Vinny

 

Thanks to a few well-timed strong finishers, my undermanned team (The Crosby Show) in an extremely competitive head-to-head keeper league managed a second place finish after the playoffs. As you can probably tell from my team name, Sidney Crosby was my star. This league counts standard categories (goals, hits penalty minutes, and so on), and over the past few seasons we have added a few more (faceoff wins and hits).

 

Over the past few weeks I have been formulating a plan for my team this summer. I’ve decided to share it with you, even though every single one of my competitors reads this site (in fact one of them is even a fellow columnist). Why? I’d like to think it is because I am such a nice guy, but I am also looking for feedback and your opinion as to how I should approach the summer ahead.

 

My roster as of June (potential keepers in bold) :

 

Mike Fisher

C

Vincent Lecavalier

C

Vladimir Sobotka

C

Mikko Koivu

C

Mark Giordano

D

Zdeno Chara

C

Dan Boyle

D

Johnny Boychuk

D

Alex Edler

D

Andrej Sekera

D

Doug Murray

D

John-Michael Liles

D

Martin Brodeur

G

Roberto Luongo

G

Dwayne Roloson

G

Patrick Sharp

LW

Andrew Ladd

LW

Mason Raymond

LW

Justin Williams

RW

Marian Gaborik

RW

Johan Franzen

RW

PA Parenteau

RW

IR Sidney Crosby

C

IR David Perron

LW

Farm Erik Karlsson

D

Farm Cory Schneider

G

Farm Steve Kampfer

D

Farm David Rundblad

D

Farm Brendan Smith

D

Farm Oliver Ekman-Larsson

D

Farm Matt Calvert

LW

Farm Jeremy Morin

RW

Farm Mats Zuccarello

RW

 

Odds & Ends:

 

  • This league really values defensemen, as six are started each game. Three are started for each forward position (LW/C/RW) and two goaltenders are on the active roster.
  • I have made a few blockbuster trades over the past little while. I traded Steven Stamkos away last summer in hopes of securing the goaltending categories (I received Martin Brodeur and Zdeno Chara). Ouch. The worst part? I also moved Kevin Shattenkirk in the trade. Chara is a very valuable player with our scoring categories, but this one still hurts.
  • I moved Christian Ehrhoff and Patrice Bergeron for Vinny Lecavalier and Adam Banks Mason Raymond. Bergeron and Ehrhoff are both valuable players in this league, but I don’t think we have seen the last of Lecavalier as a star forward.
  • One final smaller move – I traded Jordan Caron, one of my favourite prospects, for Alex Steen.
  • We get to keep eight players on the farm. The rules – must have less than 200 games played at the NHL level (which is why I can have Karlsson listed there with 135 NHL games of experience).
  • As you can tell from my farm makeup, I have bought into the “you can never have enough good defensemen” saying that many teams in the NHL believe in. Smith, Rundblad, Ekman-Larsson, and Karlsson are all potential elite offensive defensemen.
  • Jeremy Morin should crack Chicago’s roster. Of course I own Matt Calvert.

 

The Decisions:

  • When healthy, I am set up the middle. Crosby’s looming concussion issues will probably drag on throughout the summer, which won’t help me much. I did have a strong finish to the season, but without Crosby I am probably a bottom half team in this league. I probably won’t focus on the center position much this summer.
  • Our draft is nine rounds long – the first six are for professional players only (more than 1 NHL game played), while the final three are for prospects to fill out the farm team.
  • My LW is weak. Raymond has been a flop. Sharp is very valuable as a LW since he accumulates faceoff wins. Ladd had a solid season overall, but he is inconsistent and I don’t like relying on him as my second best LW (hoping for a big return from David Perron).
  • On the right side, I have three band-aid boys and PA Parenteau. Franzen is a playoff performer. Williams had a great season and fills a lot of categories. I am hoping that Richards moves to New York to help Gaborik out (at one time I used to own Richards as well, if only I had kept him).
  • Keepers – we keep 17 on the roster, and eight on the farm. I can slide Cory Schneider to the farm, and drop someone like Zuccarello. We can keep up to four goaltenders, but if you keep four you can't draft one, and if you keep three you can only draft one. I think Roloson has to be a keeper at this point, no?
  • I have bolded my potential keepers. Do I keep Parenteau over a depth defenseman like Liles or Boychuk?

