Ryan

 

Following my Eastern Conference counterpart, every year there are players who just don’t tickle my fancy. There are a variety of reasons ranging from changes to the team during the off-season, recovery from off-season surgery, and similar to Miller’s list, overvalued rookies/prospects.

Here is my list of players from the Western Conference that you won’t likely find on my fantasy rosters this campaign:

 

Bobby Ryan Ana

I know I’ll get raked over the coals on this one, but hear me out first. Yes I realized he put up 57 points in 64 contests last season, I also realize that he plays a position which traditionally has been the shallowest talent pool from a fantasy hockey standpoint and yes I do realize he was the player drafted after Sidney Crosby. All of those factors are great but two factors just scare the bejebus out of me: 1) I’m dreadfully frightened of the sophomore slump, all I have to do is mention Sam Gagner and Peter Mueller. 2) The off-season changes of adding Joffrey Lupul and Saku Koivu to the Duck lineup. Ryan averaged 15:26 and 2.72 SOG/game during the regular season and 19:41 and 3.77 SOG/contest in the playoffs last year. He won’t get the same opportunity with Koivu and Lupul joining the lineup.

 

Miikka Kiprusoff Cal

Kipper’s numbers have been on the decline for the past four consecutive seasons. His goals against average has transitioned from 2.07, 2.46, 2.69 to 2.84 this past season, while his save percentage has also taken a steadily downturn from .923, .917, .906 to .903. If I were a betting man, I’d predict a GAA of above three, and a save percentage below .900 this season. If you are playing in a simple wins/shutouts league then I would strongly consider Kipper, because of the number of starts he’ll get in Cowtown, but if you are playing in a standard W, GAA, SP%, SO league, it’s not worth sacrificing two stats for just one.

 

Duncan Keith Chi

Keith had a great fantasy season last year while finishing the regular season with 44 points, a plus 33 rating, 60 PIMs and 173 SOG. The post-season however, was a completely different story. In 17 playoff contests, he finished with six points, a plus one rating, 10 PIMs and 23 SOG. A lot of the decrease in production could be due to the progressive development of Cam Barker. This season you’ll probably see that Barker fully establishes himself as a full-time NHLer, which will cause Keith to revert back towards his regular shut down defender role alongside Brent Seabrook. Don’t expect Keith to be close to the numbers he put up last season.

 

Nikita Filatov Clb

I just don’t think he’ll get a fair shake of the sauce bottle this year. The Blue Jackets will ice a line up of: Rick Nash, Kristian Huselius, R.J. Umberger, Antoine Vermette, Derick Brassard, Jakub Voracek, Sammy Pahlsson, Freddy Modin, Jason Chimera, and Raffi Torres, I just don’t see Filly being able to crack that top 10. If they’re going to bring him up it’s going to be in a top-six role, not for a checking role.

 

J.M. Liles Col

Last season Mr. Liles registered a very quiet 39 points in 75 contests, all while averaging over 21 minutes of ice-time last season. The Avs added Preissing and Quincey in the off-season, which will pretty much remove Liles from the top-dog position of the Colorado depth chart. You can essentially kiss his 4:02 of power-play ice-time goodbye.

 

Loui Eriksson Dal

Eriksson had a great season last year thanks  in part to a serious knee injury to Brendan Morrow. In Morrow’s absence, Eriksson connected at nearly double his previous NHL shooting percentage as he tickled the twine once every five shots. He was also garnering close to 20 minutes of ice-time, three of which were on the power-play, per contest for the Stars. With Morrow returning to the Dallas line up, you can essentially count of those top-end opportunities a goner for this season.

 

Ville Leino Det

With the departure of Marian Hossa in the off-season, surely many would think that someone in the Detroit line up will step up to the plate. I just don’t think that person is Leino. I’m projecting the top-six to be Dan Cleary, Pavel Datsyuk, Thomas Homstrom on one line and Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen, and Valtteri Fillpula as the second line. The recent acquisition of Patrick Eaves also complicates things in Detroit. Either way some poolies are going to overpay for Leino’s hype, I won’t!

