Plenty of defensemen hit the waiver wire on Saturday, as three of the top five players dropped were blueliners. There isn't much time left to make changes, so injured or slumping players will be let go quickly. However, that isn't always the best decision.
Dion Phaneuf (TOR - D)
Dropped: 957 times
Why? Missed the last two games with a lower-body injury.
Recommendation: It's unclear how long Phaneuf will be out of action and he has contributed just one assist in his last 10 contests. He posted a minus-4 rating during that span and didn't have a shot on goal in five of those appearances, so he hasn't been doing much offensively for a while now. His cold stretch and injury makes him an easy drop right now.
Tyler Myers (WPG - D)
Dropped: 883 times
Why? Done for the season.
Recommendation: He underwent surgery on his knee earlier this week and will have another procedure on his hip once he is recovered from that. Myers finished the year with nine goals, 27 points and 72 penalty minutes in 73 games. Still, it's definitely safe to drop him if you are in a one-year league.
Olli Maatta (PIT - D)
Dropped: 776 times
Why? Listed as week-to-week with a lower-body injury.
Recommendation: Maatta can't seem to catch a break when it comes to injuries. He has appeared in 67 games this season after suiting up in just 20 contests the year before. Maatta probably won't return again before the end of the regular season. He didn't record much in the way of offense, with 19 points, but he did finish with a plus-27 rating in 2015-16 . Just like the others, the decision to let him go was an easy one to make.
Antti Raanta (NYR - G)
Dropped: 731 times
Why? Probably used in a spot start against Montreal on Saturday, Mar. 27.
Recommendation: Raanta has played well this season when called upon with a 10-5-2 record along with a 2.32 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage. He will probably get into a couple of more games before the end of the season, so it wouldn't be surprising to see his ownership rise again.
Ryan Kesler (ANA - C, RW)
Dropped: 722 times
Why? He has missed the last two games due to personal reasons.
Recommendation: It sounds like Kesler will be back with the team this week. If he does return on Monday or Wednesday then he is worth picking up if he's available. Kesler has generated four goals and seven assists in his last 11 matches and he has 21 points in his past 25 outings. It's a situation that is worth monitoring, but some people may have jumped the gun here.