It has been a week since the trading deadline, and already several of the trades are impacting the playoff positions in the Western Conference.
Brad May… well… next.
Peter Forsberg has been solid so far, but his value won’t really be shown until the playoffs start. Many are questioning the deal because of Scottie Upshall’s strong play in Philadelphia, but the deal cannot be fully looked at until we see Forsberg in his element.
Craig Conroy started hot (surprise) but then has cooled. He has suited up at times with Iginla, as Matthew Lombardi ahs been shifted to play the wing as well. Conroy will provide decent numbers the rest of the way. Brad Stuart is adjusting slowly as it often takes defensemen longer to change systems. He has been paired with Robyn Regehr (who has looked downright awful this season) and is getting lots of ice-time. Word is that Calgary may try and re-sign him over Roman Hamrlik depending on postseason play.
Ladislav Nagy has been pretty quiet since being acquired from the Coyotes. I have never been that high on him and don’t expect much in the playoffs. He is a (Dobber will like this) band-aid boy and a perimeter player, two things that don’t work well in the postseason. Mattias Norstrom was a great acquisition and will have a huge role in any cup run the Stars go on, but you of course know his fantasy value is zilch.
Bill Guerin looked very good last game on a line with Joe Pavelski and Jonathan Cheechoo. Guerin gives any line a legitimate sniper and will add depth and experience (and of course goals) to a very young forward core. Craig Rivet has no fantasy value but has been an extremely steady, stabilizing force, which was what the Sharks blue line needed.
Bryan Smolinski has been just what the doctor ordered for the Canucks. He fixed three problems: the lack of a right-shot on the first PP unit with the Sedins, a quality offensive player at center for Markus Naslund, and face-off help. Smolinski is getting lots of ice-time and will put up a point a game the rest of the way. Brent Sopel is being brought in slowly into the Canucks defensive system but has looked very solid. He gets first unit PP time with Salo and the aforementioned Smolinski/Sedin line.
Kyle Calder has infused grit into the Red Wings top six at forward, and the still-injured Todd Bertuzzi hopes to do the same. The Bertuzzi trade was a great move as the risk involved was minimal. He has unlimited potential to dominate but I question his health going forward.