So I’ve made two more keeper pool deals in the last week, and the fine-tuning of my roster is nearly complete.
The first deal was my Johan Franzen for a third round and a fifth round pick in 2013.
It may sound strange to trade Franzen, a keeper on most teams, for only a mid- and a low-draft pick. But this is a different year than normal for my keeper pool.
This summer, we have two expansion teams joining The Greatest Keeper Pool Ever. Because of that, our normal rules for keepers are taking a backseat. Normally, we can keep 15 players plus two rookies (no positional requirements). This year, we can keep only eight forwards, five defencemen, two goalies and one rookie. It doesn’t sound like a big difference, but it actually is.
The other new rule for this offseason only has to do with dropped players. You can designate one of them to be a “draft” player. If that player is chosen by an expansion team, you get a sixth round draft pick (our drafts are normally five rounds). So you get an extra pick out of it.
But you can only designate one person to be that draft player. So if you drop 10 players, the most you’re going to get is one sixth round draft pick.
So my goals for the last two months have been to trade my extra players for picks and to upgrade any keepers I could. Even if I only get a fifth round pick for a player, that is still better than a sixth. But most of my trades have been for picks higher than that.
Franzen was a guy I couldn’t keep. My eight keepers are Malkin, Stamkos, Parise, Hall, Duchene, E. Kane, Ryan and Zetterberg, with Granlund being my rookie keeper. There’s no one on that list I would drop in favour of Franzen.
Matt, the guy I dealt Franzen to, is fighting for first with Kevin, where the lead seems to change daily. Right now, the difference between first and second is three points. Franzen gave Matt an extra seven points.
As a side note, I had acquired Franzen from Kevin as part of a deal that saw me get Letang. So I’m trading for players from one, and sending them to the other guy.
This happened about a day after the Franzen deal, and it was with Kevin.
I traded Antti Niemi, a second and a fifth round pick in 2013 for Carey Price. It gave Kevin a much better goalie option for the rest of this season, but it helps me out long-term.
My keepers before the trade looked like this:
Defence: Letang, Markov, Streit, Boyle, Murphy
Goalies: Miller, Niemi
I definitely wanted to upgrade both groups. But for defence, I’m going to wait until after the expansion teams draft their teams before worrying about improving that position. That way, I can try to trade a pick for a defenceman, or just wait until our regular draft and get one or two defencemen then.
In nets, I have faith that Ryan Miller will be a beast again next season. He has at least 34 wins in each of the last five seasons, and at least six shutouts in each of the last four. So he’s having an off-year. It happens.
So that left me with the option of upgrading Niemi, and I believe I did that. Niemi generally doesn’t get a lot of starts. He only had 60 last year, and is on pace for 64. Thomas Griess has shown to be a capable backup, and actually has a lower goals against average and a higher save percentage than Niemi. So I don’t think Niemi will be getting more than 65 starts a year.
Now, because those 65 starts are with San Jose, that means he’ll get more wins because the players in front of him are so good. If you win a game 2-1 or 6-5, it doesn’t matter in our league. All that matters are wins and shutouts.
But Price is considered one of the top young goalies in the NHL, and wins games by himself. He played in 72 games last year, and is on pace for another 71 games this year. If Montreal can get a little better in front of him (and it shouldn’t take much to be a little better), he will get more fantasy points than Niemi each year. Even right now, under our league format, Price is only four fantasy points behind Niemi.
And honestly, as a Habs fan, I wanted Price back on my keeper pool team. I did own him, but traded him as part of a deal that gave me Miller and Parise.
So for me, that’s another good pickup.
I only have two players left that I can possibly drop: Kadri and Brodeur. I don’t know if I’ll be able to trade any of them, especially Brodeur, but I’m hoping I can.
Even if it means just moving up the draft by a round.