Corey Abbott

Waiver Wired

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Sabres Seem Sharper

Sunday, March 06, 2011


Now that the NHL trade deadline has come and gone, youngsters with everything to gain and veterans looking to get their names on the Stanley Cup should play key roles on their teams. This edition of Waiver Wired will suggest some players who could benefit your fantasy team down the stretch and into next season as well.

Brad Boyes - RW - Buffalo Sabres

Buffalo's acquisition of Boyes just before deadline day instantly presented his fantasy owners with new optimism. He was also a fairly popular waiver option when he scored a goal in each of his first two games as a Sabre and registered two assists in Saturday afternoon's win over the Flyers. The 28-year-old forward has a level of comfort in Buffalo that bodes well for the club's remaining 18 contests. He was born in Mississauga, Ontario and playing close to home is exciting for him. Playing under coach Lindy Ruff's more offense-oriented system should benefit him, as well. For whatever reason, he wasn't meshing well in St. Louis under coach Davis Payne. He had amassed 76 goals and 137 points in 164 games from 2007-08 but has struggled in St. Louis for the past two seasons. Boyes seems to have found a new lease on life in Buffalo. Grab him if you still can.

Jason Arnott - C - Washington Capitals

One of Washington's biggest question marks heading into the trade deadline was who the team would bring in to serve as their second-line center. They ended up sending David Steckel and a 2012 second-round draft pick to New Jersey to get Arnott to fill that role. The 36-year-old pending unrestricted free agent has notched a game-winning goal and a game-tying assist for the Capitals in the two games he has played with the club so far. He seems to be coming up big in key situations, which should bode well for them and him moving forward. While Arnott's better days in the league might be behind him, I would be reluctant to write him off because of that, especially considering that the supporting cast he has been given in Washington is much more offensively talented than what he had been playing with as a Devil, where he mostly served as a third-line player. He should put up solid numbers playing with Brooks Laich and Alexander Semin for the rest of 2010-11.

Jamie Benn - LW - Dallas Stars

Word around Dallas was the Stars were more than willing to part with James Neal as part of the package to land Alex Goligoski from Pittsburgh because of Benn's potential. The amount of ice time he has received since returning to the lineup from a shoulder injury should be proof of that confidence. The 21-year-old has logged over 20 minutes in the five games he has played since missing 10 contests to injury. He has responded with two goals and one assist over that time and will likely see plenty of key situations with the team for the balance of the season. If and when offensive catalyst Brad Richards is able to make his return to the lineup from a concussion, Benn's production should increase substantially when he ends up on his wing alongside Loui Eriksson. He is also a great option to stash away in keeper leagues.

Devin Setoguchi - RW - San Jose Sharks

The Sharks have been one of the league's hottest teams, with eight wins in a row heading into Saturday night's match-up with the Dallas Stars. The inspiring play of fantasy hockey whipping boy Devin Setoguchi has played a vital part in that success. After he scored 31 times and earned 65 points in 2008-09, Setoguchi regressed for two seasons, but he has gotten back on track lately in a big way. He has tallied seven goals and two assists over San Jose's current win streak. He has been picking up points with regularity since late January, when he registered a six-game point streak (four markers, four helpers) from Jan. 22nd to Feb. 8th. Hop back on his bandwagon while the getting is good.

Andrej Sekera - D - Buffalo Sabres

After being a healthy scratch for three straight matches due to his inability to produce from the back end, Sekera has exploded with an impressive four-game point streak. He has recorded two goals and registered six assists over that span, while posting a plus-5 rating. Prior to his offensive surge, Sekera had been mired in a 19-game pointless slump and had not been able to find the back of the net for 44 consecutive contests. He's worth snatching up while he's hot.

Andrei Kostitsyn - LW - Montreal Canadiens

It's not an everyday occurrence when a player starts to flourish once he gets out of a team's top-six forward group, but that's what has happened to Montreal's Andrei Kostitsyn. Over the past five games, he has been clicking on the third line with Lars Eller and Travis Moen to the tune of three goals and four assists for a five-game point streak. Kostitsyn has had various ups and downs this season and using a flyer on him while he's going is a sound option.





Corey Abbott is an Associate Editor for Hockey on Rotoworld. Feel free to follow him Twitter @CoreAbbott.
Email :Corey Abbott



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