The NHL Trade Deadline is at 3 p.m. Wednesday, March 5. The standard fantasy hockey league trade deadline is the very next day.
In order to have you fully prepared, NHL.com fantasy hockey expert Matt Cubeta will provide you with a three-part "Fantasy Hockey Trade Deadline Decisions" series. Each part will feature a different list of players. Part 1: A list of players who could be traded before the NHL Trade Deadline and how it would affect their fantasy value (Wednesday). Part 2: A list of players Cubeta believes you should be trying to acquire before your deadline -- also known as buy-low candidates (Thursday). Part 3: A list of players you should be trying to trade away before your deadline -- also known as sell-high candidates (Friday).
Remember, when you're trying to make a trade, don't be afraid to start your negotiation off a little higher than what you're hoping to eventually land. You can always lower your asking price, but you won't be able to raise it if the other person you're trading with already accepts the deal.
Buy-low: Players to acquire before your trade deadline
Jason Spezza, Ottawa Senators -- 54 games: 15 G, 30 A, minus-23, 34 PIMs, 16 PPP, 160 SOG
Take away Spezza's minus-23 and you're looking at an elite fantasy player, like many of us expected back when we drafted him. That rating is killing his value -- so much so that he is actually ranked all the way at 99 in Yahoo leagues. But it's only one category and the Senators are still a talented team. A little more luck and some better goaltending could go a long way in boosting Spezza's value. Right now Spezza's shooting percentage sits at 9.4 percent. His career mark is 14.0 percent. That's quite a difference. Throughout this story, I'm going to give you a bunch of players whose shooting percentages are well below their career averages and it's a good gauge for expecting a player to revert back to the norm for the final 20-25 games of the season. Of course, sometimes a player ends up getting a bit lucky for an entire season, but shooting percentage is one of the few statistics where we can spot whether someone has been lucky or unlucky. Either way, you should expect a few more of Spezza's shots to start finding the back of the net and both his goal production and plus/minus will improve.