I’ve known Steve Knippel since back in the day. When I wrote for a different website he contacted me by email to see if I might be interested in some hockey conversations with a local. Over the years we’ve had many of those conversations as we’ve enjoyed a barley beverage and a hockey game. I even got to serve as a guest auctioneer when the league we looked at this month was a fledgling baby auction league. On that night Steve stole a rookie Carey Price for $1 and I’m still amazed that nobody bid him up. You’ll note that Carey Price is still on this team, although not for the $1 bargain that he once was.
Steve is commish of a 19 team roto auction league that used to have 20 teams until one guy had to be ousted. That meant that a dispersal draft had to happen where every team was gifted $100 auction dollars to try and secure as many guys as they could from the troublemaking team. You’ll note one guy on Steve’s roster whose salary is way out of whack for his skills and now you’ll know why. The roto categories are FGoals, FAssists, DGoals, DAssists, +/-, PIM, Goalie Pts, and GAA. It’s an interesting mix that changes how you run a team because defensemen have their own categories that they need to carry and a D who contributes across the board is pure gold. I list the year that each category expires and his salary for you and I’ll just say that the salary structure completely changes how you can manage a squad on a daily basis.
Without further ado let’s look at Bozo 63s.
F Daniel Alfredsson OTW (2012 $36) – he’s been a bit mercurial this season but he did have some hot streaks in December and again in February so it’s not like he’s no longer useful. He’ll never be a 70 pt forward again but he’s still a 50-60 pt option and given the fact that he’s nearly 40 years old that’s more than pretty good.
F Jamie Benn DAL (2013 $12) – he has stepped up his production in each of his three seasons in the league and this year will continue the pattern. I’ve got to think that next year will continue the pattern further and I could see a string of 80 pt seasons out of him in what is sure to be a long and fine career.
F Bobby Butler OTW (2013 $15) – I suppose a best case scenario might be 20 goals in one of these seasons. It won’t be this season however and he’ll be 4th line talent for several years yet.
F Marian Gaborik NYR (2012 $46) – the long injury history still gives me pause when I consider rostering Gabby but there hasn’t been much of an injury issue in a couple of seasons now and everyone likes to have a perennial 40 goal guy around.
F Marcel Goc FLA (2014 $1) – he had 2 goals before New Year’s and 17 pts in the 26 games since New Year’s. He’s not really much of a point producer but you might as well take advantage of this “uptick” in production since there’s an excellent chance that this sort of thing isn’t happening for him again.
F Patrik Hornqvist NAS (2013 $25) – he put up 30 goals two years ago and he’s hit 20 now for the third straight season, but lost in those stats is the fact that his fall in assist totals is a major reason for why he hasn’t taken the next step toward stardom. He’s still young and the Preds certainly need more prominent stars up front, so the door is still open for him but the numbers look to be going against him.
F Evgeni Malkin PIT (2013 $89) – if he doesn’t have the absolute monster of a season that he had then I think this team has not much of a shot at the money this year. The contract is such that you pay a lot to keep him around but well, I’d pay it to keep him around.
F T.J. Oshie STL (2014 $91) – ok, this is the guy that you picked up in your dispersal draft. The fact that you have him ‘til 2014 doesn’t mean that you can’t cut him loose, in fact that’s exactly what you should do and then try to sign him for a lot cheaper than that during next year’s auction. I think he’s a key component in the Blues offense in the years to come.
F Steve Ott DAL (2013 $17) – he’s absolutely among my favourite options in any PIM leagues. He’s hated across the board in the NHL and he’s loved in Dallas or any fantasy owner smart enough to have him on the roster. The combination of pts and PIM is a wonderful mix with this guy and the salary is about perfect.
F Mike Ribeiro DAL (2013 $31) – can we as a fantasy community please learn to spell this guy’s name correctly? I can’t tell you how many times I get an email listing him as Ribiero or some other bastardization of his name. Some guys really like him but I’m fairly ambivalent toward him. The future of the Stars offense is firmly in the hands of Eriksson and Benn.
F Derek Roy BUF (2012 $40) – I’ve had this guy on my dynasty keeper and he has frustrated both of us with his complete lack of touch for most of the season. It stuns me that Jason Pominville has had a fine season but Roy has had virtually no piece of that. Don’t you dare extend that contract, I’m very sure that you could secure him for cheaper going forward.
