After Brian Campbell was severely boarded by Alex Ovechkin and suffered a broken collarbone and rib, much ado was made about Alex Ovechkin and his occasionally reckless style of play. In a recent DailyFaceoff article, “Ovechkin Not Helping Your Playoff Push”, it was noted that Ovechkin’s hit would likely result in a suspension and you would not have his services for the first round of your fantasy playoff push. League disciplinarian Colin Campbell and the NHL responded by suspending Ovechkin for two games. This is Ovechkin’s second two game suspension of the season. Additionally, the Great 8 has received a game misconduct this season for boarding Buffalo’s Patrick Kaleta. But that’s what you get with Ovechkin. High energy, highly skilled, high production, but occasionally reckless. When you draft Ovie, whether it is first, second, or third in your fantasy draft, this is what you sign up for. And this is what you have to deal with. What about the affect on the 83% of Fantasy Owners who retained Brian Campbell’s services? Or, should I say, did….
As the first week of many Fantasy Hockey Playoffs begin, owners are scrambling to replace Campbell. Thanks, Ovie.
Here are a few potential replacement options for Campbell, especially in deeper Fantasy Leagues where quality players aren’t always in high quantity:
1. Jack Johnson (19%) Everyone has expected Los Angeles to fade, but they have refused. Johnson supports Drew Doughty on the Kings’ first PP unit and has produced 6 goals and 24 assists for 30 points on the season, with 12 of his points coming on the power play. If available, he would be my first option (assuming your team can tolerate his -13 plus/minus rating this season).
2. Dennis Seidenberg (5%) Since his trade to Boston, Seidenberg has been paired with Zdeno Chara in both even strength and power play situations. In 6 games with the Bruins, Seidenberg has 3 assists and is +4. Overall, Seidenberg is a 2-24-26 performer with 8 PPP. Playing with Chara will definitely benefit Seidenberg, and he may be the waiver wire pickup you desire.
3. Derek Morris (10%) In 5 games, Morris has 1 assist and is +4 since being traded to the Coyotes. He receives some power play time, most frequently on the Yotes’ second unit. Overall, Morris is a 3 goal, 23 assist, 26 point performer with 13 of his points coming on the power play on a streaking Phoenix team.
4. Tom Poti (14%) Although it pains me to write this, as I feel Poti has been overvalued in every city he has stopped at during his NHL career, he has 4 goals and 18 assists for 22 points. The big perk with Poti is a nice +19 rating (thank you high flying, prolific Caps offense).
5. Jeff Schultz (15%) In Washington, Jeff Schultz does nothing noteworthy. He doesn’t doing anything great, he doesn’t do anything poorly. Except he does find himself reaping the benefits of the Caps prolific offense and enjoys a nice +37 rating. And he’s not a terrible offensive performer from the point (3-16-19), just don’t expect him to contribute on the reg. Like I said, he reaps the benefits of Ovie, Backstrom, Greenie and Semin. Kudos to Schultz for riding their coat tails. Value pick, baby!
6. James Wisniewski (16%) Playing on a poor Anaheim squad, he does benefit from his PP time with Getlaf, Ryan, and Perry (though that trio seems to accumulate the majority of PPPs). 3-23-26 on the year. Not a bad choice if you need to find a late replacement defenseman who plays consistently on his team’s first power play unit.
7. Keith Ballard (15%) With Seidenberg’s departure from Florida, Ballard will look to increase his minutes and production. Thus far, he has pumped in 5 goals and added 15 assists for 20 points. His 65 PIMS and 9 PPP also add a degree of attractiveness.
+1. Filip Kuba (18%) Kuba would be ranked higher, however he is currently listed as day-to-day, and thus makes is immediate impact unknown. This season, Kuba has 3 goals, 25 assists and 28 points for the Sens while adding 11 PPP. I would stick him anywhere from 2 to 4 when healthy. I still say Johnson is your man, if available.
If you are looking for Campbell’s direct replacement, Chicago has indicated they plan to go with Nick Boynton (2%) if he clears waivers, which he is expected to do. Boynton has 1 goal and 6 assists for 7 points, with 2 coming on the power play, in only 42 games. He also adds 59 PIMs. TBD how he fits into Chicago’s lineup.
Bottom line: Campbell injury hurts the Hawks, and Campbell fantasy owners, big time. No timetable for his return, and his injuries are expected to linger well into the playoffs. The Ovechkin suspension has no impact on the Caps, although Ovie’s fantasy owners will be hoping the rest of their squad can pick up the slack and help them find a way into the next round. Good riddance to all!
***All ownership percentages based on Yahoo! fantasy hockey ownership as of 3/15/10