Dobber's offseason fantasy hockey grades – Montreal Canadiens
For the last 16 years (12 with The Hockey News) Dobber has reviewed each team from a fantasy-hockey standpoint and graded them.
The 17th 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.
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Gone – Jordie Benn, Nicolas Deslauriers, Andrew Shaw, Antti Niemi
Incoming – Nick Cousins, Ben Chiarot, Riley Barber, Keith Kinkaid
Impact of changes – The Habs didn’t do a whole lot, other than lose Shaw (dealt to Chicago). And he was a fantasy stud last season. However, you can consider that a “sell high” as we so lovingly call it in fantasy hockey, because Shaw had the season of his life. He’ll probably never get 47 points again, and he certainly won’t do it in just 63 games. Add in his PIM, Hits and solid plus-17 rating and he had himself a great year for fantasy owners.
Between trading away the agitating Shaw and Deslauriers, who is generally good for about three Hits per game, the Habs lost a lot of their physical edge. And they haven’t really replaced that up front. Last season Montreal was the 17th most penalized team in terms of PIM. The NHL is a speed game today, and the Canadiens are going to put that to the test.