Yesterday we discussed the centers that could be on the move before trade deadline day (Monday, Feb. 27), and sure enough, one of the players we mentioned was dealt just hours after the story posted. The Blue Jackets shipped out Antoine Vermette to the Coyotes in exchange for a 2012 2nd-round draft pick, a 2013 5th-round draft pick and goalie Curtis McElhinney.
Vermette has center and left wing eligibility in Yahoo! Fantasy Leagues, and despite his struggles this season (8 G, 19 A in 60 games), he should definitely see added fantasy value going forward now that he's moved from Columbus to Phoenix.
Now let's take a look at four left wing-eligible fantasy players that could see a change in value if they're on a new team by the end of the deadline:
TOP 40 FANTASY LEFT WINGS
- 1. Daniel Sedin, Canucks (same)
- 2. Ilya Kovalchuk, Devils* (+1)
- 3. James Neal, Penguins (+1)
- 4. Scott Hartnell, Flyers (+4)
- 5. Zach Parise, Devils (+1)
- 6. Alex Ovechkin, Capitals (-1)
- 7. Joffrey Lupul, Maple Leafs* (same)
- 8. Patrick Sharp, Blackhawks* (+2)
- 9. Johan Franzen, Red Wings* (same)
- 10. Patrick Marleau, Sharks* (+2)
- 11. Logan Couture, Sharks* (+5)
- 12. Jamie Benn, Stars (-1) (DTD)
- 13. Henrik Zetterberg, Red Wings* (+1)
- 14. Milan Lucic, Bruins (-1)
- 15. Taylor Hall, Oilers (same)
- 16. Thomas Vanek, Sabres (+1)
- 17. Ray Whitney, Coyotes (+2)
- 18. Rick Nash, Blue Jackets* (+4)
- 19. Kris Versteeg, Panthers* (+1)
- 20. Bobby Ryan, Ducks (+1)
- 21. Max Pacioretty, Canadiens (+7)
- 22. Brad Marchand, Bruins* (-4)
- 23. Matt Moulson, Islanders (+1)
- 24. Patrik Elias, Devils* (-1)
- 25. Alexandre Burrows, Canucks (+6)
- 26. Ryane Clowe, Sharks* (same)
- 27. Evander Kane, Jets (+8)
- 28. Chris Kunitz, Penguins (-1)
- 29. Dany Heatley, Wild* (-4)
- 30. Erik Cole, Canadiens* (same)
- 31. Loui Eriksson, Stars* (-2)
- 32. Matt Duchene, Avalanche (NR)**
- 33. Tomas Fleischmann, Panthers (+1)
- 34. Alexander Semin, Capitals* (-2)
- 35. Milan Michalek, Senators* (+1)
- 36. Gabriel Landeskog, Avalanche (-3)
- 37. Mike Richards, Kings* (same)
- 38. Jordan Staal, Penguins* (+2)
- 39. Valtteri Filppula, Red Wings* (-1)
- 40. Dustin Brown, Kings* (same)
Brandon Dubinsky (48 percent) -- If the Rangers end up making a splash come Monday, it's likely that Dubinsky will be on his way out. The power forward has been a part of New York's core group of upcoming players for the last few years and while he has underachieved this season (6 G, 19 A in 55 games), he still has plenty of long-term value. A trade from the Rangers, a team looking to upgrade offensively, would probably change the fantasy value of Dubinsky, assuming he gets shipped off to a team that's not near the top of the standings -- his plus-12 rating will likely decrease, but his points could actually increase if given a more offensive role on a less talented team. Regardless of the outcome, Dubinsky's play should improve once all the rumors stop surrounding him.
Andrei Kostitsyn (11 percent) -- Kostitsyn is a talented player with three 20-goal seasons over his career to show for it, but his time could be running out in Montreal. With just 12 goals, 12 assists and a minus-7 rating in 51 contests this season and his role on the Canadiens diminishing by the day, he could end up on a new team by Monday. A change of scenery would definitely increase Kostitsyn's fantasy value and hopefully he'll have a better attitude and perform better in a situation where he feels wanted.
