Pittsburgh Penguins v Winnipeg Jets

Losing a defenseman on your fantasy team is never good news, but when that defenseman happens to be the best player at that position in the fantasy world, it’s really bad news.

Senators’ Erik Karlsson, who has rewarded owners with six goals, four assists, +6 rating and 63 shots to date, had his left Achilles cut by the Penguins’ Matt Cooke last night and is out for the season. Managers that own him in ESPN and Yahoo! leagues can expect him to be placed on IR in the coming days, but realistically, in non-keeper pools, you have to drop him. He may just happen to be a player on your leagues “can’t cut list”, but the commissioner can likely change the settings to allow you to make the transaction. Before the news broke that he was officially out for the season, 2,688 owners on Yahoo had already dropped him.

If you’re in a keeper pool, one idea might be to try and trade him. It sounds crazy, but give it some thought. If you’re having a solid fantasy season, and you feel this is your year, try finding another manager who has interest in keeping him next season. Of course you can stash him on IR, but his value may net you a solid defensive replacement or some much needed depth at forward or goalie.  Remember, this may be your year!

Sure Karlsson led all “D” man in goals with six, with only five players in the league with at least four (Markov, Hedman, Campbell, J. Schultz, Souray) but at this point of the season, you may want to trade a guy who can’t help you anymore this year, versus a player on your roster who still will.

The final option is to check out the wire. Unbelievably, one player is probably available that has recorded the same number of points as the Norris trophy winner, and his name may surprise you. Of course, nobody can replace Karlsson and his offensive numbers, but at least a few players still available can help you in the short term.

Here are the top wire picks to replace Karlsson:

Fedor Tyutin, Blue Jackets: (Owned in 18 percent of Yahoo Leagues / 53.7 of ESPN Leagues)

Stats: 1 goal, 9 assists, -2, 19 SOG

Paul Martin, Penguins: (Owned in 16 percent of Yahoo Leagues / 90 percent of ESPN Leagues)

Stats: 1 goal, 7 assist, -4, 11 SOG

Sami Salo, Lightning: (Owned in 40 percent of Yahoo Leagues / 79 percent of ESPN Leagues)

Stats: 1 goal, 6 assists, +10, 13 SOG

Jay Bouwmeester, Flames: (Owned in 10 percent of Yahoo Leagues / 47.2 percent of ESPN Leagues)

Stats: 3 goals, 3 assists, -2, 19 SOG

Chris Phillips, Senators: (Owned in 1 percent of Yahoo Leagues /47.2 percent of ESPN Leagues)

Stats: 3 goals, 0 assists, -2, 24 SOG

Marc Staal, Rangers: (Owned 23 percent of Yahoo Leagues / 80 percent of ESPN Leagues)

Stats: 1 goal, 6 assists, +4, 9 SOG

Francois Beauchemin, Ducks: (owned in 13 percent of Yahoo Leagues / 56 percent of ESPN Leagues)

Stats: 2 goals, 4 assists, +10, 17 SOG

Top 5 defenseman pickups on Yahoo:

1. Andy Greene (NJ)

2. Francois Beauchemin (ANA)

3. Victor Hedman (TB)

4. Cody Franson (TOR)

5. Sami Salo (TB)

Greatest Change in percentage owned on ESPN for defenseman:

1. Andy Grenne (NJ) 88.1%

2. Lubomir Visnovsky (NYI) 53.9%

3. Francois Beauchemin (ANA) 47.2%

4. Marc Staal (NYR) 46.1%

5. Brent Burns (SJ) 40.1%

If you any fantasy questions this season, let me know in the comment section, and good luck this week.