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.
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.
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.
Feb. 14, 2012: I deal Zach Parise for Ryan Getzlaf and Cam Fowler.
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.
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.
Feb. 20, 2012: I deal Kevin Shattenkirk for a second round pick in 2013.
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.
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.
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.