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Shuffle Up: Erik Karlsson makes his point

Scott Pianowski
Roto Arcade

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Senator in Session (USAT)

Time for Phase 2 of our Fantasy Hockey 2013 reranks, the Blue Line Shuffle. Normal rules apply: your respectful disagreement is welcome, but make sure you provide sound reasoning to go along with it. Win the debate, win the rank. We're all in this together.

Players were considered in these stat categories: goals, assists, shots on goal, plus-minus, power-play goals and assists, penalty minutes. And as always, job security and injury concerns are part of the dance.

Game on. Let's hear what you have to say.

1. Erik Karlsson
2. Zdeno Chara
3. Kris Letang
4. Shea Weber
5. Dustin Byfuglien
6. Alex Pietrangelo
7. Dan Boyle
8. Keith Yandle
9. Drew Doughty
10. Alexander Edler

Byfuglein is still carrying dual-position eligibility, but his numbers are obviously more useful on the blue line. Despite missing 16 games last year, he still racked up 223 shots and 53 points. … Pietrangelo is going to win a Norris Trophy some year, it's just a matter of when. He posted 27 points in his final 33 games last year, taking advantage of increased power-play time. … Karlsson's jump from minus-30 to plus-16 is as much about the team around him as it is his own improvement; nonetheless, he has made some strides in the defensive end. He's still just 22 and there's a first-round pedigree here. Enjoy the ride.

11. Mark Streit
12. Duncan Keith
13. P.K. Subban
14. Dion Phaneuf
15. Kevin Shattenkirk
16. Ryan Suter
17. Tobias Enstrom
18. Alex Goligoski
19. Brian Campbell
20. Justin Schultz

The power play was good to Campbell last year, accounting for 30 of his 49 assists. He's never been a big shooter, however (the modest 131 from last year tied a career best), and he also had a minus-9 efficiency mark. … Schultz has quickly become a trendy sleeper after his bang-up job in the AHL (where he was the top blueline scorer by a mile). I might not be driving the Edmonton bandwagon, but I definitely have a good seat.

21. Christian Ehrhoff
22. Kimmo Timonen
23. Mike Green
24. Brent Seabrook
25. Niklas Kronwall
26. Dennis Wideman
27. Kevin Bieksa
28. Jack Johnson

Seabrook is one of those guys who accumulates good stats because he's a solid player, not because he's an offensive juggernaut or seeing a lot of power-play time. This might be his theoretical upside; unlike a lot of players in this group, he doesn't seem to have Top 10 potential. Then again, you're getting a solid floor here, too. … Green was a blueline beast from 2007-2010, but he's been an utter mess for his last 81 games (including an embarrassing seven points in 32 games last year). Maybe the time off has served him well. This rank could be 20 slots too low, or 50 slots too high. I welcome your Green theories in the comments.

29. Oliver Ekman-Larsson
30. Michael Del Zotto
31. Mark Giordano
32. Jason Garrison
33. Matt Carle
34. James Wisniewski
35. Tyler Myers
36. Sergei Gonchar
37. John Carlson
38. Erik Johnson
39. Cam Fowler
40. Brent Burns

Burns had surgery for a sports hernia last May, and yet this was still a story into the new year. So much for the "every sports surgery is successful" motif. I'd like to see him on the ice before I get too invested. … I'm still waiting for the lightbulb to completely come on for Johnson, the No. 1 overall pick in 2006. A 4-22-26 line in 73 games seems light. But then you see the 155 shots and start thinking of the potential power play in Colorado and you get to this somewhat-optimistic ranking.

41. Joni Pitkanen
42. Dennis Seidenberg
43. Nick Leddy
44. Brendan Smith
45. Andrei Markov
46. Dan Hamhuis
47. Dan Girardi
48. Dmitry Kulikov
49. Justin Faulk
50. Ian White
51. Travis Hamonic
52. Ryan McDonagh
53. Ryan Whitney
54. Andrej Meszaros
55. Slava Voynov
56. Lubomir Visnovsky
57. Victor Hedman
58. Sami Salo
59. John-Michael Liles
60. Sheldon Souray

Everyone has their own "never again" list of players who have done them wrong, and Liles is on mine. I've had enough with his streakiness and propensity of being benched. … Visnovsky is another tricky subject, as he wants to stay in Slovakia and (to the surprise of no one) doesn't want to play with the Islanders. He might not have any recourse, as the NHL contract supersedes the KHL one, but maybe this is a case he's willing to fight.

61. Stephane Robidas
62. Jared Spurgeon
63. Jordan Leopold
64. Joe Corvo
65. Ryan Ellis
66. Jamie McBain
67. Marek Zidlicky
68. Dougie Hamilton
69. Nikita Nikitin
70. Roman Josi
71. Luke Schenn
72. Tomas Kaberle
73. Kyle Quincey
74. Luca Sbisa
75. Marc Staal
76. Johnny Boychuk
77. Braydon Coburn
78. Jeff Petry
79. Paul Martin
80. Tom Gilbert
81. Trevor Daley
82. Adam Larsson
83. Jay Bouwmeester
84. Jake Gardiner
85. Zach Bogosian
86. Jason Demers

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