Tuesday, September 27, 2005


Sweet, Sweet, Fantasy Baby!

If you are looking for some quick, easy, fun, and don't have $500 to spend on a dose of Black Tar Heroin, The Face Off Circle forum has a very easy hockey pool you can enter. Just pick your players and that's it! No fuss, no muss.

Category 1. Top 10 scorers
* Note: 1 point per point= a goal and an assist are equal.
Shootouts don’t count.

Category 2.
TWO players who played more than 50 games in 03-04 but scored less than 30 points that year
Category 3. One goon
1 point per penalty minute

Category 4. TWO goalies- formula is + Shutouts. You want a goalie playing on a good, defensive team.

Post your picks on this thread to enter.

We also have a pool with "The Sporting News". Use this URL to sign up. Type in Face Off Circle when prompted to join an existing league (no password).

The only rule we traditionally set is that we DO NOT buy additional trades.


Fantasy Advice from Sage Jes

Matthew wrote: What are you fantasy opinions regarding the new talent coming into the NHL this season? Who do you see putting up the best chances of good fantasy numbers? Ovechkin, Balastik, Latendresse??

When it comes to drafting rookies, I prefer someone else to take that risk. When it comes to one-year fantasy leagues, you should aim to take the 'money in the bank', and go for someone with a proven level of production, or a player that has NHL experience and is ready to make the leap. Rookies are traditionally overvalued and traditionally not very productive compared to established players.

Alexander Ovechkin
McKeens: 75GP 29-23-52
Forecaster: 77GP 32-32-64

Alex Ovechkin is an extremely talented kid with great athleticism, but he is going to play playing on an awful awful Capitals team with very little support. In hockey, we know 1+1 often equals 3. Good players paired together can help each other produce more and more points. Ovechkin will have very little talent around him in Washington (Cassels, Friesen, Zubrus...not much) and it will be hard for him to rack up points when he's playing with the league's worst roster. We must also remember that players on poor teams will have poor +/- numbers. If you pool counts +/-, than having a player who is -30 will hurt a great deal.

I think McKeens forecast is more realistic, and I would expect about 50 points with a -25 to -30.
Andrew Cassels - I know there are a few owners who think they are clever when they are drafting Cassels since he will be centering Ovechkin.
Don't buy it!
The now 36-year old Cassels played with the mucho talented Rick Nash in Columbus in 2003-04 and put up an underwhelming 6-20-26 -24 in 58 games and didn't play at all last season.

Cassels looked done like dinner and eerily similar to Adam Oates (who fell off a cliff, if you remember) and I would be amazed if Andrew could get more than 45 points this season.
Given the fact he'll be easily -25 to -30 and doesn't take many penalties (since many pools give points for PIM), Cassels is a guy you shouldn't touch.

Jaroslav Balastik - McKeens didn't even put Jaroslav in their magazine!! I am shocked to see a publication of usually high standards totally miss the boat on this guy. He's not listed on their depth chart and they have no prediction for him. They did add, on their website, "30 points is not out of the question." Hmph!

Forecaster was very cautious and predicts only 15GP 2-3-5 for Jaroslav.

So, it looks like my campaign hasn't been enough for some people to take notice of Jaro, but perhaps his awesome preseason will finally get him some props. He's seen a lot of Power Play time and has been doing well paired with Nik Zherdev. I believe he has played his way onto a regular roster spot and Columbus really needs his offensive prowess. My prediction for Balastik is 25 goals and 20 assists with about 80 PIM. He may be a rookie, but he's also much older and much more developed than your standard snot-nosed prospect.

Guillaume Latendresse - As much as the French media and separatist Quebecers would love Guillaume to become their next Rocket Richard or Stephane Richer, the boy isn't going to be on the roster on October 5th. The Habs have talented forward prospects coming out of their ears (Tomas Plekanec, Marcel Hossa, Alex Perezhogin, to name three) and not a lot of room on their roster for all of their kids to play. They have also basically guaranteed a roster spot for the goon Jim Vandermeer. Hossa and Plekanec are much more mature and ready for the prime time than Guillaume. Plus, the Habs aren't going to waste a year of service time (Remember the 7-year rule, kids) on an 18-year old to play on the 4th line.
Guillaume had a nice preseason game, but it isn't his time yet. Don't forget that former Hab Josef Balej also had a smokin' preseason game for the Habs years ago, and now he's been cut by the Rangers for being a lazy-ass Pavel Brendl clone.

One more year for Guillaume in juniors, and then we'll see how ready he is.

Common, we all know Zach Parise is the rookie to watch this year.

Team bias? You bet.
Thankyou O' Sage Jes,

You confirmed all my fears and somewhat squashed my sneaky backhanded plans to pick up a gem off FA/waivers... Fantasy Football it seems is much easier to be sneaky, with new players coming into the Premiership yearly, their value is pre-determined (read under valued) by the system.

It would be interesting to see NHL fantasy gamers stick to a $ budget, however the $100 mil for Football may prove a little much.
Forget my comment on NHL fantasy $ budgets.. I see Sporting News has nicked my idea.. :P
Well, I didn't want to scare you away from rookies entirely. I'll focus more on them in a future entry. There are always good deals to be had, but some rookies can be very overhyped while some fall completely under the radar. It's just my preference to go what a proven level of production, but taking risks often means getting good rewards.
hey Jes thanks for the fantasy hockey challenge pointer - i joined the face off cirlce league at sporting news, should be fun! Karelia Vikings, managed by yours truly all the way from moscow, russia =)
Zubrus will centre Ovechkin... looks good in preseason so far.

Thanks for taking the time to join the pool. I'm sure you'll have fun, but just remember to have a VALID roster by opening day or you won't get points.


As for Zubrus, I've been burned by picking him before. He's the perennial 'never will be' prospect that just doesn't seem to have the brains (like Jeff Friesen) to produce big numbers. He played alongside JAGR and couldn't do anything. I wouldn't touch him in a regular fantasy league.
The occasional Rookie can be a good investment indeed, if chosen wisely (and form studied), i'm not 100% deterred from taking that risk, it makes the selection a little more entertaining.

I also have my sporting news Face Off Circle team assembled.. under the name of Beach Hockey.
See you in the league.
I joined the league as well.. who knew it was so easy to spend 30 million on 7 players?

So when can we see each other's rosters?

My team: Random Heros
I joined the league as well.. who knew it was so easy to spend 30 million on 7 players?
Glen Sather ;)

So when can we see each other's rosters?
When the season starts

My team: Random Heros
Welcome to the league. You are all going down!
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The numbers are in and Canada led the way in players drafted in Columbus. Of the 211 players taken, 102 are Canadian and even more grew up playing in Canada. For example, Akim Aliu was born in Nigeria, but was raised in Canada and began playing hockey at age 10 in the tough Toronto neighbourhood of Parkdale.

The players by country looks like this: Canada – 102; United States – 63 (one shy of its high in 2004); Sweden – 17; Russia – 9; Czech Republic – 5;http://www.costaricanbrokers.com/ Finland – 4; Germany – 4; Costa Rica real estate Slovakia – 3; Switzerland – 2; Nigeria – 1; Denmark – 1.

By position: 53 centres, 60 defencemen, 20 goalies, 27 left wings, 23 right wings and 28 unidentified.
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