Recent injuries can either wreck your fantasy hockey team's season, or provide an opportunity for you to cash in on another's misfortune. Here is what you need to react to some of the biggest IR news in the NHL:
Teemu Selanne (F - ANA)
With Selanne being out of NHL action until after the Olympics, many owners will be tempted to dump him (if they haven't already). If they make that mistake, be sure to correct it for them. Selanne is still a goal scoring maniac. He has averaged over 1/2 a goal a game this season. Some injuries can slow a guy's production, but a broken jaw shouldn't hold him back much. Selanne would be a valuable player come fantasy playoff time, so if he's not available, make a lowball trade offer and thank me in the spring.
Marc Savard (F - BOS)
Marc Savard just came available in one of my leagues, and I was shocked to see someone giving up on him, despite his injury woes. Then, I took a closer look and decided to pass. Savard just hasn't been the same this year when he has managed to stay in the lineup. Nagging injuries have pretty much written off this season on his otherwise stellar fantasy stats history. A few more weeks on the IR with a leg injury doesn't provide much hope for change. Don't be surprised to see Savard contributing in the last couple weeks of the season, but don't go out of your way to tie up a spot with him. Wait for next season when owners undervalue come draft time. As with Selanne and the Ducks, Boston has gotten used to Savard being out of the lineup, so there's not much trickle down affect to watch for here.
Milan Hejduk (F - COL)
Hejduk is no longer a top-tier fantasy threat, so he shouldn't be impossible to replace if he's on your roster. He's out until late February, so it may not be worth hanging on here. The real story here may be the fallout in Colorado. Hejduk still chewed up some valuable ice time, particularly on the power play. So who's to benefit here? Chris Stewart is the obvious answer, as he'll get even more responsibility as the top RW in Denver. However, with Marek Svatos and David Jones also down for a while, that leaves Darcy Tucker to fill in the gap. Tucker hasn't been worth the pick up until now, but this may be the opportunity he needed to get back on the radar. Keep an eye on him for the next couple weeks.
Johan Franzen (F - DET)
Remember Johan Franzen? The playoff goal scoring phenomenon? With the season the Redwings are suffering through, they certainly haven't forgotten, and neither should you. Franzen likely won't suit up until after the Olympics; however, he'll most likely be claimed in your league (if he hasn't been already) over the next week or two as owners start to catch reports of him skating again. When healthy, he's one of the top goal scorers in the league, and you can bet he'll get all the time he can handle for the hurting Wings. If you've got a spot to work with on your bench, stash Franzen there.
Pascal Leclaire (G - OTT)
Ottawa has been on a strong run, despite the rash of freakish goalie incidents to hit the team this year. In fact, it seems like the team has been better off without him. Don't let that affect your decisions regarding Leclaire. He's the #1 and he will play when healthy. The problem is with a concussion, there's no telling when / if that will be. I'm keeping him safe on my bench, and I recommend you do the same. In the meantime, Brodeur and/or Elliot seem to be capable stopgaps in net.
Jason Spezza (F - OTT)
Yes, he's having his worst season yet, and he's still out for a bit more, but if you dropped him, I can't help you. Just stop reading now.
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