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

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

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

Fantasy Pool Look: Coyotes and Capitals off-season outlooks

Mike Ribeiro

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

Read more

Fantasy Pool Look: Devils and Predators off-season outlooks

devils-453764101

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

Fantasy Pool Look: Hurricanes and Maple Leafs off-season outlooks

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

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