Week 12 - Free Agents and Trade Targets

Merry Christmas and Hockey New Year!

There are some good players available on the wire as well as some players who may be had at considerable discounts. Take advantage if you are offered an "after Christmas discount" on the likes of Sidney Crosby or Brenden Morrow. They are injury risks, but are currently carrying favorable risk-reward ratios.

Centres

Commonly owned Cs worth adding or worth targeting via trade: Sidney Crosby (100%), Jordan Staal (96%), Travis Zajac (64%).

<a class='sbn-auto-link' href= Kyle Turris, C

Wow. I really thought the Sens overpaid for this heretofore underachiever, but they need a 2C and so put the turkey on the table for Turris. In his first three games, he has 3 points and a +3 rating playing primarily with Foligno and Condra. I'm not a huge believer, but it is rare that a player with his talent level walks into a brand new Top 6 role and is so universally available.

Availability: Owned in 1% of leagues.
Forecast: That is not a typo. If you want him, you are very likely to be able to get him. Don't expect the point-per-game pace to continue, but he's landed in a very favorable situation and 50-60 point pace is possible.

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

<a class='sbn-auto-link' href= Derick Brassard, C

With trade rumors swirling, perhaps to "showcase his skills," Brassard has been reinserted back into the Top 6 and seen his ice time increase. He has responded with 4 points (1 goal, 3 assists) in his last two games.

Availability: Owned in 0.4% of leagues.
Forecast: Take a flyer on Brassard and hope he either stays in the Top 6 or gets traded to a team that will afford him similar opportunities. You have to figure that if he is traded the team acquiring him will not be doing so to put him on a checking line.

Left Wings

Commonly owned LWs worth adding or worth targeting via trade: Brenden Morrow (87%), Steve Ott (87%), Brandon Dubinsky (54%).

<a class='sbn-auto-link' href=Tuomo Ruutu, LW

After a 57 point campaign last year, Ruutu is on pace for only 44 points this season. In his last 8 games, however, he has racked up 7 points (5 goals, 2 assists), a +2 rating, and 23 SOGs. He is an UFA in July, and another subject of trade rumors, so perhaps these factors are providing additional motivation at this time. Whatever the reason, he's hot right now. And his multiple position eligibility is another plus.

Availability: Owned in 25% of leagues.
Forecast: Add him while he's hot and see if/where he gets traded.

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

<a class='sbn-auto-link' href= Colin Wilson, LW

Wilson has 10 points (3 goals, 7 assists) in his last 11 games. Good production for a player available in >99% of leagues. Just be aware that he won't help you much in the non-scoring categories (just 13 PIMs, 62 SOGs, and a rating of +0).

Availability: Owned in 0.8% of leagues.
Forecast: Makes for a decent plug-n-play, especially to chip in on the score sheet, at a very thin position.

Right Wings

Commonly owned RWs worth adding or worth targeting via trade: Martin St. Louis (100%), Blake Wheeler (67%), Michael Ryder (35%).

<a class='sbn-auto-link' href= P.A. Parenteau, RW

Many continue to doubt Parenteau, but he's been a pretty consistent producer this year ranking 25th among RWs in overall production in standard leagues. He's a fixture on the Isles #1 line and PP with Tavares and Moulson. Over the last 14 games, P.A. has posted 14 points (3 goals, 11 assists), 10 PIMs, a +1 rating, and 4 PPPs.

Availability: Owned in 49% of leagues.
Forecast: Parenteau enjoys excellent role stability and should continue to help owners that employ him as a weak #2 or strong #3 RW.

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

Ottawa Senators Chris Neil, RW

Neil returned from a LBI earlier this month. After a couple weeks to shake off the rust, he has now posted 3 points (1 goal, 2 assists), 10 SOGs, and 2 PPPs in his last 3 games. Surprisingly, he has 0 PIMs over that timeframe, but those will come--he has 64 PIMs on the year.

Availability: Owned in 4% of leagues.
Forecast: Discarded by many during his stint on the IR, Neil can help teams looking for a PIM monster who will contribute in other categories as well.

Defencemen

Commonly owned Ds worth adding or worth targeting via trade: Lubomir Visnovsky (97%), Tobias Enstrom (88%), Matt Niskanen (65%).

New York IslandersTravis Hamonic, D

This is a pretty deep cut to be profiled here, but since I highlighted Niskanen in my last installment (hope you snagged him) and since I didn't particularly care for anyone else, rolling with Hamonic. Over his last 5 games, he scored 3 assists and spent 6 minutes in the sin bin. Not bad production for someone available in more than 4 out of 5 leagues.

Availability: Owned in 18% of leagues.
Forecast: For owners looking for help in the PIMs category while still getting some production, albeit limited, in other categories.

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

<a class='sbn-auto-link' href= Kurtis Foster, D

After being acquired, it took Foster a couple games to settle in, but as New Jersey's new PP QB, over the last 3 games, Foster has 3 points (all assists), 7 SOGs, 2 PIMs, and 3 PPPs. So far, so good.

Availability: Owned in 2% of leagues.
Forecast: Foster appears ready to take the #1 PP quarterback role and run with it. The Devils have some potent weapons on offence, and he could be a modest version of a "star by association" from here on out.

Goaltenders

Commonly owned Gs worth adding or worth targeting via trade: Pekka Rinne (100%), James Reimer (87%), Tuukka Rask (66%), Jean-Sebastien Giguere (57%).

<a class='sbn-auto-link' href= Michal Neuvirth, G

In his last 5 games, "Neuvy" sparkled with a 1.43 GAA and .939 Save%. He only won 2 games, and he looked pretty mediocre losing in Friday night's shootout versus the Devils, but he has kept Vokoun firmly stapled to the pine for 5 straight games. Overall, his play has been encouraging, and he is earning the trust of his head coach.

Availability: Owned in 29% of leagues.
Forecast: Pick him up and see if Hunter can turn the Caps around. Consider trading him to your league's Vokoun owner (for a handsome return) or just enjoy the ride. There is plenty of upside here.

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

New York IslandersEvgeni Nabokov, G

Al Montoya is out indefinitely with a concussion after being run by Evander Kane. Kane is Cam's boy, so don't think for a minute they didn't work a side deal to assist with the "Montoya Challenge." That leaves a permanently banged up RDP and Nabokov to man the nets. In other words...it leaves Nabokov.

Availability: Owned in 8% of leagues.
Forecast: Worth a look as a medium term injury replacement.

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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