The DobberBaseball Fantasy Guide is fully updated through today - and DobberBaseball broke a traffic record for March, topping 230,000 page views. Great work by Fred Poulin and Eamonn McCauley, who have really turned that site around with a great team - and of course Chris Goudey, who put together an awesome guide and stayed on top of it with updates.

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Some great feedback on my Kessel musing...

My favorite, and the one that says it all - Jeff Angus' and "HabsGuy" note that it was improper asset management, burning up cap space unnecessarily. And that's what trumps all arguments that Kessel's impressive numbers to date are enough to give the Leafs any kind of win here.

My least favorite argument - the Cup argument. Because I feel that the Bruins would have won the Cup with or without that trade happening.

My conclusion: If Toronto were to win the Cup this year and Kessel was either the Conn Smythe winner, or the runner up - then and only then could the Leafs even be considered as having pulled off an 'even' swap in this deal.

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Some Flyers news - Max Talbot suffered a broken leg. And the Ryane Clowe to Philadelphia rumors are reaching a climax. Stay tuned...

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I don't know if Cam Atkinson's ankle is back to 100 percent, but he's playing much better hockey - he's back to being the best offensive player on the Jackets. This is what I saw in him before the season. Hell, it's what I saw in him two years ago when he turned pro. I'm thrilled to have him in two keeper leagues and can't wait to see what a full, healthy season will bring. He has five points in his last five games and is seeing about 17 minutes per game nowadays.

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My patience has been paying off this season. Generally, I struggle with patience - as most of us hardcore fantasy owners do - because I'm so involved. If I see what a player is doing day in and day out, what seems like 'sucking forever' is really just a minor one-week slump. So I've been focusing on not trading guys in my keeper league, and just relaxing. Trust in my drafting. You can imagine how difficult that is when I drafted Atkinson, Jonas Brodin, and even Nikita Nikitin - who has points in three straight now and five of his last seven.

But most of all - it was getting Michael Frolik for next to nothing last summer in two leagues. In the shallower league, I was forced to drop him at the draft. But in the deeper league I hung in there. And just when I had reached the end of my rope - he gets placed on the top line in Chicago. The result has been four points in four games, but he's looked very good doing it.

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And while Frolik basks in his production on the top line, there must of course be a casualty. Viktor Stalberg has been pointless in those four games.

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Sidney Crosby is out for the season. He may be back for the final three of four games, but a broken jaw causes you to lose a ton of wait eating through a straw. If he can play five more games, he can win the scoring title, but I don't think he can do it at three games.

Imagine this - Steven Stamkos gets hurt for the season… and Chris Kunitz wins the scoring title. Put fifty bucks on that in January and you'd be a rich man if it came to pass!

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I don't think the Penguins were meant to have Jarome Iginla. You know I'm a Pens fan, and who doesn't like Iginla? But when I saw the deal go down, I didn't pump my fist. I worry for the chemistry. I worry for the hockey gods (who struck, as you saw, on Saturday). And frankly, I was happy with Beau Bennett. It's hard to explain a team getting worse with Iginla. It's insane, the very notion. But something in the back of my head is bothering me about it. This was 'the' Cup favorite already, why mess with that? I thought Murray and Morrow were the missing pieces. It's probably nothing. Just wanted to ramble.

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Also, don't know if you caught this late-breaking trade last night, I didn't catch it myself until very late (close to 2am, my time). I'm gonna hit the sack, but will come back with a full analysis tomorrow before noon.

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Shawn Matthias has five goals in his last three games and has put himself in contention for the Cy Young - 14 goals and three assists on the year. He just turned 25. Next year looks like 30-20-50 is doable, what say you?

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I believe that Toronto lost the Phil Kessel for Tyler Seguin/ Dougie Hamilton trade. I'm not in the minority there. Everyone believes that Toronto got their asses kicked in that deal in which they landed Kessel and gave up three high draft picks.