F Chris Stewart STL (2013 $25) – 30 goal talent is hiding in those 15 goal hands. His disappointment this season has been beyond huge and I’m thinking that he may never recover from whatever problem in his head that is sapping that talent away.
D John Carlson WAS (2013 $11) – Wideman and Green top the pecking order on the Caps but Carlson and Orlov look to be busting on the door and demanding their turn. Green’s injury issues this season have made it so that Carlson has been able to contribute more than usual. If Green is back full bore next season then Carlson will take a little more of a back seat again.
D Alex Goligoski DAL (2012 $22) – he’s leading the Stars D in scoring and he’s hands-down their best option but he hasn’t been what he should’ve been for them this season. There’s nobody in his way from leading their charge in successive seasons though and he’ll make the contract worth it going forward.
D Roman Josi NAS (2014 $15) – someone is going to have to jump up into the void that Ryan Suter will create when he goes somewhere else this summer. I think that a lot of money has to be on Ellis or Blum to fill those skates but why not let Josi jump into more PP time? He’s a big lad who could be a nice complement on the point.
D Shane O’Brien COL (2014 $15) – all he does is PIM, and you gotta love a crooked nose D-man who steps up to protect some of the little waterbugs up front.
D Dmitry Orlov WAS (2014 $15) – he might just team up with Carlson to be the future of D in Washington for a lot of years to come. He should’ve been suspended for that shove on a linesman though. I say that as a guy who officiates in 3 different sports though, maybe I’m a bit biased.
D Ryan Suter NAS (2012 $41) – Just imagine him in Detroit next season filling the skates of their departed captain. Why not? It could definitely happen.
G Carey Price MON (2013 $31) – I was there at your auction (about a half decade ago) when you stole baby Price for a single buck and my only reaction was, wow. Years later he remains one of the few wow factors on a pretty bad hockey team in Montreal. The price on Price is such that you may not want to extend him further but still, it’s been a great run with him.
G Tomas Vokoun WAS (2012 $31) – this season was supposed to be monstrous for a guy like Vokoun who has traditionally thrived while seeing a ton of rubber. The Caps were supposed to win the division easily. Vokoun has not been as advertised and has struggled for significant periods of time. At the same time this is a 20 team league and any starter is well worth it and you’d have to consider overpaying to secure your tending.
BN Derick Brassard CBS (2013 $15) – he’ll hold the chair for Ryan Johansen until he’s ready but there’s some short term value that can be had if you don’t care about +/-. There was a time when I was expecting him to burst on to the stat page but too many injuries and disappointment over the seasons has caused me to look the other direction every time I consider rostering him.
BN Adam Burish DAL (2014 $15) – you have a bunch of Stars on this team, what’s that about? Burish is a bull with hands of stone but a certain desire to create some room for his cronies. He’ll never be a star (even though he is a Star) but he does have a little value when he sticks his nose wherever it doesn’t belong.
BN Alex Burmistrov WPG (2014 $2) – we both live in Winnipeg and there is all this buzz about who is whom’s favourite Jet. For both of us, Burm is our favourite Jet to watch. I really do think that he can be Pavol Datsyuk good in the next couple of seasons. The contract is amazing and it’s always fun to roster guys that you like to watch on the ice.
BN Matt Hendricks WAS (2014 $15) – his best category for your team is PIM but a guy who can’t get over 25 pts in a season is virtually worthless even if he can break 125 in PIM. There is very little value at all in this guy.
BN Patrick Kaleta BUF (2014 $9) – y’know what? I like him but that’s mostly because most entire teams in the league absolutely HATE this guy. He’s a dick. Still, he doesn’t get enough points and he watches too many games from the press box but if you like players that grate on you then he’s your guy.
BN Cam Barker EDM (2014 $15) – he’s a good Pegger and all but he’s a specialist with a cannon and absolutely no defensive conscience at all. He has 2 pts on the season and never sees the ice because his liabilities to a team vastly outweigh his benefits. Best case scenario is that he could be MA Bergeron if he’s lucky.
