The Goods on Fantasy Hockey
by Ian Gooding on 07/24/12 at 02:00 AM ET
While many hockey fans expected the other shoe to fall in the Shea Weber saga on Monday, a Rick Nash trade was finally consummated between the Columbus Blue Jackets and their oft-discussed possible trading partner, the New York Rangers. While we patiently wait to find out whether Weber plays in Nashville or Philadelphia next year (another possible article for a later date), let’s quickly get up to speed how this trade will affect both teams.
First, the obvious. What immediately jumps out at me is a possible deadly Blueshirt first-line combination of Nash on the left side, Brad Richards at center, and Marian Gaborik on right wing. With this deal, Nash should easily recover from his first sub 60-point season in five seasons. Reaching 30 goals for the sixth consecutive year should be absolutely no problem for Nash, who had never seen a playmaker of the quality of Richards during his time in Columbus. His owners also won’t feel the effect of another double-digit negative plus/minus, although his (-19) last season was his worst since his sophomore season of 2003-04 (-35). All in all, Ranger Rick should receive a handsome boost in fantasy value. He’ll easily be a top-50 pick in upcoming fantasy drafts with the potential for top-20 value. Pencil Nash in for 35 goals, 70 points, and much better plus/minus than he ever earned in Columbus.
Does a player’s fantasy value really improve if he moves from the second (or third) line of one team to the first line of another? You be the judge, but Brandon Dubinsky’s reward for a 20-point drop in production was an exile to the travelling nowhere fast Blue Jackets. Dubinsky should easily improve on his paltry ten goals last season, since somebody has to receive first-line minutes in Columbus. But that somebody to compete with Dubinsky for those minutes could be Artem Anisimov, the other forward acquired by the Jackets. The stick rifle Russian forward has shown signs of fantasy life over the last two seasons, averaging 17 goals and 40 points per season over that span. Let’s just hope for the Blue Jackets’ sake that former first-round pick Tim Erixon likes Columbus more than he enjoyed Calgary.
More to come, which should include Shane Doan and Alexander Semin and may or may not include Shea Weber and Roberto Luongo.
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About The Goods on Fantasy Hockey
My name is Ian Gooding, and this is The Goods on Fantasy Hockey. Given my ability to understand numbers, write sentences, and follow hockey, it’s not a surprise to those who know me that I became a fantasy hockey writer. I started writing about fantasy hockey in 2006 for fantasyhockey.com and became the site’s content editor in 2007. Looking to expand my audience, I joined Kukla’s Korner in the summer of 2011 to create the site’s first fantasy hockey blog.
A few times each week, I’ll provide an article called “Pick Six” where I will write about six players that should either be in your fantasy team’s starting lineup or bench for the upcoming game. As well, I’ll provide the fantasy takes on important hockey developments. You can also email me your questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow me on Twitter.