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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Trade Question 7/15/13 Zajac, Dumba, Hanzal

Today’s trade question is from Jeremy.
(While Jeremy has provided all of his roster, scoring, and salary cap details, in the interest of space, I only include the key elements)
I recently joined a 16 team salary cap league. This is a long term competitive league that I had to apply and provide references to join. So, I am of the belief the owners are very savvy in this league.  As it is my first attempt in a cap league, I would welcome your advice.
We start 4C, 4LW, 4RW, 6D, 2Goalies.
It is a Multi-Cat league including FOW (.25), Takeaways, Giveaways, PM, Hits (.25), Blocks, Goals (3), Assists (2), PPP (1), SOG.  There is a buyout penalty and if you cut someone you retain 75% of their salary as a cap hit in year 1, 50% per year thereafter thru the life of the contract. When a player re-signs, you have a choice to release them with no penalty.
I have been offered his Travis Zajac(C) and Mathew Dumba (Min D), and 20th pick at prospect draft this summer for my Martin Hanzal(Pho C) and Anders Nilsson (NYI G). I would really like to get Dumba. This is very tempting, but I am not convinced this is the right move due mostly to the contract of Zajac.  What do you think I should do?

Jeremy, First, let me commend your league.  Cap leagues, especially with buyout options are very challenging and not everyone has the discipline and dedication to participate competitively and professionally.  Kudos to your league for a process that assures new owners are up for the challenge.  As far as the trade, I believe your instincts are leading you correctly here. Martin Hanzal has perennially been a very solid producer in multi-cat formats. While I don’t believe he is ever going to be a 70+ point player, he is a sound enough hockey player to produce 40-55 points with any reasonable role. But more importantly, it puts him around the top 25-35 centers in multi-cat formats. In fact in my one multi-cat league he sits right between Paul Stasny and Nazim Kadri in fantasy ppg.  With a salary of 3.1M in a really deep multi-cat league, he is a solid bargain and he is signed for 4 years.  As far as Zajac goes, his history suggests he has a higher offensive upside than Hanzal.  I have not had the luxary to see enough of him play to understand why he has not been able to get back to the 60 point range he did a few years ago.  But even if you accept that high side being 65+ points and see it is the reward side of the equation, the risk side is monumental.  Zajac is 5.7M and is signed into the next decade well into his 30’s. Should he prove not worthy of that salary, you are staring down that salary or the 50% buyout hit for years. I think that would inhibit your team greatly over the years should Zajac not meet your expectations. Additionally, while the Nilsson part of this deal seems the most nominal, your league uses 2 starting goalies times 16 teams. Thus, goalies are a premium and you wouldn’t want to find yourself without one at some point over the years. I would keep and/or collect as many goalies as you can to give yourself as many chances to keep 2 active goalies ready at all times. 


Final Analysis: The salary implications are too severe to justify Dumba’s potential. This was a fair offer from the other owner, but as you noted, a shrewd one. Dumba is a great prospect and will almost certainly be a solid offensive producer some day in the NHL. But my recommendation is to pass on this particular trade and work on Dumba from a different angle. Utilizing Hanzal might be ok at the right price, but get the other owner off of Zajac and on to someone with better risk/reward ratio. I would also recommend you keep Nilsson in the fold. Save for the stretch last year in which he was ill, he has been very good. In my opinion he has transitioned into a buy low candidate. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Trade Question from 6/15 Perry Armia Weber

Hey Hank, my year just completed and I finished just out of the money again. I am in a 12 team non-cap keeper league. It is a multi-cat league(full scoring and roster below)*, we start 4 centers, 4 wingers, 5 dman and 2 goalies.  As you can see by my roster, I am solid everywhere but defense.  I have several decent ones, but lack a top end dman. I have been trying all year to get 1 top end Dman and not a single owner has shown willingness to move one of their high end dman.  Finally, one owner seemed open to discussing Shea Weber and further to my surprise sent me an offer of his Weber for my Corey Perry and Joel Armia. I do get my Dman I need, but Perry in some rankings is the top 20 fantasy player and is a pretty heavy price. I am really high on Armia. What do you think?  Thanks, Mitch

Mitch, at first glance this does cause pause as I am a Perry owner/lover.  But a key to every trade situation is to know your league scoring and roster set up.  The scoring(*in the interest of space, I am not posting his full scoring or roster) is weighted heavier to dman (2.5 bonus points per hockey point) and to centers(face offs won .10 pts.). So, under your scoring, Weber was an absolute stud the year before. To no one’s surprise with Suter gone Weber’s numbers took a step backward this past year. But even if this lesser production remains his norm, he is destined to be a top 6-10 dman in your scoring format for the next ½ dozen years or more. In regards to your roster setup I see that LW and RW are not separate positions. With both bunched together the winger pool is much larger per starter needed, than centers and dman. This allows better odds to get lucky at winger if looking to replace Perry, and as you have found out, very low odds to get lucky at landing a top end dman.  For example, 2 years ago Lupul and last year Clarkson/Kunitz were most likely waiver adds and were within respectable distance of Perry in any format.
Final Analysis: First, I too like Armia as a prospect and like his upside a lot, but there are way too many variables in his development to give his loss the kind of weight to flush this deal, oh and coincidentally, he is a winger. So it is down to the 2 studs to me. Neither decision is a bad decision, as both players are set up to be perennial top players at their position for the next several years. However, I think your fellow owners gave you the best trade advice on this one. “not a single owner has shown willingness to move one of their high end dman”   Based on your scoring and roster formats, and your team roster, I believe your team is more likely better served over the years to accept the trade and add Weber to your roster.  
Best of Luck Mitch

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Hammerin Hank's Trade Bin "The Long Lost Friend"

The Trade Bin, is look at trade scenarios and some general ideas and tips to make trading with other owners Introducing Hammerin Hank’s Trade Bin!
The Trade Bin, is look at trade scenarios and some general ideas and tips to make trading with other owners (you may use the term Poolies, GM’s, Coaches,… I will call them owners) more enjoyable and successful.   While this is mostly with keeper leagues and salary cap leagues in mind, the information should be useful in yearly leagues as well.  

I have a name I like to call these different trade scenarios.
“The Long lost Friend”
“Block shopping”
“Fishing Expedition”
“Aggressive Negotiations”
“Long and Winding Road”
“Apple of my Eye”

“The Long lost Friend”
Today I take a look at the trade that comes out of the complete blue.  I call it the “Long Lost Friend”.  The exciting yet anxious moments as you are just opening the email to view the trade details has that same feel as when you get a  phone call from a long lost friend and those first few seconds your mind reaches in your past as you try to recognize who it is and what you are going to say.  As you are exchanging the initial pleasantries, you can’t help but realize there is infinite number of possibilities to the context of their call.  What is about to come could be fantastic, welcome news and meet you at a perfect place, or the other end of the spectrum and possibly leave you particularly sad.  Similarly you just can’t wait to feast your eyes on the trade details and see if you are getting a gift or another stinker.  Finally, you review the trade offer.  Now what? Well, here are a few tips.

