Fantasy Mailbag: To deal or not to deal?

Darryl Dobbs
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As Claude Giroux looks for his first goal and Alex Goligoski hunts high and low for that elusive first assist, fantasy owners are pulling their hair out.  Let’s get to some letters!

Stephen Weiss came from the Panthers to the Red Wings, so he basically went from the first line to the second line in Detroit. Although he is playing with more talent, he does get a reduced amount of ice time. In my league I’m trading Weiss for Troy Brouwer. Who wins that trade? My league has goals, assists, plus-minus, penalty minutes, power play points, hits and blocked-shots.
Michael, Mississauga, Ont.

Despite the slow start (even slower than Brouwer’s) and the small loss in penalty minutes, I would still rather have Weiss. Sure, maybe that last injury he recovered from started a downward spiral, but I always like to take the chance on the upside if I can handle the downside.

Henrik Lundqvist has been letting me down so far and Ben Bishop has been the brightest free agent star. Pull the trigger now or wait things out?
Brian, San Jose

Lundqvist is one of just a handful of players who gets carte blanche from me. I won’t give up on him even if he were to go 5-65-12. I’ll go down with the ship on this one. Some players you just have to suffer through the slumps. If it really is the beginning of the end for him, then we’ll know that for next year. But I highly doubt he’s through at the age of 31,  with seven straight seasons of 35-plus wins (last year prorated) and counting.

I’m in a keeper league where only points count and in which we consider the current cap hit of each player. Presently I own Justin Schultz (around $3.8M, including bonuses) and I was wondering if it would be an upgrade to trade him for Oliver Ekman-Larsson ($5.5M) considering that the end of Schultz contract is this year and that I would have enough space for him on my team? Also, which two of these three players would you keep with a long term perspective in mind: David Perron, Mikael Granlund or Colin Wilson? I’d like to drop one of these to activate Sean Monahan. Do you think it’s a good idea?
David, Quebec City, Que.

I would say that OEL is an upgrade for sure. Eventually, perhaps even this year, he’ll be a 65-point defenseman. That’s rare. Schultz could get to that stratosphere as well, but is less likely to since he doesn’t have the complete game that Ekman-Larsson has.
Drop Wilson. I just don’t like the low-scoring team he’s on and things won’t change any time soon.

Hey, Dobber. I just drank a bottle of wine and am in misery, not because my mayor smokes crack, but because I traded away Logan Couture to get Giroux. Did I do the right thing? Thanks for your help!
Daniel, Toronto

You made a tough decision, one that I wouldn’t have the guts to do. I would have angled for more return on Couture and held patiently until the panicking Giroux owner ceded to my demands. But the odds are you will come out ahead on this deal. A great year for Couture is low-70s and a terrible year for Giroux would be high-60s. That’s the downside. But the upside favors you tremendously.

Looking at a trade in my keeper fantasy league. I am trading Valeri Nichushkin, Gabriel Landeskog and Tomas Tatar for Nazem Kadri, Alex Chiasson and Tyler Johnson. I am very reluctant to move Nichushkin because of his upside. His stock is low right now, but I think he has more upside than Chiasson. Landeskog and Kadri seem to be almost a wash to me. What are your thoughts? Should I pull the trigger on this one?
Mark, Oakville, Ont.

Actually, Mark, depending on your categories (remember to send those in, people!), I think Kadri is an upgrade over Landeskog. But is it enough to justify downgrading Nichushkin to Chiasson? Tempting, but I wouldn’t do the deal.

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Darryl Dobbs’ Fantasy Mailbag appears regularly during the NHL season. To send Dobber your question, click here to email us.

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