Washington and Vancouver

Dobber Sports

2007-06-07

 Ovechkin

 

As keeper league hockey pools increase in number each year, fantasy junkies become more active in the off-season as they prepare their team for the coming year. Rebuild? Retool? Tweak? Whatever your intentions, it helps to get all the information you can about your players.

Throughout the off-season, FPL will look at a pair of teams each week and give you the fantasy lowdown. To kick things off, we’ll buck the trend of past years and start alphabetically – in reverse. Just to be different. And because of the fact Anaheim is still playing.

 

(This article, and all of Dobber's articles, can also be found on ESPN.com, The Hockey News and MSN.ca) 

 

 

Washington Capitals

Potential UFA’sBryan Muir.

Potential RFA’sKris Beech, Steve Eminger, John Erskine, Tomas Fleischmann, Milan Jurcina, Jakub Klepis, Brooks Laich, Jiri Novotny, Brian Sutherby.

Looking to Add – A puck-moving defenseman and a No.1 center. Brian Pothier was brought into the fold last summer after a career season with Ottawa, but he did not score his first goal until the New Year. That experiment is over. If the Caps want to take advantage of Alex Ovechkin’s talent, they need a quarterback who can get him the puck on the power play. The team also needs a No.1 guy up the middle to take some pressure off rookie Nicklas Backstrom.

Ready for full-time – Backstrom is the best fantasy hockey player to own who has not played a game in the NHL. That doesn’t mean he’ll step right onto this team and tally 100 points. It means he is a favorite to win the Calder Trophy and a 70-point season is possible right off the bat. Indications are he won’t be playing with Ovechkin to start. The team does not want to put pressure on the youngster, so he may start on the second or even the third line (similar to Gilbert Brule in Columbus last year). However, he won’t take long to work his way up to that top line. Eventually, he will be Ovechkin’s setup man. Just don’t be disappointed if he isn’t there on opening night. It will take a few months.

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