Darryl Dobbs

Darryl Dobbs kicked off the Fantasy Pool Look column for thehockeynews.com back in 2002 and has now contributed over 1000 articles, mailbags and monthly rankings. In 2005, Dobber parlayed his love of the frustrating game of fantasy hockey into his own website, dobberhockey.com, and has since contributed to the Sports Forecaster and Puck Daddy. In 2007, Dobber made the move to do this "job" full time and hasn't looked back. The Stratford, Ont., native now calls Pickering, Ont., home, and tries not to talk too much about his keeper-league teams with his wife and two young girls.

Fantasy Pool Look: Sharks, Blues off-season outlooks

Darryl Dobbs
Joe Thornton and PAtrick Marleau of the San Jose Sharks. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

It’s the 12th annual off-season review of each team from a fantasy-hockey standpoint. Every year I run through the teams alphabetically – but switch starting points each year. This year I’m doing something different and reviewing the teams in reverse order of regular season finish. Today, the Sharks and the Blues are on the docket.

San Jose Sharks
Gone – Martin Havlat, Brad Stuart, Dan Boyle

Incoming – Michael Haley, Tye McGinn, John Scott, Taylor Fedun

Ready for full time – Freddie Hamilton is ready to take on a third- or fourth-line checking role. He probably doesn’t have scoring-line upside in the NHL, but he may be able to carve out a career on the third line as a potential 40-point player. However, that won’t be this year and given the Sharks’ depth at center he may not be called up until mid-season.

Matt Tennyson was a big college free agent signing in 2012 and after two seasons in the minors he’s getting closer. His minus-25 rating with Worcester last season indicates that perhaps he could use at least another half season, but he projects as a second-pairing guy who could chip in on the second power play unit. Read more

Fantasy Pool Look: Blackhawks, Penguins off-season outlooks

Darryl Dobbs
Kane & Toews (Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)

It’s the 12th annual off-season look at each team from a fantasy hockey standpoint. Every year I run through the teams alphabetically – but switch starting points each year. This year I’m doing something different and reviewing the teams in reverse order of regular season finish. Now we’re really getting into the powerhouses – today we take a look at the Blackhawks and the Penguins.

Chicago Blackhawks

Gone – Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Jason LaBarbera, Brandon Bollig, Sheldon Brookbank, Michal Handzus, Nikolai Khabibulin

Incoming – Michael Leighton, Kyle Cumiskey, Brad Richards, P-C Labrie

Ready for full time – Jeremy Morin is NHL-ready. He was NHL-ready last year. And if you want to know why Kevin Hayes took a pass on signing with the strong Stanley Cup favorites, look no further than Morin. Hayes didn’t want to sit in the minors for two or even three more years when there are many teams that would play him right now. Morin was in the same boat. But he should make the team now and even with minimal ice time is a pretty good dark horse for 40 points, upwards of 200 shots and 90 PIM. Read more

Fantasy Pool Look: Kings, Canadiens and Lightning off-season looks

Los Angeles Kings

It’s the 12th annual off-season look at each team from a fantasy-hockey standpoint. Every year I run through the teams alphabetically – but switch starting points each year. This year I’m doing something different and reviewing the teams in reverse order of regular season finish. This week we take a look at the Kings, the Habs and the Lightning.

Los Angeles Kings
Gone – Willie Mitchell, Linden Vey, Colin Fraser

Incoming – Adam Cracknell

Ready for full time - Tanner Pearson is still eligible as a rookie, just sliding under the wire with 25 games played last season. He made it quite clear in the post-season that he belongs in the NHL for good and in fact played very well as part of “That 70s Line” with Jeff Carter and Tyler Toffoli. There isn’t any reason why that line will be broken up in the season ahead, which makes Pearson a dark horse for 45 or 50 points if all three of them remain healthy. Read more

Fantasy Pool Look: Rangers and Wild off-season outlooks

Darryl Dobbs
NYR-MIN (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

It’s the 12th annual off-season look at each team from a fantasy-hockey standpoint. Every year I run through the teams alphabetically – but switch starting points each year. This year I’m doing something different and reviewing the teams in reverse order of regular season finish. Today we take a look at the 12th-place Rangers) and 11th-place Wild.

NEW YORK RANGERS
Gone – Brian Boyle, Stu Bickel, Brad Richards, Benoit Pouliot, Anton Stralman, Derek Dorsett, Daniel Carcillo and Raphael Diaz

Incoming – Lee Stempniak, Matt Lombardi, Dan Boyle, Matt Hunwick, Mike Kostka, Tanner Glass, Chris Mueller

Ready for full-time – The big one is J.T. Miller, who is more than ready for NHL duty. He can still get sent down without passing through waivers and he’s on a two-way contract, which counts against him. But as things stand now, the last forward spot would go to Chris Mueller or Chris Bourque – and Miller should easily beat those two. Expectations for Miller, as with most youngsters, should be kept low in the beginning. But he has the talent to work his way up the lineup quickly and injuries will play a role in that as well. Read more

Fantasy Pool Look: Blue Jackets and Flyers off-season outlooks

Darryl Dobbs
Flyers-BlueJackets (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

It’s the 12th annual off-season look at each team from a fantasy-hockey standpoint. Every year I run through the teams alphabetically, but switch starting points each year. This year I’m doing something different and reviewing the teams in reverse order of regular season finish. This week, we look at Steve Mason’s current and former teams.

