Fantasy Impact of the Oilers New Head Coach
In Elliotte Friedmans @FriedgeHNIC latest 30 thoughts article he discusses Oilers new Head Coach Ralph Krueger and his coaching philosophy and how he models himself after Mike Babcock and Ken Hitchcock.
The Babcock similarity is when the teams defending it is his way or the highway, and while they are on offense he allows for creativity. This is a great philosophy for fantasy owners of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, and Nail Yakupov as they are extremely creative offensive players.
The Hitchcock comparison is how Hitchcock favored offensive pairings over trios. When in Dallas Mike Modano always played with Jere Lehtenin.
"20. He explained that he liked Jordan Eberle with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Sam Gagner with Ales Hemsky. That not only allows him to move Hall around the lineup, but also rotate others depending on the situation -- Ryan Smyth, Ryan Jones, Ben Eager and potentially even Shawn Horcoff on the wing. I'm really curious to see this. This stuff fascinates me."
He also mentioned that he will experiment with Nail Yakupov on the left wing as Eberle and Hemsky are on the right, his familiar position.
The Oilers top six line up will likely look like this:
Hall - Nugent-Hopkins - Eberle
Yakupov - Gagne - Hemsky
Any of those six players should be fantasy hockey gold !
Hawkes GM Stan Bowman has stated he is not trading Kane, yet rumors persist. Kane recently denied he has a drinking problem yet pictures like this continue to appear
Patrick Kane on a drinking binge.
My guess is the rumors (true or false) will continue to circulate as long as his off ice behavior does.
The leafs are still searching for what Brian Burke said his off season targets would be. A big first line center and veteran help in goal.
Names rumored for the goal position are Roberto Luongo primarily, and recently Kings backup Jonathan Bernier. Darren Dreger of TSN recently said he spoke to Burke and Toronto has had no conversations with LA about Bernier. I believe this as the Leafs do not need another young and unproven goalie.
Another recent name to appear is Minnesota's Niklas Backstrom. The Wild have a salary cap of $68,848,867 according to capgeek and may be willing to go with Josh Harding as the starter and unload Backstroms $6 million salary.
This move would make sense for Toronto as Backstrom is in the last year of his deal, but I am sure having depth in goal was a factor in signing Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, and moving the starting goalie would be a risky play. Also having depth in goal gives the Wild a better chance to win immediately so I doubt the Wild move Backstrom.
The Coyotes are shopping Yandle and there is a market for him for sure!
Philadelphia who swung and missed on Suter and Weber would have serious interest.
Ottawa has said to have interest as well. Boston Bruins may be the leading contender and can offer David Krejci in return. The move would allow Tyler Seguin to increase his role. If the Bruins did acquire Yandle, it could really hurt prospect Dougie Hamilton.
The Sharks defenseman is another player who is starting to surface in some trade rumors. His full NTC has expired and is now a limited on. Perhaps the rumors are based on teams calling to inquire, which does not mean the Sharks want to trade him.
Fantasy Hockey Coach Dynasty Keeper League
We still have room in the Keeper League we are starting, register and post in the forum that you are interested. Keeper League home page. Send $10 entry fee via paypal to [email protected] Space is limited!
By Peter Harling
Follow me on Twitter: @pharling