Fantasy Guide is updated through August 24. At the end of the Anaheim Ducks section, there is a 60% off coupon code to pick up the DobberFootball fantasy guide and/or playbook. Pretty much makes the football stuff cost less than "chump change".

Here is my Puck Daddy piece, taking a look at pivots.

I wish I had some updates for this Guide… I just don't think yesterday's Eddie Lack signing is groundbreaking enough for its own update. Sure, it's worth noting in the Guide - and it will be noted. But I won't convert and post the entire Guide just for that, I'll wait for some more juicy tidbits.

The Lack signing is interesting in that it's a two-way deal in the first year, and a one-way deal in the second year. You know the last goalie who had a deal like that, as far as I can remember, was a fella by the name of Pekka Rinne. That worked out well for him. Anyway, the deal is a safety measure. It takes the pressure off of GM Mike Gillis to move Roberto Luongo early in the season, as the Canucks don't have to carry three goalies. Lack can stay in the AHL until Luongo is dealt. At the same time, it guarantees that Lack will be an NHLer a year from now… barring brutal play.

Yahoo rankings were posted yesterday. Pavel Datsyuk wasn't in the Top 100. At the sound of that, we're taken aback. Datsyuk? Not in the Top 100? The guy is a Top 10 player in the league, and considered by many to be Top 3! But think for a second. We know the guy gets assists and he is a defensive force. Does that make him a Top 100 player in a 10-category rotisserie league? I'd think it does, and most would agree…but let's take a look. Since this is Yahoo!, then I assume the rankings are based on 10-category roto leagues. So let's look at Datsyuk's projection from my Fantasy Guide:

71-20-48-68, 18 PIM, plus-20

Looking at last year's stats and comparing to his projection for this year: with assists he's 14th, goals he's 90th, shots he's 140th, penalty minutes he's like 400th. In the Frozen Pool roto-ranker for last season, he ranked 60th. So either Yahoo! made an oversight, or they projected Datsyuk to dip a little - enough to just miss the Top 100. It wouldn't be hard. Instead of projecting 20 goals as I did, project 18. Instead of projecting plus-20 as I did, assume that the loss of Nicklas Lidstrom kills the plus/minus of most Detroit guys, so Datsyuk is plus-5 instead. Bam, just like that he's out of the Top 100.

I explained it. Doesn't mean I agree with it (obviously, since I put the numbers that I did in the Guide). But I did explain it. So if Yahoo! says for Datsyuk: 71-18-48-66, 16 PIM, plus-5 is that far-fetched?

My Hockey News column from yesterday is the offseason report for Colorado and Columbus.

The Hockey News did it again. They picked Edmonton to finish 13th in the conference, just like they did in (I think it was) 2006 when they predicted Pittsburgh to finish 14th (in the conference). They finished fourth. In case you didn't notice guys, the Oilers have the last three "best undrafted" players in the world in their lineup. They have future superstars who are only getting better. I haven't done my predictions yet, but I think I'll have them ninth. And I think I'm being too chickenshit with even that. But it's hard to put your finger on which exact year the big surge will happen.

Columbus prospect goaltender Oscar Dansk has decided to leave Sweden and play of Erie of the OHL.

Tampa Bay lists some players to watch in training camp here. They discuss Cory Conacher, Alex Killorn and P-C Labrie.

Alex Pietrangelo will have minor surgery on what his thought to be his knee.  He is expected out no longer than three weeks.

Datsyuk's awesomeness:

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hawkdog said:

oilers I think 9th is a fair prediction, its going to be a dog fight in the west with the upgrades Minny and Colorado have made.
Who knows how Jagr and Whitney fair in Dallas but they could make some noise as well.
Unless Dubie or the Bulin wall really step up I can't see the oilers finishing very high in their division, likely 4th.

Also, if we miss 20 games due to a lock out its going to be a real dog fight to make the playoffs, any substantial slump will likely mean missing the playoffs for any team. Also LA gets a chance to recover from their hangover. No room for a 20 game injury for Hall

That being said the oilers will be a fun team to watch!
August 28, 2012
Votes: +0

mabus said:

... When 9 points separates Phoenix (#3 seed) from Colorado (#11 seed) - yes, less than 5 wins - it's hard to criticize anyone's projections on the final standings. I think Edmonton will be better, but so are many other teams in the West. I am guessing that Edmonton will be battling teams like Phoenix, Minnesota, Calgary, Dallas and Colorado for that last playoff spot.
August 28, 2012
Votes: +0

newfcollins said:

... @brosal04

The problem with the analysis that Datsyuk had an off-year because Zetterberg started off slow isn't correct because they don't play together. Zetterberg only played even strength with Datsyuk even-strength 14% of the time. Eight other players played more with Zetterberg than Datsyuk. So Zetterberg's slow start shouldn't have had an impact on Datsyuk.

