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: Hurricanes and Maple Leafs off-season outlooks

Darryl Dobbs
Sekera Lupul

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.

Carolina Hurricanes
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

Fantasy Pool Look: Islanders’ and Canucks’ off-season outlooks

Darryl Dobbs
Alex Edler (Ben Nelms/Getty Images)

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 I find myself a little surprised at how early I’m doing these two. I don’t think anyone expected the Islanders and Canucks to finish anywhere close to 26th and 25th (respectively). Either one of these teams could bounce back in a huge way in 2014-15. Or not…

New York Islanders

Pending UFAs – Radek Martinek, Evgeni Nabokov

Pending RFAs - Aaron Ness, Kevin Poulin, Anders Nilsson, Matt Donovan, Calvin de Haan, Casey Cizikas, Anders Lee

Looking to add –
The Islanders needed, first and foremost, some stable, quality goaltending. They addressed that need with the acquisition and subsequent signing of Jaroslav Halak. Whenever Halak is healthy, he’ll get the start. He gets injured frequently, so that could mean only 50 starts, but it could also mean 65 or more if he can beat the bug.

Next up, the team could use a full scoring line. Are Ryan Strome and Anders Lee ready to take on those kinds of minutes? If so, and with a healthy John Tavares back, perhaps the Islanders can get by. Thrive even. But it couldn’t hurt to kick tires on a scoring winger such as Mike Cammalleri, Milan Michalek, Marian Gaborik or Jarome Iginla. Read more

Fantasy Pool Look: Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames off-season report

Darryl Dobbs
Kevin Westgarth & Oscar Klefbom (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)

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. Let’s review the teams in reverse order of regular season finish. So you knew it wouldn’t be long before I tackled the Alberta teams. It just so happens that they finished 27th and 28th in the league in 2013-14, so here we go…

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May keeper league fantasy player rankings

Darryl Dobbs
Crosby & Malkin (Photo by Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)

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. Read more

Fantasy Pool Look: Eight under the gun players for 2014-15

Darryl Dobbs
Patrik Berglund

We’ve seen enough signs from these players to know they can do it. In fact, some of the players listed below have already done it. But at the end of 2013-14, fantasy owners were found wanting. In some cases, there was hope for good things to come after what has pretty much been years of waiting. In other cases, the player took such a big step back that you wonder if he’ll ever recover.

Here are eight players who will either fulfill (or re-fulfill) their promise…or else they’ll reinforce their rather low window of production

Patrik Berglund, St. Louis Blues
After a 47-point rookie season and then posting 52 points in his third year, Berglund was well on his way to fantasy-hockey stardom. But stumbling to just 95 points in his next 208 games, the 6-foot-3, 217-pound Berglund has fallen off the radar of most fantasy owners. Expectations are low, to the point that if he were to reach the 60-point mark in 2014-15, poolies would fall out of their office chairs in shock. But that’s exactly what he needs to do if he’s going to be taken seriously in fantasy circles and I don’t believe he can do that on a deep St. Louis team that can look to a dozen other players for offense.

Derick Brassard, New York Rangers
At 26 years of age, Brassard has been around the league long enough to have established a range of production. His career high is 47 points and he has tallied between 41 and 47 in three of the past four years. His chemistry with Mats Zuccarello – which really took off around late November – suckers me into thinking that 60-plus points is still doable. If Zuccarello takes another step into stardom, which certainly looks promising, he’ll pull his linemates along with him. If we don’t see this next year, then it’s safe to conclude that he really has peaked. As I’m sure 90 percent of poolies have already concluded. Read more

Fantasy Pool Look: 10 NHL playoff darkhorses

Darryl Dobbs
Bryan Bickell

With playoff pool drafts taking place over the next seven days, it’s time to put together your strategy and draft lists. As always, you should limit the amount of teams you load up on (three for smaller pools, five for the bigger ones) and then hope for a couple of bounces.

Ideally, you’ll have eight or nine teams you’ll focus on with that first pick and then take the best player available. Once you have your core two or three guys, you build your roster around the teams that they play on. In the later rounds, you start seeking out the dark horses. These are the players who could give you fifth-round value in the 10th round. Here are some names to keep in mind.

Bryan Bickell, Chicago Blackhawks
No real reason to draft Bickell, other than the fact he plays for the Cup champs and was an absolute stud last year. Bickell had 17 points in the post-season (23 games). He doesn’t even have those numbers in the 2013-14 regular season! The Hawks will look to use his size on the power play and on Patrick Kane’s line. Maybe it won’t have the same kind of magic. It certainly didn’t when they tried it back in October. But then again, maybe it will.

Derick Brassard, New York Rangers
Two reasons to like Brassard. One, he had 12 points in 12 playoff contests a year ago. And two, he has 37 points in his past 59 games. So although he has 44 points, his pace after the slow start indicates a number closer to 51. His low point total will keep him off many draft lists, but if you already have a couple of Rangers on your team, definitely target this guy. Read more

Fantasy Pool Look: Top 10 statistical anomalies of 2013-14

Washington Capitals v Montreal Canadiens

Every year, in all sports, when you scan through the end-of-season statistics you raise an eyebrow more than once. Some players have no business getting that kind of number in that particular category and there’s no way it will happen again.

Here are the biggest “one-offs” that jump out at me in the NHL this year.

10. Gustav Nyquist, Detroit Red Wings
19.6 shooting percentage
Nyquist has been a man on a mission since January, actually leading the NHL in goals. Nyquist will be a star in the NHL sooner rather than later, but his forte is setting up goals more than scoring them. His high shot percentage reflects that.

9. Valtteri Filppula, Tampa Bay Lightning
19.1 shooting percentage
Filppula’s career high heading into this year was 23 goals. He has 25 on just 131 shots. On a high-scoring team such as the Lightning, he could flirt with 60 points again, but don’t look for such production in the goals department. Overall, expect a decline in his numbers in 2014-15 as some of the talented Tampa prospects take on bigger roles.
Read more

Fantasy Pool Look: Buffalo Sabres, Florida Panthers off-season report

Darryl Dobbs
Jimmy Hayes (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)

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 going to do something different. Let’s review the teams in reverse order of regular season finish. So that means Buffalo and Florida, you’re up!

BUFFALO SABRES
Pending UFAs: Zenon Konopka, John Scott, Matt D’Agostini, Henrik Tallinder, Alexander Sulzer, Kevin Porter.

Pending RFAs: Luke Adam, Matt Hackett, Chad Ruhwedel, Jamie McBain, Marcus Foligno, Cory Conacher, Tyler Ennis.

Looking to add: Since “everything at every position, every role, top to bottom” isn’t a fair answer, I’ll try to be more specific.

I still have faith in Tyler Ennis, Cody Hodgson and Mikhail Grigorenko becoming stars in this league. Eventually. Zemgus Girgensons, Tyler Myers and Rasmus Ristolainen will be great players in the roles that they are asked to fill, but that still leaves quite a few holes. A veteran scorer on the wing to replace Thomas Vanek (or two…or three) would be a start.

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