Dobber launched his fantasy hockey website DobberHockey back in 2005 and has been Puck Daddy's resident fantasy hockey 'expert' since 2009. Ian Gooding has been the associate editor for DobberHockey since early 2015.
We often tell you whether to buy, sell, or hold a player on your keeper team. But what if that player is Steven Stamkos?
On Monday, Lightning GM Steve Yzerman threw a bucket of water on the smoldering trade rumors, stating that Stamkos would not be traded before the deadline. So if we are to take Mr. Yzerman on his word, Stamkos will remain a Bolt for the rest of the season. Stamkos has been good but not great in 2015-16 (22 goals and 42 points in 55 games), but at least we know his situation in single-season leagues should remain stable.
But what about next season and beyond? In a way, Yzerman and Stamkos are prolonging the dilemma for keeper league owners. What if the rumors are true and Stamkos signs with the Leafs? His ice time would shoot through the roof, although he wouldn’t be blessed with the quality of linemates that he has had in Tampa (at least not in the beginning). What if Stamkos signs with another team that already has proven linemates for him? Keep in mind that he could still re-sign with the Lightning, but we just don’t know right now. The potential, unfortunately, ranges from the perfect situation to something that could be pretty ugly early on.
As much as some fantasy owners may expect the worst, holding might be the best strategy. Wait until his situation is settled during the summer before making a final decision. You’ve got a title to win, and like the Lightning, you’ll need all hands on deck.
These fellas are wielding a hot stick. Take that into consideration when you go after them in trade talks...
Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers (8-4-9-13, even, 2 PIM, 19 SOG, 4 PPPts) - Those numbers above are what McDavid has racked up since his return from a broken collarbone. Included in that total are a five-point game and two other multipoint games. With over a point-per-game (25 points in 21 games) in his abbreviated season, McDavid is only getting started. You’ll need to use your first-round pick to draft him in a single-season league next season.
Shayne Gostisbehere, Philadelphia Flyers (13-4-12-16, minus-4, 6 PIM, 33 SOG, 10 PPPts) - The point streak is at 13 games and counting for the super rookie, who set the record for rookie defensemen when he hit 11 games. It should thus come as no surprise that 10 of his 16 points have been with the man advantage. What is a surprise is that Mark Streit has exceeded Gostisbehere in power-play time over the last two games. That shouldn’t deter you one bit from using the Ghost, who is remarkably close to a point-per-game pace overall (32 points in 38 games).
Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Arizona Coyotes (6-3-7-10, minus-11, 12 PIM, 23 SOG, 8 PPPts) - OEL has been money in points-only leagues, with three three-point games over his last six. But if you’re in a league that counts plus/minus, it hasn’t been all roses. As weird as a minus-11 would be over a run like this, it can be explained by the fact that eight of those 10 points have been with the man advantage. The Coyotes’ defenseman has already reached 44 points on the season, so he should reach 50 for the first time in his career and maybe even 60.
Somebody wake these guys up – their fantasy owners are counting on them...
Kyle Turris, Ottawa Senators (6-0-0-0, minus-2, 4 PIM, 5 SOG, 0 PPPts) - Yikes. Turris has not scored in six games since missing six games before with a lower-body injury. In fact, Turris has not recorded a point in the last 10 games that he has been active for, so he has not provided dividends for fantasy teams in over a month. Turris may still be playing hurt, so keep in mind the possibility of additional missed time. At this point, it’s not a stretch to replace Turris in shallow leagues.
Eric Staal, Carolina Hurricanes (6-0-0-0, minus-2, 2 PIM, 6 SOG, 0 PPPts) - Or to put it another way, Staal has not scored a goal and has just two assists over his last 13 games. Staal obviously has a proven track record, but he’s currently on pace to score a meager 13 goals and 43 points. The Hurricanes have been playing improved hockey in the new year, but the trade rumors and unsettled contract situation could be a factor here.
Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators (1-2-1, 4.00 GAA, .838 SV%) - Unfortunately, stretches like the one above have been par for the course for Rinne in 2015-16 – not what you expected at all when you drafted the normally consistent goalie. It’s gotten to the point where Carter Hutton has started the previous two games. Fantasy owners may have to mirror what the Predators are doing by picking and choosing their matchups.
Mostly short-term grabs here, but as always some potential steals...
Charlie Coyle, Minnesota Wild (10%) (11-7-1-8, minus-3, 6 PIM, 23 SOG, 3 PPPts) - Coyle had scored goals in four consecutive games early in this stretch, and he also has goals in three of his past four games. With time on the first-unit power play, the goals could continue to come. A coaching change could also boost Coyle’s value in the short term as well.
Martin Hanzal, Arizona Coyotes (13%) (4-3-2-5, plus-2, 6 PIM, 13 SOG, 3 PPPts) - Hanzal likes to tease us with hot and cold stretches between injuries. Having being held without a point in seven consecutive games in January, Hanzal is sizzling again with goals in three of his last four games. The tall, physical Hanzal has also chipped in with nine hits over that span.
P.A. Parenteau, Toronto Maple Leafs (5%) (7-3-3-6, minus-1, 20 PIM, 21 SOG, 2 PPPts) - The 2015-16 season might be a writeoff for the Leafs for anything but tanking purposes, but someone has to provide some scoring. Parenteau is one of those players, as he is tied for third on the team with 29 points. That being said, he would be a strong candidate to be dealt at the trade deadline.
Robby Fabbri, St. Louis Blues (3%) (7-2-4-6, minus-1, 13 PIM, 9 SOG, 4 PPPts) - With 13 goals and 24 points, Fabbri is enjoying a strong under-the-radar rookie season. Ice time may continue to be a factor (13 minutes per game) on a very deep Blues’ roster, and it seems to limit his shots on goal (77). Yet he deserves to be owned in more than 3 percent of Yahoo leagues.
David Schlemko, New Jersey Devils (2%) (11-2-6-8, minus-2, 2 PIM, 19 SOG, 6 PPPts) - Jon Hynes has used virtually every defenseman on the Devils’ roster on the first-unit power play. But he has now seemed to have settled on Schlemko, who is making the most of the opportunity. Fun fact: The Devils are last in the entire NHL with 2.21 goals per game, but sixth overall with a 21.2 percent power-play.
Alex Petrovic, Florida Panthers (3%) (4-1-2-3, plus-5, 34 PIM, 5 SOG, 0 PPPts) - Petrovic might be worth at least a short-term add in leagues that count the physical categories. His 119 hits place him third on the Panthers even though he has missed 13 games. He has also added some offense, completing a Gordie Howe hat trick thanks to three fights with Evander Kane on February 9.
Carter Hutton, Nashville Predators (4%) (1-0-1, 1.46 GAA, .944 SV%) - As mentioned above with Rinne, Hutton has started the last two games for the Preds. A shutout of the Panthers on Saturday earned a second consecutive start on Monday against the Stars. If Rinne continues to struggle, we might be seeing more of Hutton over the rest of the season.
You can follow Ian Gooding on Twitter @Ian_Gooding
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