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS
Gone – Nick Schultz, Jack Skille, Derek MacKenzie, Matt Frattin, Blake Comeau, Nikita Nikitin, R.J. Umberger

Incoming – Brian Gibbons, Jerry D’Amigo, Scott Hartnell, Simon Hjalmarsson

Ready for full-time – Hjalmarsson is a Blues draft pick (39th overall in 2007) who not only remained in Europe but also took only sideways or backwards steps in his development. That is, until St. Louis let him go. Then he started to flourish. Hjalmarsson finished this past season with 57 points in 55 games, good for fourth in Swedish League scoring. Still only 25, he’s both NHL-ready and has room to improve. I liken his situation to that of Carl Soderberg in Boston from a year ago, though Hjalmarsson may not have quite the upside offensively. Read more

Fantasy Pool Look: Stars and Red Wings off-season outlooks

Darryl Dobbs
Pavel Datsyuk (Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

It’s the 12th annual off-season look at each NHL team from a fantasy-hockey standpoint. Every year I run through the teams alphabetically – but switch starting points each year. This year I’m doing something different and reviewing the teams in reverse order of regular season finish. Next up – we kick off our reviews of the playoff teams.

Dallas Stars

Gone – Dustin Jeffrey, Chris Mueller, Alex Chiasson, Cristopher Nilstorp, Toby Petersen, Aaron Rome, Tim Thomas, Ray Whitney

Incoming – Jussi Rynnas, Patrick Eaves, Ales Hemsky, Jason Spezza, Anders Lindback.

Ready for full-time – Travis Morin is a 30-year-old American League veteran who is coming off of a career season with Texas. His 88 points in 66 games led all AHL scorers and beat his career high by 33 percent. It earned him a brief cup of coffee with the team, but he was used in a depth capacity. You may see that in the season ahead, so his fantasy value will be minimal if he makes the team. Read more

Fantasy Pool Look: players changing addresses who have the biggest fantasy impact

Darryl Dobbs
Patric Hornqvist (Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

Lots of movement last week and not just the free agent signings. There were some pretty big trades going down as well. Here are the biggest – and what they mean to fantasy hockey:

Steve Downie, Pittsburgh Penguins
The only reason Downie isn’t a heavy buy right now is because of his constant injuries. However, when he does play he will be gold on this team. With mentor Rick Tocchet as one of the assistant coaches, Downie should have his act together and better pick his spots. And because of the occasional spot start on a Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin line, his production will increase as well. Mostly he’ll be on the Brandon Sutter line, but in the end if he can play 65 games he should be good for 35 points and 150 PIM.

Christian Ehrhoff, Pittsburgh Penguins
Ehrhoff will go from 33 points and minus-27 last year to 45 points and plus-20 in 2014-15.

Mikhail Grabovski/Nikolai Kulemin, New York Islanders
The fantasy impact here is not so much what these players will do offensively, but how it impacts the lineup. Two more forwards will make it more difficult for Anders Lee and Ryan Strome to see quality ice time. And Cory Conacher’s brief window of hope lasted just under 24 hours. He looked good for a roster spot when he signed on July 1, but the next day when Grabovski and Kulemin were signed Conacher looks like the odd man out. Read more

Fantasy Pool Look: Ten 2014 draftees with fantasy value

Darryl Dobbs
Sam Bennett

Taking a two-week break from the team-by-team off-season outlooks, since we’re on the heels of the 2014 NHL draft. Now that we know where these skilled youngsters are heading, here are the 10 players I will be targeting the most in keeper leagues.

Players 10 through four on this list are probably not going to make their NHL team this fall and in some cases, won’t make the team next year either. So what I’m doing is looking at a group of 10 top prospects and trying to determine not only which team will provide them with the opportunity sooner, but also how well the prospect will be developed to meet his upside. You want to avoid having a prospect sit on your reserve for four or five years.

10. Brendan Perlini, Arizona
The Yotes are not very deep up front and the future of their offense lies with Max Domi, Henrik Samuelsson and Perlini. Perlini has the size and hands to make this team in two years as a 20-year-old and perhaps make your pro roster by the time he’s 21. His 16 power play goals were tied for third in the Ontario League last season.

9. Josh Ho-Sang, NY Islanders
Considered the “wild card” of the draft, Ho-Sang has a lot of upside. So is he another Kirill Kabanov or will he be that special offensive player teams covet? Over the next two years, he will work on using his teammates better and playing hard every shift. Boom or bust. Read more