Deadline Day – Fantasy Fallout Pt.II
A high amount of trades on March 8th and 9th, but not so much in terms of fantasy impact. Here is a look at what the deals mean to your hockey pool, by team:
Montreal – IN: Todd Simpson, David Aebischer. OUT: Jose Theodore, 6th round pick. Owners of Christobal Huet and Jose Theodore should be pleased with the Avalanche trade. Under the radar, however, is the fact that Montreal eliminated a goaltending controversy that was distracting the team. Keeper league owners of several Montreal players now have a stronger chance of seeing their players in the postseason. Huet has been a surprise this season. His numbers have put him into the top 20 fantasy goaltenders, and this deadline move definitely increased his fantasy value in the future. The Huet/Aebischer combination could work out the same way the Fernandez/Roloson tandem worked in Minnesota for so many years.
Nashville – IN: Brendan Witt. OUT: Kris Beech, 1st round pick. It was a steep price to pay, but the Preds needed a rock on defense and they found one of the best ones available at the deadline in Witt. His presence will increase the offensive output of whomever is Witt’s defense partner, be it Marek Zidlicky, Kimmo Timonen, or Dan Hamhuis.
New Jersey – IN: Ken Klee, Jason Wiemer, Brad Lukowich. OUT: Sean Brown, Aleksander Suglobov, 3rd round pick. The Devils solidified their depth, upgraded their number four and five defensemen, and brought in some more experience. The cost was a solid prospect of which they have in spades, and a draft pick which they could spare. Nothing of fantasy impact, but a reasonable upgrade to the team.
N.Y. Islanders – IN: Denis Grebishkov, Jeff Tambellini, three 3rd round picks. OUT: Mark Parrish, Oleg Kvasha, Brent Sopel, and Brad Lukowich. Jeff Tambellini has already become a solid part of this team. In Los Angeles, it may have been difficult to crack the lineup in the Fall, but that won’t be a problem in Long Island. Other youngsters have also seen more ice time as a result of these deals – Robert Nilsson, and Sean Bergenheim. All three of these youngsters have decent fantasy potential. Nilsson has the highest upside.
N.Y. Rangers – IN: Sandis Ozolinsh. OUT: Ville Nieminen. The Rangers were brilliant to take a chance on Ozolinsh, who has had a difficult season with injuries and personal demons. The Rangers needed a power play quarterback, and they found one of the better ones who will flourish dishing the puck to the likes of Jaromir Jagr each and every man advantage the Rangers get. He already has six points in nine games in New York.
Ottawa – IN: Mike Morrison, Tyler Arnason. OUT: Brandon Bochenski, 2nd round pick. Arnason’s value increases instantly as he is now a member of a Stanley Cup contender. He has currently been plunked on the second line between Patrick Eaves and Bryan Smolinski, however when Martin Havlat returns from his injury Arnason will really start to pile up the points. Morrison is just some insurance in the event that Hasek’s injury worsens. Overall, Morrison’s fantasy value declines as he will get next to no playing time.
Philadelphia – IN: Nikos Dimitrakos, Denis Gauthier. OUT: Josh Gratton, two 2nd round picks, 3rd round pick. Dimitrakos will have the same impact that Branko Radivojevic had last season (just imagine doing the play-by-play if those two ever went in on a 2-on-1!!). Third or fourth line ice, with minimal power play time. Gauthier is a solid blueliner with experience. The Flyers need all the help they can get back there, given the injury troubles to Joni Pitkanen, Eric Desjardins, and Kim Jonsson. No fantasy impact here.
Phoenix – IN: Oleg Kvasha, Jamie Rivers, Yanick Lehoux, Joel Perreault, Josh Gratton, two 2nd round picks, 4th round pick. OUT: Tim Jackman, Denis Gauthier, Sean O’Donnell, Jamie Lundmark, 3rd round pick, 7th round pick. Rivers is a depth defenseman, Gratton could make the squad in the Fall (and will bring with him some valuable PIM’s for pools that use them), while Kvasha, Perreault, and Lehoux are projects. Lehoux has never been healthy, nor consistent long enough to show the world what he is capable of – which is a lot. For Kvasha, the issue has been consistency. If either one of them could get going under Wayne Gretzky, they have the ability to notch 70 points. The odds are slim. Perreault has some defensive lapses, but is also capable of big points. At 22, his performance at camp this Fall will speak volumes.
Pittsburgh – IN: Niklas Nordgren, Krys Kolanos, Petr Taticek, Andy Hilbert, 2nd round pick, 4th round pick. OUT: Ric Jackman, Corey Cross, Mark Recchi. Hilbert and Nordgren have already contributed to the team. Hilbert has been getting significant ice time on the second line, and has solid potential for the future. He probably has the most offensive upside of the four acquisitions, but watch Kolanos this Fall as he is highly talented as well. If any of these guys wind up playing with Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin, it will pay huge dividends.
St. Louis – IN: Tomas Mojzis, 3rd round pick. OUT: Eric Weinrich. Nothing of fantasy value here.
San Jose – IN: Ville Nieminen. OUT: Nikos Dimitrakos. The Sharks needed another checker, and Nieminen fits the bill. Landing him improves their playoff chances, which helps any owners out there with a lot of Sharks on their team. Other than that, nothing of fantasy significance.
Tampa Bay – IN: none. OUT: none. The defending Cup champs failed to make a move at the deadline. Their competition improved while they remained the same. They may lose their tenuous hold on a playoff spot as a result.
Toronto – IN: Luke Richardson, Aleksander Suglobov OUT: Ken Klee, 5th round pick. Basically Suglobov for a later pick. Suglobov should make this team out of training camp, but that would depend on who the Leafs coach is. He has nearly a point per game in the AHL, and has four points in six games for the Toronto Marlies.
Vancouver – IN: Mika Noronen, Keith Carney, Sean Brown, Juha Alen, Eric Weinrich, conditional draft pick. OUT: Travis Mojzis, Brent Skinner, Steve McCarthy, two 2nd round picks, 3rd round pick, 4th round pick. A great backup goaltender (and future starter) along with a solid number four and five defenseman, plus a depth defenseman. These moves will not go a great deal towards getting them out of the first round of the playoffs. Alen is a longshot prospect who has the ability to quarterback the power play. The only move that impacts fantasy value is the acquisition of Noronen, who was stuck in a goaltending logjam in Buffalo. In the Fall, he will again battle with two other goalies, except I have a feeling that Dan Cloutier will go, and Noronen will land a permanent NHL job.
Washington – IN: Kris Beech, 1st round pick, 2nd round pick. OUT: Jeff Friesen, Brendan Witt. Beech is running out of chances in the NHL, however with Washington being a team of opportunity for prospects, he gets one last kick at the can. A solid training camp leading to a roster spot would be the only way he would get fantasy pool consideration, however.
More fantasy hockey tips from Dobber at www.dobberhockey.com