Is it worthwhile to take Sidney Crosby in your fantasy draft?…The Penguins face tumultuous times…A call for more information on a link between fighting and depression in NHL players…Taking concussions seriously at last…Which Atlantic division teams could the Islanders hope to leapfrog this season?…Top 8 reasons why this season can’t come soon enough for Sharks fans.

PUCK DADDY: Greg Wyshynski asks the question, “Would you still take Sidney Crosby in your fantasy draft?”, and asked fantasy hockey experts Scott Pianowski of Roto Arcade and Darryl Dobbs of Dobberhockey how they’d approach it.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I can’t speak for those guys, nor would I pretend to. I do, however, have Crosby as a “keeper” in one of my leagues, and I’m not going to let him go, as I’m willing to gamble that he’ll return at some point this season and should provide a significant boost to my roster. I’ll trust that I’ll draft well enough in the meantime to ice a competitive team until Crosby returns. In my other league, I don’t own him, and as a rule I draft goaltenders with my first round picks, but if he’s still available by my second round pick, I’m grabbing him.

PENSBURGH: LauraZ suggests the Pittsburgh Penguins could be facing more tumultuous times this season, depending on how long Sidney Crosby is sidelined, whether or not Matt Cooke will really change his head-hunting ways, and if Evgeni Malkin can fully recover from his season-ending knee injury to lead the Penguins in Crosby’s absence.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Crosby’s absence and Malkin’s ability to rebound from his knee injury are serious issues, but it must be remembered the Penguins played solid, if unspectacular, hockey without them, and came within a game of eliminating the Tampa Bay Lightning in their first round matchup last spring. As for Cooke, if he wants to keep playing, he’d better change his ways, or else.

TOM BENJAMIN: would like to see the NHL, or at the very least the NHLPA, conduct some form of investigation into any potential link between fighting and depression in NHL players, as well as the after-effects of concussions for former NHL players.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The league is finally starting to take more seriously the problem of concussion injuries, and while I doubt Rick Rypien’s fighting ways exacerbated the depression which ultimately killed him, it would certainly be worthwhile for the league and the PA to conduct an investigation to determine if there is, indeed, any link.

PUCK DADDY: Justin Bourne praises the NHL  for finally starting to take concussion injuries seriously after years of foot-dragging on the issue.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yes, the league could’ve, and should’ve, done more years ago, but at least they’re doing more now. It’s because of that, hopefully, someone like Crosby won’t have his condition worsened because of a lack of understanding over the treatment of such injuries and their long-term effects.

LIGHTHOUSE HOCKEY: “Dominik” examines the NY Islanders rivals in the Atlantic Division to determine which ones the Isles might leapfrog over in the standings this season. Given how strong that division is, he suggests the Isles would need things to break just right to finish higher in the standings, yet they could also still have a solid season and finish fifth again.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Islanders will improve this season, but they’ll have a tough fight ahead of them to move up in the division and challenge for a playoff berth.

FEAR THE FIN: “Ivano M” lists eight reasons why this season can’t come soon enough for Sharks fans, which include the addition of Brent Burns and Colin White on the blueline, plus the performance of Martin Havlat, who was swapped for Dany Heatley with the Minnesota Wild earlier this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While the Sharks didn’t make a massive overhaul, dealing away Heatley and Devin Setoguchi for Havlat and Burns was a shakeup, and it’ll be interesting to see how well they mesh with their new teammates, and what improvement they’ll bring to the Sharks lineup.

 

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