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Offseason +/- : Southeast Division

Alright, we got a little side-tracked (actually more like derailed) with our offseason +/- articles... ideally we'd write and you'd read these in the offseason but we figured better late then never.... 3rd of 6 articles looking at the fantasy hockey impact of the key offseason additions and subtractions for all the teams.  Last time we looked at the Atlantic Division... this time we look at the Southeast Division:

Washington

Add:  Jose Theodore

Subtract:  Matt Cooke, Steve Eminger, Cristobal Huet and Olaf Kolzig

Impact for Team:  The team really came on last year after Bruce Boudreau took over and with Nylander back and Theodore stepping in they should continue on the path to great heights this season.

Biggest Fantasy Hockey Impact: 

  1. Not totally sold on Jose Theodore but having him for a full season is better than Ollie Kolzig.  Jose should benefit from having a better team in front of him and no pressure from his #2, so he should rack up a lot of wins.
  2. With Sergei Fedorov re-signing, Michael Nylander returns to the lineup this year as the #3 center... which isn't ideal for fantasy hockey GMs who own Nylander.  He is prime trade bait, which could improve his situation but he's got a no-trade clause.
  3. Fedorov, Nylander, Chris Clark all return to the lineup this year which makes it real hard for young guys like Tomas Fleischmann and Eric Fehr to crack the top 9, let alone the top 6 forwards.

Carolina

Add:  Joni Pitkanen, Anton Babchuk, Josef Melichar and Michael Leighton 

Subtract:  Erik Cole, Jeff Hamilton, Glen Wesley, Bret Hedican and John Grahame

Impact for Team:  The defense gets younger and more mobile (including the addition of Joe Corvo late last year) which may not help them defensively but should add to their already potent offense.  The defense is only really going to get better when Cam Ward plays better.

Biggest Fantasy Hockey Impact: 

  1. Joni Pitkanen comes to an offensive team and should see a lot of ice time, this guy never really got it going in Edmonton but remember that he's only 25 years old.
  2. Teaming with Pitkanen on defense will be Joe Corvo, he was sensational after his trade from Ottawa putting up almost a point per game (21 pts in 23 games).
  3. With Erik Cole's departure and Justin Williams' injury, there are openings in the top 6 forwards and it seems that Patrick Eaves has taken advantage and will get a shot to play with Eric Staal on the 1st line.

Florida

Add:  Cory Stillman, Bryan McCabe, Keith Ballard and Nick Boynton

Subtract:  Olli Jokinen, Jozef Stumpel, Mike Van Ryn and Steve Montador

Impact for Team:  Relatively low turnover but made a terrible trade when they dealt Jokinen to Phoenix and Bouwmeester will probably be next.  Peter DeBoer has his work cut out for him this year.

Biggest Fantasy Hockey Impact: 

  1. Jay Bouwmeester's stock drops a little in the short term in that the team hasn't done anything to improve themselves but things are looking up long-term for JBo as he'll be a UFA next summer.
  2. With no Olli Jokinen to carry them not sure where the points come from for guys like Brett McLean and Richard Zednik.
  3. Wasn't a lot of turnover up front and this doesn't open up many spots for young guys like Shawn Matthias and Michael Frolik... apparently Jacques Martin thinks the fan(s) in Florida want to see Zednik, Peltonen and Dvorak more than the young guys.

Atlanta

Add:  Jason Williams, Marty Reasoner, Mathieu Schneider, Ron Hainsey and Zach Bogosian

Subtract:  Bobby Holik, Mark Recchi, Brad Larsen, Alexei Zhitnik, Ken Klee and Steve McCarthy

Impact for Team:  Biggest impact should be provided by new coach John Anderson who should get some more offense out of these guys, adding Williams and Schneider should help but they had to overpay to get Hainsey.

Biggest Fantasy Hockey Impact: 

  1. Jason Williams should see a lot of time on the 1st line and #1 PP unit, so great spot for him to land as he's not going to get an opportunity like that on many other teams.
  2. Whoever, ultimately, wins the #1C job... the best candidates are Bryan Little and Erik Christensen but for some reason Todd White keeps getting chances to prove that he's over his head.
  3. Ilya Kovalchuk loses Hossa at the deadline last year and then watches as his team can't add any true 1st line talents in the offseason... means he has to do it all by himself.

Tampa Bay

Add:   Ryan Malone, Steven Stamkos, Vinny Prospal, Radim Vrbata, Gary Roberts, Mark Recchi, Evgeny Artyukhin, Adam Hall, Andrej Meszaros, Matt Carle, Lukas Krajicek, Janne Niskala, Jamie Heward and Olaf Kolzig

Subtract:  Michel Ouellet, Mathieu Darche, Nick Tarnasky, Andre Roy, Dan Boyle, Filip Kuba, Alexandre Picard, Brad Lukowich and Shane O'Brien

Impact for Team:  Holy turnover, Batman... wow, and after all that they end up with too many forwards, a junior-aged d-core and questionable goaltending.

Biggest Fantasy Hockey Impact: 

  1. Matt Carle is going to be given every opportunity to succeed (or fail) and if he plays more like he did his rookie season (42 points) then he should put up points but watch out for the +/-.
  2. Ryan Malone may end up playing with Steven Stamkos, which is a good spot, but he had great chemistry with Malkin in Pittsburgh and that helped him put up a career year last year that might be hard to match. 
  3. Mike Smith is just happy to be a #1 guy but can't be thrilled that TB decided to gut its defense, sign an experienced backup who wants to be a #1 in Kolzig and brings in a coach, Barry Melrose, who will pull a goalie if he doesn't like the look of your haircut.   

Check back soon for our next Offseason +/- article where we'll take a look at the old Norris Division.