This is the final month where not only does a lucky entrant get his or her team audited, but he or she also receives a FREE book courtesy of Firefly Books . The winner will receive either "Shooting From the Lip " or "Hockey Now! "
Alex Ritchie plays in a straight points league with one little twist. Everyone plays 9 forwards, 6 defensemen and a goalie with a 7 player bench but any goal by a defenseman counts as 2 points so the top goal scoring D in the league are pure gold. Goalies receive 2 pts for a win and an additional 3 pts for a shuttie. In this keeper league you keep 9 forwards, 5 defensemen and a goalie so essentially you keep your starting lineup from year to year. Some guys really like straight points leagues but ... it's not my favourite system to play, perhaps it's a really good thing that Alex's team was smoking hot all month while we tried to keep that rolling.
Let's take a look at Scurvy Dawgs. I've *'d your keepers (9F's, 5D's, 1G).
F * Vincent Lecavalier TB - the stat that gives me pause with Vinny is actually +/- but you don't have to worry about that in this league he's good to go in this format. A point per game is actually a down season for him.
F * Eric Staal CAR - I like him a lot in a format like this even though his scoring this season will be at the lowest level since his rookie season. I see him more as the 100 pt sophomore version rather than the 65 pt present version in a keeper league.
F * J.P. Dumont NAS - I actually saw him on some waiver wires last season and I don't expect I'll see anything like that for him again for a lot of years to come. I'm not surprised by this offensive outburst over the last 2 seasons. Now having said that, he also won't break any career highs this season.
F * Rick Nash CBS - he's a fave for both of us but he has more value in multi-cat leagues since goals can be harder to find. Don't get me wrong though, I'd love to roster him in just about any keeper league.
F * Anze Kopitar LA - I actually traded for him earlier this year in the only points league I'm in but that was with the expectation that he'd actually INCREASE on the nearly pt/game production he's put out in previous seasons. In actuality, his production has dropped from previous years. There's still plenty of hope mind you. He's young.
F * Jason Pominville BUF - this is another guy who's production has dropped off from last year when an increase was projected, I have him in the same league mentioned above too. Can you tell I'm not winning that league?
F * Daniel Sedin VAN - wow, I have Daniel in that league too. Freaky. I'm LOVING the rumours that both twins will be Leafs next year. Yes please.
F * Henrik Sedin VAN - weird that he's VERY similar in production to his brother eh? Uh no, they are twins after all.
F Jamie Langenbrunner NJ - I debated for a long time on whether or not he should be a keeper but I'm going to give the last keeper slot to a kid listed below. He'll put up a career high this year but he's also 34 this year. He's a great option for this year though, no doubt.
D * Niklas Lidstrom DET - still has loads of value as a keeper, even as he gets older. I think I'd look into trading him next year though.
D * Brian Rafalski DET - he's been an amazing compliment to Nik for several years now. I expect that Kronwall will become Raffy's compliment as time goes on.
D Jaroslav Spacek BUF - well, he gets PP time and he contributes so that'll continue to have value.
D * Kevin Bieksa VAN - he has more value in multi-cat leagues but there's no doubting he's had an excellent season this year. I'd continue to expect more of the same down the road.
D * Jay Bouwmeester FLA - just imagine what sort of tandem he and Bieksa could provide for real on a Canucks D next season ... and it could easily happen. They have VERY similar production in this league.
D Rob Blake SJ - it's controversial that I don't list him as a keep for you but that's because I expect some bigger things down the road for your other keeps. I don't see an awful lot of years left in the league for Blake anyway. He'll keep producing next year I suppose but I'll suggest you lock up the kids as your keeps.
G * Ryan Miller BUF - when I came on the scene he was your starter and we had to make a move to replace him as your starter over the course of the month. Still, he's an elite option and a definite keep.
BN Chris Osgood DET - he sure has struggled for playing time and when he's been in he's fought the puck all season. There are better options on the wire if we want to go that direction but I would've been pretty happy with my goaltending coming into the season if I had that tandem though. Hindsight is 20/20 though eh?
BN * Jordan Staal PIT - JStaal or Langenbrunner for your last keep? I think that Jordan has the upside to become Jeff Carter-like in the not so distant future. In multi-cat leagues JStaal will carry some extra value because he lines up in every situation of the game. In a league like yours, he's just ready to bust out.