BN Marc-Andre Bergeron TB (2012 $1) – well, he had a ton of value off the top of the season but he’s also a specialist with a cannon and little defensive conscience. If you take a look at his game log this season you’ll see a whole bunch of minuses in the +/- column, how this guy is above zero in that category is beyond me. He was well worth having on your team this season until December came along and then his best before date came and went pretty quickly.
BN Mark Stuart WPG (2014 $15) – he’s a solid and dependable NHL defender who won’t provide much offense but will chip some ok PIM. He’s really well liked in this burgh for his workmanlike attitude.
BN Jhonas Enroth BUF (2014 $15) – there is all sorts of chatter that Ryan Miller will end up in a place like Chicago next season and if something like that happens then there’s a good chance that Jhonas is the starter for a team that looks to be on the verge. I like the price and the contract, particularly if he’s the starter sometime soon.
BN Antero Niitymaki SJ (2014 $1) – roster filler. This is a 19 team league and any goalie who might get start is a valuable asset. Steve and I have called this guy “sushi-boy” in the past simply because his name sounds like it might be edible wrapped in seaweed.
Waiver Wire Options
Brett Clark TB – this was a shot in the dark at someone who may fill the skates of MA Bergeron on the PP for the Bolts. This shot in the dark was nowhere near the target, it wasn’t even in the same neighbourhood as the target.
Blake Geoffrion MON – how cool is it that he picked 57 as his number out of respect for Boom Boom and Howie Morenz? He’s only got a single goal in his 6 games with the Habs but he’s still coming up pretty classy while dealing with the whirlwind hockey culture in Montreal. He’ll never come anywhere close to the contributions of 5 or 7 but it’s still fun to have a classy kid on the roster.
Mikkel Boedker PHX – he is chock full of talent and he’s actually in a pretty good position learning how to do it all right from Dave Tippett. He’s still at least a year away from real contributions to the Yotes but it’s worth the gamble in case he puts it all together and bursts for stats out of the ordinary.
Alexander Radulov NAS – what the heck eh? His KHL team has been eliminated so it might be that he jumps back in the pool. The Preds sure need a horse up front to match their horses in the back.
You traded Steve Ott, Marcel Goc, Bobby Butler and Derick Brassard for Andrew Ladd (2012 $11), Andy McDonald (2014 $15) and Andrei Markov (2013 $41) – It really hurt to move Ott, really hurt. The reason it was done was because you were safe in PIM but the team you traded with could catch both teams that were ahead of you in the standings in the PIM category alone. Adding Ladd and McD brought about some decent short term offensive help and Markov only recently jumped back on the ice but this move alone had the potential for a multi-point swing for you in the standings. It still hurt to move Ott but there was method to the madness.
You traded Jamie Benn and John Carlson for Zdeno Chara (2013 $60) and Mathieu Perreault (2014 $15) – since this league has separate categories for defensemen goals and defensemen assists there are few D-men who can be a difference maker in the offensive categories while supplying elite production in categories like +/- and PIM. Zed is quite possibly the top option for D in a league like this. Again trading youth like Benn and Carlson hurts but you’re trying to make a run and stay in the money this season and you can move up in the standings in the DG and DA categories. Perreault was a throw-in, we were simply targeting Zed and we were very pleased to land the big guy.
I’m pretty pleased with the deals you made, you should be too. In a regular roto league you probably don’t make the Zdeno deal but when you have categories that feature defensemen goals and assists then you want to target D who will contribute plenty there while also providing elite production to the PIM and +/- categories. You paid a big price for Zdeno but you can also move in those defenseman categories so it was definitely the right move.
Moving Ott was actually the harder move to make. We both really like him and it’s very true that there are few guys in the league who can put up over 30 pts and 150 PIM in the same season. I figure there are about 7 guys in the entire league who can reach that level and Ott is chief among them. So if it was so hard why did we do that? Because the guy you were trading him to can catch BOTH guys ahead of you in the standings in PIM alone and every roto point helps. This move would not cost you anything but it could gain you a fistful of points just by itself.
It was a fun month and it meant that I got to get together with a buddy a couple times like I haven’t had the chance to do in far too long. It truly was a pleasure hanging around your team Steve and sometimes it’s just good to chillax and talk some puck with a friend. Good for us and good luck to you and your team my friend.