Ramblings: Drouin not traded, B. Schenn and Hornqvist net Hat-Tricks (Mar. 1)

by steve laidlaw on March 1, 2016
  • Hockey Rambling
  • Ramblings: Drouin not traded, B. Schenn and Hornqvist net Hat-Tricks (Mar. 1)

Ramblings: Drouin not traded, Brayden Schenn and Hornqvist net hat-tricks, other deadline fallout.

Another trade deadline has come and gone, so we are officially in the final quarter of the season. Just six weeks remain and for a lot of fantasy leagues it is less than that. You should now be fully geared towards helping your team down the stretch. You really aren't thinking much about who might regress for a last month push. It's either happening or it isn't. Most fantasy leagues have already had their trade deadline or it will hit in the next week or so. You need to make hard decisions. If you have lots of moves don't be afraid to go week to week or even day to day with certain players. If a guy isn't producing, punt him to the curb (within reason, can't cut lists do serve a purpose.)  The better guy isn't necessarily the most talented guy. Maybe it is the guy who gets you an extra game in your H2H matchup or maybe it's the guy who gets a brief cameo on a top line. Be ruthless. Win your league. Let's do this people!


Fairly slow deadline day, which was to be expected. Seems like a record number of deals broke once the actual deadline hit. I think the NHL may need to push the actual deadline up a couple of hours if every team is just going to twiddle their thumbs up until the last hour and then make a mad dash. Dobber covered all the deals but the Patrick Maroon trade but I also had a ton of work over the weekend, which is honestly preferable. I’d rather it go down a couple deals a day over a trade deadline weekend than have one crazy day because you know teams are going to do stuff in the last hour no matter what. For all our deadline coverage check out our trade tracker, in case you missed one or two of the impact columns.


The biggest deals of the day were likely completed by the Avalanche who may have just thrust themselves to the front of the pack in the Western Conference Wild Card race. The Predators loom as dangerous with Pekka Rinne finding his form but there is room for two teams and right now these are the two holding down those spots.

That leaves the Minnesota Wild on the outside looking in with an aging roster to boot. To be fair to the Wild, they have some nice young pieces in Mikael Granlund, Charlie Coyle, Jason Zucker and essentially their entire defense outside of Ryan Suter who could wind up one of those ageless defenders anyhow. It will be interesting to see who gets in. And hey, the team that loses has a chance to win one of the top three picks in the draft lottery.

The Wild did end up completing a deal for David Jones but it’s unlikely he moves the needle. Just depth in case they get bit by the injury bug some more.

The biggest story of the day was what didn’t get done:

Jonathan Drouin did not get dealt, which is a loss for anyone hoping he would pop up somewhere and emerge as a stud for them down the stretch. However, there is this news:

This is a life raft Drouin needs to grab onto but word is he won’t be accepting the offer. He is DONE with the Lightning franchise. How could things get so bad? I respect both Drouin and Yzerman for their resolve in this matter but a promising player is having his career potentially ruined.

Now, I don’t know that it’s necessarily that bad. Drouin is still skating, still presumably working on his game. Certainly not to the degree that he should be working on it but how many prospects lose a season to injury only to wind up fine in the end? This can still work out for Drouin. He’ll surely find himself with a new team come the NHL draft but I figured this would get done by the trade deadline.

Also not getting done:

Unrestricted free agents on contenders not getting moved: Loui Eriksson, Kyle Okposo, Frans Nielsen, David Backes, Steven Stamkos, Keith Yandle, Milan Lucic, Alex Goligoski, Brian Campbell, etc. No surprises there. These teams still have until July 1 to negotiate an extension, and since they are in the running these amount to rentals they otherwise would have added. With no one breaking the bank for pending UFAs outside of perhaps the Andrew Ladd and Eric Staal acquisitions, there was just no value for playoff teams in giving up their own rentals.

The Outrage in Vancouver:

The Canucks managed to trade neither Dan Hamhuis nor Radim Vrbata, both upcoming UFAs. My stance was that if Hamhuis didn’t want to leave then use that as leverage to sign him to a favourable extension. He’s still an effective player. You can time it so his contract ends when you need to give extensions to guys like Bo Horvat. Hell, you might be able to go year by year with Hamhuis the rest of the way.

