WFHL

 

I have decided to spice things up a bit this week while Dobber is off enjoying a few cervezas in sunny and warm Mexico. Each day this week, I will be auditing a different fantasy hockey team submitted to me by DobberHockey members and readers. Wondering what your plan of attack should be this summer? Preparing for a draft? Upset about some trades you made in the past? I’ll weigh in with my thoughts on the interesting and important issues.

 

I will be running these audits on a weekly basis throughout the summer. Fire me an e-mail if you want to get in line!

 

Today I’ll be taking a look at the team submitted to me by DobberHockey reader Jim, who is trying to nagitave his team through a rebuild in the WFHL.

 

The League – the WFHL

  • Keeper/Dynasty League
  • 5 round entry draft each summer
  • Players must have (or had at one point) rights held by an NHL club
  • 20 players on the active roster (12 forwards, six defensemen, and two goalies)
  • Roster sizes can fluctuate between 25 and 33
  • 10 GM’s in the league
  • Roster changes done on a monthly basis (only allowed to move players between bench and active roster)
  • Free agents are only available during the five round summer entry draft (no adds/drops during the season)
  • No waiver wire (three “any time” moves are granted to each team for the entire season, can use one IR move per month)
  • Four players dropped for expansion purposes this summer

 

Scoring

Goals = 1 point

Assists = 1 point

Wins = 2 points

Shutouts = 3 bonus points

 

The Roster


Forwards

 

E. Malkin

B. Little

D. Roy

A. Kostitsyn

J. Franzen

A. McDonald

J. Benn

D. Booth

M. Erat

R. Umberger

J. Williams

M. Afinogenov

N. Filatov

M. Lucic

L. Caputi

J. Bailey

T. Hensick

A. Steen

 

Defensemen

 

V. Hedman

A. Edler

T. Enstrom

J. Spacek

B. McCabe

E. Karlsson

D. Wideman

O. Ekman-Larsson

K. Shattenkirk

M. Lundin

 

Goaltenders

 

R. Luongo

S. Mason

R. Dipietro

C. Huet

 

Draft Picks

 

2010

3rd Round

4th Round

4th Round

2011

1st Round

1st Round

1st Round

2nd Round

3rd Round

5th Round

 

The Breakdown


Jim is in a pretty good situation here. He has lots of young talent, one of the best goalies in the game, and some fantastic draft picks (albeit not for another year). He finished seventh last year (top three place in the money). He finished fourth in 2008-09, but decided to opt for a bit of a rebuild last summer, which weakened his team a bit from a short term perspective.

 

Jim granted me access to his league’s history, and it is a busy one from a trading perspective (also a lot of trash talking, which I highly recommend). My thoughts on some of his recent trades:

 

Outgoing: Jarome Iginla

Incoming: Jamie Benn, Erik Karlsson, and David Booth


This trade was made before the season began. Booth has concussion issues, but the other two are fantastic young players to own. Very solid trade here – about the return I’d expect for a forward of Iginla’s calibre (remember this deal was made before Iginla’s poor 2009-10 season).

 

Outgoing: Daniel Sedin, Jose Theodore, conditional pick

Incoming: Nikita Filatov, Steve Mason, 2010 2nd


Not a fan of this deal at all. Sedin is at a level now that Filatov will hopefully be if all things click. Mason over Theodore is a significant upgrade from a long-term perspective and Jim did make the right move buying low on him. However, he lost a ton of offense in the process. Sedin is only 29 and even with rebuilding teams he has at least five or six elite seasons left. That is a long time.

 

Outgoing: Thomas Vanek, draft pick

Incoming: Bryan Little, draft pick


Miserable trade. Little had a horrible season in 2009-10, and has only one good year to fall back on. Vanek’s offensive season wasn’t anything special either, but he is both more proven and more talented. Huge downgrade. If you want me to sugar coat it a bit, there are no bad trades, just learning experiences! I have made my fair share of them as well.

 

Jim says he constantly gets offers for Malkin. I’m not surprised. Don’t trade him, especially after such a poor season. He has mentioned that he is looking to ship out some of his fringe talent – Erat, Umberger, McDonald, and Afinogenov in particular. Don’t move McDonald, I like him as a buy low guy for both next season and beyond. The other three are nothing special and would be worth attempting to package in an upgrade. I see Wideman bouncing back next season, and you have a great core to build around with Edler, Enstrom, Hedman, and Karlsson. Defense looks very solid to me.

 

Recommendations

 

1) Find a second/third goalie. Huet might be buried in the AHL next season, and DiPietro is about as unreliable as it gets. I wouldn’t feel comfortable with Mason as my second goaltender heading in  to next season. Luongo is one of the best though.

 

2) Don’t get too wrapped up in the rebuild. I have seen many competitors get lured in by youth and upside. Players that are over 30 are not old. Repeat after me: players that are over 30 are NOT old. Fantasy hockey should always be viewed with a two or three year window – if you don’t see yourself winning during that timeframe, where is the fun in losing year after year? The Sedin trade is a great example of this. Another trade to highlight my point happened in one of my keepers back in January. A GM trying to hoard every single elite prospect (it seemed that way, at least) moved Pavel Datsyuk and Tomas Kaberle for John Carlson and Mikael Backlund. Carlson is a great young prospect, but these are the kinds of deals that ensure you finish out of the running year after year.

 

3) Cut Justin Williams, Mike Lundin, Jaroslav Spacek, and TJ Hensick. You picked these four as your droppable players, and I agree. Williams can’t keep up with the speed of the game after his knee injuries. Lundin is a very underrated defenseman, but he won’t ever be an offensive guy. Spacek’s production depends on power play time, and there isn’t much to go around in Montreal. Hensick had a nice AHL season but you can’t afford to use a roster spot on him.

 

4) Make roster tweaks. You have great young talent. However, I don’t see Lucic’s value in a league that counts only goals and assists. Try some upgrades with 2-for-1 trades (a common theme among all of my audits, it seems). You have a few other players that probably shouldn’t be owned in points-only leagues of this size. Good drafting and trading will be key to correcting this. Shattenkirk and Ekman-Larsson are both fantastic prospects – two of the best young defensemen to own in fantasy pools. You’ll need some luck and a few career years to contend next year, but you appear to be on the right track.


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