The rate of injuries to significant fantasy hockey players seems to be pretty high this season compared to most years. Many key names have gone down, some of which will be out for a significant stretch of time. This can wreck a fantasy hockey team, particularly if you own several of these players in your lineup. Here's a look at the key injuries so far, and what it means from a fantasy perspective:
Obviously, if own Daniel, you'll want to hold on to him. If you drop him now, you're a fool. The question is, what impact will this have on a few other Canuck forwards, particularly, his brother. This may be the first time in a decade that Henrik Sedin has had to skate without his brother for more than a game. It will be interesting to see if he can keep his point-per-game tradition without Daniel to pound home his passes. Look for Henrik's production to dip a bit, but not enough to merit a benching.
Alex Burrows may be affected in two ways by the move. He played a good bit with Daniel so far this season, so he may miss him there; however, this may open up an opportunity for some time on the power play. Burrows has gotten off to a pretty good start this season, and there's no reason to think Daniel's injury will derail his pace.
Souray left last Thursday's game with a concussion and isn't traveling with the team this week. Concussions are nasty business, and Souray already has a history of injuries (although concussion may be new to the list). If you can deal Souray for any kind of value, I would do so. Even when he returns from this, there's a good chance this, or some other injury, will haunt him later in the season. If you can't get decent value in a trade, sit him on your bench and hope for the best.
With Souray out, look for Denis Grebeshkov to see more valuable ice time and continue to his upward trend in fantasy circles.
This is really a disappointing situation for Franzen, the Redwings, and for fantasy owners. Franzen seemed poised to have a breakthrough regular season after a couple of years of playoff domination. With the injury to his ACL, best case has him returning in mid February. Even then, he probably won't be 100% and won't rack up the goals like he did last spring. If you need the help now, drop him and check back in January, hoping nobody else scooped him up.
Franzen had primarily been playing with Datsyuk and Holmstrom up to this point, and neither one had been lighting it up before this injury. Datsyuk will find a way to get points on the board, regardless of who he's playing with. The biggest impact this may have will be to open the door for Daniel Cleary to land a more permanent role next to Datsyuk or Zetterberg. While not in the same league, Cleary may be an adequate replacement for Franzen on your roster until he returns.
While Cole probably wasn't even drafted in your league due to his slumping numbers over the past few seasons, some wonder what affect his absence will have on Eric Staal. Many credit the Canes' resurgence and Staal's re-awakening last season to Cole's return from exile. While his presence undoubtedly helped the team turn things around, he wasn't even paired up with Staal for a good bit of last season's stretch run. Staal won't suffer much with Cole out. Look for Tuomo Ruutu to increase his point production a bit for the next month, as he'll likely fill the void next to the captain until Cole is healthy.
I talked about Markov's situation in my last post. It all comes down to how many bench spots your league offers. If you've only got 4 spots to work with, I'd cut my losses and move on. There are still many good options out there and others will arise. If you have a deeper bench, I'd hold on to him. He'll be available during the fantasy playoff run, and that's what matters most. If he becomes available in my league, I won't hesitate to grab him and get that extra boost when it's needed most.
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