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The Goods on Fantasy Hockey

Pick Six: Thomas and His New Friends

While the world waits for a Roberto Luongo trade (along with possibly many other deals) to happen, Luongo's onetime nemesis' time with the Boston Bruins has officially come to a close. Given that Tim Thomas is taking a year off to "reconnect with friends, family and faith", does this trade mean anything at all in fantasy leagues?

Tim Thomas, G, NYI
From the “out of nowhere” department, Thomas was traded to the Islanders this week so that the struggling team could reach the salary cap floor. Thomas has stated that he will not play at all this season, and there’s no guarantee that the late-blooming reclusive goalie will return to the NHL next season at the ripe old age of 39. However, Thomas is an intriguing pickup in those keeper league formats with very deep benches or minor league operations. Assuming that he returns next season, Thomas would easily slot in as the Isles’ number one goalie, although he wouldn’t have the luxury of the stout defense that he had in front of him in Boston. But it's also just as likely that we've seen the last of Tim Thomas.

Viktor Fasth, G, ANA
There were bound to be some surprises in a shortened season, so here is a goalie who probably wasn’t on anyone’s radar to start the season. But as it stands now, Fasth currently leads the NHL with a 1.06 GAA and a .957 SV%. But should we be totally surprised that the 30-year-old Duck has experienced success this early into his NHL career? Fasth was the Swedish Elite League’s goalie of the year for the previous two seasons, sporting a 2.19 GAA and .928 SV% in his two seasons with AIK. With the struggling Jonas Hiller leaving Friday’s game with a lower-body injury, Fasth should stand to see plenty more starts in the near future. The reality of facing the NHL’s top shooters will eventually set in, but don’t be surprised if Fasth at least forces a goaltending timeshare for the surging Ducks.

Andy Greene, D, NJ
It can be difficult to find high-scoring defensemen on many leagues’ waiver wires, so recent scoring sprees can often grab attention. Such is the case with Greene, who has six points (2g-4a) over his last four games. You may remember that Greene reached 37 points three seasons ago, although he hasn’t come close to that mark since then (including a -23 the season after – ouch!) Greene should continue to see top-4 minutes with the Devils, so he is worth a flier if you need help on the back end.

Alex Tanguay, LW, CGY
Tanguay might be showing up at the top of your waiver-wire list, thanks to a recent seven-game point streak on the Flames’ top line with Jarome Iginla. The Flames aren’t overflowing with elite scoring options, as evidenced by the near 25 minutes of icetime that he saw in the Flames’ 4-3 overtime win against Columbus on Thursday. If Tanguay was drafted in your league, he was probably one of those late-round forwards that was picked up to fill out a roster. But he can probably be owned in most every league by now.

Matt Read, RW, PHI
For some reason, a 24-goal rookie season did not garner Read much attention in fantasy drafts this season. Yet Read is at it again with eight points (4g-4a) in his first 11 games, taking full advantage of the icetime provided as a result of injuries to Danny Briere, Scott Hartnell, and Wayne Simmonds at various points this season. Read will continue to be one of the league’s more underrated players, so he should make for a quiet sneaky pickup in mid-sized to deep leagues.

Mark Letestu, C, CBJ
Somebody has to score in Columbus, so it’s worth mentioning that Letestu has recorded points in four of his last five games. But playing at the deepest position in fantasy hockey, Letestu can be ignored in most formats. However, if you play in one of those really deep formats, Letestu is another short-term pickup that can be considered.

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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 gooding74@shaw.ca, or follow me on Twitter.