Eric Maltais recently hosted the third annual Industry Experts Fantasy League. DobberHockey has always had a strong presense in this one - Dobber exploded out of the gates the first year, leading for the better part of five months before injuries took the big man down in the final weeks. Last season, DobberHockey's Maltais won the whole she-bang. This year will be no different.
The format has changed this year to that of a keeper league. Below is an uncensored account of the draft from Eric Maltais (okay - it's censored once...Dobber's call!)
Thursday night was the draft for the Industry Experts league, which is in its third season. TSN's Scott Cullen won the league in its initial season while yours truly finished at the top of the 15 experts last season. The league was converted to a 12-team keeper league this year where each team will be able to keep four players with a maximum of one goaltender the following season.
Here are the league participants;
Eric Maltais - Dobber Hockey
Jeff Angus - Dobber Hockey
Ray Flowers - Fanball
Scott Cullen - TSN
Ian Gooding - FantasyHockey.com
Jan Levine - Rotowire
John Topper - Rotowire
Gus Katsaros - McKeens Hockey
Matt Romig – Yahoo! Sports
Michael Finewax - Rotoworld
Nicolas Chabot - The Sports Forecaster
Rocky Bonnano - NHL.com
Rosters: C, C, C, C, LW, LW, LW, LW, RW, RW, RW, RW, D, D, D, D, D, D, G, G, BN, BN, BN, BN, BN, IR, IR
Scoring categories: G, A, +/-, PIM, PPP, SOG, W, GAA, SV%
The following are my thoughts written during the draft, an insight in my mind while I processed the goings as picks were made.
8:30 - Draft is in 30 minutes I'm about to log on hoping to get one of the top three picks so I can draft Ovechkin, Crosby or Malkin. There are plenty of other young studs available, but the drop-off is big after the top three.
8:32 - Draft room is open, I log on and %*&@, I got the fourth pick, I really wanted top 3 or something later. I'm really tempted to go with Zetterberg but his injury history scares me. On the other hand he was awesome during the playoffs and is a five-category stud. So is Dany Heatley . There's also Iginla but he's four years older than Zetterberg and Iginla. And there’s still Thornton.
8:55 - Zetterberg is fourth in my queue, the fact that he plays with Detroit who is so awesomely strong this year ways in his favor. I'll be looking for a goaltender in the second round.
8:59 - Draft is about to start and I change my mind scared off by Zetterberg's bad back. Seconds are counting down; I'm hoping a goalie goes in the top three, nervous to find out.
Draft starts quickly the top three go as expected and I take Heatley and Iginla goes right after. Unlike the last two years no goalies have gone in the top five.
Zetterberg went after Iginla and then Brodeur is the first goalie taken, followed by Luongo, I wonder if we'll see a goalie run. Nabokov is the only other goalie to go in the first round so I'm confident to get a good one in the second round
|1.||Alexander Ovechkin||Sports Forecaster|
|2.||Sidney Crosby||Rotowire – Levine|
|4.||Dany Heatley||DobberHockey – Maltais|
|6.||Henrik Zetterberg||Rotowire - Topper.|
|8.||Roberto Luongo||DobberHockey – Angus|
|11.||Vincent Lecavalier||McKeens Hockey|
Lundqvist and Turco go back-to-back to start the second round. I'll probably draft goalies with my next two picks; this crowd always drafts goalies early. Carey Price is tops in my queue. Three picks to go I'm nervous, Fleury and Giguere went off the board, one pick and then I take Price.
YES!!!! Getzlaf is drafted leaving me Price. I got my goalie for the next 10 years!
|2.||Marty Turco||McKeens Hockey|
|5.||Marian Hossa||DobberHockey – Angus|
|7.||Jean-Sebastien Giguere||Rotowire – Topper|
|9.||Carey Price||DobberHockey – Maltais|
|11.||Jason Spezza||Rotowire – Levine|
|12.||Chris Osgood||Sports Forecaster|
I take Ryan Miller hoping he has a better season this year, hesitated between Miller and Bryzgalov. Now I can forget about goaltenders for the rest of the draft.
I'm surprised to see Alfredsson go so early considering his age, than again it is the 3rd round and he doesn’t have to be a keeper.
