When he’s not doing the tango with opponents’ skates, Mikael Samuelsson has been getting it done on the scoresheet.
For all of our readers, this is a special Valentine’s Day edition of The Wire Troll. The goal is to show a little love to some players on the waiver wire that usually do not receive any. Sometimes, it’s not easy in Fantasy leagues to navigate through the murk and mire of the dog days. Week 18 is coming up for the GMs out there, so this exercise becomes even more crucial as we hit the home stretch.
At this time of year, you’ve got to face the following reality: there are only a couple weeks until the NHL trade deadline. After that, there are only a few weeks remaining in the Fantasy regular season. Time is going to creep up very fast. Depending on where you are in your league standings, there is time to think and time to act. This is the time to act.
The reason why we have gone to the simple three forwards, two defensemen, one goalie format is for you, the Fantasy GM. Think of this as using simple common sense. This would mimic the amount of players on the ice by position. Hopefully this helps our readers make the best decisions possible.
When you think of The Wire Troll, you can expect to get the quality and Fantasy substance you deserve. Remember to please comment and if you have questions, by all means ask away. We are always willing to answer any and all questions, no matter how big or small.
Now it is time to expect the unexpected with our offerings. Here are some of the best that could be available on your Fantasy hockey waiver wire.
Mikael Samuelsson, RW, Florida Panthers: Quietly, Samuelsson has become a better player in Florida and most importantly he’s fully healthy again. He netted his seventh goal of the season against New Jersey on Saturday and is still owned in only 30-to-40 per cent of Fantasy leagues. Overall, Samuelsson has 16 points in 27 games which is pretty respectable considering he basically was banished in that trade from Vancouver. If you have a spot available, it might be high time to take a flier on this Swede. The reason we have him on here for a second week in a row is because his ownership rates remain stagnant.
Andy McDonald, C, St. Louis Blues: McDonald has been one of the most unexpected and unheralded stories of this NHL season. He played for a few games earlier this season, and then suffered another concussion. It looked very grave and many, including yours truly, thought this was at least a season ending injury. Yet, the perseverance of McDonald is very evident and sure enough he is expected to return Sunday. Some will say wait a game or two to see what he does, but this player is a power play specialist. If you need points on the man advantage, then here is the guy for you.
Steve Sullivan, RW/LW, Pittsburgh Penguins: Now, Sullivan’s stats do not jump out at you, but at the very least his power play points should grab your attention. Granted, he does not always play on a top line but does occasionally find himself on the top power play unit for a reason: he works hard. This sounds really simplistic, but when a player has the work ethic of a Sullivan, that is a player who can excel — especially in the tough areas like on the power play. His low ownership rate will get boosted especially when a certain Sidney Crosby returns sometime in March.
Luke Schenn, Toronto Maple Leafs: Sometimes, it is not all about points and sometimes it is about what we would like to call “composed play.” The points are nice (two goals, 15 assists), but when you add in the +10 and the fact that he’s on pace for over 250 hits, you have a player who can be added just for hits and blocks at the very least. Single digit ownership rates are usually a signal to get a guy like this because in deeper leagues, a fourth or fifth defenseman that can nail down some of those dirtier categories is always a good thing.
Jeff Petry, Edmonton Oilers: This is a tough one because out of nowhere Petry has found some sort of scoring touch in the last couple weeks. Here is the dilemma: as Ryan Whitney gets more accustomed to things, what happens to Petry’s production? That may be a question going forward, but right now a hot hand is a hot hand. If you do not get on this train now, you are going to miss the short term boost that Petry will provide. Needless to say you have been warned — his ownership rate will go upwards.
Joey MacDonald, Detroit Red Wings: It is clear for the next couple weeks, or however long that Jimmy Howard is out, that MacDonald will get most of the starts in the Motor City. He made 30 crucial saves in a 2-1 shootout win over the Anaheim Ducks on Friday. MacDonald is a short-term addition at best but with the low ownership rates (single digits), he is worth the risk. What is the worst that happens? He flames out. Exactly! Go take a shot at a guy who at least can stop a few pucks.