Tag Archives: Dan Boyle

Lots of keeper pool deals

Despite me not being close to the top of the standings (I’m ranked sixth out of 10), I continue to be a pretty active general manager in the Greatest Hockey Pool Ever, my keeper fantasy league.

Resolute photo, via Wikimedia Commons

Jack Johnson is now a member of my fantasy team.

As such, I’ve made quite a few deals over the last month, and I thought it would be good to show you my reasoning behind them.

Deal #1

Feb 2, 2012: I deal Mark Streit and a third round pick in 2013 for Jack Johnson and a fourth round pick in 2013.

I like Mark Streit, but he’s getting up there in age. He’s also got one year left on his contract, and I don’t think the Islanders will re-sign him. So by moving him, I get Jack Johnson. Johnson has a lot of upside. Yes, I’ve heard the trade rumours that the Kings are shipping him around. And if he gets traded to Columbus, his value takes a hit.

To which I say, bull. I don’t worry about Johnson’s value if he goes to Columbus. James Wisniewski is doing pretty good there (22 points in 33 games, but has been injured a bit). If Johnson goes there and does well, his value won’t suffer. Plus, if Johnson is on the market, maybe he’ll end up a team like Detroit or Boston instead. You never know where a guy will be dealt to, or what type of coaching system he’ll play best in, or what type of chemistry he’ll have with teammates in his new city.

I figure if you get a chance to get a potential stud like Johnson in a keeper pool, then you do it.

Originally, Matt, the guy I made the deal with, wanted a pick. I’m not looking to trade a pick though. So he suggested upgrading one. Since I owned his third rounder in 2013, we made the swap, and he moves one round up in the draft.

Deal #2

Feb. 14, 2012: I deal Zach Parise for Ryan Getzlaf and Cam Fowler.

Michael Miller photo, via Wikimedia Commons

Hey Getzlaf, you better not suck on my team.

I don’t know if I ever debated a potential deal in my head more than this one. I still go back and forth on it. A lot of people are high on Getzlaf. I’m a little worried about his injury-proneness. Parise has been the model of consistency when it comes to healthiness. He did get injured last year, but before that, he played almost every game each season he’s been in the NHL. And he’s done the same this year.

I also don’t like the way Getzlaf starts the season slowly before coming around in the second half. However, that could change soon. This summer, Jason Blake, Saku Koivu and Teemu Selanne’s salary come off the books as they become free agents (and in Selanne’s case, possibly retire). That’s a savings of $10.5 million dollars. That means the Ducks can get some better secondary scoring. Yes, Selanne is great, but if you can get three good second-line players that will help with the scoring, that’s better than one Selanne. And having more help on the second line means less pressure and focus on Getzlaf. At least, that’s the thought.

Fowler, like Johnson, is a great young defenceman. He should be able to put up 40 points a season with Anaheim as he matures.

Deal #3

Feb. 13, 2012: I deal Dan Boyle for Kevin Shattenkirk.

Much like the Johnson deal, this is a move more for the future. Boyle’s numbers have gone down the last couple of seasons, and he’s on pace for 49 points this year.

Shattenkirk is a great young defenceman on a good young team. I don’t think he’ll hit his full stride for another couple of years, when the rest of the young Avalanche players mature as hockey players. But at that point, watch out.

Deal #4

Feb. 20, 2012: I deal Kevin Shattenkirk for a second round pick in 2013.

Matt Boulton photo, via Wikimedia Commons

Kevin Shattenkirk, I hope you enjoyed the week you spent on my keeper pool team.

Sounds strange that I would deal him so quickly, eh? But it makes sense. In our pool, we’re having two new expansion teams this year. As such, things are a little different this summer. We can only keep eight forwards, five defencemen, two goalies and a rookie.

I had six defencemen. Kris Letang, Andrei Markov, Ryan Murphy, Johnson, Fowler and Shattenkirk. I wanted to trade one of them for a pick, or else I would lose them for nothing. I wasn’t moving Letang. Markov and Murphy wouldn’t fetch me anything on the trade market.

So that meant I had to trade one of the new defencemen I acquired in the past month. I put out feelers to a couple of different teams, but got this deal done first. I didn’t want to give up Shattenkirk, but better than losing someone for nothing. And I wouldn’t have been able to get a second round pick for Boyle.

Deal #5

Feb. 21: I trade Martin Brodeur for a fifth rounder.

