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  • Some Fantasy Benefits in NHL Trades

    Well the National Hockey League trade deadline was last Wednesday and set records for most trades, most players involved and most boring. Several teams dumped salary while others made moves to get help for a playoff run, but overall there was not a lot of excitement. Here is my fantasy take on this year's NHL trade deadline:

    Washington Capitals: If your pool uses the NHL playoffs or if you are going to enter a playoff pool, you want to load up on Capitals. Adding Joe Corvo, Eric Belanger and Scott Walker gives the Caps excellent depth to make a long playoff run. Corvo will give the second power-play unit another scoring threat and Belanger and Walker bring leadership, grit and a little offence. None of these players will have huge fantasy impact themselves, but they could be the missing pieces to help get your offensive Capital players through to a Stanley Cup Finals.

    Lubomir Visnovsky: Visnovsky is an offensive defenceman who was on pace for his best season as an Edmonton Oiler. The move back to California with the Anaheim Ducks should see his production increase due to playing with better players. Look for him to finish this season with just under 50 points and, next year, to be closer to the 60-point mark again. If your fantasy pool rewards power-play points then you should make a move to acquire him this off-season, as he will be the Ducks' No. 1 quarterback next season.

    Ryan Whitney: For a player who had so much potential he has certainly not lived up to that mark yet. This is the second straight year Whitney has been moved around the deadline date, this time to Edmonton from Anaheim. Whitney has the potential to be a top offensive defenceman, but may never come close to the 59 points he scored in the 2006-07 season with Pittsburgh. Whitney goes to a team that is rebuilding and will play a key role for the Oilers at a much lower price tag then Visnovsky. Whitney didn't score a single point during the Olympics and has yet to register one with Edmonton, however, he should be a consistent 40-45 point player going forward.

    Phoenix Coyotes: The Coyotes were the busiest team this deadline. That really surprised me as they are having an incredible season and are in a playoff spot; so why make so many changes? Moving Peter Mueller made sense as that kid needed out and he has found his game in Colorado, scoring six points in four games. Bringing in Wojtek Wolski and Lee Stempniak gives the Coyotes proven scoring depth, which both have already shown with three and four points, respectively, in the last three games. The Coyotes also added some depth to their defence, which should help them keep their playoff spot. Don't be loading up on Coyotes for a long playoff run, but don't count them out just yet either.

    A few other players who will have some sort of fantasy impact with their new teams are: Clarke MacArthur (Atlanta), Fredrik Modin (Los Angeles) and Alexei Ponikarovsky (Pittsburgh).
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