Simon Gagne was having a horrible season.
In fact, on the heels of a 79-point career-season, Gagne was killing a lot fantasy owner's hopes. When a player tallies 79 points in 72 games at the age of 25, you are right to expect even bigger things the following year.
That was not the case with the Flyers winger, who for the longest time looked as if 55 points would be a struggle. After just 38 points in 53 games, word leaked out of Philadelphia that he had been troubled by a lingering hip injury. He had off-season hip surgery, but the pain remained throughout the first half of the season. He has been seeing specialists and has received treatment that has been working. Gagne has felt extremely well over the past three games and it shows in his production with seven points. All three were multiple-point games.
Gagne would make a smart pickup in rotisserie pools for the first time all season, not only because of this news, but also because of the health of his linemate Peter Forsberg. Granted, Forsberg's time in Philadelphia could be coming to a close, but as long as he is there Gagne's point totals will be that much better.
The bottom line is, the Gagne that can get 90 points is back and roto-league owners need to act now. Keeper-league owners should do some tire kicking. If Gagne's owner is unaware of this turn of events, then a deal can be had. ...
After a pretty decent start for a second-year player, Anaheim's Corey Perry has hit a bit of a wall. He has gone pointless in his past eight games and has four in his past 17. It looks like Perry will round into a solid 80-point player, but his progression is pointing to a fourth-year breakout. Poolies will have to live with 40-55 points for a couple of years. ...
Ryane Clowe returned from his groin injury on Jan. 4 to a belated Christmas gift. The 24-year-old San Jose power forward found himself on a line with Joe Thornton. The result has been 23 points in 16 games -- and you can add the words "and counting" to that, as he is not slowing down. Steve Bernier made a similar impact last season upon joining the team, so do not anoint Clowe as the next big thing, but he is worth taking a flyer on, no question.
Injuries, from a fantasy pool perspective: Buffalo's Tim Connolly suffered a setback in his return from a concussion. His leg had been bothering him for the past week and it turns out he has a small stress fracture below the knee. He will be off his feet for the next week or two ... Speaking of setbacks, Florida's Todd Bertuzzi did not make the two-game Canadian road trip. He is still feeling discomfort and has been off skates for almost a week. The end of February is starting to look doubtful ... Glen Murray has been out of the lineup with a groin injury and Brandon Bochenski has been cashing in with the extra ice time. Give the youngster six points in four games as a Bruin.
Darryl Dobbs' Fantasy Pool Look appears every Monday and Wednesday only on The Hockey News.com. Want to speak with Darryl about fantasy hockey?
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