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Fantasy All-Access: Calm before trade deadline storm

by Matt Sitkoff

Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET marks the NHL Trade Deadline, and after the dust settles will come a flurry of waiver wire activity and trades in fantasy hockey, as players' stocks rise and new opportunities arise.

The big names in play include Ryan Kesler (Vancouver Canucks), Ryan Callahan (New York Rangers), Thomas Vanek (New York Islanders) and Matt Moulson (Buffalo Sabres). If traded, it won’t change that they are great fantasy plays. Sometimes it is the under-the-radar moves that can provide a spark for your team.

Ryan Kesler
Center - VAN
GOALS: 21 | ASST: 18 | PTS: 39
SOG: 212 | +/-: -10
On Feb. 28, 2011, the Sabres acquired Brad Boyes from the St. Louis Blues and he went on to score 14 points in 21 games. On Feb. 27, 2012, the Colorado Avalanche acquired Jamie McGinn from the San Jose Sharks and he finished the season with 13 points in his final 17 games. On April 3 of last season it was Jussi Jokinen, acquired by the Pittsburgh Penguins from the Carolina Hurricanes, who finished the year with 11 points in 10 games.


Mike Cammalleri, Calgary Flames (owned in 29 percent of Yahoo Leagues) -- Flames president and acting general manager Brian Burke confirmed a contract extension has been offered to the 31-year-old pending free agent but he could also be moved at the deadline. The 5-foot-9 speedy forward has battled injuries this season but still has 223 career goals in 649 games, and if traded to a contender could fit in a top-six scoring wing role that would bump up his fantasy value for the rest of the season.

Christian Ehrhoff
Defense - BUF
GOALS: 6 | ASST: 23 | PTS: 29
SOG: 128 | +/-: -11
Christian Ehrhoff, Buffalo Sabres (owned in 45 percent of Yahoo Leagues) -- The fire sale has begun in Buffalo with the trade of franchise goalie Ryan Miller and captain Steve Ott, and next out could be one of their top defensemen. Ehrhoff, 31, has seven years left on his 10-year contact but remains a force offensively. He is one point away from his sixth career 30-point season and still producing on a power play (10 points) that is ranked near the bottom of the League.

Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils (owned in 61 percent of Yahoo Leagues) -- Could it be true, after three Stanley Cups, a Calder Trophy, four Vezina trophies and numerous NHL records being broken, Martin Brodeur will be wearing a sweater soon that doesn't have the Devils' crest on the front? The 41-year-old is in the last year of his contract and this season has shown he can still help a contending team as a starting goalie. In 17 games between November and December Brodeur was 10-6-1 with a 2.00 goals-against average and .918 save percentage. If the Hall of Fame goalie is traded to a team looking for a starter he becomes a must-own in all fantasy formats.


Back in business -- Surrounding the trade deadline is a busy work week for a lot of teams; as the Blues, Sabres, Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, Dallas Stars, Columbus Blue Jackets, Calgary Flames, and Montreal Canadiens all have four games scheduled this week. The Bruins have two games against the Florida Panthers, who as sellers this week could cause the Bruins to face two different opponents on Tuesday and Sunday. We could see four starts this week from Miller in St. Louis with only one back-to-back scheduled on Saturday (@COL) and Sunday (@MIN). The hardest schedule belongs to the Canadiens, who go out west and face the difficult California trip with the Phoenix Coyotes mixed in.

Pekka Rinne
Goalie - NSH
RECORD: 4-4-1
GAA: 2.31 | SVP: 0.917
Big name returns -- Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne played two American Hockey League games with Milwaukee and stopped 33 of the 35 shots he faced as he gets closer to his first NHL action since Oct. 22. Steven Stamkos will be re-evaluated again this week and could return to the ice when the Tampa Bay Lightning come back from a four-game road trip on Thursday. Getting these two players back healthy are equivalent to making a huge trade and will give your fantasy team a boost for the stretch run or should be targeted in your trade deadline moves.


Jake Allen, St. Louis Blues -- Lost in all the news of Miller being traded to the Blues for their run at the franchise’s first Stanley Cup has been what this means for the 23-year-old netminder currently in the AHL. The second-round pick (No. 34) in the 2008 NHL Draft crashed the NHL party last season winning nine of his 15 starts en route to being named to the 2012-13 NHL All-Rookie Team. This season, his fourth in the AHL, he has put up spectacular numbers. The 6-2 goalie is tied for the league lead in wins (25), leads in GAA (2.07) and is in the top five in save percentage (.925). Miller’s stock as a fantasy goalie went way up, but don’t forget about Allen in keeper or dynasty leagues with his future now tied to Miller’s.

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