Fantasy Hockey Mailbag: Keeping Goalies, Finding Impactful Rookies, & Ekblad’s Ascension

Rick Roos

2020-05-27

Aside from wishing you all good health, I want to thank readers for continuing to send me questions despite the season being on hold. I suppose the situation we're in provides us with more time to look at fantasy hockey and our teams and, in turn, ask questions about them. Now all that's left is for me to give you came here for – information via answers to these questions while providing advice that should be useful to all poolies even if they don't own the specific players being discussed.

As a reminder, if you want your fantasy hockey question answered in the next mailbag, be sure to check out the end of the column, where I explain the ways to get it to me. The earlier you send a question the more likely it is to be included, and the deeper dive I can provide with my reply.

 

Question #1 (from Blues_fan1000 via the DobberHockey Forums)

I’m in a 12 team, H2H, keep 4 league. Categories are G, A, +/-, PPP, SOG, FOW and W, GAA, SV%.
Positions are 2C, 4W, 4D, 2G, 2UTIL.

I know that many would be of the opinion not to keep a goalie under these circumstances; however, my goalie tandem has really vaulted me to the top of the standings this year, plus 14 goalies were kept last year and the remaining ones usually go in rounds 1-3. I traded my 1st and 2nd pick for next year, and my initial thoughts for keepers are: Tyler Seguin, Aleksander Barkov, Johnny Gaudreau, and Ben Bishop. Would you swap in any of the following players: Dylan Larkin, Kyle Connor, Anders Lee, Blake Wheeler, Anthony Mantha, Tyson Barrie, Shea Weber, Nico Hischier, Jonathan Toews, Eric Staal, Morgan Rielly, Dougie Hamilton, Jacob Markstrom?

 

First, in terms of the goalie situation, without 1st and 2nd round picks and given what you said about how your draft tends to go, I think you're forced to keep a netminder. But I might try to trade and get an upgrade, rather than go with either Bishop or Markstrom, who are both decent tier 2 netminders but not cornerstone guys. I'll get to the trade options after I discuss your projected skater keepers.

I like Barkov – lock him in. He's proven plus gives you excellent FOW and PPPts and even above average SOG for a center. I covered Seguin in my Forum Buzz column a couple of weeks ago, where I noted that he probably can be counted on for better than what we saw this season, but not much. He's a tempting keep, especially if he has winger eligibility; but I think you have to consider not retaining him. Gaudreau also had a down year; but unlike Seguin, he doesn't have an ageing corps dragging him down nor is he past what's considered his prime. That being said, Gaudreau is not a multi-cat beast by any means.

For sure I'd swap in Connor for one of the two. He had 47 points in his last 43 games, gives you tons of goals and assists from the winger spot, shoots a ton, and is a PP1 fixture. Also, his 0.53 goals per game average put him in elite company, as if we look at wingers who did that by age 23 since 2000-01 and have gone on to play to at least age 30, we get Dany Heatley, Ilya Kovalchuk, and Alex Ovechkin, with each of the three scoring 50+ goals at least once. So yeah, you need to make room for Connor as a keep.

I'd also say Hamilton is a must keep. Consider that if we go back to 1990-91, the only defensemen who put up as many points and shots per game as Hamilton did this season in 40+ games were Brent Burns (once), Al MacInnis (twice), and Ray Bourque (five times). We know what Burns has done, but that pales in comparison to the accomplishments of Bourque (six times 80+ points, three times 90+) and MacInnis (two times 80+ points, two times 90+). You can't let a player with that kind of talent and future promise escape your grasp.

So your keepers end up being Barkov, Connor, Hamilton, and whatever goalie you can get in trade. Use Seguin, Gaudreau, and even Wheeler (45 points in his last 43 games) or Rielly (big name) plus one of your two goalies to get an upgrade in net, as chances are some team has two great goalies and won't want to keep them both. Or perhaps there's a team with many early picks and figures it can get a goalie there and wants to lock in another elite skater. Good luck!

