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The final countdown

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Here it is, the final Fantasy Mailbag of the decade. Time to look back at some of the best letters of the past few years.

Just kidding.

Far too many fresh letters to get to, so let’s get at ‘em!

I’m in a H2H keeper league with 14 teams. I have Ryan Malone and was thinking of trading him. ESPN suggests he be traded now if anyone owns him, but he is on pace to score 39 goals and 72 points now and I’m not sure about trading him if he is on pace for those numbers. Can I get high value for him in a trade? I am really torn on whether to trade him now since he seems to be on a hot streak. Also a question on Bobby Ryan – should I trade him for a better winger? I need assists.

Deanna, Michigan

Malone is on pace to beat his career high by over 35 percent. If he were 26 or younger, it would be easy to believe that the best is still yet to come. But at 30, he is in his prime and any improvement on what he does this year will be marginal. That is to say – he’s peaking.

Right now is the time to trade him. Demand is very high and you could get a better player who is slumping, as well as some draft picks and/or prospects. In the end it could mean a couple more points for you this year to help your H2H games, plus an improved outlook for the future. Often you will find that the trades you need to make are the toughest for the simple fact that they are over-achieving a little and you are enjoying the boost they are giving your team.

For the record, I think Malone will wind up in the high 60’s thanks to his chemistry with Steven Stamkos, so that would involve a small slowdown.

Ryan, on the other hand, is starting to heat up after a slow start. His best years are definitely ahead of him and he is a player you should hang onto.

Hey Dobber, Great effort you put here and on your website! I need some advice, please. At center, I'm really happy with Evgeni Malkin, Jeff Carter, Steven Stamkos and Olli Jokinen. At RW, I'm a little hesitant with Patrick Kane, Michal Frolik and Jakub Voracek. At LW, I'm good for the future with Brenden Morrow, Evander Kane, James van Riemsdyk and James Neal. Olli has been playing, eh...Olli-like. Serviceable. Would it make sense to trade Stamkos, and land a solid LW or RW? I feel I can afford the depth at C.

Mark, Hamilton, Ont.

Actually, Mark, I don’t think you should touch your pivots. It is looking as though you are a little heavy on futures on the wing and some of those guys would net you a really good here-and-now player. You could probably use two wingers like that, thanks to Morrow’s off-year.

If you offered around JVR and Voracek, I am certain you could land a serviceable winger in the tail-end of his prime who could give you a couple of 70-point years before he starts to fade. Or a winger with some upside who is in a bit of a slump. And because you are giving up potential superstars, you could probably get draft picks and maybe a long-shot prospect in the deal as well.

Jamie Langenbrunner is a guy who fits the first bill and Dustin Brown is an example of the second type I described, provided your league is points-only.

Hey Dobber! I am in a keeper league where we can keep any 10 players every year – stats are G, A, PIM, +/-, PPP, SHP, GW. I have a two-part question about a trade and how it might affect my keepers. The trade would be getting Jason Spezza for Stephen Weiss. Has Weiss finally put it all together and will Spezza rebound? If this trade were proposed at the start of the year it would be no question.

Shaun, Belleville, Ont.

Do it. Yes, Weiss has finally put it all together and I think he’ll bust 70 points this year, with an upside of around 80. Well, Spezza has already buried that upside and he hasn’t even hit his prime yet. Some would argue that Dany Heatley was responsible for his 90-point past and that may be true, but I think Spezza will get there on his own when he reaches his prime in a couple of years.

Hey Dobber, love the advice. I would like to know what rotisserie scoring is. I have a lot of great players, but roto keeps me around the bottom.

Joey, Windsor, Ont.

A roto league counts different statistical categories, generally around 10. Your basic roto league will count: goals, assists, plus/minus, penalty minutes, shots on goal and power-play points for offense; and wins, shutouts, goals-against average and save percentage (or saves) for defense. If your league has 12 teams in it and you lead in a particular category, you get 12 points for that category. If you are last in that category, you get one point. So you need to balance the categories. Or, if you are doing extremely well in most of the categories, it may be OK to let a couple of them slide.

In your pool manager (be it Yahoo or otherwise), check for a link that gives you “full standings” and from there you can peruse your team and see which stats you need help in. Then address it via the waiver wire or trade.

Looking at Pittsburgh's new PP that has four forwards, does Alex Goligoski still have a great keeper value? I look at him and can't convince myself he is not just another Ryan Whitney.

Jordan, Lethbridge, Alta.

When Whitney was drafted, which was prior to Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin, I had him pegged as a 45- or maybe 50-point, two-way defenseman. When Goligoski was drafted, I knew right away that he was more one-dimensional than that. His offensive upside on any team is higher than Whitney’s. If you want a candidate to be the next Mike Green in terms of points, look no further than Goli. The Pens may employ a four-forward power play, but that one defenseman next year is going to be this kid, since Sergei Gonchar will be an unrestricted free agent and I doubt that they can keep him.

I have just been offered Frolik for Filatov in a points-only non-positional dynasty league. What’s your take?

Chuck, Toronto

I would do that deal, Chuck, as Michael Frolik has fantastic upside. Nikita Filatov’s upside may be a little higher, but not only does Frolik offer immediate value, he poses very little threat to leave the NHL. The uncertainty is gone if you do this deal.

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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