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The Goods on Fantasy Hockey

Pick Six: Trade Winds Picking Up

The 2013 season has been light on trades so far, so Tuesday could be considered a very active day in the trade department. The two trades involving three notable players would certainly not be considered blockbusters, but they could have at least a minor impact in fantasy leagues.

Michael Ryder, RW, MON
Of the players traded on Tuesday, Ryder currently holds the highest fantasy value, as he was tied for the Stars’ scoring lead at the time of the trade with 14 points in 19 games. Ryder’s production has been up and down throughout his career, and you may remember that Canadiens’ management couldn’t get him out of town quickly enough during his first stint as a Hab. Don’t expect his fantasy value to change a whole lot for the overachieving Habs, but a normal decline in points per game could occur. Ryder will probably play on one of the Habs’ top two lines as long as his production doesn’t tank again.

Erik Cole, RW, DAL
In spite of the size of his free agent contract, Cole likely exceeded expectations during his first season with the Habs, scoring 35 goals. That hasn’t been the case this season, in which Cole has scored just three goals and added three assists in 19 games. It may not make sense for the Stars to trade Ryder and a third-round pick for Cole, but Cole provides a multiple-year contract for a team that has several key forwards (including Ryder) hitting free agency after this season. Cole’s value could improve with a fresh start in Dallas, so he’s worth at least adding to your watch list for the time being.

Simon Gagne, LW, PHI
After two 40+ goal seasons immediately following the season-long lockout, Gagne has fallen off the fantasy map after a series of concussions. With just five assists in 11 games and even a few healthy scratches, Gagne probably isn’t on your fantasy team right now. A return to Philly could be exactly what he needs to prolong his career, but his stats have clearly been on the decline the past few seasons. An injury to Matt Read has opened up a spot for Gagne, but he should still be considered a longshot fantasy option given the reasons listed above.

Ben Bishop, G, OTT
Given the Ottawa goaltending numbers this season, perhaps Paul MacLean should receive some Jack Adams consideration. Ottawa’s troubling injury situation hasn’t bothered Bishop one bit, as he is currently on a four-game win streak with a shiny 2.17 GAA and .935 SV% to show. Craig Anderson will probably return in a couple weeks and resume starting most games, add the 6’7” goalie for some solid short-term statistics. He may be close to joining Roberto Luongo and Jonathan Bernier as the league’s most sought-after backup goalies.

Ray Emery, G, CHI
If a goalie was almost a shoo-in to win every time he starts, even if it isn’t very often, would he be worth adding? Emery may only start during back-to-backs the rest of the way, even though he has won eight and lost none this season. The Hawks have a strong, underrated defense in front of their goalies, which helps with their ratios. Even though he is the backup now that Crawford is back from injury, Emery still has a higher value than some starting goalies on bad teams. He is worth starting in fantasy leagues while the Blackhawks continue their magical run.

Troy Brouwer, RW, WAS
Brouwer has been in the news this week for his comments about former teammate Alexander Semin.  However, Brouwer has been backing up the talk with eight goals this season, including five goals in his last seven games. Brouwer has always been on the verge of being a solid fantasy contributor, so this is the season that he could finally draftable next season. By the way, Brouwer and Semin were both held scoreless in the underachieving Capitals’ 3-0 win over Carolina on Tuesday.

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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.