Fantasy take on Chicago-Columbus deal, and here is a hint, it comes up aces …
The Chicago Blackhawks traded Brandon Saad, Michael Paliotta and Alex Broadhurst to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Artem Anisimov, Jeremy Morin, Corey Tropp, Marko Dano and a fourth-round pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft Tuesday, June 30.
There will likely be varying takes on this deal, for obvious reasons. Firstly, though, because at face value, the Blackhawks appear to have received a little less than they could/should have.
Unfortunately, time was an important factor in this deal, similar to the trade the Boston Bruins made to ship out Dougie Hamilton. After all, this isn’t a video game or fantasy league. There was a closing window, and the Blackhawks added three roster players, and Corey Tropp who can eat fourth-line minutes, if needed.
Probably because there are 29 general managers who aren’t giddy over helping the Stanley Cup Champions slip out of another looming cap disaster. They’re still not in an ideal spot after this deal, either.
Again, two parties need to actually agree to a deal, it doesn’t happen in a forum or around a horseshoe bar. If there wasn’t a better deal for Sharp or Bickell, general manager Stan Bowman had to proceed with what was the next best move for his team going forward.
And, wouldn’t you know, Chicago’s top-nine forwards don’t look significantly weaker than they were two hours ago.
Turning to the fantasy angle, it comes up aces for everyone.
Before anyone even begins to worry about Saad’s offense, the Blue Jackets scored the third most goals in the league from February 1 to the end of the season. Columbus is deep, and they just got a whole lot better.
The arrow is pointing straight up for Saad, and now he should receive top offensive opportunities in all situations. There is a good chance he clicks with Ryan Johansen, and the duo enters their primes as one of the best one-two punches in the league.
Hyperbole, perhaps, but they should prove to be a perfect fit for one another.
Anisimov should receive every chance to be the second-line center for Chicago and play with more talented wingers than he has at any other stage of his career.
Dano, similarly, should slide into one of the top-three lines. Look at his rookie numbers, and also note he finished the season with 14 points — four goals — over his final 15 games with a plus-12 rating, eight penalty minutes and 37 shots on goal. And, 10 of his 14 points were at even strength.
Morin is a known commodity to Chicago, so obviously they value him. He will battle for a roster spot, and he has a cap-friendly salary. His value jumps up if/when others are dealt.
The prospects headed to Columbus don’t project to tip the fantasy scales any time soon. Paliotta has more upside and finished off a strong NCAA career, but AHL seasoning will likely be needed. At best, Broadhurst becomes a low-end third liner.
Saad touching 70 points this season isn’t out of the question. Anisimov is a late-round selection in the majority of leagues, if he owns winger eligibility. Dano will become a popular sleeper, however, the real winner with Saad gone is Teuvo Teravainen. Expect Teravainen to take a huge step forward next year.
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