 

Denis Grebeshkov and Tom Gilbert Edm

Both blue-liners had a solid season last year as Grebeshkov and Gilbert both potted 39 and 45 points respectively for the Oilers. They gained extra offensive responsibilities when Lubomir Visnovsky fell to a season-ending shoulder injury midway through last season, which could explain why the duo had such high point totals at season’s end. With Vizzy slated to return to the Oiler’s line up this season, you will probably see both Grebby and Gilbert’s ice-time and point production drop dramatically.

 

Oscar Moller LA

Sure Moller is a solid young offensive talent, but the recent addition of Ryan Smyth to the Kings’ line up pretty much sealed the fate in terms of fantasy value for Moller. He might get some second unit power-play ice-time, but it isn’t going to be enough to make him fantasy worthy.

 

Martin Havlat Min

Havlat did manage to play in 81 games last season, but he also did only manage to play in 109 the previous three seasons. Last season he also had the protection of Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews to take the brunt of the opponent’s checking lines. This season, he’s going to have a huge bullseye on his back and no protection in Minny. Let some other clown gamble on Havlat’s health, while you steer clear.

 

Entire Phoenix Forward Corps

The whole situation is as clear as mud, I’d just save yourself the headaches and avoid all Coyote forwards with the exception of Doan and Lombardi.

 

Christian Ehrhoff SJ

25 of his 42 points last season came from the Sharks power-play. The San Jose power-play was operating at 24.2 percent during the regular season, but was nearly non-existant at 16.7 percent in the playoffs. McClellan tried to implemented a Detroit-like umbrella PP system, where Boyle and Blake controlled the play with shots from the point moreso than through the playmaking skills of Joe Thornton. I personally think that they revert back towards 2006-07 power-play style and run the PP through JT more than the dynamic duo in the backend, which will negatively affect Ehrhoff’s point production.

 

David Backes STL

For those of you who followed my column last season know that I was a big supporter of Backes. This season I’m just not that attracted to his hype. Yes he did have a huge across-the-board season with the Blues, but that was because of the injuries to Paul Kariya and Andy McDonald. Now that those two are back on a full-time basis, Backes will be relegated to third-line checking duties. You just won’t see the 2:32 in PP ice-time, and the 208 SOG that he had last season. Some poolies are going to buy into the Backes hype and overpay to draft him, let him slip and you can probably find a better bargain with a few other alternatives.

 

Alex Burrows Van

I’m kind of sitting on the fence about this one, and here is my reasoning. Burrows did have a great regular season while tallying a career-high 51 points in 82 contests, but then he kind of disappeared in the playoffs. While both of the Sedins were firing at a point-per-game pace, Burrows tallied only four points in the 10 playoffs contests, which is a big warning sign in my books. Burrows did show plenty of chemistry playing with the Sedins, but you could say the same for Anson Carter in 2005-06, Matt Cooke in 2006-07, and Taylor Pyatt and Mason Raymond in 2007-08, and look what happened to each of them the season after playing with the Sedins. The addition of Mikael Samuelsson also complicates the picture even further. Either way, a few people are banking on Burrows to continue that chemistry with the Sedins and are willing to over reach in order to land Burrows. You just have to decide whether or not you are going to be one of those people.

 

 

Avoid These Murky Goaltending Situations:

 

Pekka Rinne & Dan Ellis Nas

2006 was Tomas Vokoun, 2007 was Chris Mason, 2008 was Dan Ellis and 2009 was Pekka Rinne. The revolving door of Predator goalies just keep on turning. Rinne had Calder-like numbers last season, but just fell short to Steve Mason at the voting booth. I just don’t fully trust Rinne this season especially with Ellis still lurking around in the shadows. The pipeline also seems full with Chet Pickard and Mark Dekanich waiting in the wings, which could also pose a few problems for Rinne’s number one status this season.

