This has to be one of the busiest deadline days that I’ve seen in a few years with 19 trades getting completed today and 32 deals going down since the Miller to St. Louis deal kicked everything off post Sochi. We saw ten goalies change hands, two captains trade places and guys like Vanek and Halak who were traded for the second time just this season! I went through the list and picked out what I thought which moves had the biggest fantasy impact and highlighted those. If you’re looking this over and think I missed a few, check out these posts from yesterday for more trade analysis;
Martin St. Louis (F-TB) for Ryan Callahan (F-NYR), 2014 conditional 2nd-round pick, 2015 1st-round pick
In what was perhaps the biggest deal of the day the Rangers and Bolts swapped captains moving two guys who had never played anywhere else, well, elsewhere! This move creates a few fantasy ripples and they tend to center around the return of goal scoring machine Steven Stamkos. When Stamkos broke his tibia a lot of folks though Marty’s production might slip at a bit and that’s a fair assumption to make, however, it didn’t happen. He has 61 points in 62 games with a plus-12 and 167 shots on goal and a shift to the Rangers isn’t going to slow him down either. The move could lead to a possible reunion on a line with Brad Richards, but considering how bleh Richards has been this season even St. Louis might not be able to snap him out of it. But fear not, St. Louis owners, there are plenty of places Alain Vigneault can slot in his new weapon and get the usual point-per-game production from him. Stamkos, on the other hand, may see a dip in production without Marty on his wing, and Cally isn’t going to be able to fill that gap, so expect a few fewer assists from Steve-o, but the goals should continue to pour in. In the end, both St. Louis and Stamkos are so good that their production will more or less stay the same, but Callahan becomes an intriguing option. Owned in just 44% of Yahoo leagues and ~84% of ESPN leagues, if Cally ends up playing alongside Stamkos he’s going to see a scoring boost for sure. He isn’t without offensive ability, but everyone knows he’s a grinder more than anything else. If he’s out there in your league and you need a scoring boost, you could get that on the cheap from Callahan. Anyway, here’s the rest of the deals that I thought would make a splash in the world o’ fantasy hockey:
Jaroslav Halak (G-BUF) for Michael Neuvirth (G-WAS) and Rostislav Kesla (D-WAS)
The biggest winner here is Jaroslav Halak, who didn’t have to spend long in the rebuilding hockey hell of Buffalo and shifts to a team hot in persuit of a playoff spot and in desperate need of consistently half-way-decent goaltending. In Buffalo Halak’s numbers would dip across the board, but as a member of the Caps he’s likely to only see a modest fall from his Blues numbers of 24-9-4/2.23/.917. Braden Holtby hasn’t been very good and Neuvirth hasn’t been much better so with Halak in town you can expect he’s the most likely to seize control of the Caps’ crease and run with it.
As for Michael Neuvirth, he should have been a bit more careful what he wished for when he demanded a trade following Philipp Grubauer’s rapid ascension to the starting job earlier this season because here you go Mikey! Now mired in Buffalo he does have a chance to earn a starting job fighting it out with Jhonas Enroth, but who wins if they win? I think everyone loses here regardless and I wouldn’t own any Sabres goalie.
Thomas Vanek (F-NYI) for a second-round draft pick and prospect Sebastian Collberg (F-MTL)
It must suck to be an Isles fan and to all of you out there I wish you my most sincere condolences. I’m not really sure how Garth Snow still has a job, but he managed to move Matt Moulson to get Vanek, failed to resign him and ended up with a second-round pick and a prospect? Yikes. Vanek’s output is going to remain the same as it has been in New York, which was a uptick from the start of the year in Buffalo, so Vanek owners have to love this deal. Without a healthy John Tavares Vanek’s numbers were going to regress a bit, but now he shifts to a more balanced offensive unit and a better team in general, and that can only mean good things for his numbers.
