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Rebound Players for 2013-14

by chewy 16. September 2013 06:49

 Sometimes you have to just forgive and forget. Last season is in the past and let's move on. Here are some guys who should see a significant rebound in their production this season.




Jordan Eberle                     EDM         

Eberle's production slipped a bit in his 3rd NHL season, failing to build on his previous year's success. He was still a decent fantasy winger. Look for a major rebound in his numbers in 2013-14. He should deliver near point-per-game output and is a very good bet for 30 goals. If the stars align, he could join teammate Taylor Hall in the hunt for a scoring title this season.


Marian Gaborik                     COB         

Gaborik struggled through a rocky season in 2013 with the Rangers before being dealt to the Jackets at the deadline. He is now the showcase attraction in town once more. It remains to be seen what he will do in a full season with Columbus, but you should figure on a serous rebound from last year's disappointing numbers. Two straight healthy seasons have me willing to take a gamble on him.


Milan Lucic                     BOS         

Lucic completely disappeared as the season wore on, to the point where he was a healthy scratch going into the playoffs. That all got sorted out nicely in the postseason, as he returned to his beastly self. Look for a big rebound in 2013-14.


Corey Perry                     ANA         

After a dominating 50-goal, MVP season in 2010-11, Perry followed it up with 2 disappointing efforts. With Bobby Ryan out of town, and Selanne fading or retired, all eyes will be on Perry to provide the goal scoring for the Ducks. Expect a nice rebound this season. Even if the goals don't pile up, he contributes enough in every category (especially PIMs), to make him one of the most reliable fantasy wingers in the game.


Tyler Seguin                     DAL         

Is he mature enough to be the leader most projected him to be when drafted #2 overall? Who cares, as long as he rebounds from last season's poor fantasy showing. Which I say he will. The fresh start in Dallas should spur him on to fantasy stardom. I'm expecting big things from Seguin in Dallas this season.


Jeff Skinner                     CAR         

After winning the Calder Trophy in his rookie season, Skinner has slipped back, due to several bouts with concussions. Should he shake the headaches, Skinner certainly has the potential to reemerge as a fantasy star for the Canes. Look for a big rebound this season.





Tyler Myers                     BUF         

A dude this big and talented can't continue to plummet like this. Following an enormous fantasy season, his production has dipped steadily with each passing season. It's now or never for Myers to redeem some of that promise that earned him that Calder hardware in 2009-10.


Alex Pietrangelo                     STL         

Following two fantastic seasons to kick off his career with St. Louis, Pietrangelo was a slight disappointment last season. He ranked 35th in total fantasy points among defensemen.  Expect a significant rebound from Pietrangelo this season.





Roberto Luongo                     VAN         T

he goalie trade finally materialized for the Canucks, but of course, it didn't go according to the plan. Luongo now finds himself as the surprise unchallenged starter for Vancouver. Assuming everyone can kiss and make up, this has the makings of a potentially strong comeback season for Luongo on the fantasy front. On the downside, if Coach Torts has his way, Luongo will see less shots than he has been accustomed to, meaning the saves column will take a hit. Still, the increased volume of play will make him a viable #1 option in net once more. The added incentive to play his way into the #1 job for Team Canada won't hurt much either.


Jonathan Quick                     LOS         

Simply put, Quick tanked last season. He showed no signs of the man who dominated the position for the prior two years. That changed in the playoffs, as he returned to form and carried the team for 2 rounds. That run brings hope to fantasy owners looking for a top notch goalie that may be underrated at this year's draft. He didn't even crack the top 20 in fantasy points by the end of last season. Look for a rapid return to the top 5 this year.


Pekka Rinne                     NAS         

Rinne, along with the entire Nashville team, took a big step backwards last season. Maybe they missed Suter that much. Despite the slip, Rinne remains the epitome of the word "workhorse". He will continue to own the pipes for 85% of the action in Nashville, which means wins should continue to pile up. Look for a bounce back in other categories, with a Preds team that just has to be better this season.

