Blades of Steel

 

Blades of Steel is an iconic video game classic. It is also the name of the league that the team I audited participates in. What is the course of action recommended for a team with fantastic depth at defense, stability in goal, and a few holes up front? Read on to find out!

 

The League


Blades of Steel

 

The Team


New Jersey Devils (only NHL team names)


The Rules


16 teams

H2H Dynasty League

No Salary Cap

Daily Roster Changes

 

Daily Rosters:

 

3C 3RW 3LW 6D 1G 9BN 3IR

 

Scoring Categories:

 

G, A, +/-, PPP, PIM, SOG, W, GAA, SV%, SHO

 

Farm Limit is 82 GP for players and 40 Games started for goalies
14 player max farm

 

The Roster

 

C Jonathan Toews (Chi - C)
C Saku Koivu (Anh - C)
C Sam Gagner (Edm - C)
C Patrik Berglund (StL - C)
C Chris Drury (NYR - C)
LW Alex Ovechkin (Was - LW)
LW Ryan Malone (TB - LW)
LW Brian Rolston (NJ - LW)
RW Dustin Brown (LA - RW)
RW/C Nathan Horton (Bos - RW,C)

RW Tomas Holmstrom (Det - RW)
RW Niclas Bergfors (Atl - RW)
RW J.P. Dumont (Nsh - RW)
D Erik Johnson (StL - D)
D Brian Rafalski (Det - D)
D Ryan Suter (Nsh - D)
D Kris Letang (Pit - D)
D Brent Burns (Min - D)
D Andy Greene (NJ - D)
D Niklas Hjalmarsson (Chi - D)
D Andrej Sekera (Buf - D)
G Martin Brodeur (NJ - G)
G Craig Anderson (Col - G)
G Antero Niittymaki (SJ - G)
G Vesa Toskala (Cgy - G)

1. Cormier, Patrice (Atl - C)
2. Despres, Simon (Pit - D)
3. Junland, Jonas (StL - D)
4. Irving, Leland (Cgy - G)
5. Kreider, Chris (NYR - C)
6. Palmieri, Kyle (Anh - RW/C)
7. Rundbland, David (Ott - D)
8. Salmela, Anssi (NJD - D)
9. Schroeder, Jordan (Van - C/RW)
10. Terry, Chris (Car - LW)
11. Tokarski, Dustin (TB - G)
12. Urbom, Alexander (NJ - D)
13. Vishnevskiy, Ivan (Chi - D)
14. Zharkov, Vladimir (NJD - RW)


Recent Trades


Incoming: Brian Rafalski

 

Outgoing: P.K. Subban

 

This trade was made in an effort to push for a league title last season. Subban has a ton of upside as we all know, but I never mind it when poolies trade from a position of strength (young defensemen) in order to try and win in the present (when it makes sense, of course).

 

The Breakdown


Colin believes that his team has a very bright future (and I would have to agree). Stability at all positions, and a solid mix of proven veterans and young developing talent is a great recipe for success.

 

After looking at the roster, there a few areas of concern that I would try to address. The depth at center is good, but after Toews there isn’t much in the way of proven talent. Both Berglund and Gagner have tremendous upside, but both are at least a year or two away from being point-per-game players. On the left side, I’d look to add a solid third winger after Ovechkin and Malone. Rolston is declining rapidly and I think you could find an upgrade on him pretty easily.

 

I like the mixture you have at right wing. Bergfors is primed for a monster 2010-11 season (30+ goals). He is extremely quick and has a nose for the net. The Thrashers have added a ton of size this summer, and the small Bergfors will directly benefit, as there will be more space for him to operate in the offensive zone. A change of scenery could be the catalyst for a breakout season from Horton as well. Holmstrom is a consistent producer. Dumont is a solid veteran who is coming off a horrible season, but he still has some value left. Dustin Brown's changing role with the Kings bears watching, as it may start  to change as many of their young forwards (Clifford, Schenn, Moller, Loktionov) begin to crack the roster. Brown has never been able to click with Kopitar, and he may get bumped further down the depth chart into more of a two-way energy role than many had originally anticipated for him after he scored 33 goals in 2007-08.

 

The Recommendations


1) Try and find a young goalie with upside. I like the three veterans (Brodeur, Anderson, and Niittymaki), but Tokarski is the only young goaltender with upside. Try and add some depth for the future.

 

2) Parlay one of theyoung centers into a more proven veteran. I’d hold onto both Gagner and Berglund if building more for the future, but this team would benefit significantly in the short-term with a better center behind Toews. Colin could even dangle a defenseman in a trade, as it is definitely the position of strength for this club.

 

3) Add a third left winger.


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