Following up last week’s column about buy-low trade targets, I’mfocusing on sell-high players this week. Those players who are off to hot starts, but who are bound to slow down dramatically in the coming weeks. If you wait too long to see if they are for real, you’ll lose the window of opportunity to sell high so don’t be a wimp and act now!
Cory Stillman, Rod Brind’amour, Justin Williams, Matt Cullen – The Hurricanes are playing over their heads right now, having scored six more goals than any other team. It’s not that I don’t like these guys, but they are on pace to score 125, 115, 98 and 93 points respectively. It’s just not going to happen, not even close. For their stats to even out, they’ll suffer through some droughts. So if you can acquire an
80-point player Stillman, Brind’amour and Williams or a 65-point player for Cullen, you’ll get more value for remainder of the season. I could have added Jeff Hamilton to the list, but try as you might; you’re just not going to get much value for him.
Tomas Holmstrom – Holmstrom is on pace to score 46 goals and 80 points. His career highs are 30 goals and 59 points, both achieved in the last two seasons. Also, he’ll turn 35 years old in January. He’s always been very streaky, as illustrated last season when he scored 11 points in the first 30 games of the season, followed by 35 points in the next 31 games, and 6 points in the last 16 games. His window to sell high might not close for another month or so, but you should start exploring the possibilities now.
Nik Antropov – Antropov had already started to slow down having gone scoreless in three straight games, before scoring a goal in last night’s game. It’s way more probable to see Antropov score a point per two games than to see him score a point-per-game. But even if he had attained that level, he remains a high injury risk so he’s worth shopping around.
Mats Sundin – I love Mats Sundin, he’s a great guy who’s had a great career, but he’s on pace to score 114 points, which would match his career high attained 15 years ago. Yeah, you read right, it has been 15 years since Sundin’s only 100-point season. Add that to the fact that he hasn’t topped 83 points in the last nine seasons, the superstar reputation attached to his name and you have a prime sell-high candidate. You might even be able to acquire Joe Thornton for Sundin at the moment.
Pascal Leclaire – It’s not that I don’t believe in Leclaire who was the eighth overall pick in the 2001 draft. It’s just that his numbers are much to incredible right now not to suffer a major drop at some point. There’s also the fact that the Blue Jackets do not have the roster to continue posting wins at the pace they have done so since the start of the season. If you can acquire a struggling Roberto Luongo or Miikka Kiprusoff for Leclaire, do not hesitate to do so.
Martin Gerber – Gerber has been lights out since the start of the season giving up more than three goals only once and leading the league in wins. However, as soon as he falters a bit, Ray Emery will get his shot and Gerber will become a much sought after commodity around the NHL. Emery received a big contract in the off-season so it would be very surprising to see the Sens keep two highly paid netminders all season when they can improve their team by trading one of them and Gerber is the likely candidate. Of course, his value goes can’t do otherwise but go down outside of Ottawa.
You’ll notice that I didn’t mention Niklas Hagman who got off to a hot start this season by scoring five goals and seven points in the first six games, but who has only put up two points in the last eight games. His sell-high window of opportunity has come and gone.
Industry Experts league
The Experts’ league is heating up with a mere 6.5 points separating team number two in the standings from the sixth place team. I sat at I fourth place as of Tuesday, but have been hovering between second and fourth for the past week. Daniel Carcillo is turning out as one of my most valuable players with his 4 goals, 7 points and 73 penalty minutes. Rotowire’s Levine is still atop the leader board thanks in great part to Henrik Zetterberg, Jarome Iginla and Pascal Leclaire.
Hot pickups this week included Mark Bell who returns after serving a 15-game suspension and Chuck Kobasew coming off three goals in two games.
Questions for the Frog
I am in a Yahoo roto league that counts G / A / P / + - / pims / ppg / gwg and shg.Was looking at picking up Chris Neil or Jozef Stumpel for some RW depth. Neil will probably get about 30 points, get a load of pims and his +/- might be decent. Stumpel should get close to 60 points but his +/- might not be so great and his PIMs will be eclipsed by Neil's. Who would be the better pick over the course of the season? – Jason
FROG: Frankly, it all depends on what the rest of your roster looks like. These two players are so different that you have to go on need. Neil will give you PIMs while Stumpel will give you assists so go with whichever category is the weakest on your team. However, overall Stumpel will give you more value in different categories.
I'm in a keeper league and Keith Ballard is hurting me right now because of his slow start and I could trade him for Brian Pothier although I don’t believe it is an upgrade, Pothier is doing better. Also I have Lehtonen and I’m anxious to see if I’ll have a lot of wins even after his groin problem. What do you think??? P.S. Points only for Ballard and wins and shutouts for the goalie. – Pierre (Canada)
FROG: Pothier is not a good long-term option since the Caps have Tom Poti and Mike Green to assume the power play duties. However, the Coyotes are so bad right now that's it's difficult to imagine Ballard having much value this season. However, he does have the talent to become a 40-point blueliner in the next two or three years. As for Lehtonen, his main problem is health and that could plague him throughout his career. Added to the fact that the Thrashers are in disarray, the outlook for Lehtonen isn't great. Don't expect more than 25 wins for him this season.