Filatov

 

COMPLETELY REWRITTEN DUE TO ALL THE DEALS - In Part 2 of this six-part series, we’ll take a team-by-team look at the Central 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.

 

(Also see Part 1 – Atlantic Division)

 

Detroit


Buyers or sellers: Buyers

 

Cap Situation: Tight. A player would have to go, unless the player they add is close to the NHL minimum.

 

Pending Free Agents:


UFA’s – Chris Osgood, Jimmy Howard, Joey MacDonald, Mike Modano, Kris Draper, Patrick Eaves, Nicklas Lidstrom, Ruslan Salei, Jonathan Ericsson, Derek Meech and Drew Miller.

RFA’s – Cory Emmerton

 

Needs:


  1. A goaltender who can spot Howard. No, a healthy Osgood is not the answer. Howard has been shaky this season.
  2. With everyone returning to health over the next month, the Red Wings will not only have 13 solid forwards, but also another three or four who stepped in when needed and proved they could play. Depth up front is excellent, although a more consistent Jiri Hudler would be nice. If they can turn Hudler into a more consistent veteran via trade, I think they would consider that.
  3. On the blue line, with Jakub Kindl as the No.7 and Doug Janik/Derek Meech as No.8/9, the Wings are deep there as well. Although, when it comes to the Stanley Cup, if they can upgrade to an experienced No. 7 rearguard they may do that.

 

 

The latest, from Spector’s Hockey:


  1. Barring a turn for the worst with Chris Osgood, the Wings are not looking for a goaltender.
  2. Ken Holland has indicated (on Feb. 17) that no trades will be made, as the roster is getting healthier.

 

 

Fantasy squad preparation:


  1. This team is built for the postseason and all of their players are returning to full health at the perfect time. Don’t forget about Mike Modano, who is ahead of schedule (severed tendon in his wrist) and could be back just before the deadline. He was used on the blue line on the power play. If you need a player who could get 12 points in the final 18 games, then claim Modano now and stash him.
  2. If Jimmy Howard is one of two goalies you are relying on down the stretch, you may want to acquire a third one. Just in case. He won’t lose all his starts, but if another goalie is brought in, it would be a 1A/1B situation.

 

 

Nashville


Buyers or sellers: Buyers

 

Cap Situation: Plenty of room. They could almost sign three Ilya Kovalchuks.

 

Pending Free Agents:


UFA’s – Shane O’Brien, Alexander Sulzer, Wade Belak, Marcel Goc, Marek Svatos, Joel Ward, Steve Sullivan, Jamie Lundmark, Steve Begin, Aaron Johnson

RFA’s – Nick Spaling, Matt Halischuk, Cal O’Reilly, Sergei Kostitsyn, Shea Weber, Linus Klasen, Mark Dekanich, Andreas Thuresson, Chris Mueller

 

Needs:


  1. A legitimate first-line center. No, a healthy Matt Lombardi is not the answer. Nor is David Legwand. And rushing out and getting Jason Arnott won’t solve things either. The closest thing they have is Colin Wilson (if they move back from the wing, but according to Dirk Hoag from On the Forecheck that won't happen - no way) or perhaps Cal O’Reilly – but both are far too young/inexperienced and O’Reilly has a broken leg. The Preds have five players with the skills to top 65 points – Sullivan, Kostitsyn, Martin Erat, Patric Hornqvist, J.P. Dumont and you can add Wilson if he plays wing. But they may never get there unless a star centerman joins this squad.
  2. UPDATE: The Preds acquired Mike Fisher. Analysis here. This is, as I indicated, a "secondary" solution to their primary need. However, Fisher is the best of the secondary solutions and will click nicely with Kostitsyn and Erat. They are no longer in the market for a center. Any future moves would be to upgrade skill and experience on the wing, and/or size and experience on the blue line.
  3. More experience and toughness on the blue line. If they do this, it would come at the expense of a young prospect defenseman.

 

The latest, from Spector’s Hockey:


  1. The Predators aquired Mike Fisher. Probably the best of the "secondary", or "cheaper" options.
  2. Nashville were possibly interested in former Pred Rich Peverley (who has now been traded to Boston). Sigh. Again with the cheap knock-off. Predators fans are going to end up feeling like I did as a kid in the 80s when I wanted a pair of Converse All-Stars and my parents stuck me with a pair of Sonics. Fortunately for Nashville fans, nothing came of this.
  3. Nashville may be interested in Linus Omark or Ales Hemsky. Neither of these players make sense. Although Hemsky would be Nashville’s most talented winger, Omark is already on the team – except his name is Sergei Kostitsyn. They need centermen, not wingers, but I’m afraid the amount of high-end pivots available are few.
  4. Alexander Sulzer is rumored to be heavily shopped around these days.

