So Ryan Johansen finally decided to accept a reasonable offer from John Davidson and agreed to ink a 3-year deal worth 12 million. The deal is back loaded and he gets 3 million for each of the first two seasons and then 6 million in the final year of the deal. The AAV settles in at 4 million per, which is a pretty decent price tag for a guy that has point-per-game production written all over him. Word has it that he'll be in the lineup for the Jackets' season opener this Thursday, so if you took the risk and drafted him you should get him in your lineups right away. I've heard stories of foolish fools dropping Joey in various leagues giving up on him signing, and if that happened in your league, you know what to do.
If you were asked “Which is the best line in hockey right now?” what would you say? The Kessel/Bozak/JVR line in Toronto? How about the Perry/Getzlaf/Penner line in Anaheim? You might even venture a really far out guess throwing the surging Nash/Kreider/Stepan line out there for the Rangers. Well, none of the above is the answer here folks, because the TVO line on Long Island has been dominating the league for the past month. John Tavares (3 A, 4 SOG, +1, 2 PIM) leads the league in scoring since December 17th and decided that his lead wasn’t quite big enough, so he added three helpers after scoring goals in back-to-back games prior to last night. That gives him 25 points in his last 17 games. Kyle Okposo (2 A, 3 SOG, +1, 2 PIM) now has 22 points in his last 17 games and is now tied for second in the league in scoring since Dec. 17th with Thomas Vanek (1 G, 1 A, 5 SOG, even) who clearly loves playing with Okie and Tavares, and who wouldn’t? He has 23 points in his last 17 games and holy hell is this line good or what? I know I have a history of bashing the Isles for not giving Tavares enough talent to work with, but he sure has it now. Unfortunately that hasn’t changed the fact that the Isles have a horrible defense and suspect goaltending, so despite the fact that the TVO line is scoring in buckets, it hasn’t been enough. Obviously all three of these guys are taken in your league and if they’re not, you’re in a really horrible league. The only player since Dec. 17th in the top 4 in scoring that isn’t an Islander is Flyers’ Wayne Simmonds with his own 22 points over that span, and there’s a guy worth adding and is likely still available, so add him where you can. Did I just start a feature about three guys and end up recommending you add someone completely different? You betcha! Just trying to keep you readers on your toes. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in the world o’ fantasy hockey last night:
Dustin Byfuglien (2 A, 6 SOG, +1) started at right wing for the first time in, well, a while. The Jets hope moving him back to wing will help them find some semblance of an offensive spark, somehow, someway. At first glace this sounds like it's going to be great for his owners, right? Shifting to the wing can only increase his value, right? Well, he lined up with Olli Jokinen and Devin Setoguchi, a slot previously occupied by Bryan Little who is actually having his best season as a pro, so maybe that's not so bad. When asked about the shift Buff dutifully replied that he would do whatever it takes to win, but added that this wasn't his decision. Gee, I wonder how he really feels about it? Apparently the Jets don't much care what he thinks and it's still not his decision because they said today that they'd be keeping the big fella at wing for now. This back and forth dance from defense to forward and back again the Jets have him doing is slowing his development at either position, but it mostly hurts his blue line skills.  A lot of folks wondered why he was snubbed from the US Olympic team and it's because he's not a good defensive defenseman yet, in fact I'd still label him a liability on the blue line and his horrible plus/minus can attest to that. I'd call this a desperation move from a team in complete disarray, riddled with injuries and not entirely sure what to do about it. Since moving from Atlanta to Winnepeg it has been all down hill for a franchise that started out, well, at the bottom of the hill and has since been trying to skate to the top. Obviously trying to ice skate uphill is going to be problematic, but that hasn't stopped the Jets from giving it the ole' college try, eh? Only time will tell how Buff reacts to the switch, but I doubt it changes his overall numbers much. He'll likely give us the same 60 some points he was already on pace to deliver for his owners, so whoop-dee-freakin-doo! If this was a better team the switch would mean more, but it's not, so it doesn't. Blah, the Jets are terrible in so many ways. Anyway, here's what else I saw in the world o' fantasy hockey yesterday: