Fantasy owners can sometimes overreact when a professional team fires their head coach. Is it a good thing or a bad thing? Do I need to acquire those players or send them packing? While there are no set rules governing what to do when this occurs, it is generally advisable not to panic. Sure a new coach could change up the lines, but for all intents and purposes, the offensive system is the offensive system. It can’t be changed mid-season.
The Maple Leafs fired Randy Carlyle this week. Most were actually surprised it took this long. Not because Carlyle was a bad coach or because he was doing a poor job, but when Brendan Shanahan took over the team, you would think he would want to hire his own guy. Am I automatically looking to trade a Phil Kessel or James van Riemsdyk? No, but I do wonder if the Maple Leafs could make a deal or two of their own. Somehow, I don’t think Shanahan is quite finished making moves. The Leafs are still going to be an inconsistent team. They will look good for a period of time, then equally as bad. They will continue to give up a boatload of shots on goal as they haven’t had players all that interested in playing defense for quite a few years now. A culture change is needed, and that requires more than just the firing of the head coach.
David Pastrnak was the 2014 first round pick of the Boston Bruins who excelled during the recent World Junior Championships. The Bruins have called him up to the big club and the 18-year-old 171-pound player will make his debut Thursday night versus the Devils. Not only will he make his professional debut Thursday, but he is expected to do so on the top line with Milan Lucic and David Krejci. Gee, they aren’t expecting too much of him now are they? Fantasy wise, would I take a shot on Pastrnak? Yeah, but not at the expense of anyone valuable on my roster. He’s little more than a dart board throw right now. It’s not like he’s a once in a lifetime prospect, and the Bruins aren’t all of a sudden going to become a run and gun team. Sure he will help, but let’s remember, he’s small, will have to get used to the smaller ice surfaces in the NHL and thus more hitting. It should be interesting to see whether or not his body can hand that kind of physical abuse game after game. The Bruins have been looking for someone to replace the 30 goals lost when Jerome Iginla left in free agency. Pastrnak is not that player, not right now anyway.
If David Perron
is still on your waiver wire, he should be claimed immediately. Perron was traded from the Oilers to the Penguins last Friday, in some ways you could say he got out of jail and was paroled. He goes from playing for a dysfunctional organization to playing on a line with either Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin. That’s a pretty good upgrade if you ask me. Perron needs to be added, as a return to a 30 goal player could be in his future. Remember, he is signed for next season, so those in keeper or dynasty leagues may have just been given a late Christmas present.
The Minnesota Wild placed goaltender Darcy Kuemper on injured reserve Thursday with a lower body injury but curiously didn’t call up Josh Harding to replace him. Instead they called up John Curry. Perhaps they don’t believe Harding is ready to return to the NHL at this time. Either way Niklas Backstrom should take over the starting role in Kuemper’s absence and is worth a waiver claim should you need a goaltender and he is available.
The Sharks Joe Thornton was placed on IR earlier this week with a shoulder injury. He is not expected to be out of the lineup long, not that Fantasy owners should be all that worried anyway as he is far from the player he once was.
Zach Parise could be out of the Wild lineup for a few days after the death of his father, J.P. Parise on Thursday. The elder Parise was himself a former NHL player. Our condolences go out to the Parise family.
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