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Fantasy Hockey Mailbag — Merry Christmas!

With just a few days to go until Christmas arrives, fantasy hockey questions are still pouring in from all over the place. Again, every week we take your questions and the goal is to never back down no matter how challenging the inquiry may be. No one likes to be the bearer of bad news but sometimes that is just how it is. 

This week we have a couple more of these fantasy questions that test our minds. If you are ready then I am as well. Let's go for gold here!

Fantasy Hockey Mailbag

Okay so I am able to keep six keepers but I need to package a deal for an elite goaltender. My keepers are Perry, Schneider, Eberle, Yandle, Duchene, MacKinnon, Hedman, Subban, Toews, and Kopitar. Just what do I do on both accounts? -- Craig Belanger

These are fun questions though most would view them as tough or difficult. The attempt to try and distinguish can be maddening but it can also be a satisfying experience. Why? Decisions like this eat up too much of your time in fantasy hockey. I see it every single day and you can tell when it is really grinding someone's gears. 

When you look at the choices here, it actually reads like a who's who of top ten or twenty players or so. That may be a slight exaggeration but these are all top players at their respective positions (at least top ten or 15). When you realistically look at all these players, the across the board numbers just make it tougher and tougher. 

However, there are clear cut choices that can be made. One assertion is that Cory Schneider is not an elite goaltender right now because of the mess of a team he plays on currently. New Jersey is not going anywhere and the train could ride off the rails even further. Someone might try to take him in a sell low scenario though. Package him with the right players and maybe you can strike top five goaltender gold. 

Could you package a Schneider with Hedman to get a top goalie? Yes you might. However, you may have to sweeten the pot with a Perry to do it. These trades take skill and no doubt you will regret giving someone up. In the long run, a fantasy hockey GM has to think longer term. I might also package Kopitar, Yandle, and Eberle for a top tiered netminder also. 

My six keepers would be Perry, Subban, Hedman, Kopitar, Duchene, and MacKinnon. Good luck! Hey we have time for that second question. 


So Calvin Pickard has been having an amazing week, what do you do with him now? 

He is a good goalie and I do not doubt that. However, seeing these numbers come in and the frequent 30+ save totals combined with the workload do worry me a bit. His "Goalie DNA" says he can handle it but Colorado has little margin for error. Semyon Varlamov is bound to come back eventually and take back his job anyway. With a window that is closing by the day, an owner has a chance to get something for Pickard he never ever expected to. Think of how often a waiver pick can be turned into an asset. It does not happen very often. 

You can keep playing him until Varlamov returns and then go digging into the waiver wire to try and get lucky again or maybe you trade him for another player now. There are enough fantasy hockey general managers out there dying for a quick fix and they will PAY for it! As the saying goes, aim high first and then come down in price. Remember to do this fast because other owners will pick up on this strategy and fast!


Good luck everyone and thanks for reading. Merry Christmas and see you next week!