Welcome back to “An Expert’s Audit” where we take an in-depth look at a reader’s keeper team in the hopes of helping him over the hump toward a championship.  If you’re interested in getting an audit done for your own keeper team then you can begin the process by firing off an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it about it.


Gareth Bush fell just short of a championship last year, reaching the final but coming up second best.  There’s very little to tweak here since there are many pieces already in place. Most of our discussion was around the prospects that he could add to his squad with the three picks he secured (including two in the second round). He plays in a CBS Sportsline 14 team weighted H2H fantasy point dynasty. Yeah, the scoring gets a little confusing but nevertheless here it is.


Scoring for Categories

+/- - Plus Minus

1 point

A - Assists

1 point

G - Goals

1 point

GAA - Goals Against Average

0.5 points

GWG - Game Winning Goals

0.5 points

PIM - Penalty Minutes

0.5 points

PPPTS - Power Play Points

1 point

S - Saves

1 point

SHPTS - Short Handed Points

0.5 points

SO - Shut Outs

0.5 points

SOG - Shots on Goal

0.5 points

SPct - Save Pct

1 point

W - Wins

1 point


Without further ado, let’s take a look at the Giants.


C David Krejci BOS – some pundits peg him as the C3 in Beantown but I still see Savard getting moved sometime and Bergeron is going to have some injury issues again making it so that Krejci plays a more than key role for the B’s.  If injuries mount then Krejci will be the biggest insulation of pressure on Tyler Seguin so that they don’t have to rely on him too much.  Overall, I see this as a huge year for Krejci.


C Vincent Lecavalier TB – he was 1st round fantasy draft talent not so long ago but I’ve seen one projection where he’s ranked 85th (the 61st forward).  Wow, that’s cold.  For the record Dobber put him at 15 amongst forwards on one draft list I saw for him.  I think he falls somewhere between those two rankings but I’m also expecting more than the 60-70 points he’s put up the last two seasons.


C Marc Savard BOS – trade him to my Leafs I say. A lot of guys are shying away from him this season and there’s no getting around the potential for his health to be the ruination of his season and his career.  Them’s the chances you take in fantasy hockey though, when they pay off they often pay off huge ... they also hurt huge when they hurt too though.


C Paul Stastny COL – he put in a full season last year after a half season the year before.  Dobber lists him as a Band-Aid boy trainee so you just have to be aware that injury stuff is going to hang over his head this season unless he puts in another full season.  Last year I kept wondering if he’d ever turn into a superstar or just remain a decent player.  The comparison I can’t get past is Mikko Koivu, right now that’s how I see him and I’d like to change my mind.


W Rene Bourque CAL – a much better option in roto than in fantasy point.  In roto you can take better advantage of his PIM and goal totals.  I don’t mean to say that I don’t like him, in fact it’s guys like him that I try to roster every season, I just think in this system you’d be better off targeting more offense instead of trying to make up for it with PIMs.


W J.P. Dumont NAS – three seasons ago he nearly got to 30 goals and then last season he had pretty close to 1 SOG less per game and the offense in total dropped by a third.  His offense has been replaced on that team and I’m worried that he may never be at the forefront of a team’s offense again.  It may be that you’ll need to move this guy for your team’s sake.


W Brian Gionta MON – 28 goals last year, the most it had been since his monster 48 goal season in ’05-06.  It should be noted that he took nearly 4 SOGs/game last year.  I was a complete non-believer in his abilities last year and even though the assists were low he still managed to show a little bit of something.  I don’t see the opportunity decreasing for him this year so I suspect similar stats out of him again.


W Marian Hossa CHI – count me as a guy expecting a huge increase in offense from him this season.  It wasn’t so long ago that he was a 90 pt guy instead of this 50-70 pt imitation we’ve seen since he left Atlanta.  The Hawks have changed their offense a lot this summer and that will mean that they give more opportunity to their best players.


W Alex Ovechkin WAS – in a league like this that gives you fantasy points for points and bonus FP for shots then AO becomes easily the best fantasy option in the game.  He’ll anchor your team for the next decade obviously.


