The Detroit Red Wings have always been a great source of fantasy production from the blue line, but that was due in large part to the presence of the now retired Nicklas Lidstrom. Would someone on the roster step up to offset such a substantial loss?
Heading into drafts this season, owners hoped that Ian White, who had a resurgent year playing alongside Lidstrom, would be able to provide some offensive punch. His 32-point campaign was good enough to get him drafted in 79 percent of Yahoo! Fantasy Hockey leagues. After producing just one point in February and two on the year, he is currently owned in just 18 percent of leagues.
Many were drawn in by the potential of youngster Brendan Smith, our 51st ranked defenseman, selecting him in 76 percent of Yahoo! Fantasy Hockey drafts. Unfortunately a sprained right shoulder has sidelined him for all but eight games this season. He has just one assist on the year and has seen his ownership drop to 16 percent.
While a number of owners were left disappointed by White and Smith, many others are patting themselves on the back for selecting a guy who has spent the past nine seasons as Lidstrom's understudy, Niklas Kronwall.