I am currently in five fantasy hockey leagues, and yesterday kicked off five drafts in 12 days for me . The Ultimate Fantasy Pool is a head-to-head league, and all of the league’s members are readers of DobberHockey (a few of them are regular contributors on the hockey forum as well). The team (The Crosby Show), was audited by the HockeyPoolGeek crew back in August (you can read the in-depth analysis here).


I went in to the draft with a few goals, and in the end I think I accomplished what I set out to do.


The roster heading in to the draft (keep 17):


C – Crosby, Stamkos, Bolland, Koivu

LW – Perron, Sharp

RW – Clarkson, Gaborik, Franzen

D – Boyle, Karlsson, Edler, Ehrhoff, Souray, Ballard

G – Luongo, Lehtonen, Roloson

Prospects – Ekman-Larsson, Shattenkirk, Schneider


The draft was nine rounds long. The first six rounds were for “pro” players (at least one game of NHL experience), while the last three rounds were for “farm” players (any player with less than 200 NHL games played, a goalie with less than 100 NHL games played, or a player drafted/owned by an NHL club).


I wasn't comfortable with my defensive depth, or my goaltending. My centers are incredibly strong for this league, and I had my eyes on one in the first round who was a perfect fit.


I used the advice given to me by the HockeyPoolGeek crew throughout the draft. I snatched up Mike Fisher in the first round with the ninth overall pick. Michael Leighton went first overall. Around this time I began to enter in serious discussions with a competitor involving a potential Steven Stamkos deal. I had been mulling over moving Stamkos all summer long – I like my centers without him (especially with Fisher), and I want to win the pool now. I felt that I was only a few players away from improving my team considerably in the short term.


The final trade (again, our league counts hits, PIM, and faceoff wins, all of which skew the values of players. Make sure to read the deep analysis done by the HockeyPoolGeek crew for some more perspective):


Outgoing: Steven Stamkos, Kevin Shattenkirk, Kari Lehtonen, draft pick

Incoming: Zdeno Chara, Martin Brodeur, conditional draft pick


Giving up Stamkos hurts, but this trade improves my team immensely in the short term. With Brodeur and Luongo, I have two all-star goaltenders. Chara is a star and should be among the best defensemen in this league. I had a trio of young defensemen and could afford to move Shattenkirk (there are several somewhat comparable prospects still available as well).


Our league places a huge emphasis on goaltenders. More specifically, goaltenders who play a lot. Both Brodeur and Luongo are workhorses. Both are playing behind improved defenses/teams, as well. Even if Stamkos scores 51 goals again, I think that this trade still makes my team better (assuming Brodeur wins 40+ games and Chara has a productive season as well). With six defensemen starting each night, a goal of mine this summer was to improve my back end. I started the offseason with Boyle, Roszival, Souray, Eminger, and R. Blake as my defensemen, and I now have Boyle, Chara, Ehrhoff, Edler, Souray, and Ballard (not to mention Karlsson and Ekman-Larsson waiting in the wings).


I wouldn't advocate trading Stamkos in most cases. He's one of the best players in the game, and quality almost always trumps quantity in terms of trade value. I just think this trade filled two huge holes for me without creating a significant one at center.


In rounds two through six, I ended up taking JM Liles, Andy Greene, Andrew Ladd, Matt Beleskey, and Raffi Torres. Liles was simply too good to pass up at the time. I like Greene a lot with New Jersey’s talent up front, and Ladd is a solid player for the scoring categories. I am hopeful that Beleskey earns top line minutes, and with Torres I am gambling on that small chance he sticks with the Sedin twins either at even strength or on the PP. We are given 40 moves during the season so I am not hamstrung in case he is placed in an energy/grinding role with Vancouver instead.


During the three prospect rounds, I ended up with Jeremy Morin, Jordan Caron, and Mats Zuccarello Aasen. I picked ninth overall (Aasen), and obviously missed out on the notables like Hall, Seguin, Skinner, and Niederreiter. I wanted Derek Stepan as well, but he went before I could grab him. Beau Bennett was another player who I had my eyes on, but he won't be in the NHL for at least another two years. As I said before, I am looking to win in the short-term with this club.


I loaded up on defensemen because we start six each night, and a lack of depth at the position cost me dearly last season.


My post-draft roster:


C – Crosby, M. Koivu, Bolland, Fisher

LW – Perron, Sharp, Beleskey, Ladd

RW – Clarkson, Gaborik, Franzen, Torres

D – Boyle, Chara, Ehrhoff, Edler, Ballard, Souray, Karlsson, Greene, Liles

G – Luongo, Brodeur, Roloson

Prospects – Ekman-Larsson, Schneider, Morin, Caron, Zuccarello Aasen


I was really happy to get Fisher, as I didn't expect him to slide all the way to nine. He is a contributor across the board - goals, power play points, short handed points, hits, penalty minutes, faceoff wins, and shots on goal. Bolland is a similar sort of producer. With a full-time center in one of my left wing spots (Sharp), I'll be winning the faceoff category with regularity.

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Jeff Angus said:

... A few things:

1) Best days are behind them.. says who? The notion that players older than 30 (35 for goalies) are done is one of the biggest mistakes many poolies make. Again, I want to win now.

2) Stamkos loses value in this league format. Faceoff wins, hits, PIM, are all categories he doesn't excel in. I have some good players to fill the G and A and PPP categories. Relative strengths decreased to improve relative weaknesses. Stamkos' value would be immensely higher in points-only league.

3) Believe me, I tried to improve without moving Stamkos. It's not like I actively sought out a way to rid myself of a 21-year-old sniper.

I believe I filled my weaknesses and didn't decrease my strengths all that much.

