As a former hockey player, hockey fan, fantasy owner, and guy who would try anything to avoid getting into fights when I was younger, it puzzles me why skilled and semi-skilled fantasy options like Sidney Crosby, Sheldon Souray, and Chris Stewart would risk injury by chucking the knuckles. Just imagine if Crosby had been injured in his fight earlier this season with Matt Niskanen. Souray and Stewart weren’t so fortunate and crippled their fantasy owners with their temporary loss of cool. Today’s NHL isn’t the Gordie Howe era, when you had to drop the gloves to survive. So why not let the Derek Boogaards of the world take care of business?
The Stewart injury seemed to be the tipping point for the Avalanche’s Tuesday trade for Tomas Fleischmann, who is expected to immediately slide onto the Avs’ top line alongside Paul Stastny and Milan Hejduk. Fleischmann seemed to be the odd man out in Washington, a 50-point scorer last season who was averaging just 14 minutes per game this season and was even a healthy scratch at one point. Fleischmann is just 20 – 25 percent owned in fantasy leagues at the time of writing, so he deserves an immediate pickup in most fantasy formats. He won’t play for his new team until Friday, but don’t wait too long on him.
As for the fantasy implications of the Marian Hossa injury, take another look at Tomas Kopecky, who exploded for a goal and three assists on Tuesday. If Kopecky is somehow unavailable in your league, the answer below to my most recent question in my email inbox may also help.
I am losing my patience with Nikita Filatov – especially since he has been a healthy scratch in two of the last three games. He has provided just seven assists and nothing else – beside points, I need hits so please suggest one of the following players from this list to replace him:
Bryan Bickell – 10 points, 50 hits
Benoit Pouliot – 12 points, 43 hits
Jarkko Ruutu – 4 points, 41 hits, and 34 penalty minutes
Blake Comeau – 10 points, 38 hits, and 62 shots on goal, but +/- may be discouraging
Lauri Korpikoski – 12 points, 34 hits
Viktor Stalberg – 10 points, 32 hits
Also on the waiver wire are Peter Regin and Milan Michalek, but they are useless in hits and blocked shots, so I’m not a big fan on adding one of them. I really like Pouliot, but I would like to know what your opinion is.
Thanks again for your help,
Thanks for your question,
I liked Filatov at the start of the season (key word: liked). However, like you, my patience is wearing thin on the Russian sniper, as he is at 20 games and counting without a goal. He could still come around later in the year, so hanging onto him isn’t necessarily the worst possible option.
If you’re looking for someone to help you out in hits, your best option may be Stalberg (64 hits in 40 games last season). He has the size (6′3″, 210 lbs.) to play a physical game, and he could benefit from increased icetime with the Hossa injury. I would also consider Stalberg’s teammate Bickell (6′4″, 223 lbs., 22 hits in 16 games last season) for the same reason, although Stalberg has slightly more offensive upside. Both players have averaged just over 12 minutes of icetime per game, although Stalberg has the edge in shots on goal (47 to 29).
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