As we approach the Olympic break, it's time to start making those last minute tweaks to your fantasy hockey roster to prepare for the playoffs. Often times, one of the toughest decisions facing a GM is letting go of a guy that was drafted high but having a subpar season. Sometimes we'll hang on to him simple because of his name and the foolish hope that surely he has to recover any time now. Here are a handful of players that it's time to write off for the 2008-09 season. To dampen your pain, blame me if things turn around for these guys down the stretch. For reference, I'll include the player's draft position in my CBS Platinum league (which tends to attract people who have some clue what they're doing).
Marc Savard (F - BOS) - Round 5
I like Savard, so it pains me to put him to the curb, but there's only so many roster spots, and I don't have room for the terminally injured. In the first 17 weeks of hockey, he's produced points in only 8. Even when healthy, he's gone on lengthy, uncharacteristic scoring droughts. He just returned from a knee injury and has a couple of assists to show for it, but don't let that sucker you into false hope, Mr. Blue Sky. Amazingly, Savard is still owned in 98% of CBS leagues. That's a lot of blind faith floating out there. If you've got him, trade him for a depth player who will give a few points every week instead of waiting for a return to glory that probably won't come until next season.
Steve Mason (G - COB) - Round 2
Perhaps the biggest fantasy disappointment of the season is Mason. He was looked upon as one the top goalie options going into the season, after his tremendous rookie campaign. Plus, Columbus was on the upswing and Ken Hitchcock has a knack for deflating GAAs for his goalies. How did things go so wrong? Now, with Hitchcock gone, the team sinking further, and Mason no longer the undisputed #1 goalie, why are owners still holding on to this toxic asset? Time to let him go. If you can find a sucker to trade with, take the money and run. Otherwise, drop him outright. No value left to be found this season.
Dennis Wideman (D - BOS) - Round 5
Wideman was one of the biggest fantasy surprises last season, so his value was perhaps artificially inflated come draft time. The Bruins looked poised to rack up the goals again, and many figured Wideman to keep pace. At this point, if he's still on your roster, you're probably not concerned with the playoffs. Go back to preparing for your baseball draft.
Devon Setoguchi (F - SJ) - Round 6
Once again, the victim of artificially high expectations. Everyone assumed he would get his time with Big Joe and pot another 30 goals. Instead, he's been a non-factor in San Jose and is on pace for a whopping 30 points. He's still on 82% of rosters in CBS. That's just silly.
Brad Boyes (F - STL) - Round 7
Boyes ranks in the top 5 for most disappointing players of the season. That said, he's the one player on this list that you might want to grant amnesty to for a week or two more. Reason being: shots on goal. Although he has only 1 goal since Christmas, his shot totals are looking better. However, if he goes another two weeks without scoring, flog that horse and find a better option.
Chris Osgood (D - DET) - Round 4
I hesitate to put him on this list due to the obvious. If you drafted him, and you take the time to read my blog, you dropped him a long time ago. That is, unless you're still holding on to that belief that he's the playoff goalie and they're bound to play him down the stretch to get him ready. Fool. I'm not an Osgood hater, but I know when a player has reached the end of the road.
For good measure, here are some additional fantasy disappointment that hurt our feelings, but not enough to completely turns our backs on (yet):
Tim Thomas (G - BOS) - Round 2
Disappointing season seems to be the theme in Boston this year.
Cam Ward (G - CAR) - Round 2
Disappointing season is definitely the theme in Carolina this year.
Dion Phaneuf (D - TOR) - Round 3
Just glad the other guy drafted before me in Round 3. I got Shea Weber.
Marty Turco (G - DAL) - Round 5
If you drafted him that early, shame on you. His decline has been graphed for several seasons.
Alexander Frolov (F - LA) - Round 8
Wait. Is he still in the NHL? Put him in the you-should-definitely-have-dropped-him-already list.