With Senators RW Daniel Alfredsson (separated left shoulder) out until February, major playing time has opened up in Ottawa — and on fantasy rosters.
One’s initial inclination might be to pluck the top RW from the free agent pool. If you need help on the power play, Rangers RW Ryan Callahan (43 percent owned in Yahoo!, 14 percent in ESPN) is a great choice.
Callahan averages 3:21 per game in power play ice time, which ranks No. 102 in the NHL. That doesn’t sound impressive, until you realize that — among RW — Callahan’s 3:21 in PP TOI/G ranks No. 19. And most of the RW ranked ahead of him are stars like Gaborik and Alfredsson — i.e. not the caliber of RW available to help you in a fantasy pinch.
The Senators have now played twice in Alfredsson’s absence, winning a 3-2 shootout at Buffalo on Dec. 26 and prevailing 4-2 vs. Montreal on Dec. 29. In each game, the majority of Alfredsson’s minutes went to RW Ryan Shannon. More importantly to fantasy owners, Shannon scored a goal in each game.
Prior to Alfredsson’s injury, Shannon was lucky if he logged more than 8:00 in ice time. But he played 15:28 at Buffalo (launching four shots on goal) and 19:33 vs. Montreal (launching three).
In fantasy terms, Shannon is off the radar — owned in only 0.1 percent of ESPN leagues and 0 percent of Yahoo! formats. But if he keeps this up, he may turn out to be the best Alfredsson replacement on the fantasy market. The Senators host the Avalanche tonight at 7:00 pm and they host the Islanders on New Year’s Eve at 7:00 pm. Fantasy owners should monitor these games for Shannon’s ice time — and scoring touch.
photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons