Keith Ballard started strong with 10 points in 11 games, but hasn't scored since Bryan McCabe returned. (Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)
Poolies are pondering how to fix some early mistakes, so without further ado - let’s get to some letters!
I'm in a three-player keeper league and I am pondering a trade of Kovalchuk for Cammalleri and a high draft pick. Do you think Cammalleri will approach Kovie’s numbers this year or in the years to come and become a solid keeper?
Taylor, Woodstock, Ont.
I think Mike Cammalleri will be within 10 points of Ilya Kovalchuk this season. I think he could conceivably do it consistently for the next several years, but a time will come when Kovalchuk will leave Cammy in his dust and finish in the top five in scoring. Still, I would do that deal if the pick is high enough I could get a player who could possibly be one of my three keepers in the future.
Hey Dobber, long-time reader, first-time sender. I'm mailing to ask about the goaltending situation in Ottawa; I currently have Martin Gerber in my pool and was considering dropping him for Alex Auld, who appears to have taken over the starting position. History has shown Gerber only does well when he is the undisputed No.1 goalie, so I don't see him stealing his position back. What are your thoughts on this?
Brandon, Fredericton, N.B.
My take on Gerber’s history is actually the opposite, when you go all the way back to Anaheim. When he is the backup, he does extremely well, but when he is a starter, he is streaky. Auld is the same way. If I had Gerber, I would see if I could add Auld and own both. If not, then yes I would probably make the switch, but do not be surprised if their roles reverse in a month.
I'll have to drop a D-man when Zubov comes off the IR. Should I drop Florida's Ballard or San Jose's Vlasic? It's a single-season point pool that counts G.A, +/-, PIM, PPP, and SOG.
Ken, Seoul, Korea
I would drop Ballard. Since Bryan McCabe has come back, Ballard has gone pointless. Marc-Edouard Vlasic leads all Sharks in ice time so he warrants a longer look.
I am in a keeper league with 10 teams. I have Getzlaf and someone has offered me Spezza for him. What would Dobber do?
Screen name: 2legit2quit, SW Ont.
Dobber would probably dislocate his shoulder in his rush to slap “yes” on his keyboard.
I'm in a 12-team, single-year, head-to-head, weekly-points league starting two centers, five centers/wingers, five defensemen, two goaltenders - with standard scoring and a bonus for shootout goals and hat tricks. The forwards I currently have are: Getzlaf, E. Staal, B. Richards, Sharp, O'Sullivan, Cheechoo, Michalek, Selanne, Gaborik (IR), Hejduk and Whitney. I'm figuring I'm not going to be able to rely much on Gaborik, so he'll likely remain on IR. I'm not enamored with L.A.'s offense either - and I’m looking at possibly replacing either O'Sullivan or Richards. The free agent pool currently has Clowe, Raymond, Lucic, Ruutu, Burrows, Hagman and Brassard. Any of those guys worth grabbing? Thanks, Dobber.
Scott, Plymouth, MI (Home of the Whalers!)
Hi Scott, have patience with Patrick O’Sullivan. Los Angeles will start scoring and he’ll be a part of that soon. I would swap Jonathan Cheechoo for Alex Burrows. You will lose in points, but not enough to hurt the massive gains you will make in the other categories. If Milan Michalek doesn’t turn it around in another month, I would consider switching him with Milan Lucic, who again will give you great results in the other categories. But caution – San Jose forwards seem to have strong second halves. In fact, if you think you can pick up those two again fairly easily, I would make both changes now and then switch them back just before Christmas.
Hey Dobber, I have Brunnstrom and he's killing me right now! Why is he not getting any playing time? I'm really thinking of dropping him and picking up either Voracek or Versteeg. What do you think? Who's the best of the bunch?
Blake, Toronto, Ont.
With Jere Lehtinen back and Mark Parrish signed, it looks even worse for Fabian Brunnstrom. Drop him for Kris Versteeg (see Tuesday’s article for my thoughts on him).
A trade was just proposed to me and I’m really not sure what I should do. I’m currently sitting in last place in my pool and looking to upgrade my team. I would get Naslund and D. Boyle, and I would lose Kronwall and Kane. Who wins in that trade? If I take Boyle is that taking too many Sharks players? Any advice would be great. Thanks!
Steven, Calgary, Alta.
Steven, I had a look at your team and you have a lot of players who will turn it around. The season is still young. You would be crazy to make that trade.
Dobber, I was wondering what's up with Alexander Radulov? I haven't heard anything about him for weeks; I thought he was supposed to have an arbitration hearing by now. By the way, what kind of numbers is he putting up in the Kontinental League? Thanks,
Dan, Vancouver, B.C.
Radulov is doing well over there, with 19 points in 23 games. There is an unconfirmed rumor his team, Ufa Salavat, is struggling to pay their players and, if true, that may convince him to try and leave. I am almost certain he will be back in the NHL next year, but if he is going to get back here this season the NHL and KHL need to set an arbitration date and get the process moving. Unfortunately for Radulov owners, neither league seems to be in a rush – the Predators have moved on and the KHL is happy to keep a star in their league for as long as possible.
Hey Dobber, I picked Jonathan Toews ahead of Pat Kane at the beginning of this season. So far this decision has not done me any good. Is Kane's hot start to the year an illusion or should I trade Toews for him?
Hi Jon. At no point since Kane was drafted into the NHL would I have chosen Toews over him. Not last summer, not last season, not this past September, not last week and not today. I am pretty certain there will never be a day where I would take Toews over Kane. Toews has an upside in the high-80s, whereas with Kane you can add another 10 points…possibly more. So yes, if you can trade Toews for him, do so.
Darryl Dobbs’ Fantasy Mailbag will appear every Wednesday throughout the season. To send the Dobber your question, click HERE.
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