 

Fantasy squad preparation:


  1. Buy low on Colin Wilson. He is probably going to be the guy Nashville goes with as the first-line center. further to Hoag's point noted above, he won't be moved back to center anytime soon due to defensive gaffes made earlier. He’s on pace for 41 points, but he actually has 13 points in his last 18 games. As the team tries to find a consistent offensive combination, Wilson will become a bigger part of the conversation.
  2. If the team does the nonsensical and lands a top winger like Ales Hemsky, then obviously this hurts the other wingers on the team. First on the chopping block would be JP Dumont. Coach Barry Trotz loves Kostitsyn and Hornqvist, so I would imagine it’s Martin Erat or Steve Sullivan who sees the second-biggest reduction in ice time.
  3. One defenseman who could see the biggest surge in ice time is Cody Franson. That is, if he’s dealt. This team will not trade Jonathan Blum, which means Franson is their next bargaining chip. On a new team, likely a rebuilding one, Franson will become a key cog right away.
  4. If it costs you nothing but a bench spot and you need defensemen, then plucking Sulzer off the wire couldn't hurt. On a young rebuilding team, he could Rich Peverley his way onto fantasy radars pretty quickly.

 

 

 

Chicago


Buyers or sellers: Buyers

 

Cap Situation: They could add a $1 million player. Their moves will be minor, or they’ll move out a salary.

 

Pending Free Agents:


UFA’s – Tomas Kopecky, Fernando Pisani, Ryan Johnson, Marty Turco, Jordan Hendry, Nick Boynton, Jeff Taffe, Hannu Toivonen, Ryan Potulny

RFA’s – Troy Brouwer, Viktor Stalberg,  Jake Dowell, Brent Seabrook, Corey Crawford, Michael Frolik, Alexander Salak, Brian Connelly, Ivan Vishnevskiy

 

Needs:


  1. A No.1 goaltender. They probably won’t get this, which means Crawford will be the man. Turco has lost his touch and any wins that Turco is getting this season seem to be wins that the team would get even if Dobbs was between the pipes. I haven’t played goalie in 23 years.
  2. A No.5 defenseman. Here’s where they could use their tiny bit of cap space. They need a tough, hard-hitting, proven defenseman who would be a No.4 on most teams, but a No.5 on this one.
  3. An experienced checking “black ace”. Right now, if there is an injury to one of the checkers, the team must turn to Ryan Johnson. After him, it’s Ryan Potulny. That won’t do. They need a back up checker.
  4. UPDATE: The team landed Michal Frolik and traded away Jack Skille. This upgrades the skill level on the wing, but does little to solve the above "needs". Analysis of the trade here.

 

 

The latest, from Spector’s Hockey:


  1. The team may dangle Viktor Stalberg, Tomas Kopecky, or Nick Boynton.
  2. The Hawks may be interested in Roman Hamrlik, Bryan McCabe, Joni Pitkanen or Chris Phillips. The only one that makes sense is Phillips, and the team would need to make cap space.
  3. Brent Seabrook is in negotiations and will be re-signed. Eventually. Chicago really needs to get rid of Brian Campbell’s contract. It would make everything so much easier.
  4. Chicago was interested in Curtis Glencross and David Moss, but with Calgary's surge they are off the table.

 

 

Fantasy squad preparation:



  1. Stalberg had his chance. A new organization won’t help. But your competitors may not believe that so if you own him – shop him.
  2. Don’t rely on Crawford 100 percent as one of your two goalies. Make sure you have a third. If the Blackhawks do indeed go after a new goalie, then Crawford’s win total will stop rising.

 

 

 

Columbus


Buyers or sellers: Both. At this point, they are too close – and can’t miss the playoffs a second straight season – to pack it in. Yet, they are aware that there is no Stanley Cup in their future this season. So they’ll do enough to appease the fans, but with an eye towards the future.

 

Cap Situation: Lots of cap space to play with.

 

Pending Free Agents:


UFA’s – Chris Clark, Ethan Moreau, Andrew Murray, Jan Hejda, Mathieu Garon

RFA’s – Jakub Voracek, Anton Stralman, Marc Methot, Grant Clitsome, Kyle Wilson, Mike Blunden

 

Needs:

  1. A No.1 center. Antoine Vermette is not the answer and Derick Brassard still has not taken that step forward.
  2. A rental No.1 goaltender. Steve Mason has had his moments, but he hasn’t been consistent. That being said, the Blue Jackets will sink or swim with him (their Golden Boy), regardless of what others perceive as a “need”.
  3. A first-line right winger. Voracek is inconsistent and – although R.J. Umberger has been fantastic, he is more of a second/third liner.
  4. A power-play quarterback. Different players have filled this role, some better than others. But watching Grant Clitsome wind up for a booming shot from the point on the power play probably doesn’t get a lot of hearts racing with fear when it comes to opposing goalies.

