Kukla's Korner

The Goods on Fantasy Hockey

Pick Six: Watching the Swiss

As the short season shapes up, many players who were not on the fantasy radar will now become prominent must-owns. Perhaps some of these young players who are off to strong starts will be droppable in a few weeks, but they could also be valuable contributors to your league championship. Interestingly enough, two of the six players listed are from Switzerland, a hockey nation on the rise.

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Pick Six: Something Old, Something New

We knew that this would be a crazy mixed-up season with an even crazier mixed-up start (after all, last year's conference leaders the Canucks and Rangers are winless in a combined four games). Perhaps you speculated that the shortened season would be easier on the NHL’s senior citizens, or maybe you guessed that the younger players that have been playing in the CHL or AHL would be a leg up on players who used the lockout to rest. Both guesstimates were correct, as both the NHL’s youth and those who discovered the fountain of youth dominated the NHL’s first weekend.

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Experts League Link

In my previous blog entry, I had described the fantasy team that I had drafted in the Experts League draft on Monday night.

If you would like to follow this team to see how Kukla's Korner's entry is faring against some of fantasy hockey's most noted minds, or to view the teams that each expert has drafted, the league has been made public. Please click on the link below.

Experts League (Yahoo! Fantasy Hockey)

Feel free to comment on my drafting skills (or lack thereof), or that of the other members.

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Experts League Draft Results

On Monday night I had the privilege of participating in an Experts League fantasy hockey draft. Among the participants were Scott Cullen of TSN.ca, Matt Cubeta from NHL.com, and Matt Romig of Yahoo Sports, along with a list of other participants from well-known fantasy hockey sites such as Dobber Hockey, Rotowire, and Rotoworld. Special thanks to Eric Maltais from NHLTradeTracker.com for sending me the invitation.

The rules were fairly simple: Keep four players from last year's roster, with the rest up for grabs in the draft. I was taking over a roster from someone who decided not to return for this season, so I had to make the best with what I was given.

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Fantasy Hockey Is Back Too

Since an NHL season will now officially be a reality, hockey fans are expressing varied feelings on how much they will support the NHL in the future. For example, numerous friends who are diehard hockey fans have told me that they plan to boycott the NHL this season in any way possible. Even I have sworn that I will not spend my hard-earned money at Rogers Arena this season, given all of the money that the NHL and NHLPA seemed willing to forego these past few months. If I only watch my hockey on television, maybe that will put the screws to Gary and he’ll resign. (Yes, I know that’s unlikely to happen.)

So you won’t go to a game, and you won’t even watch on TV. That’s fine; you’re allowed to feel that way. But if you registered for a fantasy hockey league several months ago (or before that in a keeper league), please keep your word and participate anyway. If you take your ball and go home, then you’re disrespecting your leaguemates more than than you are sending a message to Mr. Bettman. Maybe you feel that a strong draft won’t be as meaningful with a smaller sample size, but a shortened season should mean that everyone has a chance to win. As a commissioner in one league, I would like everyone to believe that they have a legitimate shot at the start of the season.

One other note for those of you who are planning a hockey-viewing boycott: There is more than one way to skin a cat, meaning that it’s possible to win your fantasy hockey league just by looking at boxscores, game logs, and player news. I actually accomplished this once in NBA basketball, a sport that I rarely watch on TV. I say this tongue-in-cheek, because I know that if you’re reading this, you’ll be back.
 

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Fantasy Hockey Mailbag

There might be a lockout looming, but that can't stop keeper leaguers from planning their rosters for the upcoming season. I answer another question about which players to keep in this edition of the Fantasy Hockey Mailbag.

Don't forget that you can submit your question(s) by posting in the comments below, by email, and by Twitter.

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Where Should I Draft…

In a season that already has an uncertain start time for all players, is there any player whose fantasy draft position is more uncertain than Roberto Luongo? Even though we are no closer to a NHL season start than we were yesterday, the possibility of Luongo starting the season on the Canucks’ bench seems more and more likely. That is why for the first time in awhile, Luongo is ranked outside of the top 50 by numerous entities (#66 by Yahoo, #85 by NHL.com). Is this ranking too high for a goalie who could start the year as a backup? Too low for a one-time elite option in net?

Of course, don’t forget that I’d like "Where Should I Draft..." to be based on questions from you, the Kukla's Korner site visitor. So please post the name of a player you're wondering about in the comments below, through email, or via Twitter.

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Where Should I Draft…

By request, I will answer the question of where to fantasy draft two former first-round picks traded for one another earlier this summer: James van Riemsdyk and Luke Schenn. Could a change of scenery lead to a brighter future for both players?

Of course, don’t forget that I’d like "Where Should I Draft..." to be based on questions from you, the Kukla's Korner site visitor. So please post the name of a player you're wondering about in the comments below, through email, or via Twitter.

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Where Should I Draft…

To help fantasy leaguers prepare for their drafts, I will be answering the age-old question of "Where should I draft (insert name of player here)?" To kickstart this segment, I will examine two players whose fantasy values have changed dramatically from this time last season: James Neal and Cory Schneider.

I would like "Where Should I Draft..." to be based on questions from you, the Kukla's Korner site visitor. So please post the name of a player you're wondering about in the comments below, through email, or via Twitter.

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Fantasy Mailbag

As fantasy leagues begin to form, the questions about who to retain in keeper leagues roll in. Here is a question that I received recently about which two of Ryan Callahan, Tuukka Rask, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins should be kept in a league with some unique settings.

Remember that if you have any questions about your fantasy team you can post them below in the comments, Tweet, or email me.
 

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About The Goods on Fantasy Hockey

My name is Ian Gooding, and this is The Goods on Fantasy Hockey. Given my ability to understand numbers, write sentences, and follow hockey, it’s not a surprise to those who know me that I became a fantasy hockey writer. I started writing about fantasy hockey in 2006 for fantasyhockey.com and became the site’s content editor in 2007. Looking to expand my audience, I joined Kukla’s Korner in the summer of 2011 to create the site’s first fantasy hockey blog.

A few times each week, I’ll provide an article called “Pick Six” where I will write about six players that should either be in your fantasy team’s starting lineup or bench for the upcoming game. As well, I’ll provide the fantasy takes on important hockey developments. You can also email me your questions or comments to gooding74@shaw.ca, or follow me on Twitter.

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