- Tristan H. Cockcroft, Fantasy
Looking for some low-priced candidates on the trade market? The following players might be available as buy-low possibilities because of slow starts to the season:
Todd Bertuzzi, F, Canucks: He snapped a nine-game scoring drought Monday, and during the nine-game slump, Bertuzzi had a minus-1 rating and only two power-play assists. It shouldn't surprise anyone that he's not yet quite himself, as he missed the end of the 2003-04 season and wasn't able to play overseas during the lockout because of his suspension. In addition, the media scrutiny following him this year coming off the penalty could be taking its toll. Bertuzzi will only get more comfortable with time, however, and he still has a shot at an 80-point, 125-penalty minute season. If his owners are beginning to worry that he's cracking under the pressure, snatch him away while you can.
Chris Pronger, D, Oilers: Injury risk or not, Pronger is the kind of game-changing player you'd like to have to lead a fantasy team. He has 15-goal, 50-point, 100-penalty minute potential, and it's merely taking him some time to adjust to new surroundings in Edmonton. Look at Pronger's shots on goal -- he's on pace for fewer than 100 -- and you'll see all you need to know about his slow start. That total is bound to rise closer to the 200 per year he used to take in St. Louis, and when it does, he's going to take off statistically. Now's your best chance to get him, while there's still some doubt about his value.
Tristan Cockcroft gives some early buy-low candidates.