Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football Today Blog
Gameday Inactives
2015 Draft Prep Guide
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Scores
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Playoff Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
Fantasy Baseball Today Blog
2015 Draft Prep Guide
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Daily Fantasy
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

Blue Line Buzz: Dealing with the deadline

by | Rotowire.com
  •  

Friday Night Lite

Once more, the Devils lost a game when outshooting their opponent, falling 2-1 to Vancouver on Friday evening despite outshooting the Canucks 31-16. Cory Schneider turned in an outstanding performance in what essentially could have been an audition when the offseason plays out. Schneider is an obvious fit for the Devils as Martin Brodeur is approaching the end of his career, as evidenced by his spotty play this season (also, his contract is set to expire). Schneider's status as a Canuck will hinge upon Vancouver's playoff success and the play of Roberto Luongo during said playoffs. Schneider has won his last seven starts and allowed two goals or less in five of those games.

You have to wonder how Jack Johnson felt while watching his new team get blitzed 5-0 by Colorado Friday. Columbus struggled mightily, but the Avalache's David Jones played nicely while in the league's shop window posting two goals and an assist. The Denver Post's Adrian Dater noted that scouts from numerous teams were in attendance presumably for Jones and grinder Cody McLeod. Jones grabbed the opening goal late in the first period on a 2-on-1, beating Steve Mason on a shot the netminder definitely wants back. Why was it a 2-on-1? Because Columbus had four players below the faceoff circles in the offensive zone. Welcome to the team, Mr. Johnson.

Great game on Long Island Friday, with the Isles snagging a 4-3 shootout win over the Rangers. Matt Moulson and Pierre Parenteau each finished with two points and were responsible for all three Islanders' goals. The two have combined for arguably the most surprising 108 points in the league; Parenteau is fifth in the NHL in assists with 42 through Friday. Moulson, meanwhile, owns 26 goals and is well on his way a third-consecutive 30-plus goal season. Not bad for a Cornell grad.

Has someone watched The Big Lebowski too many times when they want to shout "it's a league game, Smokey," whenever a play-by-play commentator says "over the line"?

Deadline Dealing

The Jeff Carter trade to Los Angeles is a risk, but a risk worth taking for the offensively challenged Kings (just ask Jonathan Quick, who has seven losses this season when giving up just one goal). I'm still not sold on moving Johnson, who's already been dealt twice in his career. Carter acted like a petulant child once the trade to Columbus was announced last summer and effectively played his way out of the city. The move was smart for Jackets' GM Scott Howson from a contract perspective considering Carter has a no-trade clause that kicks in after this season, saddling the Kings with both the long-term Carter and Mike Richards contracts the pair inked in Philadelphia several years ago.

Johnson is a franchise-type of defender, which Columbus does need, but it would have been nice to see he and Drew Doughty develop together over the years in Los Angeles with Quick and Anze Kopitar. An Indianapolis native, Johnson now gets to play a bit closer to home and will hopefully become the leader on a team desperate for direction on the blue line. Johnson was having a serviceable offensive season with 24 points, but a minus-12 rating certainly was not sitting well the Kings and GM Dean Lombardi. In the weeks prior to the trade, Johnson had three points and a minus-4 rating over 11 games. Johnson had found his offensive stride the last two seasons with a breakout campaign of 42 points one season earlier and he's missed a mere two games the last three seasons.

To say that Columbus received an upgrade from James Wisniewski, Nikita Nikitin and Fedor Tyutin is an understatement, but Johnson has struggled with consistency this season. You have to believe that Johnson will receive every opportunity to produce offensively considering Wisniewski and Nikitin are the only defenders generating some consistent production. Nikitin has shown some ability with 19 points in 33 games, but Johnson has a chance to reinvent himself in Columbus. Odds are, Johnson will post a handful of points this season while adapting to going from a playoff hunt to a likely gig with Team USA in this April's IIHF World Championships. Johnson could be a better option next season, but there are worse players to take a chance on this year if you're in need of defensive help.

New Wings?

While Jack Johnson gets to go from a playoff race to, well, Columbus, Kyle Quincey receives a reprieve from his situation in Denver, where, according to The Denver Post's Adrian Dater, Quincey didn't hide his feelings about exiting Colorado. Quincey landed in Detroit following a three-team trade with Tampa Bay where the Lightning sent Steve Downie to Colorado while shipping a first-round pick to the Wings. Quincey was originally drafted by Detroit and endeared himself to the Joe faithful with a goal in Thursday's shootout loss to Vancouver.

The well-traveled defender finds himself on a more crowded offensive blue line than he did in Denver, as Nicklas Lidstrom and Ian White are a slight upgrade Erik Johnson and Ryan Wilson. Add to the mix Nick Kronwall, and Quincey will have his work cut out for him to find his niche. In his Thursday debut, Quincey did earn 2:58 of power play time, putting him third for the game behind Lidstrom and Kronwall for Detroit defensemen. Quincey certainly has the talent to make an impact with Detroit, there's just a little more competition for points on this roster than with the Avs. His 24 points on the season make him well worth the risk, especially on a stronger team that will benefit his plus-minus.