Apparently Hamhuis was willing to go to Chicago or Dallas and if all the scuttlebutt is correct he likely would have tried to re-sign in Vancouver this summer. A lot of the outrage is that the Canucks didn’t simply accept something for Hamhuis from either of those teams, which I get but I still think the move is to keep him and re-sign him for cheap. Things could change once a trade actually goes through and then you lose the player for what was likely a middling offer.

With Vrbata, teams were likely turned off by his recent injury. Yes, Brandon Pirri was acquired by the Ducks despite being on the shelf with an ankle injury right now but he’s also a young player headed to restricted free agency so he’s less of a rental for Florida. Not much you can do when the player gets hurt. I’m sure the argument will be that he should have been held out of the lineup to protect the asset but then teams wouldn’t know what they had in Vrbata who has had arguably his worst season. The counter to that would be that he’s been buried in the lineup for much of the season, which is absolutely true.



The Penguins came to play last night. Wow. Good time for me to acquire Chris Kunitz in a trade, although it was Patric Hornqvist who was the real star. Natural hat-trick for Hornqvist, plus an assist. Apparently that was Hornqvist’s first career hat-trick. That top line with Kunitz, Hornqvist and Sidney Crosby has put in work since the Penguins hired Mike Sullivan but they really get going when Evgeni Malkin is in the lineup giving the Penguins two good lines.

Also benefitting from Malkin’s return: Marc-Andre Fleury with 30-save shutout. It did come against a reeling Coyotes club that announced itself as sellers but things are still trending in the right direction for Fleury. I did expect Matt Murray to get this start with the Penguins facing Washington tonight on the back half of a back-to-back but maybe the plan is to throw Murray to the wolves. Fleury owners won’t complain if it’s true. I’m definitely not using Fleury or Murray in tonight’s game after the performance I got from Fleury for my H2H matchup this week.

Phil Kessel got boarded by Shane Doan and had to leave the game but did return so hopefully nothing serious.

Justin Schultz did not get into action for the Penguins but hasn’t made the trip to join the team just yet so we’ll have to wait for his debut.


The subplot to yesterday’s game between Pittsburgh and Arizona was that the Coyotes acquired Sergei Plotnikov from the Penguins who were basically trying to give the winger away. Plotnikov was indeed in the Coyote lineup, as was Jiri Sekac, fresh off of getting claimed from the Blackhawks. Also, the Coyotes were without Mikkel Boedker following his trade to the Avalanche yesterday. What did the lines look like?














We still have to wait and see what shakes out when Alex Tanguay joins the team. It is entirely possible that Tanguay combines with Doan on an old guy line to have more fantasy value than Boedker going forward. I wouldn’t bet on it, but it’s possible. Tanguay will gain a game through this transaction if he plays the next one for Colorado. Boedker, meanwhile, will lose at least two by moving to Colorado.


Eric Staal’s Ranger debut: no points, one shot, 15:34 of ice time as third line center, 36 seconds of power-play time with the second unit. That’s about what I expected. Also as expected, he spent most of his time centering the PDO wonder twins:




















Do note, there were some shift where Staal played wing with Derick Brassard and Mats Zuccarello. That’s what we call hope, for those counting on more out of Staal. I don’t expect Staal to have any more fantasy value than he had while with Carolina, which is to say, not much. Still a good hockey player but not much fantasy value.

Another grinding win for the Rangers, this one gets awarded to Antti Raanta who made a rare start.


Joonas Korpisalo made another solid start for Columbus giving up two goals on 23 shots. That’s not great, to be clear, and he’s only winning about half his starts but Korpisalo has had legit fantasy value for going on two months now. And yes, I will keep harping on this after every Columbus game.

Cam Atkinson scored his 20th goal of the season. Twitter tells me this is his third straight 20-goal season. That’s fairly impressive. I often joke about how Atkinson is empty calories in your average fantasy pool. How he shoots enough to seduce you into thinking he can produce more than he actually is capable but ultimately doesn’t break out. He could get to 50 points this season as he only needs 11 in the final 18 games. Atkinson will hit 50 if he sustains his current scoring pace. And that would be good for his third full NHL season. Next season, Atkinson’s fourth could be that magical breakout. I’m not betting on it but 50-point guys have real value in fantasy hockey these days so I’m no longer scoffing.

The Blue Jackets signed Boone Jenner to a two-year extension worth $2.9M per. Great deal for a player who might wind up their leading goal scorer this season.


