Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Fantasy Roundup at The Dark Horse Corral

By Mark Edwards

When a player is placed on the IR, the only predictable result is another roster move. But who gets the call? Do you sign a promising rookie before someone else does? Or, do you opt for a grinder or proven vet who is finally getting an opportunity? Sometimes, a Dark Horse is an injury away.

Here, in no particular order, are some injured players and potential free agent beneficiaries.

Milan Lucic (LW): Out indefinitely with an unspecified ailment in his left foot. The Byron Bitz experiment on Boston's top line might be temporary, but monitor the situation. Bitz's long-term fantasy value will drop if he can't score with the big guns.

Jason Spezza (C): Out 4-6 weeks with a torn MCL. Jesse Winchester's ice time has doubled while centering Daniel Alfredsson and Milan Michalek. No guarantee to stick, but the opportunity is his to lose. Peter Regin gets a temporary boost while Nick Foligno is out for at least 2 weeks.

Joe Corvo (D): Out 8-12 weeks with a lacerated calf. Not a good year for leg protection in Carolina (see Cam Ward), or for Carolina in general. Bryan Rodney figures to be part of the youth movement in Raleigh and has short-term value while Tim Gleason and Niclas Wallin are nursing injuries.

The Detroit Red Wings: With Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen, Valtteri Fillpula, Dan Cleary, and Jason Williams all on the shelf, ice time is ripe for the earning in Motor City. Justin Abdelkader and Drew Miller are the guys to watch here. Both offer short-term value on LW. Center Kris Newbury also has an outside shot if he can string together some points.

Teemu Selanne and Joffrey Lupul (RW): He's taken, but I would be remiss if I didn't mention Dan Sexton. Fresh out of Bowling Green State University, Sexton has transitioned seamlessly into the pro game and onto Anaheim's second line. Even when Selanne comes back after Christmas, this type of production should keep Sexton around. He is someone to remember at the draft next year if he isn't kept.

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