Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Trade deadline approaching, what will happen this year?

Last night was pretty quiet in the NHL, unless you were the Detroit Red Wings. The Flyers pounded the Red Wings 6-1 by posting 5 unanswered goals in the third period. Probably the most interesting part of this game is that Peter Forsberg looked healthy grabbing a goal, an assist and the game winner. That makes me wonder just where he is going at the deadline this year?

First I'll take a quick look at the trades that have already happened this year, starting with the Conroy trade, and then I'll take a look at the hottest names rumored to be moving this year.

Trades that have happened:

Flames get Craig Conroy, Kings get Jamie Lundmark
Not a huge trade but it certainly increases the value of Craig Conroy, if Conroy can regain the past chemistry with Jarome Iginla he could be in for a productive few months.

Rangers get Sean Avery and John Seymour, Kings get Jason Ward, Marc-Andre Cliche and Jan Marek
Not a big deal but the swap to the Rangers could give Avery a nice boost this year. Avery is probably owned in most leagues that reward penalty minutes but he could also increase his points total if he ends up on one of the top scoring lines in New York.

Rangers get Pascal Dupuis, Wild get Adam Hall
In Dupuis the Rangers get an offensively talented young winger who has yet to realize his potential in the NHL. This is a bit of a change for New York as they are usually getting a player like this near the end of their careers, not the start. Very little fantasy upside this year, but keep an eye on his production in larger leagues.

Hurricanes get Josef Vasicek, Thrashers get Eric Belanger, Predators get Vitali Vishnevski
None of these guys really make a fantasy impact, however the three way trade does give each team some depth and help at key positions. All three teams are stronger after this trade especially the Predators who get a large physical presence on D out of Vishnevski.

Flames get Brad Stuart and Wayne Primeau, Bruins get Chuck Kobasew and Andrew Ference
Brad Stuart is the only piece here with a fantasy impact this season. Stuart should see increased power play ice time with the Flames and he fits in nicely to their physical defense core. Don't expect a huge numbers increase for Stuart but he could come close to equaling his current point production (17 points) over the remainder of the season.

Stars get Ladislav Nagy, Coyotes get Mathias Tarnqvist
Nagy has tremendous offensive upside and adds a bit of a nasty edge to the Stars. Keep an eye on which line he ends up on in Dallas as we could see a jump in production. He is already on pace for a career year in points (albeit it only 60 points) but getting out of the situation in Phoenix can only help his season this year. He may be too much of a fringe player this season but keep an eye on where he lands this offseason.

Trades that could happen:

Adrian Aucoin: His contract may be a problem but Aucoin is an offensively minded defenseman who can only be helped by leaving the Blackhawks. May end up in Montreal.

Todd Bertuzzi: If healthy Bertuzzi could provide some scoring punch at the end of the season, keep an eye on this one.

Eric Brewer: Probably the most affordable Dman on the market Brewer is unrestricted at the end of the year and will most likely be moved to any number of teams looking for a top 4 defenseman. This is the trade I am watching almost as closely as the Forsberg sweepstakes.

Joe Corvo: Another puck moving defenseman on the block, Corvo will not likely improve his stats by moving to another team.

Peter Forsberg: Regardless of whether he gets traded or not the important question is Forsberg's health although a move to any other team in the NHL will likely improve his production over the final months of the season slightly.

Bill Guerin: A veteran presence with grit and a scoring touch Guerin will likely be moving at the deadline. As long as he doesn't end up in Philly that should help.

Gary Roberts: Moving to another team probably won't make much of a difference in Roberts season, other than a playoff appearance that is.

Sergei Samsonov: If the rumours are true and Samsonov heads to the Blackhawks he could end up as a dark horse sleeper pick for the close of the season. Heck, put Jonas Hoglund on a line with Martin Havlat and he'll score points.

Mats Sundin: Speaking of putting pylons on the first line with proven scorers, the rumours about Sundin being moved can only improve the production from the Leaf Captain. In my opinion this trade is unlikely, even if the Leafs fall out of playoff contention. As much as I respect Sundin I hope the Leafs trade him this year. After all, we can just resign him in the summer can't we?

Jose Theodore: Who cares, even if Theodore ended up as the starting goalie for a contender I wouldn't trust him between the pipes on my fantasy team. Ignore this guy unless he remembers how to play.

Keith Tkachuk: Tkachuk's contract will get in the way here, and it is not likely he would improve his fantasy output either way. He is valuable on your roster right where he is.

Darcy Tucker: Again it is not likely that the Leaf's will pull the trigger on this deal, even if they are out of the playoff race. If it does happen you can expect Tucker's performance to dip a little as only the Leaf's would be willing to start him on their top scoring line. On the other hand, if you already own him any production from him would be nice at this point.

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