For the last few weeks, the Puck Pastor has preached to you. This week, he invites you into his office


From my pulpit at DobberHockey I’ve been aiming for that balance of humor and advice that opens up skeptical ears and has cold hearts warm up to truth. It’s a tactic I use in my day job at In our church, we try not to cater to religious people so we get a lot of first timers, or people who haven't been to church since they were about six years old. Usually they don't have the best memories of the last time they were in a church - one of our goals is to change that. So, I crack a few jokes every Sunday morning, usually of the self-deprecating variety to lower the fear level of the poor guy who thinks he's going to get blasted from the pulpit. My thinking is that most people's lives are hard enough, what they hear Sunday morning shouldn't make it harder.  Humor lowers defenses and creates receptivity. Eventually, I'll transition to the meat of what I want to talk about and hope it is heard with an open mind.


That's what happens in the pulpit and you’re familiar with it by now. But now you’re coming to the office. The office is different.


When people come to visit me in my office often the level of desperation is pretty high. So in the office I don't really crack the jokes. I don’t sing them songs about Keith Ballard. In the office, people simply want help. And that’s you now with a week of the season in the books and your team already looking terrible.


Last week, you were on top of the world - smug and anticipating glory. It was preseason after all and you thought you had all the answers. You had a strategy, you knew who the sleepers were, and you were just fine without the likes of me thank you very much. But now, a mere week into the season you have noticed that Jonathan Drouin isn't playing alongside St. Louis and Stamkos and the 6th round pick you took him with might have been better spent on...well...someone actually in the league. Now, filled with regret you have wandered into my office. Before I offer you a coffee, you catch a glimpse of Dobbernomics and Yahoo open on my browser before I can minimize it. You tactfully say nothing and settle your Zibanejad loving ass down on my comfy chair and I invite you to share what’s on your mind. 


You start slow, but then the dam breaks. The regret. The pain. The shameful memories of how half the league was still available when you said "Boone Jenner" based on a couple preseason games and some modest online buzz. Without judgment, I pass you the Kleenex to wipe away the Dustin Penner induced tears. There is no judgment here, only empathetic nods – and hope!


Hope you say?  Absolutely, you see, the first couple weeks of the season actually give you something more solid than preseason rumours and media buzz to base choices on. Coaches intentions, toi, linemates, and pp time are actually statistically verifiable in a way they weren’t in the pool guides. In fact, I’d argue that the prime time for finding real sleepers is on the waiver wire in the first week or two of the season. Here are a few guys on the wire who could save your season.


When I wrote a rough draft of this article Friday all were more available then they are now after a strong weekend.  I left the Friday % from Yahoo for interest sake. The point is these guys are getting noticed so act quickly if you can.


1. Jacob Trouba


He is taken in only 13% (now 17%) of Yahoo leagues.  He is playing over 20 minutes a game with solid second unit PP duty.  19 year old has no panic to his game and has given every indication he is not only going to stick with the big club in his rookie season but also going to be a real fantasy asset.


2. Marcus Johansson


Taken in only 18% (now 20%) of Yahoo leagues.  Guy doesn't get a ton of PP time but he is playing with Ovie and Backstrom. 


3.  Marc Staal

Taken in only 16% of Yahoo leagues.  Played 25:40, which is no surprise but the 3:47 pp time means it is only going to take him 6 games to be over his total pp time from 21 games last year.  He has expressed his desire to be in a more offensive role and Vigneault seems to be obliging him.  Look for a return to his 2010-11 levels.

4. Rene Bourque - 1% (now 2%) in Yahoo leagues.  Plenty of playing time with Plekanec and Gionta.  Only Subban and Markov had more pp time last game.  If this keeps up Bourque has 20/20 potential. If your league has any depth at all this is the early season waiver wire gem. 


And now, there is a tap on the door.  My assistant is letting us know that the next appointment is here. Time to wind down. But before you left, I’d ask if I could pray for you. You’d either decline or appreciate it depending on where you’re at with that sort of thing. But either way, the atmosphere in the room has changed. There is buoyancy in your step. You can face another day. Life’s problems are not insurmountable if you are paying attention to your spiritual side. Poor choices can be undone in an atmosphere of grace and there are always surprising options on the waiver wire if you look close enough.


