The dominoes continue to fall on the Boston Bruins defense as Torey Krug is expected to miss 2-3 weeks with a broken finger. This injury further depletes the Bruins top power-play unit and fantasy blue lines around the globe.
With Krug (96 percent owned in Yahoo leagues) joining teammate Zdeno Chara on the injury list, fantasy owners should stash the 23-year-old in an IR slot and look for a short-term replacement.
It's difficult to cover all of Krug's strengths (points, power-play points, shots on goal, plus-minus) with one waiver-wire pickup, but you can certainly find available defensemen who can help your team stay afloat in one or more of those areas. Taking league depth into account, here are some options:
Dougie Hamilton, Boston Bruins (63 percent)
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In his team's first game without Chara, Hamilton had three points against the Toronto Maple Leafs. He's producing shots on goal at a high rate (27 in 11 games) and his role will be further elevated with Krug out of the power-play equation. Hamilton has logged 3:40 and 2:41 with the man advantage in two games since Chara's injury. This breakout candidate has the puck-moving ability to thrive in a featured role.
Anton Stralman, Tampa Bay Lightning (40 percent)
Stralman's ownership has skyrocketed in Yahoo leagues since Victor Hedman's injury. He's a shutdown defenseman that has picked up his offense upon joining his new team with at least a point in seven of 10 games this season. His rating (plus-9) is tied for third in the NHL. For more on his value, check out Brian Metzer's latest fantasy 'D' rankings.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic, San Jose Sharks (23 percent)
Don't mistake Vlasic for a point producer, but he has chipped in two goals and an assist in 11 games and logs 21:58 per game alongside upper-echelon fantasy forwards Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski. But the real reason to pick up Vlasic is for his rating, which is plus-7 already this season after turning in a plus-31 last season (tied for second among defensemen).
Lubomir Visnovsky, New York Islanders (13 percent)
Visnovsky, 38, remains an injury risk, but his performance upon his return has been promising. He scored a goal Saturday against the Dallas Stars and added an assist Tuesday against the Winnipeg Jets. He shoots a ton and is seeing 2:48 per game on the power play for an explosive Islanders offense, leaving the opportunity for points in those situations if he stays healthy.