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Looking ahead

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Tying up some loose ends for keeper-leaguers – and of course, it’s playoff time. Let’s get to some letters!

Is Kari Lehtonen going to stay in Atlanta or will he finally go to a good team?

Kirk, Vancouver

In regards to Lehtonen, I don’t think the team he is on is what you should be concerned about, Kirk. Of more concern are the troublingly consistent injuries he gets hit with. I wouldn’t want to own him for the simple fact he is so fragile. But I think it’s safe to say he’ll be in Atlanta for at least another year.

Dobber, love your column and mailbag! I'm in a full keeper league where you only lose players due to free agency. I have Ilya Bryzgalov on my team, but his contract is up and I have the option to re-sign him since he's an RFA. I currently have Carey Price, Pekka Rinne and Rick DiPietro under contract next year and Al Montoya on my prospect list. Do you think I should bother to re-sign Bryzgalov? After Montoya's debut, do you think he has a legitimate shot at being the starter in Phoenix next year?

Brendan, Calgary

I don’t think you can count on DiPietro, Brendan, so re-signing Bryzgalov is probably the safe way to play this. Frankly, I think Bryzgalov had an off year and will bounce back strong next season. I believe Montoya has a shot, but by the time he wins the top job it will be halfway through the campaign and he will have missed out on a lot of starts. More likely he will be the backup.

I made a trade for Matt Lashoff in my fantasy league three weeks back, just before he played his first game with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Ever since, I've been following his numbers and have noticed other than the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, he's been given the most ice time, or at worst, second most. Is there a chance he may develop into a top-two blueliner? What is his ceiling, in your opinion? Thanks! I thoroughly enjoy your articles!

Richard, Lakewood

Flattery will get you everywhere, Richard! Lashoff has the potential to be a power play quarterback and No. 3 defenseman; I put his upside somewhere in the mid-50s. In Tampa, it looks like he is on the right track.

I have recently won my season's 12-team H2H hockey pool (2LW, 2RW, 2C, 4D, 2G, 3F, and 1 Utility). We get three keepers for next year. This is my short list: Zach Parise, Jeff Carter, Zdeno Chara, Jason Spezza, Martin St-Louis, Henrik Lundqvist and Tim Thomas. I know goaltending is important in keeper leagues, but I really want to keep Parise, Chara and Carter and try to re-draft goalies (I pick last in the first round and first in the second round next year). I'm also leaning towards trying to re-draft Spezza, as I think he'll bounce back. Should I keep a goalie? Where do I re-draft Spezza and who do I drop?

Jonathan, Vancouver

Based on the categories you gave me, you are right in keeping Parise and Chara. I would keep Lundqvist over Carter, though. Don’t leave yourself exposed in the goaltending categories; it is very important you cover yourself off. As for Spezza, I will be honest with you – I like him better than Parise. Spezza’s upside is top-five in the league and he will bounce back. That being said, he had such a bad year he could slip through to you in the draft – perhaps as low as the third round.

Hey man, really need some advice. I'm struggling with Bobby Ryan. My gut says he'll be huge next year, especially if he plays with Getzlaf. I'm in a 10-team H2H roto league, which allows me to keep 10 players for next season. My top-six are set, but I'm struggling between Ryan, Devin Setoguchi and Scott Hartnell. Which two to keep? Can Bobby Ryan be a 70-point guy next season? Please Help!

Joe, Ottawa

I do believe Ryan will get 65 points and could reach 70 next campaign. That being said, if it’s a roto league, do you really want to turn your back on Hartnell’s 60 points and 150 penalty minutes? I’d be inclined to go with the latter.

Dobber, you are great for fantasy hockey. Period. I am in a 20-man keeper league where we keep 15 of 18 players. I am trying to decide which two to keep from the following players: J-P Dumont, Slava Kozlov, Jaroslav Spacek, Mathieu Schneider and Adrian Aucoin. My instinct tells me to drop the three D-men, but I own an eighth overall pick in the draft and may be able to grab a good forward to replace Kozlov (still producing). What do you think?

Brendan, Courtright, Ont.

I am getting a lot of nice compliments this week. Mom – stop writing under different names! Brendan, you have to keep Dumont and drop Schneider and Aucoin. That leaves you with either Spacek or Kozlov. Because the Spacek gets hurt often (this season was a rarity), I would go with the Kozlov.

I have a question for Dobber regarding pool etiquette. I'm in a Yahoo! one-year league and we have 100 games per position: 2C, 2LW, 2RW, 3D, 1G and four bench positions. Around February, I realized I wouldn't get all my games played, so I started dropping two guys every day and replacing them with starters. Then it became three guys everyday and I ended up with a lot more "moves" than anyone else in my league. I've moved up a couple of positions and there are murmurs of discontent in my league, despite the fact I've played around the same amount of games as everyone else (In February I was 40-50 games behind everyone else). Was this bad etiquette – should I have just played out the season, finished with 30-40 games leftover and wondered "what if?” I can see the others' point of view, but I don't think I had any choice. It's got to the stage where I’m thinking of putting any prize money behind the bar and allowing all poolies to drink on me. Our league is points, not head-to-head or rotisserie.

Anonymous, Golden, B.C.

What you are doing is called “streaming” and it is perfectly legal under some rules. However, poolies are split on the issue and probably half of them get really bothered by it. My opinion is if it is in the rules, it is perfectly fine. It is not really fair of them to let you finish a position 40 games below them. The rule is you get 100 games in a position, so you did exactly what I would do. Next year, they may want to put a rule in place limiting the moves if they don’t like what went down. As for the beer – you should probably buy a round anyway, just to smooth things over.

I can't figure out whom to take as my extra in my playoff pool. Alexander Semin or Zach Parise? They are both around the same price and I'm torn.

Stephen, Kelowna, B.C.

I am assuming that your team already has an equal number of Caps and Devils so you have rounded your team out properly. I would go with Parise. The tiebreaker to me is always a player’s injury record.

Darryl Dobbs’ Fantasy Mailbag will appear the first Wednesday of each month throughout the playoff and off-season. To send the Dobber your question, click HERE.

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