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Posted On Wednesday, 01.28.2015 / 4:30 PM

By Pete Jensen - Fantasy Insider / - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Isles' Grabovski takes Okposo's spot

With Kyle Okposo sidelined for the next 6-8 weeks, fantasy owners would be wise to jump on the Mikhail Grabovski train.

Tri-eligible in Yahoo leagues (LW/C/RW), Grabovski (13 percent owned in Yahoo leagues) passed his first test Tuesday in his return from injury with a goal against the New York Rangers. He tied his season-high with four shots on goal in the game and filled in nicely for Okposo on the right side of New York's top line with top-15 fantasy forward John Tavares and Josh Bailey (eight percent owned).

Posted On Thursday, 01.15.2015 / 4:26 PM

By Pete Jensen - Fantasy Insider / - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Replacing Predators goalie Rinne

Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne was on track for one of the best statistical seasons in NHL history.

Unfortunately, that quest is taking a backseat to his injury, so fantasy owners need to act quickly.

Rinne is expected to miss 3-5 weeks because of a knee sprain sustained Tuesday in a win against the Vancouver Canucks. The injury will sideline him well past the upcoming break for the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game.

Posted On Wednesday, 01.14.2015 / 6:24 PM

By Pete Jensen - Fantasy Insider / - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Dubnyk worth adding after trade to Wild

It's not a rosy picture right now in the "State of Hockey," but goalie Devan Dubnyk's improvement this season suggests he can give the Minnesota Wild a much-needed lift in net.

With starter Darcy Kuemper (56 percent owned in Yahoo leagues) on injured reserve and veteran Niklas Backstrom (33 percent owned) struggling, the Wild acquired Dubnyk on Wednesday in a trade with the Arizona Coyotes. Since Nov. 22, Kuemper's season has gone off the rails with a 4-7-1 record and four or more goals allowed in six of his 13 appearances. Backstrom has started the past four games for Minnesota with Kuemper out, allowing 16 goals.

Entering 2014-15, Dubnyk (20 percent owned) didn't have a winning record in any of his five NHL seasons. The statistical highlight of his career was a .920 save percentage in 38 outings during the shortened season of 2012-13. But a few months working with Coyotes goalie coach Sean Burke has done wonders for his stock, with this trade being primary evidence.

Posted On Friday, 01.02.2015 / 3:54 PM

By Pete Jensen - Fantasy Insider / - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Trade to Pens makes Perron must-own

The first major Edmonton Oilers trade domino has fallen, and fantasy owners of David Perron are jumping for joy.

Perron, a polished point producer, was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday, leaving behind a team tied for last place in the NHL standings in favor of a perennial Stanley Cup Playoff contender.

The fantasy implications are so obvious that owners shouldn't waste another second to add Perron off the waiver wire. In only a few hours following the trade, Perron's ownership in Yahoo leagues has skyrocketed from 34 to 47 percent -- and with good reason.

The 26-year-old was one of five players (Alex Ovechkin, Jamie Benn, Blake Wheeler, James van Riemsdyk) with 28-plus goals, 115-plus hits and 220-plus shots on goal last season. Despite a dip in production and a minus-17 through 38 games this season, he joins a team with serious offensive firepower, but one in desperate need of reinforcement on the wing.

Posted On Thursday, 12.04.2014 / 4:00 PM

By Pete Jensen - Fantasy Insider / - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Pros, cons of adding Blues' Brodeur

Unrestricted free agent Martin Brodeur wasn't ready to hang up his skates. He waited for the right situation to open up, and, sure enough, it finally came.

The longtime New Jersey Devils goalie signed a one-year contract with the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday. With Brian Elliott injured, the Blues needed a backup and Brodeur was the best option available. He will make his season debut Thursday against the Nashville Predators.

Should you add Brodeur in fantasy? It boils down to your league's depth and your team's specific circumstances. Consider the positives and negatives surrounding him at this stage of his career before making your decision.

Posted On Wednesday, 10.29.2014 / 2:49 PM

By Pete Jensen - Fantasy Insider / - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Replacing Bruins' Krug in short term

The dominoes continue to fall on the Boston Bruins defense as Torey Krug is expected to miss 2-3 weeks with a broken finger. This injury further depletes the Bruins top power-play unit and fantasy blue lines around the globe.

