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Fantasy Hockey Mailbag: Time to sell high on Troy Terry?

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You can’t stop Troy Terry, you can only hope to contain him.

Admittedly, those are words I hadn’t envisioned saying, yet here we are.

Without question, the 24-year-old Ducks winger, who’s currently riding a 13-game point streak, has been the top waiver add of the season so far for fantasy owners.

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Indisputably, Terry’s living proof that you can do substantial damage on the waiver wire, provided you act quickly enough. The American forward leads a bevy of others who’ve provided insane fantasy value to kick off the campaign.

Suffice to say, it’s time to go bargain hunting in the Sportsnet Fantasy Hockey Pool. Low-value plays are integral, especially when operating under a strict 30-point cap system.

Now to your questions:

@TravisLeafs asks: Should I hold Terry and see what the season brings or try to sell him high now?

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Because I’m all about maximizing value, I’d say the easy decision is to explore a sell high right now. There’s no way Terry can keep this up, his fantasy value could be at an all-time high. At the very least, I’d gauge the market and see what’s out there.

Build your roster and compete for a share of $50,000 in cash prizes!

@Yourpaldan1 asks: Thoughts on Chandler Stephenson when Eichel comes back? Is it crazy to think they’ll keep him with Stone and Pacioretty?

There’s no way around it, Stephenson’s fantasy value will take a significant hit once Eichel is ready to go. The good news is that Eichel’s return is still months away. You have plenty of time to not only build a market for Stephenson, but then subsequently deal him, too.

Once Vegas returns to full health, Stephenson should slot into the third line centre role. That, in turn, should help to boost Evgenii Dadonov’s value. The way I see it, you can’t acquire Eichel and not play him with Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone.

We’ll see what happens, but I don’t like Stephenson’s chances of remaining fantasy-relevant post-Eichel return.

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@shenrique1418 asks: Sell high on Lucas Raymond or ride him the rest of the year?

It’s a sell-high for me. And it’s not that I don’t love Raymond. Everybody loves Raymond.

The NHL regular season is an 82-game grind, and that’s a fact. For my money, it’s inevitable that Raymond, Seider and the rest of the Red Wings are bound to come back to earth sooner rather than later. I’m not so sure they’re a .500 team just yet.

Your best bet is to trade Raymond for an established top-40 fantasy player, one who’s maybe off to a slow start. For what it’s worth, I’d treat this file a lot like the Troy Terry one — maximize that value!

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@samson44 asks: Kailer Yamamoto or Philip Tomasino?

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You want me to pick the rookie, but I won’t do it. Give me Yamamoto.

I won’t lie, the prolific five-on-five attachment to Leon Draisaitl makes it a no-brainer for me. It’s a long season, he’ll get going eventually, especially considering his body of work.

@stack1975 asks: Max Comtois. Fish or cut bait?

Drop him. You can always circle back down the road, right?

@leafsfanatic007 asks: Keep or dump OEL in a standard points pool?

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Dump him; Quinn Hughes is the MAN on Vancouver’s blue line, at least from a point-producing perspective. There’s no sense waiting around for OEL to bust loose. At this point in his career, we know what he is. And that’s not an elite point producing defenceman. Move on.

@RDHead5 asks: John Klingberg? Play? Bench? Cut?

Stand pat. At this point, all you can do with Klingberg is hang on and hope for the best. Firstly, you won’t be able to find a better long-term option on waivers. Secondly, if you’re open to moving him, there’s no question you’ll be hit with lowball offers.

Have faith in contract year John Klingberg. Also, if Dallas doesn’t turn things around soon, we could see some big changes there.

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@maltesea asks: What’s up with Blake Wheeler? Should I be patient?

Yes, patience is the name of the game here. The Jets captain is still working his way back from Covid, it’ll take a while. In general, it’s been a chaotic start for Winnipeg. Once they get healthier, they should be able to demonstrate a higher level of consistency.

Don’t worry about Wheeler. Trust me, better days are ahead.

@harryphlyers asks: Darcy Kuemper……give me one reason to hang onto him right now!!

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He’s on Colorado. That is all.

Not for anything but Thursday night’s 7-1 drubbing of Vancouver was a nice reminder of that. It’s been a challenging start for the Avs; they’ve been extremely banged up. Additionally, Kuemper hasn’t been great. Over time and despite all the injuries, I expect the early season struggles to course correct. The Avs and Kuemper are far too talented, there’s a reason why they’re widely regarded as a perennial Stanley Cup contender.

Believe in Kuemper, I know I do.

@BeastNo21 asks: Is having four goalies in roto league worth it? I have Varlamov, Ullmark, Lehner, and Binnington. What should I do?

I see no problem with it. If anything, you’re cornering the goalie market, right? Mark my words: Someone will come knocking for crease help eventually.

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@AndrewPino19 asks: What’s up with Spencer Knight and his Swiss cheese butt?! lol jk. love content! keep it coming! And… “someone make a trade”

Thanks for the kind words. I love doing it!

As for the Knight question, it’s imperative to temper your expectations. After all, it’s easy to forget he’s just 20. He’ll have some good nights, he’ll have some bad ones, too. That’s what comes with being a young goalie in the NHL, regardless of your name or resume.

Knight’s just a kid, just remember that. Accept it.

