Now that most fantasy trade deadlines have come and gone, the only way to maximize your team’s production down the stretch is through the waiver wire. Based on trades, changes in ice-time, or simply recent NHL trades during the past week, we’ve compiled a thorough list of buys and sells.
Wojtek Wolski, LW, PHO—A sell candidate just a couple weeks back, a change of scenery could be good for Wolski, particularly with Chris Stewart emerging for the Colorado Avalanche as their main scoring threat. Wolski becomes one of Phoenix’s go-to offensive weapons and has already posted a pair of goals and an assist in two games since joining the Coyotes.
Alexei Ponikarovsky, LW, PIT – “Poni” is the best two-way winger the Penguins have now, and it’s only a matter of time before head coach Dan Bylsma tries the 6’4” Ukrainian on either Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin’s wing. He had an impressive six shots in his first game as a Penguin, one of which found the net.
Johan Hedberg, G, ATL—Hedberg’s recent play has made the Thrashers trade of former starter Kari Lehtonen that much easier to swallow. He’s 6-2-1 in his last nine starts and is the primary reason the Ilya Kovalchuk-less Thrashers are still contending for a playoff spot.
Brandon Sutter, C, CAR—Valuable in more than just keeper pools, Sutter is showing that, at 21, he’s ready to contribute at the NHL ranks. He has four goals and four assists for eight points during a current six-game point streak. With the Hurricanes out of a playoff contention, Sutter will get every chance to shine in Raleigh. He’s owned in just three percent of pools.
Joni Pitkanen, D, CAR—He’s a plus-minus liability playing for the lowly ‘Canes, but if points are all that matter in your pool, Pitkanen’s a steady option. His 38 points this season tie him for eleventh among NHL defensemen.
Carlo Colaiacovo, D, STL—The Blues are winners of five of their last six, scoring 26 goals over that time period. Colaiacovo’s benefitted from the team’s inspiring play, accumulating six assists and a plus seven rating over that span.
Dion Phaneuf, D, TOR—The Maple Leafs just aren’t going to generate enough offense for Phaneuf to be a worthy fantasy play down the stretch, especially if you’re in a pool that doesn’t value penalty minutes. A five point output over his remaining 16 games is probably his ceiling.
Alex Tanguay, LW, TB—When the Lightning managed to snag Tanguay for a measly $2.5 million for one season last summer, I thought it was the best free agent signing of the offseason based on value alone. Well, Tanguay’s lackluster play this season hasn’t even been worth the $2.5 million, and he’s bounced around all four forward lines as a result.
Jean-Sebastien Giguere, G, TOR—Leafs’ coach Ron Wilson plans on alternating starts between Giguere and rookie Jonas Gustavsson for the remainder of the season, so hopefully Giguere’s pair of shutouts in his first two games as a Leaf didn’t get your hopes up.
Bill Guerin, RW, PIT—Guerin’s currently battling back spasms and, at his age, the Penguins are likely to rest him for the postseason. With the Pens’ addition of Ponikarovsky, the fantasy value of veteran wingers like Guerin and Chris Kunitz take a definite hit.
Ryan Malone, LW, TB—Malone was on a torrid pace through December (35 points in 40 games) but has hit quite the wall in the second half of the season (nine points in 24 games since January 2nd). With the rising stock of youngsters Steven Stamkos and Steve Downie, the Lightning haven’t had to rely on Malone as much of late.