With Krug (96 percent owned in Yahoo leagues) joining teammate Zdeno Chara on the injury list, fantasy owners should stash the 23-year-old in an IR slot and look for a short-term replacement.

It's difficult to cover all of Krug's strengths (points, power-play points, shots on goal, plus-minus) with one waiver-wire pickup, but you can certainly find available defensemen who can help your team stay afloat in one or more of those areas. Taking league depth into account, here are some options:

Posted On Thursday, 10.23.2014 / 2:22 PM

By Pete Jensen - Fantasy Insider / - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Kings' Muzzin should excel upon return

Defenseman Jake Muzzin has been cleared to play and is likely to see his first action since sustaining an upper-body injury during the preseason when the Los Angeles Kings host the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday, according to Jon Rosen of

While Muzzin should be owned in most leagues, fantasy owners tend to be impatient early in the season. As a result, he's only owned in 37 percent of leagues. That's way too low considering how many games are left to play and how impressive he has been to this point in his NHL career.

Muzzin, who had six goals, six assists and 48 shots on goal in 26 games in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs for the Stanley Cup champion Kings, returns after missing their first six games. And boy could their offense use another source of scoring from the blue line.

Posted On Wednesday, 10.15.2014 / 5:53 PM

By Pete Jensen - Fantasy Insider / - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Don't sweat Gibson situation

Anaheim Ducks goalie John Gibson is being sent down to the American Hockey League, but there's no reason to overreact if you're one of his NHL fantasy owners.

Gibson will have a two-game stint with the Norfolk Admirals to stay fresh while Frederik Andersen (3-0-0; six goals allowed this season) rides his hot streak. Gibson is expected to return to the Ducks after his short reassignment; until then, Jason LaBarbera will be Andersen's backup.

Anyone who watched the Ducks in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs knows coach Bruce Boudreau will not sit back and watch after his team loses. Boudreau likes to change things up, and that goes for line combinations and goalie starters. He will stick with the hot hand and is not afraid to tinker with something that is not working out.

Posted On Friday, 10.10.2014 / 11:34 AM

By Pete Jensen - Fantasy Insider / - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Replacing Rangers' Boyle on 'D'

The New York Rangers pulled off an impressive victory in their season opener against the St. Louis Blues, but the win came at a hefty cost for both the team and fantasy hockey owners.

Dan Boyle, owned in 87 percent of Yahoo leagues, sustained a broken hand and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks. It's only two days into the regular season and fantasy owners are already scouring the waiver wire.


The veteran defenseman logged 2:26 of power-play ice time in the Rangers opener and finished with a plus-1 rating, two shots on goal, two penalty minutes and one hit before exiting the game. While he still provides some peripheral category coverage when healthy, fantasy owners were banking on him to be a source of production with the man advantage after scoring 12 goals (six power-play) and 18 power-play points in 75 games with the San Jose Sharks in 2013-14.

Luckily, there are a number of readily available defensemen who have gotten off to fast starts. Here are four of them who, as projected in's offseason fantasy content, enter the 2014-15 season with important roles to play for their respective teams.

Posted On Saturday, 10.04.2014 / 5:53 PM

By Pete Jensen - Fantasy Insider / - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Leddy can unlock potential with Isles

Entering Saturday, Nick Leddy's Yahoo average draft position was 162.6 and his ownership was 16 percent.

That'll change in a hurry.

After being traded from the Chicago Blackhawks to the New York Islanders minutes after the Islanders acquired Johnny Boychuk from the Boston Bruins, Leddy becomes a favorite to earn top-unit power-play minutes for his new team. Considering that unit includes top-10 fantasy asset John Tavares along with Kyle Okposo, Mikhail Grabovski and Frans Nielsen, this is quite a development on the fantasy landscape.

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Quote of the Day

We've got to find a way to win a game. He's played well in the minors, now he gets his opportunity. We tried [with Jonathan Bernier]. The way I look at it, you get opportunities and you make the most of it. That's what [James Reimer] did. Now another opportunity is here and Sparks ... you gotta grab it. Is he ready? We'll find out.

— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock to the Toronto Star on recalling goalie Garret Sparks from the AHL to start Monday in his NHL debut
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