Breakout Fantasy Players for 2013-14

by chewy 10. September 2013 06:23

If you're in it to win, and not just have a good showing, you need to capitalize on a breakout player or two.  Finding these guys is a challenge.  Here are a few players that seem poised to post huge jumps in a numbers over their previous highs:




Jamie Benn                     DAL         

Benn has been on the cusp of breaking out as a fantasy star for several seasons. With the retooling in Dallas, this could finally be the year he wins you a championship. If all pans out and he meshes well with newcomers like Seguin, he should easily set some career highs.


Beau Bennett                     PIT         

Bennett should be the one name on everyone's list of potential breakout players in 2013-14. He showed flashes of offensive magic in limited action last season, but couldn't stick on the top 2 stacked lines in Pittsburgh. The Pens made a point of announcing that he will have a much larger role this time around, immediately following the embarrassing playoff sweep.


Jonathan Drouin                     TAM         

It's scary to think how productive this rookie could be, should he find his way onto a line with Stamkos and St. Louis. He's my pick for Rookie of the Year and one of the only rookies I would spend a draft pick on this year.


Alex Galchenyuk                     MON         

Galchenyuk had a fine rookie season and is poised for a potential breakout campaign in his second year with Montreal. Despite playing 3rd line minutes, he made a strong case for the Calder. He should move up the depth chart for the Habs this season and become a worthy fantasy factor.


Evander Kane                     WIN         

Kane had a bit of a breakout in 2011-12 with a 30 goal effort, but with a relatively paltry assist total, he finished with just 57 points. This should be the year that Kane breaks out into clear star status. Another 30 goals should be a given, but expect a better showing in the 2nd column.


Nail Yakupov                     EDM         

Yakupov was good enough in his rookie campaign to give fantasy owners something to be excited about this time around. As the season progressed, he started to earn much more ice time. He finished the year with 6 goals in the final 3 games. Take a chance on a monster breakout season.





Jonas Brodin                     MIN         

While he has yet to display much goal scoring acumen, the rookie performed quite well for the Wild last season. He logged huge minutes for a first year defenseman and moved the puck well. There is much offensive upside. As the Wild improve, so will Brodin's fantasy value. Look for a potential breakout season here.


Simon Despres                     PIT         

The Pens intentionally held Despres back last season, despite his enormous potential. Minutes after being bumped from the playoffs, the team made a point of saying that Despres will enjoy a much bigger role with the team in 2013-14. With the amount of goal scoring that goes on in Pittsburgh, that means plenty of potential. This will be the breakout season for Despres.


Oliver Ekman-Larsson                     PHO         

Ekman-Larsson continues to progress, heading into his fourth season in the NHL. He has been a bit overshadowed by Yandle in Phoenix, but that shouldn't stop you from snatching him up mid-draft. He should set a career high in points, and may make a go at 50.


Dougie Hamilton                     BOS         

Hamilton entered his rookie season with high expectations. At times, he met those, at other times, he faded from view. Ultimately, he had a respectable set of numbers by season's end. Look for the progression to continue this season. He could easily bust out with a big 40-50 point season.


Travis Hamonic                     NYI         

As an all-around fantasy contributor, Hamonic has the potential to break out this season. Despite his stature, he piles up the pentalty minutes. The playoffs last season showed what an enormous pest he can be. Too bad there's no fantasy stat for annoying. Sticking to the stats that are counted, his production continues to improve entering his fourth NHL campaign. Definite upside here.


Justin Schultz                     EDM         

An ugly number in the plus/minus column scarred an otherwise solid rookie season last year. Given a full slate of games and a more mature team around him, Schultz could become a household fantasy name in 2013-14. He'll be the go-to guy on the backend for an Oilers team prime to score a metric buttload of goals. Don't be surprised if he tops 15 goals himself.


