NHL Fantasy Hockey Pool Strategy Guide

NHL Trade Deadline: Fantasy Recap

The 2013 NHL trade deadline provided plenty of fireworks.  We saw heavy hitters like Jarome Iginla, Jaromir Jagr, and Derek Roy moved earlier in the week, and then Marian Gaborik, Jason Pominville, and rookie Cory Conacher (and many more) were sent packing.  There were changes aplenty and it was a lot to take in, so let's get up to speed on the key transactions and take a look at the fantasy impact of each.

To Pittsburgh: F Jarome Iginla -- To Calgary: 2013 first-round pick, F Kenneth Agostino, F Ben Hanowski

Probably the biggest move of deadline week was Iginla going to the Penguins.  The wind came out of his sails at the end in Calgary when a trade became inevitable, but he should get a giant lift playing with James Neal and Evgeni Malkin.  On paper they form the most talented line in the league, it's just a matter of chemistry.  

In Calgary they've stockpiled draft picks, but the remaining roster isn't much better than expansion caliber.  It'll be a long road back...

To Pittsburgh: F Brenden Morrow, 2013 third-round pick -- To Dallas: D Joe Morrow, 2013 fifth-round pick

Morrow bolsters the Pens roster with experience and grit, but anyone hoping for an outburst of points is disappointed by his first four games in Pittsburgh.  He arrived on a six-game pointless streak, and he's extended it to a 10-game drought. He might get it going a little, and it's still worth rolling the dice on him with a pick-up, but don't expect big dividends.

To Pittsburgh: D Douglas Murray -- To San Jose: 2013 second-round pick, 2014 second-round pick

If there was one thing the Penguins were criticized for lacking, it was tough, physical defensemen.  The "Swedish Frankenstein" arrives with his 6'3", 240 pound frame, and he'll dish out hits, mix it up, and drop the gloves.

To Minnesota: F Jason Pominville -- To Buffalo: G Matt Hackett, F Johan Larsson

Pominville had stagnated in Buffalo - 25 points in 37 games - but our guess is this kick-starts him back to historical levels.  He'll likely slot in at RW on a line with Parise and Koivu.

Hackett gives Buffalo a young goalie with potential to blossom into a future starter.  He'll provide the Sabres with some flexibilty when Ryan Miller's contract comes up at the end of next season.  Meanwhile, Larsson is a 20-year old prospect with 2nd or 3rd line potential down the road.

To Boston: F Jaromir Jagr -- To Dallas: F Lane MacDermid, F Cody Payne, 2013 second-round pick

Jagr finds himself on a much better team, but it might not be a better fantasy situation.  Boston is likely to keep its top two lines intact, meaning they'll probably ask Jagr to generate secondary offense from the third line.  Of course, Patrice Bergeron is now out with a concussion, so Jagr will have a chance to make a case for a shake-up.

The Stars weren't going to sign Jagr next season, so they did well to get an early round pick.  They'll hope the 19-year old Payne develops into a starter, while MacDermid is an enforcer.

To Vancouver: F Derek Roy -- To Dallas: D Kevin Connauton, 2013 second-round pick

There was probably more publicity devoted to Luongo not being traded, but the Roy acquisition is pretty big for the Canucks.  Roy gives them the ability to roll three effective lines, and he brings a hard attitude that sometimes lacks in Vancouver.  The trade doesn't really help his fantasy value, as he becomes a complementary weapon rather than a go-to guy, but he'll remain productive.

As for the Stars, they've done a nice job collecting picks and pieces for the future.  The second round pick is valuable on its own, and Connauton was considered the best D prospect in the Canucks farm system.  Roy is a rental player in Vancovuer, so score the edge to Dallas in the long run.  

To Carolina: D Marc-Andre Bergeron -- To Tampa Bay: F Adam Hall, 2013 seventh-round pick

Lightning GM Steve Yzerman gave Bergeron to the Hurricanes for the equivalent of a bag of hockey pucks and three rolls of tape.  He got Adam Hall in the deal, a player he'd lost when Carolina claimed him from waivers a few weeks ago, but here's the kicker...  Immediately following the trade Yzerman again placed Hall on waivers, only to see him get claimed by the Flyers!  In the end, all he got was the 7th round pick.

The Hurricanes get some much needed defensive depth as they push for the playoffs.  With Joni Pitkanen now out for the season, Bergeron should see extensive action.  

To St. Louis: D Jay Bouwmeester -- To Calgary: 2013 or ’14 first-round pick, 2013 fourth-round pick, G Reto Berra, D Mark Cundari

Bouwmeester gets another chance at a fresh start, and this time there's no pressure for him to be "the guy."  Something about this one just feels like a fit, and we expect Bouwmeester and the Blues to finish the season strong.

Calgary gets more picks and prospects, but it'll be a long time before the roster is competitive again.

