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Oilers Fantasy Hockey Forecast - 11/16/2010

by Ryan Dittrick / Edmonton Oilers
Expect the unexpected.

That was our theme last week with the alteration of player salaries. The rationale was simple: We wanted to bring forth a greater competitive edge and hope to increase the play of strategy on each game night. While that caught some off guard, we hope that everyone has an understanding of those changes now.

Coming into this week, we’ve made more changes to player salaries. Three additional players have been altered to help give everyone some more flexibility with the $20 million salary cap. It also helps to lock-in some potential darkhorses that could definitely be valuable on a game-to-game basis.

Most importantly, the adjusted players from last week have all been reset to their original salaries. We didn’t want to get too crazy; at least, not yet.


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In our ongoing efforts to keep things fair and competitive in an already intense Fantasy environment, we’ve decided to wipe the 7-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes from the records. Salary adjustments began last week, but they were done so on the day of the game.

While we encourage people to check back often for changes or last-minute updates, the same-day adjustment didn’t provide a fair environment for everyone. With a number of players setting their rosters early, they were unaware of these alterations and pushed several over the cap.

In the interest of fairness, consider that game gone. Given the result, I’m sure many of you have already done that.


With a week of losses to reflect on, it would was definitely a test of strategy as the Oilers progressed through the five-game road trip. The Oilers were on the losing side of a combined 25-8 score in the final four games, which likely put a wrench into your all-important and strategic roster selections. Who saw that coming?


In terms of making salary adjustments for the following week, the Oilers made that easy. While many individual performances disappointed Fantasy players across Oil Country, there were a few that rose to the occasion and put up impressive performances regardless of the score.

Due to hot and cold performances, here are the salary adjustments for the next week:


27-year old defenceman Tom Gilbert has struggled in the early portions of the 2010-11 season. His recent performances on the road trip were equally as disappointing, as he put up a combined point total of one in the final three games of the trip.

With a $4 million cap hit to his name, chances are many would have stayed away from Gilbert this week. It wouldn’t have been a wise move financially, as well as pure points as players could be looking for an offensive spark.

One thing you can be sure of with Gilbert is that he has the offensive game in him. He’s proven it in the past and continues to get quality scoring opportunities each night. In addition, Gilbert has been one of the most proficient shot-blockers over the past few seasons, and this particular statistic could be a nice boost to your points moving forward.

As a result, we’ve decided to drop Gilbert’s salary this week. His cap-hit has been adjusted from a hefty $4 million to a more manageable $2 million value. With an offensive game ready to emerge, in addition to his adjusted salary, we’re hoping to create some incentive to select the defenceman and potentially shake-up your respective lineups. While it certainly isn’t a guarantee that Gilbert will have a rebound week, perhaps the value contract will be enough for you to give him a chance.


Nikolai Khabibulin didn’t have the strongest of weeks. That could potentially be one of the season’s greatest understatements, but it remains true. Given that you have to select a goaltender, it would only make sense to help alleviate some of the pressure moving forward in this area.

With Devan Dubnyk making his second start of the season and performing quite well against the New Jersey Devils, it would be logical to assume that Dubnyk could be getting more starts in the coming days or weeks. In Khabibulin’s case, he needs to return to form in a hurry to help secure his spot as the Oilers’ number one goaltender.

With Khabibulin’s play being somewhat of a concern, we decided to make a change that could help provide you with more flexibility up front. Much like the shift in Gilbert’s salary, Khabibulin will see his cap-hit decrease from $4 million to $2 million for the coming week.

The goal here is simple. We want to provide you with some more options with your other selections. Having saved some money on Khabibulin, or choosing to go with Dubnyk, should allow you to make some different selections elsewhere that could pay dividends in the long run.


Despite the losses, Jordan Eberle continued to produce. Offensive statistics and excellent underlying numbers have made him one of the most logical picks for any roster.

With some other players providing some excellent value opportunities, Eberle has been one since opening night. With some of the other salary adjustments taken into consideration, flexibility has been given in other areas. Eberle’s strong and overall consistent play has earned him a raise, perhaps making things a little more difficult as you set your roster for the coming week.

While Eberle is poised to continue his strong performances, his now $3 million cap-hit will force you to put more thought into your forward selections. An increase this significant will alter the salary balance of your team, and ultimately force you to make some difficult decisions.

Will Eberle continue to be a wise pick? In all likelihood, yes, but you now have to be a little more creative with your selections up front.


Top 10

As always, the entire team wishes everyone the best for the next week. The next set of prizes will be awarded at the end of the month, so there's still plenty of time to make a move and push for the top of the leaderboard.

Good luck, everyone!

Author: Ryan Dittrick |

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