Pittsburgh and Phoenix

Dobber Sports


Mark Recchi


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. Bucking the trend of past years, we will review alphabetically – in reverse. Just to be different.


(This article was originally submitted to and published by The Hockey News, ESPN.com and MSN.ca) 


Pittsburgh Penguins

Potential UFA’s –  Nils Ekman, Ron Petrovicky, Rob Scuderi, Jocelyn Thibault, Josef Melichar, Joel Kwiatkowski, Michel Ouellet

Potential RFA’s – Colby Armstrong, Erik Christensen, Maxime Talbot, Ryan Whitney.

Looking to Add – The team is still in need of wingers to complement three of the best pivots in the game in Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal. Recchi and Roberts will likely be re-signed and partnered with Crosby or Malkin. Ouellet, Armstrong and Christensen have all shown flashes of talent on one of the big lines, but the team would benefit most by adding a legitimate sniper or two.

Ready for full-time – Nolan Schaefer is ready to step in and be the backup for Marc-Andre Fleury. Kris Letang is also ready and will inherit a top-two position when Sergei Gonchar’s contract runs out. For the next two seasons, expect Letang to tally somewhere between the high 20s to high 30s.

Fantasy Outlook – I warned you last year. Anyone who has been reading the FPL column for long knows how I feel about this Pittsburgh team from a fantasy perspective. Last year I said if you did not pick up Pens immediately, it would soon be next to impossible. That time is now. Try picking up a Penguin from a keeper-league owner, I dare you. This team is all offense, all the time. The players are young and only getting better. Very soon they will be playoff assets, as well. Any winger who joins the Pens could turn into instant gold, simply by being placed on the right line. There is no team in the NHL to build your keeper squad around more than this one.

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Fantasy Grade: A+ (last year was A- )

Phoenix Coyotes

Potential UFA’s – Owen Nolan, Curtis Joseph, Mike Ricci, Jeremy Roenick, Jeff Taffe

Potential RFA