W Chris Stewart COL – he probably won’t get much time with Stastny as his C so I guess he’ll just have console himself with hanging with Matt Duchene.  He burst into 64 pts last season and I see that total only going higher this season.


D Tobias Enstrom ATL – did you realize that Toby got 50 pts last season? Fantasy folk forget that this kid’s got skills.  There isn’t a lot to brag about up front on the Thrash but I sure do love how their D is shaping up.


D Kurtis Foster EDM – 42 pts for him last season in Tampa and now the Oil have brought him in to replace the offense they’ll inevitably lose when they deal Sheldon Souray somewhere.  He’s further down the pecking order for the Oil so I suspect that he won’t get anything close to the same production this year as he did last year.


D Niklas Kronwall DET – he only played 2/3rd of a season last year but if you prorate his offense for a full season he would’ve come out at 38 pts (if you round up).  When I was projecting his stats over the years I thought he’d be a lot more PIMy than he is but I’m perfectly ok with the elite offense he puts up.


D Tyler Myers BUF – you rebuilt your D last season and this kid is the lynchpin to your rebuild.  48 pts out of a rook?  Yes please.


G Miikka Kiprusoff CAL – he starts a ton and I’m a believer that the Flames are going to win more this season to get into the playoffs.  He’ll get 70-some starts and he’s got a shot at getting back over 40 wins.


BN Joe Colborne BOS – I like his future but I don’t see him much value (if any) this season.  Be patient here though, the B’s will move out some bodies and he may just be a beneficiary sooner than I think.


BN Rich Peverley ATL – I’ve written my opinion about this guy previously and I don’t expect you guys to remember but I’m just not a believer here.  The good news is that the Thrashers are a little short on talent up front so I suspect they’ll continue to give him opportunity and ice.  If it’s me I pray he gets off to a really hot start and then I shop him around the league.


BN Alex Steen STL – it is my belief that Alex is the key for any real development for Patrik Berglund this season.  I think a decent comparison is Alex Tanguay as a Flame before he left town.  Yes I realize that Tanguay had 81 points as a Flame a few years back.  I’ll also point out that Steen turns 27 next March if you believe in magic numbers for career years.


BN Jason Blake ANA – he has a history as a shooter.  Two seasons ago he still had value because he’d shoot the puck a lot but by now even that value has dissipated.  I’d peg him for about 40 pts this season ... aren’t I the generous one eh?


BN Chris Kunitz PIT – I think that 50 pts is a fair estimation for him this season and I just want more out of a guy who gets so much opportunity on Sid’s wing.


BN Ian Laperrierre PHI – I sometimes like to roster this guy in roto because in a good season he can get close to 20 pts and a decent amount of PIMs.  In a fantasy point structure though I like him less and I don’t think he has too much value for you in this league.


BN Lee Stempniak PHX – he’s a mirage.  He had 14 goals in 18 games for the Yotes and if he gets back to 20 goals this season I’d be amazed.


BN Radim Vrbata PHX – the best seasons of his career have come as a desert dog.  Once they determine finally that Stempniak isn’t what he thinks he is then they’ll give more opportunity to Vrbata.  I see an outside chance at 30 goals.


BN Jaroslav Spacek MON – Dobber pegs him for 27 pts this season and I think that’s generous but I completely agree that he’s a decent bench option in a fantasy league.  He’s a good support player for the Habs and he still has some value for your team.


BN Antero Niitymaki SJ – the Sharks say they’re confident in Niity but they also went out and got Niemi.  If you ask me Niity will be at the end of the bench for 60% of the games for the Sharks this season.  He’ll be an ok option as a G3 this season but you’re not going to want to rely on him much.


BN Cam Ward CAR – this is the gem of your bench. I’m expecting some big numbers out of him this season with close to 70 starts and just shy of 40 wins.  He’ll be very valuable for you this season.


