I wonder about things. These thoughts often inch towards the borders of insanity. Thankfully, they’re confined to the realm of fantasy hockey, so I don’t need to check myself in anywhere. But I’ll look at what a player has done in one game or in one league or in one month and a crazy thought will appear in my head – often too nutty to even ramble about in my daily blog.
Most of the time – and by “most” I mean 99.9 percent – nothing comes of it. Rarely, something will seep through, such as my wondering if Rich Peverley could become a second-line producer in Atlanta back when he was waived by Nashville. Occasionally, I’ll come close to actually seeing the crazy thought come to pass, but then it will fall short – such as when Nashville waived Simon Gamache and St. Louis picked him up. He scored five goals in seven games before tapering off and getting waived again and then disappearing into Lonny Bohonos-land. But for the most part, these ridiculous thoughts that force their way into my brain, however briefly, do not come to pass at all and are too farfetched to share.
Why not throw all the darts at once? Maybe one will hit the bull’s-eye. More likely they’ll all fall beneath the dartboard and put holes in the wall, but as long as I forewarn you then I figure it’s fair to share them just this once. So here goes…
- Career AHLer’s who I wonder if they could be stars in the NHL: Martin St. Pierre and Brett Sterling. A couple of injuries, a couple of early fluke goals, the right linemates and the right coach – that’s the Matt Moulson recipe that could open doors. Screw with the recipe just a little bit and they’ll be tearing up the German League by the time they’re 30.
- I wonder if Vladimir Sobotka could get 75 points in his second year on a different team.
- I wonder if Tim Connolly could go back to his 82-game ways. Alright, that one is too far-fetched.
- Could Mike Rupp be a 60-point player with Sidney Crosby? For five seasons, Mike Knuble averaged about 18 points before – at the age of 30 – he clicked with Joe Thornton…then Peter Forsberg…etc., etc.
- Rostislav Olesz will get about 35 points in 75 games this year. But I wonder if next season he will top 70? Injuries have slowed down his development, so a “fifth year breakout” isn’t inconceivable, is it?
- I wonder if Teddy Purcell will get traded and instantly become a point-per-game player. He’s a talented forward and the Kings don’t really need him. But come February they will need another experienced veteran on their roster. If he were to get moved to a rebuilding team that puts him in their top six immediately, who knows…
- Will Andrew Ebbett become another Andy McDonald or an Andy Hilbert? I wonder if he can have sustained success playing with Martin Havlat. I figure he has about two weeks before the benchings begin – so either 50 points this season or five.
- I wonder if Andrei Kostitsyn, Sergei Kostitsyn and Mikhail Grabovski will be linemates for Team Belarus at the Olympics? Not fantasy hockey related, just more of a curiosity.
- I wonder if Benoit Pouliot could be a star in Montreal? He has always been a late-bloomer, so expecting anything out of him before the age of 24 was silly to begin with. So I wonder…
- I wonder if Cal O’Reilly will get 60 points in the NHL this year. An injury to Jason Arnott and David Legwand is hardly far-fetched. Then all it would take is some of that magic O’Reilly had back in March.
- I wonder if Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin will not only top 160 points, but do it in the same year? And if so, their linemates would almost have to clear the 90-point mark, wouldn’t they?
- I wonder if Mathieu Perreault will be a 75-point second-line center next year after Brendan Morrison leaves. Or is that too much, too soon?
- Brian Boucher has played in three straight games for Philly and played fairly well in two of them. I wonder if he can steal the job from Emery and carry this team into the postseason. Wouldn’t that be quite a fantasy coup if he was picked up now and that happened?
- I wonder if Matt Lombardi will do next year what Mike Fisher is doing this year.
- I wonder if John Curry could win 40 NHL games within the next 18 months. All it takes is a long-term injury to Marc-Andre Fleury and then a hot debut. Brent Johnson won’t be the answer – I don’t have to wonder about that.
- I wonder if Devin Setoguchi will become Jonathan Cheechoo II
- I wonder if some no-name player gets waived and the Lightning claim him and then place him on a line with Alex Tanguay and Vincent Lecavalier (since Jeff Halpern is not the answer) and he pulls a Rich Peverley. If so, who are some candidates? Long-time readers know my soft spot for Ryan Shannon, but what about others such as Petr Prucha or Marek Svatos? Opportunity is often the fine line between stardom and a career in Europe.
Put your money on none of the above happening, but the beauty of my disclaimer to kick things is off is that I get off scot-free. I also get to brag if one of the Hail Mary’s come to pass (and you know I will). In all seriousness though, if a situation that makes any of the above go from zero percent likely to one percent feasible, pay attention and get ready to strike.