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Fantasy Pool Look: Veterans waking up

It seems in the 2005-06 season, the NHL scoring leaders list is riddled with youth and many of the traditional top scorers have fallen by the wayside.

One may be inclined to think the “new” NHL has left some of the older players behind.

While that may play a tiny role, the truth of the matter is the top scorers in today's NHL are the ones that played competitive hockey last year.

The guys who chose to sit back and relax for a winter while the suits decided their fate during the lockout have either come out of the gate slowly or have been injured. Or both.

Looking down the list of the top 25 point scorers for this season, 23 played competitive hockey last year, be it in Europe or in the AHL.

The exceptions are Patrick Marleau and Simon Gagne - and Gagne has Peter Forsberg setting him up.

Veterans that did not play competitive hockey last season are beginning to get their feet underneath them - so don't give up on them yet.

In fact, quite the opposite. Some owners in your pool may be getting a little sour on their vets, which is the perfect time to pick them up cheap.

Joe Sakic, Mike Modano, Bill Guerin and Keith Tkachuk are already starting to heat up, but there are others who won't take long before they bust out.

Eric Lindros, Mario Lemieux, Todd Bertuzzi, Jarome Iginla and Mats Sundin are just some of the veterans capable of so much more, and whose price may be a little lower than usual.

A hockey pool is all about timingÂ…

Now that Brad Stuart is on the Bruins, owners who have Nick Boynton may want to give up on him.

Between Stuart and Brian Leetch, the Bruins have their top power play unit covered on the blueline. Boynton just took too long to get going.

Injuries, from a fantasy pool perspective: Atlanta's Peter Bondra has what looks like a serious groin injury. I wouldn't expect him back in 2005Â…New Jersey's Patrik Elias is back skating again and his return to the lineup could be around the middle of JanuaryÂ…Detroit's Robert Lang also has a groin injury, and should be out of the lineup until mid-December.

Farm Report: The Islanders sent promising youngster Robert Nilsson to Bridgeport (AHL) to get more ice time. Nilsson responded with a goal in his first game and two goals in his secondÂ…Corey Perry, the blue-chip Anaheim prospect, was AHL player of the week for last week. This guy scores at every level, and he'll score in the NHL again very soon.

Fantasy Hockey Pool Look is an in-depth presentation of player trends,

injuries and much more as it pertains to rotisserie pool leagues. Get the

edge in your league - check out the latest scoop every Tuesday and Friday.

Also find the top 250 roto-player rankings at the first of every month

(email me for the rankings). Comments/complaints/compliments -



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