Since the Washington Capitals have relegated center Michael Nylander to a healthy-scratch sort of role, it’s difficult to know whether the 36-year-old Stockholm sensation is finished, buried on a winning team, or fueding with management.
For fantasy purposes, however, we must recall that Nylander was a point-per-game stud as recently as the 2007-08 season. In fact, in the three seasons from 2005-08, Nylander tallied199 points (60 goals, 139 assists) in 200 games. You read that correctly.
Yahoo!’s Puck Daddy has a terrific list of 30 players who will highlight the trade-deadline rumors of the next 24 hours. The Daddy points out that Nylander has a no-trade clause, which could limit Washington’s ability to peddle him.
Yet we wonder: Why wouldn’t Nylander — since the Caps clearly have no use for him — accept a deal to a team that would actually give him some ice time?
Because Nylander (seven goals, 20 assists, +3) has done nothing this season, he is only seven percent owned in Yahoo! leagues and — incredibly — 50.6 percent owned in ESPN leagues (which tells you how many ESPN users draft teams and promptly forget them). Still, our point is that Nylander is likely available as a free agent in your league.
By no means should you pick him up immediately; but add him to your watch lists. If he gets traded to the right situation, he could become a No. 2 center overnight.