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The Goods on Fantasy Hockey

Pick Six: Saturday January 14

Thursday’s Mike Cammalleri/Rene Bourque trade is an interesting deal on many different levels, including from a numbers perspective. Calgary seemed to be the consensus winner of the deal, since the Flames will receive the player who is viewed as more talented. Or is he?

Bob McKenzie shared an interesting perspective on the deal, from a statistical perspective. Goals-wise, the deal is almost dead even. However, Cammalleri is clearly the superior playmaker with .43 assists per game, compared to Bourque with .29 assists per game.

Montreal also sheds $2.5 million in salary and restructures its team by adding a bigger player (6’2”, 211 lbs. to 5’9”, 190 lbs.) But even though both teams improved themselves right away with the deal, are both teams prolonging an inevitable rebuild? Montreal is attempting to salvage a season gone horribly wrong and will miss the playoffs barring a miracle. Calgary GM Jay Feaster still believes that the Flames can make a playoff run with a near carbon copy of its 2008-09 team, but this team is clearly not on the same level as the Canucks, Blackhawks, Sharks, or Red Wings.

So who won this deal? Unlike most, I will defer judgment. Something had to be going on between Cammalleri and the Canadiens behind closed doors, even before his infamous words on Wednesday. For a player to be yanked off the team mid-game because a deal was announced, well, let’s just say Pierre Gauthier didn’t take too kindly to Cammy’s words the day before – despite the downplaying from all involved parties. But as we’ve learned many times, sometimes a change of scenery is all it takes to revive a player’s career.

Before we discuss the fortunes of Cammalleri and Bourque with their new teams, let’s take a peek at the weekend schedule:

Playing both Saturday and Sunday: Carolina, Chicago, Los Angeles, NY Rangers, Montreal, San Jose
Playing neither Saturday nor Sunday: Florida, Phoenix

Every other team plays either Saturday or Sunday, so make your picks accordingly.

Mike Cammalleri, LW, CGY – start/trade for
Cammalleri’s only season with the Flames was statistically his finest season, with career highs in both goals (39) and points (82). If he can rediscover his magic with Jarome Iginla, then Calgary will easily be the short-term winner of this deal. Besides, if returning to Calgary worked for Olli Jokinen, then it could work for Cammalleri. During that 2008-09 season, Iginla scored 35 goals and 89 points of his own, so this deal has the potential to work wonders for both players. I turned down my opportunity to trade for Cammalleri a few weeks ago – don’t miss out on yours. But like any other deal, don’t overpay.

Rene Bourque, LW, MON – bench Saturday/start Sunday
Bourque could be considered Thomas Vanek-lite: a player whose short-term stats fluctuate like the stock market during a crisis, but whose year-by-year returns remain relatively consistent. Bourque’s statline this season is also interesting: 13 goals but just 3 assists. Bourque will easily fit into the Canadiens’ top six and provide a bruising element to the Habs’ smallish forwards. Keep him on your bench on Saturday, as he will be serving the final game of his five-game suspension (Darren Dreger). He is expected to make his Canadiens debut on Sunday against the Rangers.

Craig Anderson, G, OTT – start
Anderson is the confirmed starter for Saturday’s Northeast Division matchup with the aforementioned Canadiens (Bruce Garrioch). Anderson is another fantasy options who has been extremely hot or cold throughout his career, but right now he is on one of his patented runs. After an abysmal start to the season, Andy is 7-0-1 in his last eight games, while the Sens are 10-1-2 in their last 13 games. Facing a struggling Montreal offense, Anderson should be between the pipes for your fantasy squad on Saturday.

Dave Bolland, C, CHI – add/start
With four goals and six points in his last three games, Bolland is once again a worthwhile short-term option. Bolland is better known for his role as a Sedin shadow/mocker, but he has been seeing power-play time all season (five power-play goals). He’s worth a shot with the Hawks playing twice this weekend.

Jason Arnott, C, STL – add/start
Thought to be over the hill for fantasy purposes after scoring 17 goals last season with New Jersey and Washington, Arnott has already registered 12 goals this season with the Blues. With two goals against Vancouver on Thursday, the well-travelled Arnott now has goals in three consecutive games. Remember that since the Blues are near the top of the standings, Arnott shouldn’t hurt your plus/minus either.

Thomas Greiss, G, SJ – add/start
Greiss is your one-day goaltending add for the weekend, as he gets the nod on Saturday against the league’s worst team (David Pollak). The German keeper has posted some of the league’s better backup numbers (5-4-0, 2.22 GAA, .922 SV%). His last start against the Blue Jackets came on January 5, when he made 23 saves in a 2-1 victory.

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Filed in: fantasy hockey, Ian Gooding, | The Goods on Fantasy Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: craig+anderson, dave+bolland, fantasy+hockey, ian+gooding, jason+arnott, mike+cammalleri, pick+six, rene+bourque, the+goods, thomas+greiss

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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.