The NHL trade deadline is five weeks away and many fantasy leagues follow the same date – it’s crunch time! Let’s get to some letters…
I am in a 12-team league and I am deep at center with Vincent Lecavalier, Joe Thornton, and Evgeni Malkin, who is also eligible at left wing. However, Patrick Marleau is on waivers and I want to pick him up so I could potentially trade him if he ever gets it going. Here is the rest of my team: Aaron Voros, Marion Gaborik, Ales Hemsky, Jaromir Jagr, Dion Phaneuf, Shane O'Brien, Mike Green, Shea Weber, Daniel Sedin, Martin Gerber, Dominik Hasek and Chris Osgood. Would you drop any of these players for a struggling Marleau?
Brian, Boston, Mass.
Hi Brian – Aaron Voros’ time has definitely run its course, especially with Mikko Koivu back in the lineup. He was even a scratch against the Red Wings. That’s an easy move and you can just change Malkin to the left side.
What do you think about this trade? I am currently in first place and am looking to pad my lead. Ray Whitney, Andrei Kostitsyn and Ales Hemsky for Milan Hejduk, Wojtek Wolski, and Martin Hanzal? I would be receiving the Ray Whitney end of the deal.
DC Habfan, Montreal, Que.
In both a keeper league and a rotisserie league, I would prefer to own Hemsky, Kostitsyn and Whitney. Kostitsyn is really rolling now, whereas the Colorado guys are going to struggle to score for a few more weeks. Hemsky has the most upside out of all six players over the long term.
I've been offered a deal in my keeper pool. Marian Hossa and Paul Mara for Daniel Sedin and J-M Liles. Would you do it?
Dave, Mississauga, Ont.
I would take that deal and run as fast as I could, to make sure the other person couldn’t catch me and make me give Hossa back. Sedin will never get 110 points like Hossa could.
Who finishes the season with more points: Jarome Iginla or Ilya Kovalchuk?
Matthew, Toronto, Ont.
You could probably flip a coin on this one, but I say Kovalchuk will win because he started slow under Hartley and is only gaining momentum.
My current goaltenders are Cam Ward, Ty Conklin, and Nikolai Khabibulin. I am thinking of dropping Khabibulin. The top available free agents are Chris Mason, Mathieu Garon, Josh Harding, and Antero Niittymaki. Who would you suggest? Or should I hold off and pick someone up when Fleury returns?
Mike, Detroit, Mich.
If you start the season with struggling goaltenders and they fail to turn it around for you, it’s extremely hard to make up for that during the campaign. You did well to snap up Conklin (I wasn’t so lucky in my roto league). Khabibulin will struggle as long as Jonathan Toews is out (the Hawks can’t seem to win without him) and Ward will probably not get it together long enough to make an impact this season. I don’t think Mason, Garon or Harding are answers, though. If you want a part-timer who’ll give you great numbers when he plays, then I like Harding here.
Hey Dobber, a couple questions: What’s the deal with Mike Cammalleri? Who do you like down the stretch, Paul Stastny or Daniel Briere? And out of Ray Emery, Cristobal Huet, Niklas Backstrom, and Ward, which goalie do you figure has the least fantasy value in the second half?
Ian, Ottawa, Ont.
Cammalleri has a rib injury that’s difficult to gauge a timeline for. I would guess he’d be back by this coming weekend, though. Briere will beat Stastny by far – watch him fly now that Simon Gagne is back in the lineup. And Ward has the least second-half fantasy value of those four you listed.
I am thinking about making a trade for Corey Perry, but my concern is Teemu Selanne will come back. Do you think this will affect Perry's playing time?
Doug, Montreal, Que.
I do think Teemu Selanne will come back in two or three weeks and you are right to guess it’ll be Perry’s playing time that’ll suffer. He would still be the same great player, but with 60 seconds less power play time each game and two or three fewer even-strength shifts, you can’t help but figure he’ll slow down a little.
I doubt coach Randy Carlyle will cut Todd Bertuzzi back, given that he’s a proven veteran. Brandon Bochenski may find himself in the press box (again).
Back to Perry – instead of 32 points in the second half, you may be looking at 27 or 28. Not the biggest impact, but enough of one.
Darryl Dobbs’ Fantasy Mailbag appears Wednesdays only on The Hockey News.com. To send the Dobber your question, click HERE.