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The Wire Troll: Nick Bjugstad Flashing Talent in Florida

December 8, 2013 | by Chris Wassel | Comments (0)
Nick Bjugstad has been getting it done for the Florida Panthers.
Nick Bjugstad is surprisingly widely available. (Therattrick.com)

As the shopping days dwindle down toward Christmas, we decided to go to the bottom of the waiver barrel. When we say bottom we mean the players that time forgot. It will be a quick adventure into the lowest depth of the Fantasy hockey world.

This interesting fact is that the wire this season is a lot less loaded because of all these injuries (46 in the last week alone). Decisions are having to be reached on players that would normally never even get a sniff of a Fantasy roster but yet here we are. What can you do? Is there any hope? Those are excellent questions.

It is, as always, time to take a look through the deepest and darkest Fantasy areas. Now is the time for this week’s edition of The Wire Troll.

Nick Bjugstad, C, Florida Panthers: The less than one per cent owned club surprisingly features Bjugstad, an unquestionably talented player. The fact that he is averaging a point every other game on a rebuilding Florida team is encouraging. Bjugstad is worth a look in deeper leagues that require four or five centres as his goal scoring touch and ability to create shines though in patches (like that amazing wraparound goal he scored Thursday — see video below). Expect more of these flashes going forward.

Zack Smith, C, Ottawa Senators: Smith may not provide a lot of points but his role has gradually increased again. Now the third line center, he has three points in his last four games while being owned in less than one per cent of all Fantasy hockey leagues. With the way things are going in Ottawa, Smith has a slight chance of seeing some power play time. He does generate 2.25 shots per game and that is not half bad. Honestly, we have seen worse decisions.

Marcus Kruger, C, Chicago Blackhawks: This is another deep flier pick at centre. The average time on ice is a bit of an issue but Kruger owners have enjoyed the fact that he’s racked up 31 blocks, a surprisingly high number for a forward. He has 13 points in 31 games which is close to a point every other contest as Chicago just seems to always find these guys who play “sheltered minutes,” yet produce a good bit offensively from unlikely roles. The key in guys like Kruger is just to expect certain stat padder categories. Chicago is relatively healthy right now so do not expect much, if any, power play time. That being said, points almost seem to come from Kruger effortlessly at times.

Cal Clutterbuck, RW, New York Islanders: We include Clutterbuck because a team has to take a shot at some point. It is abundantly clear that he creates space when he is on the ice. That is the type of energy all four lines need on Long Island. Clutterbuck is owned in less than one half of one per cent of all Fantasy leagues and while he will typically not play more than 15 minutes per night, with the Islanders struggling at 8-17-5, maybe he should.

Phillip Larsen, D, Edmonton Oilers: This is a riverboat gunshot straight draw waiting to not pan out, but Larsen has some potential and Fantasy owners need to take a load off and relax a bit. Larsen is not that developed defensively in the NHL and while his six points in nine games is great, three came in one magical night against Chicago. Those type of outbursts are rare but at less than one per cent owned, hey, why not take a shot?

As always thanks for reading, ladies and gentlemen. Good luck in your fantasy leagues this week. Expect a little more tough sledding and follow me @ChrisWasselTHW.

Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below who your favourite waiver wire pick of the week is.

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The Wire Troll: Post-Black Friday Specials

December 1, 2013 | by Chris Wassel | Comments (0)
Does anyone hear us? Gelinas has 10 points in 17 games for the Devils and has probably gained some notoriety among Fantasy owners because times are tough on the waiver wire. When you have a hard shot, you have to get it to the net. Gelinas excels at getting the puck towards the goal and that shot gets results. His play on the other side of the ice has also been welcome. Gelinas is also in the 15-to-20 per cent owned bracket, but that will not last long.
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The Wire Troll: Waiver Picks and a Turkey

November 24, 2013 | by Chris Wassel | Comments Comments Off
Stone is one of those players that has a nice shot, but his passing is an iffy proposition at times. The defenseman has a goal almost every other game and does get about two shots a game on the net. That may not mean much, but at the very least he is relatively effective. Stone is another one of those guys owned in 15-to-25 per cent of leagues that is a slightly risky short-term buy.
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The Wire Troll: Daily Fantasy Hockey Rankings

November 17, 2013 | by Chris Wassel | Comments Comments Off
So how do we come up with a way to do this? Simple. We take a position and try to rank the three best players that are owned in less than 30 per cent of all Fantasy leagues. That low season ownership almost always translates to low daily start rates. Obviously dollar amounts are dependent on which platform you use, but hey, we are going to take a stab with this.
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The Wire Troll: Remembering the Vets

November 10, 2013 | by Chris Wassel | Comments (0)
Michalek does two things very well: He plays tough minutes and he blocks shots. Honestly, that is it. When you have 54 blocks (over three per game) and can log 22-to-23 minutes per game, we’d suggest you’re a nice little find for a fourth or fifth defenseman in your Fantasy leagues. Hey, it could be worse after all. With an ownership rate around 10 per cent, Michalek is worth a flyer. Veterans like these are needed for every Fantasy hockey team.
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