Friday, July 17, 2009

Senatorial Support

The Ottawa Senators have signed highly talented winger Alexei Kovalev to a 2 year, $10 Million dollar contract and have resigned resident tough guy Chris Neil to a 4 year, $8 Million dollar contract.

The 2009 off-season has been filled with drama for the Senators. The Dany Heatley situation has been the talk of the town and has left the team in turmoil and looking for answers. While working out a deal with the Edmonton Oilers, the Senators dug deep to keep agitator and under performer Chris Neil on the team.

Chris Neil will continue his career with his only professional team he has played with. As a fantasy option, Neil will provide an average of 200 penalty minutes a season and a safe 10–16 points, anything more should be considered a huge bonus. His numbers have declined over the past couple seasons and may do so once again. He will continue to be an agitator in Ottawa but owners should pass on this one-trick-pony on draft day as there are a lot of better options for points and PIMs in deeper leagues.

Alexei Kovalev remains a mystery in the NHL. At times he appears to be one of the most talented players in the league, and at other times, he doesn’t show up to play. With 65 points in 74 games last season in Montreal, Kovalev would rather have just forgot last season existed. At times he was the best player on the team and then was banished to his home on an important road-trip. The question for next season is, what should owners expect when drafting this sniper. At worst he will get you 65 points and may top out around 80 points. A lot now hinges on the pressure he puts on himself, his motivation or lack thereof and linemates.

One thing is assured as a fantasy owner, make sure you dress Kovalev when he plays Montreal next season; he will try and light them up.


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