayden Schenn penciled in as the top center, between wingers Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko, the Blues went and traded for faceoff-master Ryan O'Reilly not long after signing Bozak to a three-year, $15-million deal.
Robby Fabbri, 22, will also be returning from the knee injury that cost him last season. The 21st overall pick of the 2014 draft had shown promise in his first two NHL campaigns, totaling 66 points in 123 games.
Bozak, who notched at least 10 power-play points in each of the past four seasons while averaging roughly 45 total points, will see limited time on the man advantage and could quickly be forced into a third-line role at even strength depending on Fabbri's recovery.
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