 

Question #2 (from Jim)

Which of the top draft picks from the 2019 draft are most likely ready to play in the NHL next season. 

 

When figuring out who gets to play you look not only how ready they are, but also what team owns their rights. Position matters too, as forwards are more likely to debut sooner, given there are more roster spots available plus their game has often started to round into form. On the flip side, it's a rare breed of d-man who becomes an NHL regular within two years of being drafted, and from 2019 I think Victor Soderstrom is the only one who could see NHL ice in 2020-21, as he's super talented plus plays for a team that's embraced young blueliners. There was one goalie drafted in 2019's first round – Spencer Knight by Florida – and I see virtually no chance for him to man an NHL crease for 2020-21, as it's been nearly 20 years since a teen netminder played even ten NHL games in a season.

So, what about forwards? Alex Turcotte is likely ready; but he's an Anze Kopitar type of player so I'd think the Kings wait on Turcotte a bit longer given that Kopitar is still producing and they'd probably rather not bring in Turcotte amidst a culture of losing. Dylan Cozens is a virtual lock to get at least a taste of NHL action this season, as the Sabres haven't been thrilled with Casey Middlestadt and might want to see if Cozens is capable enough to step in as a second-line center. The other player I could see making a roster this season is Trevor Zegras, as although Anaheim, like LA, is in the midst of a downturn, they too have established a pattern of not being afraid to turn to young players, and Zegras has the talent to make an impact. Pretty much everyone else I'd put at no more than a 25% to play in the NHL in 2020-21, other than a brief early or late-season cameo. 

 

Question #3 (from Dave)

I'm in a 12 team H2H league with 4 keepers per team and G A +/- PIM PPP GWG FOW SOG HIT BLK as skater categories. I'm fortunate enough that my two "bubble" keepers are Mikko Rantanen and J.T. Miller. With Rantanen's injury history yet promising upside vs. Miller's surprising uptick in production and across the board contributions, it's a tough choice to make; which player would you keep here? In case it matters, my other intended keepers are Auston Matthews, Patrick Kane, and either Connor Hellebuyck or John Tavares.

 

Your description of both players is accurate. What it boils down to is whether there's a path for Miller to get to 90+ points, as I think that's what would have to occur for him to leapfrog Rantanen as your last keeper. Rantenen is more proven and is being centered by superstar in Nathan MacKinnon, who could still get even better, as could Rantanen on his own. What worries me about Miller is his SOG, as if we look at the 56 instances of 90+ scoring from centers since 2000-01, all but eight averaged more SOG per game than Miller, and those who didn't were pass first guys, which clearly Miller isn't. Yes in not keeping Miller you lose his multi-cat prowess; however, you can get that elsewhere, which you can't do for the 90+ points Rantanen will give you. It's close, but I probably go with Rantanen here.

 

Question #4 (from David)

I'm in a 20 team cap league where points count 1 for 1 for forwards but 1.5 for 1 for defensemen. We also count +/-, SOG, and PPPts. For goalies, we count only wins and saves. Each team has 22 players and no bench. Here is what my team looks like as of now:

G – Connor Hellebuyck, Mackenzie Blackwood

D – Zach Werenski, Aaron Ekblad, Dustin Byfuglien, Will Butcher, Mikael Sergachev, Michael Matheson, Oliver Kylington

F – Sebastian Aho, Brendan Gallagher, Chandler Stephansen, Denis Gurianov, Dalton Heinen, Alex DeBrincat, Ryan Johansen, Jimmy Vesey, Nick Schmaltz, Jonathan Huberdeau, Luke Kunin, Nolan Patrick, Michael Amadio

Each GM keeps his or her entire team year in, year out, except for players who sign contracts as UFAs on new teams.

Each GM can carry 15 farm players comprised of any positions. As of now, mine has Kirill Kaprizov, Philipp Kurachev, Julius Honka, Joseph Duzsak, Antti Suomela, Joachim Blichfeld, Adam Brooks, Elvis Merzlikins, Kaapo Kahkonen, Louie Belpedio, Samuel Asselin, Mathieu Joseph and Austin Czarnik. Anyone can remain on the farm team until, if a goalie, the season after he's played 60 total NHL games, and, if a skater, the season after he's played 140 total NHL games.

As you can see, my two active goalies are Hellebuyck and Blackwood. On my farm team, I've managed to get Merzlikins and Kakhonen. I figure I'll be able to keep Kakhonen in the farm for another two or more years given the Wild's goaltending situation; but Merzlikens will almost assuredly be above the 60 game mark by the end of 2020-21.

Who should I keep on my active roster between Hellebuyck, Blackwood and Merzlikins? I need help at both forward and defense, so shopping one of the 3 is possible, but which would be more profitable?

I've been finishing just out of the money for the last 4 years, after having to rebuild a perennial top 3 (and money maker) before that, for cap reasons, which also has prevented me from drafting better than 12th over the last 10 years.

 

As good of a trade chip as Hellebuyck might be, you have to keep him since as I pointed out in my most recent Goldipucks column he might actually be capable of better than what we saw in 2019-20. In terms of shopping Elvis or Mac, it's a toughie. Yes, Elvis signed for nearly 50% more than did Joonas Korpisalo; however, his $4M per year cap hit isn't so high as to assume the net is entirely his. Plus, both he and Korpisalo inked two-year deals, so clearly the team envisions both getting a chance to play a lot before settling on one of the two as "the guy."

Mac seemed to be turning a corner in Q3, with a quality start ratio of 8/11, but then looked shaky in limited Q4 action, by which time Cory Schneider was also back in the mix. The fact that Schneider is still in the picture could help Mac, as it lessens the likelihood of New Jersey going out and inking another goalie who could push Blackwood aside. So long story short, I think Blackwood has a better chance of being a true #1 in 2020-21 than Merzlikins; however, Merzlikins seems to be the better goalie. So of the two, I'd try and trade Merzlikins, as someone in your league will be willing to pay a decent sum given the hype that surrounded him for a stretch of 2019-20.

 

Question #5 (from Michael)

I'm in a 12 team keeper league. For skaters, it's points only, while for goalies its 1.5 points for a win, 4.5 points for a shutout, and 1 point for either a goalie goal or assist. Rosters are 18 total, with no positional requirements.

I currently have Thatcher Demko, Igor Shesterkin and Ilya Sorokin as my goalies. I’m always trying to find ways to maybe improve either my main roster or minors, be it prospects, roster players, or picks. I’ve been a bottom team for a few years; but this is the first time, I believe, my goaltending may finally be at a point where it could be relevant, and for many years to come. If someone were to make me an offer on any of the three, which one would you give up and for what? Or do you think I should just stand pat with what I have?

 

I'd definitely not part with Shesterkin, short of getting Andrei Vasilevskiy or Connor Hellebuyck in return. He's poised to be a dominant goalie if not in 2020-21 then for sure by 2021-22 when Henrik Lundqvist will be off the books and Alexander Georgiev could be in net for Seattle.

As for the other two, in terms of Demko, the quandary is whether Jacob Markstrom re-signs, in which case Demko's value will be pretty low until he gets traded and, in a perfect scenario, turns into what Cory Schneider was for several years after being dealt from the same Canucks. Of course Demko hasn't looked as superb as many thought he'd be, and in fact saw all his metrics worsen this past season from his limited 2018-19 time in net. It might be, however, that he has to play a lot before he turns out to be a very good goalie; or he might never become very good. It's not ideal that you're making this decision now, without the benefit of knowing the future for Markstrom nor having seen Demko play more.

Sorokin is thought by many now to be the top goalie outside of the NHL, as like Shesterkin before him he just seems to keep getting better. But the Islanders are paying Semyon Varlamov $5M per year through 2023, so Sorokin could just opt to stay in the KHL, where he'd be treated like a star.

