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An Expert’s Audit - February, 2008
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once more into the breach, once more (Henry V 3.1) - trading options

Anyone drafted by an NHL team can be on a roster in your league. If the player isn’t listed on the league’s system then the team must keep an empty roster spot in lieu of the unlisted player. If he chooses to fill that roster spot then the player goes back into the draft pool for next season but he can’t be picked up for the remainder of this year. That’s exactly what happened to some poor soul who has lost the rights to Kyle Turris this season. Just imagine your draft this offseason, you’ll have a shot at Steven Stamkos, or Kyle Turris. I’ll expect those guys will go one, two in some order. You’re going to want to get one of those picks in your lottery draft this year, and getting both would be phenomenal.
You’ll want to trade to fill in the last of your keeper list, and trade to get younger. You already have some exemplary young options to keep, just make it better.

You’re going to finish in the bottom half of the league. You’ve stopped streaming players into your lineup and you’ve added some young bucks to your team so that you have options on guys when you need to set your keeper list. You now need to target all the playoff teams to see what you have on your roster they think will help put them over the top. Target their young guys and develop your keeper options. I’ll list your potential trade partners, their potential trade targets in the order I’d like to go after them and suggest trade offers to make.

1st place Bandy’s Evolution - Targets: Mike Green, Josh Harding, Drew Stafford. Recently Bandy traded Devin Setoguchi to land Mike Green and I loved that move for him. Green is the guy that you should target off him first and often. Bandy is playing short at D and I wondered if an offer of Aucoin and Prospal for Green and a throw-in or Green alone does anything for him.

2nd place SLODawgs – Targets: Matt Niskanen, Sergei Kostitsyn, Pekka Rinne, two 1st round picks next draft. I think I have a real liking for Matt Niskanen and Dawgs is on the threshold of a championship. Aucoin/Horton/ for Niskanen/1st rounder might get it done. He gets more points on the season, Aucoin has 15 games during the H2H playoffs and Dawg has a real shot at the title. You get a stud D for the next decade and a first round pick that you can flip for a shot at one of the top two picks in the draft.

3rd place Waterloo Warriors – Targets: Erik Johnson, Ryan Miller, Tomas Plekanec. The University of Waterloo is my alma mater and Warriors is their school team name, so I would very much like to get a deal done here. Unfortunately, Warriors doesn’t want to deal EJ since he figures he’ll blow up for stats next year. That’s going to mean that you put trade discussions with him on the back burner and look at trying to trade for someone like Tomas Plekanec if other trade options aren’t working out.

4th place Concord Canucks – Targets:
Patrick O’Sullivan, Andrei Kostitsyn, T.J. Hensick, Patrick Sharp. Concord has a very well balanced offense that matches up well against any team in the league, except in PIMs where he falls vastly short. If he were to beef up in PIMs he could win this league so offer him Carcillo for O’Sullivan and A. Kostitsyn. When Carcillo was demoted to the AHL this deal became moot since Concord won’t want to trade for PIMs that won’t help him.

5th place Little Ball of Hate – Targets:
Jack Skille, Eric Fehr, Jeff Tambellini, Milan Lucic, Jiri Tlusty. LBOH loves to trade and you should love to take some of those young guys off his hands.

6th place ROKKEN – Targets: Anze Kopitar, Nicklas Backstrom, Jack Johnson, Niklas Kronwall, Shea Weber, Jonathan Bernier, Tuukka Rask. Rokken needs all sorts of offense so it’s best to target non-NHL’ers or disappointments off him. An option that you have at your disposal who should get a good measure of PPA this season is Saku Koivu, offer him up for any of the targets other than Kopitar or Backstrom who he isn’t going to want to give up. Koivu for Jack Johnson would be very nice indeed.

