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Earn your quarter back

Kris Letang is sure to get increased ice time with injuries on the Penguins blueline. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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Kris Letang is sure to get increased ice time with injuries on the Penguins blueline. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

We are now in the heart of fantasy hockey draft season and the mail is pouring in. Let’s get to some letters!

Now that Ryan Whitney is going to be out for a while who is going to get his PP time?
Bill, Cleveland, Ohio


Sergei Gonchar is gone as well, so what we have seen so far is Kris Letang log a ton of minutes and Evgeni Malkin shift back to the point on the power play. Rookie Alex Goligoski has also seen a significant bump in ice time. Both Letang and Goligoski had a pair of points in Monday’s pre-season game, so they make excellent early-season sleeper candidates.

I enjoy your column on The Hockey News and subscribe to your site as well, because it is such a great resource. What should I do with Brendan Shanahan? He was picked for my team in my standard, non-keeper Yahoo league. Parise and Frolov are my other LWs. I would like to pick up some PIMs and Riley Cote is available. Thanks!
Mike, Lexington, S.C.


Thanks Mike. I would hang in there with Shanahan because he wants to play this year and has had some offers. He’ll be wearing an NHL uniform of some kind by early October. Don’t panic.

I have to make a tough decision - Keeper 1: Vincent Lecavalier or Dany Heatley and Keeper 2: J-S Giguere or Patrick Kane. It is a 12 team, week-to-week, head-to-head where we score G, A, plus-minus, PPP, SHP, PIM, GWG, FW - W, GAA, SP, SO. Two goalies per week. Thanks.
Username: Gilmour’s teeth, from the northeast


You should always keep the winger in decisions such as your Keeper 1, because wingers are more difficult to find than centers. Go with Heatley. In the other instance, you have to go with the goalie (Giguere) over the winger – again, because of the difficulty of filling one position versus the other.

Questions are based on points only: I'm having a hard time rating these centermen: Eric Staal, Marc Savard, Derek Roy, Anze Kopitar, Ryan Getzlaf, Daniel Briere and Mike Richards, please help! Also will Jason Spezza's point total take a hit since he wants to play a more well-rounded defensive game? Besides Jarome Iginla, Daniel Alfredsson, Martin St-Louis and Marian Hossa, is Patrick Kane right after those guys on the RW list or should Jason Pominville, Marian Gaborik and Ales Hemsky be considered higher picks? Thanks Dobber!
Jeremy, Toronto


For the season ahead, I like Staal to have the biggest year, but you have a bunch of good ones on that list. I would say Staal, Getzlaf, Briere, Roy, Savard, Kopitar and Richards in that order. As for Spezza – no they won’t, his offensive numbers will be fine. To project a decline because of that recent statement is what we in the fantasy world call “over-analyzing,” which often results in things coming back to bite you.

As for your final question, I would consider Kane in the same category as Pominville, Gaborik and Hemsky, but would probably not take him over those three for this season. Next year.

Dobber, who do you think will have the highest point total this season out of these six: Andrew Brunette, Patrick Sharp, Patrick O'Sullivan, Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown, or Wojtek Wolski? My pool is straight-up points only. Thanks.
Dan, Winnipeg


I would have gone with O’Sullivan, but his contract (or lack of one) situation has not been resolved yet. I would prefer Carter until that changes, just for the upside. 

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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