They say you overpay when signing free agents July 1st, but is it true? To answer that, we're going to use Goals Versus Salary (GVS) to objectively analyze this year's signings, evaluating them as a group, and taking a quick look at some of the best and worst deals.
Remember that GVS is simply GVT, but instead of being relative to the threshold of a replacement-level player, it is relative to what a team could get using the same cap space. There are those who believe you can't get value when signing unrestricted free agents, because teams need to overpay to compete with other GMs driving up the market, but that's simply never been shown to be true.
Of the 57 signings currently in the books for which the terms are known, and for which we have sufficient 2010-11 GVT data (sorry, Jagr!), 31 were value signings. And as a group, you only need to ignore a handful of the truly bizarre signings to get an above-zero GVS. Here are yesterday's best signings:
Player Team Cap Yrs GVT GVS
Matt D'Agostini St. Louis 1.150 2 8.4 +6.45
Jeff Halpern Washington 0.825 1 6.3 +5.33
Marty Reasoner NY Islanders 1.350 2 7.8 +5.25
Brian Boucher Carolina 0.950 2 5.3 +3.95
Sean O'Donnell Chicago 0.850 1 4.7 +3.65
Steve Montador Chicago 2.750 4 9.8 +3.05
Tyler Kennedy Pittsburgh 2.000 2 7.4 +2.90
Patrick Eaves Detroit 1.200 3 4.7 +2.60
Drew Miller Detroit 0.825 2 3.5 +2.53
Benoit Pouliot Boston 1.100 1 4.3 +2.50
The St. Louis Blues may have made both the best signing and the worst signing of the day. In Matt D'Agostini they certainly landed the least expensive 20-goal scorer, at just $1.15 million per season. Even if he were to play only half as well over the next two seasons, there's really no way for this deal to hurt the Blues, and it has a big upside.