Fantasy Guide is updated as of right NOW. Draft List updated as of today as well. iPhone draft app too. After this, I’ll update Wednesday…and there will then be one final one on Friday. So two updates to go!
PS – problems with a “corrupt file”? It’s not. It’s your browser. I would say one in 50 of you get a “corrupt file” message when downloading the document, but if you just used Explorer or Chrome it will be fine (the problem usually lies with FireFox).
Answering questions - I would still prefer Byron over Horak in a keeper, as I don't think Horak can hang in there all season but I've been wrong before. And Horak is absolutely on the radar as a very promising player. And as for Radulov - yes, I believe that if the CBA is resolved he will be back in the NHL next year - he will get permission from his KHL team.
It's Dobber today. You're stuck with me, as Chris Nichols is on a long-planned mini-break. He's back next Sunday.
It’s important to quickly admit when you missed a call and react to it. I called Paul Byron to make the Flames – he was a new, coveted acquisition by a team in desperate need of what he provides, which is offense. But he was beaten out by another new, coveted acquisition. Roman Horak. Naturally, the smart move preseason is to pick the older, more mature player. Byron has two years on Horak. But Horak beat him out, plain and simple. Those who follow me on Twitter may have seen my note late Thursday night. I said that it was distressing to see Byron’s ice time fall to the second lowest amongst Flames forwards. I noted that and immediately saw the writing on the wall. I drafted him in two of my leagues (out of three drafts, at that point) and immediately replaced him in one. Then I updated the Fantasy Guide with reduced projections for him. He’ll be back, but it may be a month or two. As for Horak, perhaps he steps in and does what I thought Byron would do. Since, generally speaking, Sunday is not as busy as Monday – I’ll probably repeat this blurb, or something like it, later in the week for those who missed. So bear with me.
Had my third keeper league draft last night. I still owe you the summary for one, last week I gave you the rundown on one. The one last night was the least serious of the three, but it holds a lot of meaning. Without this one, there would be no DobberHockey. This was our 22nd draft. We started off with 12 pro and 5 farm and 13 teams. Very simple. We got it up to 12 pro and 8 farm, 14 teams. Still quite simple and basic. When a team quit this summer, rather than sell the team, we dispersed it. And last night we voted to contract to 19 roster spots next year. To me, these are signs of a slow death. I am not thrilled with making a league “easier” or going through any changes that “simplify”. I want more reality, which means let’s add players, add owners, and grow the league.
Anyway, it was an easy draft for me, since I picked first, third and 15th. I earlier decided on my three dropsies – Tangradi, Matthias and Perreault. So I traded the three of them to get my second round pick back in 2012. Never waste an asset if you can help it. Then I drafted Hopkins, Strome (because, unfortunately, Huberdeau went second) and then I took a flyer on Anton Lander. Now, I know that Lander would have slipped to 45th. I wasted a good pick on him. But I tried trading down, but failed. I wasted an asset. Oh, well, I really wanted to take a chance on this guy. He’s reminding me of Kesler in that he comes in with a “defensive forward” pedigree, yet impresses offensively. Peter Forsberg is another example of that. Plus I had RNH and MPS and liked the idea of adding another Oiler.
My team – 12 pro, 8 farm, full keeper, points only, playoffs also count: Malkin, Evgeni ; Nugent-Hopkins, Ryan; Berglund, Patrick; Sharp, Patrick; Yandle, Keith; Paajarvi, Magnus; Fleischmann, Tomas; Strome, Ryan; Staal, Jordan; Kostitsyn, Sergei; Karlsson, Erik; Granlund, Mikael; Frolik, Michal; Turris, Kyle; Gerbe, Nathan; Omark, Linus; Lander, Anton; Tatar, Tomas; MacLean, Brett; Jeffrey, Dustin. In order of my preference, Year 1 of a rebuild.
I was shocked to see Tim Erixon get cut. It was funny when I mused that on Twitter, about 15 people – no exaggeration – replied to me “yeah, he needs to go down for more seasoning”. Uh, really? Is that why players go down? Haha, anyway, I found that funny. But seriously though, I had figured that Del Zotto would go down. Erixon has the full package and he left Calgary because he didn’t think he could make that team. So I thought for sure he was “guaranteed” a spot in New York. The thing with Del Zotto is, that although he starts out strong, by about the 20-game mark he tapers off. That’s how it has been the last two seasons. So I felt that he would go down for half a season and then get the call for good by December. But Erixon I felt was safe. But not so. It speaks volumes for Del Zotto, really.
Also surprising – Brian Elliott beat Ben Bishop. I thought it was Bishop’s job to lose, and that teams generally favor home-grown talent over invites or new signees. Bishop’s value plummets.
My pick for the four best offensive forwards not in the NHL, in order:
- Alexander Radulov
- Nail Yakopov
- Evgeni Kuznetsov
- Vladimir Tarasenko
What’s the common theme here? This is just off the top of my head, perhaps I missed someone – call it “post-draft” drunkenness. But I’m thinking those are my four. Maybe someone corrects me in the comments below…
With Kubalik and Moore being sent down, and Boll getting injured (broken thumb), it suddenly looks like Cam Atkinson and David Savard will make Columbus – at least to start. Atkinson has done nothing but produce since he’s turned pro – and you know I love those small, skilled guys. That means he’ll suck. I joke of course, I’m just down on the odds of a smaller NHLer getting things rolling. But seriously, I do like Atkinson for the long term.
Craig Smith is at it again. The OT winner last night and by most accounts the star of the game. How do they send him down? I don't know. But somehow, some teams find a way, taking "name" and "contract" over "better". Smith made the Preds, as they made their last three cuts Saturday. But when Mike Fisher comes back, who sits? Cal O'Reilly?
Mikhail Grabovski left the game last night after taking a puck off the foot. That could be anywhere from one to five weeks, depends if it's broken.
Ryan Malone may get a few games for this hit to the head of Chris Campoli. Campoli will probably miss some time as well: