The DobberHockey Experts draft was conducted last Wednesday (October 3rd). The draft was held a few weeks later than usual this year (for obvious reasons). Drafting with a lockout in effect is difficult, but it didn’t affect my strategy all that much.


All week long at DobberHockey, we will be profiling the rosters hand selected by the 16 participants. Today, hear what Eric Daoust, Peter Hadley, and Ryan Ma have to say about their teams, and their competition in the DobberHockey Experts League in 2012-13.

The League:

  • DobberHockey Experts League
  • 16 Teams

Scoring Catgories:

  • Goals
  • Assists
  • Powerplay Points
  • Plus/Minus
  • Hits
  • Shots on Goal
  • Wins
  • Saves
  • Goals Against Average

The Rules:

  • No limit on number of free agent acquisitions
  • $100 for free agent auctions, which are conducted once per week during the season (weekly blind bidding)
  • Start 4 C, 4 LW, 4 RW, 6 D, 2 G
  • 2 IR Spots
  • 5 Bench spots

The GMs:

  • Jeff Angus
  • Darryl Dobbs
  • Glen Hoos
  • Gates Imbeau
  • Ryan Ma
  • Russ Miller
  • Peter Hadley
  • Mac Vincent
  • Steve Laidlaw
  • Anthony Lancione
  • Russ Bitely
  • Chris Wassel
  • Michael Amato
  • Steven S (Mabus)
  • Jacob S (Smackavelli)
  • Eric Daoust


Eric Daoust (Capped)


Eric D

My team was built using the Fantasy Hockey Geek tool, as well as my own intuition. 

My Team:

While many people like to grab finesse players early and physical players later, but this team is composed top-to bottom with players who contribute across the board.  More than anything, this team is heavy on firepower and solid overall in skater categories.  While not as strong in goal, there are reasons to believe that the numbers will exceed the expert projections.  Collectively, this will be a well-oiled machine.

Favorite Pick:

My favorite picks were a pair of Sharks, Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton.  Their reputation takes a hit for their team’s postseason reputation, and some of the hate carries over to fantasy hockey.  Fortunately, this pool is about the regular season and both players are still very productive.  Marleau brings an excellent combination of scoring ability and heavy shooting while Thornton is one of the best playmakers in the game.

A Pick I Regret:

My dud pick was definitely Brandon Saad. Truth be told, I was having trouble with fatigue during the draft and did not realize I was on the clock until time was running out.  I ended up picking the best player on my screen.  Saad is not a terrible pick though, because he has immense talent and big wingers tend to find success in Chicago.  He simply was not the pick I would have made if I had the full clock to decide.

A Player I Wanted:

In round 10, I was ready to pick Jose Theodore.  With Roberto Luongo as my only other goaltender at that point, Theodore would have provided solid support and a certain assurance of starts during the season.  He ended up being picked by Maaaasquito Bites and I did not pick a goaltender until round 13 when I selected Josh Harding.

Draft Day Risers:

In terms of risers, I found it embarrassing how high some goalies were drafted.  This was perhaps the biggest goalie run ever in fantasy hockey and I just cannot see how it is justified in this type of league.  To each their own, and I will be happy to take the league championship from the goalie hoarders.  In a way, the result was good because the top skaters were still available later in the draft than they normally would be.

And Fallers:

To continue with the previous paragraph, the biggest fallers were the skaters.  The run on goalies led to a slew of elite talent being available later in the draft.  In round 2, Dustin Byfuglien and Zdeno Chara were available in the latter half of the round despite being first-round talents.  In round 3, a few elite multi-category beasts in Dustin Brown, David Backes and Jamie Benn were selected.  In round 4, the following top centermen were picked: Jason Spezza, Eric Staal, Ryan Getzlaf and Jonathan Toews.  The theme of the draft was that top skaters could be had a round or two later than what their value would indicate.

Best Team Drafted:

The top rival is going to be the team projected by Fantasy Hockey Geek to win – Cage Match (Steve Laidlaw).  A lot can change when the games are (hopefully) played, but the wide margin of victory in the projections raised my eyebrow.  I am fine with being the underdog in this cage match, because one way or another I plan on beating him in this league, just like I did in the UHL last season.  History will repeat itself and even Chris Pronger in his forum avatar will not know what hit him.

Worst Team Drafted:

Last place goes to “Lupul on my Clitsome” because he did not select Lupul or Clitsome.  What a phony.  Starting off with two goalies in the draft is fine, but who will fill the other six categories?  I understand that those three categories are important and that having two guys to secure those categories is important but not at the expense of everything else.  And we may not even get that far, because Ilya Bryzgalov seems to be more interested in bears and the universe than stopping pucks (which is a scoring category, by the way).


Peter Hadley

Peter H


My Team:


After finishing 2nd last year, I had a much clearer strategy going in on what I wanted to do based on "lessons learned".  Knowing this year I was picking #2 allowed me to plan ahead and look at contingencies.  Normally it is better to pick in the middle as you have a better oppotunity to get the player you want now versus the player you hope to get 30 picks from well as avoid being on the business end of "runs".  However, the upside at #2 is you're pretty much guaranteed to get who you want right off that bat and take the initiative in establishing your plan.  While it was very tempting at pick #2 to go for a sexy pick like Stamkos or Malkin or Crosby - which I would have in a 12-team set up - the reality is (based on past history swiming in this shark tank) there is little chance of having two solid goalies available by the time my next two picks (at 31 & 34) roll aournd.  Last year for example, 14 goalies went off the board in the first two rounds alone.

I was planning on getting the best possible goaltending combination with my top three picks.  More often than not, goaltending is the key in a roto league and it's a matter of simple this league there are 20 scoring slots (18 skaters and 2 goalies) and two of those 20 slots count for fully one third of your overall roto points. After goaltending, I wanted one of the top roto defensemen in my first three picks - particularly either Chara or Weber - as position scarcity makes them extremly valuable roto contributors.


I'm very happy with my team as I accomplished my goals of drafting: 1. strong goaltending tandem (Lundqvist & Niemi), 2. a core of solid defensemen (Chara, Doughty, Bieksa), and 3. balance across the board with my forwards (Iginla, Semin, Burrows, Lupul, Ladd). 


In my experience with large roto leagues, solid goaltending and skaters who provide balanced contributions across your stat categories, will put you in good position for a top three finish.  (As an aside, three years ago when I won my initial Dobber Entry pool, Burrows was my leading scorer and Quick/Brodeur/Rask were my goalies.  Last year, I finshed seventh in a Yahoo Pro pool while owning Malkin, Crosby, Ovechkin.) The majority of my forwards have or will have dual eligibility which will also provide me with a slight edge in flexibility that pays dividends over time. The make/break for me will be my focus in the last third of the draft on "upside" guys over "retreads".  If my "upside" picks (B.Schenn, Kreider, M.Johansson, M.Boedker, C.Wilson) score in the 40-50 point range and contribute in the peripheral categories, I'll be golden.


In the words of the immortal Herb Brooks, "I'm not looking for the best players, Craig, I'm lookin' for the right ones"


Favorite Pick:


Lundqvist - he's as steady as they come and his team continues to improve. Getting a top tier goalie, particularly key in a large (16-team) league where position scarcity is a given, is a great security blanket.


A Pick I Regret:


Ask me this after a month into the season... if there is my potential regreat pick it will likely be Semin - I was never a big fan of his and this is a make/break year for him. If he's not motivated now, he never will be. Playing with the Stahl boys can only help (I hope).


A Player I Wanted:


I resigned myself to the fact that after the first three rounds I wouldn't get who I wanted as there would be nearly 30 picks before I got a chance to pick again. Plus with these GMs, it's a given that someone is going to pick your pocket. You really need to have your 2nd, 3rd, etc. choices lined up. You've got to be ready to move on...


Best Team Drafted:


For me it's Ma - he blew by me in the last week of the season last year to finish first so obviously I'm keeping a close watch on him. Dobber and Russ are as cagey as they come and the guys who fought their way in through the entry and pro pools certainly know their stuff too.


Worst Team Drafted:


just look at the names and you KNOW this will be a battle. That being said, you can't "punt" any categories so if your team has a glaring weakness it's "sayanara" and enjoy the view from the pack of the pack.


Ryan Ma (Maaasquito Bites)



My Team:

Overall pretty happy with my team, after running through the numbers on FHG, probably not as excited as I was after the draft, but I got pretty much all of the players I wanted/targeted with a few snipes along the way. Biggest weakness probably is +/-, but that’s a pretty fickle stat so I’m not too concerned about it. I’m pretty good at adjusting throughout the season, so I’ll do that along the way.


