The fantasy breakdown of last night's huge trade.
Fantasy Hockey Impact: The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired Jarome Iginla from the Calgary Flames in exchange for two prospects and Pittsburgh’s 2013 1st round pick.
The Penguins get: One of the most prolific goal scorers in NHL history. Iginla has had a very, very impressive career, and he has been the face of the Calgary Flames for close to 20 years. He is one of the classiest athletes in the world, and has been a terrific ambassador for the game of hockey ever since coming into the NHL. Iginla is the total package, and it will be great to see him with a legitimate shot at winning a Stanley Cup once again.
"We began negotiations with teams and in the final analysis, we had offers from three different clubs," Feaster said in a news conference in the wee hours of Thursday. "In having those offers, again the player in this trade has a no-trade [clause], a no-move, so the player is part of that process. And so we worked with the player and concluded a deal this evening with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Flames get: Two NCAA prospects and a 1st round pick. Neither prospect is a blue-chipper – the Flames will have a lot of pressure on them to make a strong selection with that pick. Apparently Iginla chose the Penguins over Boston (an offer rumored to include prospect Alex Khokhlachev) and another unnamed team.
Kenneth Agostino – 5th round pick back in 2010. A small, skilled forward who leads Yale in scoring with 37 points in 33 games this season.
Ben Hanowski – 3rd round pick in 2009. Captained St. Cloud State, and scored 16 goals there this season.
If long hair is any indication of success, Hanowski has a great career ahead of him.
Judging by their draft dates, I would assume that both players are relatively close to the NHL. Calgary does follow the NCAA closely. Assistant GM John Weisbrod knows the league very well, and he very likely was the reason Calgary targeted these two players.
"Our pro scouts feel very strongly about these players," Feaster said after the trade was announced. "They fit our criteria for hockey sense, and they have good skill level."
Fantasy Players Impacted:
It was a bit of a surprise that the Penguins were able to land Iginla without trading away another one of their blue chipper defensemen (Olli Maatta, Derrick Pouliot, and Brian Dumoulin remain). The 1st round pick is solid value, but you could make the argument that Calgary didn’t get a better return than Dallas did for Brenden Morrow (Joe Morrow is a fantastic prospect, and Edmonton's 3rd round pick - the pick Dallas traded to the Penguins - won’t be too far behind Pittsburgh’s 1st rounder).
This move, of course, has significant fantasy ramifications. Iginla is going to line up with Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz/Pascal Dupuis on one of the scoring lines. One of Kunitz/Dupuis will slide down to line three with Brandon Sutter and Matt Cooke, and that will lead to a significant drop-off in production. I would hazard a guess that Kunitz stays on the top line while Dupuis moves down, but it really could be either player – they are both very versatile.
Iginla will work well with Crosby. Not only dothey have the chemistry from the 2010 Olympics, but they are both “north-south” skill players. Mike Colligan alluded to this with the Morrow trade – Malkin and Neal are more “east-west” guys – they like to cut back to make plays, both in the slot and while on the rush. Morrow plays like this too. Iginla and Crosby are more direct with their skating lines (this is why Kunitz and Dupuis have looked great with Crosby – they play that style of hockey, too).
I'm not sure entirely how this impacts Beau Bennett. Short term it probably hurts him, but Morrow could just as easily play on the third line with Sutter and Dupuis/Cooke/Kunitz depending on the matchup. Bennet has looked NHL ready, but the Penguins will give ice time to the veterans first, especially in the postseason. Long term, this will help Bennett a lot, provided he gets to work with and learn some stuff from Iginla over the next few weeks/months.
Kunitz – Crosby – Iginla
Morrow – Malkin – Neal
Not too shabby.
For Calgary, this opens up a huge hole on the right side (and a lot of ice time, with it). Iginla was averaging just under 20 minutes a night, second to only Alex Tanguay among Calgary forwards. The Flames don’t really have any prospect wingers outside of Sven Bartschi, but I would imagine they are going to want to give a lot of ice time to their young guys (I also include Backlund and Cervenka in this mix) to see what they have for next season. Cervenka especially considering he is on a one-year deal.
I think Mike Cammalleri steps into the go-to-guy role now (especially on the power play).
Fantasy Players this helps, in order:
6. Jiri Hudler
Fantasy Players this hurts, in order:
1. Dupuis/Kunitz (whoever moves down is hurt, whoever remains will stay the same or see a moderate increase in production)
3. Bennett (short term only)
Pittsburgh has a very good roster, but I'd still take Boston over them in a best-of-seven series. And I'd probably take Chicago and LA, too. There is a reason this game isn't played on paper, though....