Be sure to purchase your Dobber Hockey Fantasy Guide if you haven’t already. It’s available in PDF digital format, but you can print it out if you like. In case you’re wondering why Dobber won’t mail you a printed copy, it’s so that your fantasy guide includes the latest updates. For example, updated projections for both Montreal and Vegas after their Sunday night trade.
Of course, if you want to check out Dobber’s reasoning behind said projections, you can check out his Fantasy Take on the Max Pacioretty trade.
Some of my own takeaways on the deal:
If Pacioretty is projected to start on the second line with his new team because the top line can’t be broken up, it’s possible that Vegas’ second line outperforms Montreal’s first line. It’s also possible that Patches moves up to the Golden Knights’ first line, which makes the trade a win for him regardless. If nothing else, he’s much happier to be out of the mess in Montreal. Trust me, that counts for something.
I think this trade helps Tomas Tatar. Vegas might have accomplished something in dumping his $4.8 million contract, but he’s scored at least 20 goals in each of his last four seasons. He might have been a healthy scratch for a good portion of the playoffs, but he easily fits on the second line in Montreal and could even move onto the first line. On a better team, Tatar won’t ever see the first line. But the Habs had the leagues’ 29th-ranked offense last season (2.52 goals per game) and just traded a consistent (until last season) 30-goal scorer. Simply put, they don’t have a whole ton of options.
As for Nick Suzuki, it might seem like his chances of playing full-time in the NHL this coming season improve with the trade. As a Suzuki keeper owner, my first reaction when hearing about the trade was positive. Vegas is a much deeper team than Montreal scoring-wise, and I don’t like to hang onto non-NHL prospects more than about two years if possible (my roster has max 35 players), as there are always other tempting options available. (Suzuki's Dobber Prospects profile here.)
But if you’re thinking Suzuki is a slam dunk to make the Habs this season, not so fast.