The best trade in fantasy hockey history

With Canadiens LW Andrei Kostitsyn, above, out until Mar. 2, teammate Benoit Pouliot (owned in fewer than 7 percent of Yahoo! and ESPN leagues) has picked up the slack.

Sure, the game of the night is Washington’s visit to Pittsburgh. A clash of Eastern Conference heavyweights and all that.

But in fantasy land, the teams we’re watching are Montreal (tied for ninth in the conference as of Thursday) and Minnesota (tied for 12th in the Western Conference).

On Jan. 23, we’ll have reached the two-month anniversary of a landmark trade between these teams.

Incredibly, the two players swapped for each other — Minnesota RW/LW Guillaume Latendresse (14 percent owned in ESPN, 31 percent in Yahoo!) and Montreal LW Benoit Pouliot (1.1 percent ESPN, 6 percent Yahoo!) — remain radically underowned.

Why this is, I cannot fathom.

In his 25 games with the Wild, Latendresse, 22, has totaled 13 goals and six assists with a +6, not to mention 63 shots on goal. He next plays tonight vs. Detroit.

In his 13 games with the Canadiens, Pouliot, 23, has totaled eight goals and one assist with a +2, not to mention 15 penalty minutes and 37 shots on goal. He next plays Friday night at New Jersey. And he has more than picked up the scoring slack for wounded teammate LW Andrei Kostitsyn (knee).

Which of the two youngsters is more valuable? It depends on your needs. Pouliot, the fourth overall pick in 2005, stands 6-foot-4 and brings penalty minutes to the table. Latendresse, a second-round pick in 2005, is not a banger, but he is eligible at RW.

Bottom line: both players should be more highly owned, especially when you consider their last eight games. For Latendresse, the totals are seven goals and five assists. For Pouliot, the totals are six goals and one assist — and those 15 PIMs.

Here at The Genius, we ask this question all the time but we must ask again: Would you rather retain your No. 4 defenseman, or take a stab at greatness?

Grab Latendresse and/or Pouliot now, before the rest of your league awakens.

photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

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