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Fantasy Adds & Drops: Connecting with Konecny

This weekly column will aim to help you navigate through the rough waters of your fantasy league’s waiver wire. PHT will suggest which players owned in less than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues you should pick while also recommending players to drop.

Here we go!

Adds:

Matt Duchene– C- Ottawa Senators (39 percent)

Yes, Duchene has already been on our “drop list” this season, but it looks like he’s starting to figure things out in Ottawa (even if the Senators haven’t). The 27-year-old has nine points in his last nine games. He’s consistently played between 17 and 20 minutes in each of those games. The Sens are toast this year, but Duchene’s fantasy value doesn’t have to be.

Anthony Beauvillier– C/LW- New York Islanders (27 percent)

It wasn’t too long ago that Beauvillier’s confidence was at an all-time low. During the bye week, the Isles sent the sophomore forward to the minors to work on his game. Injuries allowed him to be recalled sooner than head coach Doug Weight wanted, but he’s done nothing but produce offense since he’s been back. He has five points in his last three games and 10 in his last eight.

Alexander Edler– D- Vancouver Canucks (26 percent) 

Not only is Edler playing big minutes, he’s also been pretty productive of late. The Canucks blue liner has eight points in his last eight games while averaging over 23 minutes of ice time this season. He’s on pace to score 32 points, which doesn’t jump off the page, but he’s missed 12 games due to injury this season.

[More Fantasy: Rotoworld’s The Week Ahead column]

Ryan Miller– G- Anaheim Ducks (26 percent)

Adding Miller will depend on the long-term health of starter John Gibson, who left his last game with an injury. If Gibson is out for an extended period of time, Miller will certainly be worth adding. Miller has a 6-2-4 record with a 2.14 goals-against-average and a .929 save percentage this season.

Travis Konecny– C/LW/RW-Philadelphia Flyers (24 percent)

Konecny is coming out of the All-Star break riding a five-game point streak. He’s also accumulated 12 points in his last 13 games. The increase in ice time and responsibility has done wonders for his game. It’ll be interesting to see how long he can keep rolling. The fact that he plays all three forward positions only helps his fantasy value.

Paul Byron– LW/RW- Montreal Canadiens (3 percent)

Byron has really flourished since making the move to center earlier this month. He’s been skating on a line with Max Pacioretty, who has also picked up his offensive numbers of late. Byron is currently on a six-game point streak. With the Canadiens extremely thin down the middle, expect him to stay there for a while. He’s worth an add in deeper leagues.

Drops: 

Jake Guentzel– C/LW- Pittsburgh Penguins (62 percent)

You can’t help but wonder why Guentzel is owned in so many leagues. It must be because of his performance in the first half of last year’s playoffs. The Pens forward is on pace to score 24 goals this season, but his overall production isn’t worthy of being owned in standard leagues. He has just two points (both are goals) in his last 12 games.

[Fantasy Podcast: Rotoworld on Marchand’s big bad decision]

Reilly Smith– LW/RW- Vegas Golden Knights (59 percent)

Everybody is thrilled that the Golden Knights are an overnight success story, but some of their players will have to come back down to earth at some point. Smith is one of those players and it looks like his production has begun to take a significant dip already, as he’s gone six games without a point.

Mika Zibanejad– C- New York Rangers (46 percent)

Zibanejad is the Rangers top center, but his production hasn’t showed that. He’s on pace to score a respectable 50 points this year, but he hasn’t scored in seven games and he just three points during that stretch. Zibanejad’s fantasy value could dip even further if the Rangers start trading away some of his veteran teammates before the trade deadline.

Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.

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    PHT Morning Skate: The hockey world remembers Ray Emery

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    Welcome to the PHT Morning Skate, a collection of links from around the hockey world. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at phtblog@nbcsports.com.

    • Remembering Ray Emery. (TSN.ca)

    • A tragic end for Ray Emery, a polarizing figure who led the Ottawa Senators to the Stanley Cup Final. (Ottawa Sun)

    • After signing a six-year, $37 million contract last week, a look at how an agent change changed the course of Connor Hellebuyck‘s career. (InGoal Magazine)

    Logan Couture, who committed the next eight years of his NHL career to the San Jose Sharks on July 1, is ready to pay it forward. (The Hockey News)

    • A move out the wing helped Claude Giroux revitalize his career, and helped Sean Couturier to have a career year, but could a move back to center be the best move for the Flyers going forward? (NBC Sports Philadelphia)

    • A lengthy look at the single best contract for each of the NHL’s 31 teams. (ESPN)

    • Vegas’ top line is good, but best top trio hockey? Nope. (Knights on Ice)

    Ryan Kesler could miss the entirety of next season and the Anaheim Ducks don’t appear to be worried about it. (Anaheim Calling)

    • It wasn’t just New York Islanders fans who felt the sting of his departure on July 1. His own teammates need to pick themselves back up as well. (Sportsnet)

    • He’s one the greatest names in Detroit Red Wings history. It’s time to retire Sergei Fedorov’s No. 91. (Detroit Free Press)

    • A look at Nathan Walker and the future of international hockey. (Puck Prose)

    • Well, this is interesting: Troy Stecher’s closest comparable as he heads to arbitration is in Jim Benning’s family. (Vancouver Courier)

    • A look at how Paul Bissonnette has forged a career in multimedia after forging one as a fourth-liner in the NHL. (Forbes)

    • After signing Devon Shore to a two-year, the Dallas Stars are still in decent shape in terms of the salary cap. (Blackout Dallas)

    • Oilers Nation is doing a player-by-player review from last season, and this particular review looks at if Edmonton is going to miss Patrick Maroon more than they think. (Oilers Nation)

    • When Devils’ head coach John Hynes expects to fill his coaching staff and what he wants in an assistant. (NJ.com)

    • How Andrej Sustr found healing through art. (NHLPA)

    • The rollercoaster of a ride that was the first season of Fanatics handling official NHL apparel. (Scotty Wazz)


    Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

    Canadiens make a good move: Solid deal for Danault

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    Unanimously good moves haven’t happened regularly for the Montreal Canadiens these days, so it’s worthwhile to appreciate even what would seem like easy calls.

