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;
Roberto Luongo Back To Panthers, Add Lack!
Ilya Bryzgalov To Wild, Fasth To Oilers, Penner To Caps
Ryan Miller To Blues For Halak, Stewart, Picks
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:
The Oilers started the season with Devan Dubnyk and Jason LaBarbera in net and that didn't work out so well, so GM Craig MacTavish signed Ilya Bryzgalov for the reminder of the sesaon, shipped Dubs off to the Preds, traded HannaBarbera to the Hawks for "future considerations" and traded for Ben Scrivens. After letting the dust settle a bit, Scribbles bubbled up to become the Oil's starter and that didn't sit too well with Breezy. With fears that he wouldn't resign in the offseason mounting MacTavish assured his tenure with the team was rather short and shipped him off to the Wild for a fourth round pick. Hey, it's better than nothing, right? Wrong! The Ducks quickly turned that fourth-round pick around for the Stars' Stephane Robidas. Robidas has no fantasy value and that doesn't change here, so back to the matter at hand. Considering how well Darcy Kuemper has been playing I'd be surprised to see Breezy supplant him as the Wild's starter, but it may quickly develop into a 1A / 1B situation. If you're dying for goaltending help and Breezy is available, he's worth a speculative flier add, but don't expect much until the situation with him and Kuemper becomes a bit more salient.
It’s not often that a second year defenseman ends up on the top pairing for a cup contending team, but Dougie Hamilton (1 G, 2 A, 3 SOG, +2, 2 PIM) broke that mold and earned a place along side Zdeno Chara (1 SOG, even) on the Bs top pairing for a few games in a row now and the results have been very positive at both ends of the ice. When asked about his new weapon on the blue line Bs head coach Claude Julien had nothing but glowing remarks for Hammy’s performance of late; “He’s been good. He’s been steady. He’s moved the puck well. He’s got good vision. He’s got good size, good reach. This is a player that with time will get stronger. He’s a big body. He’ll get stronger. He’ll probably be more impactful than he is right now. But his game has been really good. I think he’s handled it well.” All of this bodes well for his chances of staying on that pairing moving forward, and that also bodes well for his ability to give you those tasty blue line points down the stretch. “Bodes” sounds like a word a sufer would use, doesn’t? “Oh man, Hammy’s gnarly bodes rocked last night!” Come to think of it, that doesn’t sound too family safe. Hmn. Anyway, Hammy contributed in just about every way you could hope for as a fantasy owner and given his choice new home next to Chara, you can expect more of this moving forward from the rookie defenseman. So far he has 18 points in 44 games which puts him on pace for around 28 points in 66 games by season’s end and I think it’s probably that he’ll hit that mark, so look for another 10-15 points from Hammy, so if you need help on your blue line down the stretch here’s a great option as he’s only owned in 12% of ESPN leagues and 26% of Yahoo leagues. Anyway, here's what else I saw in the world o' fantasy hockey last night:
Normally I take a wait and see policy on Russian prospects because they often come highly touted but fail to impress when given the opportunity (We’re all looking right at you, Nail Yakupov) but in the case of Dmitry Orlov (1 G, 3 SOG, +2), I think I can make an exception. Last night he may have locked up a roster spot after scoring his first goal of the season in a magnificent all around effort for the young defenseman. Since his debut Nov. 30th his TOI is hovering around 18 minutes a game and last night against the Panthers he was out there for a whopping 20:04 with 2:42 in OT, the most of any Caps d-man. Orlov was everywhere last night, deking his way through the offensive zone and creating scoring chances, and of course cashing in as well. When asked if he thought this was Orlov’s best game this season Caps head coach Adam Oates had this to say “Yep. I think so, but I still think we saw the offense, we see those plays he made in overtime. I’ve talked to him all along. I know that. You gotta do the job in our end.” That’s the one knock on Orlov to this point, he’s offensive minded to a fault. His penchant for over-reaching to push for an offensive chance makes him a liability in his own zone, but he is so deadly in the offensive zone that he’s likely to continue with the Caps moving forward. That's a risky prediction on my part because he's been sent down and recalled five effin' times in the last month! Is the Caps front-office bi-polar or what? If Orlov stays up with the Caps this time he’s a risky add in standard formats unless he really explodes, and if last night’s game was any indication he has the potential to do just. However, Oates and the Caps want to win, and if his possession numbers skew too far into the negatives he’ll get sent back down like whoa. Or he'll get sent down for no earthly reason. Honestly, I don't know what the Caps will do at this point but the kid has made his case to stay this time around, that's for sure. Regardless, he’s a special kind of player with the potential to post Mike Green-esque point-per-games seasons early on in his career, so he should be owned in all keeper leagues. Anyway, he’s what else I saw in fantasy hockey yesterday:
Only able to break the 50-point mark once back in 2010-11 suddenly Alexander Steen is keeping pace with Ovie atop the league leaderboards and the biggest question in everyone’s minds is “Will it last?” My first instinct is to say no, it won’t. The biggest indicator that the Steen Goal Scoring Express is soon to derail is that his shooting percentage sits at a whopping 25.3%. Lets be realistic here, no one is going to score a goal once every four shots over the course of 82 games so expect that number to drop closer to his career average of 9.9%. Beyond his established personal averages, just 37 players in the history of the NHL have finished with a shooting percentage higher than 25% (100 shot minimum) and I think it's reasonable to say Steen will not become number 38 this year. It's not just the high volume of shots that are leading to Steen's early success, though, his Corsi numbers have long shown him to be a critical cog in the puck possession game and that keeps him in the mix for chances more often than not for the Blues. Unfortunately, outside of his inflated shooting percentage he isn’t doing much different than he has in previous seasons. His TOI numbers remain mostly consistent with previous years both at even strength and on the powerplay, and his shot totals and locations also line up, so what gives? Luck, and eventually it will run out. I think it’s reasonable to expect him to finish the year closer to 35-goals than 50 and with few assists to add to that he’s likely given fantasy owners more than half of what he’s going to give all season, so sell high where you can. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in fantasy hockey:
Henrik Lundqvist looked more like the goaltender we came to expect this season. Finally. Lundqvist turned aside all 22 shots he saw and picked up a 2-o win over Washington. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Last year’s champs were denied a repeat by the juggernaut known as Chicago. The Kings established that last season’s title was no fluke and they have the team put together to stay in the hunt for years to come. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Pittsburgh’s Matt Niskanen scored with 8:02 left in the third period to break a 1-1 tie and lead the Penguins to a 10th straight win, 2-1 over Washington. Paul Martin had the other goal for Pittsburgh while Alex Ovechkin lit the lamp for Washington. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Back in September I decided to throw out some deep sleepers and write glowingly about their potential to surprise us all. Turns out only 2 of the 8 decided to wake up this season. Please, blog, may I have some more?
The gloating about my best preseason picks will happen sometime in the next couple days, but tonight I feel like talking about hockey, non fantasy division. It’s going to be a great playoffs and Danny Briere and the Philadelphia Phlyers got it started in grand fashion. Please, blog, may I have some more?