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Thursday Daily Puck: Mid-February Trading Frenzy

Dustin Nelson

Dustin Nelson is a writer based out of NYC. His fantasy team is full of loafers.

Around the Rink
You don't get many days as busy as yesterday was in the NHL. Blockbuster trades, legends retiring, goaltenders moving conferences, and waiver pickups that are worth looking over.

We'll start here: Wednesday's headlines featured the official announcement of Evgeni Nabokov's retirement with the Sharks. It was a classy move by the Sharks to trade for him and to allow him to retire as a Shark. He was a pretty great player and I'm glad, as he said, that his career went full circle back to San Jose.

The big fantasy news of the day was the blockbuster trade between the Jets and Sabres -- and that's not hyperbole, this was a blockbuster. The Winnipeg Jets sent Evander Kane, Zach Bogosian, and goaltending prospect Jason Kasdorf to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Tyler Myers, Drew Stafford, Joel Armia, the rights to prospect Brendan Lemieux (son of Claude Lemieux), and the third of Buffalo's three 2015 first round draft picks.

Quite a bit to unpack here. Kane is out for the season, so this doesn't effect his value for fantasy. He has none. Armia isn't likely to get more NHL games this season. He can be ignored for fantasy purposes. That leaves Bogosian, Myers, and Stafford. You can probably predict what this means for each of them based on the team they're headed to.

Bogosian is entering a minefield in Buffalo. This is a team that is setting NHL records for shot differential. Bad, bad records to break. Bogosian is likely to get a larger role with Buffalo. He's been getting big minutes with Winnipeg, but it's a lot of penalty kill time and very little power play time. He could find himself getting some time on the PP, but any boost he might get from more time, better zone starts, or power play minutes is likely to be negated by being on the Buffalo Sabres.

Myers is owned in around 12% of leagues. He's been underwhelming this year, posting just four goals and nine assists in 47 games. He's also a minus-15. However, he's useful on the power play, he'll get you some penalty minutes, and he's played big minutes overall. His assets this year are unlikely to change in Winnipeg. But his struggles could turn around.

It's not yet known how Myers will be utilized in Winnipeg, but hopefully the Jets want to tease out some of his early career magic, the offensive upside. He would, even on Winnipeg's second power play unit, be joining a power play unit more dynamic than what Buffalo can field under any circumstance. He'll be playing on a team whose speed and strength should compliment his abilities.

He's been on a downward trend almost every season since his Calder-campaign season, but a fresh start may do wonders for him. Myers just became an interesting waiver add this week.

Let's get to injuries and things, then I'll touch on Stafford and some other moves after that.

Projected Goalie Starters (all times Eastern)
For updates on the projected goalies later in the day, check our Projected Goalies Grid

Toronto Maple Leafs (Jonathan Bernier) at New York Islanders (Jaroslav Halak), 7:00 PM
Anaheim Ducks (John Gibson) at Carolina Hurricanes (Cam Ward), 7:00 PM
Edmonton Oilers (Viktor Fasth) at Montreal Canadiens (Dustin Tokarski), 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh Penguins (Marc-Andre Fleury) at Ottawa Senators (Robin Lehner), 7:30 PM
St. Louis Blues (Brian Elliott) at Tampa Bay Lightning (Ben Bishop), 7:30 PM
Winnipeg Jets (Michael Hutchinson) at Nashville Predators (Pekka Rinne), 8:00 PM
Florida Panthers (Roberto Luongo) at Minnesota Wild (Devan Dubnyk), 8:00 PM
New York Rangers (Cam Talbot) at Colorado Avalanche (Semyon Varlamov), 9:00 PM
Calgary Flames (Jonas Hiller) at Los Angeles Kings (Jonathan Quick), 10:30 PM

Injury News For Teams Playing Thursday

Toronto Maple Leafs
Dion Phaneuf, D - (hand) remains sidelined with no timetable.

