As the number of keeper league hockey pools increase each year, fantasy junkies are becoming more active in the off-season as they prepare their teams for the coming year. Rebuild? Retool? Tweak? Whatever your intentions, it helps to get all the information you can about your players. FPL will look at a pair of teams each week and give you the fantasy lowdown. This week we’ll look through our fantasy hockey goggles at the outlooks for Boston and Buffalo.
(Originally posted by The Hockey News on May 23)
Potential UFAs – Bobby Allen, Alex Auld, Glen Metropolit
Potential RFAs – Petteri Nokelainen, Mark Stuart, Dennis Wideman
Looking to Add – Boston is set up the middle with Patrice Bergeron, Marc Savard, David Krejci and Nokelainen, as well as Carl Soderberg and Zach Hamill on the way. The team is also deep between the pipes now that Manny Fernandez has recovered from knee surgery. So all that is urgently needed is an upgrade on the wings and perhaps a defenseman or two.
Ready for full time – Krejci is now a lock to be on the team, it’s just too bad he will be buried on the third line. But, already knowing he plays over his head, he should be just fine there. If Soderberg crosses the pond from Sweden next year, he will get a long look. Defenseman Matt Lashoff is an excellent offensive rearguard ready to take the next step. While Wideman tends to be in and out of the doghouse, there could be an opportunity for some big points out of Lashoff.
Fantasy Outlook – Coach Claude Julien really got a lot out of his team this season and there is no reason why they can’t repeat that performance next year. Getting Bergeron back will boost the offense, but that may be at the expense of Krejci. The team was 25th in offense and under a defense-first Julien I don’t see that number improving into the top 20 in 2008-09.