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The Wire Troll: Fantasy Five Under Five?

October 27, 2013 | by Chris Wassel | Comments (2)
Ryan Murphy has tremendous potential for the Carolina Hurricanes.
Ryan Murphy’s upside is through the roof. (Andy Mead/YCJ/Icon SM)

Halloween is on Thursday so the goal at The Wire Troll this week is to scare ourselves by going even deeper in our quest to bring you moderate to high reward from relatively low risk players. The first month will be in the books by the end of the week and yes, it’s been crazy with all the injuries, but we’re here to try to help the Fantasy hockey owner soldier on.

At this point, plugging holes is the utmost priority. It was not easy to come up with five players under 5 per cent ownership, but damn we tried our best. Let’s see what we’ve cooked up in this week’s edition.

Ryan Murphy, D, Carolina Hurricanes: When we released our Defenseman Rankings prior to the season, we said that Murphy could be a factor, and there’s no doubt he has talent. The youngster saw almost 25 minutes per game in a back-to-back situation and — better yet — he held his own. The five points in 10 games (including his first NHL goal a week ago that you can relive in the video below) is just a bonus. The Hurricanes are going to have to play the kid because of injuries so that means good Fantasy opportunities. Is he a 40-point player? We don’t have that answer, but we do know Murphy has first defensive pairing upside. That is the bottom line in Fantasy. Just expect a few growing pains here and there.

Craig Smith, RW, Nashville Predators: Smith has seven points? Does Chewbacca live on Endor? Okay, that does not make sense and yet here we are. Smith is getting limited time but is making the most of it. He has 34 shots in 11 games while playing almost 15 minutes per game. If you are desperate and you need a player cheap with little risk, Smith may be your guy. The key is how much power play time he receives. The fact that Barry Trotz is his coach is honestly problematic in that regard.

R.J. Umberger, LW, Columbus Blue Jackets: Umberger is never going to be a first line player or widely owned in Fantasy leagues, but he provides decent scoring punch. This is another under five per cent guy and he might even be a fringe top six guy, but in the meantime, he will get you points. Umberger may be a bit streaky, but as a third or fourth LW, that is not a bad option.

David Legwand, C, Nashville Predators: Legwand may be a bit of a bust as far as a draft pick, but for Fantasy purposes, he is actually a bit undervalued considering he plays for the Predators. Six assists and seven points in 11 games is pretty solid and though St. Louis thumped the Preds pretty good, that doesn’t take away from the fact that Legwand is a decent depth centre. This is a lukewarm buy, at least right now. Please use him only as a fourth centre.

Joel Ward, RW, Washington Capitals: The problem is Ward should have more than six points, but he has missed at least a half dozen glorious chances. However, when you’re digging this far down the waiver wire, you have to expect guys that do not always finish. Ward plays with some top talent on Washington’s league-leading power play which features Alex Ovechkin among others. If you’re desperate, take a shot on Ward. What have you got to lose?

As always you can follow me @ChrisWasselTHW on Twitter. Good luck in your Fantasy leagues this week.

Now it’s your turn. In the comments below, tell us who your favourite waiver wire pick of the week is.

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The Wire Troll: Into the Hockey Single Digits

October 21, 2013 | by Chris Wassel | Comments Comments Off
All the Fantasy hockey world is a stage and while the early part of the season can always be frustrating, the key may be to find depth guys on the bottom of the waiver wire. This will be a short and sweet post but the information is of utmost value. After all, why would I cheat readers out of the gems? That would be silly and pointless.
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Review: NHL Gamecenter Live 2013-14 App

October 18, 2013 | by Mike Chen | Comments Comments Off
For the past few hockey seasons — yes, even the lockout-shortened one that ran for 48 games — I’ve subscribed to NHL Center Ice through DirecTV. This season, however, that all changes as I go strictly streaming with NHL GamecenterLive. I’ve had GCL before but it’s always been in conjunction with Center Ice, so it’s been more of a supplement if I needed to watch an archived game or highlights, or I was away from our big TV. Not so this season, which puts it in a head-to-head faceoff with its satellite/cable counterpart. Are you weighing which package to get? Here’s what to consider.
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The Wire Troll: As the Hockey Leaves Fall

October 13, 2013 | by Chris Wassel | Comments (1)
It is hard to believe that the second week of the Fantasy hockey season is just about over. So far, scoring still seems to be up and the Metropolitan Division is struggling with the Rangers, Capitals, Flyers, and Devils a combined 3-15-3. The result has caused some shifts in the waiver wire. When you think about it, it is only October. Please keep that in mind before you panic and make a move you may regret later.
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The Wire Troll: Hey, Hockey’s Back!

October 7, 2013 | by Chris Wassel | Comments (0)
Grabner averages around 2.5 shots a contest which is pretty decent, yet he is only owned in 15-to-20 per cent of most leagues. Will you take that risk? It may be worth it as the Islanders continue to find an increased role for Grabner. Teams must fear Grabner’s speed as he can manufacture a breakaway out of almost nothing. Remember this well as the season progresses.
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