@eh_fili asks: Should I trade Huberdeau? He’s been disappointing so far

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Absolutely not. Be patient. Huberdeau cracked my top-20 going into the season for a reason. Believe in the process.





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Novak Djokovic withdraws from Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati due to COVID-19 vaccination status

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World No. 6 Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from next week’s Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati because of his COVID-19 vaccination status. The unvaccinated tennis star’s participation in the US Open, which begins on Aug. 29, is still uncertain.

The hard-court tournament in Cincinnati is set to take place Aug 13- 21. At this moment, unvaccinated foreigners are not allowed to travel to Canada or the United States. Earlier this month, Djokovic had to pull out from the Canadian Open in Montreal. He also had to miss the Australian Open in January after being deported from the country due to his unvaccinated status.

Djokovic has won the US Open three times and was the runner-up last year, falling to Daniil Medvedev in the title game. The Serbian star has registered 21 major championships and is still fresh off his seventh career Wimbledon title. He only needs one more Grand Slam title to tie Rafael Nadal for the men’s record, but he has already said publicly that he does not intend on getting the vaccine.

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“I’m not vaccinated and I’m not planning to get vaccinated so the only good news I can have is them removing the mandated green vaccine card or whatever you call it to enter United States or exemption,” Djokovic said after his Wimbledon win. “I don’t know. I don’t think exemption is realistically possible. If that is possibility, I don’t know what exemption would be about.”

Djokovic doesn’t necessarily need to rule out the US Open yet, as the CDC could still change its guidelines to allow unvaccinated travelers into the country in the next few weeks.

“This updated guidance is intended to apply to community settings,” reads the CDC page. “In the coming weeks CDC will work to align stand-alone guidance documents, such as those for healthcare settings, congregate settings at higher risk of transmission, and travel, with today’s update.”

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Phillies' OF Matt Vierling prevents Mets from winning in walk-off fashion after throwing out Starling Marte at home

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The Philadelphia Phillies defeated the New York Mets in extra innings after OF Matt Vierling threw out a tagging Starling Marte who would have been the winning run.



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Blue Jays’ Berrios continues head-scratching season in drubbing vs. Guardians

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TORONTO – That Yusei Kikuchi is an unstable element in the Toronto Blue Jays starting rotation shouldn’t be a total surprise. Sure, more was expected from the left-hander when he was signed for $36 million over three years out of the lockout, but it was a high-risk, high-upside play and the type of season he’s slogging through was very much on the spectrum of possibility.

The Blue Jays, barring a surprise, will need him to make a start next week against the Baltimore Orioles and then, with Ross Stripling likely set for a return after throwing five shutout innings for triple-A Buffalo during a rehab start Friday at Syracuse, they’ll have a decision to make.

Far more jarring for the Blue Jays is the head-scratching season of Jose Berrios, who for the second time in 2022 allowed eight earned runs, this time over four innings of a dispiriting 8-0 drubbing from the Cleveland Guardians on Friday night.

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The latest drubbing for the ace right-hander signed to a $131-million, seven-year extension over the winter came exactly one week after a rough outing at Minnesota, where he allowed five runs in 3.2 innings. In six July starts preceding that one, Berrios had seemingly turned the corner, pitching to a 3.00 ERA with 42 strikeouts in 36 innings.

But while the wide divergence between his home/road splits are often raised as a talking point, a more troubling split is that in 15 outings against teams better than .500, his ERA is 6.61 while in eight starts versus sub-.500 clubs it’s 3.77.

Now, worth noting is that mixed in there are strong performances against Houston, St. Louis, Minnesota, Tampa Bay and Philadelphia. Clearly, though, he isn’t getting away with as much against better lineups.

Take Friday, for example.

Berrios cruised through the first two innings before hitting No. 8 hitter Austin Hedges with one out in the third. Will Benson followed with a single and then Steven Kwan laid down a perfect bunt that just stayed fair down the third base line to load the bases.

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Amed Rosario then roped a curveball just under the zone up the middle for a two-run single and after a Jose Ramirez sacrifice fly to centre brought home a third run, Josh Naylor of Mississauga, Ont., sent this 94.3 m.p.h. fastball over the wall in left to make it 5-0.

Really, it wasn’t a bad pitch.


The next inning, a three-run shot by Ramirez that made it 8-0 was even more audacious, the star third baseman golfing this Berrios changeup over the wall in right-centre.


It’s obscene and while both homers count against his pitching line, it’s reason to believe that Berrios isn’t necessarily in crisis, even though he’s far from being at his best.

Regardless, the Blue Jays, at 60-51 in the rapidly clustering wild-card standings, are facing their first real period of challenge under interim manager John Schneider having lost five times in their past six outings, each against a team above .500.

They’re now 29-39 against teams with winning records, worse than Seattle, Tampa Bay, Baltimore and Minnesota, the four teams closest around them.

Complicating matters is that their offence, in the ongoing absence of George Springer, hasn’t been able to overcome some of the pitching staff’s recent blips.

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Cal Quantrill of Port Hope, Ont., primarily riding a sinker-cutter mix, matched a season-high with seven strikeouts and allowed just one hit, a one-out double to Vladimir Guerrero Jr., in the fourth that extended the all-star first baseman’s hit streak to 21 games.

Digging out of early five-run holes isn’t easy, but seizing a game early at the plate could help ease the burden on the staff at times, too.

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