One might suggest that adding a winger of Vladimir Tarasenko's calibre might suffice in adequately strengthening one's team up front for a hoped-for push to and through the 2022-23 postseason. Not Rangers GM Chris Drury, as discussed by The New York Post's Larry Brooks, who's apparently plenty keen to further saturate his already talent-soaked top-six in such fashion.
While there are many ifsand maybesserving as speed bumps on route to consummating such a deal - never mind an interest in Kane from other teams around the league - ESPN's Greg Wyshynski outlines how such a trade could reasonably unfold involving Vitali Kravtsov, Jake Leschyshyn, draft picks (including a first-rounder in 2024), and a third-party broker.
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Exciting (potential) stuff. On the fantasy front, there are a handful of noteworthy takeaways, should such a deal come to fruition. No question, Kane slides into the Rangers' top-six, whether on a line with Vincent Trocheck and his old Blackhawks buddy Artemi Panarin, or alongside Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider. Regardless, winger Jimmy Vesey is out of there. Last week's shiny new asset from the Blues (Tarasenko), if not Kreider, appears most vulnerable in losing his spot on the club's top power play to Kane. However it shakes out, the former 110-point player is going to score in bunches and pad the productive totals of those around him. More so than Tarasenko has and will.
Back in Illinois, Max Domi - and his fantasy managers - would appear a loser should he remain in Chicago without his elite top-line pal. No chance the feisty center nears his recent haul of three goals and eight helpers in five games without Kane by his side. Mind you, Domi could be on the move as well, which merits monitoring.
One last bit of advice: Invest in Kane as a prominent commodity in all forms of fantasy competition, including Daily, until he's dealt, anywhere, or the trade deadline passes. The sniper - and his seven goals and three assists in four games - is clearly on a mission to not only prove he remains an exclusive scoring talent, but that hip of his is holding up just fine.
Watch the New York Rangers take on the Washington Capitals on Saturday, live on ESPN+ and ABC at 1 p.m. EDT.
It's official. Although there's no question Anthony Duclair would've preferred to return much sooner after suffering this past summer's Achilles injury, the timing couldn't be more special. Committed to bringing hockey to the Haitian and other underserved, diverse communities, the invested fighter for inclusion and equity is making his season debut versus the visiting Sabres, when the Panthers celebrate Black History Night.
As discussed in Friday's fantasy preview, Duclair won't be long for potting goals and putting up points, near his 31/27 assists in 74 games-pace of 2021-22. Skating on a top line with Anton Lundell and Sam Reinhart (Aleksander Barkov is sitting this one out with a hand issue), the scoring winger is due to make an immediate impact. And he's rostered in only seven percent of ESPN.com leagues.
By trading away two regulars, GM Brian MacLellan is seemingly expressing a lack of confidence in his club's chances this late winter and spring. After watching his team lose six-straight - with and without Alex Ovechkin - the GM can hardly be blamed for such a loss of enthusiasm. Just as the Boston Bruins are a better team with the additions of Dmitry Orlov and Garnet Hathaway, the Capitals are lesser for the loss. As a whole. That's doesn't mean there isn't an individual "winner" or two in Washington following the deal.
On the Orlov-less blue line - and on the premise that the Caps don'ttrade for Jakob Chychrun as loosely rumored - Trevor van Riemsdyk (4.4%) is bound to see a consistent boost in ice-time at even strength and with the extra skater. A shot-blocking machine (sixth in the league), the depth defenseman is about to put up a few more points too. Not bushelsof them, but more. The 31-year-old is also a pending unrestricted free agent, along with the highly underrated Erik Gustafsson (20.7%).
Up front, led by Ovechkin, this is still a highly competitive bunch. Look for the Capitals to try to stick it to non-believing management by battling for a playoff spot until near the end. Forward Tom Wilson (22.4%) is not only healthy, but scoring again. And he's skating on a top line with the club's captain and Evgeny Kuznetsov. Grab Wilson for points and hits, if your fantasy roster is in need.
Guess who's in a playoff spot, with approximately seven weeks to go? Winners of seven of their past eight - and averaging 3.88 goals/game - the Red Wings currently find themselves in the East's second Wild Card position. In no small part thanks to scoring from fantasy outliers Tyler Bertuzzi (44.4%), Robby Fabbri (7.7%), and Pius Suter (0.8%). Fabbri, in particular, could serve as a formidable fantasy force down the stretch if he can stay healthy.
No Ryan Johansen for the remainder of the regular season (leg surgery) likely means a consistent role in Nashville's top-six for Tommy Novak. I adore this Sophomore (barely) as a wholly underappreciated fantasy asset-on-fire. Rostered in only 0.7% of ESPN.com leagues, he's riding a four-game point-streak with four goals and four assists. Now centering a scoring line with Matt Duchene - in place of Johansen - Novak is averaging more than 18 minutes/game. It's only a matter of time, in my view, that the 25-year-old is tossed onto a top power play with Filip Forsberg, once the prominent winger returns.
If the Predators don't make a move to bolster themselves down the middle ahead of the trade deadline, Novak should serve as a fantasy gem down the stretch. Even if the organization does veer in that direction, I still like his chances of remaining in the top six. As such, he's worth hefty consideration as a quick and easy add in deeper fantasy leagues.
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