 

J.S. Giguere & Jonas Hiller Ana

There is a similar goalie controversy in Anaheim as there is one out East in Washington involving Simeon Varlamov and Jose Theodore. Giggy had a terrible season, due to off-ice personal problems, as he finished with a 19-18-6 record along with a dismal 3.10 GAA and a .900 save percentage. He essentially gave his number one gig away to Jonas Hiller who dazzled in the playoffs with a 2.23 GAA and .943 save percentage in 13 post-season contests. That was last season, now is this season, so what’s going to happen? Your guess would be as good as mine. Dobber is a strong believer in Hiller, and like the Washington situation we’re butting heads with this one too. Two times in Giggy’s history he’s rebounded from poor seasons with two dazzling ones. In 2000-01, Giggy finished the season with a 2.57 GAA and .911 save percentage, while following it up with a 2.13 GAA and .920 save percentage for 2001-02. In 2005-06, Giggy finished with a 2.66 GAA and a .911 save percentage, and followed that up with a 2.26 GAA and .918 save percentage in 2006-07. Could he do the same for next year? If you are a dead set on drafting a Duck goalie, you’d be wise to pick up the other as a handcuff, if you don’t you could be setting yourself up for a huge nightmare. Both goalies are ranked pretty high by poolies, and you might need to end up spending consecutive 4th and 5th round picks on both goalies, which is a steep price to pay in my opinion.

 

Craig Anderson & Peter Budaj Col

Similar to the situation in Toronto, but do you really want to own any of these goalies on a team that was ranked 26th in goals against average per game last year?

 

Questions or comments? Like always I’ll be ready and willing to discuss them with you in the comments section below.

 


Write comment
Comments (19)add comment

lanky522 said:

lanky522
typo in my last post in the backes comment, it should read:

"I really don't think a return to 45+ points is UNreasonable for him (regardless of who gets injured)."
August 20, 2009
Votes: -1

lanky522 said:

lanky522
Gilbert, Backes, Rinne, Liles, Keith For what it's worth, i think you're a bit off on these guys too... just my personal opinion... and you could very well end up being right... but a few contrasting points to consider:

Gilbert - He's the future in edmonton, and i believe coaches will give him every chance to step into that role. Even if they don't, Visno and Souray have each only played 75 games 3 times in the last eight seasons... so one will get hurt, and gilbert will at least match last season's numbers.

Backes - I just think you're wrong on this one. Boyes cannot be relied on in every situation as Backes can. The difference is that Boyes isn't responsible defensively, and Backes busts his ass everywhere on the ice. Backes will see pp time on either the 1st or 2nd unit, parked in front of the net, and will get the garbage goals that come from that role. I really don't think a return to 45+ points is reasonable for him (regardless of who gets injured).

Rinne - You watch the two of the nashville goalies, and you'd know which one is better in the long haul. Rinne has both the skill and composure that Nashville has not had since Vokoun (or possibly even with vokoun). Ellis was a serviceable goalie with sound fundamentals that filled in when Mason faltered, but he doesn't have the skill or pedigree to legitimately compete with Rinne for the starting job. Management knows this, and Ellis knows this (hence the reason he signed a "backup's salary" for a paltry 1.75 million per year after unseating Mason in 2007-0smilies/cool.gif.

Liles - I can't see Priessing being a top 2 guy on any NHL team. He's a really good 3rd-5th defender on any team... can play in any situation... but Liles will not lose his spot on the 1st powerplay unit to Priessing. If liles' numbers are weak this year, it'll be because the team as a whole is weaker... not because of the arrival of Priessing. Anyways... with a new philosophy behind the bench, i wouldn't be surprised to see liles put up 10-15 goals and 40+ points this year as the avs rely on their defense to spark their young offense a little bit more than in the past.