For some reason, everyone think they are linemates, when the stats actually show that Zetterberg plays more with Cleary than he does with Datsyuk.
August 28, 2012
Votes: +0

Pengwin7 said:

Good numbers Dobber's numbers on Datsyuk are pretty fair.

Yahoo's rank is based on G,A,+-,PIM,PPP,SOG.
I've matched their algorithm for skaters, so I can input projections and see how they stack up with last year's final players.

Datsyuk as 20G,48A,+20,18 PIM,18 PPP,160 SOG would give him a Yahoo! Rank of 61. (~Eberle)
Datsyuk as 18G,48A,+5,16 PIM,18 PPP,160 SOG would give him a Yahoo! Rank of 97. (~Weiss)

Also consider that those are numbers fit with last year's "REAL" final NHL numbers. If you take away player's injuries and JUST give them projections then many more players that ended last year (with significant injury time: Crosby, Backstrom, etc.) slide in above Datsyuk.

So... something in between the #61 (actual) & #97 (actual)... around #80... would slide Datsyuk into Yahoo! spot #100 once everybody was ranked with projections (which considers every player to be fairly healthy).

I have to say that I agree w/Dobber's explanation here.
I also like the Oilers peg around #9... I've got them around 8/9 too.

Thumbs up.

(ps. Shoeless - go to the forums under the One-Year section. I've got lots of Yahoo! specific rank, interpretation, analysis in there in different threads... including a new one today.)
August 28, 2012
Votes: +0

lemachelio said:

Luongo If there is hockey. Luongo will be a Canuck at the start of the season. Gillis And Aquallni's have way too much pride to not get value for Lui. This signing gives them flexability, bring Lack up this year or pay him for next either way. If Lu wants to go then he needs to increase the number of teams he is willing to go too. I am tired of these athletes being pre-madonnas. Play for the love of the game and be thankful you play the game. As a fan I contribute to a 5.3 million dollar back up and I am fine with that. I know I am willing to take a harsher stance. Thanks for the b*tch session I can carry on my day! smilies/grin.gif
August 28, 2012
Votes: +0

brosal04 said:

Datsyuk I haven't checked yahoo rankings yet but not having Datsyuk in the top 100 is messed up. At the end of day sure you have him predicted at 71-20-48-68, 18 PIM, plus-20. But if some reason has a reasonably heatlhy year he could put up 80-85 points easy. I think a horrible offensive year from zetterberg is what influenced datsyuk numbers. Zetterberg had a horrible start to the year in the last 3 months he had 31-13-21-34 Pts. Lets face it last year... Lidstrom was 40-45 pts Defenseman he didnt have elite status for production. And Zetterberg could still put up PPG numbers in the last 3 months. So if zetterberg is a 80-85 pts guy. Doesnt that make datsyuk pretty close since he is considered a better offensive player but misses 6-12 games.
August 28, 2012
Votes: -1

cbergeron said:

THN predictions and THN has the Rangers finishing 4th in the East (behind Pitt, Bos and Wash). They must not think highly of Rick Nash... smilies/smiley.gif
August 28, 2012
Votes: +0

acfurino said:

... the yahoo writers are idiots... not only is that top 100 missing datsyuk but its also missing gaborik... theres no justifying that... chalk it up to stupidity
August 28, 2012
Votes: +0

Shoeless said:

Player ranking systems Dobber - you touch on the age old debate for me about how to rank players in the preseason. Obviously I have my own opinions and system, but I would love to see one of your writers tackle the question in depth - Glen Hoos and Ryan Ma come to mind.
August 28, 2012
Votes: +0

Mr_Sausage said:

Oiler prediction I think you are pretty spot on with your prediction. Last season I had them missing the playoffs(which they did badly) and this season I have them pegged to battle for that last playoff spot, which I think they will get being that I'm such an Oiler homer. There defense still leaves a lot to be desired but I think the young kids are tired of losing and they have been in the league a little while now. It's time for them to step up and lead.
August 28, 2012
Votes: +0
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