As the number of keeper league hockey pools increase each year, fantasy junkies are becoming more active in the off-season as they prepare 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 Chicago and Colorado.
(Originally published by The Hockey News on June 6, 2008 – Dobber archives some of his older THN articles here in case you missed them there!)
And don't forget, if you have an off-season hockey question, send it to the Fantasy Mailbag.
Potential UFAs – Kevyn Adams, Patrick Lalime, Yanic Perreault, Jason Williams, Andrei Zyuzin
Potential RFAs – Rene Bourque, Andrew Ladd, Jordan Hendry
Looking to Add – Rumor has it the team is on the lookout for a power play quarterback. I happen to think Cam Barker, Brent Seabrook, Duncan Keith and James Wisniewski are capable of combining for 150 points, which is more than a lot of teams can say about their top four rearguards.
Ready for full time – If Lalime moves on, Corey Crawford is more than ready to become the backup. Given Nikolai Khabibulin’s injury struggles this season, don’t be surprised if Crawford (or whoever the backup is) gets 30 starts or more. The Hawks have no shortage of players ready to stick full time. Jack Skille and Dave Bolland should both get looks on the third line and I think one or both will stick. Some longer shots are Petri Kontiola, who adapted well to the North American game this year, and Kris Versteeg. All four of those players have decent long-term upsides of at least 70 points.
Fantasy Outlook – Everything is starting to fall into place for the Hawks and they are not being coached to play defensive hockey. With Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews leading the youth movement, the Hawks will be a high-scoring team for years to come. If you don’t acquire some of these other guys for a reasonable price in your keeper league this summer, you will be paying out the you-know-what in the near future.
Fantasy Grade: A- (last year was B)
Potential UFAs – Joe Sakic, Jose Theodore, Andrew Brunette, J-M Liles, Jaroslav Hlinka, Kurt Sauer, Jeff Finger, Scott Parker, A