NHL Fantasy Hockey Pool Strategy Guide

Buy Low, Sell High

This season is different than most. It’s a dash to the finish. There’s an uncanny sense that we’ve reached the halfway point already because in a normal year we would’ve. It's going to take some nerve to pull the trigger on a deal this early.

In Buy Low Sell High, we offer up a few trade ideas based on current performances. Our “Buy Lows” have likely already been through the worst of it, but their owners may have grown weary. Whereas our "Sell Highs" have likely already peaked and will never have more trade value than right now.


Buy Low


Tyler Seguin (BOS - C) Seguin has only 6 points in 11 games.  He gets lots of opportunities to collect stats, but the puck hasn’t been bouncing his way.  Last year he was a 0.83 point/game player in only his second season.  He’s young, and he should find his game shortly.


Claude Giroux (PHI – C) 8 points in 14 games is a major disappointment for Giroux, who had an amazing run in the 2011-12 regular season (1.21 points/game) and playoffs (17 points in 10 GP).  The main reason for Giroux’s sudden decline is the injury to his sniper Scott Hartnell, but the most recent news is that Hartnell could be back in a couple of weeks. Giroux is too good to not get it going here at some point. The time is now to get him on the down low.


Jarome Iginla (CGY – RW) 1 goal and 6 points in 10 GP is disappointing, but what did you expect?  This is the exact same pattern that Iginla displays every year.  The Flames struggle, Iggy doesn’t score, then he gets it going and rips off a few scoring streaks, and Calgary challenges for the 8th playoff seed in the West.  We might as well retire this Buy Low paragraph and re-use it until Iginla retires.


Shea Weber (NSH – D) Weber has but one lonely point on the season thus far (an assist) in 13 games.  His regular defensive partner is now in Minnesota, and he’s clearly feeling the pressure to carry the load and earn his massive $14 million a year contract.  As some point, someone is going to remind Weber to “just go out there and play hockey,” and when that happens a light is going to go on and Weber is going to put some power play goals in the back of the net.


Jonathan Quick (LAK – G) The Kings might as well put the Stanley Cup on the bench and fill it full of Labatt’s Blue every period.  Eventually the team is going to collectively realize that the party is going to end, unless they go to work for the day.  LA should turn it around and with it Quick’s numbers will begin to climb.


Now let’s turn our attention to players who’ve likely already peaked (amazing to say this after just three and a half weeks).  These are players who GMs have been pleasantly surprised by, and who they likely wouldn’t consider trading, until they realize that things can probably only get worse…


Sell High


Vladimir Tarasenko (STL – RW) Let’s be clear, Tarasenko is only a “Sell High” candidate in leagues that do not employ a rookie spot.  Tarasenko will be a finalist for the Calder and he will continue to produce, but he isn’t going to finish in the top 10 in NHL scoring.  After starting the year with 10 points in 8 games, now he’s pointless in the last 4.  There will never be a time to get more for him than now in basic hockey pools.


Cory Conacher (TBL – C) Just like Tarasenko, this advice only applies to pools that do not use a rookie.  Conacher came storming out of the gates following his strong play during the lockout in the AHL, but the seasoned pros are catching up to him, and he’s suddenly pointless in 5 games.  He should be there at season’s end in the race for the Calder, but in regular scoring leagues it looks like he’s already coming down from the mountain top.


Patrick Marleau (SJS – LW) Marleau got off to an unimaginable start scoring 9 goals in the first 5 games of the season, but he’s gone cold in the last 7 games with just one point, which was a goal.  He’ll get it going again, but this is Patrick Marleau we’re talking about here, not Sidney Crosby.  There won’t be a better time to Sell High, than right now.


Vincent Lecavalier (TBL – C) Fantasy hockey is fickle.  We had Lecavalier on our hot list just a couple of weeks ago, and now here we are advising GMs to sell high.  Lecavalier will finish with good numbers, but 11 points in the first 7 games was part of the big welcome back party in Tampa Bay.  Now that that everyone’s home, life is settling back into the regular routine.


There you have our first trade advice for the 2013 season.  It takes nerve to pull off a deal this early into the season, but with only 48 games this year chances for a championship are tenuous at best.


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