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Patience is a virtue

Andy McDonald, who had 18 points in 16 games this season, is out until mid-January with a broken ankle. (Photo By Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

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Andy McDonald, who had 18 points in 16 games this season, is out until mid-January with a broken ankle. (Photo By Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

Poolies are pondering how to fix some early mistakes, so without further ado - let’s get to some letters!

Hey Dobber, I am in a pool where goals and assists both count as one point. I have Lecavalier and I have been offered Kane for him. Would you do this deal?
Dave, Calgary


Your competitor is brilliant to make such an offer – Patrick Kane is flying high and Vincent Lecavalier is far below where he should be. Statistics straighten out over time and although I think Kane will easily clear 80 points this year, I still believe Lecavalier will top 90. Lecavalier also has a higher upside, so regardless of whether your league is keeper or one-year I would still go with Vinny.

I have been offered Niklas Backstrom (G) and Tomas Kaberle for Alex Auld and Chris Pronger. The league counts: goals, assists, points, plus-minus, penalty minutes, power play points, shorthanded points and game-winning goals and for goalies: wins, goals-against average, save percentage, saves, and shutouts. Keep in mind I am currently leading the league in penalty minutes by a hefty sum. Thanks.
George, Dartmouth, N.S.


Given goaltending accounts for 38 percent of your roto stats, I would say you have to do this deal. Even if Backstrom wasn’t flying so high, he is a reliable No. 1 who will help you in five categories.

I am in a 12-team, single-season pool (12 forwards, six defensemen, two goaltenders) where goals and assists count as one point each, and I am currently in seventh place. I took Sam Gagner in the seventh round and am getting frustrated waiting for him to turn it on. The top forward free agents that are available are Hudler, Stempniak, Zajac, Hecht, Viktor Kozlov, and Voracek. We can only make five free agent moves each year, and I only have three left. Should I dump Gagner? I have tried to trade him but his value on the market is so low, his name instantly kills almost any trade talks. What do you think?
Steve, Bradford, Ont.


Yes, drop him. Even if he turns it around, I doubt you will see more than 35 points in 60 games going forward. Jiri Hudler would make a great pick up.

First-time fantasy hockey player here. We created a 14-team, 10-player keeper league for points, positions matter. I'm currently second in my league and have been offered Jonathan Toews and Jack Johnson for Marc Savard. Long term, this would seem to be a pretty decent idea, but it would appear detrimental to my chances this year. Any thoughts?
Mark, St. Paul, Minn.


Hang on to Savard. In keeper leagues, you have to take the win when it is there – that’s what you play for, right? You can rebuild later, but right now you need your name on that trophy. It’s time to repeat one of my favorite mantras: “I would rather finish first once and last nine times than finish second place 10 times. Second place is just the first-place loser!”

I am looking to upgrade my defense in my hockey pool. I have Schneider, Byfuglien, Kronwall, Timonen and Pronger. I was thinking of dropping Byfuglien for Girardi. I like the fact Byfuglien is also left wing eligible, but he just isn't getting the same minutes as he was with Savard. What would you do in this situation? Who would you dispose of? Is Girardi worth it?
James, Calgary


I would do that move, James. You are right – Dustin Byfuglien is not getting the same responsibility under Joel Quenneville. Dan Girardi is a great dark horse defenseman even before the season started – his ice time indicates to me he won’t slow down too much. I can see 45 to 55 points at the very least.

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Hey Dobber, I've been offered an intriguing trade: My Boyes and Stastny for Spezza and Hejduk. My potential trade partner also has Miroslav Satan at right wing. Spezza is an upgrade to Stastny, but should I hold out for a more consistent right wing in this trade? Or should I pull the trigger as soon as possible?
Wyatt, Toronto


Hi Wyatt, I would do this deal – but sub in Miroslav Satan for Milan Hejduk. And, given Jason Spezza’s horrible start, I would push for a little more. When Spezza turns it on, watch out – not many players can keep up with his pace when he gets rolling. I say Satan over Hejduk because Hejduk is playing on a bum knee and I don’t trust that. He admits he is not at 100 percent, but will not take care of the knee until he retires (in two seasons).

I'm new to fantasy hockey and I would like your opinion. When you have an underachiever such as Derek Roy with a Brassard, Stajan, and/or Stempniak out there on the wire, do you make the switch or wait for Roy to right the ship? Thanks.
Charlie, Pittsburgh


And…

How long do I hold on to Derek Roy? The guy is driving me crazy and I have my eye on the waiver wire with O'Sullivan, Pavelski, Kesler and/or M. Staal just sitting there. Should I drop and sign, or try and make a trade even though his value is in the tank?
Rawbass, Waterdown, Ont.


Charlie - Considering Roy had 30 points in the first half last year and 51 in the second half, I would be expecting a big turnaround soon and I would not make that move. Rawbass - Be patient!

I'm in a pickle; Andy McDonald's injury has left a large hole in my center position. The free agent list is not very deep either. Really, I’d have to choose between Stajan, Sakic, Connolly or Berglund, the young gun in St. Louis. Who would you choose? Are there any dark horses out there I should consider? Stamkos maybe?
Josh, Mississauga, Ont.


That doesn’t sound like much of a pickle, Josh. If you add Matt Stajan you would probably only lose about five points during McDonald’s down time. Or, if you like risks, I love the outlook for Patrik Berglund while T.J. Oshie and McDonald are out. His ice time will skyrocket. I only wish I had such options in the one league I’m in where I have McDonald (I’m barely out of first place, but will fade quickly now).

Goals and assists single season pool. Power play goals and shorthanded goals are worth an extra point. Jere Lehtinen for Devin Setoguchi? I'm thinking yes, but would appreciate your opinion, oh wise one.
Brian, Vancouver


I would rather own Setoguchi in pretty much any format, Brian. He is younger, has a better track record for health, and he won’t stop scoring right now. He is somewhat streaky, but this streak has gone on for quite a while and doesn’t seem to want to end.

Darryl Dobbs’ Fantasy Mailbag will appear every Wednesday throughout the season. To send the Dobber your question, click HERE.

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