I firmly guarantee that you will absolutely love our 2012-13 Fantasy Guide. Why? Several reasons:
We have built a fantastic team of writers here who all bring unique talents and insights to the table.
This year is the first time advanced stats have been used in a Fantasy Guide... anywhere. Dobber tackles PDO, while I introduce terms like Qual Comp, Corsi, and Zone Starts. The fantasy relevance of these statistics is tremendous – both for evaluation and projections.
Our guide, unlike the ones on sale at the grocery stores, is updated. A lot. We don't have a June deadline to get our work in. We update the guide almost daily right up until the puck drops. Late summer signings, trades, and so on can dramatically impact your fantasy squad.
Imagine if Shea Weber went to Philadelphia? The other magazines wouldn't have had it. Rick Nash will have a huge impact on the Rangers, and his absence creates some big opportunities in Columbus. We cover what others can't, which is one reason why we have kept our guide in PDF downloadable format.
I spent a lot of time analyzing Erik Johnson for my recent piece – The Road to Redemption in Colorado. Johnson was a can't miss prospect who was traded less than five years after going 1st overall. He hasn't been the two-way monster that many had predicted. Why not? And perhaps more importantly, can he still get there?
“Colorado took a risk when they traded for Johnson. But the Blues may have taken a bigger risk by trading him away. Johnson’s progression to top defenseman is far from complete, but he’s headed in the right direction once again.”
Canucks center Manny Malhotra will be marching in the Vancouver Pride Parade this Sunday. Great statement from Manny – he will be marching with a local gay hockey team, as well as Patrick Burke, the man behind the You Can Play project (and Brian Burke's son).
Really enjoyed this piece on the development of John Tavares from The Hockey Writers | Overtime.
“While the quality of Tavares’ competition can be thoroughly argued, the fact that the center has matured into an NHL force cannot. One needs to only watch a few shifts with Tavares on the ice before realizing how much the center really spreads out the offense. Not only does Tavares strive to make those around him better, he constantly looks for ways to improve his own game.
Over the last decade, Islanders fans haven’t had a home-grown talent to boast about or compare with the likes of superstars such as Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin, or Evgeni Malkin. Even though some might not consider Tavares to be in the same class as Alexander “The Great” or Sid “The Kid”, the center’s work ethic will help him cement his status as one of hockey’s elite talents. Many might look at Tavares’ calm demeanor and not think much of it, but behind the face of a cool and collected 21 year old lies an individual that is meticulous in his craft, one that simply won’t rest until he raises Lord Stanley’s Cup.”
Are the Capitals better than last season? Here is an extensive look at potential line combos, and a comparison to past seasons.
“Up front, the Caps got deeper down the middle with the acquisition of Ribeiro, but may be weaker on the wing with the departure of Alex Semin. Last year, the Caps’ forwards produced 188 goals. This year’s group of forwards combined to score 183 goals last season. That includes 18 from Ribeiro, 11 from Crabb and four from Wolski.
In other words, the three new additions up from combined for 33 goals last season, one less than Semin , Mike Knuble , Jeff Halpern  and Keith Aucoin  totaled last season.
The Caps have to assume that Backstrom will have a bounce-back season after the 24-year-old center missed 40 games with concussion issues and finished with 14 goals and 30 assists in 42 games. Backstrom should benefit from having Hall of Fame center Adam Oates as his coach and veteran playmaker Ribeiro as his mentor.”
Daily Nick Bjugstgad update – he was named an alternate captain for Minnesota yesterday.
In addition to their interest in Shane Doan, the Canucks have reportedly been negotiating with Jason Arnott. Arnott wasn't very productive in a pretty cushy spot last year with the Blues – I'm not sure how much gas is in the tank. Perhaps an insurance policy if Kesler is out longer than anticipated?
Some interesting free agents still out there – Kristian Huselius (to say he had bad luck with injuries last season would be putting it lightly), Carlo Colaiacovo (when healthy, I know, I know), and Petr Sykora. I imagine sykora will be returning to the Devils.
Caps owner Ted Leonsis has his fair share of critics, but I do like how open he is with new media. He doesn't hold back and it has gotten him in trouble in the past, but he is an insightful interview. Here is Part II of a recent piece with Japers' Rink.
“Finally, the game is always changing, and recent trends seem to have it headed back to mid-90s levels of obstruction and scoring. Do you like where the game is and where it's heading, and do you feel that the Caps have been agile enough to adjust to the changes as they've come?
Leonsis: With professional sports it seems you are always changing in some fashion or another. There is something new employed by a team and coaches and players react to it. In the end, however, it comes down to a team buying into a system, executing it and sometimes having a bit of luck.
I love our game. Our fans love our game. Are there areas for improvement? Absolutely there are. That is the nature of business in general. When you become satisfied, you become stagnant.
So, yes, I think we have made adjustments, and I'm sure you will see changes made by Adam Oates and his staff. We will continue to make adjustments in order to win a Stanley Cup.
Furthermore, I am fortunate to be part of the NHL's executive committee, and I am involved with a small circle of other owners in all aspects of the CBA discussions and potential rule changes. So we are well aware of what is on the horizon.”
Canucks defenseman and resident scapegoat Keith Ballard is a pretty funny dude: