Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Capital Investment

What looked like an inactive trade deadline as of 2:42pm EST, heated up after 3pm. Over the next few days we will break down the meaningful fantasy hockey deals and their implications for both this year and keeper leagues.

Ottawa trades Antoine Vermette to Columbus for Pascal Leclaire and a 2nd round pick in 2009.

Ottawa is looking to solve their goaltending issues, which seem to date back to Joe Nieweundyk scoring twice on Patrick Lalime from impossible angles as the Leafs knocked Ottawa out of the playoffs...again. Columbus needs skill and speed up front and will give Vermette every opportunity to become a number 1 centre.

Fantasy Outlook:
Antoine Vermette: Struggling to produce this year after self-proclaiming that he could score 35-40 goals this season, Vermette has over-stayed his welcome n Ottawa. They relied on him for secondary scoring and he just didn't deliver with just 28 points in 68 games. Vermette was also Ottawa's best faceoff man so Hitchcock will give him every opportunity to be the number 1 centre in Columbus. With his speed, Vermette could click with the big and fast Rick Nash, forming a fearsome twosome. Look for Vermette to finish with 13-14 points in Columbus' final 18 games and end the season on a real high note. As for next year, Vermette will rotate with Derrick Brassard as Nash's pivot and should surpass his career numbers (53 in 2007-2008) producing upwards of 60 points. A low-end keeper or mid round pick in next year's draft - could be a nice sleeper pick.

Pascal Leclaire:

Leclaire put up an impressive 9 shut-outs in 2007-2008, which coincides with the healthiest year of his career. A constant band-aid boy, Leclaire (why do I get the urge to call him Lalime?) has always had a solid pedigree but struggled to put together two good, healthy seasons. With Steve Mason's accelerated development, Columbus felt Leclaire was expendable. The big question though is how much of Leclaire's and Mason's success comes from their talent and how much comes from Ken Hitchcock's meticulous defensive system? In my opinion both goalies have had inflated success in that system and I think Leclaire will be exposed in a soft Sens system. Leclaire doesn't feel he will be able to return this season due to his ankle injury. Next season, I see him as an average starter on an average team, say 28 wins, 2.86 GAA, .907 Save %. With those numbers, he should be available in the middle rounds of your draft and has minimal keeper value.

Keep checking back for more breakdowns and how it affects your fantasy team.


  1. Well done Chris. Vermette will fit in nicely with Hitchcocks system. I hear he is slotted to be the number one center. This should make his fantasy value (Fall!!!)read why later. A point a game player he is not. Those 13-14 points in the final 18 games is a huge stretch especially for a new guy learning a new system. More likely 7-8 points. The real implication of Vermettes fantasy value is whether he will be posted as a LW (his natural position) or center (where he has played his games this year. If he plays the remaining games in the center position (first or second line) he will be classified as a C and thus greatly deminishing his fantasy value. The best thing for Vermette owners is he plays wing for the rest of the year keeping the chances of him keeping his LW status and next year he moves to center the top line. Thats a lot of if's. Vermette as a center..which is a fairly deep position ... will have minimal impact on his owners fantasy team. Vermette as a LW drawings faceoffs is key to his value.

    LeClaire is no better than Emery, Lalime or Gerber. His fantasy value is anything also goes down. Hitchcocks system is great for goalies.

  2. Vermette has played centre for Ottawa most of this season. whether he plays there or not in Columbus will not affect his assigned position for next year.

  3. Does he crack the top 20 in the center position? Personally even as a number 1 center with Nash on his side.. I dont think so.