Before we get going, I’d like to apologize for the technical difficulties last week. The platform here at Dobber is a little different than what I’m used to, so I ended up publishing multiple rough drafts when in fact I meant to be saving them. Here’s hoping things go a bit more smoothly this time around..
Of course, the big fantasy item right now is the Jarome Iginla trade. Pittsburgh is loaded for bear and I’m guessing a lot of fantasy owners are scrambling to acquire Jarome for their pools heading into the post-season.
A minor word of warning, however: Iginla has been the man for a long time in Calgary and, as a result, has always been given a lot fo ice time at both even strength and on the powerplay. For example, last year Iginla led the Flames forwards in ice time at 20:36 per game, more than 17 minutes of which were at five-on-five. Even this year in a slightly diminshed role under Bob Hartley, Jarome was averaging more than 19 minutes of ice, with more than three minutes on the man advantage.
There’s little doubt Iginla’s linemates have taken a big step up in Pittsburgh, no matter if he plays with Crosby or Malkin (it was the latter on Saturday afternoon). That said, the Pens have other legitimate threats in Chris Kunitz and James Neal on the wings, so there’s a chance Iginla’s ice time will take a non-trivial hit in his new home. Today he played 17:30, but with only 56 seconds on the PP which isn’t necessarily indicative one way or the other.
Iginla might score at a high enough rate that a potential hit to his ice time won’t matter all that much, but it’s something to keep in mind.
I was pretty surprised when Carolina put Jussi Jokinen on waivers this past week. A useful middle tier forward who is signed to a pretty good deal ($3 million per season for one more year). Jokinen’s counting stats haven’t been there so far this year (six goals, 11 points), but he’s 29 years old and has quality underlying stats, including a team best corsi rate of +8.75/60. What has held his production back so far is an on-ice shooting percentage of just 5.32%, well back of the league average of 8%.
So he’s a good bounce back candidate down the road. Which is why it was even more surprising when he wasn’t scooped off the waiver by another team. Jokinen could have been useful acquisition for just about anyone, be it a club looking to add depth for a playoff run, or a lesser team like the Edmonton Oilers who could really use some quality, veteran depth behind their squadron of kids (and not the kind of depth that simply skates around for five minutes a night and punches other depth in the face).
Nevertheless, Jokinen stuck around and scored this afternoon in Carolina’s 3-1 win over the Jets. Jussi had more than 16 minutes of ice and won over 66% of his draws. If the percentages rebound for him and his output improves for the rest of the season, the Hurricanes might be convinced to keep him around, saving them from wasting a cheap but effective player for nothing.
One guy who isn’t cheap on Carolina is Alex Semin. I was amazed when Semin sat on the UFA market last summer for so long given the dearth of high skill options. Plagued by rumors of a poor attitude and work ethic, Semin had nonetheless put together some high quality seasons in Washington, be it form a counting or advanced stats perspective. He was a great value signing by Carolina at $7 million for a single year.
Unfortunately, Rutherford R