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Posted On Wednesday, 12.18.2013 / 12:00 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Avalanche's Johnson quieting doubters

High expectations have followed Erik Johnson's career since he was taken with the first pick in the 2006 NHL Draft by the St. Louis Blues.

When Johnson was traded to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for Kevin Shattenkirk and Chris Stewart in 2011, the pressure shifted to his new role in the Mile High City. Johnson's struggles continued, with the low point coming in 2012-13 when he failed to register a goal in 31 games.

But just when fantasy owners thought he had reached irrelevance, he has navigated his way back into the equation.

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Posted On Wednesday, 12.11.2013 / 2:37 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Isles' Strome valuable in present, future

Ryan Strome is coming to the rescue for the slumping New York Islanders -- and fantasy owners should take notice.

The 20-year-old forward was recalled Wednesday and could make his long-awaited NHL debut as early as Thursday when the Islanders wrap up their Western Conference road swing against the Phoenix Coyotes.

Strome came into the season as a fantasy sleeper pick, but did not make the Islanders opening-night roster. He has made his case over the past few months by leading the American Hockey League with 33 points for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. His production at the Ontario Hockey League level in years past is also well-documented.

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Posted On Friday, 12.06.2013 / 1:50 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Most surprising goalies based on ADP

One-third of the way into the 2013-14 NHL season, fantasy owners have seen quite a few curveballs when it comes to the goalie landscape.

While top-flight goalies Tuukka Rask, Antti Niemi and Henrik Lundqvist remain top-five material, many of those who waited a few rounds to fill this important positional need made a wise choice.

There's still a ton of hockey left to be played in the coming months, but the bottom line is many goalies who came into the season with high expectations surrounding them have either failed to live up to the hype (Sergei Bobrovsky, Craig Anderson, Jimmy Howard) or seen injuries define their season (Jonathan Quick, Pekka Rinne).

Meanwhile, when you take the Yahoo average draft position (ADP) of the League's workhorse goalies into account, it's very clear who the most pleasant surprises have been. Here are five goalies that have maximized their value based on where they were taken in drafts. If you own one of these players, you've been in good hands so far.

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.03.2013 / 2:30 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Zetterberg injury leaves void

The next few weeks will be tough sledding for fantasy owners of Detroit Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg.

With news surfacing Tuesday that Zetterberg is expected to miss a minimum of two weeks due to a herniated disc, those who own this top-10 fantasy forward are mulling their next move.

Henrik Zetterberg
Left Wing - DET
GOALS: 11 | ASST: 19 | PTS: 30
SOG: 99 | +/-: 12
Zetterberg has been centering the team's top line of late with Pavel Datsyuk (upper-body injury) out of the lineup since Nov. 23. He doesn't touch on penalty minutes very often, but this veteran covers nearly every other major category -- making him among the more indispensable players League-wide in both fantasy and reality.

Of the seven players with 30-plus points this season, only Zetterberg has mustered a plus-10 or better rating with 90-plus shots on goal. His point production on the power play (11) is tied for 12th in the NHL, and his consistency over the years gives fantasy owners a peace of mind whenever he's in the lineup.

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Posted On Thursday, 11.28.2013 / 1:50 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Penguins' Neal as good as advertised

Let's face it: James Neal has feasted on opponents when healthy for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Just ask his fantasy owners. They're thankful to have him along for the ride this holiday season.

Neal continued his recent surge with his fifth-consecutive multi-point game Wednesday, adding a season-high 10 shots on goal in Pittsburgh's 6-5 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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Posted On Monday, 11.25.2013 / 3:20 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Perron should be owned in all leagues

Coming into the season, fantasy owners didn't know what to expect from David Perron.

The St. Louis Blues shipped him to the Edmonton Oilers in July, raising questions about his long-term fantasy value. Between his injury history and his new team's string of bottom-10 finishes in the League standings, he was far from a commodity.

In fact, he wasn't drafted on average in Yahoo leagues. But to everyone's surprise, he's been one of the most indispensable players from a fantasy standpoint this season. Somehow, he's still available in more than 50 percent of leagues.

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Posted On Thursday, 11.21.2013 / 2:56 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Smooth transition for Devils' Gelinas

The crop of defensemen on the fantasy waiver wire is pretty barren these days.

However, if you're searching for an efficient blueliner with a power-play presence, New Jersey Devils defenseman Eric Gelinas is as promising an option as you'll find.

And the best part is he remains vastly overlooked in fantasy leagues, owned in only two percent of Yahoo leagues.

Gelinas notched his first career multi-point game Wednesday against the Anaheim Ducks in arguably the Devils' most impressive victory of the season. Each of his points came during a power play after Anaheim was whistled for a double-minor high-sticking penalty in the first period.

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Posted On Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 1:32 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Rangers' Nash back in fold

Rick Nash's return is here, and the fantasy implications are huge.

Nash, a perennial 30-plus goal scorer with 300-plus shot capability, will be back in the lineup Tuesday when the New York Rangers host the Boston Bruins (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN). The 29-year-old sustained a concussion on Oct. 8 in San Jose and had been sidelined ever since.

In three games this season, Nash compiled three points (one power-play point), five penalty minutes and nine shots on goal. Even after missing 17 games due to injury, he still has three-quarters of the season left to get his production back up to speed and pay dividends for your team.

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Posted On Monday, 11.18.2013 / 3:09 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Blue Jackets' Johansen brings flexibility

When exploring potential waiver wire additions, recent production and line combinations always come into play.

In addition, dual-position flexibility is a wild card. On jam-packed game nights, it provides fantasy owners with the chance to fill as many roster spots as possible -- which can prove to be a significant edge in head-to-head leagues.

Columbus Blue Jackets forward Ryan Johansen, owned in 11 percent of Yahoo leagues, fits the bill in that regard. The 21-year-old, who has both center and right wing eligibility, picked up his fourth multi-point game of the season and had five shots on goal in Sunday's win against the Ottawa Senators.

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Posted On Friday, 11.15.2013 / 1:23 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Sharks' Boyle on fire in contract year

San Jose Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle was undervalued going into most fantasy drafts this season. His average draft position in Yahoo leagues was 107th overall and 21st among blueliners.

When he missed time due to injury early on, many owners were especially down on his value. Some even bailed on him, making him temporarily available in shallow leagues.

With the 37-year-old facing unrestricted free agency next summer, the clock began to tick for him to perform -- both in fantasy and reality.

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Quote of the Day

The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.

— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres