Fantasy Impact: The Toronto Maple Leafs have traded defenseman Dion Phaneuf to the Ottawa Senators in a nine-player deal.
The Senators get: Phaneuf, Matt Frattin, Casey Bailey, Ryan Rupert and Cody Donaghey. Of this group, Bailey, Rupert and Frattin are bit players, while Donaghey is young and has some upside but is years away and is a bit of a long shot. Meaning for the Sens this is about Dion.
They get a solid two-way defenseman with some offensive upside, but they are also saddled with another five years on a pretty big cap hit ($7 million). But he joins a team now that has a superstar on the blue line. The focus will always be on Erik Karlsson. And by “focus” I refer to both the opposition as well as the media. And the fans. With some of the spotlight off of him, perhaps Phaneuf can better do his thing.
The Maple Leafs get: Jared Cowen, Colin Greening, Milan Michalek, Tobias Lindberg and a second-round draft pick. This deal is all about Lindberg and the second rounder. Lindberg is a decent prospect who joins a secondary tier of good prospects for the Leafs. After the elite (William Nylander, Mitch Marner), the Leafs have a solid secondary group consisting of Kasperi Kapanen, Josh Leivo, Brendan Leipsic, Zach Hyman, Connor Brown, Frederik Gauthier, Stuart Percy and Nikita Soshnikov. Lindberg will be one of the better ones in that group. (See Lindberg’s fantasy prospect profile here – and bookmark for easy reference at the Trade Deadline)
Cowen exploded onto the scene in 2013-14 with an impressive rookie campaign thanks to a mix of size (6-5, 238), strength and two-way ability. His young career mimics that of Luke Schenn, which means that his fall from glory was just as big and just as quick. Just two years later and Ottawa fans can’t get rid of him soon enough. Heavily sheltered with his minutes, Cowen still struggled more often than not this year and has seen his share of healthy scratches. But at 25, Toronto has nothing to lose by giving him the rest of this season and all of next year to show his stuff.
Greening is a fringe NHL player, which is perfect for the Leafs. They can ice an ‘NHL’ team filled with Greenings and that will buy them time until the summer when they take a run at Steven Stamkos and other free agents, and in the fall when they promote William Nylander and perhaps another solid prospect or two. Michalek is another example of this. He and Greening will sit beside Brad Boyes, PA Parenteau, Daniel Winnik and Mark Arcobello on the bench as they play the role of ‘filler player’ until April (or until they are traded for a draft pick).
Fantasy Players Impacted: Despite his status as a former 60-point player, those days are long gone for Michalek. So don't get any delusions. The only player in this deal worth owning in a one-year league is Phaneuf. The only other player worthy of ownership in a keeper league is Lindberg. And that’s if your league is very deep because Lindberg will be a couple of years before reaching his scoring-line upside.
So this is about Phaneuf. In leaving the Leafs, he frees up a lot of power-play time. And Jake Gardiner and Morgan Rielly will be quick to fill that void. Phaneuf’s arrival in Ottawa means that Cody Ceci, unfortunately, gets knocked back off the power play for the most part. That’s a real shame because Ceci had eight points in his last 10 games (though just two on the power play. This would also completely knock Chris Wideman out of the mix and Patrick Wiercioch was already off the PP.
Can Erik Karlsson somehow perform even better because of this? It doesn’t seem possible, given his scoring pace. But Phaneuf should shift a bit of the focus away from Karlsson.
Craig Anderson – can Phaneuf improve his numbers? Well, if the Sens win an extra game or two because of this move, then there's a couple of W's of course. And if an extra puck is blocked or a sniper is taken out of a player two then that will help the ol' SV%. So I have to think Anderson owners are pretty thankful.
Fantasy Players this helps, in order:
1. Rielly (see his game log and stats profile here)
2. Gardiner (see his game log and stats profile here)
3. Anderson (see his game log and stats profile here)
Fantasy Players this hurts, in order:
1. Ceci (see his game log and stats profile here)
2. Wideman (see his game log and stats profile here)
- Ramblings: Schneider waived; Drouin and Byron injured; Frost called up; Svechnikov - November 19
- Ramblings: Scoring is Up, Huberdeau is Underrated, Rebounders, Snoozers, & Breakouts (Nov. 20)
- Eastern Edge: Struggling and thriving players over the last month
- West: Goals vs. Expectation Pt.2 (Benn, Ritchie, Marchessault)
- Top 100 Keeper League Goaltenders - November 2019
- Injury Ward: Kucherov, Marner, Bergeron, Letang, Klingberg, & Krug
- Lining Up: Streaking lines over their last 10 games
- Fantasy Poll: The NHL Worst Contracts