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.
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.
Busy night with 10 games and 20 teams in action. A few young stars took the spotlight tonight as we witnessed pretty balanced scoring. I cannot vouch for myself watching these games as I was too busy watching Team USA win in the WJHC! In other news, our betting expert Anthony Curatolo went an impressive 8-2. Here are our standout fantasy stars for January 5, 2009:
THIRD STAR: Tomas Fleischmann, Washington Capitals (0-0-1) – Fleishmann played center tonight, for the first time since his junior days, to great results. In over 15 minutes of ice time the 26-year-old scored a powerplay goal and assisted on two more leading the Caps to a 4-2 victory over the Canadiens. He also took three shots on goal while posting a perfect plus two making him a solid contributor across five categories.
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.
Some players around the League find themselves at a career crossroad. A crossroad with tough decisions to make regarding ongoing speculation of their final season. Speculation whether to stay on a sinking ship and finish at the bottom of the sea or leaving one’s comfort zone in an attempt to stay on top. Certainly no easy decision for any player
While Scott Niedermayer ponders his future in hockey he continues another solid year in his famed career. The same cannot be said for the Anaheim Ducks, who sit 13th in the Western Conference despite coming off a come from behind victory against the Colorado Avalanche. The team finds themselves as of this writing a mere five points behind the eighth seed.
The asking price for the captain should be reasonable, as he would strictly be a playoff rental. However, GM Brian Murray can acquire a potential piece or pieces to build for a brighter future in sunny Anaheim.
A quick look around the league shows there are a few teams in need of Niedermayer’s services. At 37, he still is one of the best defensemen in the game and a huge piece for a few teams looking for that extra push into serious cup contention.
Lets take a closer look at which teams could trade for Niedermayer in order to bring home Lord Stanley’s Cup. Even though he already carries four Stanley Cup rings to his credit, every player in this league starts the season with one goal in mind.
…with all that cap room?
With the loan of Michael Nylander to Grand Rapids of the NHL, the Capitals gained financial flexibility which should allow them to acquire some help in areas they deem necessary. As of this writing, the Caps 24 wins lead the League making the average fan ask: How can they possibly get better?
Corey Masisak of The Washington Times lists five speculative picks that would bolster this team as they prepare for a lengthy playoff campaign. As the team stands there is little need for improvement but one could make a case for another top defender.
As we know from our history watching the playoffs, depth is key. The team’s current construction has featured numerous players shifting up and down the teams forward lines as coach Bruce Boudreau dealt with injuries and juggling in order to find the proper mix. Still Masisak believes the most glaring need is this top defenseman. His solution: Scott Niedermayer.
Niedermayer currently captains the Anaheim Ducks and has lead them, as well as his former team the New Jersey Devils, to the Stanley Cup. In addition, this may be the last year in the NHL for the 36-year-old. Although he only has three goals on the season, he would become a powerful weapon on the Washington powerplay, something dreams are made of. He along with Mike Green would give them two elite puck-moving defensemen which would be incredibly dangerous for this already powerful offense.
Any player written about is under 50 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues.
Here are today’s picks:
RW: Chris Stewart, Colorado Avalanche – Over the past week we have discussed Stewart at length. A player this young usually would be on our Keeper Watch, but his stats over the last week are simply too good to not play in all formats. Playing regularly on their top PP and with Paul Stastny will keep him this hot or at least relevant.
Prognosis: I’ve said enough, get this guy on your team.
C: Stephen Weiss, Florida Panthers – An NHLHS star of the week, Weiss has been incredibly hot over the last few weeks. In the previous seasons we have seen spurts of production similar to this so it is not a surprise. Also in previous seasons we have seen his production drop off the map completely. Still with a healthy Nathan Horton and David Booth expected back around Christmas things look good for the 26-year-old.
Prognosis: If you need a depth center, stream Weiss until he fizzles.