Fantasy Guide and Draft List are updated as of September 12th. Re-download the document and it will be the updated one. Or buy it here


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Some Senators news today as Jared Cowen has officially signed a four-year contract with Ottawa worth $12.4M. The team also named Jason Spezza captain. 


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It’s hard to put a lot of stock into line combos from training camp since things can always change, but typically they can be a guide to what you might see, at least in the early part of the season.

 

Reports out of Philadelphia Flyers camp have Vincent Lecavalier skating in the middle of Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn, and many think that will be Philly’s second line this year. Essentially Lecavalier just replaces Daniel Briere in that group, as Simmonds and Schenn skated with him the majority of the time last year.

 

Both veterans are fairly comparable, but there is a good chance Lecavalier helps Schenn’s and Simmonds’ goal totals in 2013-14. Consider this, over the past four seasons Briere and Lecavalier have played 256 and 250 games respectively. However, during that span Briere has accumulated 101 assists, while Lecavalier has totalled 124. Granted, you might be saying that Lecavalier had Steven Stamkos at his disposal during that timeframe, but that hasn’t always been the case. During even strength situations in 2013, Lecavalier only played with Stamkos just over 5% of the time, and still posted a respectable 22 assists in 39 games.

 

Simmonds had a career-high 28 tallies in 2011-12 and was on a similar pace in the shortened 2013 campaign with 15. With Lecavalier in the middle for a full season there is no reason to think he can’t hit 30 goals. Not to mention Simmonds added 82 PIM last year and 75 hits. If you average those out over 82 games and factor in his points, Simmonds will be a valuable asset on your squad.

 

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What do Mark Fraser, Dan Girardi, Ladislav Smid, Dennis Seidenberg, Brooks Orpik, Brent Seabrook, and Luke Schenn have in common? If you said that they were the only players to have at least 100 blocked shots and 100 hits in 2013, you would be correct.

 

Personally I like to combine the totals in those two categories for players in an attempt to try and maximize value. If you did so with that group Schenn comes out on top with 389. Outside of Seabrook, those names are likely to still be kicking around late in your drafts to add some depth. Try not to just look at points when it comes to defensemen in the late rounds, as the difference between available blueliners at that point is usually negligible, but a bigger discrepancy can often be found when you delve into the more obscure categories.  

 

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One thing to monitor during training camps are unsigned RFA’s and injuries, and how they will change a team’s depth chart in the early part of the season. In the case of RFA’s, it is often only a few games a player will sit out before someone caves, but injuries are anyone’s guess. With that being said, keep an eye on who is going to be receiving extra playing time during a player’s absence and act accordingly during your drafts. Even if their value is only brief, it can make a big difference in the long run.

 

If you are in a head-to-head weekly league for instance, you may pick up a matchup win or two early in the year because of increased minutes and production from someone you scooped up. Once they slide back down the pecking order, you can just drop them for someone else who looks to be on a hot streak. A weekly matchup win in October is just as valuable as one in March. I always reserve a roster spot specifically designated for short-term additions.


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Patrick Kane is good at stickhandling.

 

 

Bryan Bickell is good at Mario Kart.

 

 

(Shout out to Puck Daddy for the videos)

 

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The St. Louis Blues and Alex Pietrangelo finally came to terms on a new seven-year deal worth $45.5M. It was inevitable that Pietrangelo would eventually sign, so this shouldn’t really shake up the value of the Blues defensemen too much when it comes to fantasy relevance. St. Louis is stocked at the position with seven players already under contract, and the majority have plenty of NHL experience. It’s hard to imagine Ryan Whitney making the team in training camp and even if he does, it will be tough for him to contribute anything of value for poolies in that situation.

 

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Calgary will be an interesting squad to watch this year. Expectations will certainly be low, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t fantasy value on the Flames. Specifically, the centre position will be largely up for grabs during camp, as after Mikael Backlund and Matt Stajan things seem to be wide open.

 

A nice battle should be shaping up for the first and third line centre spots. The aforementioned Backlund and Stajan will both be looking to secure the number one slot. The young Swede is certainly more skilled, but Stajan has the experience on his side. If Backlund does grab significant minutes there, then he will likely be in-between Mike Cammalleri and Curtis Glencross, which should give him a shot to post some decent numbers in 2013. Both Cammalleri and Glencross have 25-30 goal potential, leaving Backlund with plenty of opportunities for helpers. Of course to get there he would have to be reliable defensively, as Bob Hartley is unlikely to use Backlund over Stajan if he is a liability in his own zone. 

 

As far as the third line centre goes, Roman Horak and Sean Monahan should be battling it out there. I’m not sure it makes any sense to keep the sixth overall pick Monahan around for more than nine games if he isn’t getting at least third line minutes. Anything else just wouldn’t be beneficial for his development. Potential wingers on the third unit could include Lee Stempniak, David Jones, and T.J. Galiardi, which gives Monahan or Horak a decent shot at moderate production. Stempniak was actually sneaky good last year grabbing 32 points in 47 games.

 

Be sure to also account for the possibility that Jay Feaster goes completely bonkers with Brian Burke nipping at his heels, and makes a panicked move that deals all these guys somewhere for a slightly used copy of NHL 94’ and a 2-for-1 coupon at Subway. Watch out for that.

 

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Claude Giroux shot some pucks on Friday for the first time since his finger injury. This is a good sign he will be ready for the season opener.

 

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The Senators and Jared Cowen are still working on a contract and Ottawa has offered him a four-year deal. The team originally proposed eight years at $28M according to the Ottawa Sun, but that wouldn’t make sense for Cowen to lock himself in like that before eventually getting to test unrestricted free agency. With the type of money guys were getting this summer combined with Cowen’s potential, a shorter term makes more sense.    

 

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Columbus gave Jared Boll a three-year contract extension on Friday. Boll won’t help you much in the offensive categories, but he has finished in the top 10 in PIM in two of the last three campaigns. I’m actually surprised the Leafs haven’t offered the Blue Jackets a first-round pick for him, so they could add a third enforcer to their team.

 

Michael Amato is an Associate Editor for DobberHockey and a News Editor for theScore. You can follow him on Twitter at @amato_mike


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Comments (5)add comment

Magnum said:

Magnum
... Good day for the Senators. They signed the right deal for Zdeno Jr (term ends 1 year before becoming a UFA), and made Spezza accountable as their new captain. A chain reaction may involve Spezza finishing his career with Ottawa (unlike a certain someone), and possibly Ryan signing longterm as a result. This is going to be a very good team.
September 14, 2013
Votes: +0

austonja said:

austonja
... oops, that's what I get for not reading the full stats smilies/smiley.gif
September 14, 2013
Votes: +0

Rollie1967 said:

Rollie1967
... Not sure how a 4th line goon warrants a 3 year extension, thats crazier than some of the younger players getting paid handsomely for 1 or 2 decent seasons.
Cant believe Calgary has Stajan as their #2 center, it wasnt long ago he was being scratched. The Flames roster is filled with mediocre 3rd and 4th liners, infact this is one of the worst NHL rosters Ive seen since the Senators expansion team, which makes the fact that there is talent still available (Boyes,Raymond, Tim Thomas,Theodore) that would come cheap and be an instant upgrade kinda maddening.
September 14, 2013
Votes: +0

Dobber said:

Dobber
... The Guide doesn't give you the PP units per se - it indicates the players who will receive 2.5 minutes of PP time per game or more. So yes, six is allowable. I also have several teams with seven blue dots (1.5 to 2.5 minutes of PP time per game).
September 14, 2013
Votes: +0

austonja said:

austonja
CLB in guide Just a heads up, you have 6 Red dots in the guide for CLB....are they going to pull the goalie for every PP smilies/wink.gif
September 14, 2013
Votes: +0
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