NHL Fantasy Hockey Update: Fantasy Values Rising for Most Traded Players

Craig RondinoneCorrespondent IMarch 19, 2011

Boyes is leading his Sabres and his fantasy owners into the playoffs.
Boyes is leading his Sabres and his fantasy owners into the playoffs.Nick Laham/Getty Images

Fantasy hockey rule No. 496: A player’s fantasy value normally goes up when he is traded to a different NHL team. 

With the NHL trading deadline several weeks behind in the rear-view mirror, let’s see if the above rule is holding true.  Here is a look at many of the major names dealt at the deadline and how their fantasy values have fared since they changed uniforms. 

Tomas Kaberle, Boston Bruins

All signs pointed towards Kaberle coming to Boston and becoming one of the top-five fantasy defensemen down the stretch because of shifting from a cellar-dweller to a Stanley Cup contender. 

His slick passing and steady skating looked like it could make him a hockey hero.  Kaberle was to be the Bruins’ Tom Brady with the way he was going to run the offense.  

Well, Kaberle has turned out to be more like Ryan Leaf than Brady.  He has only scored three points in 12 contests.  The Kaberle/Zdeno Chara power-play tag team has not been the second coming of Brian Leetch and Sergei Zubov.  Maybe Kaberle needs extra time to get acclimated, but his fantasy owners are running out of time in their leagues. 

Fantasy value: Down.    

Brad Boyes, Buffalo Sabres

Boyes’ point-per-game clip has definitely gone on the upswing since joining Buffalo.  He has seven points in his first eight games with the Sabres and he has scored or assisted on several key goals.  Going to a hungry squad battling for a postseason berth has certainly worked wonders for Boyes’ fantasy worth, just as it has for many others in past seasons.

With Boyes playing on top even-strength and power-play units and garnering more ice time as he plays at a high level, there is no doubt he can keep this pace up.  Remember that he scored 76 goals over two seasons between 2007 and 2009, so it is not like he is untalented. 

Fantasy value:  Up.        

Kris Versteeg, Philadelphia Flyers

Philadelphia paid a hefty price—first and third-round draft choices—to acquire this former rising star whose fantasy value has flattened out.  There have been no ripples in that fantasy value since the trade, that’s for sure. 

Versteeg only has four goals and one assist in 15 games with Philly.  You must consider if Versteeg was a one-year wonder as a rookie and that his previous two teams (Chicago and Toronto) knew it and that’s why both dealt him away. 

Fantasy value: Down.        

James Neal, Pittsburgh Penguins

Pittsburgh was as starved for goal scorers as Fat Joe is after going an hour without eating, so Neal was a huge pickup at the trade deadline.  Unfortunately, he has proven during his young career that he is as worthless as a windbreaker in a blizzard after the All-Star break.

Neal has scored just three points in 10 games with the Penguins and only five points over his last 20 games overall.  While he could eventually be a point-per-game forward when paired with Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin, he has done little with Jordan Staal as his centerman. 

Fantasy value: Down.    

Alex Goligoski, Dallas Stars

This slick puck-moving defender is proving that he does not need to be surrounded by an All-Star cast of characters to rack up points.  His point-per-game average has actually gone up since going to Dallas as he has eight points in 12 games with his new team. 

Goligoski has always been plus-six with the Stars, so it seems like the warm southern weather is agreeing with him. 

Fantasy value: Up.   

Chris Stewart, St. Louis Blues

Charlie Sheen is not the only one winning these days.  The change of scenery has not caused Stewart to sputter.  The up-and-coming power forward has adjusted well to his new teammates and he has netted nine goals (five on the power play) in 14 games.  Look for Stewart to become a Brendan Shanahan type in the future. 

Fantasy value: Up.    

Dustin Penner, Los Angeles Kings

Penner is fitting in nicely and playing like a man happy to be out of Edmonton.  The 28-year-old has two goals and four assists in eight games since bringing his talents to Hollywood. 

He has not gotten any more physical (no PIM with L.A.), so he still is not using his tremendous size the way his fantasy owners probably wished. But the good news is that he is plus-three with the Kings and should stay in the red now that he is on a team that wins more games than it loses. 

Fantasy value:  Up.  

Erik Johnson, Colorado Avalanche

The former No. 1 overall pick could be turning a corner in Colorado.  He is getting more ice time than Ryan Seacrest gets TV time these days, and logging all those minutes is turning into more points for him. 

Johnson has a half-dozen points in his first dozen games with Colorado, although his minus-eight during that time has been a fantasy killer.  The Avalanche should be a better team next season, and it would not surprise me if Johnson reached the 50-point plateau in 2011-12. 

Fantasy value: Up.   

Dennis Wideman, Washington Capitals

With Mike Green ailing again and the Caps in need of a power-play quarterback, Wideman has skated in and been a lot better in that role than Joe Corvo was last season when Washington made a similar trade at the deadline.  

Wideman has six assists and he is plus-seven in 10 games with Alex Ovechkin and company.  He is averaging 25 minutes per game and he is playing the best hockey he has since his breakout 2008-09 campaign with Boston that stamped him on the fantasy map.  Wideman is one major reason the Capitals are the hottest team in hockey and he has been a fantasy force during these crucial weeks. 

Fantasy value: Up.   

Rich Peverley, Boston Bruins

Would you like a “Torpedo of Truth”?  Here it is: Getting traded to Boston torpedoed Peverley’s fantasy value.  Granted, he was not exactly Wayne Gretzky with Atlanta (34 points in 59 games) but now he is playing more like Brent Gretzky in Beantown.

Peverley has only managed two goals and two assists in 11 games with the B's.  He has been lost in the center shuffle behind David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron like I predicted he would a couple columns back.  He has not taken a penalty and he has an even plus-minus with the Bruins so far, meaning his fantasy value has been smaller than Theo Fleury. 

Fantasy value: Down. 

Craig Anderson, Ottawa Senators

Anderson was ranked near the bottom in goals-against average and save percentage when he was traded to Ottawa from Colorado. Somehow, going from one terrible team to another has transformed Anderson into Patrick Roy. 

Anderson has a 2.11 goals-against average and .938 save percentage in 11 starts with the Senators, making him one of the most valuable fantasy goalies to own over the past month.  He did suffer a lower body injury this week, so his status is questionable right now, but hopefully he returns soon and continues stopping more rubber than a condom inspector. 

Fantasy value: Up.