It was another frenzied first week of July in the NHL. Let’s ignore some of the insane dollar amounts that we have seen and look at things strictly from a fantasy-hockey standpoint. Using the “buy low” and “sell high” strategy, here are some key changes to the fantasy value of some of the players who have moved.
(Originally published by The Hockey News on July 4, 2008 - Dobber archives some of his older THN articles here in case you missed them there!)
(Don’t forget – all month long I’m taking fantasy questions in THN’s Fantasy Mailbag and a selection will be answered on the last Wednesday of July)
Rated a “buy”
Mikhail Grabovski, Toronto – Do not underrate this highly skilled, shifty forward. He may be small in stature and he may not have seen a lot of ice in Montreal, but in Toronto he will surprise.
Kristian Huselius, Columbus – Sure, he’s entering a defense-first system under Ken Hitchcock, but with the money they’re paying him he’ll see all the ice time he wants. Besides, he’s out from under Mike Keenan now.
Ryan Potulny, Edmonton – A victim of the numbers game in Philadelphia, he’ll have no such problems in Edmonton. He’ll be a third-line, 40-point player this season, but his future as a second liner is bright.
Michael Ryder, Boston – Another example of a player getting big money and thus lots of ice time. Besides, he’s out from under Guy Carbonneau.
Miroslav Satan, Pittsburgh – Much like Petr Sykora last year, Satan hasn’t seen the happy side of 60 points in quite some time. Much like Sykora, he’ll certainly see it this campaign.
Jose Theodore, Washington – It doesn’t matter which Theodore shows up, be it the star who finished last season, or the stiff who began it. The Caps are going to get wins regardless. They could put Darryl Dobbs between the pipes and get 35 wins.
Radim Vrbata, Tampa Bay – He found a niche as a goal scorer in Phoenix and I was wary of him repeating on another team. However, the Lightning is a great fit and he’ll play the wing with Steven Stamkos.
Rated a “sell”
Ruslan Fedotenko, Pittsburgh – He has established his points range as 30 to 45 and while he may be on the top end of that in Pittsburgh, the reputation he has in fantasy circles and the mystique of possibly playing with one of the Big 2 will have a lot of people overrating him.
Marian Hossa, Detroit – Yes, Hossa will bounce back into the 90s this season and yes he is now with the defending Stanley Cup champs, but in fantasy circles he is being treated like the second coming. Sell while the demand is sky-high. On a side note – when was the last time a team repeated as champions? Just one year ago, most fans had the Ducks pegged to repeat. And regarding this stacked team – remember that most fans handed Colorado the Cup prior to training camp in 2003 after they signed Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne. I’m not saying it won’t happen, I’m just saying get a hold of your expectations – anything can happen.
Cory Stillman, Florida – His decent point totals last year was primarily from a strong first half. There are no Eric Staals in Florida to play with. Bail.
Mark Streit, N.Y. Islanders – Considering no Islander tallied 50 points last season let alone 60, it’s a safe bet Streit won’t reach that plateau again this year.
Rated a “hold”
Sean Avery, Dallas – If healthy, he’ll still get his 45 to 55 points and 200-plus penalty minutes. It doesn’t matter which team he plays for.
Gilbert Brule, Edmonton – Brule owners have to like the change of scenery. Don’t trade him away and don’t rush out to pick him up. Wait and see what happens.
Markus Naslund, N.Y. Rangers – His offense will bounce back on Broadway, but only to the high 60s, which is about where he is rated in fantasy circles.
Nikolai Zherdev, N.Y. Rangers – He was high-risk, high-reward in Columbus and that doesn’t change in New York. Although he does escape the defensive system.
Next week FPL will head back to the team-by-team off-season look.