Week 22 - Free Agents and Trade Targets

This week, we are checking the wire in ESPN leagues. Let's see who might help bolster your lineup as you prepare for your playoff push.

Left Wings

Variously owned LWs worth adding (depending on the size of your league) or worth targeting via trade:
Curtis Glencross (78%), David Perron (77%), Pascal Dupuis (73%), Jussi Jokinen (34%), Vaclav Prospal (27%), Tuomo Ruutu (20%), Carl Hagelin (7%), Jamie McGinn (6%), Chris Higgins (3%), Brandon Prust (2%), Sven Baertschi (0.8%)

Tampa Bay LightningRyan Malone, LW

Tampa's rugged but oft-injured winger is healthy again and piling up points. 10 in his last 12 games (3 goals, 7 assists) to be exact as well as 6 PPPs, 25 PIMs, and 28 SOGs. Gotta love when a player's PIMs are nearly equal to his SOGs.

Availability: Owned in 48% of leagues.
Forecast: Over the past 15 days, Malone ranks 5th among ALL LWs. When he's healthy, he can be that valuable.

Dallas Stars Brenden Morrow, LW

Speaking of injuries, Morrow had missed the previously 18 games (UBI) before returning Saturday to score the GWG on the PP. He also rang up 6 PIMs and 3 hits.

Availability: Owned in 33% of leagues.
Forecast: Should be owned in virtually all leagues. Dallas finds itself in 1st place in the Pacific, and Morrow is their Captain. Expect a strong effort to close out the season.

Centres

Variously owned Cs worth adding (depending on the size of your league) or worth targeting via trade:
Mike Fisher (88%), Patrik Berglund (40%), Derick Brassard (3%).

Tampa Bay LightningVincent Lecavalier, C

Vinny is still on the shelf after breaking his hand in a game on February 18th. The initial prognosis was for a 3-6 week recovery period and recent reports are speculating that he will return in "mid-March." Not very specific, I know, but it has been a little over 3 weeks, so he will be back in the near term.

Availability: Owned in 72% of leagues.
Forecast: I was surprised to see that so many owners have bailed on Lecavalier. There are not many pure Centre options on the wire, and he was on pace for 65+ points and 250 SOGs.

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

Ottawa Senators Kyle Turris, C

Turris is showing some signs of life again. Over his last 7 games, he's scored 5 points (3 goals, 2 assists) has a +2 rating, 1 PPP, and a stout 22 SOGs.

Availability: Owned in 4% of leagues.
Forecast: For deep leagues only. He also makes an intriguing keeper league pick-up.

Right Wings

Variously owned RWs worth adding (depending on the size of your league) or worth targeting via trade:
Steve Downie (78%), Steve Sullivan (53%), Drew Stafford (51%), Matt Read (49%), Jiri Hudler (48%), David Jones (9%), Chris Neil (4%)

Minnesota WildDevin Setoguchi, RW

I queue up the players I plan to feature on Saturday, and it is always nice to see them score on Sunday. Seto potted a goal in Minnesota's loss to Calgary today. Over his last 13 games, he has 10 points (6 goals, 4 assists) an even +/- rating, 8 PIMs, 3 PPPs, and 32 SOGs.

Availability: Owned in 52% of leagues.
Forecast: A good add in deep and some medium-sized leagues. A bit streakier than most, he's hot right now.

Defencemen

Variously owned D-men worth adding (depending on the size of your league) or worth targeting via trade:
Tyler Myers (88%), Mark Giordano (68%), Oliver Ekman-Larsson (38%), Stephane Robidas (37%), Roman Josi (0.7%)

Montreal CanadiensAndrei Markov, D

He's back! After 16 months -- 483 days -- Markov played 17:09 last night and picked up a PPA. He was 3rd in TOI among the seven blueliners that played for the Canadiens, and appears to be fine.

Availability: Owned in 19% of leagues.
Forecast: If your D corps needs help, there is plenty of upside here. Of course, there is also risk. As Adam Proteau tweeted, "Andrei Markov is a bit like Keyser Soze at this point: the legend sounds impressive, but the reality is an older bald guy with a limp."

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

Detroit Red Wings Brendan Smith, D

In the same vein, Smith is another defencemen with lots of upside that probably will not reach it in what remains of this season. His ATOI, while on the low side at 15:30, is rising steadily. And he's been chipping in without being a defensive liability. Over his last 5 games, Smith has scored 3 points (1 goal, 2 assists) and posted a +4 rating and 9 PIMs.

Availability: Owned in 0.3% of leagues.
Forecast: For very deep leaguers only.

Goaltenders

Variously owned Gs worth adding (depending on the size of your league) or worth targeting via trade:
Semyon Varlamov (94%), Ray Emery (51%), Cory Schneider (50%), Matt Hackett (9%), Dustin Tokarski (1%).

Ottawa Senators Ben Bishop, G

As long as Anderson is out, Bishop should get the starts in Ottawa. In 3 games for the Senators, he has 2 wins, a 2.27 GAA, and a .926 Save%. He's also been one of the most impressive netminders in the AHL this season. In 41 games, he posted a 2.27 GAA and .930 Save% to go along with a league-leading 6 shutouts.

Availability: Owned in 37% of leagues.
Forecast: If you need a short to intermediate term fix in net, Bishop is your guy.

Los Angeles Kings Jonathan Bernier, G

The former 1st rounder is widely considered one of the most talented goaltenders not in possession of a starting gig in the NHL. He hasn't gotten many starts behind workhorse Jonathan Quick, but that may be changing. Quick is showing signs of tiring as the season winds down (what's new?), and Bernier has now been receiving every 3rd start.

Availability: Owned in 6% of leagues.
Forecast: Owners looking to add about one high quality start per week should consider Bernier. Over his last 3 games: 1.33 GAA and .949 Save%.

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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