NHL Fantasy Focus: The Waiver-Wire Team

Matt SitkoffCorrespondent IJanuary 18, 2010

MONTREAL- JANUARY 16:  Mike Brodeur #31 of the Ottawa Senators stosp the puck during the NHL game against the Montreal Canadiens on January 16, 2010 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

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The Olympic break is slowly creeping up on Fantasy owners. This will be a good measuring stick to see how your team stacks up, as the NHL schedule has stuffed games into a short time period leading up the the break. 

So to help owners out, we will look at some of the best waiver-wire pickups to gather before the big break.


Mike Brodeur, G, Senators

Marty’s long lost brother’s cousin’s uncle has put on a show in his first three games this season, giving up only three goals in those games, including a shutout.

Considering the Senators fired their goaltending coach a couple of days ago, it shows you how much confidence they had in the current goalies on the roster. 

Big-time pickup Pascal Leclair still can’t seem to stay healthy, and Brian Elliot has done nothing to solidify himself as the guy to turn to full-time (10-11-3), so in steps the former seventh-round selection.

Goalies are very streaky, so ride the 26-year-old's current hot streak, for the Senators are finally starting to get healthy as they hit a strech of 14 more games before the break with only two back-to-back nights.


Keith Yandle, D, Coyotes

The Coyotes are for real and need to be taken seriously as fantasy contributors. None more than this 23-year-old defenseman who is following a career year with a breakout performance this season and should soon be owned in 100 percent of leagues. 

Yandle already has a career-high six goals, half of them coming on the power play, and has tied his career-high with 37 penalty minutes. 

The Boston native is playing 48.4 percent of the Coyotes power play, which helps his stock (six power-play points), and has two game-winning goals. With 14 games remaining before the break, look for Yandle to build on his career year.


Mark Giordano, D, Flames

With the likes of Dion Phaneuf, Jay Bouwmeester, and Robyn Regehr on the Flames backline, it is a true surprise that Giordano is starting to become a fantasy impact player. Don't believe it? Wake up and smell the salts: the 26-year-old is worth a pickup despite the big names surrounding him.

The Toronto native leads the Flames D in points (20) and PIM (54) and is second in power-play points (eight), all while being a plus player (plus-6). 

The undrafted free agent played last season in Russia after rejecting a two-way contract, but it seems he made the right decision coming back to play in the NHL. 

Paired with Bouwmeester on even strength has obviously helped his plus-minus, and playing on the top power play has shown he is here to stay and be an impact fantasy player.


Guillaume Latendresse, W, Wild

The classic case of a talented player just needing a change of scenery, as Latendresse has been on fire for the red-hot Minnesota Wild. The former second-round pick by the Canadiens has 13 goals in his first 24 games in Minnesota (15 total). The 22-year-old’s career-high in goals is 16. 

Though fighting an illness recently, it has been the opposing defense that has been sick to see Latendresse on the ice with 15 points in his last 13 games. 

Playing alongside equally hot Martin Havlat (14 points in last 15), the 6’2’’ power forward has seemed to find a home in the Western Conference and should find a home on your fantasy team.


Pavol Demitra, W, Canucks

The 35-year-old made his season debut for the Canucks on Saturday and should start to be added on fantasy teams. Wanting to play for the Slovakian Olympic team, Demitra wanted to get some time in before the Olympics.

This 10-time 20-plus-goal scorer, including last year, will start on the third line of the deep Canucks, but as he gets more ice time watch for his points total to rise.

Demitra has averaged 57 points in the last three years and seems to be healthy after offseason shoulder surgery, so he should be activated into your fantasy lineup.


Josh Bailey, C/W, Islanders

The former ninth overall selection has now been promoted to the top line on Long Island to create a unit of the last three first-round picks for the Islanders (Okposo, ’07; Bailey, ’08; Tavares, ’09). 

The 20-year-old is responding to this promotion with 14 points in his last 13 games.  Despite the fact he's played center his whole career, being moved to the wing on this talented line is not only good news for the Islanders but for fantasy owners, as he picks up dual eligibility. 

The Ontario native also is contributing on the power play, with seven power-play points, and is an amazing plus-11 on a team that is giving up 2.94 goals per game. 

With eight of the 14 games at home, look for Bailey to continue his hot streak, as he has 10 points in 22 home games this season.