Now. That being said. Let's compare, year over year:

2009-10 - Leafs win the deal. I mean…Kessel scored 30 goals, whereas Seguin was but a twinkle in Boston's eye. Right now, all Boston has are draft picks.

2010-11 - Leafs win the deal. Kessel scores 32 goals, 64 points, while Seguin makes the Bruins as a rookie. Seguin looks great for the future, but the end result is - he's not there yet. Hamilton is but a twinkle in Boston's eye (still a nameless draft pick)

2011-12 - Leafs win the deal. Kessel is eighth in scoring with 37 goals and 82 points. Kudos to Seguin for breaking out and posting 67 points, while Hamilton is an elite prospect. But results, at this point, say that Kessel still takes it.

2012-13 - In progress. Kessel has 34 points, Seguin has 25 and Hamilton has made a huge impression with 14 points. If Kessel were to get 45 points this year and keep the plus/minus around even, while Seguin gets say 35 points and is plus-20…and Hamilton gets 19 points. Who wins? If you give it to the Leafs, then what does that say? If two teams make a trade and Team A wins that deal in Years 1-4, while the Team  B wins the trade in Years 5-9, can you really say that Team A "got their asses kicked"?

Just a different way to think about it. We're so used to assuming that the deal sucked, I don't think any of us really take a closer look.

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After getting Nicklas Jensen back across the pond, the Canucks have recalled him and are apparently going to try him with the Sedin twins. Unexpected, seeing a rookie get thrown into the fire like that - speaks volumes about the Canucks' regard for him. Needless to say, worth watching. Worth grabbing, too, if you need a winger. Should be owned in most keeper leagues.

Zach Kassian was sent down. If you wonder why I keep players on my Prospects List a little longer than you would - this is why. I don't remove him until I'm sure he won't be demoted. Jensen is ranked 37th while Kassian is ranked 17th as of the last update - but today I wouldn't hesitate to swap their spots.

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Why was Marcus Johansson so easy to get off the waiver wire? Wake up! He has 10 points in his last nine games and is plus-4 in that span. Two more points yesterday. At this point, your league should have caught onto the trend and he should be scooped up. I can't believe I got him Sunday morning.

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Damien Brunner has five points in his last 15 games and is minus-6 in that span. He'll build on this experience next year and will probably last a little longer with his hot start. Getting used to a new league. Mike Babcock loves how often he shoots the puck.

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Jeremy Morin was recalled by the Hawks and scored his first NHL goal in two years.

With three points Sunday, Brandon Saad pulls within six of the rookie scoring lead. Huberdeau leads with 25, followed by Conacher (24) and Gallagher (20).

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Since being a healthy scratch, Alex Goligoski has 16 points in 23 games. Before that, three points in 10 games.

The Kings held Dallas to 15 shots. Embarrassing.

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Matt Read has points in three straight games. Clearly just needed to get his rhythm again after returning quickly from the chest/ribs injury.

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Joffrey Lupul - suddenly a superstar. I'm not kidding, he's been an elite player since returning:

 


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The Hockey Hitman said:

The Hockey Hitman
.,, A Stanley Cup winning roster is a very special thing, and to take away one player and substitute in with another player, there's no guarantee the team would have won the Cup. Seguin's heroics in the ECF vs. TB, that's the reason I brought this up. Lifted Boston up big time. I'll stand by my argument, Seguin helped Bruins win a Cup. Until Kessel helps Toronto win a Cup, the trade is easily favored towards Boston!
April 02, 2013 | url
Votes: +0

donpaulo said:

donpaulo
Sidney Its my understanding that Crosby did not get his jaw wired shut so as soon as his bone and dental work are up to it he can consume food. So if one were to base an injury conclusion upon an all liquid diet then I think its a bit premature for that.
Then again I am on the other side of the world and about to watch my hockey game now and haven't seen any hockey news because I don't want to know the scores smilies/smiley.gif
Was Sidney's jaw wired or not ?
April 01, 2013
Votes: +0

Rustyrug said:

Rustyrug
Kessel Trade What everyone forgets is that Burke thought he had a playoff team when he made the trade. If he knew the team would finished 29th he would never have made the trade. he thought a top notch goal scorer will help them in the playoffs.

