The Goods: Fantasy Hockey Mailbag

11/06/2010 9:04 AM -  Ian Gooding

Dany Heatley

Hello Ian. I have had a trade proposed to me and I don’t know if I should do it. I would trade Dany Heatley and Carey Price for David Booth and Jaroslav Halak. I don’t know, I’m getting improvement in goalie categories, but the loss of production from my forwards will be huge. This is the layout of our league (there are A LOT of categories for FWs & D): G, A, P, +/-, PPP, BLKs, GWG, SOG & W, SV, GAA, SV%, SHO. This is my team:

C- Henrik Zetterberg, Tomas Plekanec
LW- Dany Heatley, James Neal
RW- Martin St. Louis, Loui Eriksson
D- Sergei Gonchar, Tyler Myers, Kimmo Timonen, Dan Girardi
BN- David Krejci (C), Evander Kane (LW), Todd Bertuzzi (RW)

G- Miikka Kiprusoff, Carey Price
BN- Michal Neuvirth

As you can see, my production from the FWs would take a HUGE dip. What do you think? Is it worth it?

Thank for your time,

Hi Vino,
Simply put, I would turn this deal down in a second. The fact that your league has so many scoring categories affirms my thoughts even more.
You would experience a significant dropoff at the forward position. Heatley is projected to score around 40 goals and 80 points with a plus rating this season, whereas Booth is projected to score around 25 goals and 50 points with a minus rating (if he can stay concussion-free).
I understand that the reason to make that trade would be to upgrade in goal. However, I’m going to make a statement that a lot of readers may disagree with me on: Price will not be a huge dropoff from Halak this season. I know that Halak has been arguably the best goalie in the NHL this season (7-1-1, 1.53 GAA, .940 SV%, 3 SO).  But remember that despite last season’s numbers, the Canadiens did choose to keep Price and trade Halak. Kiprusoff and Neuvirth are two other decent options in net for you, so there’s no point in swapping netminders. In addition, the performance of goalies from year to year generally fluctuates more than that of forwards. Halak’s value is sky high right now, so this other owner is probably trying to cash in at your expense.


I hope you can help me. I’m playing with friends in a keeper league (16 teams) and I really need to pick up someone who can give me hits and eventually also blocked shots. Can you advise me of some names? Unfortunately, better-known skaters with these abilities are taken so I have to go deeper (16 teams and 352 players so you know). I’m allowed to keep six players at the end of each season.
My team:
G: Jimmy Howard, Ondrej Pavelec, Chris Osgood, Corey Crawford, Cory Schneider
D: Christian Ehrhoff, Paul Martin, Bryan McCabe, Dan Girardi, Oliver Ekman-Larsson
RW: Martin St. Louis, Chris Stewart, Radim Vrbata, Scottie Upshall
C: Joe Thornton, Rich Peverley, Shawn Horcoff, Patrik Berglund
LW: Dany Heatley, Thomas Vanek, Scott Hartnell, Nikita Filatov
IR: Mark Streit

Some of my free agents:
Devin Setoguchi, Braydon Coburn, Adrian Aucoin, Kyle Quincey, Brett Clark, Colin White, Patrick Kaleta, Robyn Regehr, Paul Mara, Ryan Wilson, Andrej Meszaros, Jarkko Ruutu, Kevin Klein, Brandon Prust, Sheldon Brookbank, Deryk Engelland.
I was thinking of droping Radim Vrbata, Scottie Upshall and Corey Crawford and getting three players to improve hits, blocked shots and penalty minutes.
Thanks for your help,

Hi Cris,
I’ll address the hits, blocked shots, and penalty minutes, but first I’d like to make one suggestion for your roster.
Without considering hits, blocked shots, or penalty minutes, I would swap Upshall for Setoguchi. Upshall is a more physical player who may help you in those categories a little more, but Setoguchi has more scoring upside and should unquestionably be owned in a 16-team keeper league that is this deep.
In this type of league, it’s probably best to swap a soft player with modest scoring like Vrbata for a physical defenseman. The d-man that I’d say has the most upside out of the group is Coburn, who neared 100 penalty minutes two seasons ago. His 118 hits and 109 blocked shots last season should also help you in those categories without leaving you too thin on offense.

No other players stand out on your list as being strong in hits or blocked shots. Some players you could consider for hits, blocked shots, and penalty minutes that weren’t on your list that seem to be widely available in fantasy leagues are Cal Clutterbuck, Brooks Orpik, Chris Neil, Matt Greene, Douglas Murray, Andy Sutton, Greg Zanon, and Anton Volchenkov. If none of those players is available, hanging onto Crawford and stashing him on your bench is not a terrible idea, in case Crawford becomes this year’s Antti Niemi because Turco falls into a deep slump.
Long-term, I’d focus on obtaining a defenseman who can help you in these new categories, since d-men tend to dominate the blocked shots category and are right up there in the hits and penalty minutes categories.


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  1. [...] think I mentioned to you to add Setoguchi last month? I guess I’ll have to change course and suggest that you drop him. The emergence of Logan Couture [...]

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