The Fantasy Guide was released yesterday. Very proud of it. Great feedback. Definitely the best yet. And I’ve left enough goodies (articles) to give me extra content to add over the next two weeks. Only four or five typos this year. Usually closer to 10. Not bad for no editing department. But those have been fixed. Up to you if you want to re-download it, but I’m sure you know that Conklin is the Detroit backup, Budaj is the Montreal backup, Burns signed a new contract and Bryzgalov is the Philadelphia starter…
Ryan Kesler underwent surgery on his torn labrum and will miss 10-12 weeks. That wipes out training camp and puts the start of the season at risk. This is an example of an update that will go into the fantasy guide and also adjusts his projections. This kind of news comes through daily - so it's great to have your butt covered.
Excellent comment below that I must address. Regarding the Stamkos/Malkin debate. In a keeper league, it is not close. Give me Malkin. Not close. Granted, he could be another Peter Forsberg, while Stamkos is the reliable Joe Thornton. This example is in the mid-90s - at the time, Forsberg looked like this 125-point player, while Thornton looked like a 110-point player. Hindsight is 20/20, but when Forsberg first jumped on the scene, we didn't know if he would miss 75% of his games going forward. So all we can go by is talent. If healthy, he would have banged off several 125-plus seasons. But he wasn't. Obviously, in hindsight, you go with Thornton. But early on you want the guy with the upside. It doesn't matter if every second season he gives you a lemon because he wrecked his knee (or foot, in Forsberg's case). You keep him for the extra 15 points or more that he brings in the other years. Now, for all I know, Malkin could wind up playing 40 games a year and retire by 2020. But that's the risk you take. You go for the generational player. Perhaps his knee is fine going forward and he gives you his full potential (130? 140? More?) year in and year out.
In a one-year league, the risk is magnified. In that league, give me Stamkos. It's too high a draft pick to take a chance on. If you lose your first-round pick for half the season, you're toast.
As of late Monday, the vote was 57% to 43% for the “no” vote regarding the referendum on the new arena for the Islanders. Speculation is that this means the Islanders will move. I don’t think so.
Versus will be rebranded as NBC Sports as of January 2. What a great day for hockey – Versus becomes bigger, the investment in sports grows, and guess which sport was right there on the ground floor? Sometimes, when you the roll the dice, things work out nicely.
Brent Burns has signed a five-year extension with the Sharks. He just loved playing there, his family loves it there, the schools are great, he’s – what? He just got there a month ago? Oh.
I wonder if that number ($28.8 million divided by five – too lazy to do the math, long day) will be used in today’s arbitration hearing for Shea Weber?
Vancouver’s affiliate the Chicago Wolves have named Craig MacTavish their head coach.
Here’s some footage of Peter Mueller out skating with Erik Johnson, courtesy of Adrian Dater.
Keeper league – 21 years old – 20 players, top 12 count, keep everyone. This is the first of three that I’m in, and also the most basic. But after winning three years ago and then stupidly thinking that I didn’t wreck my team “that” bad and hanging around trying to get in contention for two years, I decided on a rebuild back in January. So here I am, with the third overall pick this summer, lots of great picks ahead, lots of young kids on my team – and Malkin. After Malkin, my next best players drop off: Sharp, Ennis, Fleischmann, Jordan Staal, Yandle…really just a bunch of blue-chip kids and those guys.
But I’m in luck. An owner is desperate for Ennis. I mean, emailing quite a bit. I don’t want to trade Ennis, but the rule of thumb is – if you get asked about the same guy twice, then listen. Hear him out. If you get asked about him a third time, then take him to the cleaners. So we go back and forth and this is what I get:
Ennis, Kuznetsov, Tarasenko, Leblanc, Filatov, a 1st and two midseason picks (we get one round in the midseason, he traded his pick to me for different years)
Parise, M.Koivu, Tangradi, a 3rd and a midseason pick (projected worse one)
Not bad. Landed the best player in the deal, the best picks, cleared up some roster space. I’m not a big fan of Mikko Koivu. I just don’t like the injuries, and what has he done…really? Enough to justify his reputation as a 70-point guy? So I shop him around. Now I trade:
Koivu and a 2nd
Visnovsky, Oshie, a 1st
So now I improve my picks again, pick up a player who could be just as good as Koivu, plus I get a 68-point defenseman practically free! But, I don’t really like either player…but I do like St. Louis as a team to build around (along with Edmonton, Pittsburgh and the Islanders). So I set my sights on Berglund. I know I can’t get Berglund off this guy unless I ante up. But there is no way I give up Parise for him. So I expand the deal. We go back and forth for a few days and I end up doing this:
Parise and Visnovsky
Berglund, Turris, Granlund, and the first overall pick (Hopkins)
I think Turris takes a step forward this year. I think Granlund could very well be No.1 on my prospects list by the spring, and Hopkins matches up with Omark on my team. But I just finish doing my St. Louis analysis and I’m not happy with what I found for Oshie. And I know guys value him. I also have a couple of extra draft picks and I don’t want to be forced to drop a player like Jeffrey or Tangradi. These are good picks, but those drops are not really drops. So I try to use Oshie and a couple of high picks to get Eberle. That failed. I use Oshie and the 17th overall pick (third pick of the second round):
Overpaid? Yes, but I think in a year or two I won’t think that. And I had the picks to “waste”. Now my 20 is this (I’ll match up with teams, since the pool includes playoffs):
And then Karlsson, Granlund, S. Kostitsyn, Tatar, Goligoski, Perreault, Berglund, Gerbe
That’s my 20. I drop Matthias for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. I drop Perreault for Ryan Strome. I still have the 15th overall pick and Jeffrey may be the next to go. So I’ll be looking to overpay in a 2-for-1 to slightly upgrade a player and keep Jeffrey. That’s the plan. So what would have been a three-year rebuild I have easily cut it to two. And I am lined up huge for great draft picks in the next three years.
To summarize the above deals –
Outgoing: Ennis, Kuznetsov, Filatov, Tarasenko, two midseason picks
Incoming: Berglund, Granlund, Turris, Paajarvi, Nugent-Hopkins
I think the deals shifted the teams that I own players from, around in my favor. And it looks as though the young players I got are about equal (although closer and a little more certain) – and I got Hopkins for a couple of decent picks.