NHL Skinny: Trade Aftermath

Matt Romig
Yahoo! Sports
GOALIE HOT SEAT
MINNESOTA WILD RED HOT
1st Chair: Niklas Backstrom
2nd Chair: Manny Fernandez
Skinny: The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that Fernandez could be back in the mix in time for Tuesday's home matchup against the Sharks. For his part, Fernandez says it will be "tough to fit in" with Backstrom and even third stringer Josh Harding playing so well. But goalies coach Bob Mason made it clear that if Fernandez returns and has his game back, that he's the No. 1 guy.
NASHVILLE PREDATORS HOT
1st Chair: Tomas Vokoun
2nd Chair: Chris Mason
Skinny: Mason will stay busy when the Predators are busy, which means we'll likely see Nashville's backup once this week and again next week for one end of a home-and-home against the Red Wings.
LOS ANGELES KINGS WARM
1st Chair: Sean Burke
2nd Chair: Mathieu Garon
Skinny: Burke has started four of five, stopping pucks just effectively enough to record three wins. Garon, who posted a .933 save percentage in January, has made only three post-All Star starts. For whatever reason, the Kings just don't seem interested in giving him a long-term look.
PHOENIX COYOTES WARM
1st Chair: Curtis Joseph
2nd Chair: Mikael Tellqvist
Skinny: Joseph celebrated staying in Phoenix at the trade deadline by shutting out Edmonton, but followed that win with back-to-back 4-3 losses. Phoenix has made a youth movement everywhere but in net, which really won't help Joseph's fantasy value. He'll play, but the Coytoes will be lucky to win one-third of their remaining games.
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS WARM
1st Chair: Fredrik Norrena
2nd Chair: Brian Boucher
Skinny: Pascal Leclaire is out of the season and Ty Conklin relocated to Buffalo, so it'll be Norrena and Boucher down the stretch for Columbus. Coach Ken Hitchcock is trying not to overwork Norrena, so it was no surprise that Boucher got the start (and win) Sunday in the second of back-to-backs.
PHILADELPHIA FLYERS WARM
1st Chair: Martin Biron
2nd Chair: Antero Niittymaki, Robert Esche
Skinny: We're in the courtship stage here. The Flyers want to re-sign Biron when he becomes a free agent in July. After serving as a backup in Buffalo for the better part of two seasons, Biron wants to be the guy somewhere. In other words: It's pretty clear that Biron will play a ton down the stretch. Esche is now a third-stringer and has no fantasy value, if he ever had any.
OTTAWA SENATORS WARM
1st Chair: Ray Emery
2nd Chair: Martin Gerber
Skinny: Gerber got a shot at winning his eighth-straight start Sunday, but lost one in a shootout to the Blackhawks. Since the All-Star break, he has five wins in six starts and a .922 save percentage. Emery has regained his No. 1 seat after a three-game suspension, but needs to remain sharp to hold off a spirited challenge.
COLORADO AVALANCHE LUKEWARM
1st Chair: Peter Budaj
2nd Chair: Jose Theodore
Skinny: Both goalies were terrible in February, but Budaj rebounded to win three straight and claim one of the NHL's three weekly stars. Theodore finished February with two wins in four starts and a 4.92 goals-against average.

Is your wrist still aching from refreshing hockeybuzz.com over and over on Tuesday's trade deadline? If it is, I feel your pain. That was quite a day, but I've got news for you: Another trade deadline is just around the corner. If your Yahoo! pool accepted the default league settings, you're facing a March 8 deadline. As an owner who currently sits second, third and fourth in a trio of leagues, the Skinny will be plenty busy in the next several days. Here's some light reading as you prepare your own stretch drive. Best of luck:

WEEKEND UPDATE: Need-to-know info from the past few days

Last week in this space Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau semi-endorsed David Aebischer as his stretch-run goalie. Things look a little different today now that Aebischer is fresh off allowing 15 goals in his last three starts and rookie Jaroslav Halak emerged as a lone bright spot in Saturday's loss at Boston. Carbonneau hasn't totally reversed fields – not publicly, anyway – but an article in the Montreal Gazette all but put the Canadiens' playoff hopes in the rookie's hand.

Halek remains available in roughly 90 percent of Yahoo! leagues. At his best, he's worthy of a No. 2 fantasy goalie slot. Montreal is on a 12-19-1 slide, however, and as we learned Saturday, a goalie can only do so much if the team in front of him pulls a no-show. It's probably too early to completely give up on Aebischer in fantasy circles, but his owners absolutely have to find room for Halak somewhere on their roster.

