So how many did I sucker - even for just 30 seconds - this year?
Alexander Radulov’s decision to return to the NHL beginning in 2011-12 caught everyone by surprise, and not just fantasy owners. Yesterday’s surprise announcement completely changes the offensive landscape of the Nashville Predators. Let's break it down.
The Predators get: their most dynamic offensive weapon back into the fold. Add a superstar to any team – and mark my words, Radulov will be an NHL superstar after making the KHL his toy these last couple of seasons – and that team becomes infinitely better.
Fantasy Players Impacted: The wingers on the top two lines will be: Radulov, Sergei Kostitsyn, Martin Erat and Patric Hornqvist. All of their games will be brought up a level. Steve Sullivan won’t be back now – assuming he going to re-sign there otherwise, and Colin Wilson will continue to apprentice on the third line with no need to rush. Cal O’Reilly, David Legwand and Mike Fisher will battle it out for the top two jobs up the middle and I’ll put my money on O’Reilly, who has excellent upside and is all “pass” which works will with Radulov’s “shoot”.
And then there’s Mr. Radulov himself. Some poolies have still been hanging onto him, even after he signed a contract last fall to remain in the KHL. There wasn’t a mention of an out clause at that time, yet these stubborn fantasy owners held their ground and now it will pay dividends. His numbers in the KHL have been so far above everyone else’s, it is hard not to think that he will get at least 80 points, even in Nashville. This is a team that will go two consecutive seasons of not having a 55-point player, so that’s saying a lot.
Fantasy Players this helps next season, in order:
- Shea Weber
- Ryan Suter
- Cody Franson
Fantasy Players this hurts next season, in order:
- J-P Dumont