Kukla's Korner Hockey
The Flyers are a mess and if I had Giroux in any of my leagues I'd be doing my best to deal him. I don't think there's much of a resurgence coming and you can all but guarantee his plus/minus will be a major detriment to your roster. You obviously can't drop a player that was drafted on average with the 16th pick in Yahoo leagues, but you might be able to get another owner to give up something decent for him based on his past seasons performance.
-Matt Cubeta, NHL.com Fantasy Insider where you can get more fantasy suggestions...
from Scott Cullen of TSN,
Lines are shuffling around the league, giving some new opportunities. Scott Cullen has notes on Brandon Prust, Daniel Alfredsson, Mason Raymond, Ryan Kesler, Jeff Skinner and more....
- The Detroit Red Wings have already tried Justin Abdelkader and Todd Betuzzi on the right side with Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, but Thursday night, they gave Daniel Alfredsson a spin in that spot and Alfredsson finished with three assists, giving him nine points in his first eight games with the Red Wings.
Judging by the first two guys tried on that wing, there may have been some thought that Datsyuk and Zetterberg needed a physical player to help carve out space, but Alfredsson has the sense to play with elite players and if he stays productive, it's conceivable he could hold this spot for a while.
- When the Toronto Maple Leafs extended a pro tryout offer to LW Mason Raymond, it was a no-brainer. Even with declining production, it was puzzling why Raymond hadn't been given a free agent contract somewhere in the league over the summer, so the Leafs got a bit of a rewards with their low-risk investment when he Raymond was still deemed NHL-worthy and signed a one-year, $1-million contract....
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from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
A number of players are lower on the list than they might have been, either because they are hurt, suspended or coming off off-season surgeries that may slow their starts. Injuries are an intangible beyond your control, but hockey pools are like real life – past performance is often a good indicator of future results.
If a player has a concussion history, or a shoulder that is constantly popping out, or annually gets hurt in the quirkiest of ways, better to stick with a Sedin, who reliably go out and pile up the points year after year.
It’s why Sidney Crosby is second on this list instead of first. Among all the other reasons to like the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Steven Stamkos is that he has missed just three games in his first five years in the NHL, all of them in his rookie season. So we award him the honour of going No. 1.
from Justin Goldman at NHL.com,
In this season's top 30 fantasy goalie rankings, we have crowned Henrik Lundqvist over Antti Niemi as the king of the crease.
But, don't worry if they slip through your grasp in a draft, because you really can't go wrong with the rest of the top 10. Tuukka Rask is playing behind a team that is just as strong as last season, Jonathan Quick is just as valuable as Lundqvist and Niemi in terms of workload and Corey Crawford is poised for a steady season after signing a new six-year contract extension.
The tougher selections come in the 15-to-25 range, mainly due to the high number of tandems in the League. Drafting the more valuable goalie in Toronto, Tampa Bay, Philadelphia, and New Jersey is no easy task; James Reimer and Corey Schneider could easily be top 15 goalies, but since performance will dictate playing time, the same could also be said for Jonathan Bernier and Martin Brodeur.
Not including goalies in a tandem, we've pinpointed three names that could be great late-round steals.
from Matt Sitkoff at NHL.com,
So with Ovechkin now deemed a fantasy right wing by NHL.com, Taylor Hall of the Edmonton Oilers sits atop the left wing rankings entering 2013-14.
The No. 1 pick in the 2010 NHL Draft finally stayed healthy and finished ninth overall in scoring with 50 points, and with the ongoing development of the young Oilers expect big things from the 21-year-old on the left side. Hall has been a force on the power play (25 career power-play goals) since entering the League, has proven to be a clutch player (25 career game-winning goals) and most recently posted a career-best 34 assists last season. Hall also fills the shots category as he has 547 shots on goal in 171 career games.
The top 10 has familiar faces, as consistent performers should continue to produce. Only four players have more points over the last three seasons than Daniel Sedin (211 points in 201 games), which is why he ranks right behind Hall. Joffrey Lupul always raises injury concerns, but had 18 points in 11 games last season and has a career 0.64 points per game. If he stays healthy, he won't end up the 333rd ranked player like he was last season by Yahoo!
from Mat Cubeta, one of the NHL.com Fantasy Insiders,
Positional ranking based on combination of last season's Yahoo! Fantasy Hockey position assignments and NHL.com's 30 in 30 lineup projections. Ranking reflects each player's fantasy value, taking into account statistical history, performance in default Yahoo! categories (G, A, +/-, PIM, PPP, SOG), potential future lineup placement, strength of projected linemates and most importantly, our expectations of how they will perform this coming season.
|1.||Sidney Crosby, C|
Outlook: Our unanimous No. 1 player, health is only question, but he's worth the risk regardless. His 1.61 points-per-game in past 99 games are far-and-away best in NHL and peripherals are all outstanding.
|2.||Steven Stamkos, C|
Outlook: No player has more goals (134), PPG (39) or points (245) over past three seasons -- will also be good for around 300 shots on goal and 60-70 PIMs. Will thrive alongside Martin St. Louis.
|3.||Alex Ovechkin, RW|
Outlook: Bounced back in big way last year to lead NHL in goals and PPP and finished third in points – the move to RW and playing under Adam Oates looks to have helped. A return to 40-plus goals seems likely.
from the CP at CBC,
"When I look back at NHL 13,I feel like we fell short a little bit on the aggression piece of it," said Ramjagsingh.
That meant upping the ante on big hits and fights.
"There is a code in hockey and when it's broken, you have to respond," EA notes in a press release.
Critics may decry the improved fighting component. Fans will celebrate that the game, already a marvel in recreating the one-ice product, is even more authentic. Take a run at Sidney Crosby and there will be Penguins payback.
"For us, it's a part of the sport, it's an authentic part of the sport," said Ramjagsingh. "We work very closely with our partners at the NHL and NHLPA, make sure that they understand we're telling the story of their sport. That's why the speed and skill part is just as important as the aggression piece.
"The game is about the Datsyuks [Detroit star forward Pavel Datsyuk] and showing off their skill and their speed, as well as the aggression piece. And why the aggression piece is so important to allowing the skill piece to happen ... Fighting is a little bit controversial to some people but for hockey fans out there, and casual hockey fans, it's an important part of the sport."
From a fantasy point of view...
from Pete Jensen of NHL.com,
While everything seemed to come crashing down for Marc-Andre Fleury during the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, fantasy owners would be wise not to hold his postseason struggles against him when they're looking for goaltending this season.
Fleury got a vote of confidence from Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma in June, which indicates he'll be in position to reclaim the team's starting job. If that's the case, he certainly deserves top-15 consideration among fantasy goalies heading into 2013-14 -- despite the negative perception surrounding his value these days.
Didn't backup Tomas Vokoun clearly outplay Fleury in the playoffs? Doesn't the fact that Fleury has struggled in each of the past four postseasons hurt his fantasy value?
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org