 

The latest, from Spector’s Hockey:


  1. Spector shoots down the rumor that the Jackets are shopping Mason. I’m on board with Richardson on that one – like I said, Mason is their Golden Boy.
  2. The only untouchables on Columbus are Rick Nash, R.J. Umberger and prospect Ryan Johansen.
  3. Columbus will not be extending the contracts of any of their potential UFA’s (see list above).
  4. Rostislav Klesla could be shopped. The Jackets would also love to trade away Mike Commodore’s contract, otherwise they may buy him out in the summer.
  5. Jakub Voracek is drawing interest. I don’t see Voracek moving – certainly not for a rental.
  6. Kristian Huselius could hit the trading block if the Blue Jackets become sellers. I’m not certain if team are eager to add his nearly $5 million cap hit to their 2011-12 budget, so if Columbus is in sell mode, they better not be looking for more than a middle draft pick for this guy.
  7. Scouts from Montreal, Washington, Minnesota, Atlanta, Edmonton, Tampa Bay, Dallas, Chicago and Detroit all attended recent games.
  8. Columbus could be interested in re-acquiring Jody Shelley.

 

Fantasy squad preparation:


  1. If this team is in sell mode, then acquiring some of their prospects – most notably Matt Calvert, John Moore and Nikita Filatov – may be the way to go. Because rebuilding teams tend to play their kids down the stretch.
  2. If Columbus is in buy mode, then move Fedor Tyutin, Kris Russell and Anton Stralman because I'm sure they'll be knocked down the depth chart. The decision to “buy” or “sell” will probably not be made until Deadline Day, so unfortunately you will not have advanced warning.

 

 

 

St. Louis


Buyers or sellers: Both. The bold acquisition of a power-play quarterback and one of the best power forwards in the game certainly told us they are going for it. Shedding Eric Brewer, on the other hand, indicates a sell-mode.

 

Cap Situation: Lots of cap space to play with.

 

Pending Free Agents:


UFA’s – Brad Winchester, Cam Janssen, Dave Scatchard, Ty Conklin

RFA’s – T.J. Oshie, Patrik Berglund, B.J. Crombeen, Vladimir Sobotka, Matt D’Agostini, Roman Polak, Nikita Nikitin, Tyson Strachan, Ben Bishop, T.J. Hensick

 

Needs:


  1. I think the Blues have the right mix of experience and youth, scoring and checking, size and speed in most areas. Although there is certainly room to upgrade any position. The return to health of Oshie, Andy McDonald and David Perron would go a long way to stabilizing their freefall, and the shock of moving out Jay McClement, Eric Brewer and Erik Johnson helps too.
  2. With the injury to Jaroslav Halak, adding an experienced third goaltender could be a wise move. Then again, if Conklin is on the block...perhaps they are happy with Bishop and an injured Halak.

 

The latest, from Spector’s Hockey:


  1. There is speculation that Detroit is interested in Ty Conklin
  2. Carlo Colaiacovo could be on the trading block. Assuming teams want an underrated and talented defenseman who will play two out of every three games due to his fragility. As of February 19 he is injured yet again.
  3. Ty Conklin is "likely" to be dealt
  4. Barrett Jackman could be on the block and is attracting interest.

 

Fantasy squad preparation:

  1. The players currently on the St. Louis roster are all in buy-low situations, with the exception of Alex Steen, D’Agostini and David Backes. With a healthy lineup, most of the other players will step. In particular, I think goaltender Jaroslav Halak is the best bargain of them all. His numbers in the first 10 games were nothing short of stellar. And the first 10 games is the one time St. Louis was 100 percent healthy.
  2. The addition of Chris Stewart knocks Matt D'Agostini down the lineup. It also makes me wonder if Brad Boyes will now be dealt. Boyes has been producing well enough of late to get his trade value up. Buy low on Boyes, I think it's worth the risk. Stewart's trade analysis here.

 

 

Don't miss out on NHL Deadline Day 2011 on Monday, February 28. I don't claim to break any trades - but I do claim to be the fastest at posting the best damn fantasy analysis of any deal that goes on that day. I'll have the Trade Deadline primers Parts 1 through 6 every Sunday and Wednesday leading up to the big day. We'll also be bringing back the DobberHockey live chat!

 

You need to login to post comments. Registration takes 5 seconds. See link at top left under "home"