Preparing for Deadline Dealing

Jason Spezza is one of many players rumored to be on the trading block.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Christmas has come and gone and the New Year is upon us, which means just one thing to the fantasy hockey player: How will the NHL trade deadline affect my team?

The deadline is March 3rd and if the rumors floating around cyberspace are true, this could be one of the most interesting trade days in recent memory.

Names like Jason Spezza, Jay Bouwmeester, Ilya Kovalchuk, Marian Gaborik and Nikolai Khabibulin have all been thrown out in one trade scenario or another, making many a fantasy owner giddy and nervous all at the same time.

If Kovalchuk ends up in say Ottawa, his already sky-high fantasy value reaches a whole other level.

By the same token, if a guy like Spezza goes to Los Angeles, his value could take a hit because of the weaker supporting cast around him.

If a goalie is moved, you could be looking at one of your starting netminders being relegated to "second fiddle" - opening a new set of problems for your team.

All we can do at this point is sit back and watch (and enjoy this time of year) and then hope that our teams aren't hurt too much by the deadline as we get ready to pounce on a player or two whose value has suddenly spiked thanks to an acquisition.

You can try and put yourself in a position to prevent your team from being devastated by a trade if you try to move the player yourself before his NHL club does. The risk here is that he may get traded to a better situation, thus creating the inadvisable cliche - "buy high, sell low."

The opposite is also true. You could try to acquire one of the guys who is looking to be moved to a team in a better situation. Again though the problem arises that you may have to overpay to get him as his owner is anticipating the increased production (which is not guaranteed by a move).

All in all, there is no real clear-cut strategy here. Most of the time you are taking a chance one way or the other. But without risk, there is no reward... and no Championship.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Tim Godfrey at tgodfrey@sportsnetwork.com.