Friday, 19 September 2014

NHL Fantasy: Early Injuries

Penguins:  With the season starting in under a month, the Penguins are really just looking to keep injuries to a minimum.  Reports say that both Crosby and Malkin will be taking precautionary measures this pre-season to prevent any long term injuries.  From what I have heard, they have been training together at a very extreme pace for most of the summer.  Coming into pre-season, the team has decided to give them both a break to ensure that they are ready for the regular season.  As of right now, there's nothing to worry about with these guys.  I would not consider them any less valuable on a fantasy league team.  This however, does not apply to youngster Olli Maata.  He is coming off of shoulder surgery in late July and has just started to practice with light contact.  To edge on the side of caution, the team will likely have him sidelined to start the season.  If you have other options, try to avoid this guy in your draft.

Goalies:  J-Quick is coming off of wrist surgery, but is expected to be ready for the regular season.  If the recovery is prolonged, I may take a look into skipping him for Rask or another top goalie.  Honestly though, I would not worry too much unless something drastic delays his recovery.  If he misses any time, it will only be a few games.

                 Josh Harding of the Minesota Wild finds himself stuck on the injury boat to start the season.  He broke his foot apparently kicking a wall.  I have not read into this matter much, but it seems as if he will miss a good chunk of time to start the year.  In my books, he is pretty much done as far as fantasy goalies are concerned.  His value just plummeted, and don't expect him to return to top form any time this year.

            Ben Bishop is coming off of a seemingly minor surgery on his elbow/forearm.  Various reports have been released, and the general consensus is that he will likely not be completely recovered for the start of the season.  This is a guy I would keep an eye on.  If healthy, I would give him serious considerations for a top goalie.  He easily makes the top ten list for my fantasy goaltenders.

Daniel Alfredsson:  Alfie looks like he may be retiring earlier than we expected.  He strained his back just two days ago, and he has not released any information to the media quite yet.  Reports say that he was not attending many activities during this seasons training camp.  From what I can tell, he will likely be hanging up the skates soon.  I would avoid him this season and possibly go with a young gun if you really want a good Red Wing forward.  Thomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist might be good players to draft late if given the chance.  Tatar will likely be rounding out line 2, and Nyquist is basically just a wild card at this point.  Regardless, both have talent to put up 40+ points if given enough playing time.