We're getting down to the final days of the National Hockey League regular season, and those fantasy owners looking to make a move will find the guys below useful. It is not always the guy who scores that makes a difference. Sometimes, fantasy owners in rotisserie formats are so far ahead in some categories, and in need of making up ground in others, that they have specific needs. In the final days of the season, we'll try to suggest guys who can help in specific categories, while also including some offensive guys, too.
Mark Fraser, defenseman, Toronto Maple Leafs
Fraser isn't really known for his offensive output. In fact, he hasn't scored a goal in 30 games with the Maple Leafs, and he has just six assists over the past 24 games played. However, if you're in a rotisserie format, Fraser is certain to help down the stretch if you are trying to make up ground in certain categories. Fraser has posted 16 penalty minutes (PIM) over his past nine games, and he has delivered 105 hits while blocking 66 shots. Fraser is also second on the team with a plus-15 rating.
Jakob Silfverberg, right wing, Ottawa Senators
The Senators have dealt with a bevy of injuries this season, but they keep finding players to step up and fill the holes. Last week we suggested defenseman Patrick Wiercioch, who is still a great addition, by the way. This week, Silfverberg has really stepped up his game. He has managed four goals with an assist and plus-1 rating over his past five games. The Swede's ice time (TOI) has been holding steady around 16-18 minutes per contest, and he isn't afraid to shoot the puck. Silfverberg has squeezed off at least two shots on goal (SOG) in each of his past eight games, and 11 of the past 12.
Mats Zuccarello, left wing, New York Rangers
The diminutive Norwegian forward was granted his release from Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) in Russia after agreeing to terms on a contract with the Rangers. He posted 11 goals, 17 assists and a plus-5 rating in 44 games for his Russian club. Zuccarello returns to the Rangers, a team for which he posted six goals with 17 assists in 42 games during the 2010-11 season. Zuccarello is a speedy little forward who looks like a younger version of Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Martin St. Louis. He is not worth activating in fantasy leagues, but instead he should be stashed away for his potential.
Michael Grabner, right wing, New York Islanders
Grabner has been able to return after missing time due to a shoulder injury, but he has done next to nothing since coming back. He is scoreless with a minus-1 rating in three games back, and he has managed just six shots on goal. Grabner has looked a little tentative, and perhaps he is simply worried about taking contact and aggravating his injury. Fantasy owners don't need that at this critical juncture of the season.
Tyler Myers, defenseman, Buffalo Sabres
Myers is seeing plenty of ice time for the Sabres, but he is doing very little with the opportunity. He has not scored a goal in 12 contests since his game-winner at Tampa Bay Feb. 26, and he has just one assist over his past 17 games since mid-February. Myers is getting plenty of TOI, and he has plenty of value to his real team. However, he doesn't score much and has a minus-5 rating with just 28 PIM in 30 games. Really, he doesn't do one particular thing well for fantasy owners, making it a surprise he appears on roughly 50 percent of all rosters. If you are an owner of Myers, it won't take long to find a more adequate replacement.
Paul Stastny, center, Colorado Avalanche
Stastny will be sidelined for at least another week due to a bruised left foot. If you're battling for a playoff position in head-to-head leagues, or are having a spirited battle for the top spot in rotisserie formats, you can't afford to have Stastny on reserve for at least the next two scoring periods. Even when he was healthy and playing, he wasn't exactly lighting the world on fire. He has managed just one goal with three points and a minus-7 rating over his past eight games dating back to March 8. In fact, Stastny has been even or negative in the plus/minus category in each of his past 10 games. That's not helpful.
About Daniel Dobish
Daniel is a Hot Off the Wire Analyst who joined the KFFL staff in 2010. He is a veteran of the fantasy industry dating back to 1999, with stops at CBSSports.com, The Sports Forecaster, OPENSports.com and RotoExperts.com. His work has also appeared on NFL.com and Yahoo.com. Daniel was named the 2011 Fantasy Golf Writer of the Year, 2011 Fantasy Racing Writer of the Year, and he was nominated for the 2011 Fantasy Hockey Writer of the Year. Daniel lives in North Carolina with his wife and two sons.