1.                    Always make sure you look the trade over thoroughly even if you don’t think it looks right initially.  Occasionally, an owner has sent you a trade that is a gem, but if you fail to take the time to look at it, you may miss it. I had someone wanting to move up in our summer prospect draft just a couple of marginal spots a year or two ago and offered me Cory Conacher.  I thought “who?” I didn’t bother to look into him at all, just shot the trade down.  He just happened to be a player that slipped thru the cracks on me and now wish I had taken the time to look into him. 
2.                    Make sure you include in your research a look at their team and see why they are making that offer from their team perspective. Do they have an excess of defencemen? Do they desperately need a center? Are they over the limit for prospects?… For example, last season, I made a concerted effort to trade away Nazim Kadri the weeks leading up to our trade deadline. Due to our keeper rules, I had to trade him, or I would lose him at seasons end. I sent offer after offer out and no one expressed any interest.  While I was asking for a decent amount for this top end prospect, not a one countered or asked questions. Finally on the last day of trade deadline a smart owner countered with a nominal draft pick. He took the time to look and realized the bind I was in and recognized I would need to take about any offer at that stage.  His attention to detail has paid off big this year.
3.                    Always be professional and courteous. As you are reviewing this trade, keep in mind, the other owner had no starting point to work from, so these trades can be all over the map.  As stated above, sometimes they short change themselves  and send you a dandy, other times it is a very poor offer and your instinct is to … well let’s just say not be very nice back to them.  Even if the long lost friend was calling just to ask you to send them money, you would still be polite in your response.  Refrain from negative reaction and respect that they had enough guts to send you something.
4.                    Use this offer as free information.  Say an owner offers you their Stephan Elliott (from their minor’s roster)for your Jeff Carter.  Sure that is a poor offer and you would turn that down, but use the fact they have just told you they will trade Elliott in the right deal and they are interested in acquiring Carter.  With Elliott at a buy low status and with Carter's value a little high right now being in the midst of a good season, you might be able to tinker with one or the other.  Maybe reply politely “not looking to deal Carter, but might be interested in Elliott for a draft pick”, or “I might be willing to deal Carter in a deal that includes John Carlson or Kevin Shattenkirk”.  This way, you politely get rid of the “fishermen”(I cover this in a future article)  and find out the owners real interest in dealing Elliott away or obtaining Carter.  Once in a while, things take off from there and you get a nice trade completed.
5.                    End with the “it was great to hear from you, call anytime”. If things go nowhere and even if your best efforts could not keep things from turning sour, make sure you close acknowledging their initiative and making sure you tell them you are open to the process again.  “Thanks again for the offer, I don’t think anything is going to work out on this one, if you see something else send me an offer any time” or “Appreciate the offers, I think we should shelve this for now and maybe we can relook at something closer to the trade deadline”.  

Now let’s take a look at this week’s trade question.

Hey Hank, my year just completed and I finished just out of the money again. I am in a 12 team non-cap keeper league. It is a multi-cat league(full scoring and roster below)*, we start 4 centers, 4 wingers, 5 dman and 2 goalies.  As you can see by my roster, I am solid everywhere but defense.  I have several decent ones, but lack a top end dman. I have been trying all year to get 1 top end Dman and not a single owner has shown willingness to move one of their high end dman.  Finally, one owner seemed open to discussing Shea Weber and further to my surprise sent me an offer of his Weber for my Corey Perry and Joel Armia. I do get my Dman I need, but Perry in some rankings is the top 20 fantasy player and is a pretty heavy price. I am really high on Armia. What do you think?  Thanks, Mitch

Mitch, at first glance this does cause pause as I am a Perry owner/lover.  But a key to every trade situation is to know your league scoring and roster set up.  The scoring(*in the interest of space, I am not posting his full scoring or roster) is weighted heavier to dman (2.5 bonus points per hockey point) and to centers(face offs won .10 pts.). So, under your scoring, Weber was an absolute stud the year before. To no one’s surprise with Suter gone Weber’s numbers took a step backward this past year. But even if this lesser production remains his norm, he is destined to be a top 6-10 dman in your scoring format for the next ½ dozen years or more. In regards to your roster setup I see that LW and RW are not separate positions. With both bunched together the winger pool is much larger per starter needed, than centers and dman. This allows better odds to get lucky at winger if looking to replace Perry, and as you have found out, very low odds to get lucky at landing a top end dman.  For example, 2 years ago Lupul and last year Clarkson/Kunitz were most likely waiver adds and were within respectable distance of Perry in any format.
Final Analysis: First, I too like Armia as a prospect and like his upside a lot, but there are way too many variables in his development to give his loss the kind of weight to flush this deal, oh and coincidentally, he is a winger. So it is down to the 2 studs to me. Neither decision is a bad decision, as both players are set up to be perennial top players at their position for the next several years. However, I think your fellow owners gave you the best trade advice on this one. “not a single owner has shown willingness to move one of their high end dman”   Based on your scoring and roster formats, and your team roster, I believe your team is more likely better served over the years to accept the trade and add Weber to your roster.  
Best of Luck Mitch


Please send your trade questions to me at henkedd@charter.net. I will be glad to provide an opinion and who knows maybe yours will be posted in the next edition of The Trade Bin.