 

The Result:

  • I will definitely be targeting wingers via trade and at the draft. I have a long list of prospects that I am interested in (thanks to the DobberHockey 2011 Prospects Report).
  • I like my defense a lot, especially from a two-to-three-year perspective
  • I can have a great draft and make a few shrewd trades, but my team won’t be much without Crosby. Not exactly the most reassuring feeling, but what can you do?
  • Any other thoughts/ideas/feedback?
  • The draft is in September, plenty of time to see how free agency plays out.

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Comments (21)add comment

Repent Tokyo said:

repenttokyo
don't think roloson is a keeper but that's just me.
June 12, 2011
Votes: +0

Shoeless said:

Shoeless
... Add on - obviously dual position wingers are good to have in this league. You want to get your skater games per week up as high as you can. Goalies? I will take an early win with great GAA and SV% and coast. If you don't invest big in goalies then you don't feel a need to play them.
June 12, 2011
Votes: +0

Shoeless said:

Shoeless
... Well if you only carry 2 goalies in Luongo and Schneider into next season - in most weeks you are going to win 3 goalie cats out of 7 (L, GAA and SV%) with a fighting chance at winning SO and certainly often settling for a draw in that category. The more goalies you throw at the problem the more you will compete in accumulating stats but also risk L, GAA and SV%. So if you are in a good position to saw-off goalie cats most weeks - then winning 6 out of 10 offensive cats will put you over for the week.

I think goaltending could easily be overemphasized in this league at the expense of skater cats. OMG goalies account for 40% of the cats!!! Well, yeah, but figure out what you can win and go for that instead of throwing a whole bunch of muck at the wall and hope you win most of them.

So I am trading Brodeur and Roloson here and going for winger upgrades, pick upgrades and perhaps the odd good prospect (a goalie would be good, guy like Enroth or Holtby).

I would be pretty selective for goalscorers (G, SOG) with PP time (PPP) in trading and drafting. As in goaltending, I think you want to target 6 or 7 offensive cats and let the rest take care of themselves (this ain't roto). Depth in a daily start league is important and you want your bench to be close to some kind of cutting score you set for the cats you want.

Liles gets kept if you open up a keeper slot with goalie trades, Perron has to be kept. Parenteau to the farm to replace Kampfer (great D is good but great balance is better) unless you end up with a better asset for the farm in the process.

AS far as your fowards are concerned, I think you judge which ones fit your targeted cats the best and try and move the rest for guys who also fit the plan.

I don't mind your fowards as they sit - a little soft but not frighteningly so. Guys like Little and Pavelski would be nice adds for their winger situated FOW. Fisher is okay on peripherals but I would rather have Hanzal going forward.

Anyway - I would be comfortable running with the following 23 man roster profile - 5C, 2G, 8D, 4RW, 4LW. I am hunting Hits, FOW, G, SOG, PPP, GWG (obviously)and PIM's. I am not hunting A, +/- or SHP particularly.
June 12, 2011
Votes: +0

Jeff Angus said:

angus
... Shoe - no minimum start number, but Games Started is a category.
June 11, 2011
Votes: +0

Rad64 said:

Rad64
... Lots of good points, I'd agree with sending Kampfer, Boychuk and Perron back into the draft. I don't see any as keepers. Perron is a huge risk for anyone to pick up next season. He may start it on IR and he also plays in St. Louis. That's a team running three scoring lines, especially if Perron comes back. Kampfer and Boychuk are re-draftable or replaceable.

Liles may have some trade value if he starts off the season hot, like last year (not to me, though) smilies/wink.gif

Landing a top LW is going to be very tough. The pickings are slim...Cole was my top LW in two Yahoo leagues. We can only hope a few centers or RW's get LW status next season.
I'd look into moving some of your young D prospects in a package. I'd move one of Runblad or Karlsson, no sense having two from the same team.

You're going to need a few farm spots for this years draft, as well.
June 10, 2011
Votes: +0

Hek said:

87Flyer
You've got Big Brass Balls Jeff Wow, impressive. Takes a lot of confidence in your abilities to expose not only your protection list but also your plans to the entire league, kudo's. For those looking to help, we have 10 skater and 8 goaltender stats in the league.

Of course it's not always easy to trust the competition but believe me when I say you wouldn't be the first opponent I've tried to help with input.

If this were my roster here's what I would do.

1. Drop Perron and keep Fisher. I know Perron is much younger and has plenty of upside but concussions are so dangerous. What if he doesn't rebound? What if he isn't the same player if he does rebound? To many question marks. Fisher will be a key piece of the Preds for some time. Add to that that you would have a core group of centers that would compete with any of the other groups and imo it's an easy decision. Any time you can lock down a cat(FOW) it's one less to worry about and improves your chances of winning the week. Plus he hits which would help with the loss of Boychuk(see below).

2. Drop Boychuk and protect Liles. Boychuk is an interesting player but Liles is going to be a top pairing on just about any roster. He's also going to play a ton on the PP and should carry much more trade value than what Boychuk does. At least from my stand point he does. I know if I was offered either or in a deal it would be Liles all the way. If you're thinking of hits from Boychuk as the benefit then I think you can fill that cat from plenty of other players in the draft.

3. Continue to invest in your D. I've always been under the belief that if my D group is stronger than the opponents then they can help make up the difference of my forwards if the opponents are better. If both of our forwards are even than my D will give me the edge.

4. Try to bring in a younger tender. Schneider may or may not be moved. That's an unknown. Roloson and Brodeur aren't getting any younger and if one or both are lost to retirement than you are going to be in deep trouble. Sure Luongo and Schneider will give you 82 games but one things certain in our league. No tending, no chance.

5. Strategy. Look at the teams that are in "rebuild" mode and see if there's any of your expendable "younger" players they'd be interested in for quality vets who will get you to the top. Do the opposite with the teams in "win now" mode. You are extremely deep at D. Karlsson will be off your farm list next year. OEL and Smith should both most likely be playing this year full-time but will be eligible for the farm at the end of the season. If a player like Boyle or Chara will land you the young winger you are looking for then it's a move worth making imo. The kids will help replace the loss. Maybe a win now team thinks one of them will put them over the top. Just about every team can use a stud on the back-end. Getting top value for your vets before they are on the downswing wouldn't be a bad thing.

6. Parenteau is only at 108 games. Drop Kampfer and change him with Parenteau you have plenty of young talent at D and I'm sure there will be a new one you will find before the end of next season to replace the loss of Kampfer. If you really want Kampfer back you could always get him from the regular draft as well.

In all honesty I don't think you really have that much to worry about. You were a Crosby injury away from a possible title. Sure there's regret with some of the deals but we all go through that, no risk, no reward. I expect that with what you have in house already you will be right back fighting for the title. Good luck in the off-season.
June 10, 2011
Votes: +1

Shoeless said:

Shoeless
Goalie starts? Jeff - do you have minimum number of starts per week for goalies?
June 10, 2011
Votes: +0

Shoeless said:

Shoeless
Opinion 2: Goalies, Smolies – give me offense! We've been here before.
June 10, 2011
Votes: +0

Jeff Angus said:

angus
... blown away as always fzusher. Great stuff.
June 10, 2011
Votes: +0

fzusher said:

fzusher
strategy part 3 and final [start reading from no. 1; system wouldn't let me post in one post]


So what's the strategy here? (and sorry for this somewhat rambling rundown - I analyze through writing things down) At this point I would look to move Ladd, Williams, and Rolly, in package or separately. The target would be an RW, LW, and maybe G who would give me flexibility in the Crosby trade. Then I would use Crosby in November to upgrade Perron or acquired LW into a real no. 2 LW, Gaborik or acquired RW into a real no. 1 RW, and Luongo or acquired G or Brodeur (if he's hot) into a no. 1 (if moving Luongo) or no. 2 (if moving someone else) G.