Ryan Malone (9 percent) -- Lightning GM Steve Yzerman has said he would like to keep Malone, but we still feel there's a slight chance he goes. It's a long shot, but the left wing class is pretty thin, so Malone makes the list. He is also a very interesting fantasy player if he gets dealt. Malone has 10 goals and 29 points in 45 games, but is known as a player that can contribute in all facets of fantasy hockey if on a good team. He puts up decent points plus has a knack for scoring power play goals (7 or more in his past four seasons prior to this year) and he's also not afraid to spend some time in the penalty box (he has averaged 80 PIMs over the last four seasons).
Scott Hartnell -- With Datsyuk soon to be on IR, Hartnell sees the biggest bump up among our top-10 left wings. To the surprise of many, Hartnell is currently rated third overall in Yahoo! Leagues, behind only Evgeni Malkin and Henrik Lundqvist. Recently, he has been as hot as he has been all season long with 3 goals, 7 assists, a plus-2, 23 penalty minutes, 3 power-play points and 20 shots on goal over his last six games. He's on pace for his best season yet and fantasy owners should have absolutely nothing to complain about.
Logan Couture -- Thanks to an incredible hot streak Couture is quickly moving his way up in our rankings (he's also currently rated 9th among all Yahoo!-eligible left wings). Over his last 14 games, Couture has posted 9 goals and 10 assists and now has 27 goals and 51 points in 58 games overall. Throw in the fact that he skates with a high-powered offense in San Jose and loves to shoot the puck (184 SOG) and you'll quickly realize that Couture has the potential to be an elite fantasy player for years to come.
Evander Kane -- Kane had been one of the brighter spots in fantasy hockey prior to his concussion injury, but then kind of got forgotten about by many. Well, he's making his presence felt once again. The youngster has 4 goals and 3 helpers in his last four games to go along with a plus-5 rating, 6 penalty minutes and 19 shots on goal. He should be started in every league going forward.
Alex Ovechkin -- With Ovechkin sitting out against the Senators yesterday due to a lower-body injury, his fantasy owners are surely starting to get frustrated. Toss away the off-ice and injury distractions and you still see that Ovechkin hasn't been what any of us expected this season. He has 24 goals and 45 points in 56 games, which isn't close to the point-per-game numbers we expect, and he has a minus-9 rating on the season -- not exactly Ovi-like. It looked like he was coming around towards the end of December and into the New Year, but unfortunately he never kept the hot streak going -- he has just 1 goal over his last five games. Ovechkin will continue to fall in the ranks until he shows something close to his old self.
SOG: 108 | +/-: 5
Dustin Brown -- Brown might be coming alive recently (3 points in his last two games), but prior to that he had been held without a goal for 11 straight games. The Kings have struggled as a whole offensively with Brown being one of the main pieces whose offensive skills seem to have slipped. For the previous four seasons Brown has been a figure of consistency, with 24-33 goals and 53-60 points each time around. However, with just 15 goals and 32 points through 61 contests, Brown is currently on pace for just 20 goals and 42 points. His fantasy owners might have to accept the fact that this just isn't his year.
KEEP AN EYE ON...
James van Riemsdyk -- After about five weeks of being on the sidelines, van Riemsdyk returned to the lineup for the Flyers on Saturday and recorded an assist. He then went on to record another assist on Tuesday against the Jets and registered 7 shots on goal in addition to the point. He hovered right around 15 minutes of ice time per game skating on a line with Jakub Voracek and Brayden Schenn in each of those contests -- that's a talented group of young players and there's no reason to think that JVR can't be a fantasy difference maker down the stretch. He's owned in just 44 percent of Yahoo! Leagues, so go add him if you have a roster spot.