How to Project Kaberle to Your Fantasy Hockey Team

Updated: October 12, 2011 at 3:22 pm by Chris Wassel

Now that Tomas Kaberle is on the Boston Bruins, it would seem a lot has changed and that may be so.  Since the trade involved a prospect, a conditional pick, and Boston’s 2011 1st round pick, the impacts short-term will have to be based on only Kaberle’s contributions to Boston.

The hardest part of a short term trade is this.  No one knows just yet if this is a rental so the only thing that we are going to help the fantasy player project here is the next seven weeks until the end of the regular season.  Like we will quietly maintain here, the conditional 2nd round 2012 pick may be the most important part of the deal provided Kaberle re-signs in Boston next season.

Back to the matter at hand and that is the following.  What will Kaberle’s “fantasy impact” be with the Boston Bruins?

Definitely Kaberle ups the ante in the Eastern Conference whether anyone wants to admit it or not.  The owners of a Kaberle in fantasy leagues suddenly have a bargaining chip (especially if they are selling in keeper leagues for rebuilding).   It is time to do this truly in steps.  Here we go.

Step 1:  Kaberle’s trade value goes UP!

If you are trying to unload Kaberle in your fantasy league, now is the best time to do it.  Fantasy trade deadlines are not all past yet and as a matter of fact, some leagues do not have a deadline but most are a couple weeks before or after the NHL Trade Deadline.  Value has been very interesting to gauge all day but in keeper leagues, Kaberle is fetching as much as a 1st and 3rd for 2011 and in some cases more.  People are really going more on potential for a guy who will not have to log minutes playing the PK for Boston.

In head to head leagues, a Kaberle is actually fetching guys that average a point a game as crazy as it sounds.  Kaberle has infinitely more value than a Joe Thornton or Dany Heatley.  That could not be said at the start of the year.  Any league that is heavy in assists will also see a major spike.  As for leagues that are a little more goal oriented, do not sleep on Kaberle, he will put a few more goals in the net for Boston than he did for Toronto.  It will not be a lot but considering the upgrade in talent level and the stakes, this is a perfect situation for him to walk into.

Needless to say having a chip like Kaberle on your team is good as a seller but next we will go into why it is even better to have him in leagues where you are either near or at the top.

Step 2: At or near the top, Kaberle is the tops for D.

In this market, Kaberle is the tops for offensive defensemen and that is why Boston paid such a steep price or steep according to some anyway. The closest player right now as far as goal to assist skill set is Marek Zidlicky of the Minnesota Wild when he is on his game.  Zidlicky is back tonight by the way for Minnesota.  However, Kaberle is a hair better as a power play QB and plays a little better defensively.  Also, there is more talent to go around in Boston than there is in Minnesota.

Passing to guys like Nathan Horton, David Krejci, and even Zdeno Chara just to name a few has to be such a boost for Kaberle.  Yes it will take time for the chemistry to work in but when it does, look out!  Not even Eric Brewer to Tampa Bay makes the same impact as Kaberle.  That ought to tell you something fantasy owners.

Step 3:  Pairing on the Power Play.

This will be key but Kaberle is currently being paired with Chara.  So a guy with superior passing skills feeding a guy with a near 106 mph slap shot.  This sounds awfully appealing to the fantasy owner out there. Do not judge anything by tonight’s action or lack of action.  This on the surface lends to ton of assists but think about the rest of the five man power play unit for Boston.  Everyone wants to focus on Chara and rightfully so but with guys like Krejci and Lucic up front with Patrice Bergeron, somehow I am thinking it is a dangerous five man first unit now.  Again when the chemistry comes, so will the uptick.

Step 4:  How long will the chemistry take to hit fruition?

This is always a tough question.  I would expect probably a week or so before the Bruins and Kaberle fully get it together.  There will be bumps and some definite missed passes but they should lessen over the time period mentioned above.  So much in fantasy success is actually dependent on all the other little things going well.  Also at press time (near 10pm ET), Kaberle just got an assist according to unofficial scoring.  It is now official.   that he did not get an assist.  However, the play was a microcosm in what Kaberle can do for a Power Play as far as creating space and finding a way to get the puck where it needs to go to set up a goal.  Or simply Kaberle can set up the play as well. Sometimes assists and goals are not a true measure but those points will come.

The plays are there already and the points will start coming.  When they do, expect them to come in bunches at times much to the happiness of Kaberle owners out there.

Step 5:  Theorizing an actual projection…..

Again these are always fun.  Here is how we are going to do it.  The last three seasons for Kaberle upcoming……

Year Team GP G A Pts +/- PIM Hits BkS PPG PPA SHG SHA GW SOG Pct
2008-09 TOR 57 4 27 31 -8 8 N/A N/A 3 16 0 0 1 93 .043
2009-10 TOR 82 7 42 49 -16 24 44 99 3 22 0 1 1 158 .044
2010-11 TOR 58 3 35 38 -2 16 28 99 0 22 0 0 1 99 .030
Career Totals (Full) 878 83 437 520 25 246 72 198 31 232 1 10 16 1337 .062

Now we secretly looked back when Toronto had some better teams and we realized that basically Kaberle was about a 55 point guy in 75 games played. If you yank out your slide rule and abacus, that comes out to about 0.73 points per game or near 3 points out of every 4 games.  That is not too shabby.  Even this year he was averaging nearly 2 out of every 3 with talent that was a bit inferior to be fair and brutally honest.

Boston has 24 games left and 23 after tonight.  Based on the numbers above we came up with the following using some empirical formulas and such. Actually we played a few NHL 11 games and ran a simulation or three that way to come with the point totals:

24 GP  4 goals 16 assists 20 pts +3 1 PPG, 10 PPA, 40 SOG, 42 BLKS, 15 hits

Now the fun and debate begins, will he even get that close or will he exceed? That question is up to you, the reader.  Also, we open up the floor for the other trades that have happened today and how they could affect fantasy rosters.  Give us your thoughts and do not be shy. You can follow Chris on Twitter @TheProgramBTR or the site @dailyfaceoff

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Just a hockey blogger trying to make it in this crazy fantasy hockey world.

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