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Posted On Friday, 10.11.2013 / 1:20 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Khudobin could steal time from Ward

For much of the past decade, Cam Ward has been the main man in the crease for the Carolina Hurricanes.

But don't look now. He has someone in his rearview mirror making a legitimate push for playing time.

That goaltender is Anton Khudobin, a 27-year-old from Kazakhstan who is one of the few fantasy goalie options worth your time on the waiver wire market in deep leagues. He signed a one-year deal with Carolina after serving as the backup to Tuukka Rask with the Boston Bruins last season.

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Posted On Thursday, 10.10.2013 / 4:00 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Monahan on cusp of ownership spike

The Calgary Flames had one player in NHL.com's preseason top 200 rankings, making them the League's least represented team entering the season from a fantasy standpoint.

That player was Mike Cammalleri (C/LW, 38 percent owned), who has yet to play a game due to an upper-body injury. Only defenseman Dennis Wideman (average draft position: 129.1), left wing Sven Baertschi (156.1) and goalie Karri Ramo (173.3) have been drafted on average in Yahoo leagues.

But whether or not a player is selected in fantasy leagues should not always dictate his value moving forward. Therefore, rookie center Sean Monahan could end up boosting your team off the waiver wire if he continues to impress during his nine-game NHL tryout.

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Posted On Wednesday, 10.09.2013 / 1:29 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Missed out on Hertl? Add Jokinen

If you're a fantasy owner who witnessed Tomas Hertl's four-goal masterpiece for the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday, chances are you scurried to the waiver wire to check his availability.

But with Hertl now owned in over 50 percent of Yahoo! Fantasy leagues, your late bid for this single-game impact player was likely unsuccesful. Luckily, there's another readily-available player on a high-caliber line who can pay both immediate and long-term dividends.

Jussi Jokinen, owned in only 28 percent of leagues, notched his second hat trick in just over two weeks. The first came in a preseason game on Sept. 21, so this was the first to count in fantasy leagues.

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Posted On Friday, 10.04.2013 / 12:47 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Marc Staal healthy, readily available

Marc Staal's career was in jeopardy after he sustained a severe eye injury in March, but Thursday was a breath of fresh air in the defenseman's ongoing recovery.

The 26-year-old's confidence was on full display in his return to regular-season action in the New York Rangers opener -- and fantasy owners would be wise to take notice.

Staal was not drafted on average in Yahoo Fantasy leagues, largely because of the uncertainty surrounding his health. While he made a one-game comeback attempt during the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Washington Capitals, there were still lingering effects of his career-threatening injury.

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Posted On Thursday, 10.03.2013 / 11:53 AM

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

Fantasy Spin: Downie adds element to Avalanche

There's no question that rookie Nathan MacKinnon and new coach Patrick Roy stole the spotlight in their sparkling debuts for the Colorado Avalanche, but Wednesday's 6-1 rout of the Anaheim Ducks also made it clear Steve Downie can be an asset to both his team and fantasy owners.

Operating on the team's top line with Matt Duchene and Ryan O'Reilly, Downie kicked off the season with a Gordie Howe hat trick (one goal, one assist, five PIMs), with both of his points coming on the power play. He also added four shots on goal and two hits in the win.

Colorado's depth up front, showcased by NHL.com leading up to the season with a League-leading nine forwards in its top 300 fantasy player pool, was evident all night long in a virtuoso offensive display. It was merely one game, but four of Downie's teammates -- MacKinnon, O'Reilly, Jamie McGinn and Alex Tanguay -- joined him in recording multi-point games on opening night.

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Posted On Wednesday, 10.02.2013 / 12:02 PM

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

Fantasy Spin: Grabovski makes immediate PP impact

The fantasy significance of Mikhail Grabovski's opening-night performance went way beyond his hat trick.

The 29-year-old made a strong first impression with the man advantage, an indication that he can be an adequate replacement for Mike Ribeiro on the Washington Capitals' first power-play unit.

As a result, his time on the waiver wire has been short-lived.

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Posted On Thursday, 08.22.2013 / 10:25 AM

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

Fantasy Spin: Leafs have most promising tandem

When the Toronto Maple Leafs became the first team in NHL history to lose a Game 7 after leading by three goals in the third period, fantasy owners probably weren't expecting an endorsement of the team's goaltending only a few months later.

But when reflecting on James Reimer's development over the past year and the team's acquisition of former Los Angeles Kings backup Jonathan Bernier, the future looks crowded -- and bright -- in Toronto's crease.

So, just about as suddenly as their lead slipped away in Game 7 against the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, the case can be made that the Leafs sport the League's best timeshare fantasy goalie tandem.

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Posted On Thursday, 08.08.2013 / 11:20 AM

By Matt Sitkoff -  NHL.com Contributor /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Who has edge: Mason or Emery?

The Philadelphia Flyers' goalie situation got another makeover this summer as Ilya Bryzgalov -- the starter during the past two seasons -- was giving a compliance buyout and Ray Emery was brought in to compete with Steve Mason for the starting job.

But before breaking down the two goaltenders who will compete for crease time in Philadelphia this fall, let's break down the last six seasons of Flyers goalies.

Since the 2007-08 season, the Flyers have used 18 goalies and have had five different players lead them in victories -- including a tie in 2009-10 between Michael Leighton and Emery. The Flyers have averaged 40.6 victories in that span, which should have made their starting goalie a hot commodity in fantasy hockey.

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Posted On Tuesday, 08.06.2013 / 10:00 AM

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

Fantasy Spin: Who has edge -- Fleury or Vokoun?

While everything seemed to come crashing down for Marc-Andre Fleury during the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, fantasy owners would be wise not to hold his postseason struggles against him when they're looking for goaltending this season.

Fleury got a vote of confidence from Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma in June, which indicates he'll be in position to reclaim the team's starting job. If that's the case, he certainly deserves top-15 consideration among fantasy goalies heading into 2013-14 -- despite the negative perception surrounding his value these days.

Didn't backup Tomas Vokoun clearly outplay Fleury in the playoffs? Doesn't the fact that Fleury has struggled in each of the past four postseasons hurt his fantasy value?

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Posted On Friday, 07.26.2013 / 9:00 AM

By Matt Sitkoff -  NHL.com Contributor /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Who has edge -- Bishop or Lindback?

Last season was not a banner year for any goalie that manned the crease for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Lightning finished 26th in the NHL with a team goals-against-average of 3.06 and tied for 24th in the League with a .899 team save percentage. Tampa Bay was also one of four teams to have four different goalies suit up last season, with Anders Lindback playing the most (24 games and 21 starts).

The team acquired Ben Bishop from the Ottawa Senators for Cory Conacher on April 3 and after six starts with the team, Bishop was signed to a new two-year contract extension.

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