Forum Buzz: Keeping the Veteran Over the Rookie; Hintz Vs. Barzal; Mantha Vs. Bjorkstrand & More

Rick Roos


Welcome back to Forum Buzz, where I peruse the DobberHockey Forums and weigh in on active, heavily debated, or otherwise relevant recent threads, reminding folks just how great a resource the Forums are. Nearly anything might be covered here, other than trades and signings, which usually get their own separate write-ups on the main site and are also normally covered in the next day’s Ramblings, or questions that are specific to salary cap issues, which is the domain of the weekly Capped column. To access the specific forum thread on which a question is based, click on the “Topic” for that question.

Topic #1In a daily start, 12 team, H2H league with 4C, 4LW, 4RW, 6D, and 2G in active line-ups and counting G, A, P, +/-, PPG, PPA, SHP, GWG, SOG, FW, BLK, HIT as skater categories, a GM wants to keep three defensemen, with the choices being Ty Smith, Evan Bouchard, Moritz Seider, Matt Dumba, Alexander Romanov, and Rasmus Andersson. Which three should be kept? Or might it be wiser to keep more or fewer than three, with the keeps (14 total) at other positions being decreased or increased accordingly?

For sure at least two should be kept, namely Smith and Bouchard. Smith has amply shown he is a future blueline point producer and is in a nice situation in that he's not going to be pressured right away and the team around him should improve as he does. I like Bouchard because if you look at what Oscar Klefbom, who doesn't have a shell of the offensive gifts of Bouchard, did last season and what Tyson Barrie is doing in 2020-21, you can see the lure in holding him. Since it's all but a given that Barrie won't re-sign, I'm predicting Bouchard pushes Klefbom out of the PP1 picture to reap the resulting benefits.

Could a case be made to stop there and just keep two? Probably not, in that defensemen make up half the active skaters and this is a 12-team league, meaning 72 d-men need to be in active line-ups, so you don't want to ignore a position of importance. That being said, after Smith and Bouchard there is a pronounced drop off in quality.

Of the remaining four, for sure Romonov and Andersson should be omitted. I realize it's his first NHL season, and he's only 21, but Romanov doesn't seem to be showing signs of having a str