Ryan Dadoun

Waiver Wired

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Deals Create Opportunities

Saturday, February 12, 2011


The opening bell has rung on the 2010-11 trade market and a few of the players wearing new jerseys are certainly worth taking a chance on. Of course, not everyone who was involved in a significant trade is worth owning (for example, I still would not pick up Mike Fisher in most leagues), but we'll probably spend a good amount of time over the next few weeks highlighting players who should shine in their new homes. In addition, there are a couple of rookies I think could end the 2010-11 season on a high note.

Jack Skille – RW – Florida Panthers

The Chicago Blackhawks were forced to trade away a significant portion of their 2010 Stanley Cup winning team last summer and we thought Jack Skille would be one of the key players to fill the void. Although Skille did make the Blackhawks' opening day roster, he ended up averaging just 10:44 minutes of playing time per game. That won't be the case now that he's been traded to Florida. They made their intentions for Skille clear when he logged 17:45 minutes in his Panthers debut. Skille should develop into a great power forward and we wouldn't be surprised if he puts up decent numbers in the final months of the season.

Max Pacioretty – LW – Montreal Canadiens

After a couple of false starts, it looks as if Pacioretty has finally settled into his projected role as a top-six forward. Pacioretty had 86 games worth of NHL experience going into the 2010-11 season, but he failed to make the Canadiens' opening game roster. However, Pacioretty said he didn't mind improving himself in the minors if the alternative was being used as a bottom-six forward in the NHL, which proved the right attitude because he has the best of both worlds now. He's got 16 points in 25 games since being called up in mid-December, including three goals and six points in his last five contests. It certainly helps that he's been playing on a line with Tomas Plekanec, who has been impressed with Pacioretty's mental toughness.

Tyler Ennis – C/LW – Buffalo Sabres

As I said at the beginning of the season, I'm a big fan of Ennis. I thought he was going to outperform Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin this season. We'll see about Hall, but at least I'm pretty much guaranteed to get one out of two right. Let's just ignore the fact that, at the time of writing, rookies Logan Couture and Jeff Skinner have bested all three of them in goals and points. At any rate, Ennis had an up-and-down first half of the season, but he's been hot lately with three goals and 11 points in his last nine games. Buffalo as a team has been doing great lately and they should be very motivated as they try and claw their way up the Eastern Conference rankings.

Johan Hedberg – G – New Jersey Devils

This is probably a short-term pickup. Martin Brodeur is out with a knee problem and while the Devils aren't eager to go into detail about what's bothering him, they are calling it a day-to-day injury. In the meantime, Hedberg will play between the pipes for the red hot Devils. Everything has gone right for New Jersey lately and losing Brodeur hasn't affected them. Hedberg has allowed just four goals in his last three starts to help the Devils continue their improbable climb towards relevancy.

Joffrey Lupul – LW – Toronto Maple Leafs

When I first heard about this trade, I regarded Lupul as a throw in to balance out the salaries of the Ducks and Leafs. To me, this deal was really Francois Beauchemin for defensive prospect Jake Gardiner. However, the more I think about this deal, the more I think Toronto is a good fit for Lupul. First off, after spending the better part of the last two seasons on the sidelines, Lupul could benefit from a change of scenery. However, this trade also gets him out of a situation in Anaheim where he was only averaging 13:13 minutes per game. Toronto, albeit in part because their lackluster offense, intends to use Lupul as a top-six forward and they're giving him a chance to play alongside his former WHL linemate, Clarke MacArthur. A lot of time has passed since their junior hockey days, but perhaps that familiarity will be another plus in Lupul's favor. For his part, MacArthur said that he'll be looking to set Lupul up for one timers.

Brendan Morrison-C-Calgary Flames

Calgary has reversed their fortunes in recent weeks and Morrison deserves his fair share of the credit for that. He's clicked on a line with Jarome Iginla, scoring four goals and 11 points in his last nine games. Morrison is one of those players who is certainly capable of putting up fantasy worthy numbers, but could just be enjoying a hot streak. The fact that he's developed some chemistry with Iginla makes his situation interesting enough to warrant a pickup, but you shouldn't hesitate to drop him again if the duo gets separated or Morrison goes cold.


Ryan Dadoun is an Associate Editor for Hockey on Rotoworld. Feel free to follow him on Twitter or check out his blog.
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