Hemsky

 

In Part 4 of this six-part series, we’ll take a team-by-team look at the Northwest Division. Buyers? Sellers? Who’s available? How can you prepare your fantasy roster for the upcoming address changes for some of these guys? Everything you need to know as a fantasy hockey owner about the 2011 NHL Trade Deadline is right here. Hell, I’ve already nailed a few of the speculated players moving. All you need is a bit of research and I save you the trouble.

 

(Part 1 – Atlantic Division)

(Part 2 – Central Division)

(Part 3 – Northeast Division)

All three previous parts are updated/rewritten as of February 19.

 

Vancouver


Buyers or sellers: Buyers

 

Cap Situation: Extremely tight. Salary would have to be moved.

 

Pending Free Agents:

UFA’s – Raffi Torres, Tanner Glass, Jeff Tambellini, Kevin Bieksa, Sami Salo, Christian Ehrhoff, Andrew Alberts

RFA’s – Jannik Hansen, Lee Sweatt, Victor Oreskovich, Sergei Shirokov

 

Needs:

  1. With five injured defensemen, the Canucks could use another one. Ironically, in the entire league this is the one team best equipped to handle two or three injuries to the blue line. It’s when things got to four...and then five, where it became concerning.
  2. An experienced winger. They would prefer not to head into the postseason rotating Oreskovich, Jordan Schroeder, Bill Sweatt, Cody Hodgson and Sergei Shirokov in that final spot.

The latest, from Spector’s Hockey:

  1. The Canucks did not trade for Ian White. A deal like that would make sense, but again they would need to move salary. White went to San Jose instead.
  2. Bieksa may re-sign with the team. His name was bandied about earlier in the season, but between his strong play and the team’s desperate need for bodies on the blue line, his value is highest right where he is. They’ll miss him while he recovers from a broken foot.
  3. Vancouver is interested in Chris Neil. Maybe so, but salary would have to go the other way.
  4. Vancouver is only going after a $1 million player at the deadline. “Options are more Strudwick, less Phillips”, according to Mike Gillis

Fantasy squad preparation:

  1. Sell high on Roberto Luongo, because it’s going to be a rough ride these final two months.

 

 

Calgary


Buyers or sellers: Buyers. I can’t believe that this is the situation after where they were a month ago.

 

Cap Situation: They have some wiggle room. They are able to add a $4 million player if they need to.

 

Pending Free Agents:

UFA’s – Alex Tanguay, Curtis Glencross, Brendan Morrison, Steve Staios, Anton Babchuk, Adam Pardy, Henrik Karlsson

RFA’s – Brendan Mikkelson, Leland Irving, Ryan Stone

 

Needs:

  1. A first-line center. Olli Jokinen may be playing like one of late, but he’s doing it on the second line. That’s where he fits in the best on this team. But to come out with Brendan Morrison on the first line is painful to watch.
  2. A depth forward. Nothing against Lance Bouma.

The latest, from Spector’s Hockey:

  1. Boston may go after Jarome Iginla. Spector shoots the idea down and rightfully so – especially with the Flames in the mix now.
  2. Curtis Glencross’ career season could be enough to get him re-signed there.
  3. Jay Bouwmeester and Olli Jokinen are on the block. I doubt it – Jokinen has been on fire in the two weeks since that rumor, and J-Bo is still too new to the organization and had too much hype when he arrived. The organization would have some egg on their face if they moved him already.
  4. The Flames will do absolutely nothing at the deadline, short of adding a depth player. Finally, a rumor that makes perfect sense and is absolutely certain to happen!
  5. If the Flames can add an experienced depth player with a late draft pick, they will do so, otherwise they will stand pat.

Fantasy squad preparation:

  1. Glencross owners – ride this season out, but then be prepared to move him. This is a contract year and his career high this year will be just that – a career high. When he retires, he’ll look upon 2010-11 as his best season ever.
  2. Buy low on Mikael Backlund in keeper leagues. Not that he will see his potential as a point-per-game player. He probably won’t. However, the signs are becoming very clear – the Flames can not (or will not) acquire a No.1 center. Backlund turns 22 next month and as he grows stronger his ice time will increase. The Flames will groom him to be their top pivot, which may or may not be good for his development. But either next season or in 2012-13, he will be the top center. After showing very little over two seasons, his value is as low as it will ever be.

 

 

 

Minnesota


Buyers or sellers: Buyers. Probably. When fourth and 10th are separated by four points, there are a lot of buyers out there. But I don’t see the Wild selling the farm for a rental.

 

Cap Situation: They have some wiggle room. They are able to add a $4 million player if they need to.

