We Fantasy owners are an intriguing lot. I hear all the time about reasons why you can or can’t roster someone. Most of the reasons are valid with some kind of statistical analysis behind them, but then we come to the insane reasons for not having someone on your team. My number one is when someone tells me they can’t roster so and so because he’s on the Bruins and I’m a Canadiens fan, or he’s on the Rangers and I’m an Islanders fan, and so on. When it comes to Fantasy, you need to separate your Fantasy team from the team you root for. They have to be different entities, at least they should be if you want to give yourself the best chance to win. I’ve also heard of owners who won’t draft players on their favorite team because they don’t want to take the chance that if their favorite teams loses, they may have also have a bad Fantasy day, thus they would lose twice. Yeah, we are a weird bunch. Personally, I take my rooting interests out of the equation. I just want the best players that will help my team win, and I don’t care who they play for.
The Stars signed forward Jason Spezza to a four-year $30M contract Thursday. Now, I like Spezza and he’s been a good addition to Dallas, but why sign a 31-year-old second line player to that big a deal, especially when you consider they have many more issues on defense than they do on offense? Spezza may spend more time on the top line now that Valeri Nichushkin is out for four months after undergoing hip surgery, but that’s not where he will end up spending the majority of his time in Dallas under this contract. He’s the second line center. He’s not going to replace Tyler Seguin on the top line, and it would seem unlikely that the team will convert him to a full-time wing. While I like Spezza, the money may have been better spent elsewhere.
If you were holding out hope that Kings’ defenseman Slava Voynov would be reinstated and allowed to play in the NHL anytime soon, well you can forget about it. Voynov was officially charged with domestic violence earlier this week. While the NHL and the NHLPA will argue over what, if any, cap relief the Kings should get, you as a Fantasy owner should be cutting bait and moving on. While Voynov is a nice player, he’s not someone you need to hold onto just to eat up a roster spot.
If you’re a Fantasy owner and you own Devils’ goaltender Cory Schneider, should you be happy that the Devils keep playing him game after game after game. Most teams try and give their starting net minder about one in every five games off. Well, not the Devils. They have used Schneider in each and every contest so far this year. Has it paid off? Not yet. Schneider has a 2.72 GAA and .910 save percentage, the worst numbers of his career to date. What would concern me even more if I owned him (and I do) is that he will tire as the season rolls along. Remember, Schneider has never been the true number one goalie for a team. With Vancouver he always split time with Roberto Luongo, and last year did the same with Martin Brodeur in his first season for New Jersey. He’s never played more than 45 games in a season, a figure he is likely to crush this year. If he was playing better, he might be a player you would want to sell.
Speaking of goaltenders, the Avalanche is once again without the services of Semyon Varlamov. He looks to have re-injured his groin earlier this week and is now considered to be day-to-day. Groins are a tricky thing with any athlete but especially a goaltender. They constantly have to go post to post and that puts quite a bit of strain on the groin. Did he come back too early? Maybe, maybe not, as one thing could have absolutely nothing to do with the other. The problem is that with the team not playing well and falling further and further behind the pack in the Western Conference, they may feel forced to bring Varlamov back quicker than they should, which could lead to yet another groin injury.
The Penguins potentially lost Pascal Dupuis for the season after it was discovered he had a blood clot in his lung. This will be the second straight year that Dupuis will miss the majority of the season. The Penguins will very likely look to the trade market for help, and any player they were to acquire would get a boost to their Fantasy value playing alongside Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin. For now, that honor will belong to either Beau Bennett or Nick Spaling, but you shouldn’t be running to your waiver wire to acquire either one of them.
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