With only one month remaining in the 2010-11 season, the challenge of assembling a competitive roster seems to be escalating by the day. Perhaps most concerning is that for the past two weeks, our highlighted players have dropped from the roster due to a number of reasons. Sam Gagner
was the latest IR victim, while Alex Giroux was assigned to the Oklahoma City Barons a day ago.
Tom Gilbert escaped the wrath, so we’re going to remove his name from the list before any more damage can be done to our featured crop. In the past two weeks, four of our six featured players have entered the sick bay on the Oilers' extensive injury report.
That being said, our newest trio will have to do everything possible to stay healthy and on the good side our all our Fantasy Hockey players. With fewer offensive superstars to choose from, the goal this week is to help you select some of the more unsuspecting contributors on the roster. Game LeaderboardSeason LeadersPlayer StatsNot a member? Sign up!THURSDAY AT 10:30PM
No more than one hour following the completion of Thursday's game vs. Phoenix, the newly introduced salaries for all our highlighted players will be implemented. This will give you a few extra days to plan your attack and watch the featured trio in action before making assembling your roster for Saturday. Here are this week’s salary amendments:JEFF PETRY ($1M > $3M)
23-year-old defenceman Jeff Petry
could, perhaps, be the best-kept secret on the Oilers roster. Despite playing in only 23 games this year, Petry has accumulated an impressive 164 Fantasy points. Pro-rated to a full 82-game season, his current pace would set him near the top of the leaderboard for defenceman.
As unsuspecting as Petry may seem, his numbers have exceled in a number of key areas that have proven vital for the success of a solid, two-way rearguard. Although he brings a varied offensive skill-set, most of his Fantasy success this season has been due to his stellar play in the defensive zone: 26 shots on goal, 30 hits and 35 blocked shots highlight his resume.
As the season’s conclusion quickly approaches, Petry will most certainly be given a greater opportunity to showcase his talent. With more ice-time will come increased development and the rise in Fantasy Hockey success. TEEMU HARTIKAINEN ($1M > $2M)
Welcome to the NHL, Teemu. The 20-year-old Fin has made an impact in his first season with the AHL’s Oklahoma City Barons, recording 17 goals and 42 points in 66 games in his rookie campaign. His ever-increasing production has allowed the Oilers to make a farmhand swap, sending sniper Alex Giroux back down to the Barons as the push for a post-season berth continues.
Although Hartikainen has had a tremendous season in Oklahoma City, he’s still an unknown as the NHL level. With size, speed and hands complementing his intelligence of the game, Hartikainen becomes a lethal threat to contribute at both ends of the rink.
With the increased workload dropped on Head Athletic Therapist T.D. Forss and his team of medical tacticians, opportunity arises for others to step up and audition for a new role. In the case of Hartikainen, there’s no doubt that he will be put in a position to succeed both offensively and defensively.
There's also a degree of risk that needs to be considered with Hartikainen's selection. His 42 points with the Barons this season highlights that unlucky number once more. We'll delve further into the world of the number 42 with our next player. LADISLAV SMID ($1M > $2M)Taylor Hall
, Ales Hemsky
and Sam Gagner
are all stuck at 42 points. Devan Dubnyk
made 42 saves vs. Detroit before he allowed the game-winner to Pavel Datsyuk. J-F Jacques was walking wounded following Sunday's matchup with the Penguins; his 42nd game of the 2010-11 season.
That's only the beginning, too. Ladislav Smid
has accumulated 42 penalty minutes on the season. Given the circumstances surrounding the intimidating number, you may be thinking that his selection may not be a wise choice. Think again. Despite the obvious concern over the number 42, Smid has brought a valuable component to the Fantasy Hockey blueline:
Smid has been developing nicely throughout the year and has now established his footing inside the team’s top ten point producers. Defensive notes are, again, the reason for this rearguard’s success: 119 hits and 102 blocked shots have him among the team leaders in these respective categories, vaulting him to a 523 point total overall; good enough for 10th place on the leaderboard.
Author: Ryan Dittrick | edmontonoilers.com