Who to trade then? Sorokin is the risk/reward option, as you could trade him and he either never comes to the NHL or doesn't for several more years, or perhaps he's there as early as 2020-21 as the back-up to replace UFA to be Thomas Greiss with a chance to outplay Varlamov. Demko could be a starter for the Canucks in 2020-21 if they let Jacob Markstrom walk, or he could be relegated to the back-up role indefinitely, or at least until he gets moved. My take is if you do opt to trade one of the three – and there definitely is a case to be made for just standing pat – I'd trade Demko. His play in 2019-20 didn't leave me with a lot of confidence in him, yet he's still thought of by many as a stud goalie in the making, giving him all-important name value. And I'd kick myself if I lost Sorokin and he did come to the NHL. But if you believe Sorokin won't come, then deal him, as you'll find a GM in your league tantalized by his potential.

 

Question #6 (from Jim)

I have two questions. The first is simple, and that's whether you believe Aaron Ekblad will be an elite fantasy defenseman. For the second, mine is a keeper league where up to six rookies can be kept. Given this, which of the following are worth considering for next season, and which have the highest floor over the long term: Alex Formenton, Oliver Wahlstrom, Julien Gauthier, Victor Soderstrom, Ty Smith, Calen Addison, Nils Lundkvist, Ryan Merkley, Ty Dellandrea, Alex Barre-Boulet, Liam Foudy, Jason Robertson, Spencer Knight, and Cal Petersen.

 

Ekblad's 2019-20 was the season poolies had long been awaiting. And interestingly he performed well while taking the ice for the lowest average PP time per game of his career, and in fact has seen his PP time per game drop in each of the past four seasons. In doing what he did, Ekblad likely staked out a case for an increasing role in 2020-21 and years to come, including perhaps on the PP, although Keith Yandle is signed through 2022-23 for the not very bargain price of $6.35M per year, so it's hard to imagine Yandle being pushed aside entirely, including on the PP.

What, then, is Ekblad's ceiling? Even though he was scoring at a 50 point pace, his shooting percentage was half his career rate, so right there tack on five more goals and suddenly he's at a 56 point pace. But on the flip side, Ekblad's IPP, which had been 32-33% the last two seasons, was 45.1%, which more than cancels out any scoring gains from his abnormally low shooting percentage. So until Yandle is gone or pushed aside, look for Ekblad to be a 45-55 point d-man, with the exact total depending on how good Florida is and exactly how much PP time Ekblad manages to get. But by the time 2023-24 rolls around though, Ekblad will only be 27 and poised to explode, with 60+ points per season a very realistic target.

As for your prospect question, this is not my strong suit; however, I can do my best to try and weigh in. The short answer is my keeps would be Peterson, Foudy, Robertson, Wahlstrom, Soderstrom, and Smith in view of their skill and opportunity, with Addison, Lunqvist and Merkley being risk/reward guys. Here are my thoughts on all the prospects you mentioned, except Soderstrom and Knight, whom I mentioned above in response to question #2.

I'd be very surprised if Formenton doesn't get a long look in Ottawa next season given what he did in the AHL and given Ottawa's need for offense. Long term though, he has to find a way to translate his speed to scoring at the NHL level, since as we've seen with the likes of Andreas Athansiou speed alone doesn't mean surefire success.

Wahlstrom has superb long term upside, as by the time he is ready for the NHL the Islanders likely could be morphing into more of a scoring-focused team, for which Wahlstrom would have a key role. But for 2020-21, I think it's 50/50 at best that he sees any time in the NHL.

Gauthier was traded by the Canes, which was not a ringing endorsement of his potential. Still, with the Rangers he could have a chance to crack the line-up at some point, although perhaps more as a middle six or even bottom six forward. I don't have high hopes near or long term though.

