Dobber's offseason fantasy hockey grades – Montreal Canadiens
For the last 14 years (12 with The Hockey News) Dobber has reviewed each team from a fantasy-hockey standpoint and graded them.
This year, due to Dobber’s battle with cancer, he recruited Cam Robinson (of Frozen Pool Forensics fame) to pinch hit. The 15th annual review will appear here on DobberHockey throughout the summer. This is not a review of the likely performance on the ice or in the standings, but in the realm of fantasy hockey.
Gone – Alexander Radulov, Andrei Markov, Mikhail Sergachev, Nathan Beaulieu, Steve Ott, Nikita Nesterov, Brian Flynn, Alexi Emelin, Stefan Matteau, Joel Hanley, Dwight King, Keegan Lowe
Incoming – Jonathan Drouin, Karl Alzner, Alex Hemsky, Mark Streit, David Schlemko, Joe Morrow, Yannick Veilleux, Matt Taormina, Peter Holland, Bryon Froese, Jakub Jerabek, Antoine Waked
Impact of changes – Never let anyone tell you that Marc Bergevin is afraid to ruffle some feathers. For the second offseason in a row, the Habs GM made a major splash via the trade route. His acquiring of Quebec-native, Drouin brings the team a much needed, youthful offensive player – especially with Alexander Radulov signing in Dallas. The cost of their very best defensive prospect surely wasn’t easy to swallow for a team that lacks depth in that department already – again, especially with Beaulieu being strangely shipped out for a third-round pick. The team has clearly set its course on winning now and Drouin provides more immediate value than Sergachev does. Long-time, top four defender, Markov heads home to KHL and is replaced by a lesser version of himself in Streit. David Schlemko is an underrated performer and should bolster the bottom pairing, while the big free agent acquisition of Alzner brings a player capable of playing 20 minutes a night – whether that role is best suited for his skill set remains to be seen.
Ready for full-time – Michael McCarron looked strong in his half season with the AHL affiliate in St John’s, recording seven goals and 19 points in 32 games playing a heavy, two-way game. He saw 31 contests with the big club in primarily a depth role, seeing just 9:53 a night while chipping in with a goal and four helpers. The massive centre and former first round selection will come to camp with an eye trained on a full-time fourth line pivot gig. Read more on McCarron here.
The Habs’ most dynamic forward prospect, 2014 26th overall pick, Nikita Scherbak progressed nicely in his second professional season, r