Fantasy Hockey: NHL Trade Deadline Analysis
The National Hockey League’s trade deadline has come and gone, and, boy, did we get a few surprises. Things actually started off quite slowly, and all of the hype seemed to be all for naught. But things picked up in quite a hurry, and there are plenty of Fantasy implications from the deals Wednesday, as well as the days leading up to the deadline. We’ll break down the most notable deals.
MISTER ERAT GOES TO WASHINGTON
The Nashville Predators traded F Martin Erat and F Michael Latta to the Washington Capitals for F Filip Forsberg Wednesday.
Analysis: Erat moves to a team contending for the Southeast Division title, and his offense will be much welcomed. He has just four goals, but 17 assists, through 36 games. He can put the puck on the tape of his linemates, and could really see a spike in Fantasy appeal if he lands on a scoring line with Fs Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin. Stay tuned.
STEVE SULLIVAN ADDED BY NEW JERSEY
The New Jersey Devils acquired F Steve Sullivan from the Phoenix Coyotes Wednesday for a seventh-round pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.
Analysis: This could be a good deal for the Devils, who are in desperate need of offense. However, Sullivan is scoreless in his past 10 games, so is he really the answer? He hasn’t lit the lamp in 15 games dating back to March 2 in Phoenix, and he has just three assists since that point. This is a wait-and-see for Fantasy owners, as he could break out if placed on a line with F Patrik Elias, let’s say.
WADE REDDEN SHIPPING UP TO BOSTON
The Boston Bruins added D Wade Redden from the St. Louis Blues Wednesday for a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.
Analysis: The Bruins get a stay-at-home defenseman, but Fantasy owners needn’t be concerned with this move. Only those in the very deepest of advanced scoring system pools should concern themselves with Redden. He has two goals, five points, a minus-2 rating, 11 PIM, 12 hits and 24 blocked shots in 23 games this season.
RYAN O’BYRNE ACQUIRED BY BUDS
The Toronto Maple Leafs traded a fourth-round pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft to the Colorado Avalanche for D Ryan O’Byrne Wednesday.
Analysis: This wasn’t the huge splash the faithful in Hogtown were hoping for, as O’Byrne’s name doesn’t rhyme with Blueongo. But it is a solid move for depth in the defenseman corps. O’Byrne can help those in pools which reward hits and blocked shots. He has a goal, three assists, a minus-8 rating, 54 PIM, 76 hits and 49 blocked shots in 34 games.
RAFFI TORRES SNAGGED BY SHARKS
The Phoenix Coyotes traded F Raffi Torres to the San Jose Sharks Wednesday for a third-round pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.
Analysis: This is a move that is far more important to the real team than to Fantasy owners. Torres has just five goals, 12 points and a minus-1 rating with 13 PIM in 28 games. His point totals have decreased in each of his past three seasons, and he is more of a depth player at this point of his career. Only those in the deepest of Fantasy pools need to pay Torres any mind.
MINNESOTA GOING WILD OVER JASON POMINVILLE
The Minnesota Wild acquired F Jason Pominville and a fourth-round pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft Wednesday from the Buffalo Sabres for G Matt Hackett, F Johan Larsson, a first-round pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft and a second-round pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.
Analysis: This was one of the biggies from trade day. Pominville makes the Wild not only a serious contender in the Northwest Division, but the Western Conference as well. Pominville has 10 goals and 25 points in 37 games this season, which puts him well off his 2012-13 pace. However, he could really flourish if he is plugged into the top scoring line with C Mikko Koivu and F Zach Parise. If you’re a Fantasy owner of Pominville, you have to have a big smile on your face with your player moving to a contender.
COLUMBUS DISCOVERS MARIAN GABORIK
The Columbus Blue Jackets acquired F Marian Gaborik from the New York Rangers Wednesday for F Derek Dorsett, D John Moore and F Derick Brassard, as well as a sixth-round pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.
