giroux

 

After a one-week hiatus, the summer sleeper series has returned. This special edition will contain much more than usual. In addition to the analysis of a sleeper pick, I will be announcing my Sleeper of the Year for 2009-2010. Past winners of this prestigious title include Zach Parise, Brent Burns, and Steve Bernier. First, I will start off with the player I had originally planned to discuss last week - Chris Butler. After that I will get to the big announcement.

 

Buffalo management has very high hopes for defenseman Chris Butler. They are expecting him to step up and fill some of the minutes (especially on the powerplay) that Jaroslav Spacek is taking with him to Montreal. They also are expecting him to develop into a steady and reliable top-four defenseman very soon. It remains to be seen how Butler will handle the opportunity/responsibility (however you want to word it), as he saw very sheltered minutes with the Sabres in 2008-09. Butler played 47 games in total, scoring two goals and recording six points. He averaged over 16 minutes of ice-time per game, and he can expect to see that jump to 19 or 20 minutes for 2009-10. Those numbers are not all that noteworthy, but Butler did boast a plus-11, tops among Sabres blueliners.

Butler is the prototypical new-age defenseman. He can play at both ends of the ice, he skates well, and he moves the puck up the ice efficiently. His value as a sleeper will come from his increased power play time. In 2008-09, Butler only saw an average of nine seconds of power play time per game. Butler will see upwards of two minutes per game in 2009-2010, as the Sabres will have to find a player/players to fill Spacek’s 3:41 of power play time per game. Expect Butler record between 25 and 30 points in 2009-10. His long-term upside is closer to 40 points, but he won’t hit that number for a few seasons.

One potential roadblock for Butler is the fact that the Sabres currently have six defensemen signed to one way deals: Rivet, Toni Lydman, Henrik Tallinder, Steve Montador, Andrej Sekera, and Nathan Paetsch. In addition to that, the Sabres expect both Tyler Myers and Mike Weber to challenge for a spot on the back end for 2009-10. The current logjam on the Sabres defense will work itself out, either through a trade or through demotions to the AHL. Paetsch is penciled in as the seventh defenseman; so don’t expect him to play regular minutes. Butler’s offensive game gives him the inside track at earning a spot as a regular for the Sabres this season.

And now, without further ado, your 2009-10 Sleeper of the Year is Claude Giroux.

This may not come as a surprise to many (any) of you, as I have been a Giroux supporter for quite some time. He is far from an unknown commodity in fantasy hockey. However, he fits the mold as a sleeper because his short-term value (the next three years) is underrated. It is widely agreed upon that Giroux is destined to become a star in the NHL. He possesses an unbelievable arsenal of offensive skills, and his compete level is through the roof. Giroux recorded 27 points in 42 games last season for the Flyers (a full-season pace of 53 points). Will he improve on that for 2009-10? Bet your bottom dollar he will. Giroux will soon become the best Flyers forward to own in fantasy hockey leagues (yes, ahead of Jeff Carter and Mike Richards). He has a shot at hitting 70 points in 2009-10. Long-term, his upside should be somewhere between 90 and 100 points.

The Flyers have an open in their top-six right now with the departures of Mike Knuble and Joffrey Lupul. Expect them to once again try Daniel Briere at wing, as this would allow Richards and Carter to center the top two lines. Assuming Briere lines up with Richards and Simon Gagne, Giroux is a perfect fit to play with Carter and Scott Hartnell on the second line. Both Hartnell and Carter are goal-scorers, and Giroux is an absolute wizard with the puck. Him and Carter could form one of the most dynamic duos in the entire NHL. Expect Claude Giroux to score 70 points in 2009-10.

 


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angus said:

angus
... Awesome feedback guys! Giroux is far from soft - maybe not Pat Verbeek v.2 but he can definitely handle himself.
August 06, 2009
Votes: +0

cubob said:

cubob
... I believe every word. I played against Claude this summer in a ball hockey tournament and he absolutely tore it up! I have never seen such amazing stick handling skills in my life. At one point he had 5 guys surrounding him and he still managed to stick handle out of it. He and his team as you can imagine went on to win the tournament. Great guy too! I hope he tears up the show as well as he did that tourney!
August 06, 2009
Votes: +0

TheRook said:

TheRook
... giroux never played LW. He played RW until briere came back from injury, or the flyers could afford to play him with the cap, and then they moved him to center. they liked the briere giroux combo and preferred giroux at center because he was more defensively responsible and could handle the puck more.

and lol at the person who said he was soft. have you ever watched him play? he has a physical game in him.
August 06, 2009
Votes: +0

Glenn99 said:

Glenn99
... If this site only looked after the keeper league snobs then it wouldn't have the tremendous value that it does. Sure for the guys tits deep in it, Giroux isn't a sleeper. But for some average guys involved in pools that aren't that deep, this is a good read. Keep it coming.
August 06, 2009
Votes: +0

Scribe said:

Scribe
... Oh yes, forgot to add that Giroux was drafted in the FIRST ROUND of my league's keeper draft three years ago. I would love to be able to get Giroux in the fourth or fifth round of my league draft this year. That would be toooo sweeeet!
August 06, 2009
Votes: +0

Scribe said:

Scribe
... I have no problem with using the word sleeper to describe Giroux, even though I'm in a 22-team keeper league and Giroux was drafted in our league three years ago. Of course everyone in my league knows about him. That doesn't mean he can't be called a sleeper. A sleeper, in my opinion can be a player that has not met his expectations yet and is about to break out or a player that someone could get in the later rounds of a one-year pool because they don't have a track record of producing.

Have a little flexibility and don't get hung up too much on semantics, unless you can let us know where we can find a copy of Fantasy Hockey Basics, The Authorative Dictionary of Fantasy Hockey Terms. If there is such a book, I'd love to have a copy.
August 06, 2009
Votes: +0

metaldude26 said:

metaldude26
... Personally, I think this article is excellent for people looking at 1 year leagues. There's plenty of leagues out there where he'd go undrafted and then be someones waiver pickup when he couldve been gotten with a last round pick. Certainly he isn't a sleeper to anyone in a keeper league, but one year leagues this projection carries a tonne of weight. I should also mention that there are still plenty of people out there who play in leagues where Dobberhockey is still somewhat of an unknown. So a guy like Giroux can still fly under the radar.

I'll admit, I was hoping for something really juicy for the sleeper of the year, but none-the-less, I think predicting 70 is quite bold so while none of us are all that surprised by it, would any of us have been as bold to do it first?

All in all a very solid article this week. Keep em coming Angus!
August 05, 2009
Votes: +0

angus said:

angus
... McBain is coming in a few weeks, no worries. There are a few Carolina d-men to look for (Rodney and Carson as well). Thanks for the response, your point is fair and valid.
August 05, 2009
Votes: +0

BackStabber said:

BackStabber
... Angus -- I aplogize if I insulted you. (For what it's worth, considering you are a writer giving his opinion, I would have thought you would have a little more thick skin than that).
My point was, calling Giroux the "Sleeper of the Year" reeks, IMO, of someone who took 5 minutes out of his day to write an article. With all due respect I think that if DobberHockey.com wants to remain one of fantasy hockey's top advice site, you guys should do better than that. Giroux is going in the top 4 or 5 rounds of keeper leagues this summer. The "secret" is already out.

The nugget of your article is indeed Chris Butler (although I would prefer Jamie McBain in Carolina) and perhaps should have been the focus.

I don't mean to rip you too bad, but once in a while as a reader I think it's important to keep you on your toes.

Cheers.
August 05, 2009
Votes: +0

Jaxx said:

Jaxx
Disagree with the Sleeper Label as well... .. Angus, always value and respect your opinion but I have to agree with most of the respondents. Fact is 27 pts in 42 games translates into a 53 point season as you indicated. You are predicting 70 pts in a full season in 09-10. So in reality, Giroux going from 53 (pro-rated) to 70 does not indicate "sleeper" status. Perhaps for the uneduacted hockey fan, he might be someone "new" but to the valued followers of this esteemed site, you can see where the educated fantasy fan will be snooty towards accepting giroux as a "sleeper". Butler definitely is. Someone had defined Giroux as a "breakthrough" player - that is a better description for Giroux (who I traded for mid-season last year)
August 05, 2009
Votes: +0

Haynes said:

Haynes
Sleeper If you look at Giroux's stats and how long he's played in the league he's definitlely a sleeper. He's just better known because he's a Canadian kid (so we've all enjoyed watching him play the WJC) and he was on fire in the playoffs, so he's had a little more exposure than others in his position.
August 05, 2009
Votes: +0

angus said:

angus
... Lots of small players have succeeded. If they have hockey smarts (knowing how to avoid hits and dangerous situations), they will be fine.