New York Islanders
Matt Carkner, D - (back) is expected to miss the rest of the season.
Kyle Okposo, RW - (eye) remains out.
Michael Grabner, RW - (undisclosed) skated with the team Tuesday.
Cal Clutterbuck, RW - (upper body) did not play on Tuesday.
Calvin de Haan, D - De Haan (face) did not play on Tuesday.
Eric Boulton, LW - (lower body) is on IR.

Anaheim Ducks
Jakob Silfverberg, RW - (illness) returned to practice on Wednesday.
Stefan Noesen, C - (Achilles) isn't back yet.
Hampus Lindholm, D - (lower body) skated Wednesday.
Frederik Andersen, G - (upper body) was placed on injured reserve Tuesday.

Carolina Hurricanes
Ryan Murphy, D - (leg) will miss four weeks.

Edmonton Oilers
Benoit Pouliot, LW - (foot) was placed on injured reserve on Tuesday.
Ben Scrivens, G - (hamstring) will be out for a while.
Taylor Hall, LW - (leg) will miss six weeks, it was announced on Wednesday.
Tyler Pitlick, RW - (spleen) will miss the remainder of the season.
Nikita Nikitin, D - (shoulder) is on IR.

Montreal Canadiens
P.A. Parenteau, RW - (concussion) has resumed skating.

Pittsburgh Penguins
Pascal Dupuis, RW - (blood clot) is out.
Christian Ehrhoff, D - (concussion) is unlikely to make the team's upcoming road trip.
Blake Comeau, LW - (wrist) is off IR, but remains questionable.
Olli Maatta, D - (shoulder) is out for the season.
Anton Zlobin, LW - is out for the season.

Ottawa Senators
Bobby Ryan, RW - (undisclosed) returned to practice Wednesday.
Zack Smith, C - (wrist) is considered far off a return to the lineup.
Craig Anderson, G - (hand) is close, but has not yet been activated off IR.
Chris Phillips, D - (undisclosed) could miss about a week due to "wear and tear."

St. Louis Blues
Kevin Shattenkirk, D - (abdominal surgery) was placed on injured reserve Wednesday.
Chris Porter, LW - (ankle) resumed skating with the full group Monday.

Tampa Bay Lightning
Radko Gudas, D - (knee) remains on IR.
Cedric Paquette, C - (upper body) remains day-to-day.
Matt Carle, D - (hip) is on IR.

Winnipeg Jets
Matt Halischuk, RW - (lower body) will be out for a while.
Grant Clitsome, D - (upper body) is on IR.
Jay Harrison, D - (upper body) did not play on Tuesday.

Nashville Predators
Colin Wilson, LW - (upper body) missed Tuesday's game.
Ryan Ellis, D - (lower body) has resumed skating.
Mattias Ekholm, D - (upper body) did not play Tuesday.

Florida Panthers
Brandon Pirri, C - Pirri left Tuesday's game against the Ducks with an upper-body injury and won't return, George Richards of the Miami Herald reports. (2/10/2015)
Willie Mitchell, D - (upper body) has not returned to practice.

Minnesota Wild
Keith Ballard, D - (concussion) is out for the season.
Josh Harding, G - (MS) is likely out for the season.
Ryan Carter, C - (shoulder) is out for the next month.
Jason Zucker, LW - (clavicle) will miss the remainder of the season.
Matt Cooke, LW - (hernia) will miss up to another five weeks following surgery.

New York Rangers
Jesper Fast, RW - (knee) will miss 2-3 weeks.
Henrik Lundqvist, G - (neck) is on injured reserve.

Colorado Avalanche
Erik Johnson, D - (knee) has started working out again.
Jamie McGinn, LW - (back) is out for the season.
Jesse Winchester, LW - (concussion) is out for the season.
Ryan Wilson, D - (shoulder) is out for the season.
Patrick Bordeleau, LW - (knee) skated on Tuesday.
Borna Rendulic, RW - (broken leg) may be out until March.

