Like every NHL season, there are a number of injuries early on that drastically affect season-long fantasy leagues. In keeper leagues, you must hang on to the big names, but in other leagues it is time to scramble for a suitable replacement.
Zach Parise F NJ - IR 3 months
Knee surgery happened to our buddy Zach. Although it was unfortunate for all fantasy owners, they were glad to see he will be getting healthy this season. His six points in 12 games were uncharacteristic of his 80-plus point fantasy seasons of the past. The Devils as a team are not going to benefit from this. There is no positive spin here.
Ilya Kovalchuk was supposed to be Parise's line-mate. The $100 million man was supposed to be a fantasy stud alongside the offensively gifted Parise. This was not the case: Ilya has been bad, as have the Devils. But now people are starting to write the Devils off, similar to the Thrashers of seasons past. Kovalchuk owners are frustrated. This could be the time to scoop him up!
Dion Phanuef D TOR- IR 4-6 weeks
Dion wasn't exactly lighting the lamp previous to his injury, but that doesn't mean this injury won't affect the Buds. Phaneuf is the captain and, although that doesn't mean anything fantasy wise, the Leafs lose their leader. This means someone has to step up.
Thomas Kaberle is the longest-serving Leaf and should fill the void. Kaberle has always put up good fantasy numbers, but now that Phanuef is done for a month, the Leafs will need him to step up and shoot the puck more. Power-play time was always there for Kaberle, but his reluctance to shoot will need to change for his fantasy numbers to increase.
Another Leaf that will benefit on the point will be young Luke Schenn. He has been steadily improving this year. Schenn has shown he has some offensive upside, but starting him in your fantasy lineup is still a stretch.
Luke has played better since the arrival of Dion. With him out, this is the perfect time for him to ignite some offense and fill some shoes. Only time will tell if his new-found confidence will produce more fantasy points and improve on his three assists in 13 games this season.
Craig Anderson G COL- IR (out Indefinitely)
No secret here. One player benefits directly from this injury—Peter Budaj. Anderson beat him out clean last season, but Craig's 71 starts, 38 wins and seven shutouts are in the rear-view mirror for the Avs. Budaj has been good in Anderson's absence. And as an alternate option, he is worthy of a start most weeks. This doesn't change the fact that the Avs can't wait to get their star puck-stopper back, and neither can fantasy owners.
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