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Ups and downs

Alex Tanguay has 10 goals and 26 points in 34 games with Montreal this season. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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Alex Tanguay has 10 goals and 26 points in 34 games with Montreal this season. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Three weeks from today is the NHL’s trade deadline and many fantasy hockey leagues use the same date to cut off trades. Times are getting desperate – let’s get to some letters!

Hi Dobber, I'm in a one-year rotisserie league and am looking for some help in goals, assists, and PPP. I managed to pluck Bobby Ryan off the waiver wire before he got hot, however, I'm unsure of whether he'll exceed some of the other wingers on my waiver wire for the rest of the season. Would you prefer Ryan to any of the following: David Booth, Chris Kunitz, Kristian Huselius, Andrei Kostitsyn, Milan Hejduk, Martin Erat, Joffrey Lupul, Jordan Staal or Drew Stafford? Thanks for your help.
Brodie, Vancouver


I am concerned because Ryan’s ice time is down about three minutes per game since Teemu Selanne returned. At first, that made no difference as Ryan continued to score. However, he has tailed off. Of your list, I would go with the surprising Stafford (30 points in his past 33 games), who will see even more ice time with Thomas Vanek on the shelf. Booth, Huselius and Kostitsyn would also make fine choices.

Dobber, I am in a single season pool where we only count points for forwards (12 forwards per team). At our trade deadline I acquired Alex Tanguay and only have two free agent trades left for the rest of the season. I am in second with a real shot at first and I don’t know if waiting for Alex Tanguay to get healthy is going to be too risky. The top free agents available are: Marian Gaborik, Rod Brind’Amour, Sam Gagner, Cory Stillman, Jason Blake, David Legwand, Kyle Turris, Ryan Malone, Chris Higgins.
Steve, Bradford, Ont.


Hi Steve, since Tanguay is back in about a week, I would hold tight. He’s your best option down the stretch.

If you could take one of the following goalies to start with next year, who would you pick? (Cam Ward, J-S Giguere, Chris Osgood, Jose Theodore, Rick DiPietro, Ilya Bryzgalov, Tim Thomas, Tomas Vokoun)
Jonathan, Calgary


Well Jonathan, one of my strengths in fantasy hockey is knowing when I’m beat – knowing when I’m wrong or caught off guard – and reacting to it. Not that I ever thought little of Tim Thomas, it is just that I didn’t expect such a monster season. And he has always put up strong numbers, so it’s time poolies acknowledge that. He is the real deal and I would be surprised if the Bruins don’t keep him next year. He would be my pick. Bryzgalov would be a close second because the Coyotes are only going to get better.

Hey Dobber, I won “The Swindlers Cup” last year and then I ripped my team apart and started over. I'm in a keeper league and have drafted players like Drew Doughty, Zach Bogosian and Alex Pietrangelo. Plus, I already had Brent Burns and Andrej Meszaros. I'm looking at cutting Karl Alzner and Tobias Enstrom who look to be low-point producers and picking up Victor Hedman at this year’s draft and another defenseman, but who should be that be? As you can see, I'm building my defense first and I have a strong set of forwards in place. Is Tomas Plekanec a first-line center? Will Pietrangelo be ready next year? Last one – is David Krejci the real deal?
Ed, Hamilton, Ont.


First of all, let’s help your team. You have a great defense corps and you would love to improve on that even further. I would not draft Hedman. While he will be fantasy worthy, it will not be to the extent of his hype. He brings a lot of intangibles that are justifying the hype, but they don’t necessarily translate fantasy-wise. So if Hedman becomes a 55-point player who is plus-15 and has 80 PIMs, that makes him a high-end rearguard, but does it make him the best? His leadership, poise and hustle make him valuable to NHL teams, but that can’t be statistically measured. Either take the best forward available or trade down in the draft and take Kevin Shattenkirk (Colorado). I also like Sami Lepisto (Washington) and Jakub Kindl (Detroit). P.K. Subban (Montreal) is also a strong option.

Plekanec – No, he is a second-line center in a big slump this season. The injury to Robert Lang should help.

Krejci – Yes, he is another one that I no longer doubt. Treat him like a legitimate point-per-game player.

Hi Dobber. First off, great work this year with the in-depth answers and lists. I don't make a move in my pool until I check through your articles. I’m in a five-team keeper pool with a salary cap. A couple of questions: 1. What is the status of Brenden Morrow? Is he expected to be back in the lineup before the end of the season? 2. I also have five picks in a row from the first to second round of next year’s draft. Of these players, how would you rank them on their bang for the buck for next year: Michael Frolik, Ryan Whitney, Sergei Gonchar, Cam Barker, Pekka Rinne, Simeon Varlamov, Colin Wilson, Mikael Backlund, Lars Eller, Erik Karlsson, Ondrej Pavelec, Max Pacioretty, Josh Bailey. Cheers,
Dave, Vancouver


Barring an unexpected twist, Morrow will not be back in the regular season. Perhaps the second round of the playoffs. That’s what I would go by, but it is only a guess.

Salary really impacts this list. You would have to go with the cheap ones who are ready to pop, so I would take Frolik, Varlamov and Rinne first. Then I would go with the sure-fire, but more expensive Whitney and Gonchar. After that, Cam Barker is the closest to sure production. The remaining players will have minimal impact next season, but are great players to own for down the road. I would take them in this order: Bailey, Backlund, Pacioretty, Pavelec, Wilson, Karlsson and Eller.

Do me a favor, Dobber, if you could, rank these young guys in potential or keeper-value: O'Sullivan, Mueller, Okposo, Booth and, while I'm asking for advice, who of the following would you keep over these young guns? Knuble, Elias, Clowe, Franzen?
 Kelly, London, Ont.

 
In order: Patrik Elias, O'Sullivan, Peter Mueller, Kyle Okposo, David Booth, Ryane Clowe, Johan Franzen and Mike Knuble.

Why the heck did Pittsburgh send down Alex Goligoski? I just traded for him!
Kent, Golden, B.C.


The numbers game, Kent. I have known all along that he was a high-end offensive talent from the back end – perhaps the best in the entire system besides Gonchar – but he lacks in the other areas of the game and the Pens have the offensive aspect covered with Whitney, Gonchar and Kris Letang. Until there is a trade or another set of injuries, Goligoski will have trouble cracking this lineup.

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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