A few post-trade deadline updates: Pittsburgh forward Gary Roberts was moved to Evgeni Malkin's line and responded with three points Sunday. … Bill Guerin lined up with Joe Pavelski and Ryane Clowe Sunday. He has yet to register a point with the Sharks, but should take off once Patrick Marleau returns to bolster San Jose up the middle. … Bryan Smolinski has assumed a post centering Markus Naslund and Jan Bulis in Vancouver. He has assists in two straight. … Roster shuffling in Phoenix opened the door for Bill Thomas (3 points/last 2 games) and Yanick Lehoux (3-game point streak).

One-timers: Coach Dave Lewis put together an interesting fourth line Saturday, teaming Brandon Bochenski with Stanislav Chistov and Phil Kessel. A lot of offense there, and while their minutes were down a bit, the trio combined for eight points in two weekend games. … Montreal defenseman Mark Streit (available in 95 percent of Yahoo! leagues) has eight points in his last nine games. … Buffalo right wing Drew Stafford has goals in three straight games and eight points in his last five. … According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Sharks goalie Vesa Toskala suffered a setback while testing his injured groin Saturday. … Defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron now has seven points in six games since joining the Islanders.

BARGAIN BIN: Top player available in 50 percent of Yahoo! leagues
Martin Gelinas, LW, Fla – Tuesday will mark one month together for the Gelinas (25 percent owned)-Stephen Weiss (0.36 percent)-Nathan Horton (24 percent) line. All they've done since joining forces is collect 36 points in 11 games while helping Florida crawl back into the playoff picture. Gelinas (3 goals, 9 assists/last 11) gets the nod here due to wing eligibility. Weiss (5 goals, 7 assists) is a center option in deeper leagues and Horton (8 goals, 4 assists) is a solid points-PIM play in any format.

MARKET MOVERS: Charting player values

Kyle Calder, LW, Det – With an assist Sunday, Calder now has a goal and three helpers in three games with Detroit. The Red Wings were desperate for a second-line spark plug and so far Calder has been a perfect fit. Linemate Johan Franzen has four points in the same span and Robert Lang had a season-high four points Friday.

Marcel Hossa, LW, NYR – Still up there on Jaromir Jagr's line and still available in just about 90 percent of Yahoo! leagues, Hossa recorded two assists Thursday. His totals over the last 14 games: 8 goals, 5 assists, plus-5.

Eric Belanger, C, Atl – A solid depth option at center, Belanger entered play Sunday with four goals and three assists in his previous five games. Looks like he's solidified his spot between Marian Hossa and Slava Kozlov.

Brenden Morrow, LW, Dal – Morrow (wrist) practiced Saturday and is targeting a March 18 return to the lineup. Disclaimer: He's a captain now and has vowed to cut down on his penalty time, so he's not a 150-PIM guy anymore. What he remains, however, is a 60-plus point scorer on a team desperate for some scoring punch. He was cut loose in about 40 percent of leagues during his stay on the IR.

Chris Osgood, G, Det – Osgood started back-to-back games over the weekend and may well be back between the pipes Tuesday against Nashville. Dominik Hasek, who is dealing with tightness in his thigh, told the Detroit Free Press that he will be "careful" for the final six weeks of the regular season. Translated: "I'll be sitting a lot."

Steve Bernier, LW, SJ – Coach Ron Wilson shuffled lines Sunday and put Bernier with winger Milan Michalek and center Joe Thornton. The trio was held scoreless, but both Bernier and Michalek hit a post and the Sharks won 4-0, so a return engagement Tuesday is likely.

R.J. Umberger, C, Phi – His ice time is up into the 16-18 minute range after the trade deadline. So far his production is up, too, with four goals and a plus-2 in three games. Upgrade linemate Stefan Ruzicka as well.

Ian White, D, Tor – Tomas Kaberle is out with a concussion, so White takes over as quarterback of the Toronto power play and also inherits greater even-strength responsibility. Look for a short-term production boost worthy of a No. 3 or No. 4 defense slot.

Dustin Penner, LW, Ana – He's getting hot at the right time again. Last year's surprise playoff contributor scored Sunday against Nashville and now has six goals and three assists in his last 10 games.

Jonathan Cheechoo, RW, SJ – In what was likely a disciplinary move, Cheechoo started Sunday's game against Dallas on San Jose's fourth line. He did manage two assists in 12 minutes of ice time.

Yahoo! Friends and Family League
Thanks to a five-point push Sunday, the Skinny pulls within spitting distance of Rotowire's McLarney entry. It's going to come down to goalie play and whether Jean-Sebastien Giguere and Evgeni Nabokov can regain their early-season form. Jaroslav Halak is given a tryout, but I plan spot-starts only early on.