Will be interesting to see how this deal plays out.

This deal is a great example as to why it is hard for me to evaluate trades I get sent without perspective - scoring categories really change player values immensely.
September 19, 2010
Votes: +0

Randall said:

The Hockey Hitman
Stamkos will haunt you for this The return for Stamkos is not that bad - if this was 5 years ago. Brodeur and Chara's best days are well behind him and you give up a one of a handful of players who could produce 40+ to 50+ goals, and 90+ to 100+ pts?! I'm willing to admit I was wrong if you end up winning your league championship this season. Otherwise, not going to sugar coat it for ya my friend...huge mistake. I would have looked for an option to improve your goaltending and categories all around elsewhere before i'd ever consider selling of Crosby or Stamkos.
September 19, 2010 | url
Votes: -1

Karbinkopy said:

Nice trade I like the trade Jeff. Sometimes you have to sacrifice a great player for the greater good of your team.

I did a similar trade 2 years ago sening Vincent Lecavalier (soon after his 92 point season) for Marty Turco and a 3rd round pick. Most people would say, "What!?!? You got ripped off", but what they don't realize is that in our salary cap H2H league, goalie stats count for 50% of the total. When I took over the team in Jan of 2008 all I had for goaltending was Marty Brodeur and Mikael Tellqvist. I picked up as many back ups off of waivers as I could (Anderson, Elliot, Hedberg, Boucher)and stored them on my farm team, but the spot starts just weren't cutting it. I had to do drastic action in the 08/09 season and thus came the trade. I was only able to pull it off because Turco was sucking it at the beginning of the season, but between Brodeur, Elliot and Turco I got into the playoffs (last spot) and lost to the eventual champ in the semis. In the 09/10, between Brodeur, Anderson, Elliot and Turco, I pretty well cleaned the goalie stats every week and won the league, and I have a good chance of doing it again this year (thank God Turco's in Chi-town).
September 19, 2010
Votes: +0

Pengwin7 said:

Brilliant Trade Love the trade for you Angus.

NJ should (for this year at least), be a very, very good team.
Brodeur is still 100% on top of his game.

Chara is fantasy multi-cat gold. I've blogged about him a few times but (in my opinion) he had a better year last year than his Norris year. And, he only shot 3% last year... which is just unlucky. Odds are his normal amount of pucks will hit the back of the net this year and he should touch 50pts.
September 19, 2010
Votes: +0

Woodrow said:

... I'm probably the dissenting opinion here, but I think you gave up a little too much in obtaining Brodeur. If the short term is the only goal, then this trade obviously helps in your aspirations to win it all this year; you basically do the best you can, add a little luck to the mix and hopefully carry it through to the championship.

Your window of opportunity is this year and perhaps next as Brodeur probably doesn't have too much to offer beyond that time frame. If I'm making the trade, I'd want a younger stud goalie than Brodeur; however, its likely your hands were somewhat tied here.

Longer term, your goalie situation is somewhat weak as after Luongo, you only really have an unproven Schneider... I am sure something will give and we find either Schneider or Luongo on a different team. Goalies are probably at a premium here, so your options going forward are somewhat limited, but I'm sure that was already taken into account.

I wish you all the best in your quest to win the championship this year Jeff. This is a bold move and a well thought out plan. The only way to give you this shot to win is to make these calculated risks. It really brings home the old adage: no guts, no glory. You've already taken that big first step... hopefully, you can provide updates throughout the season on how you are doing in this league. I know I'd be quite interested seeing how this trade works out for you.

This article was a very interesting read. It was also quite refreshing to re-read the detailed analysis that HPG had on your team as well. Thanks.
September 19, 2010
Votes: +0

bball said:

... Angus

I really appreciate you taking the time to really explain your thought process in unloading Stamkos. I gotta be honest with you, when I read about the move last night, I was shocked to say the least. Why in the world would you be giving up so much for a couple of guys that are over the hill? But the combination of the HPG article and your explaination really hits home and had me asking myself why in the world you would NOT have made that deal. With so many statistics based on the number of games played (GP,W,L,Sv), it seems almost unbalanced in that the person that has more stud goalies to play every single day is going to win 3 of the catagories and lose one of them. It seems to me that this artificially inflates the value of goalies. And the FW, hits really changes the entire scope of the forwards. Simply brilliant. Thank you for the lesson
September 19, 2010
Votes: +0

Jeff Angus said:

... Thanks, guys.

Shoe - the condition is w/ regards to GP by Lehtonen. Over 40, and I get a 3rd round prospect pick in 2011.
September 19, 2010
Votes: +0

Sahil said:

Looks good looks like a good trade to me
September 19, 2010 | url
Votes: +1

Todd Whittington said:

Same reason Jeff last February trying to lock up our pool I made the same determination. I could actually move Stamkos and lock up my pool. To me that's the only reason for moving him. Mine worked well as I'm now defending champ. I hope yours works out the same.
September 19, 2010
Votes: +0

Shoeless said:

magnificent write-up Jeff - this is just a great piece of journalism. Hats off to you.

As far as the trade goes, you got lots of quality back. Curious as to the conditions of the pick.

What I do like about this article is how it demonstrates that there is much,much more to the story of winning multicat leagues than just having a high point getter.
September 19, 2010
Votes: +0

Eric Daoust said:

Like the trade! I'm a huge Stamkos fan but in fantasy hockey his value depends largely on the league format. He's best in leagues that are either points-only, goal-heavy and/or position-irrelevant. This league has a ton of categories and the more categories you have, the less G/A end up being worth on their own. In this league he just doesn't contribute across the board. I think it's a nice example of a player's value being higher than his production.
September 19, 2010
Votes: +0
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