Pierre McGuire

I have decided to spice things up a bit this week while Dobber is off enjoying a few cervezas in sunny and warm Mexico. Each day this week, I will be auditing a different fantasy hockey team submitted to me by DobberHockey members and readers. Wondering what your plan of attack should be this summer? Preparing for a draft? Wondering about some trades you made in the past? I’ll weigh in on the interesting and important issues with my thoughts.


Today, I’ll be looking at “Pierre’s Monsters,” submitted to me by Jonathan S.


The League


Name: Motherpuckers - 10 team league


Rosters: 30-man rosters, starting eight forwards, four defensemen, and two goalies each week


Point System:


H2H League


Goals and assists = 1 point, extra 0.5 for a game-winning goals, short-handed goals, and power play goals.


Goalie stats = 2 points for a win, and 5 for a shutout.


The Roster

The Forwards:

Pat Kane

Henrik Sedin

Vincent Lecavalier

Tomas Plekanec

Patrick Marleau

Travis Zajac

Loui Eriksson

Andy McDonald

Simon Gagne

Jakub Voracek

Nik Antropov

Patrick Sharp

Wojtek Wolski

Jordan Staal

Jason Pominville

Mattias Tedenby

Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson


The Defense:


Mike Green

Tomas Kaberle

Scott Niedermayer

Dennis Wideman

Brent Burns

Michael Del Zotto

Tobias Enstrom

Jonathan Blum


The Goalies:


Ryan Miller

Ilya Bryzgalov

Semyon Varlamov

Michal Neuvirth

Jake Allen


The breakdown:


As Jonathan pointed out to me, goalies are very valuable with these scoring categories. He had two of the best last season, but who knows what the future holds. I’d be surprised if either Miller or Bryzgalov repeat their 2009-10 numbers next season.


Jonathan owns the sixth overall pick in the upcoming draft – it is an entry draft combined with available players on the waiver wire. Some of the top drafted prospects available include Logan Couture, Max Pacioretty, Oscar Moller, Nate Gerbe, Teddy Purcell, Cody Franson, Luca Sbisa, Ivan Vishnevskiy, and Brendan Smith. I'd probably lean towards someone like Couture or Franson at the sixth spot. Franson in particular looks to be a future power play stud in Nashville. He moves the puck very well and has a hard, heavy shot from the point. Taking an NHL-ready and proven 20  21-year-old over a 17 or 18-year-old still playing in the CHL is a simple choice after the top guys (Taylor Hall, Tyler Seguin) are gone.


I took Jamie Benn last summer fourth overall in a prospect draft after John Tavares, Victor Hedman, and Matt Duchene using the same line of thinking.


He mentions wanting to move either Miller or Bryzgalov for a forward. If I owned either goalie, I’d definitely look into selling high. This doesn’t mean to shop them and take what you can get – when I say “sell high,” put an emphasis on the HIGH. Miller and Bryzgalov were the two best goalies in the league last season. They are fantastic goalies both with many elite seasons left in them. If Jonathan can’t find a deal he likes, I’d advise him to stand pat. It’s easier to trade a goalie when you have too many compared to trying to add one when you are desperate during the season.


I like how Jonathan owns both Washington goalies – hedging the risk there. Both are fantastic prospects, but unfortunately only one goalie can play at a time. I have a hunch Varlamov has the inside edge at the job, but I like Neuvirth more from a personal standpoint. Washington could also make a move for a veteran this summer (Marty Turco, Evgeni Nabokov, Tim Thomas), but that would require some interesting and creative salary cap balancing.


This team is very deep at forward. Any time you have depth at any position, I’d advise making a few 2-for-1 or 3-for-1 trades. The only downside is that these trades are mutually beneficial – you gain 10 or 15 points in a roster spot, but your trading partner may gain 20 or 30 points cumulatively. Make sure you know who you are dealing with!


Jonathan mentions Pavel Datsyuk being available – time to pounce! Before Datsyuk’s disappointing 2009-10 offensive season, he had back-to-back 97-point campaigns in 2007-08 and 2008-09. He also mentions that Datsyuk’s owner is rebuilding – try and sell him on the fact that Datsyuk is a soon-to-be 32-year-old who is trending downward (instead of the fact that he is an elite offensive player in a great situation).


He also mentions Jarome Iginla could be had – another buy low candidate. I am less confident that Iginla bounces back compared to Datsyuk, as the Flames don’t have much cap flexibility to improve on their mediocre offensive this summer. I don’t see them trading Iginla. I’d make a play for him, but he wouldn’t be my first priority. Iginla’s owner in this league is weak in goal and on defense, and he needs forward depth. I would advise Jonathan to leave his defense intact. He has a great mix of proven stars (Green, Kaberle, Enstrom), bounce-back candidates (Wideman, Burns), and young talent (Del Zotto).


I would be confident with one of Miller/Bryzgalov and the Washington duo next season as your goaltending. You are on the right track in thinking that it may be time to sell high on either Miller or Bryzgalov. I’d bet Miller has more value, but I like Phoenix’s long-term situation more. Miller may be the guy to quietly begin to shop.


Overall, Jonathan has a very strong and balanced team at all three positions.


The recommendations:


1) Trade either Ryan Miller or Ilya Bryzgalov for a star forward. If you can’t fetch a fair return, stand pat. You’ll have just as easy a time moving one of them during the season. Always better to have too many good goalies compared to too few (it took me quite a while to learn this rule).


2) Get Datsyuk. You mention he is rebuilding? Sell him on any of your young players. How about all of them? One great trading tactic (I am sure most of you already use this, but for those who don’t) is to send your trading partner a list of players and ask to rank them in the order he (or she) values them. This allows you to see their cards, so to speak. It also allows you to save some time with wasted trade offers.


3) Pursue 2-for-1 or 3-for-1 trades with your forwards. It is time to package up the likes of Wolski, Pominville, Staal, and so on for an improvement (even if it’s a marginal one). This is one of my staple fantasy hockey rules, and it is the best (and sometimes the only) way to benefit from building a strong team. If you don’t upgrade, you usually are forced to drop great players each summer because of a lack of open keeper positions on your roster.

Write comment
Comments (4)add comment

Jon said:

May 18, 2010
Votes: +0

Shoeless said:

... Thanks Jon

So keep all, year over year?
May 18, 2010
Votes: +0

Jon said:

... 10 man league, 30 player max rosters
May 18, 2010
Votes: +0

Shoeless said:

... I think to be most useful to readers who don't own the team being audited, that the context of league size and number of keepers has to be there.
May 18, 2010
Votes: +0
You must be logged in to post a comment. Please register if you do not have an account yet.