Before we get started on the inaugural Q&A with Nichols here, I wanted to pass along a little info.



The Q&A column will run every other Sunday, but... I already had a prior engagement October 2 before agreeing to the gig here. So no Q&A and no Ramblings that day. Otherwise, I’ll be chained to my desk all season and everything will operate as usual.


In terms of the Q&A, either refer to the questions from my blog regulars or go through some of my recent Hockey Hearsay blogs on Sportsnet (Reader Submissions at the bottom) to get a feel for what max length we’re looking at here. No essays, please.


I need enough info to answer your question, but not so much I’m drowning in it and can’t answer someone else’s because it’s too long. Roto vs. H2H, single-season vs. keeper, number of teams in league, scoring categories and pertinent roster info as it relates to your question are all key pieces of info. I’d also love to know your first name and hometown.



Phil from L.I.

“Hey Chris,


Long time's great to see you here on Dobber as well. 10 team/4 keeper H2H league. 1 Keeper must be a goalie or dman. I have a bit of a dilemma with my 4th keeper. I have Sid, AO, Quick and I have to choose between Kopitar and Doughty.


My plan was to trade Kopitar for a 2nd round pick and keep Doughty. But with Sid's slow recovery and Doughty's contract issues I put the trade on hold. The only other dmen being kept are Green and Letang so picking up quality D isn't a problem. Also the top forwards look to be B. Ryan, Zetterberg, Kesler, M. Richards and Marleau. I currently have the #3 and #7 picks in the 1st round, no 2nd. I'd almost prefer

keeping Kopitar, grabbing the best forward at #3 and the best goalie at #7. Then go defense with my 2- 3rd round picks. The boards are split on this one so maybe you can help make up my mind. Thanks.”


Chris: Thanks Phil. I actually agree with your line of thinking in terms of keeping Kopitar with Quick in addition to Crosby and Ovechkin. I wouldn’t necessarily commit to taking a forward over a goalie with the 3/7 split, depending on which goalies are left unprotected. Chances are strong you’ll still end up with excellent picks at either position regardless though. I’d love you to get Ryan long-term in particular.


I’m not really too worried about Doughty’s contract situation, at least at this point. In terms of his keeper league value, I still want to see him shoot the puck more. Once he does that, his value will really be helped. He’s clearly a franchise d-man and will have strong point totals, but balancing out his peripherals would help his cause.




“2nd overall entry draft pick in a roto league, who do you take? Landeskog, Strome or Huberdeau? Thanks.”


Chris: I’d go with Landeskog Marty. This kid just looks like he’s going to be a special, special player. All three guys should be excellent fantasy assets, but I really like Landeskog.


Two quick points. Knowing whether wingers and centres are separated out or if it’s just all forwards grouped together would help answer that question, as well as categories counted. Also, as much as I follow the prospects as best as possible, I’m watching NHL hockey all night, every night in-season. I don’t have the first-hand knowledge of the guys until they hit the NHL and don’t try to pass myself off as an expert on them. I just give my two cents on what I’ve read and seen via highlights. Landeskog just really impresses me.



The Oracle of Oro Valley

“Chris, I only have 3 sites I read. Now you are on two them. Knock 'em dead!”


Chris: Thank-you sir. I have a call into Mr. Hefner to see if I can start writing for the third site on your favourites list. Wink



Puckhead (Forum handle)/ Rob

“Welcome Nichols!!!


In a keeper league with goaltending categories of note being GAA, and SV %, who would you rather have and why...Luongo, or Bryzgalov??? Thanks.”


Chris: Thanks for the welcome, I appreciate it. My single-season goalie rankings come out tomorrow and I’ll say that these two are neck and neck near the top. It was honestly a coin flip for me, but Luongo has the edge at the moment. Maybe I’ll change my mind by tomorrow, but Vancouver is just such a strong team. People love to rip him apart, but by and large his stats with the Canucks are quite strong.


Am I worried about Vancouver’s Cup Finals hangover and the injuries they’re starting the year with? Sure, but I’d say I’m equally concerned with Bryzgalov after the summer hype, that fat contract and all of Philly’s roster changes and it taking some time to adjust. There are reasons to be aware there, but I’m just not too worried either guy will fall on his face. As such, they both are going to place quite highly in my ranks.



Hairbird from Pegulaville

“Chris, nice to see at Dobber. Long time follower of yours on sportsnet & canoe.


I'm in a 10 team roto keeper league (keep 4). Categories are G, A, SOG, + -, PIM, PPP, SHP, Hits, W, GAA, SV%. We lock in our keeper this Thursday night. I've been thinking of making a trade for an elite goalie, ie Luongo or someone like Vokoun and a pick. I guess it all depends on who I trade.


My team: C - Getzlaf, Malkin, Dubinsky   LW - Heatley, Burrows, Carcillo   RW - St. Louis, Selanne, Downie,  D - Green, Carlson, Carle, Kaberle, Enstrom  G - Howard, Neuvirth, Ellis.


I could possibly get Luongo via St.Louis, I was thinking because I have 2 top tier centers, I could trade one of them and pick up a C down the line. I love Getzlaf and would hate to get rid of him, especially with hits and his + - should be better than Geno's. As of now I am keeping Getzlaf, Malkin, St.Louis and either Green or Heatley. I have the 4th, 11th and 14th picks in the first two rounds. I traded Nash to get the 11th pick. I could also stand pat and pick up someone like Halak, Niemi, Howard later in the draft and build my offensive stats first. Thanks”


Chris: Thanks for reading all of these years. I think in your situation I’d be more inclined to just leave your keepers as-is (with Green over Heatley, but I know we’ve talked about your keeper selections in Sportsnet Q&A) and you can still get quality goaltending at the draft. Halak, Niemi and Howard are all good options, while even someone like your Neuvirth should land a quality amount of starts with the Caps.


An alternate idea, depending on the other owner, would be to try to dangle two legit keepers in St. Louis and Green to land Henrik Lundqvist. Then you could slide someone like Heatley into your fourth slot. St. Louis is running out of elite years and you have to give to get when it comes to a guy like Lundqvist.


My goalie rankings, incidentally, come out Monday. Comprehensive and hopefully quite helpful.

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Shoeless said:

Keeping Kopitar Chris, with due respect, could you go back to Phil's question and place a value on that 2nd round pick Phil would get by making the Kopitar trade? It seems very little, but curious as to how you process that in the analysis.

Welcome aboard, by the way.
September 18, 2011
Votes: +0

Hockey Hoser said:

Hockey Hoser
Landeskog I feel some people maybe disappointed with Landeskog if they don't temper their expectations of him. Yesterday I read somewhere he was NHL ready because he scored 2 goals in first day training camp scrimmage?!?...I still think he's gonna be a good NHLer but to say that after one scrimmage is doing a huge disservice to the Avs and to Gabriel. People are putting way too much pressure on this kid already and he hasn't even played one NHL game. I hope he can live up to those expectations.
September 18, 2011
Votes: +1
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