Since the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup for the third time in six seasons, Brandon Saad (Columbus Blue Jackets) and Patrick Sharp (Dallas Stars) were traded, and Brad Richards (Detroit Red Wings), Antione Vermette (Arizona Coyotes) and Johnny Oduya (Stars) each left as free agents.
Of those players in new places, Sharp should benefit fantasy owners the most.
Sharp scored 16 goals and had 43 points last season, well below fantasy expectations for a player who scored at least 20 goals in seven of eight seasons prior to that, including more than 30 goals four times. Sharp's ice time diminished by more than two minutes per game (16:49, down from 18:53 in 2013-14).
Whether Sharp was playing on a line with Richards and Patrick Kane or Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa, the offensive numbers weren't there, although he had 15 points in 23 Stanley Cup Playoff games.
2014-15 SEASON with Chicago
GP: 68 | G: 16 | A: 27 | PPP: 14 SOG: 230 | PIMs: 33 | +/-: -8
The trade to Dallas should help Sharp revert to his old form. Playing with Art Ross
Trophy winner Jamie Benn
(87 points), Jason Spezza
(62 points) and Tyler Seguin
(37 goals, 77 points) on a team which scored more than three goals-per game last season (3.1; second in the NHL), Sharp's numbers should increase. Dallas scored 176 goals at 5-on-5, third most in the League. Benn had offseason hip surgery and may not be ready for the regular season, which could mean more ice time for Sharp.
Sharp also provided penalty minutes (33) and shots on goal (230 in 68 games) last season. He also had 14 power-play points, a number that should increase with his new role in Dallas.
One of the players Sharp was traded for was defenseman Trevor Daley, who should thrive with the Blackhawks. Daley had a career-high 16 goals and 38 points in 68 games last season, including six on the power play. His shooting percentage was high (14.2), as his shots were limited (113). Daley will be a top-four defender in Chicago, likely paired with Niklas Hjalmarsson, (taking Oduya's spot) with Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith forming the other pair.
Daley logs plenty of minutes (22:53 per game), which shouldn't change with the Blackhawks. He should score double-digit goals, though the 16 from last season may be a stretch, and is expected to be a plus-player. He was a minus-13 on a Stars team that ranked 26th in allowing 3.1 goals-per game, but the Blackhawks allowed the second fewest goals per game (2.3) last season.
Oduya is an above-average defender, but is past his fantasy prime having not earned more than three goals or 20 points since 2008-09. He had two goals and 10 points in 76 games last season and likely isn't worth a roster spot.