Recently from the Puck Pastor:



4 Prophesies from the Preacher 
The Ballad of Keith Ballard 
Follow Your Heart 


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Comments (23)add comment

shallowfrozenwater said:

take heart i just stumbled upon the puckpastor and quite frankly i love the man's work.
i remember taking some comments on the chin when i would try to weave some "spiritual" stuff into my own writing on my own blog or even in some pieces that i submitted here to DH or DB. i remember defending myself as merely being who i am when i express the things that i think about even when sometimes that may come off pretty preachy in a space that a lot of folks think should not be about preachiness. i'll argue however that this space is more about self-expression than preachiness though.
i find the pastor's articles to be money. he makes me chuckle everytime and i'm perfectly comfortable with the idea that we may not agree on our brand of spirituality. i like the support that he offers though plus i have always appreciated Dobber's leeway here and i hope to continue to enjoy it.
attaboy pastor, keep up the great work.
October 31, 2013
Votes: +0

4horsemen said:

... I wish there was an ignore list here on the comment section like there is on the forums Thou doth protest too much
October 08, 2013
Votes: +3
Images, Low-rated comment [Show]

Wink said:

Thumbs up to our Don Novello... I'd probably be considered far from religious- but I enjoy Nathan's work on this site.
If he started talking about brainwashing kids, sure... I'd have a problem with that.
Or soliciting money for his church, things of that manner.

But he hasn't. And I don't think he will.
He's merely using his profession for context- not for attempted conversion.
It's a nice change of pace compared to all the stat driven stuff available on the site.
I find it well written and humorous.
That's a difficult combo to find relative to all the hockey news we sift through.

It's an article, not the Ramblings.
Similarly, I don't follow much Jr hockey... so I don't read those articles.

If you find it a bit offensive, try picturing the Puck Pastor as Father Guido Sarducci.
Ya know, a character.

Frankly, for me personally, I was also more offended by Angus' constant Canucks love; but I never let it stop me from gleaning the quality information that he offered.
October 07, 2013
Votes: +6

Rollie1967 said:

well said Dunnder! I loved Angus' articles, even if I never clicked on any of his fitness related links (although I probably should have lol). As for the Pastors FB page... Im sure we all have something someone else could find offensive on our own page. btw shingy- newborns shouldnt be on FB! even if they can read.

Loved the line 'Zibanejad loving ass' lol.
October 07, 2013
Votes: +4

germant said:

@ Dobber As for Dobber's comments - fair enough. Leeway granted - I'll respectfully avoid the Puck Pastor from now on.
October 07, 2013
Votes: -4

germant said:

Ron Burgundy
It's not about getting offended by somebody holding different beliefs than I. It's about not wanting to come to Dobberhockey to find religious advertisements.

If Dobber wants to continue to promote religion, I'll regretfully stop visiting daily and stop buying his products. Plain and simple.

See how that works?
October 07, 2013
Votes: -4

austeane said:

Sorry for spam. Sorry for the multiple comments, but dobber can edit his comments and I can't. And my erotic literature comment now looks completely random!
He mentioned being willing to include links and things from writers as long as it wasn't hade or porn, and I was pretending to take offence to that... So disregard that.
October 07, 2013
Votes: +0

austeane said:

Shingy On the other hand, if the Pastor's organization is brainwashing children somehow, that ain't cool.
Could you please link to the offensive pictures in question? I took a look through his site, and couldn't find anything that said that... I didn't search exhaustively by any means though.
October 07, 2013
Votes: +1

austeane said:

What do you have against erotic literature? Some of it is very very well written, and I am aghast that you would be limit a good writer in both disciplines!

Seriously though, I am an atheist. I have had some really in depth talks (hours in length) with incredibly intelligent religious people (one has a PhD, another has improved the quality of life of certain places in Africa through truly incredible ways... So both "types" of intelligence). I have come to my own conclusion that religion isn't for me, but I'm not set out against religion and it offers people some really good things. I went to a camp for youth that was run by religious people. Many in it weren't religious, and the people in charge didn't push religion but it was an open environment where you could talk to people, or "pastors" without worry. It was a really fun camp.

Religion comes under many different banners, some of them perverted beyond recognition, others so far removed from the bible (insert holy text or guide here) that it is a completely personal spirituality, and still others where charity uses the name of religion to empower and spread good. Don't judge something because it is "religious". Nothing I have seen from the Pastor is brain-washy or overly pushy. I think his Keith Ballard thing is ridiculous, but I also think he writes very well and that this is a very interesting take on fantasy hockey.
It seems better to me then the clinically overdone, totally-rehashed segues that you find on most other sites. I see him inviting you to take a look at what he is doing, but he hasn't done anything close to "preachy". Most segues don't add anything to articles anyways, so this isn't any worse. Some would argue for nothing but fantasy content, and no literary anything, but that might get a bit bland after a while. To me, the intro doesn't take away from the article at all.
If you have made up your mind against religion of all kinds, that is something for you to deal with and you may have very compelling personal reasons but I am just as accepting of positive religion as I am of anything else.
October 07, 2013
Votes: +2

JW said:

maya has the knife
... I'm not religious and was not offended by anything in the article or the spirit of the article. Didn't even notice a link to the author's church. Keep up the amusing and informative work!
October 07, 2013
Votes: +6

Dobber said:

... I'm neutral/have no opinion on what the Pastor has to say about his day job, or his links. But I respect his right to not be censored. If the pendulum swung a little too far away from fantasy hockey for some people's taste, consider it a one-off or a rarity and move on. The site's track record, and Nathan's track record, should warrant a bit of leeway in that regard.

October 07, 2013
Votes: +8

Dunnder said:

Spritually themed articles I really like this article, and the previous Puck Pastor articles... I am confident that Nathans faith wont allow him to get discouraged from a few ridiculous comments from trolls like Shingy. (a cult that is brain washing children? Give your head a shake.) You are upset about a link that was included in an article, and the content of the link? So dont click it!!! I found your opinions, words and comments to this article far more offensive than any article ive ever read at Dobberhockey.

When Angus was a regular contributor, i couldnt care less about all the non-hockey crap he wrote about (primarily fitness) and he wrote a lot more of that that Nathan does about faith.. Jeff also wrote about it (or at least linked to it) at every opportunity - ramblings, articles, etc etc.. i didnt cry about it in the comments after each of his articles. i simply didnt read it cause I didnt care about it.

I agree that personal beliefs (Puck Pastor/Faith, Angus/Fitness, Nichols/War) should NEVER be included in the daily ramblings, but this is an ARTICLE/COLUMN, so you have the choice (based on author and title) to read it or not...

I think we all agree that the ramblings are pure gold on this site, and likely the primary reason Dobber has so many daily visitors to the site... I like the ramblings to be pure, unfiltered, daily info on last nights happenings.... (I do actually miss Angus' contributions (less the canuck bias and fitness links) to the ramblings, as they seem to have gone downhill lately) But once you are here at the site, there are lots of other areas (articles, forums, guides, links) to search for additional content, and you are free to utilize those areas which suit you the most. I for one almost NEVER visit the forums... nor have i ever clicked on Jeff's fitness links.

As for Puck Pastor, not only is the humor entertaining, but the MILD inclusion of analogies comparing faith and fantasy hockey are fantastic. Puck Pastor has become one of my must-read columns on this site.

Please keep it up Nathan! God bless.
October 07, 2013
Votes: +5

karlm13 said:

... Not that I am offended by the religious aspect, I just don't think it really adds anything to this article other than to drive website traffic for promotional purposes. If it is going to be included in a fantasy hockey website, it should at least somehow add to the fantasy hockey analysis, not just be a mere 'name-drop' in the article.
October 07, 2013
Votes: +0

Devil10 said:

... I am not a big religious follower but I do enjoy your blogs on the Dobber site. Good for you for taking the risk by trying to combine two things that you are passionate about. Hopefully most people will only criticize on the fantasy hockey side and not on what your thoughts on religion are.

October 07, 2013
Votes: +3

Ron Burgundy said:

Ron Burgundy
Shingy and Germant, if you are so offended by religion (or is it just the Pastor's religion?), then perhaps an article with the word "pulpit" in the title, written by the "Puck Pastor" is not something you should click on. I for one have progressed from Catholic to lapsed Catholic to atheist to something just shy of Bill Maher at the end of Religulous. At the end of the day though, we are all believers (non-belief is in itself a belief) and there is nothing productive in getting viscerally offended when someone subscribes to beliefs that are different than yours (see: East, Middle).