Mike Green just got drafted, was hoping to make him my next pick. Patrick Kane is next on my list but plenty of picks before it’s my turn. Kane, Morrrow, Parise are in my queue.
|1.||Niklas Backstrom||Sports Forecaster|
|2.||Daniel Alfredsson||Rotowire – Levine|
|4.||Ryan Miller||DobberHockey – Maltais|
|6.||Zdeno Chara||Rotowire - Topper.|
|8.||Ilya Bryzgalov||DobberHockey – Angus|
|11.||Dan Boyle||McKeens Hockey|
I add Vanek and Brent Burns to my queue.
A lot of defensemen are going early, Morrow goes, damn I just had put him ahead of Kane.
I've got a feeling I'm not getting Kane....but WOOHOO it's suddenly my turn and he's there.
|2.||Daniel Briere||McKeens Hockey|
|3.||Martin St. Louis||Rotoworld|
|5.||Brenden Morrow||DobberHockey – Angus|
|7.||Daniel Sedin||Rotowire – Topper|
|9.||Patrick Kane||DobberHockey – Maltais|
|11.||Brian Rafalski||Rotowire – Levine|
|12.||Andrei Markov||Sports Forecaster|
I'm wondering when to pick Stamkos, I'll wait at least another round
Another good one, Burns is still there, the draft is going very well. My pick is applauded. Wow, huge suprise to see McCabe go right after Burns after his season last year and the poor +/- he should post in Florida.
After the next couple of picks I won't worry about keeper value I'll have my four keepers already
Backstrom (WAS) goes, damn wanted to make him my next pick, I'm huge on the guy, three straight picks out of my queue with Parise and Perry. I've got Horton and Zherdev on deck. I add Kopitar and Hemsky.
|1.||Mike Richards||Sports Forecaster|
|2.||Paul Stastny||Rotowire – Levine|
|4.||Brent Burns||DobberHockey – Maltais|
|6.||Tomas Vokoun||Rotowire - Topper.|
|8.||Dustin Byfuglien||DobberHockey – Angus|
|11.||Zach Parise||McKeens Hockey|
Picks are taking longer now, four picks before me and I like my queue of four, I'd have to be really unlucky for them to all go before I pick
I add Sean Avery to my queue hoping to get him in round 7.
I hesitate between Zherdev and Horton but go with Zherdev since I think he'll score 40 goals, Horton goes next and I'm not surprised, then Kopitar who was in my queue and who I might have taken over Avery.
|2.||Jason Pominville||McKeens Hockey|
|5.||Derek Roy||DobberHockey – Angus|
|7.||Tomas Kaberle||Rotowire – Topper|
|9.||Nikolai Zherdev||DobberHockey – Maltais|
|11.||Jeff Carter||Rotowire – Levine|
|12.||Anze Kopitar||Sports Forecaster|
Again I glad with my pick since I get Avery, if I can add Carcillo I've got the category sewn up but I wouldn't take him until round 11 and I'm sure he'll be gone by then.
I was surprised to see Souray and Carter go so early.
Selanne goes, good pick in round 7. I'm thinking hard about Stamkos. It looks like nobody trusts Ribeiro who went in round 5 in the Dobber Expert draft.
I wonder how long Gonchar will be out, he could be worth a gamble in round 8 Carcillo goes so so much for me matching him up with Avery.
|1.||Ed Jovanovski||Sports Forecaster|
|2.||Sheldon Souray||Rotowire – Levine|
|4.||Sean Avery||DobberHockey – Maltais|
|6.||Daymond Langkow||Rotowire - Topper.|
|8.||Teemu Selanne||DobberHockey – Angus|
|11.||Erik Cole||McKeens Hockey|
Ribeiro finally goes in round 8, I guess I'm not the only one who doesn’t trust him, he's followed by Gonchar...so much for that tought.
My turn, Hemsky or Stmakos...hmmmm Hemsky it is.
|2.||Scott Niedermayer||McKeens Hockey|
|5.||Mike Ribeiro||DobberHockey – Angus|
|7.||Milan Michalek||Rotowire – Topper|
|9.||Ales Hemsky||DobberHockey – Maltais|
|11.||Brad Boyes||Rotowire – Levine|
|12.||Milan Hejduk||Sports Forecaster|
Round 9 and still I have no centers, if he's there on the way back I'm taking Stamkos.
