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Keeping the faith

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Last mailbag before the Olympic break. We’ll be back here again next week during the world tournament to handle any stretch-drive questions. In the meantime, let’s get to the letters!

Hey Dobber, first year H2H keeper league with G, A, PPP, PIM, SOG, W, GAA, SV, SO...I think I can compete next year. My keepers for sure are: 1. Steven Stamkos 2. Evgeni Malkin. 3. Joe Thornton 4. Rick Nash 5. Cam Ward 6. Erik Johnson 7. Zach Bogosian 8. Semyon Varlamov 9. Michal Neuvirth 10. Mike Cammalleri 11. Nikita Filatov 12. Jonathan Bernier. I am undecided what to do with: Evander Kane, James van Riemsdyk, Claude Giroux, Niclas Bergfors, Valtteri Filppula, Phil Kessel, Jakub Voracek, Keith Yandle, Alex Goligoski and Antti Niemi. Who would you suggest for my remaining three? Or would you change any that I plan to keep?

Dave, Ancaster, Ont.

Hey Dave, assuming positions matter (RW, LW, C) my order would be:

1. Malkin 2. Nash 3. Stamkos 4. Thornton 5. Varlamov 6. Ward 7. Johnson 8. Bogosian 9. Goligoski 10. Giroux 11. Filatov 12. Cammalleri 13. Kessel 14. Yandle 15. Voracek.

Make a goalie your No. 1 priority at your draft. After picking one more (focus on a veteran starter if one is available) focus on wingers.

I need a second opinion. I'm in a keeper rotisserie league that has these categories: G, A, plus-minus, PPP, PIM, SOG, W, GAA, SP and SO. We play two of each forward position, two goalies and four defensemen. From that roster, we keep nine year-to-year. Which of these players from my roster would you keep for next season? Paul Stastny, Olli Jokinen, Thomas Vanek, Milan Lucic, Ryane Clowe, Chris Kunitz (IR), Martin St-Louis, Kyle Okposo, Ales Hemsky (IR), Alex Goligoski, Kris Letang, Brian Rafalski, Derek Morris, Andy Greene, Henrik Lundqvist, Ryan Miller and Jose Theodore.

Tom, Los Angeles

Another keeper question! I like those. Here are my picks, Tom:

1. Lundqvist 2. Miller 3. Goligoski 4. Rafalski 5. Stastny 6. St-Louis 7. Vanek 8. Okposo 9. Hemsky.

At the draft, you are set for goaltending, so you will focus on two more defensemen after your first two picks (which will be the top forward and then the top center available). The good news is you are weakest at center and that is the easiest position to fill.

Dobber, I was wondering if you could help me out with a bit of an odd request. I want to draft a good Russian prospect (or sleeper pick roster player), but I don't want to be stuck with a guy who stays in Russia and ends up in the Kontinental League. So, the question is, ranking them off their probability of coming to the NHL (and hopefully staying) and putting up good offensive numbers, who are the top 10 Russians to draft?

Kyle, Toronto

You run that risk regardless, Kyle. I was certain Filatov was here for good and then look what happened. Here are 10 players (not necessarily Russian) in the KHL to consider, with my certainty we will see him in the NHL next year in brackets.

1. Nikita Filatov, CLB (99 percent certain)

2. Jaromir Jagr, free agent (65 percent certain)

3. Jiri Hudler, DET (55 percent certain)

4. Alexander Radulov, NSH (20 percent certain – 2011-12 is more likely)

5. Kirill Petrov, NYI (70 percent certain)

6. Denis Parshin, COL (25 percent certain)

7. Nikolai Zherdev, free agent (30 percent certain)

8. Igor Makarov, CHI (35 percent certain)

9. Linus Omark, EDM (20 percent certain)

10. Ruslan Bashkirov, OTT (5 percent certain)

Hey Dobber, I'm in a deep 16-team keeper league that counts G, A, plus-minus, PIM, and PPP. Of the three, which one would you keep: Mike Fisher, Wayne Simmonds, or Steve Downie?

Ryan, St. Louis

I would keep Downie. I think he’ll get 50 points and 200 PIMs next year, which hasn’t been seen in a long time.

Hey Dobber! As of the start of next season, we can protect rookies over and above our player limit. We plan on using the NHL rules for designating a player as a rookie. Could you please provide us with the NHL rules for designating a rookie? (We will in turn add these rules into our league constitution) Thanks...

Greg, Scarborough, Ont.

1. A player must be 25 years of age or younger as of Sept. 15 when they start their rookie season.

2. A player cannot have played more than 25 games in any single season previous.

3. A player cannot have played in more than six games in each of two separate preceding seasons.

Kyle Quincey or Keith Yandle?

Luke, San Francisco


Will Pittsburgh make a trade for a sniper to add to Sidney Crosby’s line? I watched them play and it’s pretty hard to win when teams key in on Crosby and his wingers can’t score. Do you think the champs have to make a move?

Matthew, Big River First Nation

Count on it. The Pens snagged Marian Hossa at the deadline in 2008 and Bill Guerin in 2009. They won’t stick Crosby and/or Evgeni Malkin with the likes of Ruslan Fedotenko, Pascal Dupuis or Chris Kunitz – something has to give there. Expect a winger to join the Pens. It won’t be a star winger, but a (more affordable) 55- to 65-point winger with potential for more if he has chemistry with one of their two superstars. Something in the Ray Whitney or Alexei Ponikarovsky range.

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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