The trade deadline is February 26 and DobberHockey will have the instant fantasy breakdown of all moves that go down. Who does it impact? What will be the impact?
In part two of two, we’ll take a look at some of the Western Conference players who are on the block and why a trade will help or hurt them fantasy-wise.
Sometimes, a player needs a change of scenery to get things rolling again. Here are ten situations worth watching in the Western Conference. There may be some ‘buying low’ opportunities here:
Up the middle in Anaheim: Doug Weight is due back soon – or is he? It sounds like the veteran will be struggling with this all season. With Ryan Carter out with a broken wrist, do the Ducks rely on Andrew Ebbett? Geoff Platt? Who slides into the second line? Look for a move here.
Calgary dilemma: I’m trying to leave the tiresome, obvious rumors out, but I really am curious to see what Calgary does here. They could keep the team intact, make their run, and then look to replace Kristian Huselius or Daymond Langkow at half the price. If that happens, this opens up the door for a youngster next season such as Mikael Backlund or Dustin Boyd. If Tanguay gets traded, chances are his numbers improve. If Langkow goes, then his numbers go down. Huselius on the move would likely be sideways for his production.
The new-look Blackhawks: Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp and a whole slew of young offensive prospects seem to the thing for Chicago. So where does Martin Havlat fit in? His big contract may not fit at all. Besides Havlat, now that Jason Williams is back and he is an unrestricted free agent in the summer he could go as well. And are the Hawks really happy with Nikolai Khabibulin? Are they $6.75 million happy? When Patrick Lalime is playing well? If you can pick up Lalime as a throw-in, it may pay huge dividends. I wouldn’t be surprised in the least to see the ‘Bulin Wall dealt and Lalime re-signed.
Not just Fedorov: Columbus will likely move Sergei Fedorov if there are any takers, but were you aware that David Vyborny is an unrestricted free agent in the summer? He is not a Hitchcock favorite, given the sharp decline in numbers since Hitch took over. That tells me he is available. Gilbert Brule's improved play makes him even more expendable and Vyborny's absence would give the youngster more ice time.
Changing the QB in Denver: John-Michael Liles does not have a fan in Joel Quenneville. He’s as good as gone and the Avs will find another QB by the deadline. Liles could flourish on a new team – to the tune of 50 points per season. He is a ‘buy low’ risk that may be worth taking.
He may have to go…and I think he will: Every team is insisting on Jiri Hudler when Detroit talks trade with them. I think the Red Wings will eventually cave. If so, Hudler will become a star by next season – he’s that good. Will he be part of the package for Mats Sundin or Olli Jokinen? Either the Wings stand pat or Jiri goes. An excellent buy-low guy now, just on the hunch. Even if he doesn’t go, you don’t really lose anything with him.
Qualifying Stoll: To qualify Stoll in the summer, the Oilers would need to offer at least $2.4 million. Is that the going rate for 25-year-olds that post 37 points? And even if they did qualify him – all he has to do is not accept the offer and suddenly the Ducks and Sabres have an opportunity to get their revenge on GM Kevin Lowe for what he did to them last season. He is a strong candidate to be moved.
So many good young D in the music city: Both Shea Weber and Ryan Suter are restricted free agents in the summer. The Preds are already committed for more money next year than they are paying this season. Weber and Suter will command big raises, and with Pekka Rinne replacing Dan Ellis next year (Rinne’s contract is one-way next season, while this season it was two-way) the team will see their salary skyrocket. Ellis is barely making the NHL minimum. With Martin Erat and Kevin Klein also needing contracts and the Preds will see team payroll closing in on $42 million – fully $10 million above this season. Will they do that? It will be interesting to see how the Preds handle this without jeopardizing their playoff spot. Marek Zidlicky and the $3.5 million that he is in line for next year would be traded if Nashville were out of the picture. But they are not, so what will they do?
Radim Vrbata is unsigned: Why haven’t the Coyotes re-signed this guy yet? He is having a career season and is about to enter his prime. This team is in full rebuilding mode and there is no way that they will let this guy walk as a free agent. There is also no way that they will get into a bidding war for him in the summer. They will either sign him before July 1 or they will trade him. I think they’ll sign him, but it bears watching. On another team, I’m not so confident that he would be quite so productive.
San Jose RFA’s: Steve Bernier, Joe Pavelski, Ryane Clowe and Christian Ehrhoff – all restricted free agents in the summer. The team is already nearly $5 million above this season’s payroll committed for next year. These four will double that gap at the very least. Yes, trading Patrick Marleau would ease some of that financial burden – but so would trading Matt Carle, or even one of the above four players to upgrade their team on a rental basis.
Attention Roto-League Players – this information is so crucial, I’m giving it to you again:
In the DobberHockey feature “A Roto-Look Ahead ”, we analyze the schedule for each team over the coming seven days and recommend which teams have the most optimal schedule for fantasy purposes (i.e. most games and easiest schedule), as well as which teams have a terrible week ahead for fantasy pools (i.e. the least games and most difficult schedule). Using that same formula, I studied the entire schedule from February 27 to April 6 when the season ends.
The formula looks at quantity of games overall, quantity of games at home, and the quality of the opponents.
Cheer, if your player is traded to one of these teams:
1 Bruins 21.5
2 Lightning 21.1
3 Sabres 20.2
4 Canucks 19.8
5 Thrashers 19.7
6 Capitals 19.6
7 Wild 19.5
8 Sharks 19.4
9 Panthers 19.3
10 Flyers 19.1
Cringe, if your player is traded to one of these teams:
19 Islanders 17.6
20 Rangers 17.6
21 Blues 17.6
22 Avalanche 17.5
23 Blue Jackets 17.3
24 Flames 17.3
25 Oilers 16.9
26 Predators 16.7
27 Kings 16.4
28 Red Wings 16.2
29 Ducks 15.3
30 Stars 14.2
Boston plays 20 games, while Dallas plays just 15. Boston plays a weak defensive team like Toronto three times, whereas the Stars are stuck facing teams such as Detroit, San Jose and Anaheim in their end-of-season schedule.
NHL Deadline - The Fantasy Lowdown Part 1 of 2
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