The Leafs got their kids into the lineup against the Lightning last night and had a heck of a game. Check out their lines:














That’s a wicked opportunity for Nikita Soshnikov, though he was not used on the power play. Soshnikov hasn’t done a ton in his first season playing in North America but he’s worth looking at in keeper leagues. Read more on him here.

You didn’t check in to hear about Soshnikov though. You want to know about William Nylander and Kasperi Kapanen. Both were scoreless but played a bunch of minutes including some second unit power-play time. They could definitely have some fantasy value to finish the season if your league is deep enough.

That’s certainly a positive debut for Kapanen who is a prospect I haven’t been much a fan of but seems to have found himself after scoring the golden goal for Finland at the World Juniors this year.

Garrett Sparks stopped 26 of 28 for the Leafs. I doubt he plays too many for the Leafs down the stretch. My assumption is they want him starting for their AHL club in the playoffs and having him need to get used to a different speed of game could mess with that. Good show, however. We might see Sparks a lot more next season.


Both Lightning goals were scored by Tyler Johnson who was back in the lineup after taking a puck to the face on Sunday requiring a ton of stitches. No worse for wear, apparently. He only saw 19 seconds of penalty kill time, which is less than Steven Stamkos saw. I’m still holding up PK time as my standard for when Johnson is back to full strength from his injuries this season. Not sure that he’ll get there.  


Brayden Schenn scored our second hat-trick of the night as he is capitalizing fully on minutes with a now healthy Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds. I am feeling a big finish to the season for Schenn. Four assists for Giroux, by the way.

Word finally came down on Jakub Voracek’s injury: he’ll miss the next two-weeks with a lower-body injury. That means more of Mark Streit on the top power-play unit. He had three assists on Saturday playing in that spot and added another one last night. Big opportunity here.


It seems like the Flames are using this end of season run to experiment with moving Sam Bennett to center or at least they did last night, moving him to the third line with Micheal Ferland and newcomer Garnet Hathaway. Seems like a reasonable way to play out the string though it may not be horribly productive for fantasy owners.

The latest on the top line was Josh Jooris who was held scoreless. Meanwhile, Joe Colborne continues to see top power-play minutes with the big guns.

The Flames acquired Niklas Backstrom from the Wild. No not that Nicklas Backstrom. Niklas Backstrom the Finnish goalie you thought had medically retired four years ago. He might even see action for Calgary considering their goaltending right now. But no, he’s worth a pickup unless you are capital-D Desperate.


I joked yesterday that owners of Antti Niemi and Kari Lehtonen would be none too happy about the Stars’ big deadline addition given Kris Russell’s miserable possession numbers. Then I watched Andreas Athanasiou do this to Niemi and Johnny Oduya:

Oduya has been victimized like that quite a bit recently, which might suggest he could use a reduced role and maybe Russell will perform better outside of Calgary. I do feel there is a chance that Russell has fantasy relevance in Dallas though he’ll need to surpass Alex Goligoski and Jason Demers for second unit PP time (he isn’t sniffing top unit minutes in a John Klingberg Universe.)

The Stars lost this one in overtime, thought they did pepper Jimmy Howard with 41 shots.


Howard saw action because Petr Mrazek has a “tender groin”. Don’t we all, Petr. Don’t we all…

We’ll have to wait and see if this is more serious for Mrazek, which would be a huge blow for fantasy poolies as he has been one of the absolute best in the game, although not recently. Perhaps this groin issue has been lingering for a while.

Athanasiou scored two goals in just 11:29 last night. Seems like one of those Michael Grabner instant offense kind of guys, which is perfect for a fourth line role but will his game develop beyond that?


Phillip Danault has his first point as a Canadien after an assist last night. He is skating on the third line with Jacob de la Rose and Paul Byron so the opportunity isn’t fantastic. But the opportunity shouldn’t be fantastic. Danault is a bottom six guy. I do like de la Rose though.


Brent Burns had a big night with a goal and two assists, and had five SOG. His pace has fallen off of late and he’s now projected to finish with less than 350 SOG, which is a real shame. He needs to join Ray Bourque and Bobby Orr in the 350 from D club.

The Sharks’ top line continues to overwhelm teams which means Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski are contributing big results for fantasy owners. Tomas Hertl is still seeing time on that line but his production comes and goes. They might be able to put a broomstick there and Big Joe and Little Joe would still do work.


Kyle Turris has been shut down due to a high ankle sprain. Not surprising at all. He hasn’t scored since January 9. He had to have been injured for results like that. This may cost him the rest of the season but even if it doesn’t he’s highly droppable in one-year leagues.