YES!!! got him. Now I have to wait a while for my next turn.
Bergeron goes, damn he could have been my next pick, I need centers. I Put Sedin and O'Sullivan in my queue.
Comment appears about Stamkos going late for a keeper league
Satan goes, he was about to go in my queue. I add Ryan Whitney in my queue, don't want to forget about him.
Letang goes, I'm not as high on him as others even with Gonchar and Whitney, but he could bust out. Tangay goes 4 rounds later than in the Dobber draft
I'm thinking Sedin might fall to me...at least I'm hoping but still 8 picks before me.
|1.||Pierre-Marc Bouchard||Sports Forecaster|
|2.||Jay Bouwmeester||Rotowire – Levine|
|4.||Steven Stamkos||DobberHockey – Maltais|
|6.||Patrice Bergeron||Rotowire - Topper.|
|8.||Kris Letang||DobberHockey – Angus|
|11.||Alex Tanguay||McKeens Hockey|
Ryan Clowe goes way too early but Romig is a Shark fan. Prospal also goes way early for my taste and so does Lehtonen for that matter, but very few goalies left. Dipietro is the best left, but I put Conklyn in my queue so I don't forget about him.
Damn it, Sedin goes 2 picks before my turn. I take Gomez for the assists and power play points...oops I wrote that in the Yahoo comment box…this isn’t easy writing this thing and doing the draft at the same time.
|2.||Tim Thomas||McKeens Hockey|
|5.||Niklas Kronwall||DobberHockey – Angus|
|7.||Henrik Sedin||Rotowire – Topper|
|9.||Scott Gomez||DobberHockey – Maltais|
|11.||Mathieu Garon||Rotowire – Levine|
|12.||Ryan Suter||Sports Forecaster|
Defensemen are going fast so I need to add another and Timonen is next on my list...and I get him, I really like my team overall even if I am weak at center.
My queue now consists of O’Sullivan, Ryan Whitney, Conkly, Meszaros, Brown and Franzen.
Brown goes and there are plenty of picks before my turn. One of my sleepers, Kuba goes, I wouldn't have taken him over Meszaros.
I'm asking myself when to take a chance on Havlat.
|1.||John-Michael Liles||Sports Forecaster|
|2.||Wade Redden||Rotowire – Levine|
|4.||Kimmo Timonen||DobberHockey – Maltais|
|6.||Brian Rolston||Rotowire - Topper.|
|8.||Duncan Keith||DobberHockey – Angus|
|11.||Filip Kuba||McKeens Hockey|
I add guys in my queue I don't want to forget about. Turris, Okposo, Doughty. Meszaros is my next pick if he's still there, 3 more to go before my turn.
Damn I was almost forgetting one of my favorite sleepers, Kessel, so I add him to my queue.
Got Meszaros, giving me three solid blueliners. I'll gamble on Havlat in round 13.
|2.||Jordan Staal||McKeens Hockey|
|5.||Mikko Koivu||DobberHockey – Angus|
|7.||Chris Drury||Rotowire – Topper|
|9.||Andrej Meszaros||DobberHockey – Maltais|
|11.||Paul Kariya||Rotowire – Levine|
|12.||Chris Kunitz||Sports Forecaster|
I get Havlat as planned, but I really need to draft a few centers, I've still got O’Sullivan in my queue as well as Nylander and Turris. I add Jason Arnott. I’m thinking Havlat is worth it here if he plays 60 games.
Arnott goes so it won't be him, would have made a nice third center.
Antropov so early???? You know that I can't stand him.
|1.||Michael Ryder||Sports Forecaster|
|2.||Vesa Toskala||Rotowire – Levine|
|4.||Martin Havlat||DobberHockey – Maltais|
|6.||Matt Niskanen||Rotowire - Topper.|
|8.||Joni Pitkanen||DobberHockey – Angus|
|11.||Nik Antropov||McKeens Hockey|
Three more picks and I take O’Sullivan, I really need him and I do believe he will sign a contract soon
Huselius is still out there, another guy we experts don't believe in.
Phew I get O’Sullivan, and already thinking about my next pick, I think it'll be Ryan Whitney.
