The Ducks are down their top two centers as Ryan Kesler still isn’t expected to return to the team until late December due to the hip injury that has kept him out all season. Now, Ryan Getzlaf may not return until early next year due to a broken zygomatic bone (cheek). The center position is probably the most important in hockey after the goaltender. They are responsible for distributing the puck on offense and acting as the third defenseman down low in defensive zone. The loss of these two players could be a double-edged sword for Anaheim as certain players may have to play more minutes than they are used to or play out of position.
What may end up being the biggest trade of the season went down Sunday. The Avalanche, Senators, and Predators were involved in a massive three-way trade. The Avs finally moved Matt Duchene to the Senators. The Senators traded Kyle Turris to the Predators, and the Avalanche received first and second round picks in the 2018 draft and a third-round pick in the 2019 draft (If OTT were to have a Top 10 draft pick in 2018 they can elect to have COL take their first round pick in 2019 instead), Andrew Hammond, Shane Bowers, Samuel Girard, and Vladislav Kamenev.
What does this deal mean for Fantasy owners? Not a whole bunch. None of the prospects, aside from Girard, should have a major impact this season in re-draft leagues, so it’s not like you need to run to your waiver wire to grab them. Hammond was more of a salary cap dump and is likely headed to the AHL, or possibly included in another deal down the line. He has little or no chance of starting ahead of Semyon Varlamov or Jonathan Bernier. Duchene goes from anchoring the top line in Colorado to doing the same for Ottawa, as he will replace the departed Turris. Duchene is a better player than Turris, but not demonstrably enough to give his Fantasy value a big tick upward. He will play with better line mates (Mike Hoffman) but his biggest value to Ottawa is term. Turris was likely to leave Ottawa during free agency after the season, whereas Duchene is signed through the 2018-19 season. Cost certainty is a big thing in the salary cap era.
Nashville only concluded their side of the deal if they were able to sign Turris to a contract extension, something they did with a new six-year $36 million contract. The Predators’ involvement in this trade tells you that they are going all in to win the Stanley Cup this season. While Turris is a good player, he’s not a star, but he does give the team something they were lacking, a second goal scoring center that opposing teams will have to account for. What’s even better for Nashville is to make the deal, they didn’t have to dip into their current defensive corps, which may be the best in the league, especially when Ryan Ellis returns from his knee injury at some point in January.
Roberto Luongo was a surprise start for Florida last Saturday. There were reports that he wouldn’t return to the team until later this week at the earliest due to his thumb injury. His first start didn’t go well as he allowed five goals on 44 shots to the Rangers. His second was much better, though, he still lost the game, but he can’t be blamed for only allowing two goals on 47 shots. Luongo is fine but you might want to ask about the defense, which has been subpar. Allowing back to back games of 40-plus shots to teams like the Rangers and Hurricanes is just unacceptable. It won’t matter who is playing net if the defense doesn’t tighten up.
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