Sheppard is a great choice - I am going to write about him one of these weeks. He has a great opportunity as he has been used very sparingly so far in his pro career. Great size, speed, but he hasn't had a chance to display his offensive talents yet.

I guess sleeper may not be the right term, but again I based it upon my own definition of the word (in relation to fantasy hockey). I try my best to not do boring, typical write-ups that you would see at NHL.com or something.
August 05, 2009
Votes: +0

Haynes said:

Haynes
Claude!!! Love this kid and that's a great team to play on in Philly too. I couldn't get this guy in my league for any amount of players, so I think he might be a little beyond sleeper status at this point though. Going a little bit deeper, what does anyone think about James Sheppard this year? Anyone who has owned him so far must hate him, but given the new offensive approach and the fact that he'll likely get more minutes and be on the 2nd line, is he about to explode? 50?
August 05, 2009
Votes: +0

Les Nordiques said:

Les Nordiques
Claude Giroux There is no question that Giroux is an offensive wizard. The real question does he have the ability to stay healthy. He is such an athletic specimen but is so small amongst all those 6 footer. He is one hit away from getting a concussion. Buy beware. JVR will last longer....mark my words.
August 05, 2009
Votes: +0

phaneuf_fan_3 said:

phaneuf_fan_3
... I think you mean that Giroux is a prime breakout candidate. Not a sleeper. I agree with the other guy, everyone does know about Giroux at this point so he wont be catching anyone off guard this coming season. Unless of course the people in your league are complete morons and actually dont know about Giroux.
August 05, 2009
Votes: -1

angus said:

angus
... Read the rest of the article - I talk about Chris Butler (a more typical sleeper) as well. And I define sleeper as someone who is undervalued by the fantasy hockey community at large - and in my opinion Giroux's short-term value is a bit underrated. Everyone knows he projects to be a star, but I don't think many people expect 70+ as early as this season. That was my point.

You don't see a 27-70 point jump as a sleeper?

Also, if you want other sleepers, read about Butler, or check out my past articles. Instead of a condescending (and frankly insulting) reply, just skip the Giroux part if you disagree with it. I'm sure it has been valuable to many others.

Cheers.
August 05, 2009
Votes: +0

BackStabber said:

BackStabber
Lame. Hey Angus...thanks for the newsflash! C'mon, Giroux as a sleeper? Are you insulting our intelligence? Everyone and their dog knows he's a lock in the top-6 on an offensive team. Everyone knows he's a future NHL star.

Giroux isn't a "sleeper" at all. You spent all that effort writing a big long article and you drop that bomb on us? I'd like my 5 minutes back, please.

Pick a real sleeper. Just because Giroux may very well jump from 27 points to 70 in one year, does not mean he's a sleeper.

Perhaps we need to go back to Fantasy Hockey basics and reacquaint ourselves with the term before writing an article about it.

August 05, 2009
Votes: -1

sd1976 said:

sd1976
... He already had his audition last year, and he excelled at LW. Thats where they keep him. And Briere on the third line??? LOL, come on now. I know he had some injuries last year, but the guy is still a point a game player. Let's not get carried away with the negativity on him
August 05, 2009
Votes: -1

angus said:

angus
... Interesting point about Giroux playing C. Thanks!
August 05, 2009
Votes: +0

TheRook said:

TheRook
... its still a question mark of how philly is going to line their guys up. with knuble and lupul gone they dont have the same depth they had last year so they may group their guys in pairs (gagne richards xxx, hartnell carter xxx, xxx giroux, briere) and have giroux playing on the 3rd line with briere. I say 3rd line but that line will get equal minutes to the richards and carter line. The flyers really like giroux at center cause he is around the puck more and thats where they may ultimately keep him
August 05, 2009
Votes: -1

sd1976 said:

sd1976
... Happy to own him in all 3 of my pools!!! The time has come baby! lol
August 05, 2009
Votes: +1

angus said:

angus
... Yea, getting Giroux has proven to be difficult for me as well. Still, I think his ultimate value is being underrated. I'm usually hesitant to give up proven talent for unproven, but I am confident Giroux is going to be a superstar forward.
August 05, 2009
Votes: +0

mabus said:

mabus
... Great pick. I hope nobody in my league reads this article and everyone assumes he's a 50 point guy. After that awesome display in the Pittsburgh series last year, unfortunately, I fear this isn't the case.
August 05, 2009
Votes: +1
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