Wednesday, February 21, 2007

More Trade Rumours: Pitkanen, Berard and Brewer oh my!

Today I will be looking at the top defensemen rumored to be on the move this week.

The Philadelphia Flyers have already begun their firesale with the Forsberg trade and the Columbus Blue Jackets have stated that they will be sellers this season. Everyone expected St. Louis to be dumping talent at this point in the year but surprisingly they have put together a decent season all things considered.

There are a number of teams looking for solid help on the blueline this year, among them are the Atlanta Trashers, New York Rangers, Edmonton Oilers, Dallas Stars, San Jose Sharks, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Pittsburgh Penguins.

Just a second here, did I just say that the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins are looking to ADD players at the trade deadline this year? Hmmm, obviously the hockey universe has gone a little wonky.

Joni Pitkanen: He has put up 5 points in his last 5 games and has posted a decent 32 points for a dreadful Flyers team this year. Despite the okay offensive numbers I would have to say that this year has been a bit of a let down after last season. Last year he posted 13 goals and 33 assists in 58 games, this year he has only 2 goals and 30 assists in 56 games. Hopefully this drop-off is more a factor of the team he is playing for rather than just a lucky year. In either case any trade that moves Pitkanen to a contending team would help his fantasy status quite a bit. Unfortunately for Fantasy owners the team that has shown the most interest in him is the Edmonton Oilers, not exactly the trade I would hope for if I was a Pitkanen owner. Pitkanen is available many shallow leagues and if you have the room on your roster I would pick him up right now, not only is he a good trade candidate, he has picked up his game lately.

Bryan Berard: Berard is still shaking the rust off after surgery this year. He has only 3 points in 9 games so far this season but he has too much offensive upside to ignore. Berard's fantasy value could actually go down if he is traded at the deadline. He has not yet managed to find his rhythm in Columbus and a trade could make that breaking in process take even longer. With Berard's slow return I would advise you to stay away from him at this point, regardless of whether he gets traded at the deadline.

Eric Brewer: The St. Louis Blues are currently trying to finalize a new contract with Eric and a large number of teams are watching anxiously for the outcome. Brewer is apparently being pursued by the Edmonton Oilers (whom he played with for 3 seasons) as a rental player this season. Brewer's offensive numbers have never been stellar but his fantasy value can only take a jump if he is traded to an offensive powerhouse like the Tampa Bay Lightning. Keep an eye on this one and be ready to pick him up quick if he ends up with a contender.

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