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Scott Pianowski

Shuffle Up and Deal: Passing on Zdeno Chara

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What's happened to this point in the year is merely an audition. How would we draft at the blue line if we had a new league forming right this second? My answer key is below.

As always, bring your respectful disagreement to the comments, and bring your strongest argument. Further the conversation, gamer.

1. Nicklas Lidstrom(notes)
2. Keith Yandle(notes)
3. Drew Doughty(notes)
4. Dan Boyle(notes)
5. Christian Ehrhoff(notes)
6. Dustin Byfuglien(notes)
7. Shea Weber(notes)
8. Lubomir Visnovsky(notes)
9. Tobias Enstrom(notes)
10. Marc-Andre Bergeron(notes)
11. Tomas Kaberle(notes)
12. Kris Letang(notes)
13. Alex Goligoski(notes)
14. Duncan Keith(notes)
15. Zdeno Chara(notes)
16. James Wisniewski(notes)
17. Mike Green(notes)
18. Jack Johnson(notes)
19. Bryan McCabe(notes)
20. Joe Corvo(notes)

What's the big deal with Chara again? He hasn't found the back of the net since the middle of January. He's given us just one point over his last eight starts. I was given the choice of Chara, Bergeron or Letang in a trade this week and name brands to the side, I just couldn't pull the trigger on Chara. As for Letang, he's obviously hurt by the injuries that have ravaged his superstar teammates in Pittsburgh. … Watched every minute of Phoenix-Chicago on Sunday night and Yandle might have been the best player on the ice (and it's ridiculous how much this guy plays). If he's not in the Top 3 of the Norris voting, something is wrong. … There's no right place to slot Green. I have no answers, you have no answers. … The Rangers will give McCabe all the power-play time he can handle, and you always like to see a veteran player shifting to a winning situation for the stretch drive.

21. Brian Rafalski(notes)
22. Brent Burns(notes)
23. Cam Fowler(notes)
24. Dion Phaneuf(notes)
25. Chris Pronger(notes)
26. Brent Seabrook(notes)
27. Alex Pietrangelo(notes)
28. Dennis Wideman(notes)
29. Roman Hamrlik(notes)
30. Kimmo Timonen(notes)
31. P.K. Subban(notes)
32. Niklas Kronwall(notes)
33. Ryan Suter(notes)
34. Anton Babchuk(notes)
35. Brian Campbell(notes)
36. Travis Hamonic(notes)
37. John-Michael Liles(notes)
38. Tyler Myers(notes)
39. Erik Karlsson(notes)
40. Joni Pitkanen(notes)

Liles still looks good in the season stats but it's misleading – 23 of his points came before December. He's been ordinary since. … Karlsson is minus-3 since you started reading this article. … Seabrook is more valuable to the Hawks than he is to fantasy owners, but he's at least part of the power-play rotation. … Subban picked up nine points in February and you can see the confidence growing with every shift. … Hamonic's the top-rated defenseman in the Yahoo! game over the last month.

41. Jamie McBain(notes)
42. Grant Clitsome(notes)
43. Mark Giordano(notes)
44. John Carlson(notes)
45. Kevin Shattenkirk(notes)
46. Robyn Regehr(notes)
47. Marek Zidlicky(notes)
48. Erik Johnson(notes)
49. Paul Martin(notes)
50. Sami Salo(notes)
51. Cody Franson(notes)
52. Stephane Robidas(notes)
53. Jordan Leopold(notes)
54. Dmitry Kulikov(notes)
55. Dennis Seidenberg(notes)
56. Filip Kuba(notes)
57. Matt Carle(notes)
58. Carlo Colaiacovo(notes)
59. Kevin Bieksa(notes)
60. Kurtis Foster(notes)

Clitsome is owned in just eight percent of Yahoo! groups, a number baffles me. He's collected 14 points over 20 games; you do the math. … Johnson's trade to Colorado comes at the right time; fresh start, different scenery. Tall defensemen (and Johnson is 6-4) often need additional development time to hit their full stride. … Kulikov will have to play a lot in Florida, not that you want to really get invested in this offense. He's still got the first-round pedigree, and might be an interesting sleeper in a year or two.

61. Zach Bogosian(notes)
62. Sergei Gonchar(notes)
63. Jay Bouwmeester(notes)
64. Andrew MacDonald(notes)
65. Marc Staal(notes)
66. Kris Russell(notes)
67. Adam McQuaid(notes)
68. Andy Greene(notes)
69. Anton Stralman(notes)
70. Andrej Meszaros(notes)
71. Jason Demers(notes)
72. Fedor Tyutin(notes)
73. Matt Niskanen(notes)
74. Ian White(notes)
75. Dan Girardi(notes)
76. Tom Gilbert(notes)
77. Francois Beauchemin(notes)
78. Brett Clark(notes)
79. Pavel Kubina(notes)
80. Adrian Aucoin(notes)
81. Steve Montador(notes)

Gonchar's back on the ice, but he's got all of five points since the calendar flipped. … The Meszaros plus-minus bubble appears to have dried up. … Niskanen hasn't scored a point since Jan. 5. … McQuaid is quietly scoring nicely in Boston; they've got a deep blue line there. … The Devils have righted the ship, so Greene's plus-minus no longer has to concern us. But what happened to the points? He had just one assist in 13 February games, along with a piddly 10 shots.

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Image courtesy Associated Press

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