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Special to Yahoo Sports
Just because your team's in a slump, it's no reason to give up on the season. Of course, if you're rebuilding in a dynasty league and/or if the injuries are overflowing, then looking ahead may be your best course of action. But for those with a couple of underperforming players or close head-to-head defeats, there are various ways to turn it around.
The trade market is the most obvious outlet for immediate improvement. Find a player, make an offer and try not to give away too much. Sounds simple enough. You know what's even easier? This thing called the waiver wire.
If you haven't heard, it's a magical place where NHLers can be added with the click of a button. And it's free! (Follow this column every week for further details.)
While you're searching for new recruits, don't forget to check out RotoWire for the latest hockey news and in-depth material.
The following examples may not single-handedly lift your lineup, but they're at least positioned to provide short-term assistance:
(Rostered rates/stats as of Dec. 2.)
Viktor Arvidsson, LA (Yahoo: 33%)
Arvidsson's numbers drastically dropped the last two years in Nashville and he was shipped to LA this summer for a pair of picks. Before having to sit seven games, the former 34-goal scorer posted two tallies and three assists in eight. It may have taken Arvidsson a week to rediscover the scoresheet after coming back, but he's produced four points — including three on the power play. He's also averaging four shots per contest and is locked into a top-six role.
Josh Anderson, MON (Yahoo: 29%)
The Habs struggle to find consistency and that trend has trickled throughout the team. Anderson began the season with one point from seven matchups, then five points over four, only to be followed by five zeros. He's reversed course, racking up four goals, three assists, 25 shots, 12 PIM and 15 hits in his last eight while skating 18-plus minutes. Anderson could slip back into a slump, but that's the risk you take when targeting potential across-the-board achievers.
Andreas Johnsson, NJ (Yahoo: 19%)
18 points in 20 games, including seven (!) from the last three. That's about all you need to know about Johnsson to warrant adding him to your roster. Of course, there's the inevitable regression carrying an unsustainable 25.7 shooting percentage. But wait, look at the 35 shots! A plus-13! And strong chemistry with former column subjects Dawson Mercer and Jesper Bratt! Don't know about you, but I'm sold.
Kasperi Kapanen, PIT (Yahoo: 18%)
Kapanen's logging a career-high average in ice time, though that could be the result of all the injuries the Pens have suffered. Regardless, the ex-Leaf kicked off November with a hat trick en route to five goals and five assists. Kapanen is also active directing pucks on net with 49 for the year. He's recently been moved down to Pittsburgh's second power play and was benched for part of Wednesday's game, but is still receiving enough overall opportunities to continue his strong run.
Seth Jarvis, CAR (Yahoo: 10%)
Jarvis' minutes have wildly fluctuated, but that's expected for a non-elite rookie. The 13th overall selection from 2020 started his NHL career in style with a PPA during his debut and a goal in Game 2. Jarvis has often been teamed up with Carolina's elite line up front and hasn't looked out of place. And it looks like he'll earn an extended stay in the bigs having already made double-digit appearances. Based on the Canes' tremendous depth and Jarvis' talent, he could be positioned almost anywhere within the depth chart and still have a chance to succeed.
Nick Foligno, BOS (Yahoo: 4%)
Foligno has generally been considered a must-have in formats with wide-ranging categories, though an injury this season may have slowed him down. He was heavily involved while in Columbus, but others in Boston — namely, their first line — dominate the offensive opportunities. Foligno produced three assists, nine shots, seven PIM and 11 hits since Nov. 24 and may be in for a treat slated to fill in for the suspended Brad Marchand over the upcoming three contests on the Bruins' lethal lead man-advantage.
Zach Sanford, OTT (Yahoo: 1%)
The scoring was pretty much nonexistent for Sanford in the opening few weeks. He's accumulated five goals — with three in Colorado last Monday — but hasn't managed an assist since mid-October. Sanford earns his fantasy keep by covering plenty of peripheral stats with 13 shots, 13 PIM, 15 hits and seven blocks across the last seven outings. He's also skated an average of 2:07 while up a man over the same stretch and could work as a complementary contributor lower down in your lineup.
