Bobby Butler has taken advantage of the hole in the Ottawa Senators lineup created by the departure of Mike Fisher. (Photo by Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images)
The fire sale in Ottawa is allowing us poolies to get a good look at some of the younger players in the organization and a better feel for what they can do on the scoresheet. Currently, the one player who is standing head and shoulders above them all is undrafted winger Bobby Butler.
In his first pro season, Butler (still) leads Binghamton of the American League in goals (22), but his stints with the big club had been less than impressive. That is, until the Mike Fisher trade.
Prior to the Feb. 10 transaction that sent Fisher to Nashville, the 23-year-old Butler was pointless in nine games and sported an ugly minus-11 rating. Since the swap, Butler has played seven games and has tallied five goals and eight points. His ice time has jumped from 12 minutes per game to around 15 and he’s seeing a lot more power play time (three of his assists have come with the man advantage).
The University of New Hampshire star really broke out in 2009-10 after James van Riemsdyk left. Butler’s 53 points that year actually beat JVR’s impressive total of 40, although Butler did it in his senior year. What we have here is a potential second-line complementary goal scorer. With a decent center, he can score 30 goals and 55 points and with an elite center you can make that 35 and 65. Right now he’s playing with Jason Spezza, who I consider pretty close to elite. Provided this chemistry continues into next season - and the fire sale does not include Spezza - Butler will make an excellent dark horse for 2011-12.
AGELESS WRECCH-ING BALL
Mark Recchi needs 20 points in 22 games to end up with 62 on the season. That would represent his highest number since the 2006-07 season. At 43 years of age, that is nothing short of remarkable. And before you scoff at the notion of him getting 20 in 22, consider that in his past 15 games he has 15 points. With the acquisition of Tomas Kaberle, Recchi has been removed from manning the point on the power play, but drilling down into his numbers, just 16 of his 42 points have come on the power play, so missing out on PP ice time won’t hurt as much as you think.
Craig Anderson’s numbers in Ottawa so far: three games, two wins, one shutout, 105 saves and only four goals allowed. If he was unhappy in Colorado, the trade obviously reinvigorated him. I would suggest riding out the “adrenalin phase,” which could last as long as two weeks, and then see what the market is for him (assuming your league’s trade deadline is later than the NHL’s).
One would think a trade to Chicago would be a boon for right winger Michael Frolik, but it hasn’t worked out that way so far as he’s still looking for his first point seven games in. This season is probably a write-off for the 23-year-old, but next season will be his fourth and if Chicago sheds another highly paid body there could be room for him in the top six. Playing with a top forward on this team would do wonders for his career.
QUIETLY GETTING IT DONE
While the newcomers are grabbing all the headlines, St. Louis center Patrik Berglund is quietly posting some impressive numbers. All eyes have been on the likes of Chris Stewart and Kevin Shattenkirk since the big trade, but Berglund has 19 points in his past 18 games, accounting for nearly half of his season total. He’s still under the radar of many people, so if you’re going to pick him up cheap, you should make your move sooner rather than later.
Darryl Dobbs’ Fantasy 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 Tuesday and Saturday. Also, get the top 300 roto-player rankings on the first of every month in THN’s Fantasy section.