published 11/02/13 8:44am
Alexander Steen's fantasy value has never been so high.
Photo: Terrence Lee / Icon SMI
FANTASY INBOX: Can Alexander Steen keep it up? How will Vanek and Moulson do with their new teams? And, what about a Desharnais for Sutter swap? Have fantasy NHL questions but don't know where to turn? Don't hesitate, ask us!


Q: Can Alexander Steen keep it up? I'm getting all kinds of intriguing trade offers for him in my non-keeper league. I feel like this is the perfect opportunity to move him. Am I right?
- Steve L. (Grand Forks, SD)

FI: You are right about that, Steve. This would be an ideal time to trade Steen while his value is probably at its highest. That said, make sure you don't just give him away for little return. Make sure you land a player you believe will out-produce Steen from now until season's end. It may be difficult to make that type of trade, but that's what you should be looking for. Even if Steen doesn't keep up his current pace, he'll still produce solid numbers across the board for you. So, make sure you get the right deal here. Perhaps this is an opportunity to get a more prolific, name scorer who is off to a slower start (but who has a much better reputation for fantasy production) than Steen. Names we'll throw out there are Carolina's Eric Staaland Philadelphia's Claude Giroux. Aim high, Steve, and ask for a lot.


Q: Do you guys think either Thomas Vanek or Matt Moulson will re-sign with their new teams, or are both headed towards free agency next July?
- Paul G. (Montreal, QC)

FI: Good question, Paul. The trade that saw Vanek move from Buffalo to Long Island for Moulson rocked the NHL earlier this week. It was a very bold move by the Islanders, but we don't really like their chances of re-signing Vanek. They'll definitely try to keep him, and have been successful recently in re-signing players who were otherwise reluctant to stay when first acquired--such as goaltender Evgeni Nabokov and defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky. That said, Vanek is thought to be leaning towards playing for the Minnesota Wild next season (and beyond). He attended the University of Minnesota and married a Minnesotan during his time in the 'State of Hockey', so there is good reason for him to go back there. Of course, the Wild may not want him (or may not be able to fit him under the salary cap), so it's not a slam dunk. As for Moulson, he probably is a better bet to re-sign with Buffalo, though the Sabres may decide to flip him before the trading deadline for more future assets.


Q: I've been offered a trade in my league, a swap of centers: Brandon Sutter for David Desharnais. I have Desharnais. This is basically trading Montreal's third-line center for Pittsburgh's. Should I go for it?
- Gilles G. (Gatineau, ON)

FI: Hi Gilles. Thanks for this question. It really is a swap of sputtering third-line centers, isn't it? Sutter has a lot of defensive responsibilities in Pittsburgh, and even with injuries this season he doesn't see a lot of action with the man advantage. In Desharnais' case, he's a more offensive center who should be producing a lot more than he is. Perhaps when Max Pacioretty returns to game shape, he'll once again form a strong duo with Desharnais, his center for much of the past three seasons. Since there appears to be greater potential for success with Desharnais, we would probably keep him over dealing for Sutter at this time. Perhaps if someone made you a better offer, Gilles, you should consider trading Desharnais. However, dealing him for Sutter appears to be (at best) a lateral move.

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