I’m most worried about the options you have on your bench but your main lineup is more than solid.  If some of your bench guys can step up and have the sort of solid year they had last year (I’m looking at you Vrbata, Stempniak, and Peverley) then you’ll be ok.  If they don’t though ... you’ll have some worries this year.


Prospect Draft

You had the 10th, the 17th, and 19th picks in the draft and we began to discuss who could possibly fall to you at the 10 slot out of all the kids and unclaimed vets who were available to you.  In a perfect world you wanted to get Jamie McBain but odds were that he was going to be claimed early, and as it turned out he went 4th overall (which we both thought was too early).


1st pick – Tyler Seguin – not what I would`ve done. I just believe that he`s the 2nd best talent available.

2nd pick – Taylor Hall – in my books there`s a large dropoff in talent after him.

3rd pick – Jeff Skinner – I`m not sure he helps a fantasy team all that much this season but I`d be happy to be wrong on that one.

4th pick – Jeff McBain – he would`ve been the perfect at the bottom of your D roster and I expect some huge things from him as soon as this season.

5th pick – Nino Neiderreiter – this would`ve been my pick at 4 but nobody asked me about it.

6th and 7th picks – Jiri Hudler and Nikolai Zherdev – this was a bit of a gamble because I`d still be looking for youngsters at this stage.  There`s certainly better short term value here but also both these guys have shown that they`ll bail on a situation that isn`t to their liking.

8th pick – Tyler Ennis – there`s no way he should`ve fallen this far.  We both had him ranked at 3.

9th pick – Brett Connolly – another name that shouldn`t have dropped this far.

10th pick – well, you were looking for a young D to solidify the bottom of your roster for a long time and McBain hadn`t made it nearly as far as we were hoping he would.  In the end you went with a kid who is ready for NHL play and who quite frankly should`ve been on a team already anyway.  Your first pick of the draft was Oliver Ekman-Larsson. I thought it was a phenomenal pick who is going to really solidify your back end for a lot of years.

17th pick – Zach Boychuk – I freaking LOVE this pick here.  Dobber is projecting him in the guide (yeah, if you’re reading this you really should pony up and get a guide) as the 2nd line center in Carolina getting plenty of PP2 time.  I figure he’ll have to battle Brandon Sutter for ice time but there are also some brittle bodies on the Canes and there could be plenty of opportunity for more ice once guys start going down to injury.

19th pick – Corey Crawford – the Hawks let Niemi go and they sent Huet to Europe and then they signed old man Turco.  If you ask me they intend to give Crawford significant starts this season so that they don’t have to run old man Turco into the ice.  I’d certainly take 35 starts for the Stanley Cup champs as a G4 option.  This is a great pick.


Trade Options


We  were in discussions to try and land Zach Parise all month but that deal never materialized.  I was suggesting that Chris Stewart, Paul Stastny and Jaroslav Spacek for Zach Parise and Dmitry Kulikov was not too high a price to pay ... and you disagreed.  Parise is a pure goal scorer type that is always great to have on a roster and I truly believe that Kulikov is going to explode for offense this season.  However, in a fantasy point system like yours it doesn’t get you further to target goals when points get you moving in the same direction.  I’m fine with the idea that the trade died a painful death and I completely understand that I`m not NEARLY invested in the future of these guys like you are. For me, this is a game but for guys like you, your bank account gets involved and that easily trumps my “hey, wouldn`t this be cool” ideas.


We did manage to get a minor deal done this month. We moved Chris Kunitz and a 2011 4th round prospect pick for the 20th overall 2010 prospect pick.  That pick in this year’s draft was used on Kyle Beach.  Beach was a serious consideration to be selected with your 19th pick in the draft but it was decided that you needed to go a different direction.  At least this way you get a guy you wanted to pick and the price wasn’t TOO steep.  Don’t get me wrong, losing Kunitz was a steep price here, particularly if he produces significantly amongst the top 6 forwards in Pittsburgh but longterm you really help your D depth and you shed a guy who’s on the downside if you ask me.



All the “kid” talk this month has been fun.  In the end you were able to add most of the names that you were targeting before the prospect draft began.  In total you added Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Zach Boychuk, Corey Crawford and Kyle Beach.  LOVE. IT.