Much like the last deal, I was looking to deal a player I couldn’t keep for a draft pick. I knew I wouldn’t get much for Brodeur, but any pick is better than nothing.

By dealing away all my extra players now, I get a bit of an advantage this summer. Many people in the pool have too many players, and will end up dropping them and receiving nothing in return. I think it will be a pretty slow summer in terms of trades. If an owner has to drop four forwards, three defencemen and a goalie, then why would they deal a pick for another player? Only if it’s a major upgrade over a current keeper would they do it.

You might see some player for player movement, but again, only if it’s an upgrade. Otherwise, it doesn’t make sense. By dealing all my players now, I don’t have to worry about it in the summer.

Conclusion

I’m pretty happy with my keeper team, but I say that all the time. As it stands now, this is my team (bold are keepers):

Forwards: Malkin, Stamkos, Getzlaf, Hall, Duchene, E. Kane, Ryan, Zetterberg, Granlund (rookie protect), Kadri

Defence: Letang, Fowler, J. Johnson, Murphy, Markov

Goalies: Miller, Price

I like that team a lot. They’re pretty young. They’re good. They’re talented. They just need to win it all for me. That’s all. That’s not too much to ask.

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25 bold NHL predictions

Most web sites do a NHL predictions page. But most of those predictions are safe. They don’t really take a chance.

Photo by rubyswoon, via Wikimedia Commons

Zach Parise will score 50 goals this season.

Want some boldness? Read my predictions on the upcoming NHL season below.

1. There will be five players that crack the 50-goal barrier, the most since the 2005-06 campaign. My guess on the players would be Steven Stamkos, Corey Perry, Alexander Ovechkin, Zach Parise and Thomas Vanek (with Ilya Kovalchuk and Rick Nash coming close, and possibly Sidney Crosby, depending on how much time he misses).

2. Surprise good team of the year: Colorado Avalanche. They may not make the playoffs, but they’ll come close.

3. Surprise bad team of the year: Philadelphia Flyers. They’ll struggle for much of the year.

4. Don’t expect much out of the Bruins. A lot of teams in the East got better this past summer, and the Bruins will have a bit of a Stanley Cup hangover. They’ll still make the playoffs, but they’ll struggle.

5. Alexander Semin will be traded in a move designed to shake up the Capitals before the playoffs.

6. Daniel Alfredsson will be traded to the Red Wings to give him one last shot at the Stanley Cup before he retires.

7. Shane Doan will be traded to Winnipeg.

8. There will be at least two 20-game suspensions, as players don’t seem to understand the new headshot rule.

9. No player on the Habs will get 70 points.

10. On the wrong end of a few blowouts, and with a few scrapers on the team, the Senators will lead the league in fights.

11. Three Canadian teams will make the playoffs: The Canadiens, the Leafs and the Canucks.

12. Simon Gagne finds a way to stay healthy, score 30 goals and net 70 points.

Photo by Dan4th, via Wikimedia Commons

Dany Heatley will demand a trade this year.

13. Dany Heatley will demand a trade, and will end up in Winnipeg.

14. Surprise player of the year will be Bryan Little.

15. The Islanders make a big trade for a goalie.

16. The Calgary Flames will finish last in the West.

17. All three Calder finalists from last season — Jeff Skinner, Logan Couture and Michael Grabner  — have a sophomore slump.

18. Brad Richards does what most big-money free agents in New York do: he has a subpar season, finishing with 60 points.

19. One thing that bothers me about all these expert sites making predictions is they’re scared to take a chance to deviate from the norm. Really, you’re picking Steven Stamkos to win the Rocket Richard trophy? And Shea Weber to win the Norris? Wow, what a gutsy prediction. Blech. The following are my dark horse predictions for each of the trophies:

Rocket Richard: Zach Parise

20. Hart: Jarome Iginla

21. Art Ross:  Ryan Getzlaf

22. Selke: Tomas Plekanec

23. Norris: Dan Boyle

24. Calder: Luke Adam

25. The Devils will win the Stanley Cup, with Martin Brodeur retiring shortly thereafter.

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I trade for Boyle in a keeper pool

So, as followers of this blog may know, I belong to a great keeper pool where I have one of the best teams on paper, but it hasn’t translated to success yet.

Ivanmakarov at en.wikipedia photo

Dan Boyle is a great addition to my fantasy hockey team.

