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The Hockey News

Just more than five weeks left in the regular season, some big decisions need to be made - let’s get to some letters…

Hey Dobber. My son and I are in a keeper league pool and we want to rebuild for the future. We have 20 players – 14 good ones – and keep only 10 at the beginning of each season. So there are two different options for us: 1) Keep the 10 best in October 2008 2) Try to land a big superstar. We like the second one. We want to try to get Alex Ovechkin and a low-point player, for Joe Thornton and Daniel Sedin. This will also help a top team in our pool. We think Thornton will be a 1.2 PPG and Sedin a 1.0 PPG player for the next five years. Ovechkin should be over 1.3 and maybe 1.5 PPG for 10 years. My only concern is injuries, because Ovechkin is very physical. It doesn't matter if we finish last again next season, because Tavares will be eligible in 2009. Do you think it's a good deal for us, or we should wait and stay with option No. 1?

Marco, Cabano, Que.

Ovechkin has not had an injury yet, so he’s as durable as any player out there right now. He is the best player in the deal and you should definitely pull the trigger. It’s also nice in that it cuts your keepers closer to that target of 10.

Hi Dobber! I’m in a keeper league and I have two players who I can't decide what to do with: Sean Bergenheim and Phil Kessel. I had big hopes for Kessel, but I’ve begun to lose them. As for Bergenheim, I didn't have many expectations, but he is producing good points right now, will he keep it up?

Jonathan, Montreal, Que.

Jonathan, it’s far too early to give up on Kessel. His upside is still very high, whereas Bergenheim will top out in the mid-60s at the very best.

Dobber - what is all the hype about Fabian Brunnstrom based on? It's hard to track down much information about him, so why all the excitement? Has he played internationally on any of Sweden's teams? In a keeper league, how would he compare to the early draft picks in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft?

Mike, St. Albert, Alta.

Brunnstrom was brought to my attention several months ago in an article by THN’s Ken Campbell and his situation was compared to Daniel Alfredsson’s in that he is also a late bloomer from Sweden. When you stick a player’s name in the same article as Alfredsson’s, it gets the attention of a lot of fantasy poolies.

However, I would caution a career like Alfredsson’s is the absolute best Brunnstrom can expect and the odds of matching such a solid career are pretty slim. What Brunnstrom offers to poolies is the fact he is probably ready to step into the NHL right away, so there is no waiting on him. I would cautiously expect 45 points from him as a rookie and watch him evolve into a 70-point player over the course of a few years. Up against 2008 draftees, he should be a first-round pickup in your league.

Hey Dobber, I'm in a rotisserie league I used to be leading, but have slipped into third place over the past week. Scoring is pretty tight in goals and assists and every point could make a difference. I'm seven-games above my maximum games pace at center, but nine games below pace on left wing due to injuries earlier in the season. I've got Spezza, Thornton and Sundin to cover my two center positions and Hartnell and Naslund in my two left wing slots. Another team has offered to trade me Huselius and Scott Niedermayer (I've already got Lidstrom, Redden, Rivet and McCabe on defense) in exchange for Spezza. Should I go for it? Our trade deadline is March 6.

Saku, Vancouver B.C.

Hi Saku. Huselius has slowed down lately and you don’t need Niedermayer, so I would not do this deal. However, given your maximum games situation, I would be shopping Sundin for a lesser left wing.

Is it worth dropping Patrik Elias, Paul Kariya, or Brenden Morrow for Joe Sakic? If so, who would you choose? I have Brad Boyes, Milan Hejduk and Petr Sykora on right wing. Do you see Boyes and Hejduk declining?

Ed, New York, N.Y.

Ed, I would drop Elias for Sakic, assuming Elias is a center for you. I see Boyes slipping and Hejduk picking it up with the return of Sakic, Paul Stastny and Peter Forsberg.

In a non-keeper league, would you trade Mike Comrie for Patrick O'Sullivan?

Shaun, Calgary, Alta.

No, Shaun, I would rather have Comrie for the stretch run. O’Sullivan is great in patches, but he won’t be a consistent stud for another year or two.

Hi Dobber, I have Paul Kariya, but with the addition of Brad Richards in Dallas and with Mike Modano and Niklas Hagman available, should I drop Kariya and pick up one of the other guys?

Ryan, Mequon, Wis.

Keep Kariya. Modano’s numbers will rise for sure, but not above Kariya’s. Don’t even consider Hagman.

Darryl Dobbs’ Fantasy Mailbag appears Wednesdays only on The Hockey To send the Dobber your question, click HERE.


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