Slava Voynov                     LOS         

Voynov has flown somewhat under the radar outside of the LA in his first two NHL seasons. During that time, he put together two very solid seasons, logging big minutes and putting up decent point totals for the Kings. He was rewarded this summer with a big six year deal, so the Kings believe he's their man on the blueline. His numbers in the playoffs were even better, as he contributed 2 goals in each of LA's 3 playoffs series. Look for a potential breakout season for Voynov as he starts to get the fantasy attention he has earned.

Top 10 Fantasy Goalie Rankings for 2013-14

by Chewbacca 4. September 2013 19:01

The goalie position continues to be the hardest by far to predict with certainty.   I can only recommend two names to be sure winners worthy of a first round pick.  After that, you have a collections of very good options that are almost interchangeable parts.  Because of that, if you miss out on Lundqvist or Rask, I recommend waiting until the goalie run is over and picking the 8th or 9th goalie off the board, as there shouldn't be much drop off from the 3rd best option.





1. Henrik Lundqvist

While he fell just shy of another Vezina nod last season, you simply cannot get more in terms of reliability than Hank. I suspect that the coaching change will have an overall positive effect on his fantasy numbers. He should see significantly more shots this season, which means more saves. And the shots that Torts dictated be blocked out front tended to be the easier saves for a goalie. Logically, you should see a higher save percentage, more saves, and overall total domination for Lundqvist as this year's top goalie pick.


2. Tuukka Rask

If anyone can challenge Lundqvist for the top spot on the goalie list, it's Rask. He had to wait patiently for his opportunity as Boston's #1, but has proven to be worth the wait. His dominance in the regular season even carried through the playoffs. With Boston promising to be one of the most dominant teams this season, he is assured of large helping of Wins. Expect 40, perhaps even 50. Can't go wrong with Rask.






3. Sergei Bobrovsky

After a revelation of a season, all eyes will be on Bobrovsky to see if he can repeat the magic. The Jackets are clearly on rise and will rely on Sergei to keep them moving that way. There is no reason to doubt he will be a solid contributor once again fantasy wise, but expecting another Vezina may be overshooting. He is certainly a safe #1 option in net.


4. Jimmy Howard

Howard has been a reliable fantasy option for four years now. He stepped it up a notch last season, arguably carrying them into the playoffs. The Wings have committing to him for the long haul, so he won't have contract issues on his mind. Detroit's young defensive crew is coming together nicely and ought to provide enough support for Howard to make it 5 straight seasons as a solid fantasy keeper.


5. Jonathan Quick

Simply put, Quick tanked last season. He showed no signs of the man who dominated the position for the prior two years. That changed in the playoffs, as he returned to form and carried the team for 2 rounds. That run brings hope to fantasy owners looking for a top notch goalie that may be underrated at this year's draft. He didn't even crack the top 20 in fantasy points by the end of last season. Look for a rapid return to the top 5 this year.


6. Corey Crawford

If it's wins that you crave, consider holding out for Crawford as your #1 in net. The Hawks will surely deliver plenty in the W column again in 2013-14, and this time, assuming he stays healthy, Crawford won't have to share the net with Emery. Khabibulin will fill in only when Crawford needs a breather. His numbers last year were among the best in the league. He just needs more starts to rank with the elite.



7. Antti Niemi

According to my charts, Antti Niemi provided more fantasy points than any other player in the league. (I'll pause while you absorb that thought). (thought you might need more time...) Much of this came in the first 3 weeks of the season when San Jose seemingly couldn't lose a game. He finished the season strong as well, piling up 24 wins in 43 games. While I don't expect the Sharks to be as good this time around, he is the undisputed #1 in net for San Jose. He will again get his fair share of wins and will remain a viable #1 option. Just don't expect a repeat as the top fantasy man.



8. Craig Anderson

Statistically, Anderson was the best goalie in the league last season, by far. His 1.69 GAA and .941 save percentage were silly good. He just needed to stay healthy a little longer. He didn't show a sign of weakness all season until the 2nd round of the playoffs, where the Pens made him look human. A full season in good health will show whether or not he is for real as a #1 option.