To New York Rangers: F Ryane Clowe -- To San Jose: 2013 second-round pick, 2013 third-round pick, 2014 second-round pick

Three early round draft picks is a hefty price for Clowe, the Sharks got full value.  

But the Rangers needed to do something, and Clowe brings playoff qualities to the table - toughness, size, intensity, scoring and experience.  He's struggled this season, but it's worth picking him up to see if there's a honeymoon phase.

To Columbus: F Marian Gaborik To New York Rangers: F Derick Brassard, F Derek Dorsett, D John Moore and 2013 sixth-round pick

This was the big shocker of the day.  Now the question is: does it light a fire under Gabby, or does it merely banish him to ride out the remainder of a disastrous season in the fantasy wasteland of Columbus?  He did it all alone in Minnesota for years, and maybe he'll be better off as the only show in town.  He definitely wasn't happy on Broadway, and it's not like he was having a good year to begin with - 19 points in 35 games.  We'd rather look on the bright side... it can't get any worse, but hey, there's a chance it might get better.

The Rangers get Brassard and Moore, a pair of players who have yet to live up to their potential, as well as (currently injured) Derek Dorsett, an agitator/enforcer type with more hockey sense than a typical goon.  Brassard is a player we've always liked.  He's a heady playmaker, and he was a hidden gem in Columbus.  A fresh start might be just what the doctor ordered.  

All in all, after the Clowe deal and now this one, the Rangers have basically undergone an organ transplant.  We'll know in a few weeks whether it takes.

To Tampa Bay: G Ben Bishop -- To Ottawa: F Cory Conacher, 2013 fourth-round pick

This one's a bit of a head-scratcher, as the Lightning give up a guy in the Calder hunt and a fourth round pick, for a 26-year old goalie with great size and some elusive (yet intriguing) potential.  Then again, with starter Anders Lindback not living up to his billing and currently out with a high-ankle sprain, Bishop has a chance to take the job and run with it.  The plan seems to be to let the two push each other and hope a long-term starter emerges.  Sounds like a recipe for a time-share...

And Conacher lands in Ottawa as their leading scorer!  He won't get to skate with Stamkos and St. Louis any longer, as he occasionally did with the Bolts, but he'll have every opportunity to be an impact player in Ottawa.  This might have been the steal of the deadline, as the Sens gave up their third string goalie and a mid-round pick, for a guy who can step into top-six role and provide offense now and for years into the future.

To Pittsburgh: F Jussi Jokinen -- To Carolina: 2013 conditional draft pick

This is getting a bit ridiculous, the Penguins are bursting at the seams with depth.  This definitely boosts Jokinen's value, although he'll likely be playing the third line and he isn't exactly lighting it up this year.  If he's on the waiver wire, he's worth stashing on the bench to see if it sparks anything.

To Chicago: F Michal Handzus -- To San Jose: 2013 fourth-round pick

Handzus was a major bust in San Jose - two points in 28 starts this season - who fell out of favor and found himself in the press box at the end of his tenure with the Sharks.  The Hawks get a big body for the playoffs, but that's about it. 

To Washington: Martin Erat, Michael Latta -- To Nashville: Filip Forsberg

This move reeks of desperation on the part of the Capitals.  Erat is an above-average offensive talent who will help in the short term, but Forsberg is an elite prospect with a high future ceiling.  It's a hefty price.  

Erat owners will definitely like the move, as Erat now finds himself on the wing of Mike Ribeiro (or Backstrom).  Expect a boost to his output, but expect the Preds to be the ones laughing in the end.

To Philadelphia: G Steve Mason -- To Columbus: G Michael Leighton, 2013 third-round pick

This one might signal that the Flyers don't trust Bryzgalov for the long-term, but for now it doesn't change the pecking order between the pipes in Philly - Mason comes in as the back-up.  He'll vulture a few extra starts, but other than making sure to handcuff, Bryzgalov owners don't need to over-react.

The Jackets did well to land a replacement back-up and cash in with a draft pick.

To New Jersey F Steve Sullivan -- To Phoenix: 2013 seventh-round pick

The Devils are fighting for their playoff lives, and Sullivan is a great pick-up for a team that needs a shot in the arm.  The 38-year old was lost in the desert this year - 12 points in 33 games - but the move to New Jersey might allow him to regain some swagger.  

To Anaheim: F Matthew Lombardi -- To Phoenix: F Brandon McMillan

Lombardi gives the Ducks a versatile center and bolsters the team for the playoffs, while the Coyotes get a project in Brandon McMillan.

To San Jose: F Raffi Torres -- To Phoenix: 2013 third-round pick

Torres replaces some of the grit lost by the departure of Ryane Clowe, and the move shows the Sharks still believe they have a chance in 2013.  San Jose is retooling more than rebuidling.

To Columbus: F Blake Comeau -- To Calgary: 2013 fifth-round pick

Comeau never found a groove in Calgary, but the Jackets will turn to him to replenish some of the depth lost in the Gaborik deal.  

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Click here for the full list of deadline day transactions.