Escape From the Twin Cities

On Friday, the Devils swapped Kurtis Foster for Minnesota's Marek Zidlicky, as reported by TSN's Bob McKenzie, thus ending the wild Zidlicky situation (pun absolutely intended). The Devils sent Foster, along with minor-league forwards Stephane Veilleux and the underperforming Nick Palmieri, a 2013 third-round conditional draft pick, as well as Washington's 2012 second round pick for Zidlicky. (The Devils acquired Washington's second-round pick in the Jason Arnott deal last Spring). Zidlicky was once one of the most consistent offensive defensemen in the NHL, but has a mere 14 points this year, all assists. However, the Czech veteran had three helpers in the last four games prior to the trade.

Zidlicky simply has clashed with the Wild management this season due to philosophical differences in styles of play, as Zidlicky is much more offensively minded than the Wild would like their defenders to be. Throughout his career, Zidlicky consistently cracked 40 points, a feat he accomplished in five of his eight seasons. The Devils have not had a blue liner with this offensive acumen since they let Brian Rafalski walk several years ago, but what Zidlicky are they getting?

Is it the Zidlicky that snagged 53 points as a rookie for Nashville and had consecutive seasons of 43, 42 and 43 points or is it the Zidlicky with the declining skill set that missed 36 games due to injury one year ago?

Zidlicky has three power-play assists and a paltry 50 shots on goal this season in 41 games, but he has not been a bomber in his career, failing to average two shots per-game in any one season. Zidlicky is close friends with Devils' veteran Patrik Elias (who has 57 points in 59 games) and could fit in nicely on this team. The short-term effect should see a bump in production for Zidlicky thanks to the change of scenery alone; heading to a playoff-bound team could motivate Zidlicky more, especially considering the Devils have had a gaping Scott Niedermayer-sized need for an experienced puck-moving defenseman for years.

Zidlicky is a right-handed shot, so it will be interesting to see the Devils with two right-handed shots on the point of their power play. Expect Zidlicky to be at the top of the umbrella more often while Ilya Kovalchuk, the other right-handed shot, will drift more toward the left face-off circle.

Odds are, Zidlicky will put up 10-12 points in season's final 22 games but it will be interesting to see him in Newark for a full campaign, as Zidlicky is under contract for one more year. With players that attempt to play themselves out of a city, there usually is resurgence in their play following the trade, so, in the short-term, we'd grab Zidlicky if he's kicking around in your league, which, given his play this season, he probably is.

As for Foster, returning to Minnesota marks his third team this season. He didn't fit in with Anaheim and was shipped to New Jersey in early December but struggled to produce consistently on the power play, a task he was specifically acquired to achieve. Odds are Foster won't do much with Minnesota, but keep an eye on the Wild's Jared Spurgeon with Zidlicky now out of St. Paul.

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Cody Eakin
Eakin Agrees To Four-Year Extension With Stars
Cody Eakin, C, DAL
8/28/2015
News: Cody Eakin agreed to a four-year, $15.4 million contract extension with the Stars on Friday, Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News reports.
Analysis: The 24-year-old was a solid producer for the Stars in 2014-15, registering 40 points (19 goals, 21 assists) in 78 games with the team. He will likely return to his role centering the Stars' third line this season, and should produce similarly barring significant injury.

Elias Lindholm
Lindholm Signs Two-Year Extension With Hurricanes
Elias Lindholm, C, CAR
8/27/2015
News: Elias Lindholm signed a two-year, $5.4 million contract extension with the Hurricanes on Thursday.
Analysis: Elias Lindholm was a solid contributor in his first full NHL season in 2014-15, registering 39 points (17 goals, 22 assists) in 81 games with the team. He will return to his role as a top-six forward with Carolina this season, and should have a great shot at improving upon his offensive numbers from a year ago as he continues his development as an NHL forward.

Patrik Berglund
Blues' Berglund To Require Shoulder Surgery
Patrik Berglund, C, STL
8/27/2015
News: Patrik Berglund aggravated a dislocated right shoulder while working out and is set to undergo surgery Friday, Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. He'll require at least four months of recovery time.
Analysis: Patrik Berglund first dislocated the shoulder in 2013-14, and required surgery last offseason to address the issue. The center was able to recover in time from that procedure to play on Opening Night last season, but given how late in the offseason calendar the setback occurred this time around, it looks like Berglund won't take the ice again until the calendar flips to 2016. His extended absence could allow prospect Robby Fabbri to claim third-line center duties out of training camp, with veteran Scott Gomez also in the mix if coach Ken Hitchcock prefers a more experienced option for that role.

