Ramblings: Joffrey Lupul, Duncan Keith, Vladislav Kamenev, Trade Talks and more (Sept. 17)

by Neil Parker on September 17, 2016
  • Hockey Rambling
  • Ramblings: Joffrey Lupul, Duncan Keith, Vladislav Kamenev, Trade Talks and more (Sept. 17)
Joffrey Lupul - USA TODAY Sports Images



Rambling about Joffrey Lupul, Duncan Keith, Trade Talks, Montreal defense rumors, Mikhail Grabovski, Timo Meier, Vladislav Kamenev and more …


I forgot to add the link to the Fantasy Fix podcast in my Tuesday Ramblings. Here it is. If you surf around, their draft series has three episodes with Dobber familiars Mike Clifford and Chris Wassel, as well.




Three quick trade tips to live by

1) Don't trade a valuable player without letting your entire league know he is available. It takes a little more effort and potentially longer to swing a deal, but you have the potential to generate a bidding war and receive the best value for your asset, especially if you're dealing from a position of strength.

2) Ask about positions and not players. If there is a center you're interested in, and you come right out with a deal for Mark Scheifele, his owner knows you're after him and might become more enamored with Scheifele. If you ask if he would be willing to trade a center, you could begin negotiations for Scheifele on his terms, or potentially an even better center you didn't expect was available. Essentially, start the dialogs early and lightly and see where your trading partners cards fall before you show your own.

3) It's absolutely fine to lose a deal on paper if your team is better, especially when the replacement level is high on the waiver wire. Additionally, if you're selective with who you trade with, it doesn't hurt to give a little extra to a basement-dwelling team if it could help your team climb the standings, too. Most times, if you're receiving the best player in the deal, the optics of the overall swap aren't as significant.




Joffrey Lupul has missed a number of recent team events and activities, including Toronto's recent charity team golf tournament, which typically requires mandatory attendance. There are some suggestions he'll receive a similar exile as Stephane Robidas was handed last year.

(Speaking of Robidas)

If Lupul isn't in the picture, there is a chunk of ice time available and the scoring projections need to be shifted significantly. I'd already cut Lupul down to 23 points in 52 games, and that was before I caught wind of his Houdini act at the golf tournament this week.

The obvious benefactors would appear to be Mitch Marner, William Nylander and Nikita Soshnikov. Milan Michalek is a sneaky alternative, though.

Toronto will need to lean on a few veterans, and Michalek could easily approach 20 goals and 50 points in a healthy campaign. And while Marner and Nylander are the fantasy targets in drafts, Michalek's projected role in camp is worth monitoring for those deep leagues, and early-season daily contests.

The OverDrive guys had fun with Lupul and other topics in Gerry's Percentages earlier this week. I find this highly entertaining, if it's not your thing, cool. It's like fantasy sports … they wouldn't be very fun if we all agreed on everything.




Mikhail Grabovski doesn't appear in line to be cleared for training camp. He's played fewer than 60 games in each of the past three years, and he's entering his age-33 season. Not my kind of fantasy target.

His absence could allow an opportunity for Mathew Brazal to prove he deserves to stick around. Though, the freshman isn't anything more than a players to watch this spring outside of keeper/dynasty settings. The Islanders are still very deep.




This is a really compelling read on Vladislav Kamenev. Imagine if he were to leap ahead this year and show his chops in the middle of the ice. You're looking at a potential Mike Ribeiro replacement for the 2017-18 campaign. Those are the type of buy-low fliers to roll with in dynasty leagues because opportunity sometimes trumps talent, especially in fantasy.

It is also worth noting, Milwaukee Admirals coach Dean Evason believes Kamenev is ready to make the jump now.




When discussing the Kris Versteeg PTO signing, I think we all forgot about Drake Caggiula, somewhat. Caggiula is a true wildcard, but it looks like he'll be provided an opportunity to stick. I don't have high hopes in seasonal leagues.




Mike Matheson has been inked here a lot this summer, so there is no need to rehash. Most are bullish about his upside over the coming years, but he's too far down the depth chart to have a consistent fantasy impact this season, likely.

Here is a read on Matheson and former Boston College teammate Ian McCoshen. McCoshen has a much steeper climb to crack the roster, and he doesn't project as difference maker in our virtual game.

Just wanted to share.




Not that you would expect him to say anything different, but I like this approach from Timo Meier:

“I want to do the same thing I did last year in training camp,” said the winger. “Show up and be ready to steal someone’s job, you know? Just do whatever it takes to make the roster.”

He'll likely wrestle with Nikolay Goldobin for seeding, and at first glance, there isn't a lot of room in San Jose.

Still, Tomas Hertl appears poised for a role as the third-line center, and Patrick Marleau is toast. There is a better than zero chance that Joonas Donskoi is just serviceable, and Mikkel Boedker isn't a world-beater, either.

Simply put, Meier  — or Goldobin, for that matter — could steal a top-six role because Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture are the only locks for top-six duty.




Duncan Keith's status for the beginning of the season is still uncertain. That's not encouraging. Keith is 33 now, and he may not start the season healthy. Chicago's years of being a high-end team are hanging by a thread, and I'm in favor of being in a lifeboat a year early, than sinking with the ship a year too late.

With that said, Keith is going to be absolutely fine, but the surrounding talents around him when his name is called on draft day are likely better. He would have to fall significantly to provide the necessary value to make him an attractive fantasy asset to me. There are defensemen with a higher floor and higher ceiling available in the middle rounds.




Bob McKenzie was interviewed by Montreal's TSN 690 yesterday, and Chris Nichols recapped the discussion. In short, Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin is still looking to tinker with his defense group, and McKenzie views Andrei Markov, Nathan Beaulieu and Alexei Emelin as underachievers (potentially).

Additionally, McKenzie hinted that Kris Russell is likely to sign a contract soon, but didn't connect the Canadiens. We've hammered Russell here all summer, so turning to the potential of trading Beaulieu, it would be a mistake.

Beaulieu is 23, and the Canadiens have already endured the worst and most inconsistent seasons of his career. He's unlikely to become a top-pairing asset, as in a top-60 defenseman in the league, but there is some power-play upside and zero doubts about his skating ability.

Beaulieu has also never received enough ice time to properly develop at the highest level. He averaged 17:27 per night last season but started fewer than 50 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone. It's not the recipe for success. Hopefully his usage and offensive opportunities increase this year. 

He has an outside shot of hitting 30 points this year and is still on the rise, in my books.





We're getting closer every week, Dobberheads.