Sebastian Collberg is a actually a pretty solid grab for the Isles, so I’ll give Snow a little credit there. A dynamic, skilled forward the speed Collberg has an innate sense of where to be on the ice to capitalize on goal scoring chances and what’s more, he knows how to finish. He’s got a nasty wrister that comes on a quick release, but he’s a bit small at 5’11” 181lbs. He’s a non-factor this season, but keep an eye on him as he develops along side the growing host of young talent the Isles are collecting over the next few seasons. If even a handful pan out Snow looks like a genius, but I find it hard to buy that outcome at the moment.
Matt Moulson (F-BUF) for Cody McCormick (F-MIN) and Torrey Mitchell (F-MIN), a 2014 second-round pick and a 2016 second-round pick
Moulson is yet another guy that benefits a ton from getting the hell out of Buffalo but unfortunately he moves to a team that’s just 25th overall in goals per game with 2.4 per. The Wild are a far better team than the Sabres in every respect, though, so this is still a big upgrade for Moulson owners. The Wild need scoring and Moulson scores, so he’ll have an opportunity to step up and put up the big numbers many have expected from him for a few seasons now. One interesting possibility is pairing Moulson with Mikael Granlund and seeing what happens. Granlund has tremendous play making ability, all he needs is a finisher and Moulson is more than capable in that department! If they click, both their values could jump pretty quickly and along with them the playoff hopes of the Wild. McCormick and Mitchel are non-factors in the fantasy world and this move doesn’t change that at all, so you can ignore them.
Tim Thomas (FLA) for Dan Ellis (DAL)
Sadly, Tiny Tim was moved on to Dallas robbing us of all the great jokes to be had if he and Roberto Luongo remained teammates in south Florida. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Thomas’ value doesn’t change much since the last time I touched on it when the Luongo trade went down. He goes from backing up Lu to backing up Kari Lehtonen, though there’s more of a chance that Thomas gets more ice time in Dallas given that Lehtonen is made of glass. Then there’s Dan Ellis. Yeah, he remains Dan Ellis.
Ales Hemsky (F-EDM) to Ottawa for a third-round and fifth-round draft pick
Ah Glass Ales, how have you been? Hurt? No kidding, do go on! Hemsky has tremendous talent and play making abilities but is constantly hurt so he hasn’t ever lived up to his potential. Playing for the Oilers for all these years doesn’t help either, but really in the end Ales has no one to blame but his rickety frame for his lack of fantasy mojo. He has an opportunity to fix all of that in a shift to the Sens, and could benefit from a pairing with Bobby Ryan, who desperately needs a pick-me-up and a play maker like Hemsky could fit the bill. Yes, yes I know, what about Jason Spezza, right? Eh, It’s pretty clear that isn’t gelling like it should, so why not throw Hemsky in the mix and see what happens?
David Legwand (C-NSH) for Patrick Eaves (F-DET), prospect Calle Jarnkrok (F-DET) and a third-round draft pick this season.
So far this season Legwand has 40 points (10 G, 30 A) in 62 games for the offensively challenge Nashville Predators, so this shift to the Wings definitely gives Legs a boost. He isn’t going to score a point-per-game and I’d be a lot more excited about his prospects for a surge if this was a Detroit team with a healthy Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, but then Ken Holland probably wouldn’t have acquired Legs if that was the case. Still, there’s a lot more firepower for Legwand to work with in the motor city, so he’s worth a flier if you’re looking for a good streamer for the playoffs.
Calle Jarnkrok is yet another Swede from the Wings’ system that has a lot to offer, but the Wings are so bloody flush with young talent they’re able to package guys like Jarny for rentals like Legwand. At any rate, Jarny is a talented playmaker with outstanding hockey sense which helps him stay in position basically all the time. Soft hands, good moves and puck handling all package together to make him dangerous enough but he has only mustered 35 points in 57 games with the Wings’ AHL affiliate the Grand Rapids Griffins, so I don’t know that he’ll even get called up to the big stage to make an impact at all.