Just talked about him and Huselius goes, seven rounds later than in the Dobber draft.
|2.||Radim Vrbata||McKeens Hockey|
|5.||Scott Hartnell||DobberHockey – Angus|
|7.||Mike Knuble||Rotowire – Topper|
|9.||Patrick O'Sullivan||DobberHockey – Maltais|
|11.||Wojtek Wolski||Rotowire – Levine|
|12.||Tobias Enstrom||Sports Forecaster|
When do I gamble on Sundin???
I get Whitney and a few comments appear, it seems I took him just in time.
I thinking Nylander for my next pick , hopefully he'll still be there. Kubina is another possibility, love the PIMs he'd bring. Demitra is also a possibility.
Samsonov is a surprise here but I like the Schneider pick even though we don't know where he'll play
So much for Kubina, but I keeping hope for Nylander.
Damn Conklin goes and I was considering him for my round 17 pick, Filatov now, a bit early but worth a gamble. I'm thinking I really need to get Halak to cover Price
|1.||Paul Ranger||Sports Forecaster|
|2.||Ryan Smyth||Rotowire – Levine|
|4.||Ryan Whitney||DobberHockey – Maltais|
|6.||Jere Lehtinen||Rotowire - Topper.|
|8.||Sergei Samsonov||DobberHockey – Angus|
|11.||Pavel Kubina||McKeens Hockey|
Demitra is gone, I'm praying for Nylander now...particularly with Turris going.
Yes again! I get my pick, I'm loving my draft!!!
The young guys are going, Filatov, Turris, Perron, Lucic, Okposo.
|2.||Ray Whitney||McKeens Hockey|
|5.||Jiri Hudler||DobberHockey – Angus|
|7.||Adrian Aucoin||Rotowire – Topper|
|9.||Michael Nylander||DobberHockey – Maltais|
|11.||Milan Lucic||Rotowire – Levine|
|12.||Kyle Okposo||Sports Forecaster|
I'm looking for a LW since I only have two. Not much left so I take Penner.
Kessel will be my next pick if he's still there, if not I'll go with Sergei Kostitsyn or a third goaltender. I still need Ds and Cam Barker and Gilbert are in my queue...okay Barker not there anymore shit I was really hoping to get him with my 19th pick.
Koivu goes, I'd been eyeing him. I add Artyukhin to my queue, I like his PIM potential. I add Vermette…and there he goes, oh well.
|1.||Christopher Higgins||Sports Forecaster|
|2.||Ron Hainsey||Rotowire – Levine|
|4.||Dustin Penner||DobberHockey – Maltais|
|6.||Ales Kotalik||Rotowire - Topper.|
|8.||Robert Lang||DobberHockey – Angus|
|11.||Saku Koivu||McKeens Hockey|
Sundin??? hmmmm thinking about it hard...damn there he goes.
Matt Carle goes, nice pick this late. Kessel is still there though and I do want him bad. SHIT!!! Right before my turn… I'm really frustrated now.
I take Artyukhin, probably too early but I get kudos for my pick from some of the other guys.
|2.||Mark Giordano||McKeens Hockey|
|5.||Jack Johnson||DobberHockey – Angus|
|7.||Rick DiPietro||Rotowire – Topper|
|9.||Evgeny Artyukhin||DobberHockey – Maltais|
|11.||Mike Smith||Rotowire – Levine|
|12.||Joe Pavelski||Sports Forecaster|
I'm going for upside now so S. Kostitsyn looks good but I need to protect Price so I put Halak in my queue...and get him, phew at least that's one worry gone. They should be could for 50 wins between the two of them.
I need LW and Defense, Kostitsyn and Eriksson are in my queue. It looks like Brunnstrom was on a lot of queues since there is much talk about his selection.
Tkachuk goes as I was about to add him in my queue, no worries S. Kostitsyn and Ericsson are my targets
My queue only has Gilbert and Connolly otherwise.
|1.||Ryan Kesler||Sports Forecaster|
|2.||Jason Williams||Rotowire – Levine|
|4.||Jaroslav Halak||DobberHockey – Maltais|
|6.||Johnny Oduya||Rotowire - Topper.|
|8.||Scottie Upshall||DobberHockey – Angus|
|11.||Darcy Tucker||McKeens Hockey|
Steve Downie is an interesting pick for the PIMs if he plays enough. 4 more picks, I'm confident I'll get my LW.