7th place Charlestown Chiefs – Targets: Alexander Radulov, Jeff Carter, James Sheppard, Robert Nilsson. I would LOVE to get Radulov here but in discussions it seems that it would cost “a lot” to get him. You should still find out what the price is and even if it costs you a keeper other than Crosby or Iginla I’d take a serious run at this. Chiefs in 2nd in the league in assists but is only 5th in goals, Prospal and his 21 goals might be just the sort of bait that you need. Prospal/Horton for Radulov. Prospal for Jeff Carter.

a pound of flesh for repayment (The Merchant of Venice 4.1) - Trades accomplished

Trade done
– Kristian Huselius to Little Ball of Hate for Jack Skille and Eric Fehr. I’ll take the blame here for not getting enough because I really think you could’ve landed more, in the end though you got Jack Skille and Eric Fehr for Kristian Huselius. It would’ve been nice to get a pick off of him too but you were happy with what you got so I won’t be a buzzkill about it.

Trade done - Horton, Aucoin, Prospal, Malone and a 3rd and 10th round pick to SlowDawgs for Niskanen, Miroslav Satan, Scott Walker, Ruslan Fedotenko and two 1st round picks (originally owned by Dawgs and the team in 10th presently). You get Niskanen and two 1sts which is all you wanted anyway but you do lose more offense up front. It should be noted that you were only going to keep Horton anyway so Niskanen replaces him and you get two bullets to go after Turris or Stamkos in the draft.

Trade done – Mathew Lombardi to Little Ball of Hate for a 3rd round pick. You actually traded this 3rd rounder to LBOH earlier this season and now you’re just reversing that again. It’s complicated but that’s how it’ll play out, you’re getting your own pick back. We wanted to expand this to somehow upgrade on Chris Mason but that didn’t fly at all. Essentially in this deal you got a pick for a guy you had no intention of keeping anyway.

out, out damn’d spot (MacBeth 5.1) - Conclusions

In one sense, I’m sad for your team, as probably are you. I hate the idea of selling on a season but in a practical sense you were tooth and nail to make the playoffs even with Sid in your lineup so to lose him was a death knell for this season. In another sense though I’m excited for your prospects (pun intended), things are going to be very bright for your team for a lot of years.

Guys going out: Kristian Huselius, Nathan Horton, Tom Poti, Brandon Bochenski, Bobby Holik, Adrian Aucoin, Vaclav Prospal, Ryan Malone, 3rd round pick, 10th round pick.

Guys coming in: Jack Skille, Eric Fehr, Matt Niskanen, Ilya Zubov, Torrey Mitchell, Niklas Bergfors, Miroslav Satan, Ruslan Fedotenko, Scott Walker, 1st round pick (presently 3rd overall), 1st round pick (presently 11th overall).

Your keeper list changes as you add some younger options available to you and you trade away some older guys that are hopefully on the back end of their careers or at least their fantasy productivity. Both Skille and Fehr become keeps and they take the places of Huselius (who you traded) and fill your last keeper slot. Matt Niskanen becomes a keep and takes the place of Nathan Horton. You might want to look at the idea of keeping Ilya Zubov or Torrey Mitchell ahead of Tom Gilbert; certainly work them into your minor league bench if you can. Mitchell should be up with San Jose for all of next year and should contribute nicely to the secondary attack for the Sharks. I really think that the Sens want Zubov to succeed as soon as next year, particularly when they look at their budget line and realize they can’t re-sign all the studs they have. Mitchell is closer to being more valuable to your team than Zubov is in my opinion.

Your draft is a lottery so you’ll have a couple bullets to fire in an attempt to land one of Kyle Turris or Steven Stamkos. Who knows, you’re presently in position for the 5th overall and you own the pick for guy who’d have the 3rd overall slot, in a lottery you could even end up with the first two picks in the draft. At the very least you can offer up two of your 1st round picks for a shot at either Turris or Stamkos.

From here through the rest of the season you can still shop Saku Koivu and David Vyborny around; decide if your last keeper is Tom Gilbert, Torrey Mitchell or Ilya Zubov; and see if you can somehow upgrade your goaltending away from Chris Mason. I don’t envy you on that last one.

Well ok, your team is a lot younger. Most of your draft next fall will be filling in guys who weren’t kept but can provide adequate offense during the season. I see your team being competitive for a playoff spot next year and a world beater by the year after that.

Parting is such sweet sorrow, normally … for you though? You’ll be fine dude.


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