Angus here. I have published the first part of my inaugural top 50 NHL trade value piece over at my blog. I was inspired by recent posts on Grantland covering the NBA and NFL. It was time for hockey to get the same treatment. Read, comment, disagree, agree, but most of all, I hope you enjoy the read!
Fantasy Guide is updated through September 09 now - the latest update has information on how to join the annual three-tiered invitational - 105 people in a multi-season battle for the ultimate glory. That glory: taking myself and the other expert fantasy hockey writers of this site down in the Expert Tier. Last year, Ryan Ma came out on top, holding off DobberHockey reader Peter Hadley. Hadley worked his way through the other two tiers over two seasons to get his shot, and he did well enough to earn a rematch. I also put the details of how to enter in the "site announcements" of the forum.
Football season started yesterday, check out what they have to say over at DobberFootball.
For those of you who still own Patrick Eaves in your league - i.e. those of you who quit your keeper league three years ago and didn't realize that your team is still active - his concussion symptoms have improved, but he's not out of the woods yet. He is finally skating again though.
I feel good about CBA talks this time as opposed to the last time. The two sides are talking far too frequently. Their pouting and 'taking a break' lasted about six days before they were talking again informally. Eight years ago, that would have lasted a good month. Granted, they didn't speak on Saturday or Sunday, but I'm still holding to my late November season-start guess, but if anything I'm thinking 'sooner'.
The biggest problem I have, and that the players have, is…well, I'll simplify things with this (I'll fake/simplify these numbers to make it nice and easy - and less boring):
- The Leafs and the Rangers make $300 million per year (a reminder - just fake numbers)
- The Coyotes and the Panthers lose $50 million per year (fake numbers)
- The NHL wants to set this up so that it shifts all teams up $50 million. So then the Leafs and Rangers make $350 million each, and the Coyotes and Panthers break even.
- The NHLPA says "F- that". And rightfully so. They want the Leafs and the Rangers to take $50 million each and hand it to the Coyotes and the Panthers. Now no teams are losing money.
- The less-rich teams are fine with either solution. But the Leafs and Rangers (and other rich teams) are fighting this tooth and nail. As they should. That's just good business.
But these boneheads think that they deserve all $300 million of what they made because they 'earned it' with savvy business moves and a strong market. But, first of all, they didn't run their business smartly. They fell ass backwards into a situation that can't help but make money. Those same practices run in a different city wouldn't make nearly as much money. Second of all, the other leagues share revenue. Thirdly, the Leafs and Rangers (I use them as examples, but I speak about all well-to-do teams here) need the other teams in order to have a league. They do need to share the wealth and if they do - they will make more money in the long run.
When the NHL concedes on even slightly improved revenue sharing, the NHLPA will give in on a lot of issues. It really is in their best interest to kidnap the Toronto, New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Montreal owners and tie them up, gag them, and stick them in a closet until the CBA is resolved in a way that is good for the league - and not the pockets of eight or nine people.
Some interesting labor angles, one of which will fail while the other succeeds. RDS' Renaud Lavoie is reporting that a group of Montreal players will ask the Quebec Labour Board to stop any lockout - the NHLPA is not certified by the Board, and an employer cannot lock out employees unless they are represented by a union. The way I see it - all unions in Quebec should just de-certify any time an employer threatens to lockout. Whatever, I remember these games being played last lockout. Even if the move works, it would be in court for months and by then the lockout will end.
The other angle is the fact that the NHL players are challenging the Swedish League's ban on short-term NHL contracts. They want locked out players to be allowed to play there.
The Hockey Writers bring up a good point that we've probably not considered regarding a lockout - the record books get messed up. "We may never know if Stamkos can post back-to-back 60-goal seasons" is another interesting thought, if 10 or 20 games are shaved off the schedule.
The growth of Hits in fantasy hockey and the decline of PIM is, I hope, getting a nice boost from DobberHockey. Not only does the Fantasy Guide project Hits for over 300 players… but the Three-Tiered DobberHockey Roto League now has Hits as a category. And the Pro Tier and the Expert Tier are saying bye-bye to PIM (Entry Tier will keep PIM - I'll slowly grandfather it out).
Litter Box Cats has been doing a series on their Top 25 players under 25, and they just put prospect Alexander Delnov on my radar. Although he's years away, he looks like a decent long-term project.
More from The Hockey Writers that you may find interesting - prospects writer Chris Ralph gives you his Top 5 picks for every round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
I am aware of the Malware warning given at the DobberProspects site - they arrived Thursday, courtesy of Russia… cleaned them up by Friday, back again Saturday and this time it nailed my computer. So that was fun. Now it's clean…but we're double checking. I'll post when I'm comfortable that it is clean and safe again. Sorry for this.
Brutal. Here is what took Patrick Eaves out: