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Posted On Friday, 03.14.2014 / 3:56 PM

By Pete Jensen -  NHL.com Fantasy Insider /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Neal, Kesler injuries loom large

Two top-tier fantasy forwards will be sidelined for an extended period of time. Back to the waiver wire we go, fantasy owners.

Ryan Kesler (C/RW in Yahoo leagues) leads NHL forwards in ice time per game (22:08) and will be missed by the Vancouver Canucks over the next few weeks as he recovers from a knee injury.

James Neal (LW/RW), who serves as Evgeni Malkin's sidekick at even strength and on the power play, is out indefinitely with a concussion.

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Posted On Thursday, 03.13.2014 / 5:42 PM

By Pete Jensen -  NHL.com Fantasy Insider /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Jagr helping Ruutu get back on track

Since being traded from the Carolina Hurricanes to the New Jersey Devils on March 5, Tuomo Ruutu hasn't looked back on what was a disappointing season through his first 57 games.

Jaromir Jagr is a big reason why Ruutu has turned the page so quickly. Plain and simple, Jagr has helped Ruutu go from fantasy irrelevance to being on the cusp of deep-league ownership in a matter of days.

Owned in three percent of Yahoo leagues, Ruutu has shown instant chemistry alongside Jagr and Travis Zajac with one goal, three assists, a plus-3 rating and nine shots on goal in his first three games with New Jersey. Considering the Devils are vying for a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the timing of this development could not have been more ideal.

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.11.2014 / 3:22 PM

By Pete Jensen -  NHL.com Fantasy Insider /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Right wing injury replacements

With standard Yahoo Fantasy league playoffs beginning on March 17, owners around the globe are hoping to put their best foot forward from this point on.

Unfortunately, those who own Colorado Avalanche forward PA Parenteau (63 percent) and/or Buffalo Sabres forward Chris Stewart (41 percent) will have to move on without their services.

Parenteau sustained a knee injury Monday and is likely to miss the remainder of the regular season. Stewart, who was traded from the St. Louis Blues to the Sabres on Feb. 28, only played two games for his new team before injuring his ankle in a collision on March 6. Sabres coach Ted Nolan has since said Stewart is likely done for 2013-14.

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Posted On Friday, 03.07.2014 / 1:33 PM

By Pete Jensen -  NHL.com Fantasy Insider /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Trades could spark available forwards

The NHL Trade Deadline had no shortage of marquee names changing area codes. Here's a quick roundup of the fantasy implications:

**Ryan Miller is 3-0-0 with five goals allowed since being traded to the St. Louis Blues and is facing significantly fewer shots per game, as predicted.

**Roberto Luongo has seen his value take a short-term hit after being dealt to the Florida Panthers, who are outside of the Stanley Cup Playoff picture.

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Posted On Wednesday, 03.05.2014 / 2:27 PM

By Pete Jensen -  NHL.com Fantasy Insider /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Impact of deal on Stamkos, Callahan

The Tampa Bay Lightning will get one of the League's most prolific goal-scorers, Steven Stamkos, back in the lineup Thursday after he was sidelined for nearly four months due to a leg injury.

But with this promising fantasy update comes with some bad news in the form of Martin St. Louis' departure via trade. Stamkos will no longer have that familiar face beside him on the team's top line after St. Louis was dealt to the New York Rangers for Ryan Callahan and two draft picks.

The Rangers add a top-10 point producer to the fold. The Lightning, meanwhile, are bound to see a dip offensively. Callahan has a chance to step in and fill the void left by St. Louis, but that's a major downgrade from a playmaking standpoint. While Stamkos will remain a top-five fantasy asset entering next season, his production could take a hit down the stretch considering the lack of chemistry on his line and his ongoing recovery from injury.

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.04.2014 / 7:15 PM

By Pete Jensen -  NHL.com Fantasy Insider /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Lack gets boost from Luongo trade

Times have changed. Roberto Luongo is no longer with the Vancouver Canucks and Eddie Lack suddenly has the crease all to himself.

Luongo was traded to the Florida Panthers in a package that sent goalie prospect Jacob Markstrom to the Canucks. Markstrom could wind up competing for playing time, but he has dealt with injuries and been playing for San Antonio of the American Hockey League for much of this season.

Lack, a first-year NHL goalie, starts Tuesday against the Phoenix Coyotes and will do his best to keep a struggling team afloat in the Western Conference Stanley Cup Playoff picture. Lack has allowed two goals or fewer in 17 of his 25 appearances and started the 2014 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic on Sunday over Luongo.

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Posted On Monday, 03.03.2014 / 5:58 PM

By Pete Jensen -  NHL.com Fantasy Insider /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Predators' Rinne can salvage season

It's better late than never for Pekka Rinne and the many fantasy owners who have been banking on him to return for more than four months.

With the Nashville Predators vying for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, the timing couldn't have been more impeccable. For fantasy owners in head-to-head formats, Rinne could make or break your chase for a league championship.

That's a chance worth taking any day of the week.

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Posted On Saturday, 03.01.2014 / 12:18 PM

By Pete Jensen -  NHL.com Fantasy Insider /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Miller has top-five potential with Blues

Ryan Miller being traded from the Buffalo Sabres to the St. Louis Blues should have a night-and-day impact on his fantasy value.

Plain and simple, it's an opportunity for this workhorse goalie to prove he still has top-five fantasy capability at his position.

Miller, who leaves Buffalo as the franchise's all-time leader in wins (284 in 540 games played), had a knack for putting his team on his back in good times and bad. This season, even with the Sabres rebuilding and in the basement of the NHL standings, his .923 save percentage ranks 10th in the NHL despite him facing the sixth-most shots League-wide (1,411).

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Posted On Monday, 02.24.2014 / 4:19 PM

By Pete Jensen -  NHL.com Fantasy Insider /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Filling void of injured centers

The 2014 Winter Olympics may be in the past, but injuries at the center position will have a lingering impact on what remains of the NHL season.

New York Islanders captain John Tavares, a top-five overall fantasy asset, sustained a season-ending knee injury while playing for Canada. Detroit Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg, a clear top-15 forward when healthy, could miss eight weeks after undergoing surgery for a herniated disk. Florida Panthers rookie Aleksander Barkov, who was in the thick of the Calder Trophy race, sustained a knee injury while playing for Finland and is reportedly out 4-6 weeks.

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.11.2014 / 1:40 PM

By Pete Jensen -  NHL.com Fantasy Insider /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Players with value to gain in Sochi

Fantasy owners can take a break from setting their lineups during the NHL's hiatus for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, but there's no time to rest when it comes to monitoring the waiver wire.

Olympic stats won't count in standard fantasy leagues, but strong performances could lead to positive momentum that could carry over to the stretch run of the 2013-14 season. Whether a young player expedites his development or an experienced player rekindles the fire, there's much to gain in Sochi from a fantasy standpoint.

The majority of prominent players from legitimate medal-contending countries are owned in Yahoo leagues. For Canada, 12 of 14 forwards have a fantasy ownership of 96 percent or greater. The goalie landscape, where most assets are owned in 80 to 100 percent of leagues, allows even less room for waiver wire additions.

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Quote of the Day

I watched many times this year the series between the Russians and Canada in 1972, and he was a dominating player there. After I watched the tapes, I respect him a lot more because he turned the series around. He was the guy. In that time, he was the best in the world. It’s a big honor for me to tie him.

— Panthers forward Jaromir Jagr on scoring the 717th goal of his career to tie Phil Esposito for fifth on the NHL's all-time goals list after a 4-3 win vs. the Lightning on Sunday
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