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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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Posted On Thursday, 02.06.2014 / 4:30 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Abdelkader can help with hits, points

The Detroit Red Wings still have their share of injuries, but the return of center Pavel Datsyuk on Thursday is sure to provide some sense of relief.

But for wing Justin Abdelkader, it's all about keeping the ball rolling.

With three goals over his past two games, the 26-year-old has benefited from playing alongside Henrik Zetterberg and Gustav Nyquist on Detroit's top line. Abdelkader's linemates have assisted on two of those three goals, providing an ailing team with much-needed offensive continuity.

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.04.2014 / 12:00 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Horton perfect fit for Blue Jackets

It's been much better late than never for Columbus Blue Jackets forward Nathan Horton.

After missing the first 40 games of the season due to offseason shoulder surgery, Horton has made a seamless transition into Columbus' top-six forward mix and is, for now, living up to the sizable contract he signed this past summer.

He wasn't drafted on average in Yahoo Fantasy leagues, but that's history. Horton is quickly ascending the fantasy ladder and gaining more ownership by the day with his new team.

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Posted On Friday, 01.31.2014 / 12:11 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Category specialists on waiver wire

With the Olympic break approaching and the fantasy playoff picture beginning to take shape, owners are looking for ways to boost their chances on the waiver wire.

But while scoring-related categories (goals, assists, power-play points, shots on goal, rating) are usually most coveted, owners in rotisserie leagues or ones that take real-time stats into account are looking for ways to satisfy their league-specific needs.

Here are four readily available players that should be considered specialists in non-offensive categories. Their high level of production in their respective categories, along with a touch of offensive capability, could pay dividends for your team down the stretch of the season.

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Posted On Friday, 01.24.2014 / 3:11 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Sharks' Pavelski among most adaptable

Joe Pavelski saw time on the San Jose Sharks' third line earlier this season and was drafted on average with the 87th pick in Yahoo Fantasy leagues. He's currently the NHL's second-leading goal-scorer (28).

That paints a perfect picture in regards to Pavelski's adaptability and overall value, both in fantasy and reality.

Pavelski, who has center and right wing eligibility in Yahoo Fantasy leagues, continued his torrid surge with his 19th goal in 21 games on Thursday against the Winnipeg Jets. That goal marked his third game-winning tally in as many contests and stretched his point streak to four games (seven goals, one assist).

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.21.2014 / 4:21 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Predators' Josi regaining value

When the Nashville Predators drafted Seth Jones with the fourth pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, fantasy owners couldn't help but envision him on the team's top defensive unit for many years to come.

Suddenly, 23-year-old defenseman Roman Josi became an afterthought from a fantasy standpoint.

Jones was paired with star blueliner Shea Weber early on this season, logging a ton of minutes and even producing power-play points. Over his first 14 games, Jones had seven points, four coming with the man advantage. His seamless transition was well-documented, opening eyes around the League.

But since then, Jones has cooled off considerably with 11 points over his next 37 games. His rating has staggered to minus-19. Over that time frame, Predators coach Barry Trotz has limited Jones' ice time based on his earlier workload.

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Posted On Friday, 01.17.2014 / 12:34 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Ducks' Bonino severely undervalued

The scorching-hot Anaheim Ducks are the talk of the NHL, but Nick Bonino is still being overlooked.

That needs to change.

The Ducks have won 18 of their past 19 games and have yet to lose in regulation in 22 home games this season (20-0-2). Their top-line combo of Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry is currently tied with the Pittsburgh Penguins' duo of Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz for the NHL's most productive point pair (35 common goals).

But as integral as Anaheim's front-liners have been to its historic stretch, the team's depth scoring has made it unbeatable of late, especially at home. That's where Bonino's value truly lies.

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Quote of the Day

I remember the first time at Wrigley Field all of us had the long johns, the turtlenecks and the extra equipment because we were afraid of being cold. Halfway through the first period everybody's ripping everything off and we just ended up wearing what we would normally wear for a game at the United Center.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp on the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic