Ducks bounceback?

Just a few weeks until Christmas and soon after that we hit the mid-point of the season. Yes, things are moving quickly, so let’s get to your letters.

Just received a trade offer: Brad Richards (me) for Ryan Getzlaf (other guy). My thoughts are that Getzlaf, regardless of current production, typically skates on the best line in hockey. However, with Richards and Gaborik starting to do their thing, I don’t want to miss out on that sweet action.
Kevin, Chicago

If this is a keeper league, put me down for Getzlaf. As solid as Richards is, there is no indication that he can get back up to 90 points again in his career. Whereas with Getzlaf, he’s only 26 and just three years removed from his 90-plus season. In a one-year league that counts multiple categories, I would be “buying low” on Getzlaf here as well.

Dobber, I’m getting frustrated with John Tavares’ slow progression and I’m thinking his lack of speed will make it difficult to get to elite status. After the quick start from Tyler Seguin, do you think Tyler Seguin has the better future? I’m debating on offering a trade for Seguin. Also, what do you think the future is for Craig Smith? He is available in my keeper league, one point each for goals/assists.
Jamie, Maidstone, Ont.

Progress is slow, but it’s steady. That’s the problem with being on a weak team – a great player is forced to progress at the same rate as the rest of his mates. If Seguin were on the Islanders he would probably be moving along at the same pace. But Tavares had 54 points as a rookie, 67 as a sophomore and is currently on pace for 74 this year. And, frankly, I think he’ll be closer to 78. To me, that’s a beautiful, steady rate of improvement. Patience.

Regarding Smith – to me he looks like a 65-point player on the Preds and probable offensive leader of the team. On another team, I think he could get 75. A lot of skill in this late-bloomer, but the system in Nashville may hold him back a little.

Hey Dobbs, I’m in a keeper league that counts points and plus-minus, as well as playoffs. I’ve been offered Jonathan Toews and Matt Duchene for Evgeni Malkin and James Neal. Who gets the better deal this year, and in the long term?
Steve, Brampton, Ont.

Anyone who reads me knows my answer to this one. Take Malkin and run. Oh, you get Neal, too? In a league that counts playoffs, you’re bound to get more rounds out of Pittsburgh over the next five years than Chicago or Colorado. And as for Malkin’s injury history – if you get one healthy season out of him in five, it’s worth it. Because that healthy season will be 120-plus points and will win you the league on his own.

I took Corey Perry with my first pick in this year’s draft because I thought he’d be a lock for consistent production throughout the season. Now, with the season being past the quarter mark, I find myself severely disappointed with his production, or lack thereof. What’s wrong with him? Is he worth holding onto in case he picks it up in the second half of the season?
Trevor, Pittsburgh

Hang in there, Trevor. While Perry won’t reach the heights he did last year, he’ll get back to a point per game. In Monday’s column I actually noted him as one of the most consistent players this season. He has 11 points in his past nine games so you’re already seeing it.

Hey Dobber, before the season I offered Joe Thornton for Getzlaf (I already have Perry). He rejected, but now he proposed the same deal. This is a HtH non-keeper that’s pretty heavy in skaters’ stats and counts physical categories (hits, blocks) besides the usual (G,A,+/-, SOG, PIM, PPP, SHP). I was pretty high on Getzy before the season started. Now I’m not so sure and am inclined to keep Joe, even though he does not bring so much in the physical department compared to Getzlaf. Do you think the Ducks will turn the season around and will they be able to repeat the run from last year?

Hey Richard, that sounds like a panic move on his part and I would absolutely trade Thornton for him. You have to count on a market correction to eventually occur for certain players. The times when a market correction does not happen are due to either injury, or it’s just plain rare. Go with the odds on this one and assume a turnaround. Since your letter was sent just before the Anaheim coaching change, I would imagine the deal is off the table, but if it’s still there, take it.

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Hey Dobber, I read and write in all the time but you always seem to ignore my question. Last year I sent you a question regarding a trade proposal that included names like Evgeni Malkin, Anze Kopitar, Roberto Luongo, Jeff Skinner…. The following mailbag saw questions about how some guy had to decide on whether to drop his third string goalie for another third string goalie. I love reading your stuff and respect your opinion on all things fantasy hockey. I just never understood the criteria you use when selecting questions. I’m in a keeper pool where we keep a C, LW, RW, D, G, Util. I have owned Roberto Luongo forever and am starting to believe that this guy is done, for no other reason than the Canucks are finally giving into pressure from fans about Cory Schneider. Timing is everything and now Bobby Lu is sitting behind a team and a goalie that is finding its stride. My Q is this: Is Mike Smith destined to prove that Bryzgalov was a product of the Yotes system and should I look at shopping Bobby Lu to grab a bonafide stud like Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin or Malkin?
Marc, Toronto

Hey Marc, first things first. Let’s give some tips on how to best get your letter in. I think it’s high time I outlined them.

1. Keep it short if possible. If I have to choose between a letter that is four lines long and the one that is 12 lines long, more often than not I choose the four line one. That way I can get in an extra question in the space I’m given.

2. Timing is everything. The mailbag is posted every second Wednesday, so if you send in a letter the night after a mailbag was published, that letter becomes two weeks old by the time I get to it for the next mailbag. Sending it in some time on the weekend prior to the Wednesday publication is the optimal time.

3. I admit that I also give an edge to decent spelling and player first and last names. If I have to choose between copying and pasting a well-written letter that requires no editing, or pasting a letter that needs me to capitalize 20 words, correct five spelling mistakes and fill in the first names of 10 players, then I’ll choose the simple copy/paste option. This is a slight edge, but it helps.

4. I also prefer talking about a player as opposed to evaluating a trade, because with trades there are often other factors that would influence my opinion and are unavailable to me.

As for your question – Smith is taking full advantage of the system and as long as he stays healthy he will be a stud goaltender to keep. If you can get Luongo to land a high-end player, you should do so for sure.

Note regarding the Fantasy Mailbag – it is important to indicate whether or not your league is a keeper league or a one-year league. Also note whether the league is “points only,” “standard roto league,” or if there are any uncommon rules that are important to know. This will help in advising you on the right course of action. Also note that the mailbag is up every two weeks, so keep that in mind when sending in your questions.

Darryl Dobbs’ Fantasy Mailbag will appear every other Wednesday during the season. To send the Dobber your question, click HERE.

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