NHL Free Agent Frenzy II

Dobber Sports

2007-07-15

Nagy

Some big moves in early July completely changed the face of your fantasy squad. In part two of a four part series, let’s take a further look at where some of these guys fit in with their new teams and, by extension, your fantasy league.

 

Columbus Blue Jackets
Adding Jiri Novotny and Jan Hejda didn’t exactly rock the hockey world, so the club is making a statement that they intend to build slowly and let the kids develop. So far, the Blue Jackets have not had a whole lot of success with developing their own talent, but with a young new GM in place to give a breath of fresh air to a stale philosophy, this time will be different.

Coach Ken Hitchcock will keep this non-playoff team competitive, while the likes of Rick Nash, plus regular ice time for offensive dynamos Gilbert Brule and Geoff Platt, will put more offense on the board than last season. This is a do or die year for Nikolai Zherdev, who was extremely disappointing last season. He could very well be the subject of the question most asked of me – “How will he do this year?” A lot of people have given up on him after such a big step backward and it is certainly possible that he will fall on his face with another 32-point year and then flee to Russia never to be heard from again. It is also possible that in this his fourth full season (traditionally a breakout year for offensive forwards) he will explode for 75-plus points.

The only advice I can offer he is pretty weak – I would take him on my team if there is a deal to be had. If I can get him cheap, I will do so, but I will not pay what he is worth.

Dallas Stars

Much like Columbus, the Stars kept things virtually the same as last year. Ladislav Nagy has moved on, but he was only there for 60 days or so. Eric Lindros and Darryl Sydor have also moved on, but they too saw limited games with the team. Dallas signed depth players Todd Fedoruk and Brad Winchester, but they will rely on their defensive coaching philosophy and stellar goaltending to win them games. Dallas has become the new Siberia for fantasy teams. As in – you don’t want your guy traded or signing there.

There are several reasons why the Stars will score a little more this time around, however. One is the fact that captain Brendan Morrow is healthy and ready to play a full season. Secondly, the sophomore slump is behind Jussi Jokinen (who is still an unsigned restricted free agent though). Look for Jokinen to bounce back with 60 points. Finally, youngsters Loui Eriksson and Joel Lundqvist will be a bigger part of things this season. Eriksson could potentially pot 50 or more points this year, while Henrik’s brother Joel recently signed a one-way contract so chances are he will stick.

That doesn’t mean Dallas will be a hotbed of offense…but maybe they’ll have a player that reaches 60 points this time.

Detroit Red Wings
The Red Wings lost Mathieu Schneider so they added Brian Rafalski. They lost Robert Lang and Todd Bertuzzi so they added…um…Dallas Drake.

Things are not as bad as they seem, however. Ra