Fantasy Hockey Ramble – April 12 & 13, 2009

Dobber Sports



To pick up my fourth annual Interactive Playoff Draft List, click here . Fully updated. Just $8.95 – which not only is cheaper than other playoff lists you will find, but there is a possibility that I put together those other lists you have seen out there (I won't say which ones, because of confidentiality agreements).Hey – this is what I do!


Matt Cullen has returned to practice for the Hurricanes. He will play in Game 1.


The Blue Jackets have recalled Alex Picard. He is practicing on a "fifth line" with Derick Brassard and Nikita Filatov. With Chris Gratton also on hand as an extra, the Jackets are very deep and ready to handle a lot of unexpected injuries.


Fredrik Modin is also back in practice.


The Avs have fired GM Francois Giguere. His track record at the draft table was nothing spectacular, his trades have been almost non-existent and his free agent signings have been questionable. That said, the team was hammered with injuries and had peaked before he even took the job on. The Avs need a complete rebuild – that means a strong foray into free agency is out of the question. It also means some tough, controversial calls like not bringing back one of the best players in NHL history. If Sakic's health wasn't in question and he was coming off of 80 games, then for sure bring him back. But it's too big a risk to sign him, and it is pointless if you are rebuilding. A real rebuild is needed – similar to Chicago, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Phoenix have done, and similar to what Toronto is starting. Look for a couple of lean years from your Avalanche players.


Because I am still not finding further information regarding the progress of Robert Lang, I have downgraded him in my playoff list spreadsheet. I also updated the Kris Versteeg injury. List updated as of today.


Kris Versteeg was back in the lineup yesterday, playing 17 minutes and notching an assist.


Chris Drury missed yesterday's game, resting up for the post-season.


Chicago's Duncan Keith also had a "rest day".


I'm late on this news, but Matt Gilroy won the Hobey Baker over Colin Wilson and Brad Thiessen. Gilroy is an undrafted and unsigned rearguard, whom the Leafs and Lightning are hot after. All teams are after him, but my gut tells me the Leafs will win out on the two big college prizes (Gilroy and Tyler Bozak)


Congratulations to the Fantasy Frog – Eric Maltais won this year's Expert Division of the annual DobberHockey Roto League. Russ Miller, the defending champ, finished second. Ryan Ma was next. Myself – not so well. I avoided relegation, but was a dismal 10th.


Rod Brind'Amour has 20 points in his last 17 games, salvaging a 50-point season for the fourth straight year.


Raise your hand if you saw 61 points from Alexei Ponikarovsky this year? Great season offensively, although he had such potential in the grit department – he should be getting 80 PIM a season not 38!


Brooks Laich had 12 points in the final eight games. He was also hot last year down the stretch and