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Trade mission

Bobby Ryan has two goals and four points in five games with the Ducks this season. (Photo by Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images)

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Bobby Ryan has two goals and four points in five games with the Ducks this season. (Photo by Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images)

As we approach the quarter pole of the NHL season, fantasy owners are beginning to shift their strategy. Let’s get to some letters!

Would you give up Backstrom (WAS) and Tkachuk for Brad Richards and Rick Nash? Not a keeper league, one season only, goals count one-and-a-half times as much as assists.
Chris, Toronto


I would do that. I think Nicklas Backstrom will get the most points of the four, but Keith Tkachuk will get the least. Nash will score the most goals and your criteria makes he and Richards the better duo.

I am in an office pool, where goals and assists are worth a point each. Johan Franzen is available and I have Eric Staal and Anze Kopitar both underachieving. Also available are Marian Gaborik, Derek Roy, and Scott Gomez.
Darcy, Victoria, B.C.


Hi Darcy, I would drop Eric Staal and pick up Derek Roy. He is already showing signs of life and last season saw a huge jump in production in the second half. Staal will turn it around, but I see Roy's turnaround happening sooner. I'd give Kopitar another two weeks and then make a move for Gaborik (barring any more bad news on his injury).

Dobber, you and Proteau are the only columns I read religiously. I'm in a single season pool, with straight points for goals and assists. We have one trade, but our team is only three forwards, two defensemen and one goalie. I picked Eric Staal as my third forward, but so far he has been a massive disappointment. I would like to trade him for Kane or Semin, but I am worried about losing a player to injury, and then having no chance at the pool. Will Staal turn it around, should I save my trade for an injury, or should I deal for Semin?
Chris, Nanaimo, B.C.


I am guessing you are currently not winning and that when you make a trade you keep the points of the player up to the moment of the trade and the new player’s points count going forward. In that situation, you have to make your move now and hope for the best. Patrick Kane is a safe pick for 80 points this season and could even go higher. Eric Staal should come out of his tailspin, but who knows when that will happen. In the meantime, Kane could be getting you points. I would hold off on Alexander Semin because this is your one and only move and Semin is currently injured.

I'm in a league where PIM count for three-fifths of a point and goals are worth two: Should I drop Sean Avery and pick up Milan Lucic?
Devin, Kitchener, Ont.


Devin, I would have advised making that move a week ago, but with Steve Ott and Brenden Morrow both out now, I think Avery will step it up offensively. His penalty minutes are already solid, so hang in there with Avery for now.

In our pool we must have one rookie active at all times. Right now I have Kyle Turris in and Bobby Ryan on the bench. Is Ryan going to stick around or get sent down once Francois Beauchemin is back in Anaheim? Also, what is the deal with Zdeno Chara and Jay Bouwmeester? I thought they would be near the top of defensemen scoring.
Nathan, Sylvan Lake, Alta.


I think Ryan will stick and I also think Turris will turn things around as the season rolls on. As for Bouwmeester – every summer, if I predict 45 points for him, I would also predict 15 of those coming in the first half and 30 in the second half. The guy is like clockwork: Last season he had 14 in the first half, 23 in the second half. In 2006-07 he had 17 and 25, and in 2005-06 he had 15 and 31. As for Chara – he is coming off shoulder surgery, so give him a couple of months to get his strength back.

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In a one-year, head-to-head league, I own Ovechkin, Backstrom, Nylander and Green. With this many Washington players, is it worthwhile to hold onto Nylander? I've heard he's in the midst of a trade. Should I get rid of him, or wait a little bit longer?
Brett, Toronto


A lot of Nylander questions this week, but this one was the best reflection of them. If I owned Nylander right now, what I would do would depend on the particular league I am in and what rules are involved. If the league is deep, the quality of free agent pivots is low and I had a bench of four, I would keep him on my bench. If there were a better center available, I would make the swap. He’ll be traded, but it may not be until February. If I were in a keeper league with no FA option and it did not include playoffs, I would be shopping him for whatever I could get. If it did include the post-season, I would hang onto him if the offers I was getting were too weak and see where he ends up.

Lecavalier for Ribeiro, straight-up keeper. Pull the trigger to get Vinny?
Justin, Petrolia, Ont.


Yes. And then go to the corner store and purchase one lottery ticket. Send Dobber 10 percent of your winnings, c/o The Hockey News.

I have Jaroslav Halak in my keeper pool. Is he someone I should hold onto because of his potential to start in the (near) future or should I move him for what I can get now?
Kevin, Beamsville, Ont.


Now is not the time to move this guy. He has the ability to be a starter and eventually he will become just that (see Ilya Bryzgalov for details). It will be at least a year before something is done, but it will be worth the wait.

I've been offered Malkin and Scott Niedermayer for Zetterberg and Souray in a one-year roto league. We count G, A, PIM, plus-minus, PPP, and SOG. I'm weak in PIM right now so I'm leaning against the trade, but wanted a second opinion. Thanks for any insight you may have.
Rob, Victoria, B.C.


Do it. Not only because I think Evgeni Malkin is a top three fantasy player, but also because it is important to get the 80-game guys on your team and lose the 60-game guys. Sheldon Souray is always touch-and-go in terms of his health and it is not as if Henrik Zetterberg doesn’t have his share of injury question marks, either. The odds of one of Malkin or Niedermayer getting hurt this season are slim. The odds of one of Zetterberg or Souray getting hurt is comparably high.

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

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