Smith had a strong enough season in the WHL that a jump straight to New Jersey for 2020-21 is well within reason. I'd bank on him getting at least a look out of training camp, and if he impresses then he could stick around for the season. If he doesn't stay put, then I'd put him down as almost a virtual lock to be there for 2021-22, with solid upside of 50-60+ points.

Addison was a key piece for Minnesota to receive in the deal between the Pens and Wild that brought Jason Zucker to Pittsburgh and Alex Galchenyuk to Minnesota. Yes, the Wild already have Matt Dumba and Ryan Suter; however, Suter isn't getting any younger and Dumba can be a free agent in a couple of years. Look for Addison to be brought along slowly, but he should have a bright future, by which time the Wild hopefully will have also turned things around as a team.

Lundqvist has looked strong on the biggest stages, namely international competition. The issue is he's property of the Rangers, who already have Tony DeAngelo and Adam Fox. I'd guess that right around when Lundqvist is rounding into form so too will be the Rangers, who might, in turn, deal him to try and make a Cup run. Wherever he ultimately lands he should be fantasy relevant.

I like what Merkley brings to the table, although playing for the Sharks is an issue due to the presence of Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson, plus the team projecting to struggle for the foreseeable future. I think he will be brought along slowly, but I also find it more likely than not that he ends up making a fantasy impact down the road.

Dellandrea being on the Stars presents a similar quandary as what Merkley faces, except instead of Burns and Karlsson it's John Klingberg and Miro Heiskanen, who are even younger. There isn't room for all three of them, I think, so it might be that Dellandrea allows Dallas to let Klingberg walk in a few years, at which time things in Dallas should be better than they are now, only serving to help Dellandrea.

Barre-Boulet being undersized has likely worked against him, and could serve to make his path to the NHL more difficult or take longer; however, playing for Tampa – where the diminutive Martin St. Louis shined – could help carve a path for him to the big club. The good news is if he does make it to the NHL he'd almost assuredly be used only in the top nine; the question though is if, and when.

Foudy and Robertson both made cameos for their respective teams in 2019-20, and play for squads looking to inject some offense into their line-ups. Accordingly, both should get a real shot to play next season and could turn heads.

By the time 2019-20 was paused, Peterson was in a goalie share situation, with LA liking what they saw. Yes, Jonathan Quick is signed for $5.8M AAV through 2022-23; but Peterson likely showed enough to stick with the team as a back-up or 1B going into next season.

 

Question #7 (from Liam)

In my points only league our rosters comprise 45 players, with 10F, 3D, 1G in the starting lineup, with the remaining 31 in our farm system.

My team is starting a full rebuild after having won the championship twice in the last 3 years. As such, I have the opportunity to acquire some youth for some of my veterans. How would you rank these young players (Barrett Hayton, Clayton Keller, Drake Batherson, Jack Hughes, Cody Glass, Bowen Byram, Kailer Yamamoto, Miro Heiskanen and Dylan Larkin) as far as offensive upside? I have been offered a combination of any 5 of them for my Artemi Panarin plus Sidney Crosby. Or would you try to get a better deal from another GM?

 

When entering a rebuild, you owe it to yourself to get the best deal you can for the assets you have. Not only would I shop Panarin and Crosby around to all league GMs, but I'd also do so individually as well as part of a package. Although I think five from the list (I'd go with Keller, Hughes, Yamamoto, Heiskanen and Larkin) is a pretty decent offer, you might get better from another GM, especially if you do two separate trades. You want all the teams to know this is their only chance to get players like these, as that will entice them to give you the best possible offers. Good luck!

 

Question #8 (from Jason)

I'm in a 10 team keeper league (G, A, +/-, PPP, SOG, HIT, BLK, W, GAA, SV% SHO). We are allowed to keep only 4 players and utilize the 'Gretzky Rule' (not sure if that's a thing, but it's catchy) wherein you can't keep your #1 draft pick of that year. I'm trying to decide between John Tavares, Tyler Seguin, Ben Bishop, Andrei Svechnikov, J.T. Miller, Mark Scheifele, Blake Wheeler and Kevin Fiala as keepers.