Favorite Pick:

Green – I think he’s severely under-rated at the draft table, was pretty ecstatic to land him with the 87th pick. As long as he can stay healthy he could contend for the top fantasy blue-liner producer. I also like him as a complement to Backstrom, so I can get a Cap duo.


A Pick I Regret:


Didn’t really have one, maybe Elias at 138th, but with that said I desperately needed a LW at that time and he was probably the only quality one available, so I can’t really complain, the player I really wanted was Vinny Lecavalier and was debating between the two at my pick and went with need over want… Vinny went before getting back to me the next round.  


A Player I Wanted:

This one has to go out to Steve Laidlaw on his Khabibulin snipe… I’ve been talking up the Bulin wall all summer long and he’s honestly one of my sleeper picks of the year, had him all queued up and ready to click then 2 picks before me then boom… Looking back at it retrospectively I should have snagged him the round earlier instead of my Stoll pick, I guess I was overly confident that there was only 1 goalie selected in the 82 picks prior to my Stoll pick, so I thought he’d last another round, boy was I wrong. Hurt even more after cause Gates took my backup plan of Steve Mason 4 picks before my Biron pick.  


Draft Day Risers:

LOTR is always stiff competition came 2nd last season by a whisker, so gotta be careful of him. He built his team very well from the back end G and D, so it’s a matter of whether or not he can find enough scoring from the front end. He’s very strong peripherally, but I don’t know if he’ll get enough from the points front to garner him the championship. Same could be said with LupulonmyClitsome (Mabus), built a very similar team based on G and D, the thing is whether or not he can get enough points from the front end.


And Fallers:

Prospect Bites is a bit weak IMO, he rolled the dice with Halak and Elliott, so that means he essentially burns two spots for one  goalie slot. He also didn’t grab a 3rdgoalie early, so he’ll be hurting in the goalie area. Best case scenario is STL wins enough to get him maybe a 5-6 in wins with a nice GAA 9-10 then cop 4-5 for svs and hope for the best in the offensive categories.


Sorry Angus, but not a fan of yours either, gambled on both Schneider and Dubnyk with no handcuffs, not a lot of offensive production from the backend as well, Wideman and EJ are the top 2, when you compare that to a Letang/Edler combo, you could be giving up 20-25 points at each D position… I don’t know if your offense is strong enough to make up for it.


Best Team Drafted:

Steve Laidlaw (Cage Match) I think will finish first, he’s got a solid “across the board” squad and he also has plethora of goalies in which he could gamble on moving to BTL for a boost somewhere else on his team. The major question is who’s he gonna move and what can he get in return? Only thing I’m a bit iffy about his team is defensive scoring. He has Letang, Edler, Seidenberg, Schultz, Faulk and Kaberle… With Letang and Edler being his main point producers. I have Green, Streit, Souray, Pitkanen, Robidas and Greene, so I might have the edge in scoring in that front…   


Worst Team Drafted:

BTL is done, I guess that’s the follies of running auto-draft. Goalie stats are 33% of the league, and with Markstrom, Bishop and Bachman as his goalies, I don’t know if they’re gonna get enough stats to make enough of a difference, you can’t win the league copping a 1 in any single category and he’s gonna cop a couple on the goalie front. With that said, he does have a decent forward corps as trade bait, the question is how much is he willing to give up in order to pull a goalie back in return and who has available goalies willing to move to him.    

Glen Hoos (The Commisioner's Office)




My Team:


I had planned to build from the net out. Clearly, things did not go according to plan. With the 11th overall pick, I had my sights set on Lundqvist, Quick, Rinne or Rask. When all four went in the top 10, I had to change on the fly. I had six goalies lumped together in my next tier, and I figured one or two would make it back to me, so I went for the multi-cat stud in Neal. His dual eligibility (LW/RW) played a role in that.