Now all of that said, I do find the whole Puck Pastor thing a bit gimmicky, but THAT said, I found today's article a rather clever way to present the information (most of which was information I was not aware of, which is one of the main reasons I come to this site). Not offensive. I also didn't click on the link to the church, because I have no interest in church. See how that works guys?
October 07, 2013
Votes: +4

shingy said:

He wants people to check it out. I checked it out. They brainwash children. That's gross. If you don't have a problem with that, good for you. This is a fantasy hockey site, not a freaking church. Wake the hell up people.

4Horsemen. The image is huge and I didn't click on it. Thanks for your astute opinion though.

For the record. I the only time I've ever spoken up in this manner is right now and when Chris Nicols (likely my fav writer that has been here) started including war references in his ramblings. Just leave that shit out of fantasy hockey. Although I can where organized religion and fantasy have their similarities.
October 07, 2013
Votes: -3

Red John said:

Red John
... People are hypersensitive. In a society with an emphasis on tolerance (ie acceptance of gay marriage) there sure isn't a lot of tolerance being shown here towards a guy for what...adding a link to his church site? If you aren't interested in his church don't click it.

Great article; keep it up. Don't listen to the haters.
October 07, 2013
Votes: +3

4horsemen said:

... I found the writing engaging and entertaining with the content a bit lacking but hey, I'll take a clever laugh with a bit of fantasy hockey thrown in for a nice change of pace.

I get what you're trying to do with your pieces and as far as I'm concerned if you help one life through your church then it's worth the abuse of 1000 Shingy's....who for some reason couldn't resist the urge to click a link they fully intended to be offended by?!?!
October 07, 2013
Votes: +4

jmsalsa said:

... Well....i liked the article. Keep on doing what you're doing Pastor.
October 07, 2013
Votes: +1

shingy said:

EVEN Fantasy Hockey...
Well said. For the love of god (pun intended), we can't even read about stats and shit without this garbage.

For anyone who is interested. You can go to this guy's facebook page for his church and looks at some of the visual posters under "PAC Kids Rock". There are 3 distinct messages directed towards children that I find highly offensive. As stated by his church, these images and messages are intended for children from BIRTH to age 6.

On the site, these are all big colorful catchy visuals. We all know how kids can't resist that stuff.




I'll give Dobber the benefit of the doubt on this one cause it's straight up cult shit wrapped in some fast talking fluff.

No, you can't pray for me. Maybe some people out there should pray for those kids you're brainwashing.

This will be my last time reading this writers limited offerings. Game misconduct for douchery.

PS "He gets way more traffic than I do" Amen to that.
October 07, 2013
Votes: -2

PuckPastor said:


Three things:
1. I have no idea if Dobber shares my views (although I think he would agree on Boone Jenner). I did ask him if I could do the link and he said "share your stuff, man!" I thought that was kind of him. He gets way more traffic than I do.
2. I thought I had sufficient foresight and analysis. At least as much as gems like "The Ballad of Keith Ballard" and "4 Prophecies from the Preacher". I'll give you Johansson as not terribly insightful; but Bourque was pretty good. Especially since I wrote the article before his breakout game on the weekend. I write the articles Friday on my day off from my usually toiling at www....just kidding. There will be some articles more insightful than others.
3. Obviously I'm trying to weave faith and fantasy hockey together. That's the whole schtick of the PuckPastor angle. Trying to do it in a thought provoking way and walk a bit of a line. Might interest you to know that on the otherside of it are some more conservative religious types who are taking offense to my using "holy" things to talk about fantasy hockey. The PuckPastor is just trying walk the line and shine a light.

Grace and Peace
October 07, 2013 | url
Votes: +2

germant said:

Normally a B-I-G fan but . . .
This article was a huge disappointment in two ways - the relative lack of information/foresight in comparison to your previous work; secondly, and more troublesome to me, the use of this website to promote your church (and faith). Because it is on this site and got through the edit phase, I assume Dobber shares your views and is okay with you linking to your church. That too is a disappointment.

Unfortunately this is the last article I will read from the pastor. But I suppose you wouldn't be a pastor if you didn't wear your religion on your sleeve and find a way to weave it into every conversation - even fantasy hockey.

Too bad. smilies/sad.gif
October 07, 2013
Votes: -5
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