GMs respond to summer signings

Updated: January 5, 2012, 4:54 PM ET
By Craig Custance

Using two formulas that I can't explain but which do quite well, Hockey Prospectus broke down some of the offseason additions who are giving NHL teams the best and worst values. Some of the names you could have put on there without too much number-crunching. It doesn't take a calculator to figure out that Brian Elliott has been an incredible find for the St. Louis Blues and that maybe the Buffalo Sabres overpaid a bit for their free agents. We don't even have to mention Ilya Bryzgalov.

But sometimes the numbers don't tell everything.

"The reality is that if you had a definitive formula for this, the decisions would be easy," said Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi, when I called to ask him about Simon Gagne, a player on the overpaid list.

And Lombardi pointed out another factor when it comes to judging free agents.

"If you're doing straight value analysis you have to consider -- when did you get him? You automatically have to put a 30 percent inflation with a guy you get without giving up an asset," he said. "If you didn't give up an asset, it's really not indicative of comparing him to a Group 2 free agent. Again, these things have a lot of holes."

When I asked if the Kings had a statistical analyst on staff, that's where the conversation ended. He wasn't giving up trade secrets.

You can read the entire list here -- and it's a fascinating look at the early returns from free agency -- but there were a few names that stood out to me. Here are the responses I got when I asked around the league about them:

(For a full explanation of the goals vs. salary metric -- GVS -- I reference below, click here. In short, it measures a player's overall contributions relative to what the team should expect based on salary.)

The good