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If your pool counts penalty minutes, Erik Johnson is a good fantasy pick up.

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If your pool counts penalty minutes, Erik Johnson is a good fantasy pick up.

Rapid-fire answers to rapid-fire questions:

Dobber, what is wrong with Alexei Zhitnik this season, is he ever going to produce anything this year?
Joe, Toronto, Ont.


Tough to figure what’s gone wrong for Zhitnik so far this season, Joe, but his ice time is improving and his plus/minus stat is coming around. He should still salvage a 20-point season, which would add up to decent second half.

Simple Question: If you had to bet who would get more starts between now and the playoffs, would you pick Martin Gerber or Ray Emery?
Marcus, Iowa City, Iowa


Ray Emery.

Have you heard any rumblings on the Teemu Selanne front?
Rick, Fort Wayne, Ind.


Yes, he is skating on his own and will announce his decision within three weeks. My hunch is he will play for Anaheim by Feb. 1 – but that’s just my own opinion.

I am in a perpetual hockey league and still have Steve Sullivan on my roster as a left-winger. What is his injury status short- and long-term?
Rick, Estevan, Sask.


I think he has a shot at playing this year; I would guess by the end of February. If he does play again, he will be 100 percent, as all parties involved agree his back is recovering from surgery properly.

I'm in the middle of a pool with some friends and must decide between two "future Norris" defensemen. Who will finish the year with more points, hometown favorite Dion Phaneuf or Lubomir Visnovsky?
Tanner, Calgary, Alta.


I think Visnovsky will finish between 45 and 50, while Phaneuf – a second-half performer – will finish between 55 and 60.

Now back to the letters:

I'm in a keeper league where we keep eight and redraft eight year-to-year. I currently have Tomas Kaberle and Erik Johnson on defense and only plan on keeping one of them. I know Johnson is supposed to be the second coming of Chris Pronger, but is he worth a spot on a keeper roster, yet, or is Kaberle still the better choice? If Johnson is already worth it then I'm sure I could package Kaberle with someone else to upgrade at the forward position. Thanks,
David, Orangeville, Ont.


Kaberle is a steady 55-point defenseman, however next season EJ should come within 15 of that. If your league counts penalty minutes, I would choose EJ – since that stat will increase quite a bit for him next season. If you don’t count PIM’s, stick with Kaberle.

Is it worth overpaying for a few players in some trades in order to get more games played during your fantasy pool's playoffs? For example: Anaheim only plays 11 games during our playoff span. Would it be worth it to trade off Pronger for Lidstrom? (13 games played) Thanks
Jeff, Vancouver, B.C.


That depends on the players, Jeff. You have to actually sit down and work it out on paper. If Player A’s stats work out to 1.1 points per game and Player B’s stats work out to 1.4 points per game, but Player A plays 13 games to Player B’s 11, then you have your answer. In this case, Player A has 14.3 points to Player B’s 15.4, so you would go with Player B.

Hi Dobber, I wanted to get your input on a couple players that I am thinking about getting: Patrick Marleau and Matt Carle. Currently I have Steve Bernier from the Sharks and it’s my belief that both of these players will turn it around either this season or next. It’s a keeper league, and would probably take something like Radim Vrbata and either a prospect/pick to get them. Yes/no or are there other sub-par performers flying under the radar that I should be thinking of instead?
Geoff, Ottawa, Ont.


Hi Geoff, the only other player I like better than those two is Buffalo’s Thomas Vanek. He should be about as cheap as he’ll ever be right now. Carle is a great pickup if your league requires defensemen, while Marleau is having a horrible season that should turn around soon.

I am in an eight-team keeper league. I picked up Mike Ribeiro partway through the season. The offensive stats in my league are G, A, +/-, PPP, GWG. I can hold 17 forwards/defense and three goalies at a time and can keep eight players from year-to-year. I don’t need a goalie. Should I try to trade Ribeiro now, while his value is high, or will he keep up his high scoring pace?
Jonathan, Toronto, Ont.


His value is definitely high, but I think he will keep his pace up. You should see at least 75 points from him and there is a lot of upside here, Jonathan. I am finding that poolies actually doubt he will keep the pace up and the offers that are being bandied about for him are not as strong as they should be. Hang onto him.

Darryl Dobbs’ Fantasy Mailbag appears Wednesdays only on The Hockey News.com. To send the Dobber your question, click HERE.

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