The NHL trade deadline on Monday should shake up activity on the waiver wire, as it normally does. Players moving to new teams and those left behind will have different roles that savvy fantasy GMs can take advantage of to improve their rosters. Some new acquisitions will be talked about here along with others you should strongly considering adding.
Antoine Vermette (CHI) - C, LW - Owned in 24% of Yahoo leagues
Vermette's ownership should climb quickly now that he's a member of the Blackhawks. Chicago sent a first-round pick in 2015 and Klas Dahlbeck to Arizona for the versatile forward. The Hawks were in need of some help up front after leading scorer Patrick Kane was injured. Kane won't be back this year unless Chicago enjoys a lengthy playoff run. Vermette is a solid addition, who can help out on the power play and the penalty kill. He's excellent on faceoffs and could slot in nicely on Chicago's second line between Patrick Sharp and Kris Versteeg.
David Clarkson (CBJ) - RW - Owned in 5% of Yahoo leagues
It didn't work out for Clarkson in Toronto. He didn't even finish his second season of a seven-year contract with his hometown team after a shocking trade with Columbus on Thursday. The Leafs acquired Nathan Horton, who may never play again because of a degenerative back injury, in the deal to get rid of what everyone thought was an immovable contract. Clarkson skated on the Jackets' top line with Ryan Johansen and Nick Foligno in his debut Saturday. He didn't pick up a point, but he registered two penalty minutes, two shots, four hits and one block in 16:13 of ice time. Clarkson also received 3:11 of power-play action in the match, which completely eclipses the 1:56 he averaged per game with the Maple Leafs. He does represent a gamble, but if he continues to get usage like this then we could see a much-improved player down the stretch.
Kimmo Timonen (CHI) - D - Owned in 6% of Yahoo leagues
Timonen hasn't played yet this season because of blood clots, but he's expected to get clearance soon and he could be in the lineup for Chicago as early as Monday against Carolina. The Blackhawks sent a second-round pick in 2015 and a conditional fourth rounder in 2016 to Philadelphia for the veteran defenseman. Johnny Oduya could be back soon from an upper-body injury, but Timonen still could get a key role for the Hawks during five-on-five situations. He has a shot at power-play work as well on the second unit. He's worth watching, especially if you are looking for a defenseman.
Andrew Hammond (OTT) - G - Owned in 23% of Yahoo leagues
Hammond has been incredible for the Senators, while filling in for injured goaltenders Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner. He posted five straight wins over Montreal, Florida, Anaheim, Los Angeles and San Jose and he gave up just five goals. Hammond has posted an incredible .957 save percentage and a 1.31 goals-against average. Anderson is hoping to return during Ottawa's current road trip, so take advantage of Hammond's hot hand while you can. Ottawa still has playoff aspirations and their odds currently sit at 23%, according to Sportsclubstats.com, and Hammond could be rewarded with more starts because of that even after Anderson returns. It's uncertain when Lehner will be able to come back from a concussion, so he'll still have a roster spot.
Erik Cole (DAL) - LW, RW - Owned in 9% of Yahoo leagues
Cole's value could change by Monday depending on where he ends up when the trade deadline passes. The Stars could trade the pending unrestricted free agent and there is plenty of interest around the league for his services. Cole has been skating alongside Jason Spezza and Jamie Benn lately, but he has been productive since the calendar turned to 2015. He has 12 goals and eight assists in his past 22 contests. Dallas plays Anaheim on Sunday night in what could be his last game with the Stars, so taking a wait-and-see approach with him is understandable.
Brendan Gallagher (MTL) - RW - Owned in 39% of Yahoo leagues
Gallagher is riding a five-game point streak, which has seen him collect four goals and four assists. He also has a plus-7 rating during that span. The 22-year-old forward has been skating on the top line with Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais. Even though he plays a pesky style, he doesn't get many penalty minutes (22) or hits (34), but he can produce offensively and he racks up plenty of shots (180). Gallagher has 17 goals and 38 points in 62 games and he's on pace to set new career highs in goals, assists and points.
Milan Michalek (OTT) - LW, RW - Owned in 12% of Yahoo leagues
Michalek is another player who has made tremendous progress since New Year's Day. He has eight goals and eight assists in his last 18 contests. He produced as many points in February (nine) as he had during the first three months of the season. Michalek has been clicking with Kyle Turris and Matt Stone. He also has the versatility of being eligible for both positions in Yahoo leagues.
Zack Kassian (VAN) - RW - Owned in 9% of Yahoo leagues
With Alex Burrows sidelined for the past four games, Kassian has taken his spot on the top line with Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin. He has potted four goals during that time to give him 10 points in his last 11 games. Kassian has been a source of frustration for the Canucks and for fantasy owners who were hoping he would become a productive power forward. He's finally fulfilling that potential now, so feel free to strike while the iron is hot and bring him on board for at least a short-term basis.