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It's drafting season

Carey Price makes a big toe save off a partial breakaway attempt by Mike Richards. (Photo by Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images)

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Carey Price makes a big toe save off a partial breakaway attempt by Mike Richards. (Photo by Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images)

We are now kicking off “fantasy hockey draft season” and the letters are pouring in. As such, Fantasy Mailbag is back to its weekly rotation – so let’s get to some letters!

I'm running a keeper league with NHL salaries and an NHL salary cap, so these moves were all done with an eye on my money. Due to Sidney Crosby's $8 million raise, I had to cut some salary, so I moved Roberto Luongo for Carey Price. Good move, or bad? I saved $7 mil in the deal and was able to pick up Mike Cammalleri as a result and I still have Martin Brodeur in net as well, but Brodeur is getting long in the tooth and Price could suffer from the sophomore jinx. Would I have been better off going with Luongo and Brodeur (guaranteeing me the best goaltending tandem in the pool and likely winning most goalie categories), or do you think it was a good gamble?
Logan, Calgary, Alta.


I think you did well there. I don’t think you will hurt too much this year from the switch – a little, but not too much. In the future, Price has excellent potential to be a top-three NHL goalie and you needed to free-up salary. That was probably the way to go.

Hey Dobber, I'm in a keeper league where we’re allowed to keep three guys from our previous year’s roster. I have my three guys picked already (all skaters). I don't think any other teams in the league are keeping a goalie, either, so many goalies will be available. In a league where the goalie gets most of his points with wins and shutouts, who are the top three goalies to go after?
Tommy, Souris, Man.


I don’t think Chris Osgood will have the longevity (i.e. health) to log more than 60 games and I think Brian Boucher will eat more of Evgeni Nabokov’s games this season than was the case last campaign. With that being said, I think Dallas and Pittsburgh are other teams that will have tremendous seasons, with Marty Turco and Marc-Andre Fleury logging close to 70 games each. I also think you can never go wrong with Brodeur (NJ) or Luongo (Van). There, I gave you my top four.

I think I'm late with my question, but here it goes anyway. What are the chances of a breakthrough year for Alex Steen and how many points do you see him getting?
Ian, Morell, P.E.I.


I think Steen has decent odds of a breakout, but on a Toronto team with little in the way of offense, how many points could that possibly be? I think, for this year anyway, he will be hard pressed to clear 55 points.

Dobber, with Meszaros gone, do you see Chris Phillips assuming a more offensive role with the Senators? Thanks.
Mark, Hastings, New Zealand


No. In fact, the odds of that happening are worse now because the Sens added two rearguards capable of playing the power play (Filip Kuba and Alexandre Picard), but gave up only one.

I’m in a 10-player keeper pool and didn’t do very well last year. My centers are Nicklas Backstrom, Scott Gomez, Brad (or Mike – didn’t specify) Richards, Patrice Bergeron, Jordan Staal and Andrew Cogliano. My wingers are Martin St-Louis, Nathan Horton, Markus Naslund, Brian Gionta and Ryan Smyth. My defensemen are Lubomir Visnovsky, Adrian Aucoin, Jack Johnson and Philippe Boucher and my goalies are Jose Theodore, Tim Thomas, Manny Fernandez and Peter Budaj. Who do I keep?
Corey, Toronto, Ont.


I would keep Theodore, Johnson, Visnovsky, Backstrom, St-Louis, Richards (either one – you didn’t specify which), Horton, Gomez, Cogliano and Gionta because of his contract year.

Hi Darryl, I need your advice on something: If you had to pick either Steven Stamkos or Mike Green, who would you pick? I'm in a keeper pool and currently have the first overall pick in the upcoming draft. Stamkos and Green are the general 1-2 ranking, with Mike Richards a close third. Our league only counts goals and assists at one point each. I'm having such a problem deciding between the two because my defense is really lacking. Without a doubt, my forwards are stronger than my defense. Another reason why this is so hard is because I have the third overall pick, too. So, most likely, I'd get either Stamkos and Richards or Green and Richards. Anyways, with all that being said, do you think Green has the ability to be amongst the league leaders in defensemen scoring? Do you think Stamkos will put up huge numbers? Who would you pick first?
Louis, Toronto, Ont.


Since you pick third as well, that makes the decision easier. Go with Green and consider trading down a slot or two with your third overall pick. I say this because Nikita Filatov would be a strong pick and if you can benefit by trading Richards to someone else, then do so.

I am in a keeper league and you can hold over one guy who was your fourth pick or higher. Who would you hold over, Alexei Kovalev or Johan Franzen?
Vito, Swarthmore, Pa.


Kovalev, no question. Franzen is a little prone to injury and doesn’t have the background to make choosing him the right move.

I have a maximum of three players to keep from last year for a pool and I was wondering if you could give me some help. My top choices are: Crosby, Spezza, Gonchar, Nabokov, Giguere and Getzlaf. Rules are basically a head-to-head model and out of nine categories, three of them are for goalies.
Kyle, Vancouver, B.C.


Assuming you need to carry defensemen, I would protect the best forward to own in a hockey pool, Sidney Crosby, plus the best defenseman to own in a hockey pool, Sergei Gonchar, as well as a top-five goaltender in Evgeni Nabokov.

Darryl Dobbs’ Fantasy Mailbag will appear on the last Wednesday of every month throughout the playoffs and off-season. The weekly edition will begin again in September. To send the Dobber your question, click HERE.

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