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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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. This year I’m doing something different and reviewing the teams in reverse order of regular season finish. Next up, the Arizona Coyotes and the Washington Capitals
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. This year I’m doing something different and reviewing the teams in reverse order of regular season finish. Next up, the New Jersey Devils and the Nashville Predators. Read more
Need to know who to pick up in your keeper league? THN.com fantasy expert Darryl Dobbs lays out the top 300 players in the NHL based on their potential-points value.
Ratings are a reflection of a player’s trade value in keeper league fantasy hockey pools. They reflect a player’s predicted points, historical points, injury risk, playoff value, power play time, and long-term potential.
It’s time for 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. I’m reviewing the teams in reverse order of regular season finish. This week it’s time to tackle the Carolina Hurricanes and Toronto Maple Leafs.
Pending UFAs – Manny Malhotra, Radek Dvorak, Joni Pitkanen, Ron Hainsey, Mike Komisarek, Brett Bellemore, Justin Peters, Mike Murphy, Chris Terry
Pending RFAs - Aaron Palushaj, Zach Boychuk, Jiri Tlusty, Andrei Loktionov, Drayson Bowman, Nathan Gerbe
Not returning - Kirk Muller (Coach) Read more