Waiver Wednesday: Wire targets for league championship season

Watch as Carl Hagelin picks the pocket of Chad Johnson allowing Nick Bonino to score into the open net.

Congratulations to all those who have made it this far in their fantasy leagues. Making the finals is a rare opportunity for some so let’s make sure you make the most of it!

This week we will offer up waiver wire options for those whose championship final ends this week and for those who have yet another week’s worth of action to contend with.

For leagues ending on April 3, there are just three teams who have three games between Thursday and Sunday so those are the ones to mine in order to maximize games played this week.

Minnesota Wild

The Wild have arguably the best remaining schedule as they are the only team that plays on Thursday, Friday and then Sunday, avoiding the busy Saturday slate. Thursday is a busy night itself, with 10 games in action but if you have a hole to be filled, the Wild offer the potential for three more games against a favourable set of opponents in the Senators, Red Wings and Jets.

Shallow Option: Jared Spurgeon – D – 25 per cent owned (all ownership values based on Yahoo! leagues)

Having reclaimed his top power-play slot alongside Ryan Suter, Spurgeon has started to put up numbers. He has three goals and four points in the last six games and all of those have come on a Wild power play that is starting to click.

Deep Option: Charlie Coyle – C/RW – 14 per cent owned

With Zach Parise finally waking from his slumber and scoring goals, the Wild are pushing towards clinching a playoff spot. Skating with Parise at even strength, Coyle is in a great position to benefit. Coyle has eight assists in his last 10 games.

Pittsburgh Penguins

The Penguins’ slate isn’t easy with a Thursday date versus the Predators before facing the Islanders on the road on Saturday and closing the week at home to the visiting Flyers. Three playoff teams all capable of giving the team fits.

Shallow Option: Carl Hagelin – LW – 25 per cent owned

The line of Hagelin, Nick Bonino and Phil Kessel has been one of the hottest in the league. Hagelin has 21 points in 30 games with the Penguins and hasn’t shown signs of slowing even in the absence of Evgeni Malkin.

Hagelin’s speed makes him dangerous whenever he steps onto the ice, as the home run pass has become a feature of the Penguins’ attack.

Deep Option: Nick Bonino – C – 10 per cent owned

Bonino’s first season in Pittsburgh has been a tough one as the pivot has played more of a defensive role. However, his five-point game on Saturday highlighted that he has some offensive potential, particularly now that Kessel is scoring some goals.

Dallas Stars

The Stars’ three-game slate is an ugly one kicking off against the Coyotes on Thursday before playing a back-to-back in Los Angeles and Anaheim over the weekend.

There are no shallow options available on the Stars as the league’s highest scoring team has been well picked over.

Deep Option: Cody Eakin – C – 10 per cent owned

Eakin has been skating with Jamie Benn and Patrick Sharp while Tyler Seguin has been out, which is a fantastic spot. He has been held off the board in each of the past two games but has still scored nine points in the last nine games.


Now, for those who have a final that stretches for two weeks and doesn’t end until April 10, here are the teams with the most remaining games:

Seven: New York Islanders

Six: Pittsburgh, Vancouver, Columbus, Toronto, Washington, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, NY Rangers, Los Angeles, Anaheim, Florida

Lots of options to help you maximize your games played going forward, however the Islanders are certainly the most intriguing team. The problem is that the Islanders are in the midst of an offensive slump that has put them in some danger of missing the post-season.

The best waiver wire options are:

Frans Nielsen – C – 28 per cent owned

Always a good waiver wire option, Nielsen centers the Islanders’ second line with Kyle Okposo and also skates on the top power-play unit. He offers decent shot volume and exposure to Islanders star John Tavares.

Cam Atkinson – RW – 39 per cent owned

With six goals in the last 10 games Atkinson is threatening for his first career 30-goal and 50-point season.

Derek Stepan – C – 53 per cent owned

With 10 points in the last 10 games, half of which have come on the power play, Stepan is adding a dimension to the Rangers’ special teams that they have lacked for much of the season.

Jamie McGinn – LW/RW – 24 per cent owned

With five goals and seven points in the last seven games the big winger has clicked on the Ducks’ second line alongside Corey Perry.

Reilly Smith – LW/RW – 38 per cent owned

Most folks have caught on to the excellent play of Jussi Jokinen and Vincent Trocheck as their ownership sits around 65 per cent but the third member of that line remains woefully under-utilized.

Steve Laidlaw is the Managing Editor of Dobber Hockey. Follow him @SteveLaidlaw.