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Winger or center?

Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar has 16 goals and 47 points in 46 games this season. (Photo by Noah Graham/NHLI via Getty Images)

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Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar has 16 goals and 47 points in 46 games this season. (Photo by Noah Graham/NHLI via Getty Images)

For many fantasy leagues, the trade deadline mimics the NHL’s deadline – and that’s just six weeks away! Need a second opinion? Let’s get to the letters!

Is a 1-for-1 swap of Steven Stamkos for Roberto Luongo a reasonable deal? I'd be giving Stammer and getting Luongo back. I have a ton of goal-scoring, but miserable goaltending. I might be able to talk the other manager into throwing in David Krejci (and I'd throw in Kevin Shattenkirk), which seems like it would weigh the deal in my favor. Head-to-head league.
Danny, Boston


It may seem crazy to trade the second most prolific scorer of the season so far, but if your scoring is great and your goaltending is horrible this late in the year, paying huge is the only way to solve the problem. Most fantasy owners would not do this deal, but the ones who do are the ones who win. If you can ice a team in your head-to-head league that will still win you the offensive categories after making this trade, then do the deal. Try to get as much as you can, obviously, but you have to get goaltending. You can’t win categories with backups and part-timers.

Hey Dobber, I recently made a trade. My offense has been struggling lately, so my goaltending has been keeping me in it. Naturally, I made a blockbuster trade. I traded Tim Thomas (expecting him to cool off soon), the brittle Marian Hossa, and Justin Williams (whose early-season streak is on the downside) for Alex Ovechkin, Shane Doan, and Chris Mason (only to release him for Tuukka Rask). Was this the right move?
Jordan, Austin, Texas


Absolutely. You traded Thomas, Hossa and Williams on a high (well, Hossa not so much) and you acquired Ovechkin on a low. Adding Mason to the deal was smart, because psychologically the other GM was probably happier with the deal thinking he got something for him. Meanwhile, you got him knowing that Rask was on the wire. Well done.

Hey Dobber, I love to read your insights every week. It's my first year playing fantasy hockey and I am struggling with some rookie mistakes. My biggest problem right now - I didn't pick a No. 1 goalie right away and I ended up with Michal Neuvirth and Ondrej Pavelec. Neuvirth had his moments while Semyon Varlamov was out and Pavelec is the surprise of the season, but they both lack wins and shutouts compared to other top goalies. Now Neuvirth seems to have lost his starting job once again. On the FA market: Tuukka Rask, Antti Niemi, Jose Theodore, Corey Crawford, Cory Schneider and Dwayne Roloson. Do you think I would be better off with one of the FA Goalies? I am playing in a one-year roto-league with unlimited trades. Thank you in advance, greetings from lower Bavaria.
Markus, Deggendorf, Germany


Hey Markus, thanks for the kind words. I would swap Neuvirth for Roloson for sure. If Roloson is no longer available, then put me down for Crawford. You need a surefire starter to replace Neuvirth.

Hey Dobbs, I'm in a 14-team keeper league and my forwards and D have done well, but I'm getting killed in goal. My lone starter is Henrik Lundqvist, but after that I have Crawford, Rask and Jonathan Bernier. I don't want to drop Rask or Bernier due to the fact it is a keeper league, but Roloson, Brian Boucher, Theodore and Mathieu Garon are available as starters. What should I do?
Bill, East Hanover, N.J.


Hey Bill, I disagree. I think with Lundqvist and Crawford you’re looking great. Roloson is an upgrade on Crawford, but since it’s a keeper league I can’t recommend that switch. What I can recommend is this: Shop Bernier to a bottom dweller and get yourself a secondary forward and/or a draft pick. Then drop your worst forward and pick up Roloson. Then you would have Lundqvist, Roloson and Crawford as your starters and Lundqvist, Crawford and Rask as your keepers.

I got a trade offer where I send Henrik Sedin and I get back Rick Nash and Ryan Getzlaf. I know ‘Getz’ is hurt, but he is coming back after the all-star break and I think it’s a pretty good deal, but it’s just hard getting rid of Henrik Sedin in a keeper league. What are your thoughts?
Greg, Buffalo, N.Y.


I like this deal, Greg. You are giving up a player who will probably be in that 95- to 110-point range for the next three years. In Getzlaf you are acquiring a player who is in that 90-plus range, plus Nash who is currently a 75- to 80-point guy, but with upside for more. Any player who can top 75 points on a regular basis is a difficult player to acquire, so making this one-for-two deal is a good idea.

Hey Dobbs, I need some advice. I'm in a one-year fantasy pool that counts points, plus-minus and PIM. My friend just offered me Dany Heatley for Anze Kopitar straight up. I'm currently in second place in an eight-team league and need a push for first. Is this a good deal?
Alex, Toronto, Ont.


I think so, Alex. As a general rule, a star winger of equal value is preferable to a pivot. Without looking at your depth in those positions, I would say you should do this. Unless your replacement center is absolutely horrible and there is nothing on the waiver wire, make the move.

Hey Dobbs, Hoping you can help lead me in the right direction. What are the most popular sites for starting a fantasy league? It's easy to name a few of the obvious choices, (Yahoo, Office pools), but how about some hidden gems that you would recommend? Or what are the most popular sites?
Colin, Calgary

Hi Colin, if you want free services, then there is pickuphockey.com for basic pools, or Fantrax for more complicated ones (although, it could not handle my particular league and they didn’t respond to my inquiries). Armchair Pools and Pool Expert are similar to Office Pools in what they have to offer. CBS Sportsline does a great job of tracking budgets, but not as neat as Yahoo in other areas. A new kid on the block (currently Beta testing) is Hockey Knight. But it’s all a matter of preference in terms of look and feel.

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

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