Age is just a number, right?
If you ask Teemu Selanne, he'd likely answer in the affirmative.
The 41-year-old winger of the Anaheim Ducks marvels night in, night out, proving that if you've got game, the date of birth that follows you is rendered useless.
Fantasy owners take notice: Sidney Crosby will not join the Pittsburgh Penguins for a two-game road trip, which begins Thursday night against Atlantic Division rival Philadelphia. While the specifics are unknown, Crosby did suffer a "stinger" after colliding with teammate Chris Kunitz Monday against Boston.
His absense was described as precautionary by general manager Ray Shero, after it was made clear that the ImpACT tests Crosby took with Dr. Micky Collins--which help monitor concusssions--"showed no problems."
Even though early reports don't suggest a serious setback, Crosby's fantasy hockey impact ought to be carefully reviewed.
One can't knock his debut performance against the New York Islanders Nov. 21 where he finished with a four-point outing and followed it up with his most productive five-game stretch of his career. And, of course, nobody ought to forget his talent and production since breaking into the NHL.
The guy's an absolute stud.
But while Crosby's arguably been the best player in the League, one option for fantasy owners might be to seek a trade and get a lot back while setting aside the day-to-day worries of the superstar center's health.
Think about it.
As the Penguins figure to be a contender in the Eastern Conference, it's possible that the team will treat Crosby with caution more so than they might in years past. Moreover, if you're able to land solid pieces in the trade, you'll need not worry about relying on stellar performances from "Sid."
The key, of course, will be bringing back more than complementary pieces to your team in a trade. But as you debate to keep or to trade, consider this:
Of his seven seasons in the League, four--including this season--have seen the 2005 first-overall selection play in at least 77 games. In 2007-08, Crosby missed 29 games with an ankle injury and, of course, everyone recalls his recent recovery from a concussion.
When he returned to the lineup, he did so at 100 percent health. This recent two-game absense may come and go as quick as Crosby disspelled speculation of potential rust before scoring on his first shot against the Islanders. Still, the 5-foot-11, 200-pound talent's durability ought to be considered.
The fantasy return for a Crosby trade could provide balance in many positions and categories for your squads. As crazy as the notion might appear to be, your duties as fantasy team owners is to think about it.
There are enough Ottawa Senators to choose from when it comes to picking capable fantasy players. That'll happen when names like Jason Spezza, Daniel Alfredsson, Milan Michalek and Sergei Gonchar are on the roster.
Zack Smith ought to join that list.
Smith is quietly having a reliable campaign for fantasy owners. The best way to break him down is to say that he does a little bit of everything, which is a compliment in the world of fantasy hockey.
Through 24 games, the 6-foot-2, 212-pound center has six goals, seven assists, 13 points, a plus-6 rating, 34 PIMs and 41 shots on net. If you're in need for depth, Smith can be a solid option.
Although he's been held pointless for three games twice this season, Smith has otherwise been consistent. Particularly of late, as the 23-year-old has points in four of his last seven games. In that span, Smith has two multi-point nights.
As you seek depth and complimentary options on your fantasy squad, keep Smith on your radar and benefit steadily along the way.
While the club is not quite there yet, the two fresh faces of the franchise are taking major strides in their pursuit of becoming elite players night in, night out. Saturday night, the two spilled oil all over the Chicago Blackhawks, combining for three goals, five assists, eight points and seven shots. Not a bad night.
The tough part is deciding which player had the better night. Hall collected a hat trick, but Nugent-Hopkins amassed five assists. Let'Tyler s call it a tie.
This year, fantasy owners have seen unexpected greatness from Nugent-Hopkins, a small-framed, inexperienced rookie. Through 19 games, RNH has 19 points on seven goals and 12 assists and has thrown 40 shots on the cage. Fellow stud Hall, meanwhile, has 14 points in 18 games and has 52 shots thrown on net.
The dynamic duo in Oil Country could be emerging as the next Sidney Crosby-Evgeni Malkin or Jonathan Toews-Patrick Kane. Fantasy owners are taking notice, too. Nugent-Hopkins is owned in 68 percent of Yahoo! leagues and has jumped from an original ranking of 244 to 93, currently. Hall is owned in 82 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
While you search for the next long-term solution for your fantasy teams, look no further than the two headliners in Edmonton.
Will the real Tyler Myers please stand up?
Since a phenomenal rookie campaign in 2009-10, in which the gargantuan Buffalo Sabres defenseman collected 11 goals, 37 assists and 48 points in 82 games, Myers has seen a steady decline in production, leaving many fantasy owners wondering what to make of the potentially-potent blueliner.
Through 17 games this season, the 21-year-old has just two goals and six points to go along with a minus-3 rating and just 26 shots on goal.
Fantasy and reality crossed paths recently, as the Sabres opted to make Myers a healthy scratch Nov. 14. But in his return to the ice Wednesday night against Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils, the 6-foot-8. 227-pounder had a huge game.
Myers tickled the twine twice, including a power play tally, and threw four shots on net. For 60 minutes, he was a factor and it appears he's ready to prove that his recent skid is behind him.
For fantasy owners, patience will be a virtue. The Sabres currently rank in the middle of the pack in goals allowed per game but are in the Top-10 in goals per game. That leaves Myers susceptible to a low plus-minus rating, but also means that Myers is in a system that welcomes defenseman jumping into the play, which means his production opportunities are there.
Give Myers time and/or use him as a complimentary piece on your roster, but don't give up on an obvious talent at a time when he's showing signs of potential big gains.
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It's really exciting. I'm pretty sure that when I play my first game I'm going to be emotional. To be back on the ice playing a game, being in game situations, with all the routines and rituals I do before games and during the game, I feel like I'm going to be emotional. I'm going to be really happy.