NHL Awards Night
The NHL hands out some hardware in Vegas tonight. Jonathan Quick has already been named the Conn Smythe winner for the playoff MVP.
Other notable awards and nominees are:
Hart Trophy and Lindsay Award
Henrik Lundqvist - Rangers
Evgeni Malkin - Penguins
Steven Stamkos - Lightning
Erik Karlsson - Senators
Zdeno Chara - Bruins
Shea Weber - Predators
Pekka Rinne - Predators
Ken Hitchcock - Blues
Paul MacLean - Senators
John Tortorella - Rangers
Adam Henrique - Devils
Gabriel Landeskog - Avalanche
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Oilers
At FHC we have already handed out the 2011-12 Fantasy Hockey Awards Worth a read in case you missed it!
Erik Karlsson signs
The Ottawa Senators have signed their top defenseman Erik Karlsson to a seven year extension worth $45.5 million. That is a $6.5 million salary cap hit. The Sens have decided to release his partner Filip Kuba as a UFA and are shopping veteran Sergei Gonchar. Karlsson had a monster season scoring 19 goals and 59 assists for 78 points in 81 games. Karlsson had more assists than the next highest scoring defenseman had points (Byfuglien & Campbell 53 points). Karlsson should be a lock to win the Norris Trophy in Las Vegas and it should only be the first of many Norris Trophies. It is not out of the realm of possibilities that he is nominated for and may even win a Hart Trophy in his career as well. Is Erik Karlsson the Next Elite Defenseman in the class of Niklas Lidstrom, Chris Pronger, Ray Bourque or Paul Coffey?
Karlsson is the highest value fantasy defenseman at the moment and for the foreseeable future. A blue chip fantasy keeper franchise defenseman. If you own him, keep him!
There were three other signings of significance on Tuesday starting with Darren Helm in Detroit, followed by Josh Harding in Minnesota, and Teemu Selanne in Anaheim. Lets take a look at the fantasy impacts.
Darren Helm is a highly valuable player to the Wings, but has limited fantasy value. He holds value in deep leagues and in leagues that score hits, face-offs, and short handed points. His greatest attribute is his speed, which is irrelevant in fantasy pools. Helm is an exciting player to watch, and a fun player to own.
Josh Harding wants to be a starting goalie, but baring injury to Nicklas Backstrom he will have to wait in Minnesota. Harding is a quality goalie with starter potential, but he also has an injury history which is a concern. His signing in Minnesota has hurt his fantasy value for now. For more read Assistant Coach Rocca's take from our breaking news column here.
Teemu Selanne will be back for at least one more year in Anaheim. The ageless Fin has looked as good as ever so why not keep playing! His fantasy value remains the same. Can he lead the Ducks in scoring again? Perhaps not since Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan all suffered terrible seasons are are sure to rebound. Selanne played all 82 games scoring 26 goals, and 40 assists for a 66 point season. Expect the same.
The rumors are really heating up and some big time trades seem imminent. Players who are on the market include Bobby Ryan, JVR, Derek Roy, Jay Bouwmeester, Roberto Luongo, Odrei Pavelec, Patrick Kane, Luke Schenn, Brandon Dubinsky, and Rick Nash.
Florida has made an offer on Jason Garrison. The Flyers are in pursuit of Rick Nash. Rangers are shopping Dubinsky hard. The Penguins are shopping defense (Paul Martin?)
Who knows who else may quietly be available.
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By: Peter Harling
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