Calgary Flames
Ladislav Smid, D - (undisclosed) has not returned to practice.
Paul Byron, C - (illness) is questionable.
Brandon Bollig, LW - (illness) is traveling to join the team, but is questionable.
Sam Bennett, LW - (shoulder) has practiced in a no-contact jersey.
Ryan Culkin, D - (wrist) will miss significant time.

Los Angeles Kings
Slava Voynov, D - (suspension) is out while he continues to go through the legal system for domestic abuse.
Tanner Pearson, LW - (leg) is unlikely to be available this season.
Alec Martinez, D - (concussion) is out.

Jhonas Enroth, G, DAL -- Dustin, I think you got the team wrong there. Nope. Kane wasn't the only big trade in the league yesterday. The Dallas Stars acquired Enroth from Buffalo in exchange for goaltender Anders Lindback and a conditional third round pick in 2016. (That pick turns into a second if Enroth wins at least four playoff games.) Enroth has been great lately, despite, you know, being on the Sabres. He's got five straight games with a .912 Sv% or higher and in his last four he's been at .923 or higher. He's having a great run and he's heading to a team with a shot at the playoffs. His playing time will be cut back, but Lehtonen has struggled enough this season that strong performances from Enroth could have him playing more than you think.

Mathieu Perreault, C, WPG -- Perreault may be the most underrated free agent signing from the summer of 2014. He's got 18 goals through 53 games, tying his career-high of 18, set last year in 69 games. He's currently on a three-game point streak over which he has a goal and four assists. Perreault is producing and he could benefit from the addition of Drew Stafford as a threat on the wing.

Jonathan Drouin, LW, TBL -- Drouin hasn't been an incredible producer in his rookie year, but he does have 21 assists through 45 games. That's why his current four-game pointless streak is alarming. The team certainly wants him getting playing time so he's continuing his development, but it's easy to see how a slump could lead to a reduction in playing time. We may have seen that start on Tuesday night when he only played 9:06, his lowest total of the season. Even more worrying for fantasy owners: Drouin hasn't registered a shot on net in five games.

Mark Arcobello, C, ARI -- Again, no, this is the right team. Lost in the big trades yesterday might have been, as I mentioned in the open, that Arcobello was claimed off waivers by Arizona. He looked for parts of the season like he could provide some depth scoring both for Edmonton and for fantasy teams. So, before you start telling me how he can't be cold if you didn't expect him to score: He had seven goals and five assists playing for the Oilers early in the season. He wasn't lighting it up, but, in the right role, he was more than capable of providing solid depth scoring. That was a pace for 16 goals and 11 assists. He was also averaging 1.5 shots per game. That's not nothing. The problem here is that in the 14 games since he left Edmonton -- four with Nashville and 10 with Pittsburgh -- he's got just one goal and two assists. His shot per game rate is also down to 1.14. He's onto his fourth team of the season and might not be able to salvage the season in terms of fantasy standing.

Recommended Pickup
Drew Stafford, RW, WPG -- Stafford is nowhere near the 30 goal, 52 point campaign he had at the height of his skills, but he's still a talented player. The problem owners have with Stafford this season happens every year with someone: How do you judge a good player on a bad team? Stafford certainly hasn't stood out as a "must have" player despite Buffalo, but there's no doubt the dearth of talent on Buffalo wasn't helping things. He has just nine goals and 15 assists through 50 games this year. But, he's averaging nearly two shots per game (on the team with the worst shot differential in league history), over one hit per game, and is getting some decent penalty minutes. This is all going to improve with Winnipeg. His plus/minus should rise and he's got the chance to redefine this section of his career. Nothing is guaranteed with Stafford, but if you're searching the wire for a bargain you can do a lot worse than taking a chance on Stafford. He's owned in fewer than 5% of leagues, so chances are that he can be had.
The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.