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Frozen Fantasy: Week Three Fantasy Studs

Janet Eagleson

Janet Eagleson

Janet Eagleson is a four-time winner of the Hockey Writer of the Year award from the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.

Owner profiling – it works in fantasy and clearly, it works in the NHL, too. At least it does for Peter Chiarelli of the Bruins.

That man has a horseshoe up his …

First it was Phil Kessel for picks. That netted studs Tyler Seguin and Dougie Hamilton. And now it’s Tim Thomas for major cap relief and a second-round pick. Brilliant.

I was stunned – and a little angry – when news of the Thomas to Long Island deal broke Thursday afternoon. And it took me a minute to realize it wasn’t because of Peter Chiarelli.

Garth Snow is a piece of work.

The Islanders now have two players who don’t want to play for them. Lubomir Visnovsky should be back in the fold by the weekend, but look at what he did to try to avoid playing in blue and orange. Tim Thomas will likely never play on the Island of Misfit Toys.

I hope Garth Snow never gets NHL work again.

Sure, the CBA may be partly to blame. But the guy took on a $5 million cap hit just to get him “up” to the floor of the cap. And the worst part? Tank nation is in full effect – the Isles get the cap hit but can “toll” his contract for one more season. And that means his $5 mil hit can be counted this year AND next year.

Spit.

It’s clear that Peter Chiarelli profiled Snow perfectly and came out light years ahead on the deal. Chiarelli now has cap flexibility so he can add a top-six scorer before the deadline. Hey – wouldn’t a guy like Jarome Iginla look good in black and gold? And he jettisoned a selfish player to the most backwater place in the NHL.

Nah-na-na-na-na-NA.

Dump trades are pretty much prohibited in every fantasy league I know. So how can this crap be allowed?

Snow and Thomas deserve each other.

Now let’s take a look at who caught my eye this week.

Jonas Brodin, D, Minnesota (1 percent owned) – I’ve had this guy stashed on one of my keeper rosters since his draft year and for good reason. He excelled at an elite level at a very young age, has off-the-charts hockey IQ, almost perfect defensive-zone angles and untapped offensive upside. Remind you of a recently-retired fellow Swede? He won’t be Niklas Lidstrom, but he could be a little like him. And that means he should be on deeper fantasy rosters … and keeper leagues, for sure.

Simon Despres, D, Pittsburgh (5 percent owned) – Despres has size and speed, a combination that makes him a tempting play on the ice and in fantasy. But his offensive upside is ultimately limited – he might end up leaving us all wanting more just like Jay Bouwmeester does. Still, he has four points, 14 PIMs and 15 hits in nine games this season and could just help you in spot duty. The Pens are loaded for bear and he’s bound to have touched the puck just before Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin or James Neal drives it home.

Patrick Dwyer, RW, Carolina (0 percent owned) – Dwyer hit the jackpot when he slotted onto Jordan Staal’s line. He was held off the score sheet on Thursday night, but he had three points in two games prior to that. He can deliver some cheap thrills to your lineup as long as he’s skating with a Staal. Drop him when he drops down the lineup.

Andy Greene, D, New Jersey (5 percent owned) – Greene is a tease. And a few years ago, this stocky defender had me believing he might actually take the next step. I was fooled. He’s more efficient than fast, but he has the skills to be a power-play QB. And that’s what he’s doing this week. He’s on a four-game point streak in which he has six points, including four on the PP and one on the PK. This could certainly be another tease, but at least we’re both going in with our eyes wide open this time. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Andrei Loktionov, C, New Jersey (0 percent owned) – Bye-bye left coast sunshine and shorts, hello Nor’easters and long johns. But then again, beautiful weather is irrelevant if you’re not going to get a shot at a job. Loktionov couldn’t crack the Kings’ roster, but he soon could with the Devils. And he’ll be valuable if he even comes close to his top-line upside. He might not skate with sniper Ilya Kovalchuk this season, but then again … who knows?

Petr Mrazek, G, Detroit (1 percent owned) – Guess who won his NHL debut Thursday night? Mrazek burst into fantasy consciousness for the Czechs at the 2012 World Junior Hockey Championships and his star has only risen since then. He’s athletic, fiercely competitive and charismatic on the ice, and plays his best on the biggest of stages. I was surprised by his call-up this week – he doesn’t turn 21 until Valentine’s Day and we both know the Wings like to let their boys age like fine wine in the AHL. But surprised or not, I’m using him whenever I can until he’s sent down.

Paul Postma, D, Winnipeg (1 percent owned) – Postma had the night of his life last Friday in the Jets’ otherwise forgettable 8-3 loss to the Bolts. He factored in all three Jets’ goals including scoring a goal of his own. He has offensive upside, decent speed and latent offensive skill. Use him until Zach Bogosian and Dustin Byfuglien get back on the ice and up to speed.

Zac Rinaldo, C, Philadelphia (2 percent owned) – There’s only one reason this late-punching meathead is on this list and it’s PIMs – he’s mighty good at that. He had 232 in 66 games last year and he had 22 last week alone. He’s not going to offer you anything else right now, but he’s gold if you’re trying to boost a single category.

Danny Taylor, G, Calgary (0 percent owned) – Will he make an impact? Probably not – Taylor hasn’t played an NHL game since 2007-08. But he’s been on a fabulous roll in the AHL and the Flames took a chance on him after Mikka Kiprusoff tweaked his groin. Anything’s possible – just look at how Viktor Fasth’s ownership jumped this week (from three percent to 41 in two days) after he got his shot between the pipes in Anaheim. Goalie points are hard to come by so he could be stashable.

Colin Wilson, LW/C, Nashville (3 percent owned) – Wilson isn’t fast and he isn’t pretty. Wait, let me rephrase that – he’s not a pretty skater. But he is smart and opportunistic, and he plays a solid possession game. And those things, combined with a new-found urgency in his game, have resulted in a three-game, six-point streak. He’s delivering exactly what the Preds need – points. The streak will break, but get on board – his game is about to take another step.

Back to dump trades.

In fantasy, we all start moving players when we know we’re out of the running. Picks, players – sometimes we even roll the dice on guys that may or may not pan out.

And while other owners might be upset or borderline incensed by a deal, it’s a rare moment when a veto is applied.

That is, in part, because not even dump trades are as out-of-bounds as this deal.

Until next week.