Ramblings: Kessel Trade, Risto Staying Put, Potential Zaitsev Deal?

Ian Gooding

2019-06-30


I just finished writing the fantasy take on the Phil Kessel trade to Arizona, with Alex Galchenyuk headed to Pittsburgh. You can read it here. One day after I wrote about Kessel in the Ramblings, he is moved. That’s how it goes this time of year. Something I write becomes outdated very quickly.

How will Kessel’s value be affected on my Top 100 Roto Rankings? You’ll have to wait until the next update on July 15 to find out. Or read my Fantasy Take and draw your own conclusions. 

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We’ve been under the impression that Rasmus Ristolainen would be traded this summer. However, according to Darren Dreger, the Sabres are unlikely to trade Ristolainen. This news changes the perceived fantasy value of Colin Miller moving to Buffalo, perhaps even hurting his value. As Mike pointed out in his Fantasy Take, Ristolainen, Brandon Montour, Zach Bogosian, and now Miller are all on the right side. It’s possible that the Sabres could trade Bogosian or move one of these defensemen to the left side, but I’ll leave it to someone who follows the Sabres more closely to determine which one that would be and the defensive implications.

On this whole “left side/right side” or “left shot/right shot” issue on defense, maybe it’s time for the NHL to differentiate between LD and RD in its player profiles and stats, since it seems to matter to teams. This could have a trickle-down effect in fantasy as well, of course. Maybe there are some leagues out there that have already found a way to do this, but I’ve never encountered one.

Back to Ristolainen for a moment. With Dreger’s news, it seems that the Sabres are simply trying to address what has been a sore spot for years as opposed to moving away from Ristolainen. More defensemen now in the fold allows Ristolainen to not have to take on such a heavy workload. Over the last four seasons, Ristolainen’s icetime has averaged around 25 minutes per game, which is by far the most on the Sabres.

Reduced icetime could help his plus-minus, which was a league-worst minus-41 last season. However, it may have a negative impact