Plenty of storylines are emerging very early in the season, including injuries, debuts with new teams, and even a signing. I'll cover the ones that seem to stand out, at least from a fantasy perspective.
One game was all that it took for Patrik Laine to hit injured reserve. The Blue Jackets winger is expected to miss the next 3-4 weeks with an elbow sprain. Laine was injured in Columbus' Wednesday opener against Carolina, likely after a collision with Brett Pesce. Obviously the Laine – Johnny Gaudreau magic that was expected to occur will now have to be put on hold, while Boone Jenner stock will probably fall a bit.
The player elevated to the CBJ top power-play unit after Laine left the game was… Justin Danforth? Yep, that's what the boxscore shows. Not only that, but according to @JacketsInsider on Twitter, Danforth was on line rushes with Gaudreau and Jenner during Thursday's practice. Not who I expected at all in either case, but Danforth might deserve a pickup in deeper leagues if he can stick on these first units while Laine is out. Danforth recorded just 14 points in 45 games last season, although 10 of those points were goals. He's a 29-year-old undrafted 5-9 forward who has spent some time in the KHL and ECHL, so he arrives with virtually no pedigree (and a potential nice story.)
The Flyers have signed Travis Sanheim to an eight-year, $50 million extension. For those in salary cap leagues who need to plan ahead, this works out to a raise of just over $1.5 million per season.
This signing doesn't have a ton of implications otherwise in fantasy leagues. To give you an idea, Sanheim is just 2% rostered in Yahoo leagues. From a real-life hockey perspective, the number of 7-8-year deals seem to be on the rise, with this signing and the Mattias Samuelsson contract yesterday showing as two examples of non-star players landing the big term. Teams are taking a bet that these defensemen will progress as hoped and that the cap hit will be a b