 

Pending Free Agents:

UFA’s – Chuck Kobasew, Andrew Brunette, Antti Miettinen, John Madden, Josh Harding, Jose Theodore

RFA’s – Casey Wellman, Colton Gillies, Jarod Palmer, Petr Kalus, James Sheppard, Anton Khudobin, Patrick O’Sullivan

 

Needs:

  1. A scoring winger with drive and hustle. That is to say – Guillaume Latendresse will be back in early March for the stretch run.
  2. A power-play quarterback. That is to say – Marek Zidlicky will be back very soon.
  3. Re-stock the shelves. I can’t remember the last time the Wild had a long list of promising prospects. Right now they have more than I can remember in recent memory, yet at the same time they aren’t “elite” and they still aren’t exactly abundant. Marco Scandella is the only blue-chipper, though Erik Haula is looking good as well. Adding to that would require them to be in “sell” mode, which is still possible.

The latest, from Spector’s Hockey:

  1. If the team does do some selling, Jose Theodore’s name has been bandied about, as has Antti Miettinen’s.
  2. Spector reports that the team will be sticking with the roster as is.
  3. A rumor in late January – the Wild would go after Zach Parise. Wouldn’t that rock the fantasy hockey world?

Fantasy squad preparation:

  1. If you’re in dire straits for goaltending, you could pick up Anton Khudobin and hope for a Theodore trade and another Niklas Backstrom injury. Both could happen, it would just be a long shot. If you REALLY want a long shot, look at Josh Harding, who is actually back skating again.
  2. Sell high on Cal Clutterbuck. He’s having a great season and is playing extremely well right now, but when Latendresse returns, Clutterbuck will lose the precious ice time and linemates.

 

 

Colorado


Buyers or sellers: Sellers – and what a tailspin (1-10-1 to end January/start February)

 

Cap Situation: They could trade for their entire roster a second time. Yep, that much space.

 

Pending Free Agents:

UFA’s – Milan Hejduk, Tomas Fleischmann, David Koci, Adam Foote, Peter Budaj

RFA’s – T.J. Galiardi, David Jones, Kevin Porter, Philippe Dupuis, Matt Hunwick, Ryan O’Byrne, Kyle Cumiskey, Ryan Wilson, Ryan Stoa, Brian Elliott

 

Needs:

  1. Health. The most man-games lost due to injury in the NHL.
  2. Goaltending. Budaj is not an NHL goaltender. Brian Elliott is the answer as a backup, not as a starter. If I were the GM I would be going hard after Jonathan Bernier. The Kings have a great goalie in Jonathan Quick and they have several good prospect goaltenders besides that. So give up a couple of proven scorers (of which the Avs are flush with) and get that young goalie of the future. Period. Make it happen, get it done.

The latest, from Spector’s Hockey:

  1. There have been zero trade rumors blowing around Colorado, other than Craig Anderson possibly moving. But then the biggest trade of the month happened. Clearly, this team is good at keeping secrets.

Fantasy squad preparation:

  1. It will be interesting to see where Fleischmann signs. I think he is an excellent buy-low candidate.
  2. It will be interesting to see how well Peter Mueller plays when he returns. I think he’ll get in a dozen games this season, but that’s just my opinion. Get that in, stay healthy, tally at least seven or eight points – and then I would make him another solid dark horse for next year. Anything less, and I would be far less comfortable with it.

 

 

Edmonton


Buyers or sellers: Sellers.

 

Cap Situation: Lots of room. Like Colorado, they could trade for their entire roster a second time.

 

Pending Free Agents:

UFA’s – Ryan Jones, Steve MacIntyre, Ryan Jones, Jim Vandermeer, Jason Strudwick, Jeff Deslauriers, Martin Gerber

RFA’s – Andrew Cogliano, J.F. Jacques, Liam Reddox, Ladislav Smid, Taylor Chorney, Theo Peckham, Zack Stortini, Ryan O’Marra, Shawn Belle

 

Needs:

  1. Picks and blue-chip prospects. Potentially, within their system, they have players who will grow into first-line roles, second-line roles, energy-line roles and checking-line roles.
  2. A big, tough, steady, high-end defenseman or two would be nice. Their current corps consists of mostly run-and-gun offensive blueliners or fringe NHLers. A proven stay-at-home No.4 defenseman would be perfect.
  3. Get rid of Nikolai Khabibulin. The guy has another two years on his contract and he’s horrible. Devan Dubnyk is the better goaltender, but what can the team do, sit their $3.75 million goalie on the bench for 130 of the next 185 games?

The latest, from Spector’s Hockey:

  1. Zach Bogosian to Edmonton. That would be a great acquisition, obviously. But the team needs more “all around” d-men and fewer “puck moving” d-men.
  2. The Oilers put Sheldon Souray on re-entry waivers. They wouldn’t do that unless something has been arranged with another team.
  3. The Kings are believed to be in the Ales Hemsky sweepstakes
  4. Dustin Penner is on the block

Fantasy squad preparation:

  1. If Hemsky and Penner go – and I believe Hemsky will – then that opens up a huge amount of ice time for Linus Omark and Magnus Paajarvi. In one-year leagues, start looking at those two.
  2. The other young guns, Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall, are already on fire. Shawn Horcoff won’t be going anywhere (uh…I think?) and will play between the two when the moves are all made.
  3. Andrew Cogliano will also see a bump.

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