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Winners and Losers of Free Agency 2020

With most RFAs now signed, we can now take a moment to re-evaluate how NEFHL GMs fared compared to expectations. A rough overview of the methodology use to come up with expected contract values listed below can be found here, though I have since slightly revised the methodology, improving on the model's predictive ability. The model uses only a player's OV and previous salary as inputs, and fits a linear regression to produce an estimated new salary value (not taking into account the length of the deal). Below we see how each team made out. 

Some of the best signings from a savings perspective include the likes of Sebastian Aho, Shayne Gostisbehere, and Zach Werinski, while on the flip side it seems that the likes of Matt Duchene, Nate Schmidt, Dylan Larkin, Jaden Schwartz, and Brock Nelson all have the Player Agent to thank for eeking out every last penny. 

From a team perspective, the clear losers appear to be the Caps and Wild. The Caps forked out a combined 1.3M over maket value, and have Duchene, Karlsson, and Barzal to thank for that, whereas the Wild paid just over 1M above market value on the likes of DeBrusk, Spurgeon, and Schmidt. 

Teams who saved themselves over 1M, possibly as a result of nickle and diming their way up(?), include the Jets, Canucks, Flames, Ducks, Blackhawks, and Oilers. 

On average, most GMs came out ahead of the the total expenditure predicted by the model. For all the flack the Player Agent takes, he (or she) seems to possibly be acting against the best interest of his or her clients. It would seem that when your commission stipulates you only get 5%, you begin to lose incentive to squeeze out an extra few hundred thousand and risk teams holding out your client(s). 

On that note, we move on to unrestricted free agency now, where there is no doubt that these collective savings will be spent wisely ;). My sources tell me the Player Agent will not be so foregiving this time around...

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