Since moving to the Canes’ top line, Jiri Tlusty has been quite productive.
Do you get the feeling that the NHL trade deadline is getting closer? The answer is surely an emphatic yes. At press time, there will only be eight days until one of the craziest days of the year in hockey. The speculation always rises every season even if the trades do not live up to the hype. Say hello to cold reality, but players will change teams even before the deadline and some already have.
At this juncture of the season, time will creep up very fast. Depending on where you are in your league standings, there is time to think and time to act. This is the time to act.
The reason why we have gone to the simple three forwards, two defensemen, one goalie format is for you, the Fantasy GM. Think of this as using simple common sense. This would mimic the amount of players on the ice by position. Hopefully this helps our readers make the best decisions possible.
When you think of The Wire Troll, you can expect to get the quality and Fantasy substance you deserve. Remember to please comment and, if you have questions, by all means ask away. We are always willing to answer any and all questions, no matter how big or small.
Now it is time to expect the unexpected with our offerings. Here are some of the best players that could be available on your Fantasy hockey waiver wire.
Jiri Tlusty, C, Carolina Hurricanes: Tlusty is on the first line in Carolina along with Eric Staal and the results so far have been so very good for his owners. He has four goals and three assists in his last seven games with a +7 rating. If you consider his low single digit ownership rate, Tlusty is perfect for GMs in deep leagues desperate for help at the pivot. Drastic times often call for drastic measures and most will not pay attention to teams that are pretty well out of it. This is one of those pickups that you ride for the short term and hope it pans out in the long term.
Alexei Ponikarovsky, LW, New Jersey Devils: We were told to go even deeper and we did. Ponikarovsky is owned in less than 1 per cent of all Fantasy leagues, ladies and gentlemen, yet he has nine points over his last 11 games while playing on New Jersey’s checking line. If you monitor his play, you can actually see room for even more production. About the only thing one could complain about is ice time but there is potential that Ponikarivsky could see PP2 time in the near future along with more PK2 time. In deep leagues, he is a perfect fit. Pick him up now and grab the opportunity while you can.
Bobby Butler, RW, Ottawa Senators: Now that the big shovel has been pulled out, we inserted Butler in. This is strategic because when a player moves to the top line and clicks instantly to the tune of six points in his last four games, it is time to run. By running, we mean to roll with this until the roller coaster starts heading downward. Butler is owned in less than 1 per cent of all Fantasy hockey leagues, so the opportunity is prime and the power play points you may gain from a guy that was given up on just a few weeks ago could be vital.
Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning: Maybe Hedman has finally figured out the offensive side of things, but no one can truly be sure. The seven points in 10 games has to be a blessing to Hedman owners who bathed in the land of injury and futility throughout the first half of the season. Will this trend continue? Next week, Hedman will be above our threshold as he is currently owned in 35-to-40 per cent of leagues. However, it is a good time to obtain his services while you can. Take the shot and do not look back — especially in keeper leagues.
Luca Sbisa, Anaheim Ducks: Scouting sometimes helps when you do not have the benefit of always going strictly on bottom line analysis (what have you done for me lately?). There are times when you just have to go on what you see completely on faith. Even when the player does not contribute much offensive production, you can watch to see that it could be coming down the line. Sbisa is one of these types of players and unlike Cam Fowler, he has developed fewer bad habits. He is owned in less than 10 per cent of leagues and his ATOI spikes about once every four or five games. That ratio could be one in three very soon, and that will help Sbisa owners. This is a low reward pickup, but can get you some hits and blocks in deep leagues.
Semyon Varlamov, Colorado Avalanche: Here we go! This is another case of the deposed goalie having a shot to regain his No. 1 spot because of injury. With three straight “very good starter” results under Varlamov’s belt, is that time now? The answer is yes. Colorado has to play every game with little or no margin of error like an extended playoff mentality. Varlamov comes in fresher than most which gives him an advantage, so if you are going to go down, at least Varlamov is still out there in two-thirds of leagues. That will not last. At the very worst, you have a low No. 2 or high No. 3 goaltender. With the increased number of injuries, most teams do not have that luxury.
Week 19 is often the time in head to head leagues to question yourself. It is always a great idea to think this rationally and as always The Wire Troll is ready to help. Thanks again.