Ramblings: Crosby Concussed, Gaudreau Signs, Pavelec Waived (Oct 11, 2016)

by steve laidlaw on October 10, 2016
  • Hockey Rambling
  • Ramblings: Crosby Concussed, Gaudreau Signs, Pavelec Waived (Oct 11, 2016)

Crosby Concussed, Gaudreau Signs, Pavelec Waived and much more as rosters solidify.

We’ll start with some terrible news; Sidney Crosby has been diagnosed with a concussion.

Expect the Penguins to be very precautious with this. I’d immediately bump Crosby’s games played projection five games, which already should have had some missed time built in. In most formats this should affect your outlook for him at all because he’s dynamite when he plays but in points-only and box formats this will really hurt him.

The trickle-down effect here is that Evgeni Malkin always seems to go bananas with Crosby on the shelf. You might also see Nick Bonino or Chris Kunitz pop back onto the top PP unit or perhaps even Justin Schultz.


Some positive injury news out of St. Louis:

Jake Allen is still an injury risk going forward but at least he doesn’t sewer you out of the gate.


Johnny Gaudreau officially signed a six-year extension with the Flames. Calgary got him to bend and take under $7M annually but it likely came at the expense of getting the seventh and eighth years they could have signed him for. This is a pretty darn expensive deal when you consider it buys only one year of unrestricted free agency. But they also needed to keep the annual value on this deal down to create breathing room under the cap. They have only ~$0.5M under the cap after this signing.

Sorry, that was far too much negativity for what should be an exciting moment. Six more years of Johnny Flames fans! This is awesome. I’m also stoked he’ll be in the lineup for game one because I have him at 33/1 to win the Art Ross. He probably won’t get there but the Crosby injury news helps and potentially skating 82 games will help even more.

I have only two asks from Gaudreau: No Super Bowl parties, please? And could you score a little on the road?

Gaudreau’s splits:











He’ll need to score more on the road to lead the league in scoring. Do take note of this for Daily Fantasy purposes.


It happened! It finally happened! The Jets placed Ondrej Pavelec on waivers, which means he will presumably be sent to the minors or perhaps claimed by another team but more likely the former. None of these moves are official so we cannot assume this is 100 per cent what is going down but it also won’t pay to be hesitant. You need to react fast because the upside for Connor Hellebuyck (the presumed new Jets starter) is that of a top-10 -15 goalie option.

In my goalie tiers column, I had Hellebuyck way down in the fifth tier because of the uncertainty here. I have been saying since last February that if Hellebuyck wasn’t the starter this season we should accuse the Jets of tanking so there wasn’t that much uncertainty but there was enough that Hellebuyck was slipping to the late rounds in drafts. If you are yet to draft, he won’t be slipping any further. If you’ve already drafted, you need to snag him off the waiver wire if you can.

I would now push Hellebuyck up into the second tier of goalies, in the range of other first-time starters like John Gibson and Jake Allen. Being aggressive here will pay off and if it doesn’t you can blame me.

I do like to represent the other side of the coin, even if it means I spend more time on a topic than needed. The Jets will be going with an extremely young roster.

Some of those prospects are older, and some are blue chippers but the end result is a roster without much NHL experience. This could end up in a nightmare scenario like last season if injuries hit because suddenly these young guys playing great in depth roles are thrust into a heavier work load and then call-ups who didn’t make the team are then filling the depth roles. The domino effect can be scary.

Jacob Trouba’s holdout doesn’t help matters and it is likely why Morrissey makes the team. Morrissey is a real talent but also a downgrade from Trouba, who is AWESOME even if his fantasy season was disappointing. So it’s possible that with a couple of injuries the Jets crumble. They also happen to skate in the league’s toughest division, which won’t help matters.

There is also the presence of Michael Hutchinson, who has had stretches of elite play for the Jets. He could steal starts from Hellebuyck if he gets hot.

None of these questions are enough to dissuade me from Hellebuyck. I am fully on the bandwagon. I might even be the conductor.

I have received many questions asking if it would be worth it to drop a confirmed starter on a bad team (most frequently Cam Talbot) for Hellebuyck. The answer is yes. Fortune favours the bold. I blame Dobber for all the Talbot love.

Check out the remaining Jets roster. Still a couple of cuts to be made up front but they do appear committed to the youth movement.


PA Parenteau was waived, which means the youth movement is on for the Islanders.

I don’t want to speculate too heavily about the line combinations for the Islanders following this news because Jack Capuano is one of the worst in the league for constant line shuffling. It does mean we will likely see Mathew Barzal make this team in some capacity and perhaps for more than just a nine-game trial.

