Lubomir Visnovsky is the heir apparent to Scott Niedermayer in Anaheim after coming over from Edmonton at the deadline. (Photo by Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images)
More often than not, when a player is moved he tends to ride some kind of wave – be it confidence, excitement, adrenaline or whatever, a player often gives you a couple weeks of inflated numbers. Seeing as the season only has another five weeks left, chances are the players who were moved will produce above expectations down the stretch. Let’s look at some key names and analyze what to expect from them in the final month and, in some cases, down the road. For more analysis, check out Part 1.
Lubomir Visnovsky, Anaheim – The offensive rearguard has come as advertised, firing seven shots and scoring once in his first two games in a Ducks uniform. However, he is also a minus-2 and the team lost both contests. Visnovsky will be the heir to Scott Niedermayer when the greybeard retires or signs with another team in the summer. We’ve already seen in Edmonton and Los Angeles what we will get from 33-year-old Visnovsky – around 50 points, depending on his health.
Eric Belanger, Washington – Belanger will set a career high in points this year, but he’s notorious for finishing the season slowly. That being said, the one other time he was traded at this point in the season (from Carolina to Atlanta – via Nashville – in 2007), he finished strong with 15 points in the final 24 contests. On a high-scoring Washington team, I would expect at least 10 in the final 19 and perhaps as many as 14. But there is reason for caution: Coach Bruce Boudreau is starting to rest his roster. With everybody healthy and the Caps well ahead in the conference, he’s beginning to give players such as Tomas Fleischmann games off. Belanger could very well be in the press box once or twice.
Scott Walker, Washington – Speaking of the press box, Walker joined Fleischmann there Monday night. The 36-year-old injury-prone veteran will get lots of these “breaks” as Boudreau wants to ensure Walker is available for the post-season. He scored twice in his Washington debut, but saw just 7:33 of ice time in that game and just 10:01 in the following one. Given those facts, I think the best you can hope for is 15 games and eight or nine points.
Dustin Boyd, Nashville – The 23-year-old has some offensive upside, but if he’s going to be a top-sixer he must do it soon or risk being pigeonholed as a third-liner. The trade to Nashville is a start, but there is a big downside to that. Coach Barry Trotz follows the Ken Hitchcockian philosophy that a young player needs to pay his dues before seeing significant ice time. Sure enough, in his first game as a Predator, Boyd saw just 10:49. I would be surprised if he topped seven points down the stretch. He’ll need a strong camp if he has any hope of earning the ice time necessary to reach 45 points in 2010-11.
Kevin Porter, Colorado – Things have really turned around for Porter as this season has progressed, but not in a good way. Porter posted 20 points in his first 19 games with San Antonio this year, but sometime in December things started going sour for the soon-to-be 24-year-old as he proceeded to post just 19 points in the ensuing 29 games. On a young team with so many good young players ahead of him in line for a regular spot, Porter had a tough road to the NHL with Phoenix.
There are plenty of young players in the Colorado system, but other than T.J. Hensick, all of them are already on the big club. So Porter looks to be next in line for a call-up. However, he has just one point in four games for Lake Erie. I would like to think Porter’s odds of making Colorado’s lineup are better than they were with the Coyotes, but he’ll need to find his groove again.
Raffi Torres, Buffalo – Torres is a borderline fantasy asset who intrigues poolies because of his 50-point, 100 PIM potential. He won’t realize that potential in Buffalo, as the team has been successful tailoring their game around star netminder Ryan Miller. The defense-first philosophy will hold Torres to seven points in the final 20 games for the Sabres and his penalty minutes haven’t been helpful in fantasy leagues for several years.
Dennis Seidenberg, Boston – Seidenberg went from a struggling offensive team in Florida to a downright brutal offensive squad in Boston. The 28-year-old German has been improving his point totals and becoming a better player every season, but despite possibly achieving a rare 83-game season thanks to the trade, he will still fall short of topping last season’s career high of 30 points. On the right team, he could get 45, though.
Darryl Dobbs’ Fantasy Pool Look is an in-depth presentation of player trends, injuries and much more as it pertains to rotisserie pool leagues. Get the edge in your league - check out the latest scoop every Tuesday and Saturday throughout the season. Also, get the top 300 roto-player rankings on the first of every month in THN’s Fantasy section.