The reason I just said maybe target G in the summer trade(s) is that I don't know what the quality of Gs you expect to have in the draft. If you think you can find there someone who can become your no. 2 (or if Schneider is traded to where he'll be a starter), use Rolly in trades to acquire LW or RW. Otherwise, also target a no. 2-3 G.

Final points -

Parenteau - (1) I'm still not convinced he's for real. (2) How much do you trust him to be able to fend off both Okposo and Niederreiter for playing time (and you can add Bailey if he's flipped back to wing, say, if Cizikas has a strong camp, and there's also wild card Rakhshani).

MZA - Has value to you as Gaborik insurance, as he'll get Gaborik's minutes when Gabby's injured. But otherwise, he's a third line guy on this team. Don't overvalue. I am more comfortable using him as a no. 4 and use the farm spot instead on a top prospect if one can be had.

Chara, Boyle, Edler, Boychuk, Giordano, Karlsson, OEL, Rundblad, B Smith - tell me again why you absolutely need Kampfer on your team? I understand the need to shore up D, and he may be an intriguing prospect, but with this kind of depth, does he really bring you added value? Is he really going to be the kind of D you can't acquire in the annual draft? I think his farm roster spot is really more valuable to be used for a forward or goalie.

Obviously, all just my 2 cents.
June 10, 2011
Votes: +0

fzusher said:

fzusher
strategy part 2 Right Wing:

Gaborik would be a no. 1 if there wasn't the injury risk, but the injury risk means to me I can't bank on him at no. 2. Franzen is also an injury risk given his style of play, but I would nonetheless be comfortable with him as my no. 3, especially given his playoff play, if I had a comparable no. 4. The injury risk also makes me queasy about Williams, to the point where I wouldn't necessarily have him as a keeper if I had someone else worth keeping. I'd also try to trade him. I like Morin for the future, but will he get the opportunity to be fantasy worthy in a league like this next year? Bottom line here - I would definitely be on the lookout for a no. 1 and a no. 4. Problem is, the no. 1 likely won't be available for my movable pieces other than for Crosby, so the trick would be to try and get now someone whom I could then upgrade (or free up Gaborik for upgrade) in the Crosby deal. I'd try using Ladd to land me that kind of player, and then see if Williams can land me a no. 3 with upside LW, trading with GMs with roster needs.

Goalies

I think Brodeur is at the end of his road. The only way he bounces back to some value is if they get a back up who can spell him for 30+ games. Otherwise, he'll either get injured again or play worse. Problem is, I don't think there is much trade value there either. So at this point, I'd keep him, but as my no. 3. Luongo - I'm really trying not to get caught up in the negative hype and downgrade him too much. But I am really not 100% comfortable with him as my no. 1. Probably 70-75% comfortable. Which means - if your league really values goalie categories and it is essential to have a stud no. 1 to win, I'd slot him in as no. 2. If strong goaltending is important, but not crucial, I am comfortable with him as no. 1. Rolly - At his age, any year could be the year it all ends. To me, he's also now a sell high. Schneider - not time to sell. Value will just go up. I'm fine with him as no. 4 now, becoming a no. 3 with no. 2 upside if moved in the offseason to a team where he'll be a starter. If there's a top goalie prospect to be had, you could use one, but that's not a priority.
June 10, 2011
Votes: +0

fzusher said:

fzusher
strategy part 1 [system wouldn't let me post full post, so breaking it into parts]

Looking at your team, the first 3 issues that jump at me are: (1) over-reliance on Crosby; (2) weak wings (especially RW); (3) aging goaltending on the downswing. If I were to inherit the team, those would be my issues to address.

Crosby - I never like my teams to rely on any one player too heavily. Too much boom or bust. And I don't like players with concussion issues, as those tend to come back. That this is the second time in 6 seasons he's missed significant time to injury doesn't help. So if I inherited this team, my first thought would be 'trade Crosby'. Of course, that can't be done now as his value is rock bottom (for him). The time would be mid November or so, after he's started the season and played some 5-6 weeks and looks like his old self.

