Still plenty of correspondence in the old mailbag, so let's address another handful of your questions and comments:
Seems like everyone who hopes to find a chink in Detroit's armor is focusing on goaltending as the weakest link. Makes sense, to some degree. As the stopper for a Cup contender,
But like those late-blooming film stars, Osgood makes up for his obvious lack of glamour with a sturdy yet subtle reliability that makes him the ideal backbone for a well-rounded team like the Wings. Remember, his 2.09 GAA led the league last season, and he was the starter in the All-Star Game. He also posed a legitimate challenge to
No argument here that he benefited from playing behind the best team in the world, but guess what? He'll be playing behind a team that might be even better this time around. And while he's likely to take on a heavier workload than in the past few years, the Wings don't need to overburden him. In backup
Oh, and the age thing? Osgood is a year younger than Brodeur and just two years older than Nabokov. At 35, he's not quite ready for a comfy bed in the Old Goalies Home. This season may yet reveal these Wings to have a weakness, but netminding won't be it.
You're not being asked to pick between the lady and the tiger there, Brian. Assuming good health -- the one factor that impacts your chances at fantasy success above all else -- either player is an excellent choice. Both should compete for the scoring title, with Crosby racking up the assists and Ovechkin likely to lead the league in goals.
But if it was my pick to make, I'd call Ovechkin based on his position. There are far fewer high-end left wingers than there are centers. In fact, by the time your turn comes around again, you could choose from a couple of center options with a solid upside like
I hadn't heard this floated anywhere until
Of course Ryan could be dealt, but packaging him to expedite a Schneider deal just doesn't pass the smell test. Ryan's $1.92 million cap hit is thought to be an issue, but if he earns a spot in Anaheim's top six, that's good value for the dollar. And then there's that patience factor you mentioned. Since drafting him second overall in 2005, the Ducks haven't exactly filled the talent cupboards with high-end forwards. And considering that eight of their 13 forwards signed for 2008-09 stand to become unrestricted free agents after this season, it doesn't make sense to move a player who is NHL-ready (or close to it).
It's a little early to say since the Sharks hadn't played their first preseason game as of this writing, but Couture appears to be in the mix. The 2007 first-rounder's (ninth overall) chances certainly improved when
The thing is, Couture will have to be eye-poppingly impressive to make the jump. The Sharks are about a quarter of a million dollars over the cap, so adding his $1.27 million hit would be impossible without a significant salary being swept off the books.