44-Year-Old Center – Free Agent
Keith Tkachuk Contract Information:
Became an unrestricted free agent in July 2010.
Tkachuk opted not to play in the Blues' final game of the season on Saturday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
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Keith Tkachuk: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Keith Tkachuk.
Tkachuk re-signed for another season with the Blues in the offseason. Blues coach Andy Murray thinks, at age 37, Tkachuk is strictly a center. And the emergence of the younger talent, means Tkachuk will be centering the third line. He still has value on the power play (double-digit goals nine seasons in a row), but it's unlikely he finishes fourth on the team in scoring, as he did last year.
Tkachuk was the second-leading goal scorer last season with 27, including 12 on the power play, which led the team. Given the lack of scoring depth, he is likely to finish with similar standing in those categories and he should finish with more than the one game-winner that he tallied last year. Tkachuk however, is in the twilight of his career and this could very likely be his last season.
At 35, Tkachuk is no longer the elite scorer he once was, having failed to crack the 75-point mark since 2001-02, his first full season with the Blues. However, a point-per-game season is not out of the question this year, especially if he and Paul Kariya can find some chemistry together. Tkachuk currently sits at 926 career points, so you know he'll have his eye on hitting the 1,000-point plateau some time this season. Positionally, Tkachuk is a natural winger, but he showed some success at the center position with Atlanta last season, so he could be given that role again with the Blues, possibly centering Kariya and Brad Boyes on the team's top line.
Tkachuk was hampered by an assortment of injuries last season and played in only half of the Blues’ games, totaling a disappointing 36 points. The guy can still play though, and should return to almost point-a-game status, especially if he clicks on a line with fellow greybeards Doug Weight and Bill Guerin. However, from a fantasy perspective there is more downside to Tkachuk than up at this point in his career, so be careful not to select him too early in your draft.
Tkachuk has long been one of the most consistent fantasy producers in the league. However, Tkachuk's true value lies not in his impressive offensive production, but because he is one of the elite five tool fantasy players in the league. Tkachuk provides above average production in goals, assists, plus/minus, power play points, shots on goal and especially penalty minutes. The big power forward may be in for a decrease in production this year but should still provide 30 goals, 30 assists and close to 100 PIMs. Those numbers should ensure Tkachuk is picked in the first 30 selections in your draft.