NHLHS Endorsed Pickups

12/30/2009
Carolina Hurricanes v Dallas Stars

Any player written about is under 50 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues.

This week we will go over several streaking players in the NHL leading us to another extended version of NHLHS Endorsed Pickups.

Here are today’s picks:

C: Alexander Steen, St. Louis Blues –  Despite his position in most fantasy leagues, Steen plays left wing on the second line for the Blues.  Although this team deals with lack of production at times, this second generation forward continues to score at an alarming rate.  With nine points in his last five games the chemistry with current line-mates TJ Oshie and David Backes seems electric

Prognosis:  Hopefully Steen will gain LW eligibility.  Regardless, his production rivals many top fantasy superstars so ride him while he is hot!

C:  Tim Connolly, Buffalo Sabres –  With Derek Roy day-to-day, Connolly should get extended ice time.  This news comes on the heels of a four-game point streak in which this 28-year-old center produced six points.  Since the lockout, the Syracuse, New York, native averages nearly a point-per-game making him a safe bet in all formats.

Prognosis:  Another grab him while he is hot comment would fit here.  When healthy, Connolly makes a solid number two center in all formats.  If your league excludes PIMs, even better.

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The Seven Million Dollar Man

12/26/2009
Rangers Sign Chris Drury And Scott Gomez

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?

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Weekly Fantasy 3 Stars – Week Ending 12/20/2009

12/21/2009
New York Rangers v Toronto Maple Leafs

Similar to our Daily 3 Stars, this section will break down the top three fantasy hockey performers every week 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 therefore omit salaries.

THIRD STAR: Marian Gaborik, New York Rangers (0-0-1) –  Now sitting second to Joe Thornton in the scoring race, Gaborik posted an impressive week.  The 27-year-old scored two goals and two assists over three games, all of which coming on the powerplay. In addition, he took a massive 17 shots on goal while sitting four minutes in the penalty box.  As the scoring in New York continues to improve, the native of Trencin, Czechoslovakia simply needs to stay healthy in order to reap the benefits.

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Peter Mueller on His Way to Broadway?

12/21/2009
Columbus Blue Jackets v Phoenix Coyotes

Look closely at the picture to the right, it may be the last time you see Peter Mueller in a Coyotes jersey.

The 21-year-old native of Bloomington, Minnesota continues to baffle both his coaching staff and fans alike with his minimal effort and limited offensive production.  With only one goal and six points all season, Mueller sits on the hot seat almost begging GM Don Maloney to trade him elsewhere.

If you are keeping score at home, those totals project to an impressive three goals and 18 points.

Since the inception of Dave Tippett into the coaching staff, the entire Coyotes organization seems to thrive.  Tippett implemented his system quickly as he took over in preseason with little time to spare. The system teaches his youngsters solid two-way play and evidently turned Ilya Bryzgalov into a Vezina Trophy candidate.

Meanwhile Mueller’s totals have only plummeted from a successful rookie campaign under Wayne Gretzky.  Greatly slowing down over the second portion of last season many people had high hopes the talented youngster would turn it around.  The right wing played 28 games before watching from the press box since December 14th.

So what will Maloney do with Mueller?

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Nylander Clears Waivers, Minor Signing & Trade Rumors

12/10/2009
USA Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Orientation Camp

A few things going around the league.  Nothing huge on the trade front as can be anticipated.  Most rumors or big deals will not materialize until at least February when we have clear cut buyers and sellers.

  • Lance Hornby of The Toronto Sun reports the Leafs self-imposed trade deadline has come and passed.  Earlier in the year, notably before the return of Phil Kessel, Toronto was expected to have a major fire sale.  At this point, I would expect a smaller move along the lines of the Lee Stempniak trade after the period of immunity passes.
  • Former NHL head coach Pat Burns says “Vincent Lecavalier will be traded this season.”  The article by Vincent Destouches of Corus Sports covers the entire story in which Burns mentions the Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers as interested parties.  Despite the ties the former coach has to the NHL community this seems like more like speculation than inside information.  The 29-year-old is due a whopping $7,727,273 cap hit through 2020 so any deal will have to involve a number of moving parts.  The former first overall pick projects to score 16 goals and 68 points.
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NHLHS Endorsed Pickups

11/29/2009
St. Louis Blues David Backes

Any player written about is under 50 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues, although this time there is an exception.

Here are today’s picks:

LW: Brian Rolston, New Jersey Devils – Earlier today, we wrote about Rolston’s hot streak here.  To date his second stint with the Devils has been a disappointment after several successful years with the Wild.  New Jersey boasts one of the League’s hottest lineups with two solid scoring lines.  The combination of regularly playing with Patrik Elias and the recent injury to David Clarkson should keep the 36-year-old fantasy relevant.

Prognosis: A safe add if you need help on the left side.  As long as the Devils stay hot so should Rolston.

D: Kurtis Foster, Tampa Bay Lightning – Foster found his way onto our Calgary Flames roster in our series Restoring the Rosters and then made an appearance as a 3 Star.  So it is only fitting for us to recommend him.  In all seriousness, the 28-year-old plays LW in real life and soon in fantasy hockey making his position eligibility invaluable.  I forgot to mention that he plays LW on the Vinny Lecavalier line.

Prognosis:  Grab and stream until Alex Tanguay takes his place.

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Weekly Fantasy 3 Stars – Week Ending 11/22/2009

11/23/2009
CA: Colorado Avalanche v San Jose Sharks

Similar to our Daily 3 Stars, this section will break down the top three fantasy hockey performers every week 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)

THIRD STAR: Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay Lightning (0-0-1) – The diminutive right winger did a lot of damage over the last week posting two goals and four assists, three of which coming on the powerplay.  Adding to his impressive line the 39-year-old managed 11 shots on goal, two penalty minutes and a plus one.  Posting statistics in all six offensive categories is a big reason why St. Louis finds himself among the elite right wings in hockey with 24 points in only 21 games.

SECOND STAR: Kristian Huselius, Columbus Blue Jackets (0-1-0) – another player who donned our daily list last week, the talented left wing has been on a tear as of late.  Tied for this weeks lead in powerplay points (4) with teammate Fedor Tyutin, the Swedish native scored two goals and added three assists adding 12 shots on goal and a plus one.  Frequently playing with Rick Nash has vaulted the 31-year-old into a very valuable fantasy player so owners, enjoy it while it lasts.  Streaks like this are not uncommon throughout his career making Huselius a great sell-high candidate.

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