Summer is here Â– time to run down next season's fantasy outlook by team.
Coming Â– Dustin Penner, Corey Perry, and Ryan Getzlaf will be full-time NHLers. Ilya Bryzgalov has seemingly snatched the No.1 role from J-S Giguere between the pipes. Do not forget about Stanislav Chistov, who should make his return to the NHL next season. Bobby Ryan, Anaheim's next big thing, will make a few guest appearances.
Team Outlook Â– The newly-named Ducks have built a solid foundation similar to what GM Brian Burke built in Vancouver. The difference is Â– this time he had a better core and better prospects to work with upon taking over. You could do worse than hitch your fantasy fortunes to players on this team.
The No. 1 question I am asked: is Andy McDonald for real? Whether he is or not, what really matters is he has put himself in a position to get quality ice time with quality linemates. If he's not for real, he'll still get 65 points on that alone. I think low 70s is a good prediction.
Team Fantasy Grade: B+
Going Â– Marc Savard would be crazy to leave his meal ticket (read: Ilya Kovalchuk), but it could happen. Peter Bondra, Mike Dunham, and Scott Mellanby are all unrestricted free agents and I would be surprised to see any of them back.
Team Outlook Â– A healthy Kari Lehtonen virtually guarantees a playoff spot for the Thrashers next season. They only have $10-12 million in cap space to spend, and they will spend some of it on either Savard, or a Savard-like replacement (note: it would be really REALLY smart to draft Savard's replacement).
Atlanta lacks two-thirds of a second line. Jim Slater is a candidate to take one of the slots, but there is nobody else on the roster that can take the other. They will need to be sharp on the free agent market if they are going to fill the hole for under $3 million.
Team Fantasy Grade: C+
Team Outlook Â– The Bruins imploded last season, but there were two bright lights. The first was their newly-formed line of Marco Sturm, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Boyes. All three will clear 70 points next year if they can stay healthy. The second bright spot was the play of defenseman Brad Stuart, who really stepped up and showed he could run a power play.
I'm still not seeing enough vision or direction with this team to start loading up my fantasy squad with Bruins.
Team Fantasy Grade: D
Next week: Buffalo, Calgary, and Carolina.
Darryl Dobbs' Fantasy Hockey Pool Look is an in-depth presentation of player trends, injuries and much more as it pertains to rotisserie pool leagues. Get the edge in your league - check out the latest scoop every Wednesday afternoon. Also, get the top 250 roto-player rankings on the first of every month in THN's Fantasy section.
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