New feature on Independent Sports News – NHL FANTASY REPORT

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Before I get started, I would like to welcome everyone to a new feature on Independent Sports News. Starting today, readers will be able to come to ISN for weekly fantasy hockey news. Over the last month, ISN has been the home of fantasy football news, and starting today we are proud to branch into hockey.

The biggest hockey news over the last couple of days is centered around superstar Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Crosby suffered a concussion in practice this past Friday. My recommendation to everyone who is wanting to draft Sid the Kid, is to be cautious. We know he has a history of concussion issues, and you simply just do not know when he will next be available.

If Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals or Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks are available in your hockey pool, I would encourage you to take them over Crosby. Ovechkin is a shooting machine and still shoots the puck with significantly higher frequency than anyone else in the NHL. He has led the NHL in shots on goal in each of the past four years, and had 398 shots this past year, which was 45 more than Brent Burns of the San Jose Sharks, who was second in shots on goal.

Another player I would be cautious about taking is actually Edmonton Oilers superstar Connor McDavid. There have been frequent opinions that McDavid has the chance of winning the Art Ross Trophy this season. For some reason however, many Oilers have had problems staying healthy over the last decade. In McDavid’s rookie season, he too missed nearly half the season with a fractured collarbone he suffered against the Philadelphia Flyers last November.

Also one must realize player performances in international events, such as the recent World Cup of Hockey, does not necessarily equate into instant success at the NHL level. Players such as Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and Jaroslav Halak had great a World Cup, but that does not mean the three will have outstanding fantasy hockey success. Don’t forget that Marchand and Bergeron had the luxury of playing with Crosby last month in Toronto and Halak will not necessarily be the clear number one goaltender for the New York Islanders as he is expected to get pushed by Thomas Greiss.

If you are looking at players this week, realize that the Anaheim Ducks, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Chicago Blackhawks, New York Islanders and St. Louis Blues each play a NHL high three times. The best players to consider in weekly leagues, such as the Sportsnet pool, are McDavid, Kane, John Tavares of the New York Islanders, and Vladimir Tarasenko of the St. Louis Blues.

It will also be interesting to see how Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf do with the Anaheim Ducks in 2016-17. Remember Getzlaf had a horrible first two three months of the season last year before heating up down the stretch run. We will also need to keep our eyes on how long it will take Johnny Gaudreau to deliver in Calgary after signing a six year, $40.5 million contract extension on Monday.

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