Which means the strategy now should be driven by an assessment of what you could get for Crosby at full value, the idea being to get to that point in the season so that the Crosby pieces are the final pieces of the puzzle.

Good news is that with Lecavalier and Koivu (though themselves injury risks), you are in good shape. You don't have to get an elite C in Crosby's place, just someone at this level. You do need a no. 4, though, but those tend to be easy in leagues with lots of categories.

Left wing - I like Sharp at no. 1, but am also not comfortable with Ladd as no. 2. He's a player who brings lots of intangibles, but I just don't see him being consistently given upwards of 20 minutes a game on deeper roster, and without such minutes, I don't see him reaching, let alone crossing, 30 goals and 60 points (He's valuable for other categories, but I think you are well covered with those).

Problem is, the Winnipeg roster (feels good to say that, 'Winnipeg roster') is not that deep. What you should do is ask yourself how do you rank Ladd, Kane, and Klingberg in terms of expected minutes next year. Ladd is a keeper in my book only if you think he'll get the most minutes of the three. Otherwise, he's a sell high candidate, and if no one bites and overpays, a keeper as a no. 3.

Perron - another concussion risk. His has been longer than Crosby's, and the hype around him is way lower, so at this point he's a keeper for lack of trade value. But I wouldn't be banking on him at no. 2 either.

Raymond - I agree with you.

Calvert - Do you really think he'll produce high enough numbers to justify him being your no. 1-2? If not, I wouldn't be comfortable with him as my top prospect in the position. Yes, he's over achieved at every level. But now he's reaching the level in which his size becomes a real issue, especially if he has to play against the top D pairings. Or so, at least, will his coaches and GMs will think, and they will keep slotting others ahead on the depth chart unless there's a major injury and he proves them wrong. I'm just not comfortable with him as a top prospect, and with these roster sizes and your predilection towards Ds, you only have room for a top prospect.

So bottom line on LW - you have a no. 1 (Sharp), 3 (Ladd/Perron) and 4 (Ladd/Perron), and a potential replacement to 3-4 (Calvert), but lack a no. 2 and a top prospect. You have a no. 3 whom you may be able to sell at no. 2 value (Ladd), so I'd try that, but I am comfortable with him at 2.
June 10, 2011
Votes: +0

Jeff Angus said:

angus
... Pengwin, mind emailing me said spreadsheet? smilies/smiley.gif
June 10, 2011
Votes: +0

TheRook said:

TheRook
... Its always a gamble when you share your strategy where others in your league can see it. You have to be careful not to overload on one position with players and prospects that it hampers your other positions. Thats one reason why this league is so tough, it takes a real balanced team to compete week in and week out.

Still willing to help you improve your LW (with FOWs) with the latest offer i sent you.smilies/grin.gif
June 10, 2011
Votes: +0

Pengwin7 said:

Pengwin7
Don't Overload your keeper Defensemen My biggest tip for your league would be the statement above.

I have an 8-cat (G,A,+/-,PIM,Hits,PPP,GWG,SOG) spreadsheet that ranks players based on 2010-2011 statistics. There are some surprises on defense... guys that can be had late in the draft because people don't fully understand the value that they bring by dominating just a couple categories:

#13. Brent Seabrook. (Finished higher, due to Hits, than partner Duncan Keith, #3smilies/cool.gif
#19. Theo Peckham. (His PIM & Hits gave him a higher score than Enstrom or Karlsson)
#33. Travis Hamonic. (Finished higher than the gentlemanly Kaberle, #35)
#46. Cory Sarich. (PIM & Hits. He finished higher than Erik Johnson, #50)

My biggest tip in multi-cat leagues is that you should focus on getting your offense from your forwards, because you can use your last 2-3 draft picks on some good non-offense defenseman like Peckham & Sarich - that will almost completely stock your PIM & Hits.

