scoop - photo courtesy of 


Why getting 'the scoop' before your opponents is no longer possible.


A scoop refers to a piece of news being released by a media outlet before it’s rivals can. Since most fantasy hockey writing is scoop based and because most fantasy sports strategy is scoop based, I assumed when I first started writing a fantasy hockey article, I’d do the scoop thing. I visualized Dobber as a cigar chomping J. Jonah Jameson type character who was always worried sick about being scooped and who screamed our last names with a heavy emphasis on the last syllable when upset… "Angggggg GUS!" Occasionally, one of us would meet his approval with a scoop of such significance he'd soften, and begrudgingly lead the entire newsroom in a heartfelt slow clap. I imagined being the recipient of that slow clap, proudly walking across the newsroom floor buoyed by the hard won admiration of my peers and propelled by the flirty giggles of the gals in the secretaries’ pool.


What I assumed would happen hasn't; for a couple reasons. First, working for the Dobber Sports Network has turned out to be different from my hybrid Mad Men / Spiderman fantasies. No epicenter on the top floor of a skyscraper. No clacking of typewriters. No gals in the secretary pool. And probably no Christmas party either. There is just a mysterious man in sunglasses who corrects my punctuation and insists I send him articles in Word format.


The second reason I haven’t received the slow clap for any scoops is because the Internet and accompanying social media have made a real scoop impossible. This is especially true for a weekly article. More than once I've thought about doing a piece on a player and by the time Monday rolls around my grandmother has re-tweeted it. Old lady is always scooping me (you are right to imagine me shaking my fist but wrong to imagine me without clothes and what I mean by that is morally wrong since technically you are right). I soon realized if I ever wanted to earn that slow clap I'd have to change my strategy. But I wasn’t sure what to do.


I actually entertained the idea of making stuff up. I wondered how long a guy could get away with writing actual fantasy on a fantasy hockey website. I put together a great piece about a Pat Falloon comeback based on info I received last week while sitting beside him in the dressing room between the periods of a charity game against the Hab's alumni. The article concludes with me suggesting he is worth putting on your bench in deep leagues. It's partly true; I did play with him last week. But the man is clearly not thinking comeback, nor, as my article claims, does Brian Burke see him as an ideal mentor for Sean Monahan; at least, not to my knowledge. Falloon is however, an all right pick up in charity games, but don’t expect any backchecking at all.


As enjoyable as making up lies was, I figured there was a down side somewhere and so I went with the current PuckPastor angle - whatever that is. My point is the death of the scoop means I had to change my strategy, but my more relevant point is you also need to change your strategy when it comes to your fantasy team. Because my friends, the scoop is dead.


Once upon a time fantasy leagues were won because the winners had information others didn't. We scooped each other and it worked for us. Now a quick Google of "fantasy hockey advice" brings you all the information you could want in half a second. Put a random player’s name in – oh let’s try Pat Falloon – and you get 63,700 results in .31 seconds. That’s a lot of Falloon. Information is no longer an advantage because everyone who cares can find it easily. I bet the guys in your fantasy league care. The scoop is dead and you need a new strategy. Thankfully, there are new advantages accessible to you in this information-saturated reality.


But you’ll have to wait until next week to read about them.


Grace and Peace,



Recent articles from Puck Pastor:

Making Wise Decisions 
Thoughts on my fantasy hockey draft 
Capitalize on Chaos 

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Comments (6)add comment

The Comish said:

The Comish
... notoriousjim,

I hear what you are saying. In my 12 team, keep 25 league, I was lucky enough to scoop ANA goalie Frederik Andersen in this year's draft. The reason I drafted him was solely based on Dobber's Guide. The Goalie Guild guy (sorry I forgot his name at the moment) has a very high hit ratio for his goalie rankings in the Annual Guide. In another, much deeper league, I took previously unheard of (for me) Darcy Kuemper, who is at least in the mix for future starter in Minny and who very likely precipitated the trading of Matt Hackett. I guess my point is, sure the scoop is dead, but it's really all about how you filter all the info into an action plan.

Know who provides the best advice, based on historical evidence. That's why I love this site. There are so many knowledgeable fantasy hockey poolies on this site, you just need to know which ones offer the best info!
November 05, 2013
Votes: +0

canucker16 said:

... Entertaining as always!
November 04, 2013
Votes: +0

notoriousjim said:

... I am in a 16 team keep 25 league (and drop 5 for redraft), and it is worse there.... not only can you not scoop someone, but most players anyone thinks could possibly rise in value is already owned... top 30 prospect gets called up, searched for him, and he has been owned for months. starting goalie gets hurt, search for his backup, and he is owned... searched for the AHL starter, and he is owned. It gets crazy. I literally own guys like Raata and Hackett solely due to the crazy speculation the league has devolved into.
November 04, 2013
Votes: +0

austeane said:

Scoop To get the scoop, it has to be your own scoop and you can have it for a while.
If you watched the Sedins last year, you had the "scoop" that they could still easily be point-per-game players.
I had a "scoop" that Voracek was worth more than people thought a full year before he broke out.
Scoops have become educated guesses... And are hoarded. And often wrong haha.
November 04, 2013
Votes: +1

Pengwin7 said:

Weird... ...mmm kay. (in my best Office Space boss voice.)
November 04, 2013
Votes: +0

mojavedesert said:

I knew this already... I am looking forward to next week's article, which I hope has less creepiness to it.
November 04, 2013
Votes: +0
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