Real estate timeshares are questionable things.  The concept was born in Europe many decades ago and it seemed to have its heyday in the United States during the 1980s.  Then the idea got mired in shady marketing and the unscrupulous desire to make a quick buck, but at its heart, the concept was fairly sound.  Can’t afford the whole thing? Just buy part of it.


Maybe this idea could work for you in your fantasy hockey league.


In a nutshell, here’s the concept: trading players for unequal amounts of time.  For example, you and I could agree to a trade.  I send you Joe Thornton today (November 25th) for the rest of the season, and you give me Alex Ovechkin…but not until December 25th.  Ovechkin on my fantasy hockey team?  Now that sounds like something I might want to find in my stocking come Christmas morning.


Quantifying Players


As fantasy GMs we love considering information, we love mulling (obsessing) over details, and we certainly love finding new ways to look smart and claim victory.  Ah, sweet, sweet victory.


So we often go to pain-staking lengths to assess the quality of the players in any proposed transaction in the hope of accurately forecasting future performance.


Returning to our example, let’s throw some numbers around.  Thornton finished the 2008-09 campaign with 86 points, while Ovechkin finished with 110 points.  Thornton is currently on pace for a much improved 105 point season, while Ovechkin is on pace for 115 points.


And yes, there are so many other factors to consider when forecasting future fantasy performance, but in this example we’re going to keep things simple for sake of clarity.


In addition to the quality of player, savvy GMs should also consider quantity in as far as injuries will affect performance.  Is Ovechkin’s shoulder going to become a nagging issue?  Certainly no one trades for Marian Gaborik thinking that he will play 100% of the remaining games available (unless perhaps you’re doing the deal in April).


Back to timesharing…by introducing this concept as a variable, the quantity aspect to any player becomes another factor that can be used to bargain with, and hopefully by which to gain an advantage.  With the possibility of unequal quantities being exchanged, there is now a whole new perspective to be considered by GMs when trades are proposed.


Will Thornton score more points in four-and-a-half months than Ovechkin will in three-and-a-half?  Maybe.   It probably depends on which months we’re comparing.


Last year, Thornton scored 63 points between November 25th and the end of the season, while Ovechkin scored 64 points between December 25th and the end of the season.


So if we made our hypothetical trade this time last year, the numbers look pretty close at first glance, but don’t forget that you still have Ovechkin until December 24th.  In that time period, Ovechkin put up an amazing 21 points.  So the point spread is actually 64 to 84.  Not so equal now.  Except that I, of course, could have picked up an additional man to replace the hole that Thornton left in my roster until Ovechkin arrived.  Centre is a pretty deep position, so how many of those 20 points might I have recovered from the waiver wire?


The numbers become even closer when you start considering trades involving players who can’t put up 20 points in a month.  When Ovechkin is firing on all cylinders he is positively scary as we all know.


And yet Thornton’s having an improved season, so maybe the numbers would work out differently this year.


But the point (so to speak) is well made, many players run hot and cold and trading unequal quantities of a player’s season is another way GMs can look to getting mileage out of these hot streaks.


Overall then it seems pretty clear that incorporating the idea of trading unequal portions of a player’s season would add complexity to any fantasy hockey experience and would allow GMs a new avenue to vie for dominance.

Concerns, Complications, and Complaints

Beyond any concerns over complexity, there are a few other frightening aspects to this idea of trading unequal playing time.


The first type of concern likely to be raised is the traditionalist complaint: they don’t do it in the NHL, so we shouldn’t do it in fantasy hockey.  Fair enough, but any argument based on mirroring the NHL has to acknowledge that most of our leagues don’t do many things the way they do them in the real world.  When was the last time you worried about conforming to the current salary cap?  And yes, I recognize that some fantasy leagues do have caps, but most of us don’t bother with them.


In addition to flying in the face of the accepted status quo, there are also practical concerns.  Yahoo isn’t currently set up for trades that aren’t simultaneous (although I’m sure they could quickly change that…are you paying attention Yahoo?).  That means that if I accept this type of trade and send you a player today, I’d better hope that you’re a GM of your word, otherwise the integrity of the entire league might be jeopardized.  And you don’t even have to be devious to be dangerous.  What if you get bored, or consequently decide that fantasy hockey isn’t your thing and walk away from the league before the back half of transaction is done?  While die-hard leagues are likely self-regulated well enough to avoid problems like this, there could be cause for concern in more casual leagues.


Your Thoughts?


Creativity is a good thing, even in a conservative game like hockey.