    With that in mind, signing useful forward Phillip Danault to a nice three-year contract ranks as one of Marc Bergevin’s best decisions in some time, whether you can chalk up the value to RFA leverage or not. The Canadiens confirmed that the cap hit is a reasonable $3.083 million per season.

    Danault, 25, has essentially been a point-every-other-game player for Montreal. He scored 25 points in 52 games this past season after a relative breakthrough in 2016-17, when he collected 40 points in 82 contests. Not too shabby.

    It’s conceivable that Danault could maybe chip in a bit more if leaned upon in a bigger way, as he averaged 16:35 minutes per game, with a touch less than a minute (56 seconds) of that average happening on the power play.

    Now, it’s not as though the Canadiens are being foolish in playing him in his current role, as it’s plausible that he’s best served as a supporting cast sort of asset. The point is that Danault seems to make good use of his time, might be able to do a tad bit more, and tends to check out reasonably well from a possession standpoint. He’s not the type of player who will win you a Stanley Cup, yet he’s also the sort of guy who wouldn’t take much off of the table, either. In other words, this is a justifiable contract and could even be a nifty value.

    Faint praise? Pretty much, but it’s better than the usual reaction for Bergevin & Co. (laughter, mockery).

    James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

    Former NHL goalie Ray Emery passes away at age 35

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    Terrible news on Sunday: former NHL goalie Ray Emery passed away at age 35.

    Toronto photojournalist Andrew Collins first reported the sad news, which was confirmed by Hamilton Police. Multiple reporters, including Collins, indicate that drowning was the cause of death.

    The Ottawa Senators drafted Emery in the fourth round (99th overall) in 2001, and some of Emery’s best moments happened with the Sens, including a run to the 2007 Stanley Cup Final. Emery played in 287 NHL regular-season games and 39 playoff contests, also suiting up with the Anaheim Ducks, Philadelphia Flyers, and Chicago Blackhawks. Emery last played in the NHL in 2014-15 with the Flyers, while his last hockey season came in 2015-16, when he split that campaign between the AHL and Germany’s DEL.

    In 2012-13, Emery and Corey Crawford were awarded the William Jennings Trophy, which is handed to the goalie (or in that case, goalies) who produced the lowest GAA during the regular season. He also enjoyed a moment with the Stanley Cup during his time with Chicago:

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    Emery stood out thanks to his personality as much as his goaltending, with his one-sided fight against Braden Holtby ranking as one of his most memorable moments in the NHL.

    While his NHL career was brief, Emery made an impact, as you can see from an outpouring of emotion from fans and former teammates, including Daniel Carcillo and James van Riemsdyk. Plenty of people around the hockey world also shared their condolences, including Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas, who was familiar with Emery during his stint with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies.

    Senators owner Eugene Melnyk released a statement in memory of Emery.

    “On behalf of the Ottawa Senators, I wish to express my sincere condolences on the passing of Ray Emery. Ray was instrumental in our run to the 2007 Stanley Cup Final, and at his best he brought a competitive edge and combative mentality to the game. On behalf of our entire organization, I wish to extend my deepest sympathies to Ray’s family, friends and loved ones.”

    Blue Jackets get nice value with Bjorkstrand; Panarin meeting looms

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    With agitating uncertainty surrounding the long-term futures of Sergei Bobrovsky and especially Artemi Panarin, it’s probably wrong to say that the Columbus Blue Jackets wrapped up their “to-do list” on Sunday.

    They’ve at least taken care of the matters that are more in their hands this weekend.

    On Saturday, defenseman (and potential-gone-wrong) Ryan Murray accepted Columbus’ qualifying offer in something of a shoulder shrug signing. The next day, it was more of a fist bump, as intriguing forward Oliver Bjorkstrand agreed to a friendly three-year deal.

    The team didn’t confirm this in its release (because reasons), but the cap hit is a thrifty $2.5 million per season, according to The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline and others.

    During his first season in the NHL, the 23-year-old showed promise, scoring 11 goals and 40 points despite modest ice time (an average of 14:18 TOI per game). The Athletic’s Alison Lukan notes that Bjorkstrand checks many of the analytics boxes – rarely a bad sign – so there’s some very genuine optimism that the Dane will deliver strong value.

    Personally, it’s also nice to see that he’s hungry to score more goals.

    Speaking of the to-do list regarding items they might not have the power to address, Panarin announced that he and his agent will meet with Blue Jackets brass on Monday. Maybe a contract extension actually could happen? Maybe a different sort of resolution is coming?

    A lot rides on that situation, yet it doesn’t hurt to land good values at a nice price. That’s absolutely the case with Bjorkstrand.

    Really, value might be one of the themes of this Blue Jackets summer, as Bjorkstrand joins Anthony Duclair and Riley Nash as potentially wise bets. Cap Friendly notes that Columbus has its RFAs signed with $5.6M in cap space remaining, so perhaps they have more up their sleeves?