Some big names have moved around the continent through trades and signings. Here is how some of the biggest names involved will impact your leagues.
Nik Antropov – Antropov couldn’t have picked a better spot to land. The Thrashers are in dire need of a No. 1 center and although he is best suited for the second line, Antropov will get a chance to thrive as the top guy. His linemate? Ilya Kovalchuk, a top-five sniper in the league. Only an injury will stop Antropov short of a career season of 65 to 70 points or more.
Jay Bouwmeester – J-Bo has struggled to get out of that 42- to 46-point range, but he still hasn’t hit his prime. Now a part of a power play that boasts Dion Phaneuf, Jarome Iginla and former Florida teammate Olli Jokinen, there is every reason to believe Bouwmeester will clear 50 points and approach 60.
Mike Cammalleri – Sure, Cammalleri is coming off a career-high 39-goal season and just entering his prime, but there are no Jarome Iginlas in Montreal the last time I checked. He should still be a safe pick for 70 to 75 points, but he won’t touch 82.
Marian Gaborik – Gaborik will top a point per game in any city, be it Minnesota, New York, Long Island or Timbuktu. His production – which will hover anywhere between 1.15 and 1.25 points per game – won’t be affected by where he plays. What will impact it is the amount of games he plays. Gaborik can pull his groin in Madison Square Garden just as easily as in the Xcel Energy Center.
Scott Gomez – Gomez averaged 63 points per season over the past three years, but never really clicked with the likes of Markus Naslund, Jaromir Jagr or Nikolai Zherdev in New York. He should be able to increase his production in Montreal, but with him it will always depend on his chemistry with linemates. If being reunited with Brian Gionta can recreate that spark, he’ll have more than 75 points.
Martin Havlat – The perfect replacement for Gaborik in Minnesota – both on the ice and in the injury ward. He is coming off the first healthy season of his career, but the skilled Czech ended with a pair of concussions late in the playoffs. Like Gaborik, but with a slightly lower points-per-game average, Havlat’s production will be tied to his games played.
Marian Hossa – Hossa has proven he can be a 100-point player, but has taken a detour from that in the past couple of seasons. In 2007-08, he struggled with an injury in the first half and in ‘08-09 he shared power play time on a deep Red Wings team. While the Blackhawks are just as deep and boast Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, those two kids are not quite at the talent level of a Pavel Datsyuk or Henrik Zetterberg. Hossa averaged about three minutes of PP time per game in Detroit, but should get back up to four in Chicago, enough to boost him back above 90 points.
Nikolai Khabibulin – The Bulin Wall is at his best when there is a strong team in front of him. I would compare this year’s Edmonton Oilers in quality (and potential wins) to the 2007-08 edition of the Blackhawks. On that team, Khabibulin had a GAA of 2.63 and a .909 SP with 23 wins. He’ll be in that ballpark this year, with maybe a few more wins, health permitting.
Mike Knuble – With the numbers game in Philadelphia reaching the point where his production was destined to drop, Knuble’s owners should be ecstatic with him signing in Washington. This will extend Knuble’s fantasy value, as there is room in their top six for him. He’ll either play with Alex Ovechkin or Alexander Semin, so getting back up to 60 points should be a snap.
Ryan Smyth – The supporting cast in Los Angeles is much stronger than it was in Colorado and when you couple that with the notion the Kings are on the cusp of something great, it is easy to see the 33-year-old veteran posting his highest totals since 2007 (68 points).
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