Keith - everyone that i know has always considered Keith a really decent points guy who's specialty is the +/- stat category... That hasn't changed. Find me anyone who thinks that keith will drastically improve his point totals from last year... He will repeat his +/- numbers though... and likely pot approximately the same number (or only slightly fewer) points so I wouldn't avoid him at all as it seems to be more of the same in store for him. With the salary cap situation that Chicago finds themselves in, Campbell or Seabrook may very well be gone by season's end, allowing Keith even more ice time, and more powerplay time.

Note: in the playoffs, i believe that Keith and Barker were manning the point for the 1st powerplay unit... so there's definitely a chance that Keither does even better this year than last. Far from a "10 foot pole" scenario if you ask me.
August 20, 2009
Votes: +1

lanky522 said:

lanky522
Kipper Gotlaid
I for sure share your thoughts too. But I think when Calgary was at it's heyday, they were pretty much near the top of the league in terms of defense. 05-06 they were ranked 5th in terms of shots against/game. 06-07 they slipped to 21st, 07-08 back up to 13th, and last season back up to 16th.

Sutter might bring it back towards the defensive system they had back in the day, so that might help, I'll give you that, but I wanna see that happen first before assuming the Flames are going to revert back to the defensive scheme with the game.

Much like the Ryan situation, some people are going to assume that Kipper's going to revert back towards top-tiered numbers and overpay to draft him very much like you guys, I'm just not going to overpay in order to land a 2.83 gaa, .903 sv% goalie... I'd rather go out and get a Lundy, Nabby, Mason, or Ward to play it safe. But like what I said with Ryan, if you are willing to take the leap of faith go right ahead, just kinda go into with a few words of warning...


1)
There's no way that i value Mason over Kipper coming into this season. You talk about how you're hesitant about ryan because of the "sophomore slump," yet you recommend a sophomore goalie (with one of the best backups in the league behind him) over a proven veteran like Kipper, who's in a defensively responsible system (with coach suter), has some amazing defense in front of him (regher, jbo, phaneuf), and has no reasonable backup behind him (Curtis McElhinney)?

That makes zero sense to me.

2)
For as many people out there that are "going to assume that Kipper's going to revert back towards top-tiered numbers and overpay to draft him," there's probably twice as many that are going to do what you're doing... "not going to overpay in order to land a 2.83 gaa, .903 sv% goalie."

I think that Kipper makes for a very good pick this year, because his numbers will likely be as good as Lundqvist, Nabby, and Ward and likely better than Mason's, but he will probably be available 1 or 2 rounds after all four of those guys are snapped up.

To suggest that kipper should be avoided with a 10 foot poll is just bad advice lol... because seriously... calgary is a playoff contender, and kipper will start 65+ games for them. I think he'll do alright for his fantasy owners.
August 20, 2009
Votes: +0

Gotlaid said:

Maaaasquito
... RE: Blueman

There is no way to predict a sophomore slump until it happens. What I'm trying to say is that there is such a thing that exists and you have to acknowledge it, you can't just brush it aside and stick your head in the sand and say Ryan's too good it's not going to affect him. How many people pegged Peter Mueller as a big breakout player last season and watched a 70 to point-per-game projected player drop down to a frustrating 36...

As for Ryan, many people out there share the same opinion as you, that there's no signs that show Ryan will fail. It's not bad to have a strong opinion on someone, but because so many people out there have a high opinion of Ryan they are going to over rate him. Like in my comment below, people are going to put him in the same league as St. Louis, Kane, Boyes, Alfy, Hossa and draft him in say rounds 3,4 or 5. What I'm saying is if you are going to go that early on Ryan, why not pick someone who's had the past history and done it before for the last 10 seasons like a St. Louis or Alfy?

For me there's too many if's and buts, sure Ryan can hit it big and get a 100 point season this year, but he could also pull a Mueller and get a 36. When drafting that high, I just prefer a nice consistent 70-75 point guy with potential for a bit higher than good younger player with a lower bottom...
August 19, 2009
Votes: +0

Blueman said:

Blueman
Kipper/Ryan I think you are way off on Ryan and Kipper.