The insane goalie run left me with Carey Price in round two. Though I love his talent, his team will keep his wins down, which means I have a weaker number 1 goalie than I'd hoped for. I crossed my fingers and prayed I could shore things up with a Halak, Niemi, Hiller type in round 3, but it wasn't to be (I had Hiller all queued up, only to see him taken 1 pick before me). With no goalies left that I was thrilled to take, I waited another couple rounds to take Brodeur - again, not as strong as I wanted. Later in the draft, as I surveyed the dregs, I settled on Hedberg as my third goalie. I had a couple others ranked slightly higher, but I see some value in handcuffing him to Brodeur. Suffice it to say, though, cornering the market on Devils goalies was not part of my pre-draft strategy. Nonetheless, I could see my goaltending being middle of the pack... some teams are really hurting between the pipes.


Apart from my goalies, I tried to build a balanced team, shying away from one dimensional players. I was pleased to get Eric Staal down at 54th, and I'm anxious to see what Mikko Koivu can do with a legitimate star on his wing. I think van Riemsdyk could make a great value pick if the Leafs stick with their plan to slide him to centre on line 1. My blue line is very young with Subban, Ekman-Larsson, Ellis and Franson. That wasn't by design; they were just at the top of my list when it came time to pick. I do expect both OEL and Ellis to take big steps forward this year, and if they do, I should be sitting pretty on the back end. Giordano is an underrated stud in this format.


The one thing I lack is a true superstar, with Staal and Neal being the biggest names on my team. But names don't win championships, and I think I've got enough balance to get the job done, if one of my goalies can pick up a few more wins than I'm expecting.


Favourite Pick:


Staal at 54; also Giordano at 118 and JVR at 150


Regret Pick:


There's no specific regrets yet, but I'm really disappointed at how my goaltending turned out, considering that was my top priority entering the draft (goaltending killed me last year)


A Player I Wanted:


Rask and Hiller are the obvious ones - both scooped by Ma one pick before I could take them, in rounds 1 and 3. But another one that stands out is Ryane Clowe. He was at the top of my list for about 15 picks before Cage matched nabbed him 3 picks before I could.




I like the looks of Maaaasquito Bites and Legion of Dobber... The big guy's taken some heat for his early picks, but he's got a solid squad.




Between the Lines amassed an impressive offense, no doubt, but you can't win a championship with that goaltending.


Best Team Drafted:


I'll give the early edge to Ma to repeat as champion.


Stay tuned, as the rest of the experts will be sharing their thoughts on the draft this week.

Write comment
Comments (7)add comment

acfurino said:

... Gates has the best team... feel free to challenge my comments on his review page smilies/wink.gif
October 13, 2012
Votes: +0

mabus said:

... According to his yahoo stats, BTL has finished in the top half of his last 20 pools exactly once (a fourth place finish), and has finished dead last 6 times. Not to kick a guy when he's down, but the only way he wins this league is if there is a sixteen way tie for first because the season is cancelled.
October 10, 2012
Votes: +0

Ryan Ma said:

... There wasn't a full breakdown done with the Expert league, I did a quick recount of my thoughts linked below...

Obviously with the lockout occurring there's been a lot more time for us to interpret and play around with the draft results this time around.

Jebus a lot of people considering me a threat, I should walk around with a giant target on my back.

The biggest difference maker this season will be what BTL decides to do with his goalie dilemma, if he decides to roll the dice and "tank" the goalie stats, he'll finish near the bottom (if not last) in the standings, but he could greatly change the complexion of the league if he decides to move one of his prized forward possessions for a goalie. So that will be a very interesting scenario to see how that pans out and what he decides to do.
October 09, 2012
Votes: +0

mabus said:

... Hey Penguins,

I won one of the pro ones last year, and a few of us did write-ups on our teams after the draft. Mine is at this link:

I'm not sure if they did the same thing for the experts draft.

October 09, 2012
Votes: +0

angus said:

... Updated - 4 C, 4 LW, 4 RW, 6 D.

2 G

5 Bench
October 09, 2012
Votes: +0

Man_not_Puck said:

one thing I'm wondering... Is it 3 wingers, 3 centers, 4 defence?

Just wondering how many guys sit on bench.

So basically you bid once a week for waiver wire pickups?

October 09, 2012
Votes: +0

Pengwin7 said:

Nice Love the analysis from the coaches on their picks.

Out of curiousity, did any of the team's do a review of last year's pool?
(I think I read Ma's... but nobody else's can I remember).

For the same reason that schools make us learn "History", we have to review the past to understand the future.
October 09, 2012
Votes: +1
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