9. Pekka Rinne

Rinne, along with the entire Nashville team, took a big step backwards last season. Maybe they missed Suter that much. Despite the slip, Rinne remains the epitome of the word "workhorse". He will continue to own the pipes for 85% of the action in Nashville, which means wins should continue to pile up. Look for a bounce back in other categories, with a Preds team that just has to be better this season.



10. Marc-Andre Fleury

You'll need to focus hard, but try and forget what happened in last year's playoffs. And the playoffs the year before that. Focus. In the regular season (which is what we care about in fantasy town), Fleury has been a very good option. The Pens (for some unknown reason) insist on standing behind him as their #1, despite having a far more stable option in Vokoun at the ready. As long as that vote of confidence remains from the man behind the bench, Fleury will carry significant fantasy value. The Pens promise to rack up the wins again this year, and the Flower is the default option to gather those Ws. Because of his post-season struggles, you will probably see Fleury slide deep come draft time, making him a potential sleeper win.




To see the rest of my top 50 goalie rankings, visit:  You can also customize your own list there.

2013-14 NHL Power Rankings (Summer Edition)

by Chewbacca 9. August 2013 07:16

Before we dive deep into the player projections for the upcoming fantasy hockey season, it helps to get grounded in the real world.  That is, how should you expect the NHL teams to fare this year, particularly in the new division alignment.  It's a whole new world, as the focus shifts squarely on the divisions, so we'll break things down that way.  I'll spare you the analysis and jump right to the projections:




1. Pittsburgh Penguins

2. New York Islanders

3. Philadelphia Flyers

4. Columbus Blue Jackets


5. New York Rangers

6. Washington Capitals

7. Carolina Hurricanes

8. New Jersey Devils





1. Boston Bruins

2. Toronto Maple Leafs

3. Ottawa Senators

4. Detroit Redwings


5. Montreal Canadiens

6. Buffalo Sabres

7. Tampa Bay Lightning

8. Florida Panthers





1. Chicago Blackhawks

2. St. Louis Blues

3. Minnesota Wild

4. Dallas Stars


5. Nashville Predators

6. Winnepeg Jets

7. Colorado Avalanche





1. L.A. Kings

2. Anaheim Ducks

3. San Jose Sharks

4. Edmonton Oilers


5. Vancouver Canucks

6. Calgary Flames

7. Phoenix Coyotes



Now for that brief analysis that I owe you.


Going Up

Several teams are clearly on their way up, should things play out the way I've prognosticated. 


Islanders -- Goal scoring continues to rise, as this team takes on the persona of it's captain.  While they'll need to lock things down a little more on defense to find success in the playoffs, they are poised for a bump in the regular season standings and should be a solid squad to target from a fantasy hockey perspective.


Flyers -- This team got off to a horrible start last season, and nearly recovered in time to make the playoffs.  Given a full 82-game schedule, it's a fair bet that they would have qualified.  I expect a significant recovery in 2013.


Stars -- Dallas had a pretty good off-season, at least on paper.  They shed some aging veterans for some speedy talent up front.  They're poised for a return to relevance.


Oilers -- If not this season, then when?  At some point this talent has to come together. 



Going Down


Canucks -- This have not gone swimmingly for the Canucks in recent memory.  Too many distractions and no good vibes.   They can no longer prey on a weak division.  The playoff streak ends this year.


Canadiens -- Despite winning their division, the warts started to show as the season wore on.  This team is too small and not deep enough to compete with the top tier in the Atlantic.


Rangers -- It's just not coming together for the Blue Shirts.  A new face behind the bench may rejuvenate this offense, but it may take more than one season to see it all come together.  Somebody has to be edged out.


Capitals -- All this team did was get worse since the season ended.  Despite bringing Ovechkin and Green back from the dead, Washington doesn't have enough complementary parts to qualify in their division.