For Ryan, he showed no slowing down and there is nothing to indicate that he will have a sophmore slump other than your 'feelings'. He's the real deal and will shine this year once again.

Kipper has been on the decline the last few years, but what about the addition of J Bo? Adding a D man with his talent should improve Kipper's numbers.
August 19, 2009
Votes: +0

Gotlaid said:

Maaaasquito
... RE: Bdog

I said the EXACT same thing last season with Ellis, you can ask (I think it was) Notch that I traded him too in the Experts league last season. Just tread carefully is all I can really say.
August 19, 2009
Votes: +0

Gotlaid said:

Maaaasquito
... RE: Newper

By no means take my words as gospel, you're old enough to make your own decisions. I just want to present a different point of view towards these players than your generic run of the mill opinions you get from everyone else, so that you can be well informed when making your decisions. If I've made you say hmmm never really thought about that before... I've done my job.
August 19, 2009
Votes: +0

Gotlaid said:

Maaaasquito
... RE: Rad64

I do, but I think Tkachuk/Boyes will be that guy not Backes. The thing is they were nuts at the beginning of the season before Kariya went down, and the three of them were just ridiculous with the chemistry they had, but they didn't necessarily have the size. Backes I see more of a third line checker role, and he'll lose a lot of his value based on what I said above. If he happens to slip down in drafts, then by all means go for it, but don't over reach for him. I just think you could get a few better steals like Hartnell, Lucic, Ott, Hartnell, or Clarkson a few rounds later on instead of Backes.
August 19, 2009
Votes: +0

Gotlaid said:

Maaaasquito
... RE: Kraftster

The thing with Leino was that I was reading rumors about Bert on Spector a few days ago wanting to sign with the Wings, so I sorta cheated ahead of time to know that Leino was going to get shafted. I didn't want to mention it because if it didn't happen I woulda looked like a dickhead for suggesting such blasphemy.

The thing with Holmstrom is that he plays that role perfectly, he's that physical presence in front of the net. Leino doesn't play that role, so I don't think Leino won't unseat Holmstrom for that job. Much like the two mentioned below... Someone's going to buy into the hype, it's just not gonna be me.
August 19, 2009
Votes: +0

Gotlaid said:

Maaaasquito
... RE: Puckhead

I for sure share your thoughts too. But I think when Calgary was at it's heyday, they were pretty much near the top of the league in terms of defense. 05-06 they were ranked 5th in terms of shots against/game. 06-07 they slipped to 21st, 07-08 back up to 13th, and last season back up to 16th.

Sutter might bring it back towards the defensive system they had back in the day, so that might help, I'll give you that, but I wanna see that happen first before assuming the Flames are going to revert back to the defensive scheme with the game.

Much like the Ryan situation, some people are going to assume that Kipper's going to revert back towards top-tiered numbers and overpay to draft him very much like you guys, I'm just not going to overpay in order to land a 2.83 gaa, .903 sv% goalie... I'd rather go out and get a Lundy, Nabby, Mason, or Ward to play it safe. But like what I said with Ryan, if you are willing to take the leap of faith go right ahead, just kinda go into with a few words of warning...
August 19, 2009
Votes: +0

Gotlaid said:

Maaaasquito
... RE: TTigers

Yeah nothing too much to chat about thsee days so it's good to generate some conversation.

As for Ryan I knew it was going to be something to be debated about. There's kinda 2 negative schools of thought for him 1) last season was an abberation and that he won't repeat that last season, because of factors like sophomore slump, additions of Lupul... 2) He's going to be overvalued, that you are going to have to over reach in order to get him and at the end of the day it's just not going to be worth it.

If you think about it, just think about how many people on this site value Ryan... Lots of people value him as a point-per-game 80-point right winger, and put him in the same league as St. Louis, Kane, Hossa, Alfy, Boyes. You know that someone will certainly over pay just to land him. The question is are you going to try to outbid them in order to land him, or are you happy to sit back and settle for someone like Kovalev, Selanne, Lupul, Dumont.

