I have been toying with the idea of a retool (I refuse to rebuild) in one of my keeper leagues all year long. My team was built largely around Sidney Crosby, and his injury has really crippled any hopes I had of contending this year. Like the Tampa Bay Lightning, I also held on to Dwayne Roloson for one year too long. In a goalie-dominant league, having a liability as one of my starting goaltenders wasn’t exactly the best strategy. My other goalies include Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider, who have combined to be a very good tandem for me, but I simply haven’t gotten enough quality starts to do much of anything.
As of late February, I was sitting in 8th out of 12 in my league. I have been in negotiations with some of my veteran forwards, and decided to make a move on a few of them.
Outgoing: Vincent Lecavalier, Johan Franzen
Incoming: David Krejci, Chris Stewart
After much deliberating, I accepted the trade. I am taking a risk that Chris Stewart turns his game around next season and beyond. I used the HockeyPoolGeek ‘Trade Breakdown’ tool to help with the analysis – on paper I am losing value for this season and next, but when I plugged in my own projections (not always the most advisable strategy), I was gaining for two years out and beyond. One of my golden rules of trading is to evaluate all trades with a three year scope, and I did exactly that.
My five reasons for making this trade:
1) Straight across, I like Krejci more than Lecavalier. Better potential linemates for both present and future, and he seems to be on the upslope of his career, while Lecavalier’s best days are behind him. I took a risk on Lecavalier last season, and he hasn’t panned out. He is a very good center in the NHL and in this league, but I like what Krejci will give me a bit more (especially with the uncertainty regarding Crosby).
2) I think Johan Franzen has another year of elite production in him, and then we will start to see a decline. I think a lot of Detroit’s top power play production depends on Lidstrom (duh), and his time in the NHL is running out as well.
3) As I mentioned earlier, I like Chris Stewart. He has been bad this year, but he showed last year what he is capable of in the right situation. The fact that he plays with a physical edge helps in a league that counts PIM and hits as a statistic. He’s eight years younger than Franzen.
4) It allows me to shift my window to win a bit. My team is full of veterans, and I don’t want to go through a full-scale rebuild (losing in fantasy hockey bores me, although I guess 8th out of 12 with a lot of veterans isn’t anything to write home about either). I have some nice pieces for the future, and proven NHLers in their mid-20’s like Stewart and Krejci will help bridge the gap better than Lecavalier or Franzen would have.
5) I like trading. This is the first trade of significance I have made in any of my pools in the last few months. I think this trade has the potential to benefit both sides (the other team is in more of a win-now mode), and win-win trades are the best way to build allies in your hockey pools. You can’t fleece the other GM every single time.