Number Four forever changed the way defencemen play the game, the butterfly technique has moulded an entire generation of goaltenders, and each new collective bargaining agreement adopted by the NHL and NHLPA leads to new victories claimed through creativity (usually by player agents).


Certainly we poolies can do the same.  Certainly we’re bright enough to analyze a new idea and decide if it’s useful or not.


The idea of trading unequal quantities of players’ season is one that has likely occurred to others before me, but I haven’t been able to find anything online or in conversation, either opinions or experiences.  Maybe it’s new to you, or maybe it’s not.  Regardless, I’d love to hear your opinion on the idea of player timeshares, if only to satisfy my own curiosity.


The concept of timeshares has a pretty spotty record when it comes to real estate, but maybe the idea could open up a new dimension in fantasy hockey.


At least there are no hidden closing fees or taxes.


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Comments (8)add comment

Rob Forrest said:

... The rest of the league would flip.
November 27, 2009
Votes: +0

steve laidlaw said:

... I really like the idea, it's far out and amazing! Not sure anyone in my leagues would be down for it. The only issue is that this could border on the line of collusion. You could potentially arrange a time share that would throw off the balance of a keeper league for one season and I could see a lot of people having issues with it.
November 25, 2009
Votes: +0

Oilers rock 99 said:

Oilers rock 99
PTBNL?? steve,
the player to be named later is done and agreed on before the trade and is complete after the desired out come is determined.

for example.(NHL)

if you trade for a UFA as a part of the deal include a clause that will send another asset(PTBNL)this player(S) are already agreed upon who goes usually is determined by 2 things if the new team is able to sign the UFA and the distance the teams goes in the playoffs when hossa was traded to PIT they could have done this clause and recived a better player if hossa re-signed.

so in terms of fantasy hockey... this is a pretty shaddy deal as you are really renting the player and then completeing the deal after the season and using both players to your avantage this will soon make alot of fantasy leauges very un compettive
November 25, 2009
Votes: +0

Oilers rock 99 said:

Oilers rock 99
NO WAY!!! fantasy hockey is alreasdy time consuming enough, all kinda of reports / web sites / scheduals / matchups to already consider. If your a normal person who works a full time job, and may have a family the time for fantasy hockey is already limmited. keep this in mind before you cloud your pool with more ways the best 2 GM's can take avantage of the rest. keep it fun it is suppose to be a hobby not a second job!!

And for the record this is more about the best gm.s gaining more avantage over the weaker guys/gals

Keep it simple!!
November 25, 2009
Votes: +0

Tom Nguyen said:

... Crazy thoughts. I was just thinking of this the other day when procuring a very complex trade in which we were literally inches away either way from making a deal. Don't like the "timeshare" name as more likely this is a "loan" such as they do in soccer, AND actually... in hockey too. (See: filatov) Now it isn't the same league, but in some ways the idea exists in hockey.

That being said, aside from a gentleman's agreement, there currently is no way to enact this contract. In my situation, I had an injury. So if I were to propose the deal it would be to have "x" defenseman until mine was back(3 months), then guarantee to the other party, that I would NOT trade "x" defenseman to another team before that time, and ensure that if he wanted him back we would swap back players or make a related trade involving "x" defenseman.

When you do this, obviously the team being loaned the player must give an extra piece. Whether it be a 10th round pick or what have you, since the player being given to you is not going to be a remaining part of your team, it will be less than the full value of the player. How much less will depend on the length of the loan.

Of course it will get crazy when you start having multiple loaned players on your team, questions of collusion will be brought up and bring more headaches to most leagues, but I'm sure this goes on whether we know about it or not.
November 25, 2009
Votes: +0

Steve said:

... In a way, this is done in the NHL today. The infamous "player to be named later" is exactly what we are talking about isn't it? The difference? the typical PTBNL is not an Ovechkin-calibre player. I like it. Definitely outside the box thinking...
November 25, 2009
Votes: +0

adam said:

Seeds of Grapes
... I really don't like this idea. IMO, the goal of a hockey pool is to mimic the real life experience of a GM. The further a pool tends to veer from real life hockey, the more inclined I am to stay away from that pool. For example, I never have and never will join a pool where assists are valued at more than 1 point, or where goals are valued at more than 1 point. Likewise, I would never join a pool that optioned players like stocks. It isn't done in the NHL. Just my opinion.
November 25, 2009
Votes: -1

Jasmin Douville said:

Injuries? So, let's say we go ahead with this Thornton-Ovechkin trade. What happens if Ovechkin gets injured in the mean time? I would be very unconfortable trading for unknown quantities like that.
November 25, 2009
Votes: +0
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