Here are your D-ranks by my spreadsheet:
#3. Zdeno Chara. Score = 5.30
#11. Dan Boyle. Score = 4.27
#16. Mark Giordano. Score = 3.99
#37. Alex Edler. Score = 3.17 (in 51 games. Might scale to 5.1 in 82 games)
...
#59. Johnny Boychuk. Score = 2.87

You can probably cut Boychuk. Watching him, he's a solid D-man, but his 45 PIM & 117 hits just don't cut it.
June 10, 2011
Votes: +0

Loren Stachak said:

Hullofafan
MZA I am with Renegade here... dump Boychuk and move Karlsson up in order to keep MZA.
June 10, 2011
Votes: +0

Jeff Angus said:

angus
... Tim - thanks. I couldn't find the rules on the site so was going off-hand. smilies/smiley.gif
June 10, 2011
Votes: +0

Renegade said:

Renegade
Boychuk I think OEL will have a good season in PHO with Yandle. He would have more value on your team than Boychuk. So if you move up Karlsson or OEL, doesn't that mean you get to keep MZA because your farm team would be back at 8?
June 10, 2011
Votes: +0

Tim Lucarelli said:

duballstar014
Couple things 1. Thanks for giving me your offseason strategy. smilies/cool.gif
2. Just want to make sure you have the rules down, since while your roster might prevent you from doing these things, the rules actually do not:
a.) The first six rounds of the draft include all players who have played at least one NHL game (not 200).
b.) You can keep four goaltenders, but your draft strategy will change. If you keep four goalies, you can draft zero in the pro (first six) rounds. If you keep three, you can draft one, etc.

I'd hate for you to handcuff yourself when you actually have more options.

Analysis-wise, you definitely stockpiling D, and that has been a growing trend in our league. Historically I've been of the mindset that I'd rather have a second or third line player chipping in offense than a depth defenseman who hardly chips in much...but adding hits to our categories really adds more value to D now. I've consistently carried 5 D in this league with last year being my worst finish yet. I'll probably have to adjust that going forward, but I don't know if I could ever see myself keeping five D on my farm list after already keeping five on the pro.

Considering my finish, I don't have much room to argue, but if I were in your shoes I'd be looking for some more forwards. If Schneider doesn't get traded, you'll need another goalie too.
June 10, 2011
Votes: -1

Ed. said:

Ed.
Parenteau vs Liles and Boychuk When is your keeper deadline? Will you be able to take free agent signings into account? The Islanders have a lot of guys who could potentially be in their top six: Tavares, Okposo, Moulson, Grabner, Nielsen, Comeau, Bailey, Parenteau. Does Parenteau land one of those spots? If the Isles sign a free agent forward, does Parenteau still land one of those spots? Is Neidereitter a threat this year? There are a lot of question marks with this guy. If you figure he's going to settle around 50 points, how many 50 point forwards are likely to be available in your draft? How many darkhorse guys are there, who you think you can get in late rounds who might come close to his numbers? How do those guys compare on peripherals?

By the same token, how many D men who will give you Liles/Boychuk type numbers are usually available in your draft? Based on how many you dress, I'd imagine very few good D men are let go into the draft each year. If you think Liles is likely to hit the mid-40s in points again, I would likely keep him over Parenteau, but again, that depends on where he falls on the PP depth chart, with Johnson, a healthy Quincey, and an emerging Elliott.
June 10, 2011
Votes: +0

Charles said:

CharLos
... Keep PA parenteau or even fisher over boychuk. If fw counts, fisher would be great as the 3rd center with bounce back potential to 60 pts in NAS (also have decent hits and blk) Parenteau would be islander top 3 rw, which is promising with their scoring depth and potential. He is also pp specialist for them, tavares, streit, moulson, parenteau, nino or okposo just sounds great on paper.. at least

Boychuk is kind of one dimension, hit, may have decent plus as well. But he is not top pair yet, with al ur defensemen in farm, u will have u drop him next offseason anyways. Better of if u draft someone older like gonchar, zic if they are available.

Pick the best goalie in 1st round, then a lw. That's all u need to be competitive
June 10, 2011
Votes: +0
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