Summer is here Â– time to run down next season's fantasy outlook, team-by-team.
Team Outlook Â– It looks as if Dallas may be going to camp with Stefan as their second-line center, and a prospect as their backup goaltender Â– and not even a blue-chipper, at that. They have a very deep defense corps, a good starting goaltender, an average first line, and are below average the rest of the way. Their offense will take a beating this year, unless Stefan's potential finally bears fruit after seven years in the league. When you remove a top second-line producer like Arnott was last year, the first line suffers as well. Between the pipes, expect Marty Turco to start over 70 games again.
The Stars' scoring will be down this year, and their playoff-spot security is questionable. There are a few decent offensive prospects in the system, but no Mike Modano-types in terms of elite talent. A pretty successful run of the last ten years may be coming to end.
Team Fantasy Grade: C-
Detroit Red Wings
Coming Â– noneÂ…but one of Ed Belfour or Dominik Hasek have been rumored to be on the way. Jiri Hudler could make the team this year. Goaltender Jimmy Howard will make the team if Belfour or Hasek aren't signed.
Team Outlook Â– Could it be? After seemingly endless years of great regular-season success and Stanley Cup wins (or near-wins), Detroit may finally slip a notch or two. Like Dallas, they have lost a few pieces of the puzzle and have been slow to replace them. Unlike Dallas, the Red Wings have the likes of Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, and Niklas Kronwall to build around. However, they will not be able to replace Shanahan's 40 goals Â– and Robert Lang, Niklas Lidstrom, and Kris Draper aren't getting any younger.
The Wings are still a playoff team, and they'll still score some goals Â– just not the 305 they tallied last year. The well that is their farm system is by no means dry, as there are a few youngsters with the ability to one day be scoring talents in the NHL.
Team Fantasy Grade: B-
Team Outlook Â–Pronger's offense can be replaced. Between Ales Hemsky blossoming into a star, and Marc-Andre Bergeron improving with each season, the Oilers should be OK. Lupul can match Samsonov's numbers, and Smid should chip in 20 or 25 points Â– not enough to cover off Spacek, but not too bad. Their defense, however, is another matter. The pools that count plus-minus may see a bit of a decline in the value of some Oilers, and goaltender Dwayne Roloson will lose some effectiveness with Pronger gone.
On the farm, Edmonton has a ton of hotshot prospects ranging from Robbie Schremp, to Marc-Antoine Pouliot, to Andrew Cogliano, to recently signed Patrick Thoresen. Since fantasy pools rely heavily on offense, the Oilers are still quite good, at the NHL level as well as in the pipeline.
Team Fantasy Grade: B
Next week: Florida, Los Angeles, and Minnesota.
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 1st of every month in THN's Fantasy section.
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