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The Hockey News

The Hockey News

It’s that slow time of year when keeper league owners are champing at the bit for some fantasy hockey talk. Let’s get to some letters!

What do you think Fredrik Sjostrom's role is going to be on the Rangers this year? They are strong on the left with their off-season signings, they have been strong up the middle since July of last year, but the right side is still fairly weak with Jagr gone. Could we see Sjostrom playing on the first or second line? Thanks.

Brad, Calgary, Alta.

I wouldn’t count on it, Brad. The modus operandi for Sjostrom has been to show flashes of skill before disappearing into healthy scratches. You’ve seen this show before in New York – Marcel Hossa.

I have been offered Daymond Langkow and Dan Boyle for Eric Staal. Who gets the better deal?

Nicky, Vancouver

In leagues where roster positions do not matter, rosters rollover from year to year and there is limited space, so the person who gets Staal wins. In one-year leagues where defensemen are a must, then the person who gets Boyle wins. A perfect example of why questions like these need to be accompanied by a brief summary of the rules, Nicky!

Kristian Huselius or Alex Tanguay? Who do you want or prefer after the off-season moves?

Dave, Milton, Ont.

I don’t think you can go wrong with Tanguay in Montreal. But I think both players are better off on their new teams. I know I’m in the minority when it comes to Huselius, but I think he’ll pop. That said, take the safer route with Tanguay on the Habs.

Is Chris Clark fully recovered and ready for training camp?

Jeremy, Calgary

He says he is, though I do question that. Besides, this is a new Washington team and Alex Ovechkin has other linemates now, so Clark will be on the third line.

If you were in a 10-team dynasty keeper league with a 60-man roster limit, would you take a chance on picking up Kirill Petrov, even if it takes a few years before he plays in the NHL? I know his upside is huge, but is it a possibility he'll one day become an Islander? Or would you rather go with a player like Mitch Wahl from Calgary?

Randall, Panama City Beach, Fla.

No question. I go for the gusto and sit on Petrov. The potential third-line grinders are not worth sitting on. I would rather come up empty-handed and at least try to get the player with the big upside than get a sure thing with a limited ceiling.

At the end of last season there was a lot of hype over some Swede and where he was going to sign - at the time I think Detroit was close to landing him. Who was that guy? I can't remember his name. Is he worth looking at in a roto league?

Dave, Oshawa, Ont.

Fabian Brunnstrom ended up signing in Dallas. He is worth a long look in a deep league. Depending on which expert you talk to, he should debut with anywhere between 35 and 55 points this season. I think he’ll be closer to the top part of that range and his long-term potential is 70 or even 75 points.

I participate in a long-term hockey pool and I have to release one defenseman – Cam Barker or Jack Johnson?

Jean, Quebec

I would prefer to keep Johnson and drop Barker, strictly because of the injury history. That said, Barker is much closer to being a productive defenseman in the NHL.

I am in a keeper league that has actual NHL salaries and a cap in place. My forward roster is stacked, but as a result I have no money left over for defense. Can you recommend good young defensemen on their entry-level contracts that will break out this year?

Tom, Sudbury, Ont.

I think Jack Hillen on the Islanders is worth looking at. I also think if Drew Doughty sticks he should be good for 30 points as a rookie in L.A. Watch Brian Salcido in Anaheim and Peter Harrold in L.A. as well. A good dark horse in New Jersey is Anssi Salmela, but he strikes me as a bit of a long shot. All of the above are cheap options, but do carry risks – that is, the risk of not making the team at all.

Darryl Dobbs’ Fantasy Mailbag will appear on the last Wednesday of every month throughout the playoffs and off-season. The weekly edition will begin again in September. To send the Dobber your question, click HERE.

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