In general I’m a bit concerned about your bench but not enough to get bent out of shape over it.  With a little careful shopping you can move guys out at the right time and get some good value out of it.


Well, all the best to you Gareth.  I think you’re in good shape to make another run this season.  Good luck to you.


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Comments (7)add comment

Noam said:

... probably so, with 12 forwards picked total (so only a few in that cheap, riskier category), i suppose i'll pretty much have to take some of the 'safer' ones like Duchene and maybe Voracek (still on the fence about Tavares, with the +/- concern), but that might just be because i adore the latter.

the pool in question has about 20 people, with a 1 round draft to start with (ostensibly because the people are too busy for a full one - too busy for a draft? what has the world come to?), so the players in that category like Stamkos and so on will of course be taken already; past that, anyone is available as long as your 23 (12-9-2) players fit under the 59.4m or whatever at the end. it's an interesting system at the least, i suppose. so yeah, it involves picking between a few cheap players for each F and D (the aforementioned forwards and more like them; EK/Carlsson, Mcbain, Subban, etc) so you can afford the 5+ mil players also.

the fact it's not a live draft means there's so much more time and room for health-destroying worry for the whole team - Hossa and Voracek or M. Koivu and Hemsky; Keith and one of the cheap ones or Gonchar and Carle (probably not Keith for 7.9m although it is tempting); just plain questions such as Kopitar vs Stastny vs Spezza vs zetterberg vs Hossa - the list goes on and on. i don't think this is an actual question, in the end, but there are only so many places in society which understand familiar plights about hockey pools smilies/sad.gif
September 15, 2010
Votes: +0

Gareth Bush said:

Offer I offered the Parise deal officially, and the other owner rejected. Was just offered OEL and Crawford for Boyle and H. Karlsson, and I accepted that.
September 14, 2010
Votes: +0

Ian Fergusson said:

... Dobber projects Kulikov for 34 pts this season in the guide and i agree that he's a candidate for a big year this season. i was targeting him in trade discussions because of the belief that he's about to explode. he'll get PP2 time and should have more than decent contributions this year.
you list a bunch of names there and in terms of salary and stats that they'll put up i suspect that Ennis will fit at the bottom of that list for this season. longterm he'll jump up ahead of some names but it's always hard to evaluate talent that hasn't shown up in the league prior to this. he has significant value in a dynasty keeper but if names like those on your list aren't claimed then i'll say that his value drops like a stone.
i hope i understood your semi-question enough to give you some info to go on.
September 14, 2010
Votes: +0

Noam said:

... kulikov this early? i've had a perverse infatuation with him from every pre-nhl minute i've ever seen him play, and think he'll easily be a steady 40+ some day, but can florida's massive juggernaut of an offense truly take him that far yet? and is there any chance he won't sit around -10, especially if his TOI goes way up?

secondly, any specific and/or ballpark for ennis just this year? one of my pools this year is a non-draft, just salary capped, one - a bit hard to explain all of it, but it's pretty much a one big box draft in the end (in that you're picking between players in all price ranges and just fitting under the cap in the end) - and i'll have to decide between a bunch of players like ennis, duchene, tavares, giroux, leino, voracek, hall, well... the list goes on, you pretty much get the point. it's just points = 1 and +/- = 1, so that factors into it against some people like kulikov and tavares, potentially. sorry for the long, well, semi-question!
September 14, 2010
Votes: +0

sentium said:

... I think the Sunday Morning Armchair would be welcome here smilies/smiley.gif
September 12, 2010
Votes: +0

Ian Fergusson said:

Sunday morning armchair probably not actually. the site where my blog has been for the last couple years is moving a different direction and i'm highly doubting that i'll continue it. i'll probably miss doing the armchair though, it was always a lot of fun.
September 12, 2010
Votes: +0

james m yates said:

Shallow Frozen Water Ian, are you still going to have your Sunday Morning thoughts blog posted anywhere?
September 12, 2010
Votes: +0
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