The last of the goalies are going, really not much left, by the time the draft is over there'll be no goaltender worth a spot left on waivers.
I'm good, I get S. Kostitsyn, might take Eriksson next.
Claude Giroux goes and then Eriksson, damn it! I don't know what to do with my next pick. I don’t like the my last few rounds and am not set for the last few.
|2.||Alexander Steen||McKeens Hockey|
|5.||Josh Harding||DobberHockey – Angus|
|7.||R.J. Umberger||Rotowire – Topper|
|9.||Sergei Kostitsyn||DobberHockey – Maltais|
|11.||Claude Giroux||Rotowire – Levine|
|12.||Loui Eriksson||Sports Forecaster|
I need a D and rush into taking Preissing, oh well I hope he takes the lead with Visnovsky and Blake gone
Only four picks left and I need at least two more Ds.
Several gambles taken this late.
|1.||Manny Legace||Sports Forecaster|
|2.||Alex Goligoski||Rotowire – Levine|
|4.||Tom Preissing||DobberHockey – Maltais|
|6.||Mattias Ohlund||Rotowire - Topper.|
|8.||Fredrik Modin||DobberHockey – Angus|
|11.||Jarret Stoll||McKeens Hockey|
Lee goes just as I was thinking about him
Not much left so I gamble on Radulov...we'll see what happens. I thinking only 1% chance he plays this season, but I’ll let him go in a few weeks if nothing positive comes out.
|2.||Ville Koistinen||McKeens Hockey|
|5.||Brett Clark||DobberHockey – Angus|
|7.||Tuomo Ruutu||Rotowire – Topper|
|9.||Alexander Radulov||DobberHockey – Maltais|
|11.||Derick Brassard||Rotowire – Levine|
|12.||Patrik Berglund||Sports Forecaster|
Poti isn't much of a pick, but there really isn't anything left on D. I still need another to compensate for Whitney’s injury.
I've got Schubert targeted as my last blueliner.
|1.||Mikkel Boedker||Sports Forecaster|
|2.||Owen Nolan||Rotowire – Levine|
|4.||Tom Poti||DobberHockey – Maltais|
|6.||Alex Auld||Rotowire - Topper.|
|8.||Brandon Dubinsky||DobberHockey – Angus|
|11.||Lee Stempniak||McKeens Hockey|
Draft Burrows with my next to last pick. I’ll see if I keep Artyukhin or Burrows once the season starts. Certainly won't keep both.
|2.||Scott Walker||McKeens Hockey|
|5.||Alexander Edler||DobberHockey – Angus|
|7.||Andrej Sekera||Rotowire – Topper|
|9.||Alex Burrows||DobberHockey – Maltais|
|11.||Zach Bogosian||Rotowire – Levine|
|12.||Fedor Tyutin||Sports Forecaster|
I decide to forego another D and take go for the upside of Nilsson. I'll get another defenseman when I put Whitney on IR. It's 11:30, I'm tired, I have a cold and my back aches so my concentration wasn’t there the last few rounds.
|1.||Andrew Ladd||Sports Forecaster|
|2.||Ruslan Fedotenko||Rotowire – Levine|
|4.||Robert Nilsson||DobberHockey – Maltais|
|6.||Drew Stafford||Rotowire - Topper.|
|8.||Jared Boll||DobberHockey – Angus|
|11.||Erik Johnson||McKeens Hockey|
Overall I really like my team. Although I waited a while to get my centers I’m confident that Stamkos, Gomez, O’Sullivan and Nylander can give me good numbers. I really like my goaltenders, the Habs have a very good team so if anything happens to Price, Halak will cover. I’m already set on dropping Poti to gamble on Schubert instead since Kuba and Lee are no guarantees to run the power play with success. My defense is my weak spot.
I think I’ll be very strong in seven of nine categories; goals and plus/minus will be weaker. I give myself a good shot at defending the league title providing my squad remains relatively healthy.
My four keepers will probably turn out to be Heatley, Kane, Stamkos and Price. If Stamkos is a bust, Burns or Zherdev will be the guy.