The title says it all. This article will be no more than a comprehensive list of NHL (and some other players owned by NHL teams) players set to participate in the 2010 Winter Olympics.
NHLHS Endorsed Pickups is a weekly column where we discuss players worthy of your fantasy team. We hold no responsibility over the outcome of your roster, however, if you view past articles you will find a pretty successful track record. Any player written about is under 50 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues.
This week we will go over some promotions to the top lines and analyze the longevity of their value. In addition, some players elevated their games following an Olympic selection, so there are a number of exciting topics to go over on this weeks edition of NHLHS Endorsed Pickups.
Here are today’s picks:
C: Erik Christensen, New York Rangers – Would you believe me if I told you in August Erik Christensen would be the Rangers number one center? The latest pivot for Marian Gaborik recently put together a modest 3 game point streak, putting in two goals and two assists. A waiver flier from the Rangers earlier in the year seems to thrive in the offensive system of coach John Tortorella so as long as the kid stays healthy, he should be productive. The 26-year-old showed past success playing in the Atlantic Division playing with the Penguins before leaving for Atlanta in the storied Marian Hossa swap.
Prognosis: Ride him while he is hot. A good streaking option for at least five more games.
Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun recently reported that the New York Rangers are shopping wingers Ales Kotalik and Christopher Higgins.
The Rangers brought in both players this past off-season to bolster their offense with hopes that they would fit into coach John Tortorella’s system. GM Glen Sather hoped they would fill holes and perform at levels, but at this point both have vastly disappointed. Now Sather looks for alternative options to “beef” up his top six in order to gain a bigger presence up front, something Kotalik should provide.
What do I mean?
The Rangers want size in front of the oppositions crease in order to create more traffic to generate more offense.
When the team they signed Marian Gaborik they had one goal in mind: the Stanley Cup playoffs. Currently, the Rangers sit on the outside looking in, knowing some tweaking in the line up is a must.
Tortorella simply cannot work with the mix of forwards he currently has. Outside of Gaborik, most of the team fail to put together a consistent effort. We know the personality of Mr. Tortorella, a fiery, intense coach with a limited tolerance. The team’s current players show they cannot play his system properly.
It is time to make a change.
As Tarik El-Bashir of The Washington Post reports left wing turned right wing Alexander Semin signed a one year extension worth six million dollars. Definitely a smart move to lock up a player the caliber of this young man.
Semin receives a slight raise from his reasonable five million dollar salary while avoiding either an arbitration hearing or offer sheet temptation. The 25-year-old certainly put the production up to deserve a raise, arguably even into the 7 million dollar range. In his last 91 games the native of Krasjonarsk posted 111 points, well over a PPG range.
What does this mean for Semin?
Earlier in the week there was speculation on Semin, amongst others, moving to Atlanta in a swap for Ilya Kovalchuk. Although this deal seems incredibly far-fetched and unlikely, signing Semin to an extension would make him more attractive to a team receiving him.
How does a team know their investment will pay off? Better yet, What would inspire a team to devote a large percentage of their cap space to one single player? This article plans on analyzing the production from “top-tier” forwards based on a seven million dollar cap hit or higher.
As of this writing there are 14 forwards making this salary or higher, with most of these players filling the scorecard adequately. These 14 forwards discussed are Jason Spezza, Joe Thornton, Marian Gaborik, Brad Richards, Sidney Crosby, Jarome Iginla, Alexander Ovechkin, Scott Gomez, Evgeni Malkin, Vincent Lecavalier, Thomas Vanek, Dany Heatley, Chris Drury and Eric Staal.
A quick glance at this list screams Drury and Gomez as the noticeable busts. Coming into a weak free agent year for centers the two cashed in on GM Glen Sather’s ludacris spending. However, a deeper look into their 2009-2010 season makes other players current production look similarly as bad.
In addition, this article will identify the best of the bunch showing exactly if and why the top salaries are actually worth it. Impending free agent Ilya Kovalchuk believes his worth to be 20 percent of the current cap, an enormous 11 plus million cap hit. With his current production, not to mention countless intangibles would you consider the 27-year-old worth it?
In this section, I break down the top three fantasy hockey performers every night and cite why I chose them in particular. In addition, I will track the amount of times the players have received this honor and tally them at the end of the season. For the sake of clarity, I will be using Yahoo! standard categories (Forwards – G,A,+/-, PP, PIM, SOG; Goalies – W, GAA, SV%, SHO) and thus exclude player’s salaries.
With 12 games and 24 teams in action, we saw plenty of hockey to get us through the Christmas break. Now in the middle of a mandated break, us hockey fans as well as players anticipate a big day on Saturday. Having said that, since there were so many teams in action, choosing three standout players proved incredibly difficult. Here are our standout fantasy stars for the evening:
THIRD STAR: Marc Savard, Boston Bruins (0-0-1) – Savard played a vital role in the Bruins 6-4 victory over the Thrashers. Going blow-for-blow with the offensive powerhouse in Atlanta, the 32-year-old center stepped up and lead his team to victory. On the night, Savard put three points on the scoreboard, a goal and two assists all of which coming on the powerplay. In addition, the Ottawa, Ontario native fired four shots on goal while posting a plus one rating.
Any player written about is under 50 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues.
This week saw several players breakout, several produce above their means and others who continue to produce all of which leads us to an extended version of NHLHS Endorsed Pickups.
Here are today’s picks:
LW: Dean McAmmond, New Jersey Devils – As of this writing, McAmmond slots between Zach Parise and Patrik Elias. Having said that the veteran center boast a four-game point streak where he scored two and assisted on four more. Although center is his position called upon in real life, the 36-year-old qualifies at LW due to playing there the majority of his career. Does anyone remember the McAmmond – Craig Conroy – Jarome Iginla line? I sure do, that was a looooong time ago.
Prognosis: McAmmond showed signs of life last year with the Isles when he posted 9 points in 18 games. His current projection mirrors these numbers with 8 points in 16 games. This production marks the veteran’s absolute ceiling. At best he will pot 40 points, but with David Clarkson and Dainius Zubrus eventually returning even that is a stretch. Stream if desperate, definitely not a keeper. Otherwise read more for better options on the left side.