With Markov out, testdrive one of these replacements…

Andrei Markov went down for four months with a lacerated tendon in the opening game for the Montreal Canadiens, which is a huge hit for a team looking to bounce back after a dismal effort last year. Markov had 64 points last year from the blue line, 39 of which came on the power play, which puts Montreal in a tough spot to find a replacement defender who can quarterback the powerplay as effeAlex Goligoskictively as Markov.

While Montreal may be in a tough spot to find a replacement, you shouldn’t be in as big of a predicament with your Fantasy roster. Depending on the depth of your league, there should be some suitable replacements for Markov on the blue line. Check out some of these candidates who may have gone overlooked in your Fantasy pool but may be able to help you while Markov sits on the IR.

Victor Hedman: This rookie went number two overall in the draft this past June. He was a highly-touted prospect who is often compared to the likes of Chris Pronger. On a team like Tampa Bay, that has little going on in the way of defense, look for Hedman to get some time on one of the power play units alongside stars like Vinny Lecavelier, Martin St. Louis or Steve Stamkos. Throw the big rookie on your watch list. If Hedman starts to accumulate the points, you’ll want to be first to grab him.

Alex Goligoski: The 24-year-old d-man (pictured right)  had 2 assists in his first game with the Penguins and was moved to the point of the first power play unit by coach Dan Bylsma. Playing the point with Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin in front of you? I think I could even accumulate 50 points. Twenty points in 45 games last season with the Pens. Need a quick replacement on D? Here’s your guy.

Mike Komisarek: Check the free agent pool, did Komisarek go overlooked by the rest of your  Fantasy competition? He only chipped in 11 points last season, but he has 15 penalty minutes in one game this season with Toronto. If you’re looking for points, pass on Komisarek. Need PIM’s? Check and see if he’s still available.

Zach Bogosian: Atlanta is expecting big things out of this kid, who was drafted 3rd overall by the Thrashers in 2008. In 47 games last season, Bogosian posted 19 points. Right now, Bogosian is slated to be on the second defensive pairing with Tobias Enstrom, another kid who should get a good long look if you need a replacement defenseman. This means that they will both probably get time on the second power play unit as well. Couldn’t hurt to at least toss either one of these kids on your watch list.

Kyle Quincey: This kid was brought up through the ranks of the Red Wings organization and let go because of salary cap issues. After being traded to the Kings early last season, he went on to post 38 points in 72 games. Now with the Colorado Avalanche, Quincy should be seeing time on the top defensive unit as well as the top power play unity. He already has one point in one game with the Avs. Keep a close eye on him.

It’s highly unlikely that any of these players would be able to fill the void left by Markov long term, especially since Markov puts up numbers better than a fair amount of forwards in the league. However, if the IR position is available to you, throw Markov down there and consider one of these young stars as a possible replacement.

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