BN * Keith Yandle PHO - yes, I'm suggesting you keep him as your last keep on D ... ahead of Blake. You don't have to worry about +/- in this league and the kid has like a decade on the old man so I'll suggest you make this move now. I expect you'll see similar production from them as soon as next year but you'll be keeping Yandle on the upswing.
BN Matt Stajan TOR - he's been on a .76 pt/game pace this season and that's just fine to keep on your bench. That type of production puts him in the top 75 in the league. Seriously, look it up.
BN Mattias Ohlund VAN - I could see the nucks cutting ties with him this offseason (and then pursuing Bouwmeester pretty hard) particularly since it seems that Alex Edler is the next wave for them.
BN Doug Weight NYI - I suppose when he was healthy he was a good option but I had no interest in rostering him even when he was getting points ... it's a young guy's game and the only reason he was getting opportunity was because they didn't have a better option.
BN Keith Tkachuk STL - I was surprised he wasn't dealt at the deadline actually. A move to the right situation could've really helped him for the end of this season.
Waiver Wire Options
One can only add one (1) waiver option at given periods throughout the season, but you could add more than one player if you traded for a waiver add. One of those add dates came along at the end of February and by that time our starting goaltender had gone down for the count. We determined that we would need to trade for a waiver add since there were a couple names to go after here.
Tim Connolly - the best offensive option on the wire and since we needed more offensive options then we figured to take the chance that he'd stay healthy and try to make the add.
Jason Blake - given how hot his hand has been since Christmas he was a definite option to add to the bench. I'm not sure that he'll be able to keep up the pace now that he has to develop more chemistry with someone ever since Moore got dealt though.
Cam Ward - when Miller got hurt we had to troll for goalies who'll win. He was the best option according to both of us (although it was a close call).
Dwayne Roloson - will the Oil win more than the Canes? I doubt it given their respective divisions. Rolly has definitely been standing on his head though.
Pekka Rinne - will the Preds win more than the Canes? Flip a coin.
Steve Ott - I love this guy in multi-cat leagues but I think I gravitate toward PIMy options more than other fantasy dudes. I think Dobber has a man-crush on this guy though. Just saying.
First I'll list some offers that didn't fly and then I'll mention the moves that worked in bold at the bottom.
Eric Staal and Daniel Sedin for Mike Green, '09-10 2nd round pick, '09-10 3rd round pick - bear in mind that D have extra value in a league like this but I honestly thought this one was good to go.
Eric Staal, Daniel Sedin, and Kevin Bieksa for Mike Green and Loui Ericsson - again, that should've worked.
Eric Staal and Keith Yandle for Marc Savard - excellent offer in my opinion
Jamie Langenbrunner and Kevin Bieksa for Olli Jokinen and Fedor Tyutin - given Olli's struggles this year then this offer had a chance but didn't go anywhere.
Eric Staal, Anze Kopitar and Keith Yandle for Joe Thornton and Mike Cammalleri - Sigh. This is a keeper league and we can't interest guys in some of the best young guns in the game.
Mattias Ohlund and a 4th round 2009-10 pick to Zach for 1st waiver priority in February and a 5th round 2009-10 pick - that waiver move was the one that we were after once Miller got hurt. You needed a goalie in that waiver pickup and there was a skater that you wanted to get. We planned your goalie pickup for your move but we wanted the first priority so that we could be assured of getting the skater we wanted. That waiver pick turned into Tim Connolly so in effect this trade was Ohlund/4th for Connolly/5th … I'll take that everytime.
When I came on the scene you were deeply entrenched in 4th place but you were also in the midst of a breakout for your team. Over the course of a month your team has jumped to 2nd place and you have eyes on the frontrunner. All of that is on you. Quite frankly, we weren't going to mess with a good situation, like Costner said in Bull Durham, "you don't f*** with a winning streak". The only tweaking necessary was a simple waiver pick or two even though we tried to make other moves. The addition of Connolly and Ward will help your team in the short term as you try to make up the gap between you and the top gunner in the league. Good luck. You have a really good shot at it.