Analysis: This was the most refreshing trade of the day. The Columbus Blue Jackets are just one point out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference despite their offseason deal of Rick Nash which seemed to strip them of their identity. It actually looks to have galvanized the team, and they are more dangerous with the likes of Gabby. Gaborik had managed just nine goals, 19 points and a minus-8 in 35 games with the Blueshirts. He’ll have a little less pressure playing in Ohio’s capital city rather than the media capital of the world, so perhaps an offensive explosive will ensue.
TAMPA BAY HOPES NO ONE BEATS THE BISHOP
The Ottawa Senators traded G Ben Bishop to the Tampa Bay Lightning for F Cory Conacher and a fourth-round pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft Wednesday.
Analysis: The Tampa Bay Lightning and Ottawa Senators pulled off the most surprising trade of the day, showing how desperate they are for quality goaltending. Conacher has nine goals and 24 points, both of which are more than any of his new teammates. He will continue to be a fine Fantasy option, and his value might inch up slightly in terms of a better plus/minus rating. Bishop is worth adding as a low-end No. 2 Fantasy netminder, as the Lightning should lean upon him heavily down the stretch.
JUICE IS LOOSE IN THE STEEL CITY
The Carolina Hurricanes traded F Jussi Jokinen to the Pittsburgh Penguins Wednesday for a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.
Analysis: Jokinen is a good guy, and will give the Penguins more forward depth. Since he isn’t expected to be a top-six forward, his Fantasy value shouldn’t be much higher than in Raleigh. However, he might skate with former teammate F Brandon Sutter, and that could help spur him on. He is only worth an add in deeper Fantasy leagues at this point, unless the unthinkable happens and he is somehow placed on a line with the likes of C Evgeni Malkin, or C Sidney Crosby (jaw) when he is healthy.
JAROMIR JAGR SAYS YES TO BOSTON
The Boston Bruins acquired F Jaromir Jagr from the Dallas Stars Tuesday for Fs Lane MacDermid, Cody Payne and a conditional second-round pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.
Analysis: After Bruins management and their faithful had a sour taste in their mouth over the Jarome Iginla fiasco, the B’s have to be pleased with an aging, but still dangerous Jagr. He has enjoyed a resurgence this season with 14 goals and 26 points in 34 games. Extrapolated over an 82-game regular season schedule, and he would be on pace for about 60 points. That’s not bad for a guy who is 41 years old. He remains a decent No. 3 or 4 Fantasy forward, especially moving on to the B’s.
RYANE CLOWE GIVES RANGERS MORE GRIT
The San Jose Sharks shipped F Ryane Clowe to the New York Rangers Tuesday for a second- and third-round picks in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, and a conditional second-round pick in 2014.
Analysis: Clowe is a feisty player who could become a fan favorite at Madison Square Garden. He is like the 2013 version of Chris “Knuckles” Nilan. Clowe is no stranger to the penalty box, but even more surprising is that he is a stranger to the stat sheet. He has no goals and just 11 points with a minus-4 rating and 79 PIM in 28 games this season. He is still worth adding in all Fantasy pools which encourage bad behavior.
DEREK ROY GOES TO VANCOUVER
The Vancouver Canucks acquired F Derek Roy from the Dallas Stars Tuesday for D Kevin Connauton and a second-round pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.
Analysis: Roy will give the Canucks a little more offensive punch, as they jockey with the Minnesota Wild for supremacy in the Northwest Division. He had managed four goals and a quiet 22 points in 30 games, with a plus-3 rating. Roy is a nice veteran addition for the Canucks, and he remains a decent No. 3 or 4 Fantasy center, or No. 5 or 6 Fantasy forward.
JAY BOUWMEESTER PART OF CALGARY FIRE SALE
The Calgary Flames traded D Jay Bouwmeester to the St. Louis Blues Tuesday for D Mark Cundari, G Reto Berra and a conditional first-round pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.
Analysis: Bouwmeester might be energized with the move to St. Louis, and a winning atmosphere, after struggling with the lowly Flames. He is certainly worth an addition if he is available off the waiver wire, as you can do much worse for your No. 4 or 5 Fantasy rearguard.