Last week I took a look at potential players on the move from the Eastern Conference and as promised, Part 2 has arrived. While it’s virtually impossible that all of them will get moved and entirely possible that none of them get moved, below is a look at some potential movers and a quick glance at what a residual fantasy impact may be.
(for a full review of our Fantasy Hockey Trade Deadline coverage, click here)
Zenon Konopka, C, Ottawa – Konopka has become one of the best PIM assets in the league and has bounced around a few teams in recent years. If the Sens are to push for the playoffs, they may need to focus on staying out of the box though. Additionally, PIM kings like Konopka typically get fewer minutes in the playoffs, so the pending UFA may have more value now than in the offseason.
James van Riemsdyk, LW, Philadelphia – The Flyers youngster has struggled to develop as expected, but showed a ton of promise last postseason. JVR has admitted difficulty “getting going” this season, but looks good after just returning from a concussion that kept him out 15 games. While his name has been consistently mentioned in the rumor mill, it’s also been said that the Flyers aren’t actually shopping JVR, so if he does get moved, expect it to be a team that is pushing very hard to get him and is willing to use him in a top role. Looking for a comparison? JVR was drafted #2 overall, one spot in front of Kyle Turris, who looks like a completely different (in a good way) player after he was traded to Ottawa.
Matt Carle, D, Philadelphia – With the acquisitions of Grossman and Kubina, is the writing on the wall for Matt Carle? Carle has certainly been a strong player for the Flyers, but he carries an expiring $3.5M contract and has typically been Chris Pronger’s partner. With Pronger showing virtually no signs of improvement, the Flyers might be willing to move Carle for a defenseman who is signed beyond this year. If that were to happen, Carle’s value will likely diminish, as he has often struggled initially when relocating.
Steve Sullivan, LW, Pittsburgh – Sullivan is one player who hasn’t quite lived up to expectations (scoring just less than one point every two games), but he also has not had the benefit of playing with both Crosby and Malkin in the lineup all season. Pittsburgh seems to be one of those teams that can win games with just about anybody in the lineup, so Sullivan and his $1.5M salary are certainly going to be expendable. A new home could certainly spark the aging veteran.
Dwayne Roloson, G, Tampa Bay – What a difference a year makes. Roloson went from being an amazing acquisition to an awful solution in just that amount of time. Despite his playoff success, Roloson may be a guy that Yzerman is willing to move, assuming someone is willing to take him. That would put the Lightning in the market for one of the many young and emerging goaltenders who are available, while hopefully offering a chance for Roloson to show another team that he still has a little bit of gas left in the tank.
Matt Gilroy, D, Tampa Bay – So far Yzerman has moved three players, all of which were pending free agents (Moore, Kubina, and Downie). Roloson is one of six remaining UFA’s at the end of the season and Gilroy is another. Gilroy was a star in college, winning the Hobey Baker in 08-09, but has really struggled to produce at the NHL level. Based on his performance, it’s unlikely Yzerman wants to keep him around long term, so Gilroy could find a new home relatively quickly. Chances of him producing in a new home are still a long shot, but if you’re in a deep league and desperate, he might be worth a shot if you’re unwilling to move any of your existing assets. After all, many defensemen do take longer to develop at the NHL level, and Gilroy has been in the league only three years now.
Mikhail Grabovski, C, Toronto – Grabovski is quickly becoming one of the most desired players on the market and rightfully so. Although he hit a slow patch most recently, Grabovski has scored 40 points in 55 games and is consistently showing signs of improvement. He is making only $2.9M this season and is a UFA at the end of the season, so if Burke thinks he cannot re-sign Grabovski, he is almost certainly going to pull the trigger and send him to the highest bidder. Grabo is the type of player who should be able to perform in whichever city he plays for, so fantasy owners should not be concerned with a potential drop off in points as a result of a trade.
Clarke MacArthur, LW, Toronto – While it’s likely that all three players on this line (Kulemin being the other) are being shopped, Grabovski and MacArthur carry the most value. MacArthur has had a bit of an up and down season in comparison to last year, but his shooting percentage (17.8) is very high and his assist totals are quite low. He was typically the setup man last year, but with Kulemin being snakebitten in the goal department, MacArthur has had to try to put the biscuit in the basket himself. His ideal team will have him setting up a sniper or two, and in that circumstance not only will you see an improvement in points, but you’ll see the assists climb back up and the shooting percentage come back down to reality.
Dennis Wideman, D, Washington – It will be hard to move Wideman after the phenomenal season he’s had thus far, but how do the Caps picture their blue line in the long term? They have Green, Carlson, and Orlov, all phenomenally dynamic offensive producers, and Orlov has even seen time in the NHL this season. They have a steady crop of defensive defensemen (some who can also pitch in some offense) in Hamrlik, Schultz, Erskine, and Alzner, so is it time to try to gain some value for Wideman before he leaves? It would be hard to see his fantasy value being matched or higher in any other city, so if you see his name moved, it may be time to move him yourself.
Alex Semin, LW/RW, Washington –Semin is having his worst year in terms of shooting percentage (12.6) since his rookie season and has only 40 points in 57 games. Most players wouldn’t mind having a 12.6 shooting percentage, but Semin is more accustomed to falling in the 14-15 percentage range, a sign that he may be (even if it’s just slightly) a buy-low candidate. He is a pending UFA, making $6.7M this season and his contract-year performance is not what you would expect for an elite player looking for another big contract. Is it possible that Semin’s time in Washington is finally up?
Zach Bogosian, D, Winnipeg – Bogosian was extremely unhappy in Atlanta, but things seem to have settled in Winnipeg. Last season it took Bogosian 71 games to score 17 points, but this year he did it in only 39 games. While Bogosian’s plus/minus rating is still negative, it’s significantly improved upon last season (-7 vs. -27), his PIM are up, and his hits and blocked shots are up as well. It’s less likely the Jets are going to move Bogosian (especially with his affordable contract through next season), but it is still a possibility. If he is traded, fantasy owners should be praying it will be to a big hockey market, rather than a Phoenix or Columbus.
Eric Fehr, RW, Winnipeg – Is the Eric Fehr experiment over? Fehr is a pending RFA who is making $2.2M now and the hope was that he would provide some offense, after showing flashes of promise in Washington. The reality has been that Fehr has skated in only 33 games this season, scoring two points. Ouch. It’s hard to believe this is the same player who scored 39 points in 69 games (a 46-point pace) just two seasons ago. If he gets moved and you are willing to take the gamble, Fehr is owned in 0% of Yahoo leagues, so you wouldn’t have to give anything up for a potentially cheap late-season hot streak.
Let me know in the comments section below what you think about the choices above and who you would add to the list as well.