I've had Tavares and Seguin for about 5 years now and given Toronto's roster of stars and the struggles of Dallas scorers, I'm letting them both go. Svech is a lock for me, but I'm curious if you think that Miller can keep it going and if Fiala is going to maintain his success. Which would be your 4 keepers from this list?

 

I agree with Svechnikov, and I like Miller because of his scoring and hits. You might need one of Tavares or Seguin for the SOG plus scoring. Of the two I'd go with Tavares, as although there are only so many points to go around when it comes to the Leafs, we're talking about a lot of points and Tavares should be able to sleepwalk to 75+ if he stays healthy.

For your last keeper, I think you have to let Fiala go, as even if he is the real thing he's simply not done enough to be retained in a league with your categories and only 40 are kept in total. Go with Scheifele if you want a lock for roughly point per game scoring and good but not great peripherals, or with Wheeler if you think you can win this season, as he was above a point per game after his slow start and he gives you better multi-cat contributions than Scheifele. Bishop is tempting in that four of 11 categories are goalie-related; however, chances are you can get someone of his caliber at the draft and it's best to keep only skaters in this format.

 

Question #9 (from Jim)

I'm in a H2H 10 team non-cap league counting G, A, +/-, PIM, PPPts, SOG, W, SHO, GAA, and SV%, with 2C, 4W, 4D and 2G in the starting lineup. I can keep up to 5 players but only 1 can be a goalie. My keeps so far are Brad Marchand, Victor Hedman and Jordan Binnington as I feel that gives me an elite winger and elite defenseman and a very good if not soon to be elite goaltender, and that's been my successful strategy for some years now.

My next two keeps will most likely be Andrei Svechnikov and J.T. Miller, but I also have Jake Guentzel and am thinking maybe I keep him instead of Miller based on Guentzel's very solid situation and continued trajectory, as opposed to Miller, who is still a bit of a crap shoot IMO based on his streakiness in years past other than this season in Vancouver and with the Canucks not being as consistently good overall as the Pens. Do you keep Jake or JT, and why? I also have Dougie Hamilton on D. Do you keep him over Hedman?

 

I keep Hamilton for sure – see my discussion on him in response to question #1. The other keep probably should be Svechnikov, who gives you the best combination of PIM and SOG, plus should continue to take strides in terms of scoring as he matures. Guentzel would be keepable if your league was more goal-centric, and Miller if you had other categories, especially HIT and FOW. 

As it stands though, go with the three you earmarked, plus Svech and Hamilton. If trades are possible, dangle Miller and/or Guentzel, as you might be able to get something (picks?) in return for one or both.

 

Question #10 (from Paul)

I'm in a 14 team keep 8 league with the following categories: Forward Goals, Forward assists, Defensemen goals, Defensemen assists, +/-, PIM, PP/SH/ GWG, Hits/Blocks, Wins, SV%, GAA. We roster 10F, 5D, and 2G, with an IR of 8 spots.

I am looking for your opinion on my protected list. I have decided on: David Pastrnak, Brady Tkachuk, Patrick Kane, Victor Hedman, Thomas. Chabot, Frederik Andersen. I now need to pick two more from: Jakub Vrana, Bo Horvat, Dylan Larkin, Tomas Hertl, Ryan Pulock, and Jacob Markstrom. In case it matters, I will be picking 9th of 14 in the draft, and goalies go quickly. What do you suggest I do?

 

Give me Hertl for sure. Yes, he has trouble staying healthy and will be at a disadvantage by playing in San Jose due to the team around him; however, he followed up his nearly point per game 2018-19 with just as solid of a first quarter. That's too much great hockey to not be for real, especially since his metrics, other than a slightly elevated team shooting percentage last season, look reasonable. For the other keep I'd take Markstrom so you don't have to focus on a goalie with your first two picks, and because you should be able to draft someone as good or even better than your other skaters there.

