Fantasy Hockey: The Art Of The Deal

  • George Kurtz

I have talked about the lack of trades in other columns related to trading in Fantasy leagues. It seems to be almost non-existent in the leagues I play in. Every year there are fewer and fewer deals. Now, in some leagues trades are always going to be more difficult to pull off than others. Any kind of keeper or dynasty league would apply. Seems everyone is worried about playing for the future rather than for the present, so they don’t deal.

In re-draft leagues there is no such excuse. So, why are there no trades? It’s been my belief for a few years now that social media is a big reason for the decline in trades. Everyone is worried about being ridiculed for making a bad deal. So what do they do? They make extremely one-sided trade offers. Trades that are obvious wins for them so that they don’t have to be worried about the ridicule that comes if a deal doesn’t work out. Even in so-called “expert” leagues I get these kinds of offers. The Josh Bailey for Daniel Sedin type of offers, and I just love it when they try and sell the deal to me. It’s like they think I haven’t watched an NHL game in a few years or decades. I usually consider it rude not to reply to a trade offer, even if it is to decline the offer, but if you’re going to insult me, I just don’t have much to say. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you should come with your best offer right off the bat, but at least make it a competitive one, something I can work with. Prove to me that you’re serious about the deal. It’s a rarity, though. I play in four hockey leagues and I’ve made zero deals so far this season. It does take some of the fun out of playing.

Well, the Vancouver goaltending situation got pretty messy Sunday. Roberto Luongo (groin) came off IR to start Saturday and played tremendous in a 2-1 loss to the Kings, making 48 saves. It looks, however, like that may have been too much action too quick, as he is hurt once again and had to be scratched from the game Sunday. Now, the Canucks are being coy about the injury, not stating what it is or how long he will be out. Rumors are circulating, however, that it could be ligament damage to his knee, possibly from the Kings deciding to “run” him a few times during the game. Those same rumors believe this is more of a week-to-week injury than a day-to-day one. Either way, you have to sit Luongo for this week and look for an alternative. I actually feel bad for any owner that had Eddie Lack and released him after Luongo was activated. Good luck getting him back.

Another player you need to take out of your lineup this week is the Hurricanes’ Eric Staal. If you believe coach Kirk Muller, Staal will miss at least the next five or six days with a lower body injury. Staal was injured during the Islanders game Saturday and looks to be a bust for this week. The ‘Canes don’t have any games next weekend, so there really is no reason to take any chances with Staal this week; find someone else.

Fantasy owners will also need to be careful about starting Ben Bishop of the Lightning this week. Bishop was removed from the game Sunday after using his blocker to make a save. It’s unusual for a goalie to be hurt through the blocker, but that looks to be what happened here. Bishop will go for x-rays to see if there are any broken bones. We should find out those results on Monday, but even if they come back negative, it would stand to reason that Anders Lindback could get the start on Tuesday.

Good news for the Penguins and Fantasy owners, as Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang both returned to the lineup Sunday. Malkin immediately showed that there was no rust in his game, as he scored two goals and added an assist while Letang added a helper. You don’t need me to tell you to get these guys back in your lineup immediately.

If you’re looking for penalty minutes then check to see if Daniel Carcillo is available on your waiver wire. Carcillo was acquired by the Rangers over the weekend for one reason and one reason only, to add toughness. Carcillo should be a good source of PIMs from here on out. He will take the lineup spot of Derek Dorsett, who will miss the next 4-6 weeks with a broken leg.

Jonathan Quick did come back for the Kings over the weekend, and those in daily lineups that had the courage to start him were rewarded with not only a win, but he also only allowed one goal on 29 shots to the Canucks. You couldn’t ask for a better start off an injury. The Kings also sent Martin Jones down to the AHL, not because of poor performance, but because he has options left and did not have to pass through waivers.

If you’re a Tyler Myers owner you can expect a suspension at some point Monday. Myers was assessed a two minute minor for a hit to the head of Danius Zubrus and will have a phone hearing (less than five game suspension) with the Department of Player Safety on Monday. We assume he is going to be suspended, but the truth is we never really know. Last week, the Leafs’ Joffrey Lupul wasn’t suspended for a cross check to the head of the Wings’ Patrick Eaves despite being a repeat offender. Instead, he was only fined $10,000. It’s strange that the NHL is always stating that they want take hits to the head out of the game, but don’t suspend players who commit blatant cross checks to the noggin. A shoulder to the head always seems to get you banned, even though you can make an argument that the shoulder hit wasn’t aimed at the head. You can make no such argument with a cross check. I’m not sure this makes any sense to me. Some consistency would be nice. It would also be nice for Fantasy owners if a suspension, assuming there is one, would come down before the lineup deadline.

As always you can feel free to follow me on Twitter-@georgekurtz.

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