Saturday, March 7, 2009

A Hurricane of a Trade

Carolina trades Justin Williams to Los Angeles for Patrick O'Sullivan and a 2009 2nd round pick. Carolina then trades Patrick O'Sullivan and the 2nd round pick to Edmonton for Eric Cole and a 5th round pick.

After heated contract negotiations last summer, O'Sullivan just did not deliver as the top 6 player Lombardi thought he was getting. O'Sullivan has a history of turning coaches and teammates off and seemed to have overstayed his time in LA. Carolina was looking for the Big winger to help get Staal going again...they went with someone they knew had chemistry with Eric. Justin Williams is a talented winger who just cannot stay healthy. He'll look for a fresh start in LA.

Fantasy Outlook:

Patrick O'Sullivan: I have liked O'Sullivan for a while now as he flashes great speed and skill. Watching him this season, he has become more of a complete player but doesn't bring skill night in and night out. His speed could be electrifying on the fastest ice in the league and he could be the perfect compliment for the playmaking Sam Gagner. On pace for just 46 points after a career-high 53 last year, look for O'Sullivan to finish the season with 12-14 points. I also like his game in the playoffs, if Edmonton can make it. For next year, I like him as a sleeper if he can connect with some of the Oil's young talent. Think 55-65 points next season and a great mid-round pick.

Eric Cole: Cole was supposed to be magic this season with his size and speed on Edmonton ice. After struggling out the gate, he just couldn't seem to be that dominant winger he showed flashes of in Carolina. A mid-season surge while clicking with Sam Gagner didn't last and Cole is currently on pace for a mere 34 points this season. Look for him to play on Staal's wing and finish the season strong (13-16 points). At this point, he is a non-keeper but a nice bounce-back candidate next year. Watch where he lands in the off-season though as he is a UFA. 

Justin Williams: After two healthy, productive seasons, Williams only played 37 games last year but did end up at almost a PPG. This year, he has battled even more injuries but just hasn't produced when he is playing. With just 10 points in 32 games, have the injuries finally caught up to him. Justin is not the same player that would use his great speed to crash the net. Now a perimeter player, he is going to have to become more of a playmaker to stay relevant in fantasy (think Paul Kariya after battling injuries). A gamble for the Kings as the 26 year-old is signed through the next two seasons at $3.5 mil. Look for Justin to continue to struggle in LA with 6-8 points down the stretch. Going into next season, he becomes a high-risk/high-reward player drafted in the late rounds. 

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