Every Sunday, we share 21 Fantasy Rambles from our writers at DobberHockey. These thoughts are curated from the past week’s 'Daily Ramblings'.
Writers/Editors: Ian Gooding, Michael Clifford, Alexander MacLean, and Dobber
1. If Bowen Byram had played in more games, perhaps we’d hear his name more in the Calder Trophy conversation. Entering Saturday action, of all rookies that have played in at least as many games as Byram, only frequently mentioned names Lucas Raymond and Trevor Zegras have a higher point-per-game average than Byram (0.69 PTS/GP). Maybe I’m biased because I saw him play numerous time in junior, but I think Byram is the real deal. Concussions have been a major issue (three since his NHL debut a year ago), but when he’s healthy, he’s been more productive than any rookie defenseman – including Moritz Seider (0.65 PTS/GP).
Power-play time might be an issue, although the Avalanche can throw solid secondary scoring onto their second power-play unit. The fact that 10 of Byram’s 11 points have been scored at even strength suggests that he deserves additional power-play time. That Cale Makar guy is pretty good, though. (jan8)
2. According to David Pagnotta, John Klingberg has requested a trade out of Dallas. Klingberg is set to become a free agent at the end of the season, and he and the Stars have not been able to agree on a long-term contract. As Pagnotta said, whether Klingberg actually gets shopped may depend on the Stars’ playoff hopes. Currently they are below the playoff bar in the Western Conference, although they have several games in hand on the teams they are trying to leapfrog over.
Based on recent point production, the Stars might get their best return for Klingberg right now. After getting off to a slow start (three points in first 12 games), he has heated up over the past month-plus (13 PTS in last 13 GP entering Saturday). He currently also leads all Stars players in power-play ice time. (jan8)
3. Tuukka Rask is making his way back to Boston, as the veteran goalie signed an AHL tryout with the Providence Bruins. I’m sure Rask and the Bruins already have a contract in the drawer that will be officially signed assuming Rask isn’t injured or has a disastrous AHL stint. Boston’s cap space is razor-thin, so expect this to be a very team-friendly contract even with Rask’s pedigree.
To pre-emptively answer the question, “Should I drop Jeremy Swayman?”, I would wait a bit. I don’t know what Rask’s timeline would be for regular starts, but I would imagine he would be eased in at first once he is signed. That may result in Swayman not being sent to the AHL right away even with Rask on the roster, so wait until it is official. Swayman started Thursday’s game, which turned out to be a 3-2 loss to Minnesota. (