Happy New Year everyone! Happy Birthday Gilbert Brule! Yes, Gilbert Brule is a New Year’s baby. Now, he is also an AHL player. They do that to him on New Year's Day and his birthday... now THAT is harsh. Unfortunately for Gilbert, this makes him a great poster boy for the special New Year Revolutions edition of The Wild West.
Truly, this probably isn’t the happiest of birthdays for Brule. After all, the diminutive center did have a whopping four points in the entire 2007 portion of this season. He was receiving less than 10 minutes of ice time on average (less than last season), was a frequent healthy scratch and didn’t have a single point in his 13 games in the month of November. He even had tonsillitis for goodness sake. Now, today, he was sent back to the AHL... wow.
Now, that is a rough 2007 for the former 6th overall pick, but he’s still young. Plus, he didn’t even make the top five on the New Year Revolutions list. After all, he did only produce 19 points last season and was a question mark in the eyes of many fantasy owners for this season anyway. Still, he was on pace to cut his point production in half from last year, with a distinct shot at a single-digit point total. On the bright side, his appalling minus-21 last year improved dramatically this season… so at least he can celebrate that with some birthday cake and ice cream.
Below you will find my top five Western Conference fantasy disappointments of 2007. They are in need of dramatic changes in 2008 to ease their fantasy owners’ pain. These players need to make New Year’s resolutions to have new year revolutions.
The Status Report:
New Year Revolutions: In the spirit of the holiday, we will count down…
5. Miikka Kiprusoff- Kipper thought he may have made it off this list with his December six-game win streak, but oh no sir. During that streak he still allowed a six-goal game and recently coughed up five goals on only 20 shots against Vancouver. The expectations are high for a tender of this caliber, and he has fallen well short of them. This supposed fantasy franchise goalie has hurt you in GAA and SV% the majority of the season. Most surprisingly, he hasn’t had a single shutout all season. Last year he had seven with 40 wins. This is Kiprusoff’s worst season since he was a backup in 2002-03. His numbers show his career is in a steady decline.
4. Patrick Marleau- Marleau needed to drink a lot of Merlot last night to get rid of the thoughts of this awful season. He had 35 points at this time last year and barely has half that this season. His numbers are down across the board, and he needs a lot of time with Mr. Thornton to pull him out of this one.
3. Matt Carle- A trend is developing. Another shark hits the board. With a recent two points, Carle has increased his point total to a measly eight this season. As we discussed last week, Matt had as many points in his first two weeks last year as he has in the first half this season. He actually already had eight points in his first seven games last year. The sky is the limit if he can ever get consistent opportunities again.
2. Teemu Selanne- He only avoids the number one spot because he retired. You can’t really blame the 37 year old after winning the Stanley Cup. Still, unless poolies snagged both Ribeiro and Mike Richards off the wire this year, it is nearly impossible to replace the 94 points and 48 goals he contributed last season. Losing him sent many keeper clubs spiraling from contender to pretender status. I guess we will still forgive him if he comes back… right?
(Drum roll please…)
1. Jonathan Cheechoo- You guessed it. The Cheechoo train grinds to a halt at number one. The Sharks probably set some record by contributing three players to the top five here. As a top 30 player in many leagues last year, Jonathan has contributed a pathetic 10 points this season. Yes, 10. Even after a slow start, he had 37 goals and 69 points last year. Can you believe he had 93 points and a league-leading 56 goals only two seasons ago? What a fall from grace.
There you have it. Good luck to those players in salvaging their fantasy value this season, and everyone enjoy the Winter Classic today.
Once again, have a happy and successful new year!