Chiarelli didn't expect to have such a good pick. It was just good luck for the Bruins for the Leafs (Burke's) impatience
April 01, 2013
Votes: -1

SeaDawg said:

SeaDawg
EDIT: On my previous post, I meant to say...

"To me, it wasn't a great deal for Toronto, but it certainly wasn't as bad as many make it out to be. "
April 01, 2013
Votes: -1

SeaDawg said:

SeaDawg
Kessel trade Cap space, playoff success, and player development aside, the problem I always have with the assessment of the Kessel trade is that most media and fans consider the deal an utter failure for Toronto. Considering the amount of negative comments on the trade over the years, people would assume it was one of the worse deals ever. To me, although I agree that Boston "won" the deal, I don't think it was an utter failure for Toronto. Kessel has certainly developed his game and no one could have asked much more out of him. Heck, I honestly think it is a bit unfair for everyone to judge Kessel and the Leafs so harshly on the deal. It was a solid hockey deal that was a bit of a gamble for both teams. Kessel has scored over 30 goals every season for Toronto, and 30 goal scorers are not easy to find via trade. To me, it was a great deal for Toronto, but it certainly wasn't as bad as many make it out to be.
April 01, 2013
Votes: +0

ddp said:

ddp
My opinion on Seguin seguin was a difference maker when they won the cup. Kessel would not have made it easier...Also Don't forget they were a Brian gionta deflection in game 7 overtime away from no cup for bruins. Seguin wipes the floor with Kessel and he's on the 2nd line. Trade Kunitz for perry right now and Pitts wins the deal no?
April 01, 2013
Votes: -1

repenttokyo said:

repenttokyo
sorry, didn't read the comments do you think that the bruins being perennial cup contenders is also relevant to evaluating the trade?
April 01, 2013
Votes: +0

HabsGuy said:

shortcuttomoncton
... Let it be noted that I outlined cap and player flexibility in my initial post. Thanks to Angus for backing me up. ;-)
April 01, 2013
Votes: +1

Dobber said:

Dobber
... ...addressed here in the comments, RT. They win the Cup with Kessel (and no trade) too.
April 01, 2013
Votes: +1

repenttokyo said:

repenttokyo
kessel trade Dobber - I think you are leaving out the biggest piece of the equation in your analysis: Bruins win cup...
April 01, 2013
Votes: +0

4horsemen said:

4horsemen
... Dobbs - give me Seguin over Kessel this year and every year forward. Although Kessel is really developing his passing game (out of necessity) he's still a player who's made a career out of having two elite skills; shooting and skating. Seguin, on the other hand, has a very well rounded skill set and is a more valuable asset on the ice in almost all situations. Come playoff time, players like Seguin really start to separate themselves from players like Kessel. Even if Kessel racks up some nice playoff points I'd be willing to throw money down that Seguin's all round value (as we can dig into with some advanced stats) is far greater to his team.
April 01, 2013
Votes: +0

angus said:

angus
... Also - love Brandon Saad's game. Kid has a ton of upside. Such a solid player.
April 01, 2013
Votes: +0

Mr Zizzla said:

Mr Zizzla
Pens vs. Hockey Gods Dobber, i completely agree with your statements about the Iginla trade. I happened to be in Pittsburgh when the trade went down and even the casual hockey fans were asking the same thing, where does he fit in? I agree about Bennett, he was holding his own with or without Malkin.

When Shero made the move to get Hossa, Crosby was hurt and when he wasn't, Hossa was hurt. It appears at this point that the Hockey Gods are not thrilled with Shero's hybris in stacking the team without giving up very much. The Pens' roster was overloaded so the Gods cleared some room for Shero by taking out Letang, Martin and Crosby (the 3 most valuable Pens this year in my opinion).

hope is not lost for the Pens but for my fantasy team that i loaded up with Pens: Crosby, Letang, Martin, Fleury, Dupuis, and Morrow, it couldn't be much worse as the playoffs approach.
April 01, 2013
Votes: +0

Dobber said:

Dobber
... Angus - some great points that nobody had brought up yet. Intangibles like that need to be considered.

horsemen - Leafs will make the playoffs this year though?

