30 NHL players who will fall short of last years totals
Yesterday in the Press Box i looked at 30 NHL Breakout, sleeper picks, and comeback players. Today I will look at a payer from each team who could be considered a "pool buster" players who will have less points than last year for whatever reason (age, trade etc) or have deadly cap hits or simply are over rated.
Anaheim - Teemu Selanne will not be a popular choice with all of the Staff at FHC but the fact that the Finnish flash is now 42 can not be overlooked. he lead the Ducks in scoring last year but expect bounce back seasons from Getzlaf, and Perry which will reduce Selannes ice time further.
Boston - Tim Thomas goes from being an elite dominating goalie to worthless as he takes the season off. His days in Boston are over, and so is his time as an elite fantasy point producer.
Buffalo - Ville Leino has a cap hit of $4.5 million and scored eight goals and 25 points. If you are in a capped pool that is hard to swallow. While he did score 53 points in Philadelphia there is plenty of competition in Buffalo in Tyler Ennis, Nate Gerbe, Patrick Kaleta, Luke Adam, Marcus Foligno and so on.
Calgary - Curtis Glencross is a very streaky player and with the addition of Jiri Hudler Glencross may find himself out of the top six on a checking line role.
Carolina - Jay Harrison had a career year scoring 23 points. He has limited offensive skills though and with as much fire power on the blue line as Carolina has (Pitkanen, McBain, Faulk, Murphy, Corvo) he will see less offensive opportunities.
Chicago - Marian Hossa is recovered from the devastating injury he suffered in the playoffs thanks to Raffi Torres. Being carried off the ice on a stretcher and neck brace can have a psychological effect on a player. Remember Kevin Stevens?
Colorado - Ryan O'Reilly managed to lead the Avalanche in scoring with 55 points. Don't expect that to be the case this year as both Matt Duchene and Paul Stastny will play ahead of him this year.
Columbus - Vaclav Prospal will no longer be playing with Rick Nash, and the 37 year old will no longer be a 55 point player either.
Dallas - Michael Ryder will see less power play time with the additions of Jaromir Jagr and Ray Whitney in Dallas. As a result he will drop from 62 points to around 45
Detroit - Ian White had a career year as Nicklas Lidstroms partner. Unfortunately Lidstrom retired and White will fall back to the 25 point range
Edmonton - Ryan Smyth will not be able to maintain a top six position with the embarrassment of riches the Oilers posses on the wings.
Florida - Jose Theodore will be challenged to see as many starts this year as the Panthers look to add either Jacob Markstrom, or Roberto Luongo.
Los Angeles - Simone Gagne is simply too risky a pick for fantasy consideration anymore. He simply can not stay healthy and is one hit away from a career ending concussion. With a cap hit of $3.5 million to boot avoid Gagner like the plague.
Minnesota - Kyle Brodziak seized the opportunity presented by a depleted roster as a result of injuries last season and scored 44 points. But the Wild have added several players the likes of Zach Parise and rookies Mikael Granlund, and Johan Larsson. Brodziak will fall back to the third line where he is more suited. A return to the 30 point range is expected.
Montreal - Tomas Kaberle is on a steady decline with no end in sight. P.K. Subban, Andrei Markov, and Raphael Diaz offer more reliable play than Kaberle. Expect Kaberle to finish below last years 31 point totals.
Nashville - Martin Erat will be hard pressed to repeat his 58 points to lead the Preds offense with younger Patrick Hornqvist and Craig Smith on the rise.
New Jersey - Patrick Elias scored almost a point per game with 78 points last season. Is father time going to catch up with the 36 year old? 60 points is still good, but adjust accordingly.
New York Islanders - Rick DiPietro had yet another injury plagued season. Drafting Mr. Glass with a cap hit of $4.5 would be the worst decision any fantasy GM could make.
New York Rangers - Marian Gaborik is always a health risk. While he did play 82 games and score 76 points, he had off season surgery and will miss at least the first month. Best case scenario is he scores 60 points.
Ottawa - Erik Karlsson had a monster 78 point season. Even if he falls off to 60 points, it would still have been good enough to lead the entire NHL in defense scoring.
Philadelphia - Scott Hartnell is a perfect example of a player who relies on his line-mates for success. No way scores 67 points without Giroux. If he falls off that line his points will dip as low as 40 point range.
Phoenix - Radim Vrbata will find himself on opening night as the only player remaining from the Coyotes top three scorers from last season. The loss of Doan and Whitney leave him with lesser options for support. A fall from 62 points to as low as 45-50 is in probable.
Pittsburgh - Matt Cooke reinvented himself last year and the result was an increase in offense. The fact is, he is a better third or fourth line player than top six and will give way to younger, more all around players such as Eric Tangradi and Beau Bennett.
San Jose - Joe Thornton is simply no longer a 100 point center. He is no longer a 90-80 point player or the number one center in San Jose either giving way to Logan Couture. Is $7 million and 70 points good value?
St. Louis - Brian Elliot failed to make an impact in Ottawa or Colorado. In St. Louis he had an All-Star season, but later and in the playoffs he fell back to earth with a resounding thud! Jaroslav Halak is the starting goalie and should see as much as 60 games if healthy.
Tampa Bay - Vincent Lecavalier has a cap hit of $7,727+ and is good for 50 points. He makes Joe Thornton look good!
Toronto- Tyler Bozak again was the default first line center in Toronto and scored 47 points. The Leafs are desperate to find an improvement and Bozak could fall to 25 points on the third line.
Vancouver - Roberto Luongo may find wins harder to come by as a back up, or worse in Toronto.
Washington - Brooks Laich filled in for Nicklas Backstrom while he was injured and scored 41 points. Backstrom is healthy, and Ribeiro was added so expect more like 30 points on the Caps third line from Laich this year.
Winnipeg - Kyle Wellwood had a career year scoring 47 points. But if Wellwood is not scoring, he provides nothing else. Younger more well rounded players such as Ivan Telegin, Carl Klingberg, and Mark Scheifele will push Wellwood out of the top six, and maybe even into the press box.
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By Peter Harling
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