If you’re a hockey fan, then by now you have heard that Travis Hamonic of the Islanders has asked the team to trade him, citing personal reasons. What does this have to do with Fantasy? Well, in regards to Hamonic the player, not much. He’s not an offensive threat, he’s never posted more than five goals, nor more than 33 points in a season. What his request has done, however, is put the Islanders in a tough situation to make a trade. Yes, they would like to accommodate him but they can’t just give him away. He is probably the Islanders’ best all-around defenseman and he has a team-friendly contract. The problem for the Isles is that every team now knows that they want to deal him, and that he only has a select few teams to which he wants to be dealt. Will the Isles get the return they want and expect for him?
Now back to how this relates to Fantasy. When an owner is hoarding a position because they think this is advantageous to them, it is often not the case. An owner may have four, five, or six goalies when you can only start two, thinking that eventually someone will have to pay a premium price to acquire one of their net minders. What often happens is that the owner will end up needing that roster spot and eventually he’ll release one of those goaltenders. Another possible outcome is that the other owners in the league just keep making subpar offers for the goaltenders. They know the stockpiling owner will eventually need the roster spot and are willing to wait him out. It becomes a catch-22 situation. As for Hamonic, Islanders general manager Garth Snow has stated that he wants an NHL caliber player in return, preferably another blue liner. He’s not looking for prospects or draft picks. He would probably take a top line winger to play with John Tavares but that would seem unlikely.
Carey Price is schedule to return to the crease tonight for the Canadiens. Price has been out for a couple of weeks with a lower body injury, and there were quite a few rumors about how long he might be out of action. However, Fantasy owners can breathe a sigh of relief; he’s back.
Pavel Datsyuk has also returned. He’s off to a slow start with only one assist in three games, but that should turn around shortly. For now, the Wings have him playing on the second line with Tomas Tatar and Dylan Larkin but don’t expect that to last long. Once Detroit feels that Datsyuk is back up to game speed, he and Henrik Zetterberg may still end up being reunited.
This has been a good week for injured players returning from their respective injuries, as Evander Kane also returned for the Sabres. Kane didn’t put up any points on the scoreboard in what was a highly entertaining game between Buffalo and St. Louis. Kane was instantly reunited with Jack Eichel and Tyler Ennis, technically the second line in Buffalo, but still a line to watch.
As for my opinion on the lack of goal scoring in the NHL. Trying to streamline the goalie equipment, make it smaller, seems like a good idea, but didn’t they try this a few years back? Yeah, and the goalies had a conniption. I don’t see this going over well either. Is the goalie equipment too big? Yes, but they do need to be protected, as players shoot harder and higher now than ever before. All it will take is for a few goaltenders to get hurt by shots and the equipment will go back to being what it used to be.
They are eventually going to have to make the nets bigger, it’s just a matter of time. I know 6’x4’ is a nice number, easy to say, but the game needs to adjust for the size, speed, and strength of today’s players. They aren’t going to make the ice surface bigger, so the time has come to add a couple of inches to the height and width of the net.
As for the changes to the All-Star game, a round robin 3-3. I couldn’t care less; I’m still not going to watch, it’s not the same game.
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