 

Question #11 (from Scott)

I'm in a 14 team Roto league. The Categories for skaters are G, A, PPPts, +\-, PIM, HIT, SOG. The Categories for Goalies are Wins, GAA, SV% . Each team keeps 5, only one of which can be a goalie.

My keepers are Gabriel Landeskog, Johnny Gaudreau, Brady Tkachuk, Anthony Mantha and, for the final spot, Juuse Saros or Ilya Samsonov, as my netminder options are slim. Which do you keep?

Also, I've loaded up on draft picks for next year and was wondering how you would rank some guys I'm considering with my early picks: J.T. Miller, Alex DeBrincat, Brock Boeser, Pierre-Luc Dubois, Travis Konecny, Elias Lindholm, and Jonathan Marchessault.

 

First off the ranking.  For your league, Miller, Konecny, DeBrincat, Lindholm, Boeser, Marchessault then Dubois. It's close between Lindholm and Boeser, so those two could be interchangeable.

In terms of your goalie keep, I'm taking Saros. Yes, if Braden Holtby walks Samsonov could end up taking the reins; however, I think if that happens then Washington will bring in a veteran back-up to help ease Samsonov's transition to the starter and to be there if he falters. And falter he might, as although his stats for the overall season seem decent, he played his best against teams which were either bad or struggled to score, and he'd played worse as the season wore on. Couple that with a subpar 2018-19 in the AHL, and that – along with the prospect of Holtby possibly resigning with the Caps – is likely enough reason not to keep him.

With Saros, he'd already begun to seize the starting job from Pekka Rinne, and signs point to him being the one who'll get the most starts for Nashville come 2020-21, and from there should be the full-fledged #1 by 2021-22. Yes, Saros had a poor 2018-19 as well, and rough start to 2019-20; however, he dazzled in the weeks leading up to the season halting. And with now more than 100 NHL games under his belt, Saros seems to be finding his way and is poised to play as well as most have long expected he would.

 

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For those reading this now, it's never too early to start providing me with mailbag questions, which you can do in one of two ways: (1) by emailing them to [email protected] with the words "Roos Mailbag" as the subject line, or (2) by sending them to me via a private message on the DobberHockey Forums, where my username is "rizzeedizzee". Or if you prefer to wait, the time to get me question is right after each Roos Lets Loose Poll, since the mailbag normally runs the following week.

When sending me your questions, remember to provide as much detail about your league/situation as possible, since as you saw above in a couple of the questions there were some omitted details which made it difficult for me to give a truly proper answer. Examples of the types of things I need to know include what type of league you're in (i.e., limited keeper, dynasty, or one-year; roto vs H2H), does the salary cap matter, how many players are rostered (and of those, how many start at each position), what categories are scored and how are they weighted, plus other details if necessary (such as free agents available if you're thinking of dropping a player or rosters of both teams if you're thinking of making a trade). The key is to tell me enough for me to give you a truly proper answer, and for readers of this column to benefit from the answer/advice I provide. When in doubt, err on the side of inclusion. See you next week for Goldipucks and the Three Skaters!

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HOT PLAYERS

  Players Team GP G A P
JOHN KLINGBERG DAL 4 0 6 6
ALEXANDER RADULOV DAL 5 1 5 6
VICTOR HEDMAN T.B 4 2 2 4
PAUL STASTNY VGK 6 2 4 6
BLAKE COLEMAN T.B 5 1 3 4
SHEA THEODORE VGK 4 1 2 3

LINE COMBOS

  Frequency DET Players
32.2% TYLER BERTUZZI DYLAN LARKIN ANTHONY MANTHA
17% VALTTERI FILPPULA SAM GAGNER DARREN HELM
10.5% ROBBY FABBRI LUKE GLENDENING DMYTRO TIMASHOV

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