It's been a long time boys. DobberBaseball and the 2009 Fantasy Guide have consumed me for the last two months. No longer. It is time to get back to basics. Time to go retro. It's time The Status Report returns to hockey.
This week we'll discuss the intriguing fantasy phenomenon known as Tim Connolly. Value investment or fantasy detriment? At a certain point, this players value will switch from one definition to the other. In addition, a classic conclusion with sell highs, buy lows and other category reports on some of the more notable of the fantasy fringe.
Tim Connolly. Yuck. Who would want to own such a band-aid boy? We'll I'd ask at this point, who wouldn't? This season, Tim has been a star when healthy. Getting hurt in mid-November, Connolly had produced seven games in those first six games before the stoppage. When he returned, he went four games before getting his stride back. The wait was worth it. From January 17th to the present, Tim has produced 17 points in only 14 games. Overall, he now stands at 24 points in 24 games including a solid eleven goals. Those who invested in Connolly for a a likely bargain basement price, especially while injured this season, are definitely happy they did.
Is now a good time to sell high? Depends. You really need a good price. The stigma associated with Connolly is still likely to limit his returns at this point. A truly good time to sell high on Tim would be after he stays healthy the rest of this year. At that point, the trust is probably back for the most part. Until then, I'd actually look to see what his owners are looking for in return for him. You may still be pleasantly surprised.
So why invest in such a risk? Well, obviously it is important to own him for when he is healthy. He's essentially been a point-per-game player in the "new NHL" (If I can still use that term) and has that star upside if he remains healthy for a prolonged period. In addition, I'd like to know why people are so willing to risk it all on a band-aid boy like Marian Gaborik but not Tim Connolly. Their images are so different. Is it deserved?
Games Played Each Season:
Yes, Gaborik has averaged a little more per season, but it is notable that Connolly was a bit of an iron man prior to his concussion issues. He only missed three games in his first four seasons If it weren't for those two concussions, he'd likely have played most of 03-04 and 06-07 based on his other seasons. If he can avoid another concussion, he seems like a very solid option to be healthy as band-aid boys go. He'd average 65 games if you could take out those two full seasons recovering from post-concussion syndrome. A big if however.
Gaborik is the better player. He's averaged more points per game (1.07) in the new NHL versus Connolly (.86), but does the disparity between their abilities really justify the difference in how they are valued? Gaborik is a superstar everyone sees as a value pick because he is dealing with injuries. "One season, he will be healthy" people say. Last year was essentially that season, but he is back on the self. Still, he is given the benefit of the doubt.
Conversely, Connolly is just an afterthought. He is a deal tipper or throw in. By no means, is he the center of many trades. Slowly, his current run is changing that. You can still take advantage however. Disguise your interest in him with that in another and use him as a throw in coming to you. Don't exhibit any significant value in him, but still make sure he is included. If he can return to his iron man ways, he will be well worth it. And even if he only plays 40 games a season, that is still probably another 40 points for your team. If you have DL spots, his value is especially strong to you. When healthy, he's huge. Don't ignore the value despite the reputation.
The Status Report:
Dominic Moore, C, TOR
You must trade this veteran high. I call him that as he is already a fifth year NHLer at the age of 28. His upside is limited by a history seeing him never pass 20 points until his 38 this year. 17 points in 13 games may be a career streak for him. The smart money says he soon struggles. Even if he maintains the prime role, he won't be able to in keeper leagues as eventually young talent and signings will deserve his role much more. Also, don't forget to move his mate Jason Blake while you're at it.
Mike Ribeiro, C, DAL
This may seem like a weak Buy Low, but I'm not sure Ribeiro's value has ever recovered since he lost Morrow. In the eyes of many traders, he is just a result of that line. Still, he is showing the ability to still score in bunches and has the support from players like Neil and Ott isn't hurting. He has only one point in his last four so that should keep his value low. Still remember, this little lull will likely result in another streak. Since Morrow has been out, Ribeiro has had an eight and a nine point, five-game point streak. Again, I think the perception is just lower than the reality with Ribs in trading circles.
Ben Eager, LW, CHI
The 06-07 PIM God is finally back in the spotlight. As we've discussed in the past, there is a lot of promise here as Eager is young (25) and was without a full-time role... until this season. The results are studly. On pace for nearly 200 penalty minutes, Eager is also contributing in scoring with 12 points and 8 goals and a very sold 52 shots for a guy in that role. When you look at the O'Briens and Valabiks of the game, you have to agree getting those shots is nice. In addition, this season with Chicago is giving Eager his first solid plus-minus number. Don't ignore Ben as at least a nice filler in any PIM league.
Steve Ott, C, DAL
Making a former article look good, The ForgOTTen One is no longer. Surprisingly, he has already easily fulfilled his 20-point portion of a 20-150 season and he did that in only 39 games. Very impressive as he already has 24 points. I love the guy, but you have to trade high on him if a buyer is courting. Many are slow to adjust to a player like Ott who has been around forever but had difficulty producing consistenty. Still, some owners think he is the new Avery. Perhaps, but his 12 points in 8 games is definitely not realistic. If the offer is there, you have to take it.
Fantasy Flashback: Your weekly reminder that fantasy hockey is a rollercoaster.
Jeff Carter, C, PHI
It is still just amazing to see how far Carter has come in his fourth-year breakout. Look at his full, healthy season last year versus now...
All of last year: 82GP, 29G, 24A, 53Pts, 6P/M, 55PIM, 260 SOG
This year to this point: 55GP, 34G, 25A, 59Pts, 11P/M, 40PIM, 239 SOG
He is already a far better player on his numbers than he was in 82 games last year. His pedigree was heralded, so it seems this was just a matter of time. Luckily, it has finally arrived for all of us to enjoy.
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Until next time, we appreciate your support.