Before I get into my picks for the week, let me just apologize to all the Andy McDonald owners out there I jinxed by mentioning him the other day. And for all of those considering picking him up, you can scratch that idea. But some guys I WOULD consider going after, would be these four...
Eric Staal - You know it's funny, now that Eric's in his fifth season in the NHL I don't even think of him when I think of the Staal brothers. Eric's his own man, all the other Staals are just an afterthought. He's hit a real dry spell as of late though, and GMs that own him might be getting fidgety. I still like him to finish around 75 points, so see if you can't wrap up a flavor of the week or two in exchange for the original Staal.
Manny Legace - Yes I'm back to praising Manny! He looks healthy again and will always be one of the most undervalued goalies in the NHL. The fact he's coming off injury problems and has Mason behind him should only help you bargain for him.
Duncan Keith - With Cam Barker and Brian Campbell coming off monster games some owners might be second guessing Keith. This would be a grave mistake as Keith is as good of an all around defenseman as there is in the NHL. What he lacks in powerplay time he'll make up for in inhuman plus/minus.
Ilya Kovalchuk - Kovalchuk will probably still demand a high price tag but considering his good but unspectacular start of the season, this is probably as cheap as you'll be able to get him. The Thrashers are playing much better lately and Kovalchuk sounds like he's determined to make something of this team this season. Whether or not he'll be able to, I won't comment on that, but I do still like him as a player.
Tomas Plekanec - This may seem like the time to buy low on Plekanec. I say sell low on him while he still has name value. I'm not sold on the Plek, I think he's an inconsistent player on a team with an inconsistent offense that likes to spread their lines too thin. If I had to guess, 50 points would be my generous prediction for him this season.
Alex Auld - I like Auld, he's an underrated goalie and has been for some time. I thought he should have been starting in Vancouver back in the Cloutier days (insert noise Sideshow Bob makes when getting hit in the face with a rake). But I think the Senators have some serious problems this season and Auld's not guaranteed to keep the starting job. I'd be willing to bet his value is higher right now than it will be for the rest of the season. Take that as you will.
Loui Eriksson - Remember when I told you to sell Brunnstrum right after his hat trick? Hasn't done much since then, has he? Well here's another young Swede that just scored a couple goals. Not trying to make any generalizations here, I like In Flames and Soilwork as much as the next guy. But I would sell high on Eriksson while you can too.
Milan Hejduk - Seemingly is off to a much better season than last year. Right? Well, he was off to a better start... when he was shooting the puck. In his past 4 games he has 4 SOG (and 1 point). I don't think it's any coincidence that he had his worst season in five years last year, and also shot the puck the fewest times he had... in five years. Hejduk at his very best upside at this point in his career is a 70 point guy, and at his worst is in the low 50s. I kind of think the latter is going to be the case this season.