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Lightning in a bottle

Vincent Lecavalier of the Tampa Bay Lightning has 16 goals and 34 points in 39 games this season. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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Vincent Lecavalier of the Tampa Bay Lightning has 16 goals and 34 points in 39 games this season. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

With the Christmas break behind us and some mid-season drafts approaching, the halfway point is upon us. Let’s get to some letters!

Dobber, I'm an expansion team in a 10-man keeper league. The categories for forwards are points only, and for goalies wins are 1.5 and shutouts are 3. Recently another owner approached me to gauge my interest in Vinny Lecavalier. He's making a run for first currently, so you can imagine why he's thinking about moving him. I am fine for cap room to take on his salary. The only thing is, with Tampa in the pits, is Lecavalier ever going to return to form, or were his days of 90-100 points merely blips on his usually 70-80 point output? I think I could get him for a reasonable price: Mike Cammalleri and another player currently hovering around 30 points (Slava Kozlov, Nik Antropov or Ryane Clowe), so I realize I'd be stealing Lecavalier from that kind of a standpoint. But does he know something about Vinny that I don't?
Andrew, Beamsville, Ont.


There is nothing up his sleeve Andrew; the other manager just wants to win. If Mike Cammalleri and Slava Kozlov are enough to make him cough up Lecavalier, then you should do that. Vinny is a 95-point player having an off year. The other manager is just paying a price to seal the victory.

Happy Holidays, Dobber. I'm in a points-only keeper league that counts each team's top eight forwards, top four D-men and top two goalies. I have the chance to swing a trade of Semin and my fourth round pick for Spezza and a third round pick. I've also been offered Toews plus a second round pick for Semin and my fourth, and Cammalleri and a first round pick for Semin and my fourth. I’m thinking I should pull the trigger on the Spezza trade while his value is so low, but I’m wondering how high Semin's ceiling is playing with Ovie and Backstrom. I have no shot at winning this year and am building for the future. Should I take one of these deals, or just hang onto Semin?
Chris, Halifax, N.S.


Take the Spezza deal. I still believe his upside in the NHL is higher than anyone else in the league, save for the three players currently atop the scoring race. Spezza will pay off for you next year.

I've been sitting on Tuukka Rask forever because he was a highly touted prospect, but I don't know when this guy is ever going to play, let alone find himself as a starter. I probably won't be competing to win for another two years in my keeper league, but I was thinking of dropping him to pick up Steve Mason at the next draft. With guys like Jakub Voracek, Derick Brassard and Nikita Filatov coming up, do I want to ride the Mason train for a few years?
Frank, Ottawa


You definitely want to ride that train, Frank, but not at the expense of Rask. Sure, I would take Mason over Rask in a heartbeat, but there is no way I would drop the Boston prospect. Figure out a way to own both and enjoy solid goaltending for years to come. With Tim Thomas and Manny Fernandez both unrestricted free agents in the summer, Rask will get an opportunity next season.

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Hey Dobber, I've had Crosby in my pool so far this year, but Malkin and Ovechkin are getting hot, too. Should I trade Crosby for either of these guys?
Justin, Hamilton, Ont.


What I’m reading is “Hey Dobber, I have this big red suitcase full of $100 bills, but I can exchange it for a blue suitcase or a purple suitcase of equal dimensions also filled with $100 bills. Should I trade my red for a blue or purple?” Take your favorite color, Justin!

I am wondering about your predictions for P-M Bouchard for the rest of the season. He has been a big disappointment for me. I’m currently near the top of my pool and was hanging onto him until Gaborik came back, in hopes he would boost Bouchard’s production. Now with Gaborik out for possibly the rest of the season, I’m wondering if I should drop him for one of the following free agents: Bobby Ryan, Jason Williams, Richard Park, Troy Brouwer, Erik Cole or Drew Stafford. I have only two roster moves remaining.
Christian, Vancouver


Hi Christian. While I have not really given up on Pierre-Marc Bouchard for the season, I really like your option of Bobby Ryan. Even when Teemu Selanne returns, I still believe Ryan will put up decent numbers. So, rather than roll the dice on a Bouchard rebound, take Ryan and enjoy the production you can only hope Bouchard will give you.

Carter or Vanek? Non-keepers and only points count.
David, Toronto


I would take Thomas Vanek over Anson Carter for sure, David.

Oh! You mean Jeff Carter? In that case, I would be hard-pressed not to take the Philadelphia sniper. Vanek has the higher upside, but it’s very close and Carter is certainly the hotter hand this season.

Hi, I read your column every week and I can’t seem to find the answer to Jonathan Toews. It’s a keeper league where points and plus/minus equal one. Should I drop him or wait it out?
Julian, Burnaby, B.C.


Hi Julian. Toews has 25 points in his past 25 games and is a plus-9 in that span. I’m not sure what you’re waiting for if you aren’t happy with that. Granted, he started slow (six points and minus-2 in 11 games), but his past 25 games have gone exactly as I would have expected.

Note regarding the Fantasy Mailbag: it is important to indicate whether or not your league is a keeper league or a one-year league. Also note whether the league is “points only,” “standard roto league,” or if there are any uncommon rules that are important to know. This will help in advising you on the right course of action.

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

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