Everyone - if Toronto gets into the Final 4 and Boston is out first round...then what? Just stimulating conversation, nothing more smilies/wink.gif

April 01, 2013
Votes: +0

angus said:

angus
... At the end of the day, Toronto lost the deal for this reason alone:

No rookie contracts. They moved three protectable assets (Seguin, Hamilton, and Jared Knight - well, their draft picks). The Bruins have been able to add more players to their roster because of their relatively low cap hits (relative to Kessel, who signed a massive contract extension right after the deal).

So do the Bruins win the cup with Kessel? Maybe. But it isn't simply Kessel vs. Seguin. It is Kessel vs. Seguin and cap space.

The deal was simply made about three years too early by Toronto, and it set their rebuild back a few years.
April 01, 2013
Votes: +1

4horsemen said:

4horsemen
... As a Leafs fan I don't consider how the deal affected the performance of the Bruins as a whole. That is of little consequence to me and there are too many variables involved to know how it all would have played out had they kept Kessel. All I see is that Kessel didn't make us a playoff team and now we're stuck with him instead of Seguin and Hamilton. Loss in every sense of the word.
April 01, 2013
Votes: -1

Dobber said:

Dobber
... Keep in mind, some of you respond here as if I'm not on your side of the argument. Leafs lost the deal, that's my position.

All I'm asking is...why do we think that? And should we think it's as lopsided as we do? Picking off one year at a time, the Bruins haven't won the trade yet. The Cup was theirs with Kessel or with Seguin.

Anyway, this line of thinking has me convinced that the deal isn't as horrible as we all think. Kessel has been better than we thought, and Seguin is taking a little longer than we thought.

Love the debate
April 01, 2013
Votes: +1

4horsemen said:

4horsemen
... Dobbs - Lets bring this back to a simple logical argument.

The Leafs did OK in this trade if:

a) they made themselves into a competitive team by moving two 1st rounders for Kessel (thereby gaining a playoff spot and a shot at the Cup)

or

b) they positioned themselves to become a more competitive team in the future (which boils down to Kessel vs Seguin/Hamilton).

The answer to part a of the argument is obviously negative. They did not make themselves into a competitive team as evidenced by their failure to make the playoffs.

The answer to part b of the argument is also negative. They are not in a more competitive position with Kessel on their roster than they would be with Seguin and Hamilton, although I will conceed that you COULD argue this point....in vain.

So, from the perspective of the Leafs this was clearly a loss.


April 01, 2013
Votes: -1

Dobber said:

Dobber
... For everyone who is arguing playoffs in the Kessel/Seguin argument, you are also saying that the Bruins would have done worse had they not done the deal, and had Kessel instead of Seguin.

Take the blinders off. Had the Bruins not made the deal, they would still have won that Cup. And they may have even won another. Had the Leafs not made the deal, they still would have missed the playoffs with Seguin on the roster instead of Kessel.

Just sayin' smilies/cool.gif
April 01, 2013
Votes: +1

vangregs said:

vangregs
Seguin / Kessel trade While the consensus is that Boston made out like bandits in that deal, as you mentioned there are some factors that can point otherwise up until now. Many unforseen events could happen that could swing the balance. The unlikely even that Toronto wins a Stanley cup... if it was this season they'd have the same as Boston since the trade. If one of Seguin or Hamilton were to suffer a career threatening injury... then what? You can not compare Kessel to two guys (Seguin and Hamilton) as a fair comparison, you would have to include the filler on the backside Toronto has used (in the would be spot for Hamilton had they drafed him). Maybe they wouldn't have acquired Franson if that had been the case.... How does Kessel + Franson compare to Seguin + Hamilton ?? Or say Kostka who they have used this year... either way I think Boston will come out on top (if nothing dramatic happened) but it is not as lopsided as some other deals... Boston lost the Thornton to San Jose deal by a lot more than they will win the Kessel for Seguin / Hamilton one.

