Into The 2019 NHL Unrestricted Free Agent Class: Ryan Dzingel
The Ottawa Senators have traded forward Ryan Dzingel and a 2019 7th draft pick (Calgary's) to the Columbus Blue Jackets for a 2020 2nd round pick, a 2021 2nd round pick and Anthony Duclair.
So after the Columbus mess, what happens to Ryan Dzingel now? How much did Columbus cost him in terms of UFA dollars?

Unrestricted free agency starts on July 1st. The 2019 class possesses some interesting wrinkles. However, some players stand to make more money and some may take a little less than expected. That is the nature of the business. One of the players who looked promising but took a dip was Ryan Dzingel.

Ryan Dzingel had so much hope — his year in Ottawa

Alas, the forward was on one horrendously bad Ottawa Senators squad. On the other hand, he was scoring goals and very attractive to suitors come the trade deadline. Dzingel scored 22 goals in just 57 games and added 22 assists. Some debated that a solid run to the postseason would have been enough to push Dzingel’s AAV above $5 million with ease. Before the trade deadline, a 30-goal pace was enough to merit that assessment.

Dzingel played nearly 18 minutes a night, was seeing solid power-play time and averaged almost 2.5 shots per game. His numbers trended up across the board — from power play points to even strength. Some joke now did Ryan Dzingel have to be traded?

Now, that answer was a resounding yes given what was the situation in Ottawa. Unfortunately, going to Columbus was likely the worst place Ryan Dzingel could have gone.

Then Ryan Dzingel played in Columbus for John Tortorella

Again, many things occurred to almost assure this “marriage” was doomed from the start. On the other hand, the Columbus Blue Jackets possessed more depth than Ottawa could dream about. Immediately, that was going to impact Dzingel’s ice time.

While 12 points in 21 games is not a catastrophe, almost everything else was. Dzingel barely could muster above one shot a game on the net. Also, his ice time went down by over three minutes and some games he barely played. Some of that was on the coaching staff and some of that was on the player, honestly. The other problem was how well Matt Duchene thrived in Columbus — almost too well for Dzingel.

That presents the next problem on how Dzingel got down on himself which led to being scratched in the playoffs. Overall, Ryan Dzingel tallied just a point in nine postseason games while playing just over 11 minutes a night. This raised some red flags and likely will be part of why projections came down for the forward when it comes to salary. The issues that existed were magnified heavily.

Dzingel’s relative possession metrics were as bad as his rookie year in Ottawa with an average of 4% lower than Columbus. The only positives were his on-ice shooting and save percentages at 5 on 5 which stayed strong and ironically 4% above the mean.

What does it all mean for Ryan Dzingel now? 

According to Evolving Wild, the forward’s projected salary is approximately four years at an AAV of about $4.33 million. Keep in mind, there have been some overpays already — Esa Lindell and Brock Nelson immediately come to mind. However, those were re-signings. Dzingel most certainly will end up somewhere other than Ottawa or Columbus.

Then, we present Sean Tierney’s charts from Tableau. Dzingel’s numbers feature quite a few negatives.

Also, note that Ryan Dzingel’s individual chances for are at a rate of Brandon Dubinsky (a mostly fourth-line player). That is indicative of how poorly things went in Columbus. There is no question that Dzingel is selective while shooting and can score 20+ goals though. The problem is he needs the right linemates and must be buoyed by them.

It is the main reason why that the forward should not get a $5 million AAV in his next deal. He still might but his risks outweigh the positives. This is just the beginning of what will be one crazy UFA summer.