Originally written on Fantasy Sports Locker Room  |  Last updated 9/29/13

Jason Spezza, C, Ottawa Senators There is no doubting Spezza’s skill. He has 146 points over his last 147 games. In fact, he has 673 points in 667 career games, including playoffs. I worry about his healthy, I really do. He has missed 65 games over the last three years. Spezza who had surgery on his back and knee last season, has suited up in only two pre-season games and he’ll sit out the Sens last one on Sunday. Ottawa says he is dealing with a small groin issue at it has nothing to do with his back which is good news. Anytime a player has back issues I tend to keep them off my fantasy radar, no matter how great the player is.   Marian Hossa, RW, Chicago Blackhawks Hossa has pretty much been a point per game player his whole career (935 points in 1018 games). If he plays, he’ll produce. He skated in 40 games last year putting up 31 points and the year before he finished with 77 points in 81 games. That 2011-12 season is the closest to a full season he has seen since 2008-09. He played only 61 games in 2010-11 and in 2009-10 he suited up in only 57 games. He’s already been bothered by his back again to start this season.   Joffrey Lupul, LW,RW, Toronto Maple Leafs Lupul is heading into the first year of a five-year deal with the Maple Leafs and although he as 107 points in 117 games wearing blue and white, he has also missed 135 games in the last 4 yrs. He’s averaged a point per game over the last two seasons with the Leafs, but he has also been bothered by concussions and back issues. I’d suggest staying away from Lupul because he is bound to spend some time in the press box. Pick someone more durable.   Mike Green led all defensemen in goals last season and is a good bet to repeat if he can stay healthy. Mike Green, D, Washington Capitals Mike Green enjoyed a nice bounce back season scoring 26 points in 35 games last year. He still missed 13, but that’s nothing compared to the 83 he missed in his two previous seasons. Green was the best of the best in terms of offensive defensemen before his two injury plagued seasons. His 68 goals from 2007-10 were 23 more than the next defensemen. There are plenty D outside of the top 15 that can replace Green if he misses some time, but when healthy he provides goals, assists, PPP and SOG. He finished last year with 10 goals in 19 games and has the upside to be a top five fantasy defensemen. He is worth the pick because of his position.   Andrei Markov, D, Montreal Canadiens After two and a half years of recovering from two knee surgeries, Markov came back and played in all 48 games last season registering 30 points (4th best, 8 points behind teammate and league leader P.K. Subban). 14 came on the powerplay as the Habs finished the season with the fifth best PP. If Markov and Subban stay healthy the Canadiens man-advantage will be among the leagues best again this season. Markov finished with a league high eight powerplay goals last season while Subban had seven. Besides the shortened season last year – Markov’s last injury-free year came in 2008-2009 where he finished with 64 points in 78 games. If he can play 70 plus games he’ll reach 50. Again because of his position, he’s worth the gamble.   Martin Havlat, RW, San Jose Sharkes Havlat is still recovering from having surgery on his pelvis during the offseason. He has been skating with his teammates, but isn’t expected to be ready for the start of the season. Even if he was, I would take a pass on Havlat. His 18 points in 40 games last year are nothing to get excited about. There was a point in his career where he was worth drafting… those days are done.   The post 2013-14 Fantasy Hockey: High Risk, High Reward appeared first on Fantasy Sports Locker Room.

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