JG Pageau has scored at a point-per-game pace since the All-Star break while clicking with Mark Stone. This news means more minutes for Pageau who could be a great asset down the stretch.

Mika Zibanejad could also benefit from this news.

One last tidbit: the Senators called up Matt Puempel. Likely filling the void of the Turris injury and the departure of Shane Prince. Puempel has been passed by Nick Paul but could still have a bit of an impact if used in a top-six role.


The Oilers signed Laurent Brossoit and Brandon Davidson to two-year contract extensions. Both of these guys are a part of the solution in Edmonton. Brossoit is a potential future starter. He has real fantasy value and right now he’s the Oilers’ back up so he is just an injury away.

Davidson is less likely to be a fantasy contributor in most leagues but has a great story of perseverance.


Seems like Jared Cowen is on his way out of the league. The Leafs are shutting him down for the season after he wouldn’t report to the Marlies, and their intent is to buy him out this summer. He is 25 now so it’s going to take some doing to get him to be an effective NHLer but the door is completely shut yet. Cowen has made some decent coin off this game, however.


Steve Laidlaw is the Managing Editor of DobberHockey. You can follow him @SteveLaidlaw.



5 responses to “Ramblings: Drouin not traded, B. Schenn and Hornqvist net Hat-Tricks (Mar. 1)”

  1. Some great games last night to watch, the Dallas and Detroit game was very entertaining and what a game by Jumbo Joe Thornton last night who has been the league’s hottest player over the past 25-30 or so games! Impressive game by the young Leafs too, lots of talent in the system now!

  2. Striker says:

    How is shipping 2 2nd’s; in 16 & 17, & a soft B prospect no 1 had heard of to Carolina breaking the bank? The chances that a player selected after the 45th selection in the draft of even getting a cup of coffee in the NHL is under 20%.

    Did SJ also break the bank then sending 2 2nds to Toronto for Polak & Spaling?

    Even the Ladd trade isn’t breaking the bank for me. Dano made a name for himself in less than 1/2 a season in Columbus last season putting up reasonable points. McKenzie & MacGuire have both stated they don’t see Dano as more than a 3rd line checker in the NHL eventually. A top 6 winger doesn’t get traded 3 times in under a year was the statement.

    People put far to much value on draft picks. Sure top 5 picks are a lock to play in the NHL. Top 15 will all be given a chance, after that it really starts to become a crap shoot as to who will & won’t make it. By the Time Chicago picks they chances are better that the player will miss than hit. The early your drafted the sooner you get your chance. By the time Chicago picks it will be 4 to 5 years before that player may see their 1st NHL game if at all.

    • Dobber says:

      It’s all relative. I would have paid a ball of used hockey tape, two badly-chipped pucks and a wad of pre-chewed gum for Liles. Compared to that, the Bruins broke the bank.
      So yes, San Jose broke the bank with Toronto too. But at least Polak to me holds more value than Liles, in terms of his job.
      I think people put far too little value in draft picks. We’re all realists, we know what they’re worth. But you up your odds if you up your amount of draft picks. But I see your point

      • Striker says:

        It’s not relative.

        I agree more picks are better as it improves your chances of getting lucky but the odds are the odds & there extrapolated from thousands of picks.

        The chances that a player drafted outside the top 45 are slim to non existent. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen obviously just that the picks really do have limited value & the exact opposite of your claim.

        Moving a player who is an NHL player if not a UFA you have no plan of signing isn’t smart unless other roster issues are in play. Salary issues, waver eligibility etc.

        My issue was with breaking the bank. It didn’t break the bank in the slightest.

        Even SJ’s picks are going to be outside the top 45. Baring a miracle those draft picks won’t so much as yield a player that gets a cup of coffee in the NHL with out a great degree of luck.

        Or so %’s & history based on thousands of selections say.

      • steve laidlaw says:

        There’s no more valuable a commodity in the NHL as a player on his ELC. Second round picks net you a player who plays at least 100 games about a third of the time, even from the back half of the round. That’s not negligible, especially for teams who have already given up first round picks. Plus, with regard to the Rangers, I really like Saarela as a prospect. I think he has a much higher chance of being an NHL player than your average third round pick. Just because the average person may be ignorant to his talents does not make those talents non-existent. At this point, I equate Saarela’s value to that of a 15-30 first rounder. Lots of good value parted with.