Victor Rask, MIN (Yahoo: 0%)
It may seem tough to endorse a player who's been scratched almost as many times as he's appeared this season, but there's a good reason for Rask's inclusion. For one, he's widely available. Like really, really, really available. Second, he's done moderately well when active having posted two goals, four helpers, nine shots and a plus-6 from his five most recent games. Rask centers the Wild's third unit and part of the Wild's backup power play, so there's at least some hope he can retain an active role.
Ryan Suter, DAL (Yahoo: 24%)
Now in his 17th NHL season, Suter is essentially starting over in Dallas. His final year in the Hockey State wasn't too memorable scoring-wise with just 19 points from 56 games. Miro Heiskanen and John Klingberg may eat up a large chunk of ice time, but Suter can still fit in nearly 23 minutes a night. The soon-to-be 37-year-old has also produced three goals and eight assists, with six of those PPPs. That's an excellent haul for a blueliner who's available in roughly three-quarters of Yahoo leagues.
Colin Miller, BUF (Yahoo: 5%)
Miller won't rack up stats as he did in Vegas, though he's already at 11 points. He's enhanced his fantasy cause by way of 34 shots, 30 hits, 28 blocks and 17 PIM. Miller lines up on both of Buffalo's special-teams units, including the backup man-advantage where he's recorded two helpers. And it's not as if he's a situational specialist considering a 20:24 average. Many will score more than Miller, though he's above-average when it comes to multi-category contributions.
Kyle Capobianco, ARI (Yahoo: 1%)
If you're desperate for power-play assistance and the bigger names are long gone, Capobianco may be the D-man you're looking for. After all, the Mississauga native accumulated 112 points over parts of four AHL seasons. It's a shame another team didn't snap up Capobianco when he was placed on waivers in early November as he's tallied two goals and three assists in only nine appearances. The minutes may be on the low side, but they've recently crept up as a reward for his output.
Sebastian Aho, NYI (Yahoo: 0%)
I know what you're thinking and yes, there are two Sebastian Ahos. This is the one on the back end who torched the minors for 105 points across 156 games. Aho sat in the press box for the Isles' first 11 outings and ultimately received his chance as a result of multiple absences. Through six, he's produced an assist and 14 shots while averaging 3:05 with the extra man. Aho could be waiting again when the club resumes playing and others return, but there's no harm taking a flyer on a defenseman with offensive upside.
Braden Holtby, DAL (Yahoo: 36%)
Jake Oettinger has been lights-out since getting called up with a 1.26 GAA and .959 save percentage through five starts. Meanwhile, Anton Khudobin hasn't played in two weeks. One would expect the Stars to continue riding the hot hand, yet it's been Holtby winning the last two games while stopping 64 of 67 shots. A timeshare between Oettinger and Holtby seems inevitable, but the veteran holds a slight advantage based on his recent superb efforts.
Antti Raanta, CAR (Yahoo: 6%)
After losing all three of their goalies during the offseason, Carolina opted to bring in Frederik Andersen and Raanta. The latter has been solid (3-0-1, 2.36 GAA), though he's only made five appearances compared to the former's 17. Andersen has looked unbeatable at times but has hit a rough patch of late with three consecutive defeats — albeit with the team only supplying four goals during that stretch. Will this result in more opportunities for Raanta? Maybe. Does it hurt to speculate on a decent netminder behind one of the league's top Ds getting additional starts? Nope.
(Players to consider from past columns: Nazem Kadri, Joel Eriksson Ek, Brandon Saad, Jared McCann, Andrew Mangiapane, Ryan Hartman, Robert Thomas, Lucas Raymond, Nico Hischier, Reilly Smith, Ryan Johansen, Trevor Zegras, Tage Thompson, Evan Rodrigues, Boone Jenner, Sean Monahan, Troy Terry, Jordan Eberle, Matt Duchene, Mikael Granlund, Jesper Bratt, Anthony Cirelli, Cole Sillinger, Dawson Mercer, Sonny Milano, Rasmus Andersson, Moritz Seider, Shayne Gostisbehere, Scott Perunovich, Adam Boqvist, Evan Bouchard, Vince Dunn, Alex Goligoski, Mario Ferraro, Mikko Koskinen, Alex Nedeljkovic, Jake Oettinger, James Reimer, Adin Hill)