Ramblings: The Season Is Here, More On My 2018-19 Predictions, Suspension Risks (Oct 3)

Ian Gooding


Suspension Risks, More on my 2018-19 Predictions

It’s hard to believe, but we will have real NHL games to watch tonight! And not just of the preseason variety. I have to admit that from now until April, it gets much easier for me to write the Ramblings because something’s always happening. All I have to do is briefly describe what happened, and elaborate on what it means for fantasy owners. Time is no longer standing still. Things will be happening on your fantasy roster.


Don’t you hate it when you drop a player and make plans to pick them up in a few days, only to see another owner pick up that player off waivers? This happened to the Leafs not once, but twice on Tuesday. With both Curtis McElhinney (Carolina) and Calvin Pickard (Philadelphia) claimed off waivers, the Leafs’ organizational goaltending depth took a significant hit. But at least we now know that Garret Sparks will be Frederik Andersen’s backup. Sparks has earned the right to play in the NHL, posting a sparkling 1.79 GAA and .936 SV% in the AHL last season. Andersen owners in deeper leagues should consider adding Sparks as a handcuff option.

McElhinney came available at the right time for the Hurricanes, as they learned that Scott Darling will be sidelined for at least a couple weeks. Petr Mrazek will be the man between the pipes for the Canes, although you’ll want to add him at your own risk. Mrazek’s ratios have hung around 3.00 GAA and .900 SV% over the past two seasons. I could see McElhinney taking a couple spot starts while Darling is out, as the Canes play a back-to-back in each of their first two weeks.


Someone asked me today whether I think Sam Gagner will return to the NHL. I think he will, and it could still happen this season. The Canucks could bring him up, but they’ve loaned him to the Toronto Marlies not only to be closer to his family but also because there will be more eyeballs on him for a potential trade. I don’t think the Canucks would get much for him, but a team might consider him as an injury replacement, needs serious help on its power play, or is simply loading up for the playoffs.

From Dobber’s lowdown on Gagner in last season’s Fantasy Guide, upon Gagner signing with the Canucks:

“The Oilers, Flyers and Coyotes couldn’t make it work but the Bl