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Fantasy Hockey Scouts: Daily Dosage - Sept 26th, 2009

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We updated the FSR & 2009/10 Projected Stats on Wednesday... don't you think it's about time you got the freshest produce available? Or maybe you're the type of GM who's happy with his glossy magazine that was written in early July?... check out the FSR page for details.

Daily Diarrhea  

Fleury_Theo

The fairytale has ended for Theo Fleury as the Flames released him yesterday and have said that they won't be offering him a spot with their AHL affiliate.  So Fleury's gonna take a few days to think about it and probably consider other offers before making a decision... don't get too excited as he'll probably end up in the AHL somewhere. 

Another old guy was successful in his try-out bid as Darryl Sydor got himself a contract from the Blues and should stick with the team as their 7th dman... there's no fantasy impact there although his signing meant that Jonas Junland was sent to the AHL and makes us wonder what the plan is for Alex Pietrangelo

Continuing with the old, washed-up guys, Rob Niedermayer, was signed by New Jersey yesterday... no fantasy implications there.

Atlanta

One of our favourite under-the-radar picks this year, Atlanta's Max Afinogenov, had a goal and an assist last night in his second pre-season game.  He's still on a try-out but we told you the other day that the team will be keeping him around and he has a good chance to start the year playing a major role... if he can stay motivated after he signs. 

Douglas Murray had a boffo pre-season game last night with 3+1=4 and a plus-5 in the win over Anaheim... but before you go out and draft him we should mention that he's only got one NHL goal in 210 career games so we wouldn't be expecting hat-tricks every night once the real games start.

Tampa waived Radek Smolenak and he was claimed by Chicago, guess they think he could be a replacement for the injured Adam Burish.  We'll see how he does, or if he even plays, but we're not expecting much.

Another impressive performance for the Leafs Viktor Stalberg last night as he had 2+1=3 versus the Red Wings and now has 4+2=6 in six pre-season games.  It looks to us like he deserves to be on the team but he could still be destined to start the year in the AHL.  Either way, he's exceeded expectations so far and looks to be a good one.

MacArthur

See the link for Lindy Ruff's preferred line combos to start the year... Good news for Clarke MacArthur who looks to have won a spot on a scoring line, bad news for Nate Gerbe, who looks to be the odd man out and could be heading back to the AHL. [more]

Buffalo also re-signed RFA forward Mark Mancari... he had wanted a trade out of Buffalo but it appears that the Sabres couldn't find any takers so he signed a two-way deal and should spend another year in the AHL.

A few notable cuts yesterday... try-outs ended unsuccessfully for Mark Parrish (Van) and Mathieu Dandenault (SJ).  Young players like Zach Boychuk (Car) and Jonathon Blum (Nsh) will start the year in the AHL.  A veteran, Randy Jones & his fat contract, has been waived by the Flyers and will probably spend the year in the AHL and after a surprising camp, Tampa has sent 2009 1st rounder Carter Ashton back to junior.

Injury Updates (see our Injury Updates page for a consolidated list of injuries):

There's a bunch of guys with minor bumps and bruises, we'll only highlight the more interesting ones here...  

Schneider

So Mathieu Schneider is not going to be ready for the start of the regular season as the Canucks originally hoped, his shoulder rehab is taking a little longer than expected and so he'll miss the first month of the season, at least.  We like to avoid 40-year olds who tend to breakdown a lot, but maybe that's just us?

Daily Distraction 

What's distracting us today?  With Wayne Gretzky's early exit from the Coyotes franchise, he has gotten a lot of bad pub lately.  We thought we would give Gretzky an ol' pat on the back... it's the least we can do for the greatest NHL player in history (thanks to Bobby Orr's knees).

We all know his stats are ridiculously unbelievable.  We remember, back in the day, some fantasy hockey leagues not allowing Gretzky to be drafted because he was so much superior than the rest of crowd.  Crazy.

Check out this article from Sporting News Magazine that was published on January 27th, 1978, before Gretzky became a professional... it's a great read, here's a quote from the article by a 16-year-old Gretzky:

"I've had tight checking in every league I ever played in," Gretzky said. "Guys try to knock me down and take me out of the play. I know it's coming and I can handle it."

When we were sixteen, we panicked if a Grade 11 kid looked at us sideways... and we weren't as skinny as he was.  He was and will always be the man.

So what's next for Gretz?  Here's our planWayne Jr:
1. His fox of a daughter gets pregnant (we're happy to help in any way we can)
2. She has a son... and calls him Wayne Jr.
3. Wayne Jr. is raised in Canada so he doesn't end up a failure like this one or this one
4. Wayne Jr. is put on a training program similar to what the Chinese Olympic team uses: no school, no friends who don't play hockey, and he's only allowed to watch Slapshot or Peter Puck on TV.
5. In 19 years, after scoring 519 points for the Soo Greyhounds in the OHL, Wayne Jr. gets drafted 1st overall by the New York Islanders.  
6. After getting some advice from his grandpop he holds out and insists that Wayne Sr. be hired as the coach and is paid the 2028 equivalent of $8 million/year.  The Islanders would have just paid off Rick DiPietro's contract, so they quickly agree.

It's almost too easy.

Gretzky_cup