I am a Hawks fan and unbiased, take that for what its worth.

I think another decade will have to go by before a true clear cut winner can be pronounced as the hockey gods sometimes have their own say... look at Iggy to the Pens... and the supposed dream-line with Sid.
April 01, 2013
Votes: -1

Front89 said:

Front89
Timonen Great game by Timonen last night in the Flyers comeback win vs the Caps...1 goal to tie the game with 9 seconds left, 3 assists with one being a PPA and +3.

Agree on Mathias, Johansen and even Frolik available on the wire for nothing...
April 01, 2013
Votes: +0

HabsGuy said:

shortcuttomoncton
Kessel/Seguin I'm with Horsemen/Hitman here. You're making the mistake of examining the trade from a fantasy perspective: "who gave me the best numbers". Sure, for poolies looking at stats, Toronto did pretty well. But the trade was a lot more than that; it gave Boston more cap and player flexibility (for years down the road), and it allowed them to better spend their money on players who actually fit into the system they were creating.

And at the end of the day, it allowed Boston to create a Cup-winning team. And I think Leafs fans (and Habs, and Flames, and Canucks...anyone, really) would agree that at the end of the day, it is the only thing that matters.

April 01, 2013
Votes: +0

4horsemen said:

4horsemen
Kessel Trade Dobbs, I hear what you're saying and I'd love to look on the bright side of this thing but I'm just not buying it and here's why. During those years where you claim Toronto 'won' the deal they made the playoffs a total of.....oh wait...they didn't make the playoffs once. So, if the point of any trade is to make your team better and the point of making your team better is to make the playoffs then the Leafs get an EPIC FAIL on this one. They made their team better but the timing was way off and therefore completely misguided. Just admit it, there's no possible way to justify this trade....accept...move on....it's cathartic smilies/grin.gif
April 01, 2013
Votes: -1

austeane said:

austeane
Trade That was a pretty big one... I started a thread on it on the Canucks forum! Quite a good reaction too.
http://forum.canucks.com/topic/342521-trade-jannik-hansen-for-shawn-matthias-and-a-2nd/
April 01, 2013
Votes: +1

The Hockey Hitman said:

The Hockey Hitman
...... First off, just want to say thanks for posting the link to that late trade, I didn't catch that one somehow!!

Great ramblings as usual, Dobbs. I do take issue w/ how you annointed the Leafs winners of the Seguin/Kessel deal every season.

Starting w/ 09-10, obviously all the Bruins had at that point were draft picks when they sent Kessel to Toronto before the season began.

In 2010-11 however the Bruins won the Stanley Cup. Whose to say the Bruins would've beat Tampa Bay in the Eastern conference final without Seguin's heroics? Seeing as the Leafs didn't even make the playoffs that season, have to give that one to the Bruins.

2011-12 sure, we can give it to Toronto even though with Kessel they failed to make the playoffs again, and considering the fact Boston was the victim of an upset and bounced out early.

This year, the emergence of Hamilton has been a real eye opener in the deal. You can tell Hamilton is the heir apparent to Chara in Beantown...while Seguin has been somewhat disappointing to an extent, but so has Kessel early on. Difference this season of course, both teams are playoff caliber.

So I guess it just depends on the context of how you evaluate the trade. At this point, Boston has won a Stanley Cup with Seguin, and has a very good chance at winning another one(and more) with Seguin and Hamilton together this season. If we're talking strictly from a fantasy perspective, numbers wise, definitely give it to Toronto.

On to another subject....picked up Shawn Matthias in one of my dynasty league's two weeks ago...have been so happy about it ever since!

April 01, 2013 | url
Votes: +0
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