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Decisions, decisions

After a 30-goal season last year, San Jose's Devin Setoguchi has eight goals in 22 games this campaign. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

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After a 30-goal season last year, San Jose's Devin Setoguchi has eight goals in 22 games this campaign. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Poolies look at some last minute fantasy hockey deals before hitting the malls to find deals of another sort. Dobber’s got your back – let’s get to some letters!

Hey, Darryl, quick question: In a H2H keeper league, straight up Ales Hemsky for Martin Havlat. Who wins this trade?
Marc-Olivier, Montreal


My instinctive reaction was to reply “Hemsky” due to Havlat’s fragility, but then I realized Hemsky hasn’t exactly been an iron man. Chalk Havlat’s bad year up to a slow adaptation to a new coaching system and weaker linemates and look for a better one in 2010-11. I’ll pick Havlat.

I'm in a deep league where all the good goalies are taken. Is it a good idea to take a flyer on Rick DiPietro? Surely his injury problems are going to end at some point and the Isles seem to be a team on the rise.
Michael, Manchester, Conn.


In a deep league where you need a goalie – yes, especially if saves are a category. DiPietro probably won’t get back to the NHL until late January, but when he arrives he’ll gradually be eased in until he starts 75 percent of their games. As long as you have the roster space to spare for a few weeks, I say go for it.

Hello, Mr. Dobbs, I'm in a 12-team roto league and we have an IR spot that allows us to temporarily pick up a replacement player. The player must be registered on the true NHL IR list. Knowing how the real IR list works would help in the pool, so I have a couple of questions. 1. How is the IR list a strategic tool for an NHL GM? Some players are put there directly, some languish as DTD and never make it, some are put there retroactively. 2. What are the rules relating to the IR list? An example: Knuble could not play before Dec 9th.
Kevin, Montreal


It’s not so much the IR rules that impact things, but rather how an NHL GM works them. The salary cap can play a huge role. A player is only off the cap if he is placed on the long-term IR (LTIR) – or, to correct the wording, he is not “off” the cap, but rather his equivalent salary over that timeframe is added to the team’s allowable cap space.

If a player is placed on regular IR, it creates a spot on the roster that allows the team to recall a player. However, the player on IR, I believe, must remain on IR for seven days. Since not all teams carry a full roster anyway, there is often no pressure for a GM to put a player on IR. Why put a player on IR for seven days if there is a one percent chance he could return in six?

With LTIR, a player must remain on this list for at least 10 games or 24 days. I believe this can be done retroactively, so a GM can delay this decision as well.

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Dobber, I was hoping to get your take on Devin Setoguchi.
TK, Los Angeles


I think Setoguchi did too much, too soon last year, but that was attributed to the fact he was on Joe Thornton’s line for much of the campaign.

Realistically, without that chemistry, Setoguchi would have entered the league with a 30-point season and then over the course of four or five years he would slowly up that total towards the 55- to 60-point mark before breaking out into a regular 70- or 75-point player.

Now that he is no longer in the mix for a spot on Thornton’s line, he has simply fallen back to where he should be and you’ll just have to wait for him to progress – or for an injury to Patrick Marleau or Dany Heatley, Thornton’s current linemates.

Hey Dobber, I'm in a one year, head-to-head Yahoo league, points only. I just got offered Jason Pominville and Devon Setoguchi for Jeff Carter. I could use the right wing help – my others are Wayne Simmonds and Brad Boyes. But I'm not sure I want to give up on Carter quite yet – I think he's got a hot second half in him. My other centers are Antoine Vermette and Steven Stamkos. What do you think?
Sam, Lineboro, Md.

I agree that Carter will have a better second half. I just don’t see a regression like this after such a big breakout season. I understand that you need wingers, but I wouldn’t hitch my wagon to those other two pivots and feel comfortable – I think both Stamkos and Vermette will slow just a little in the second half so you may need Carter. At the very least, shop him and try and get more for him.

What do you think of Brenden Morrow and Brad Boyes for Daniel Sedin? I’m in a one-year H2H league.
Alex, New York


I think Boyes will have a strong second half (and, after three points Tuesday night, he could be on his way to that right now) and Morrow is too strong in multiple categories to package for Sedin. If you are the one who owns Sedin, I say take the deal.

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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