Sidney Crosby, originally diagnosed with a high-ankle sprain but will undergo an MRI Monday to find out for sure, could be on the shelf for as long as eight weeks. High-ankle sprains are the worst kind, keeping the likes of Martin Havlat (19 games last season), Marc-Andre Fleury (19 games and counting), Maxim Talbot (18 games) for extended periods of time. If he does indeed have a high-ankle sprain, reports of “out for four weeks” is a pipe dream. Crosby is tough and his legs are incredibly strong, so the best-case scenario is six weeks and it could be closer to eight. If the MRI finds a fracture, it may even be 10 weeks.
So what are the repercussions in the fantasy world?
First, let’s look at Crosby himself. It looks as if he will miss 15 to 25 games, so assume 20. With a stronger second half, which is what I predicted, that means he misses out on 30 points.
In one-year rotisserie and head-to-head leagues, there are usually decent pivots on the waiver wire. In the DobberHockey expert league I was able to pick up Peter Mueller. He has nine points in his last six games and it looks as if he could pull off 15 to 18 points during Crosby’s absence. That is probably the best you can hope for. Other suggestions include Sergei Fedorov (nine in his last seven, but his hip is bothering him and he missed Saturday’s game), Boyd Gordon (seven points in eight games and has taken over Nylander’s role on the second line in Washington) and Mike Fisher (19 points in 19 games for a team that desperately needs offensive forwards right now).
In keeper leagues, you are doing one of two things (if you are smart). You are either going for the money this season or you are going for last place and a better draft position in a rebuild. Finishing in the middle of the pack is a silly strategy (would somebody tell the Toronto Maple Leafs this please?).
If you are going for last place, then this is the best thing that could have happened to you. Crosby stops producing and you sink further to the bottom in the race to draft Steve Stamkos next summer. Perfect!
If you are going for the money, this is a devastating blow, obviously. All I can advise is – do not trade him. You have