Ramblings: Chychrun and Other Droppable Players; E. Kane, Zuccarello, D. Strome (Jan 29)

Ian Gooding

2022-01-29

Have you noticed that the number of players you're losing to the COVID protocol list is now shrinking? The omicron variant curve for NHL players seems to thankfully be on a downward slope, which means that maintaining a fantasy hockey roster comes with fewer unpleasant surprises these days. However, being the glass half-empty guy that I am sometimes, I have to point out another problem that is created, which is deciding who to drop to activate one of your regulars. Sometimes the decision is relatively straightforward, while other times you're stuck in indecision mode.  

On one of my teams, one such player who was a recent casualty of players returning (from five occupied IR slots down to zero!) is Jakob Chychrun. After Friday's game, Chychrun has one point since November 30. Because of an injury, that is one point over his last eight games, but that's still not good enough. Simply put, there isn't a lot to like about Chychrun's short-term value. He's a league-worst minus-31 and he's had four games out of 31 where he's been a positive player (this league counts plus-minus – don't @ me). Moreover, he's losing first-unit power-play minutes to Shayne Gostisbehere, a player you probably considered much riskier than Chychrun before the season.

Where it gets interesting is if Chychrun is traded. Of course it will be to a stronger team, so he will suddenly become a safer option in leagues with plus-minus. Not only that, but he will be surrounded with higher-scoring players, which should give him that much-needed boost production-wise. A trade is no guarantee, but you may just want to stash him away just in case. With a trade to a contending club, maybe you'll even start to see the Chychrun of last season – the one who led all defensemen in goals. Yet as far as fantasy busts go, he's at the top of the list. I wouldn't blame you at all if you had already decided to move on.

Who was that player you had to drop that you think has an outside chance at a strong second half? Let me know in the comments. Later on, I'll mention a couple more players that might be droppable.

By the way, isn't it incredible how the Coyotes will be allowed to continue in Arizona playing in a 5000-seat arena for several more seasons? With that gate revenue limit,