I'm more of a pansy and like to stick with reliablity instead of trying to swing for the fence while striking out swinging. But if you are happy to gamble go ahead, just be aware of the downsides and don't come crawling back and saying "but all the Dobberites at the beginning of the season said this..."
August 19, 2009
Votes: +0

donpaulo said:

donpaulo
... I will be keeping Rinne AND Giguere but as a two headed monster backup to Henke. I reckon the chances of ONE of the two catching fire in a bottle are quite good. If I had to put money on it I would put my chips on Rinne, because I think Anaheim will ride what amounts to a rotation in nets
August 18, 2009
Votes: +0

BDog said:

BDog
... Pekka Rinne will stop the "revolving door" madness in Nashville.
He is the real deal and the endless search for a consistant No.1 is over. Book it.
August 18, 2009
Votes: +0

newper114 said:

newper114
... Well combined with your other article i thought i was going to be worse off but i just drafted a team and i have: Ryan, kipper, anderson, goligoski on that team. great article but i do hope you are wrong on some of these projections as i hope to win this year.. but again overall great article and very interesting view points - agree on some and others not so much but we all feel the way we do.

would be interested to see the flip article of guys you will touch.
August 18, 2009
Votes: +0

Rollie1967 said:

Rollie1967
situation vs talent Love this article, definately prescribes to the theory that the players situation is as important as the talent involved. Leino may have 1st/2nd line skills, but with so many other highly talented teammates he may see limited PP/icetime.

With Colorado outside of Statsny I'd be very cautious, although I think Anderson will play lots- wins will be hard to come by.
August 18, 2009
Votes: +0

Rad64 said:

Rad64
... Hey Ryan, don't you think the little tykes (McDonald and Kariya) need some muscle up front...Backes has certainly proved he can play top 6 or top 3 minutes....smilies/cool.gif
August 18, 2009
Votes: +0

Kraftster said:

Kraftster
... Great article. I agree on so many of these. I think these kinds of articles need to be written more often -- but hopefully not read and/or paid attention to! smilies/tongue.gif

One I disagree a bit on is Leino. I will stay away because its not worth the overpayment that's needed to get him, but, I think this is the year that Detroit finally realizes that Holmstrom is simply not a top-six player anymore.

@Ttigers - I might agree that Kipper's declining numbers will halt this year based on a few factors including those that you mention, but, I think as Kipper's personal numbers come up (if they ever do), the team numbers will start to drop. The Flames are going to seriously struggle to score goals -- especially after this season with Jokinen heading out of town. They really have nothing in the pipe outside of Mikael Backlund. If Backlund should flop or even take a reasonable amount of time to develop, the Flames are going to be in a rough spot for scoring goals.
August 18, 2009
Votes: +1

Puckhead said:

Puckhead
... I can appreciate your argument for Kipper, but don't share it. Yes, his GAA, and SV% have been in steady decline over the last few seasons (never a good sign for a goalie) but, when you take into account Brent Sutter, and the style he of play he employs, to say nothing of Bouwmeester joining the now extremely deep and powerful defense corps, I think Kipper will have return to glory type season in '09-10. Here's to hoping anyway.

Puck
August 18, 2009
Votes: +0

Ttigers said:

Ttigers
... Great article Ryan. Opens the floor for debate. I won't touch the Ryan situation, I'm sure enough people will get involved. The one that I looked at in a completely different way was Kipper. I think the arrival of Sutter and Bouwmeester will help Kipper and Phaneuf more than anyone else.

Also, I have the same feeling about the Phoenix forward corps, and I hate it. I'd love to draft a guy like Mueller or Turris, but that team is hurting them.
August 18, 2009
Votes: +0
You must be logged in to post a comment. Please register if you do not have an account yet.

busy