Scott Gomez
Gomez Signs PTO With Blues
Scott Gomez, C, NJ
8/27/2015
News: Scott Gomez accepted a professional tryout offer with the Blues on Thursday, Andy Strickland of FOX Sports Midwest reports.
Analysis: After failing to garner a contract in free agency for the second straight offseason, Scott Gomez will again head to training camp on a PTO, as he did last season in New Jersey. Though he wasn't able to crack the Devils' Opening Night roster, he continued to work out with the team after the tryout period ended and was eventually signed to the team when injuries opened up an opportunity in late November. Gomez would end the season as one of the more productive contributors on the offensively challenged Devils, finishing third on the team with 34 points. The Blues boast a far deeper roster of forward talent, but with the news surfacing after Gomez's signing that Patrik Berglund would miss at least four months following shoulder surgery, an opening on the third line could exist for the 35-year-old.

Max Pacioretty
Habs' Pacioretty Still On Schedule With Rehab
Max Pacioretty, LW, MON
8/27/2015
News: Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said recently that Max Pacioretty (knee) remains on schedule in the rehabilitation process, Arpon Basu of LNH.com reports.
Analysis: Max Pacioretty sustained the knee injury while working out in Florida in early July, and was given a projected recovery timetable of 10-to-12 weeks. Given the length of the timetable, Pacioretty is expected to sit out all of training camp, and while his availability for the Oct. 7 regular-season opener in Toronto remains possible, he'd likely be subjected to limited minutes in the early going as he looks to build endurance. Once back to full health, Pacioretty should reemerge as the Habs' most dangerous offensive option after he potted 37 goals and a career-high 67 points in 2014-15.

Ladislav Smid
Flames Expecting Smid Back For Training Camp
Ladislav Smid, D, CGY
8/27/2015
News: The Flames' front office believes Ladislav Smid (neck) will be ready to skate during the team's first on-ice session at training camp in September, the Calgary Sun reports.
Analysis: Ladislav Smid's season came to an end last January when he required surgery on his neck, but his communication with the Flames to this point in the offseason suggests he has recovered well from the procedure. If healthy, Smid will compete in camp with Deryk Engelland for a spot as Calgary's sixth defenseman.

Sidney Crosby
Pens' Crosby Likely To Play Next To Kessel
Sidney Crosby, C, PIT
8/27/2015
News: Coach Mike Johnston said earlier this week that Sidney Crosby is expected to play next to Phil Kessel to begin training camp, CBS Sports reports.
Analysis: The Penguins have cycled in a number of right wingers next to Sidney Crosby throughout his career, and while Patric Hornqvist proved capable in that capacity last season, he's not nearly as prolific at finding twine as Kessel, a five-time 30-goal scorer. With his health concerns beginning to fade away after missing only seven games over the last two seasons, Crosby once again looks like a reasonable choice at No. 1 overall in fantasy drafts, even after scoring only 28 goals in 2014-15, his lowest total in any year he's suited up for at least 60 contests. Crosby probably won't come close to approaching the 51-goal peak he reached in 2009-10, but a slight uptick in his anomalous 11.8 shooting percentage coupled with the likely increase in assist opportunities with Kessel blitzing the net could make a return to 100 points conceivable.

Mike Richards
Charges Announced For Ex-King Richards
Mike Richards, C, LA
8/27/2015
News: Mike Richards was formally charged with possession of a controlled substance while entering Canada stemming from a June 17 border stop by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Manitoba, Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo! Sports reports.
Analysis: The Kings determined the incident gave them just cause to release Mike Richards for a "material breach" of his 12-year contract, a decision that prompted the NHL Players Association to file a grievance. The nature of the border stop likely won't affect the outcome of that legal battle, as both the NHLPA and the Kings were aware of the circumstances surrounding the incident. Currently a free agent, Richards is able to sign with any team while the grievance remains underway, but his steep decline in performance over the last few seasons coupled with this ongoing dispute probably has few organizations interested in his services.

Kyle Okposo
Isles Begin Contract Talks With Okposo
Kyle Okposo, RW, NYI
8/26/2015
News: Kyle Okposo and the Islanders have begun talks on a new contract, according to Islanders Point Blank.
Analysis: Both sides are hoping to get an agreement done before the start of the season but the parameters on a new deal could be difficult to negotiate. Kyle Okposo will make $4.5 million this season and could command a deal north of $6 million per year on the open market, a figure the Islanders may not be willing to approach at this time. If the two sides can't come to an agreement before the start of the season then Okposo's name will be one we will hear quite often in trade rumors.

Sami Aittokallio
Avs Re-Sign Aittokallio
Sami Aittokallio, G, COL
8/26/2015
News: Sami Aittokallio has re-signed with the Avalanche on a one-year, two-way contract, General Fanager reports.
Analysis: Sami Aittokallio appears to be the clear No. 4 goalie in the Colorado organization behind Semyon Varlamov, Calvin Pickard, and Reto Berra, so it's somewhat surprising he elected to commit for another year rather than bolt for Europe. Even so, Aittokallio's contract does at least include a clause for him to play overseas if he isn't guaranteed a roster spot with the Avalanche, potentially opening the door for him to leave the club if he's assigned to the AHL out of training camp, as expected.

 
 
 
Top Videos
Rankings