Overall Power Rankings

1. Pittsburgh Penguins

2. Boston Bruins

3. Chicago Blackhawks

4. LA Kings

5. Anaheim Ducks

6. St. Louis Blues

7. Toronto Maple Leafs

8. New York Islanders

9. Philadelphia Flyers

10. Columbus Blue Jackets

11. San Jose Sharks

12. Ottawa Senators

13. Detroit Redwings

14. New York Rangers

15. Minnesota Wild

16. Edmonton Oilers

17. Washington Capitals

18. Vancouver Canucks

19. Montreal Canadiens

20. Carolina Hurricanes

21. Dallas Stars

22. Nashville Predators

23. Buffalo Sabres

24. Winnepeg Jets

25. Tampa Bay Lightning

26. Colorado Avalanche

27. Calgary Flames

28. Phoenix Coyotes

29. Florida Panthers

30. New Jersey Devils

Free Agent Frenzy Fantasy Impact (Offseason Update for Week 3)

by chewy 12. July 2013 06:30

This past Friday was one of the busiest days in NHL history in terms of significant transactions, rivaling the best trade deadline days in recent memory.  It started at the noon buzzer and ran straight through the evening.  Many of the deals will have little to no fantasy impact (see Anaheim signing Nolan Yonkman for more); however, many of the deals will play into your draft prep later this summer.  Here are the moves this week (mostly from July 5) that you need to be aware of before heading to the draft table, ranked roughly in terms of fantasy impact.

(Note: Players re-signing with their current teams are not included here)





Bobby Ryan Traded to Ottawa

Though technically not a free agent signing, this move was the biggest of the day.  This deal will have fantasy implications for years to come, particularly on the Anaheim side.  But in the near term, this deal is all about Bobby Ryan landing in Ottawa.  He will automatically slide in as the #1 LW for the Sens, reserving a spot with Spezza (when healthy) or Turris (when not).  Mr. Ryan has to this point left us wanting more from a fantasy perspective.  The highlight reels would suggest that his point totals should be higher.  Perhaps the change in scenery will give him the boost to return to 30 goal scorer status.  He's declined over the last 2 seasons, so this may be the jump he needs.


Ray Emery (PHI)

On the surface, seeing the Flyers bring the goalie of the year into town, particularly one who has followed such a rocky road throughout his career, doesn't seem like much.  But don't be fooled.  This may ultimately be the most significant move of the off-season.  Yes, I just typed that.  Consider this:  had the Flyers received above-average goaltending over the past two seasons, the could have written a significantly different history.  This is a good team with bad goaltending.  Emery has proven over the past few seasons that he is a good soldier, and a very good goaltender.  What he needs is opportunity and good health.  The Flyers gave him the first piece.  If he can keep the doctor away, we may have a serious value pick with Emery.


Nathan Horton (COB)

Another headline move, Horton brings his tremendous talent (and history of injuries)  to the rising Jackets.  Question his motives if you like, but this feels like a nice fit.  The Jackets (and you, if you draft him) will have to wait a few months for his services, but once he arrives, he should bolster a team that may be fantasy relevant for the first time ever.


Jarome Iginla (BOS)

If you're a Bruins fan, this move happened just a couple months too late.  Iginla was never proper utilized in Pittsburgh, being forced into the off wing.  His time (and results) with the Pens could have been so much more.  Too many cooks, or something like that.  He's coming into a situation in Boston with a sudden need for a first or second line Right Winger to play with top notch talent at center and LW.  This should be a perfect fit and the opportunity Iginla needed to revive his fantasy status.  Look for a bump in numbers.






Valtteri Filppula (TB)

Apparently Stevie Yzerman saw enough of Filppula during their brief overlap in Detroit to convince him to pay the money Detroit wasn't willing to dish out.  With Lecavalier sliding out, Filppula defaults into the #2 center role.  A slight increase in playing time may be a bonus for a player who has been a marginal fanstasy factor throughout his career.


Mike Ribeiro (PHO)

Ribeiro benefitted from his surroundings in Washington, more than he will in Phoenix.  Expect a  "dive" in his points.  (Sorry, I will always see this punk as the league's top diver).


Pierre-Marc Bouchard (NYI)

This was another under-the-radar move that may ultimately play out into a major factor in the upcoming season.  Bouchard has occasionally shown flashes of really-goodness during his time with the Wild.  He joins a crew of fast, gifted skaters who are given the freedom to be creative, which suits his game better than the Minnesota system.  Look for Bouchard's stock to rise in fantasy circles next season.


David Clarkson (TOR)

Clarkson was a big signing for the Leafs, but like most analysts, I tend to think he was overpaid in dollars and term.  This will ultimately haunt Toronto in a few years.  As for next season, Clarkson should benefit from the move to Toronto.  The top 6 talent in Toronto is fairly stronger than the group he left in Jersey.


Derek Roy (STL)

This signing came a day or two late and was largely ignored.  But don't count Roy out just yet.  He's capable of a point a game production, and St. Louis is in need of a playmaker like him at the center position.  While he's been around seemingly for ever, he just turned 30 in May.  There is still plenty of offensive tread on these tires and should surprise many with a solid fantasy season for the Blues this year.


Stephen Weiss (DET)

The other new face in Detroit, (see below), may finally emerge as a legit fantasy option.  Fans who followed hockey in Miami know that Weiss is a talented player who had very little talent to help boost his production.  A few powerplay minutes a game with Datsyuk may be enough to re-introduce this first round draft pick to the hockey community.  Expect career numbers for Weiss with his new squad.






Daniel Alfredsson (DET)

Yes, it was big news in terms of legacy and hurt feelings.  If you're drafting a roster based on such emotions, you're on the wrong website.  Alfredsson's experiment in Detroit will be fun to watch, but it will barely register in fantasy hockey circles.


Viktor Stalberg (NAS)

Stalberg was somewhat trapped on the depth chart in Chicago, having to play behind Kane and Hossa on the right side.  The move to Nashville at least opens to door to more minutes and more opportunity.  He's one of the fastest skaters in the league and should see his stock rise this season.


Michael Ryder (NJ)

Ryder is donning his fourth different jersey in four seasons.  And all he's done at each stop is score goals.  He will be counted on to fill the void left by Clarkson.  At 33 years old, he probably has one or two solid chances at 30 goals seasons left in the tank.


Anton Khudobin (CAR)

The relevance of this moves is dependent upon the health of Mr. Cam Ward.  Ward is the undisputed man in net for the Canes.  Should he return fully healed of his knee ailments, he will dominate the crease minutes, leaving Khudobin in the same situation he left in Boston.  However, if the injury woes persist for Ward, Khudobin is a fine plan B that Carolina has traditionally lacked.  If the cards fall his way, Khudobin could be a sweet sleeper option.






Ilya Kovalchuk Flees to KHL

Talk about screwing the Devils.  They signed this guy to a monster deal and so couldn't afford Parise or Clarkson.  He leaves after free agency, leaving New Jersey with nothing.  This move effectively makes New Jersey a fantasy hockey graveyard.  I can't see a single Devil being drafted in fantasy hockey next season.


Alexander Burmistrov (WPG) off to KHL

So much talent that never seemed to click in the NHL.  Burmistrov provided some top notch highlights, but just not enough of them.  If you're preparing for your KHL fantasy hockey draft, take note.  Otherwise, get your pen out and cross him off your cheatsheet now.



What's To Come


While most of the news has already been written, there are a few names of fantasy note still sitting without a contract for next season.  Here are the most intriguing to watch over the coming weeks:


  • Jaromir Jagr -- while the goals refused to come, he showed he is still a top playmaker at age 41
  • Mikhail Grabovski -- despite the potty-mouth and insubordination, he can score points.
  • Ryan Whitney -- maybe someday that potential will be realized. 
  • Tim Thomas -- this guy has to come back.  Somebody please sign Tim Thomas.
  • Ilya Bryzgalov -- this story is not over yet.

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