The big opening with Parenteau gone is on the power play, as they had been using him on the top unit for much of the pre-season. It seems Ryan Strome and Andrew Ladd will join John Tavares but the question is whether or not Anders Lee can reclaim his top unit role. There is a big swing in fantasy potential at stake here. Based on pre-season usage, I am not confident in Lee here. Barzal and Brock Nelson appear to have better chances at grabbing the spot.

Here are the last game line combos:

















And the PP configurations:

















Looking at those, you’d think Parenteau would be heavily involved. I suspect he’ll get claimed by someone. There are a lot of teams who could use the depth scoring.


Some other intriguing players on waivers:

Mike Condon

Alex Stalock

Teemu Pulkkinen

I wonder if a team with a goalie injury like Pittsburgh or St. Louis makes a claim on Condon or Stalock to fill a gap or if they go with internal options. Teams usually don’t like adding contracts so odds are they go with internal options.


We already knew as much but here’s confirmation:

Barring an injury to Shayne Gostisbehere, I am not counting on Provorov for much fantasy relevance but maybe he could squeeze 30 points. Regardless, it’s quite the feat that he made the team – hard work is paying off. Provorov and Mikhail Sergachev undertook one hell of an offseason training regimen.

Konecny probably needs a couple of injuries to really show out as well. I don’t know that he’ll top 40 points. He could have a few hot runs though. Sounds like he’ll start out on the second line but keep in mind that Brayden Schenn is suspended for the opening three games.


In other Flyer news, Radko Gudas has been suspended six games. He is a treasure in multi-cat leagues, capable of putting up hits, blocked shots, PIM and even a decent number of SOG. The problem is that his line-toeing style of play is always going to leave him a risk of getting suspended. And the more it happens, the steeper the punishment is going to be.

I have Gudas in one multi-cat league but I have to dump him after this news. Spending the first couple of weeks as an empty roster spot isn’t worth the eventual dividend. Not when I can scoop up a similar replacement in Travis Hamonic.


As expected:

Marchessault has real offensive upside and could be a hit here. I am still more excited about the offensive potential of the Jussi Jokinen – Vincent Trocheck – Reilly Smith line, however. I think Trocheck leads the team in scoring.


The Avalanche have signed both Rene Bourque and Gabriel Bourque. I don’t see either one having fantasy relevance, however.


Not much fantasy relevance in this but:


NHL rosters have to be finalized later today with the season starting tomorrow!!!


Not a ton of love for the Wild this season and perhaps this lineup is why:

Is there a single 60-point forward there? We’ll see what Bruce Boudreau can do. I think the Wild can win a lot of games but aren’t looking so hot for fantasy.


After a lot of hubbub here’s what the Blackhawks’ opening lineup looks like:

This might still be a one-line team but I like the look of their defense. Much deeper than in past years, should save some wear and tear on Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook. That list doesn’t even include the suspended Niklas Hjalmarsson.


Some exciting news regarding Nikita Kucherov:

Will he be ready for opening night? I am optimistic but perhaps he loses a game or two similar to how PK Subban lost a couple of games the year he held out for better than a bridge contract. All Subban did that year was win the Norris Trophy. I could see a pissed off Kucherov hitting another level, especially because the Lightning might be ready to unleash hell on opponents with the man advantage.

Indeed, there is a lot of buzz surrounding the addition of Todd Richards as an assistant to help the Lightning’s ailing power play. Richards led the Wild to the 10th most efficient power play over his two seasons as head coach and he had the Blue Jackets as the eighth most efficient power play in his three full seasons in Columbus. Just imagine what he can do with the bevy of talent in Tampa Bay.

We still need to see how they will lineup with Kucherov in the lineup but we can deduce something from their most recent pre-season game:









I feel comfortable assuming that Kucherov will replace Namestnikov on that top unit. Namestnikov would then move to the second unit in lieu of the now waived Conacher.

Palat’s presence on this top unit is huge. It elevates him from the 50-60 -point range to a potential 70+ performer. You simply cannot hit that level without plenty of power play time.

The usage numbers here are also exciting. That the top unit received 75 per cent of the available minutes bodes well for the members of that unit. In the past the Lightning have split time evenly between their two power play units. Leaning heavily on the top unit could elevate these guys by a few points over the length of the season, especially if they produce at elite levels.

Minutes are a zero sum game, however. If the top unit really is going to see the majority of time, talented players like Jonathan Drouin and Victor Hedman will lose out on minutes and production.

I’ll be keeping a close eye on how this all plays out.


We have discussed over/under point total prop bets quite a bit. This weekend I polled folks about which side they preferred for all 104 available over/under props and have compiled all those polls here. Check it out.


Thanks for reading. Follow me @SteveLaidlaw.