My team before my latest trade looked like this:

Forwards: Malkin, Stamkos, Parise, Hall, Duchene, E. Kane, Joe Thornton, Kadri, Zetterberg, Ennis, Gionta, Beach, Gagne

Defence: Weber, Suter, Markov, Streit, Russell, Bieksa

Goalies: Miller, Niemi, Brodeur, Gustavsson

 The top eight forwards, five defencemen and two goalies count. Straight points for forwards and defencemen while goalies get two points per win, three extra per shutout, one point per assist and one point per shootout loss.

We keep 15 players plus two rookies. Bold are players I planned to keep.

What I like most about my team is that while it’s a team that can win now, the core is young enough that I have a good solid foundation for the future. A lot of my studs are 25 years old and under (Malkin, Parise, Stamkos, Hall, Duchene, Kane, Kadri and Weber).

But I was missing an extra defenceman. Since five count, and I was only planning on keeping four, that meant I had to trade for one or draft one. Since there are not many good defencemen available in our upcoming draft, I figured I needed to make a trade.

After not being able to make trades for Jack Johnson or James Wisniewski for various reasons, I focused on Dan Boyle. I honestly thought the other owner would want too much, but after some negotiating, we decided on the following deal:

Boyle for Ennis, Gagne and a third round pick.

Simply put, Boyle is a beast. He has scored at least 50 points in five of his last six seasons. He’s one of the top defencemen in the league when it comes to fantasy hockey. Since the NHL lockout ended, only Nicklas Lidstrom, Lubomir Visnovsky and Brian Rafalski have more points.

Gagne was a drop for me, so he didn’t really count. So the way I look at it, I traded Ennis and a third rounder for Boyle. That’s a great deal in my eyes.

Now I have a great set of forwards, a great group of defencemen and a solid group of goalies.

Hopefully this year, the great team on paper becomes a great team in my fantasy pool.

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San Jose Sharks preview

The San Jose Sharks have been one of the best teams in the regular season the past few years, but one of the biggest disappointments when it comes to the playoffs.

No one seems to know why. They just don’t get the timely scoring when it counts the most, despite the amount of talent they have.

With a new coach and a revamped blueline, they’re hoping to get over the hump this year.

Forwards: Joe Thornton will be a beast this year, at least in the regular season. The former Bruin has shone on the west coast. Last year’s point total of 92 was his lowest in three years. That’s a pretty good letdown. Thornton is able to stay physical and is hard to knock off the puck.

Patrick Marleau is the captain of the team, but needs to prove it this year. His numbers have gone down each of the last three seasons, to a disappointing 48 points last year, and a career-worse minus 19.

Milan Michalek and Joe Pavelski are two young players on the team that are improving every season. They should be getting more ice time this year and increased productivity as a result.

Defence: The Sharks overhauled their defence this year. They traded for Dan Boyle, who missed a lot of time last season due to a freak injury. But he’s been durable the rest of his career, so the Sharks are expecting big numbers out of him.

The Sharks also signed Rob Blake. While he may not be the offensive threat he once was, he will bring leadership to the blueline that was missing before. He’ll be counted on to kill penalties, play strong defensively and be an all-around force back there.

Goaltending: Evgeni Nabokov is the team’s number one goalie, and would probably be the number one goalie on all but three teams. Last season, he first in games played and wins, and top five in goals against and shutouts. The Sharks just need to be careful they don’t play him too much and tire him out, especially in the tough Western conference.

Pool picks:Take a chance on Ryan Clowe. I don’t just say that because he’s a Newfie, but because he’s due for a breakout year. He’ll probably be off a lot of radars because he has a tendency to get injured often, but if he’s able to play a full season, he should be able to get 60 points. Stay away from: Jonathan Cheechoo. Despite having every opportunity to play on the top line, Cheechoo’s numbers have gone down every season, resulting in only 37 points last year. Chances are he won’t rebound from that.

Miscellaneous: The Sharks have been on the Stanley Cup contenders for the past four seasons, but could never get over the hump to get to the finals. So the team fired coach Ron Wilson, and hired Todd McLellan as the new coach. The Sharks soon have to win the Cup, because teams can’t stay Stanley Cup favourites for long.

Expected finish: Second in the Pacific division, fourth in the Western conference.

Overall: The Sharks will enjoy another stellar season. They’ll be a tough team to play against, and will win the majority of their games. However, they’ll only be judged based on how they do in the playoffs, and that’s a long six months away.

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