Happy New Year!
I forgot to note last week, I think, that when my goaltender Mike Smith went down, I made a small trade to get Craig Anderson (band-aid solution) and I dropped one of my minor-league guys to claim Cedrick Desjardins. Because, you never know. As I’ve said many times, Desjardins is a fantastic prospect who is NHL ready.
Evgeni Kuznetsov banging nine points in one game Saturday did little to change my thinking of him. You see, I already had him in a rotating group of prospects that I think are the best in the world – along with Tarasenko and Granlund. If he’s already at the top, he can’t move any higher, can he? So the only question is, did the nine points spark enough KHL interest that they back up the Brinks truck to his front door? He just married a Russian girl. Yeah, at 19. Does he want to drag her across the pond? If anything, the nine points may have been a, dare I say, bad thing for Kuznetsov owners. But it won’t be for George McPhee’s lack of trying.
Uh oh. I had someone in my league offer Alexander Radulov and Nikita Filatov for Crosby. Yet in another league, I dangle Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to acquire him and get shut down. It’s amazing the differing opinions on his keeper league value. But the bottom line is – he’s knocked off the top of my rankings for the first time in years. You’ll see the rankings later today, I apologize for the lateness.
Andy McDonald is back skating. Could return in as little as 10 days, or it could be another month or two.
I think I’m the most disappointed in Nick Bjugstad and Kyle Rau of Team USA – both are Florida prospects who were playing extremely well at the college level. I know it was only a four-game window at the WJC, but I was looking forward to them dominating and solidifying Florida’s place among the best farm teams. Then again, Jonathan Huberdeau is kicking ass for Canada, so you win some you lose some.
Columbus recalled defenseman David Savard for Saturday’s game. He hasn’t exactly lit up Springfield compared to last year, but he is offensively gifted and he saw 19 minutes of ice time.
With Victor Hedman out (concussion), it’s of little consequence in the fantasy world. Other than Matt Gilroy seeing more ice time, and I have a feeling that will put him on everyone’s radar by this time next week. Just nine points and plus-5 so far, but three in his last four games.
Rare comments made from one announcer about another’s homerism – Daryl Reaugh on Jack Edwards. I found it interesting, thought I’d share.
The Pens have assigned Simon Despres to the AHL. The emergence of Niskanen has made Despres’ anticipated contributions to the offense not come to fruition. At any rate, the Pens do not play until Friday, so he’s probably just getting some games in.
Jacob Josefson is back practicing for the Devils and apparently taking contact. We could see him on the third or fourth line next game.
Not liking how Craig Smith has hit a wall. Still very high-end in terms of skill and still only 22. But he’s used to 40 game seasons. He has one point in his last eight games, three in 12, and his ice time was down to 12 minutes Sunday. Lots of upside and on pace for 51, but I’ll be very shocked if he reaches it this season. He did not get a shift in the final 11 minutes of the game last night. We’ll find out if it’s a benching or an injury…
Spector gives you a list of players who will not be dealt this season. I bet he’s absolutely right about all but one. Which one? I don’t know. Just playing the odds! Big names are only traded a couple times per year, so if you say a big name won’t be traded, chances are you will be absolutely correct. And yet everyone loves talking rumors, eh?
Midseason Guide, out this Friday – get it here. Coming along beautifully. Learning lots of things myself.
Mike Richards has been moved to the left wing. He’ll be playing with Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown. Loktionov centers Richardson and Lewis. I love those two lines.
So has Sergei Kostitsyn finally shown up? A hat trick? They were his first points in five games. But what a confidence boost – the first hat trick of his career. Then again, the last time he got three points – November 17 – he followed up with zip for the next seven games.
Awesome anger and emotion shown by Scott Arniel. Where was this two months ago?
Look who doesn’t want to get left behind – man, I think we’re gonna love this year’s scoring race of Giroux, Sedin, Sedin, Stamkos and Malkin (sorry, don’t think Kessel can keep up with that group). Ohhhh boy: