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The Hockey News

The trade deadline is in two weeks. Times are getting desperate – you’re feeling the crunch in your fantasy league. Let’s get to some letters!

I am summoning your help in making a decision on which keepers to keep in my 12-team league. I have to select eight keepers and I have been able to narrow it down to 12: Marc Savard, BOS, David Krejci, BOS, Zach Parise, NJ, Henrik Zetterberg, DET, Corey Perry, ANA, Devin Setoguchi, SJ, Chris Pronger, ANA, Dennis Wideman, BOS, Mike Green, WSH, Patrick Kane, CHI, Paul Stastny, COL, Tim Thomas, BOS. In our league we count 16 different stat categories.

Matthew, Dorchester, N.B.

Wow Matthew, that is a tough list to eliminate players from. Devin Setoguchi has the potential to continue what he is doing, but at this stage in his career his production is largely influenced by linemates (i.e. Joe Thornton). Always take the players who do it on their own, versus players who have help – so Setoguchi is one to eliminate. I would also knock off Chris Pronger, even though he is one of the best multi-category defensemen you could possibly own. He is 34 years old and has slipped a little this season.

I believe in David Krejci as an 80-point player, but do I keep him over Paul Stastny or Corey Perry? Is Tim Thomas for real? I like Thomas and goaltending is hard to get in fantasy leagues, so he should be kept. Perry is improving every season, but out of those three I would have to let him go. So it comes down to Krejci vs. Stastny – or “somewhat unproven” vs. “possibly injury prone.” I think I would roll the dice and make the controversial move here and cut Stastny loose. I am certain that in the comments section below, several fantasy fanatics will weigh in with their thoughts and you could use all the opinions you can get with this tough decision.

I'm in a keeper league, straight points for goals and assists and I was offered Bobby Ryan and Anze Kopitar for Martin St-Louis and Eric Staal. I was also offered a straight trade of Kopitar for St-Louis. I'm not in the running for money this year and I like the upside of Kopitar and Ryan. Can St-Louis keep putting up decent numbers? If so, for how long? I tried getting Kopitar and Ryan for Jason Pominville and St-Louis, but the other owner wasn't interested. Is Ryan going to be that good?

Joel, Carstairs, Alta.

That’s a fair offer, but if the points carry over in trades you can probably get a little bit more for those guys. I think your counter involving Pominville was a good one and you should wait for the other owner to come around. St-Louis is rumored to be on the block and Pittsburgh is a rumored destination. Can you imagine? Either way, St-Louis still has at least two more really good seasons in him. Staal, meanwhile, hasn’t even hit his prime yet and has higher potential than either Kopitar or Ryan. Regarding Ryan – I think he could be an 85-point player, similar to what you saw Todd Bertuzzi do back in his Vancouver days.

Hey Dobber, I'm in a keeper league where we have to sign players to a maximum of six-year contracts. (G, A, PPG, SHG, GWG). This year I went for it all and now I only have a third and fifth round pick as my first two picks. In order to reach the minimum cap, I need to sign those two players to six-year deals. Of these players I think I could get, which would you take for six years, if any? Bad long-term contracts can cripple your team. The players are as follows: Bryan Little, Andy McDonald, Loui Eriksson, Devin Setoguchi, Jiri Hudler, Ryane Clowe, Blake Wheeler, Kris Versteeg, Erik Cole, Travis Zajac, David Booth, Stephen Weiss, Steve Ott, Josh Bailey and Oscar Moller.

Daniel, Moncton, N.B.

Hey Daniel, under those circumstances I would go with Bryan Little, Jiri Hudler, Devin Setoguchi, Blake Wheeler and Loui Eriksson. Then I would roll the dice with Josh Bailey over Travis Zajac or Kris Versteeg, because I think he has great upside. Andy McDonald would be a good signing for three years, but at six I would be wary.

Hey Dobber, my goaltending currently consists of Miikka Kiprusoff, Antero Niittymaki, Manny Fernandez and Martin Brodeur (IR). When Brodeur returns (or at the trade deadline, whichever comes first) I am considering trading Kiprusoff for a high end forward. Is this a smart move or would I be better off keeping both Brodeur and Kiprusoff for next season? What should I expect in return for Kiprusoff in a trade? My 10-team league is head-to-head.

Ross, Winnipeg

I would keep those two goalies, Ross. Manny Fernandez and Antero Niittymaki are not established as No. 1 goaltenders, whereas Miikka Kiprusoff and Martin Brodeur are. Goaltending is hard to fill in fantasy leagues and it is one less position for you to worry about. If you do move Kipper, make sure you get a decent goalie in return (i.e. better than Fernandez or Niittymaki).

Henrik Lundqvist has done well for me so far, but in my pool where only wins and shutouts count, should I trade for Tim Thomas?

Justin, Toronto

No. Lundqvist will start 99 percent of the games going forward, whereas Thomas will start 75 percent at most. Regardless of how well/poorly the team is doing, you can’t turn your back on that fact.

Hey Dobber, I've got quite the goalie situation here. I currently have five goalies: Chris Mason, Ryan Miller, Steve Mason, Carey Price and M-A Fleury. I want to trade one of my goalies and go into the playoffs with four. I've been offered Nathan Horton for Price and I know Horton is a big-time second half performer. This isn't a keeper league, should I pull the trigger? Also, should I drop Bobby Ryan for Antoine Vermette? That Ottawa team is starting to heat up.

Blake, Toronto

I would do that deal and let the other four goalies carry the load; Horton will help. Dropping Ryan for Vermette is a bold move. Those are what win and lose pools, though, so I would take the risk. It could pay off big and at worst you lose out on five or six points.

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.

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

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