Week 10 - Free Agents and Trade Targets

Is it really Week 10? This hockey season is zooming by!

With 1/3 of the season in the books, this is a good time to evaluate your team.

Do you have what it takes to win it all?
Second place is USELESS.
Don't be timid. All too often, I see GMs who are afraid to make moves.
They get comfortable locked in with a 3rd or 4th place team. It is almost like their very identity is tied to their hockey team's performance. I love passion for our game, but really, that's just too much. "All or Nothing" is my motto, and it applies here. Fortune favors the bold.

With that in mind, I've included one 100% owned player per position as a trade target. Typically, they have hit a bit of turbulence, and that may provide the opening you need to wrangle that player onto your roster.

Regarding the free agents, look for upside. All or Nothing, man. All or Nothing!

Left Wings

Commonly owned LWs worth adding or worth targeting via trade: Jamie Benn (100%), Valtteri Filpulla (95%), Taylor Hall (94%), James van Riemsdyk (94%), Dustin Penner (30%), Tuomo Ruutu (29%).

<a class='sbn-auto-link' href= Brenden Morrow, LW

Morrow was off to a relatively slow start (9 points in 20 games), and then missed 6 games due to an issue with his back. Dallas management said he would not return until he was "100%," and in his first game back on Thursday night he did not disappoint. The Captain contributed across the board with 2 points (a PP goal and an assist), 2 SOGs and 2 PIMs.

Availability: Owned in 56% of leagues.
Forecast: Should be owned in virtually all leagues. Morrow has a proven track record of delivering scoring punch + PIMs. Last year, he produced 33 goals and 76 PIMs. While he is not likely to reach that goal total again this season, his should pick up his scoring pace now that he's healthy and he's already amassed 41 PIMs in just 21 games.

Deep league specials (owned in a small % of leagues):

<a class='sbn-auto-link' href=Nick Foligno, LW

Nick Foligno responded in spades since being switched from left wing to centre on a line with Milan Michalek and Daniel Alfredsson. For the season, he has 19 points (10 goals, 9 assists) in 29 games. He is on pace for 28 goals and 54 points, which set new career highs in goals (17 in 2008-2009 ) and points (34, last year). Just 24 years old and in his 4th full season, Foligno is a player whose value is on the rise.

Availability: Owned in 4% of leagues.
Forecast: With 7 points (4 goals, 3 assists) in his last 6 games, and a plum assignment on a line with the NHL's leading goal scorer plus the Ottawa Senators' team captain, Foligno should be owned in all but the shallowest of leagues.

Centres

Commonly owned Cs worth adding or worth targeting via trade: Tomas Plekanec (100%), Bryan Little (77%), Craig Smith (65%).

Phoenix Coyotes Martin Hanzal, C

With all the dual eligibility these days, finding a quality pure C that is available is becoming increasingly difficult. Hanzal is the 1C in Phoenix, and according to Left Wing Lock has been lining up primarily with Radim Vrbata and Ray Whitney--two forwards who are having excellent years. Hanzal hasn't taken the league by storm, but he's no slouch either. In 26 games, he has 15 points (4 goals, 11 assists), 18 PIMs, 70 SOGs, and a +9 rating. So he's been chipping in across the board.

Availability: Owned in 29% of leagues.
Forecast: Consider adding Hanzal in deeper leagues where 50 points and solid peripheral numbers will benefit your lineup.

Deep league specials (owned in a small % of leagues):

New York Rangers Artem Anisimov, C

Anisimov is producing now that he is on a line with Gaborik and Stepan. In his last 7 games, he has 7 points (4 goals, 3 assists). His 26 PIMs are an anomaly due to the 16 he picked up in one game. Coming into this season, he averaged only 0.32 PIMs/game (26 in 82 games).

Availability: Owned in 9% of leagues.
Forecast: Not sure how long he will stay in the Top 6, but ride him while he's hot.

Right Wings

Commonly owned RWs worth adding or worth targeting via trade: Zach Parise (100%), Erik Cole (70%), Daniel Alfredsson (56%).

Winnipeg Jets Blake Wheeler, RW

Wheeler has been a fixture on Winnipeg's top line and #1 PP, and his increase in production correlates with FHS favorite Evander Kane's promotion to his line. Over his last 10 games, Wheeler has compiled 11 points (2 goals, 9 assists) and a +9 rating.

Availability: Owned in 36% of leagues.
Forecast: Reap the benefits for as long as Kane stays on his line.

Deep league specials (owned in a small % of leagues):

Calgary Flames Lee Stempniak, RW

"Look at that, Look at that. Oh yes, the call him The Streak." Stempniak is one of the most inconsistent forwards in the league, so I cannot recommend him long-term, but he's hot right now--6 points (4 goals, 2 assists) in his last 7 games.

Availability: Owned in 0.5% of leagues.
Forecast: If you recall, he posted 18 points (14 goals!, 4 assists) in the final 18 games of the 2009-2010 season after being traded to Phoenix. Add him if you are feeling lucky. This might be the beginning of another, um, streak.

Defencemen

Commonly owned Ds worth adding or worth targeting via trade: Brent Burns (100%), Dennis Wideman (88%), Alex Goligoski (64%), Ryan Whitney (60%), Lubomir Visnovsky (47%), Tobias Enstrom (36%), Tomas Kaberle (32%), Jamie McBain (29%).

Buffalo Sabres Tyler Myers, D

Myers had surgery on November 21st to repair a broken wrist. At that time, he was expected to miss about a month, so he should be returning to action reasonably soon. Myers averaged 10.5 goals and 42.5 points over his first two years in the NHL, so the talent is there to rack up points.

Availability: Owned in 27% of leagues.
Forecast: For those who have the patience and/or an available IR slot, Myers makes for a high upside stash.

Deep league specials (owned in a small % of leagues):

Pittsburgh Penguins Matt Niskanen, D

Kris Letang (and his 4:59 of PP time per game) is on the shelf indefinitely with a concussion. Someone has to pick up that slack. Paul Martin is 2nd on the team in PP ATOI, but he doesn't have the same high quality shot that Niskanen does (3rd on the team in PP ATOI). Look for Nisky to be given more opportunities that results in an increase in production. He's got 4 points in his last 4 games, so this could be the front end of a new trend for him. Just temper your long-term expectations and you will not be disappointed.

Availability: Owned in 5% of leagues.
Forecast: Niskanen has value in deeper leagues and/or as an injury replacement.

Goaltenders

Commonly owned Gs worth adding or worth targeting via trade: Pekka Rinne (100%), Jaroslav Halak (90%), Al Montoya (74%), Cory Schneider (66%).


DISCLAIMER: The blurb on Pavelec was written before Detroit hung a crooked number on him last night. You already know he's risky, so I'm going to leave it in. Caveat emptor.

Winnipeg Jets Ondrej Pavelec, G

One of the streakiest netminders in the history of the planet (okay, maybe that's a bit much, but you get the point), Pavelec is on a hot streak right now. In his last 3 games, he's blocked 95 of 98 shots for a .969 Save %, a 1.00 GAA, and one shutout.

Availability: Owned in 70% of leagues.
Forecast: If he is a free agent, pick him up and ride him while he is hot. If you own, consider selling him while his value is peaking.

Deep league specials (owned in a small % of leagues):

Chicago Blackhawks Ray Emery, G

I wrote about him a few weeks ago here, so I won't say much here other than that he is getting his big opportunity right now. Owned in only 6% of leagues.

Minnesota Wild Matt Hackett, G

Yes, he's 3rd on the depth chart, but the two goaltenders ahead of him are not exactly ironmen (Backstrom and Harding). Hackett only has 2 games of NHL experience to date, but in those games he saw a lot of rubber and played extraordinarily well stopping 76 of 78 shots and earning 2 wins in the process. He is a top-ranked prospect who posted a .927 save% down in the A, so Hackett's stellar play is not unexpected.

Availability: Owned in 4% of leagues.
Forecast: Worth a look as a speculative play who could ascend to more time through either a trade or an injury.

Now check your wire, good luck, and enjoy the games!

NOTES:
*Availability data from ESPN leagues.
**
Player analyses are based on their projected value in standard scoring categories: Goals, Assists, Power Play Points, Shots on Goal, Plus/Minus, Penalty Minutes, and Average Time on Ice.

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