January 18th, 2013, 9:29 am
Thanks to all those that participated in the fantasy draft last night, our 20-team league should prove to be very robust, and we had a fun chat going on during the marathon 2.5 hour draft. Given 320 picks, that’s less than 30 seconds per pick, so it didn’t feel like it dragged too much at the time. I must admit, drafting is my favorite part of fantasy. Doug was unable to log on, but we traded dozens of texts during the draft, so his fingerprints are all over our team.
I know fantasy is inherently boring to those that aren’t participating, but I’m going to give a couple of reactions to the draft, that may even be amusing to non-participants:
- My favorite pick of the night for SuperDudes: Mikkel Boedker, 1st line LW for PHX, drafted in the last round, 315th overall.
- My least favorite pick of the night for SuperDudes: Travis Zajac in the 11th round (205th overall). I know he might be on a line with Kovy, but he just signed a cushy deal, gets hurt a lot, and has cracked 60 points only twice. Nathan Horton probably would have been a better pick here, or even Adam Henrique, who’s also on the Devils, but I didn’t have the balls because Henrique is hurt.
- The best pick of the night: Alex Burrows 6th round (104th overall) by WhyDoIKeepComingBack. On a top line with the Sedins, Burrows gets some of the most sheltered minutes in the league. We drafted Bobby Ryan in the 5th, so I’m not super disappointed about our picks before (we would take taken him in the 6th if we could have) but I do think several other teams drafted clearly inferior players in the 4th and 5th rounds.
- The worst pick of the night: Dany Heatley 2nd round (40th overall) by Behind Enemy Lines. I know he might play on a line with Parise, but his production has been steadily decreasing (82, 64, 53 points the last three years). I think other teams will key very heavily on that line and deny Heatley the open space he requires. Some slam dunk 70-point or higher players were still available here, like Thornton, Spezza, St. Louis, and Kane, so I think this is a reach, especially on a team that Hockey Prospectus is forecasting to finish 22nd in the NHL. And they are projecting 53 points for Heatley.
Next year I think I want to do an auction draft, especially after listening to the Backhand Shelf podcast here. For the poor bastards that logged into the draft and saw they were picking 15-20, they knew there was no chance they could get some of the best players in the league. With an auction draft, you can vastly overpay, like the Rangers did for Scott Gomez! Or Wade Redden! Or Bobby Holik! Or Michal Rozsival! Or… you get the idea.
July 5th, 2011, 10:41 pm
Another week, another huge trade with Minnesota. This time Dany Heatley is shipped for Martin Havlat. Mike and Doug try to deal with their collective shock and look at the trade objectively. Also, with so many other signings in the past week around the league, they try to find the winners and losers in the group.
Podcast: Play in new window
July 3rd, 2011, 9:25 pm
In a move that no one could have predicted, even with a Ouija board (which makes it standard Doug Wilson), the Sharks traded one of the best scorers of the past decade, Dany Heatley, for Minnesota’s top scorer, Martin Havlat.
My initial reaction is that, player for player, this deal is terrible for the Sharks. As I tweeted a few minutes ago, before this admittedly disappointing and sub-par year for Heatley, Havlat’s best season would have been Heatley’s worst. It’s not a trade for value. It’s a trade for a team that’s looking to shed salary.
That being said, this trade happened for one or more of the following reasons:
- The Sharks no longer wanted Heatley around.
- The Sharks needed to shed salary to make room for another signing or trade.
- The Sharks just want to save some cash.
I can’t think of any more reasons than these. If the Sharks wanted Havlat so badly, couldn’t the deal have been made without Heatley being a part of it? After talking with Doug just now, it’s probably a combination of all three. The Sharks have two big players’ contracts up this time next year- Couture and Burns. If you give Burns $5M or so, and you have to pay Couture $3-4M, there’s not a whole lot of room left. By CapGeek’s numbers, that’s 12 players signed, with around $9m in cap room for 9 players. That’s a tight squeeze. If I try to put on my “DW is all-knowing” hat, which I seem to have misplaced, he saw that writing on the wall, saw the opportunity to move an odious contract, and took it, getting a guy that has the kinds of skill that DW thinks the team needs.
December 3rd, 2010, 9:00 am
The win-loss-win-loss train rolls on, this time the Sharks posting their first shutout of the season on Dany Heatley Princess Night in Ottawa. Best game of the season for several players, Antti Niemi and Justin Braun among them. I know I’ve been critical of T-Mac for his choices of when to play Niemi in the past, but last night was the right time. Ottawa has had a bad stretch lately, and you probably want Niitty to play against Montreal on Saturday. One thing that did amuse me last night was the ‘storyline’ that Niemi has just gotten ‘better and better this season’ (according to Drew Remenda). I’m a Drew fan, but he got this one way wrong. Here’s the string of Niemi’s save percentages in his last five games: .903, .878, .938, .813, 1.000. That’s not ‘better and better’. That’s up and down, just like the Sharks have been.
The Sharks were utterly dominant at times last night, which is encouraging for Sharks fans, but also frustrating in a way. It’s the same or less stacked lineup than we’ve seen against recent losses against Columbus, Dallas, and Colorado, yet it was night and day the way they played. I know I thought the Sharks might reel off some good wins after the performance at home against Chicago- I’m not nearly as confident this time. Maybe we can get Joe Pavelski or somebody to bash Montreal as a hick town or say that poutine tastes like barf. Then the fans will boo that player every time he takes the ice, throw flaming jerseys in effigy, and the Sharks roll to another win on the backs of the charged atmosphere. Maybe the Sharks should plan a 30-city Disparagement Tour, finding a systematic way to infuriate the fans in every arena in order to light the fire they apparently need.
One down, 29 to go. Although if they keep going hot and cold this way, San Jose may be added to that list without even trying.
January 25th, 2010, 7:50 pm
This week is the Week of Secondary Scoring. I read these posts on Fear the Fin ten days ago, and they put into blog form what everyone was a little worried about – the fact that Heater and Patty were scoring all the goals. This week, all that changed.
My analysis is different from FTF because I included Joe Thornton, trying to make a distinction between top scorers, top lines, and balanced scoring. Partly because I think you can’t say Heatley and Marleau would be scoring at the same clip without Big Joe’s 67 54 assists this year. And also partly because if your top two scorers are on different lines (like Kopitar and Brown in L.A.), your scoring is more balanced than Detroit, Anaheim, and the Sharks, whose top three scorers are on the same line together. Keep in mind this is an inexact science, since many coaches shuffle lines fairly regularly. I got these lines from the most recent games these teams have played, thanks to timeonice.com. Here they are, in current conference standing order.
||Top Line Goals
||Total Goals For
||Top Heavy %
As expected, the Sharks are way out front, the top line scoring over 20 goals more than any other top line, and accounting for more than two out of every five goals scored.
But this past week, and admittedly it’s a small sample size, it’s wildly different. The top line, in the four games this week, scored 5 of the 22 goals scored, or 22.7%, lower than any other top line on this list. The Olympic Line (or the Burger Line, or the HTML line, whatever) will be staying together for the conceivable future, and teams have been targeting them all season to no avail. That’s not to say that they couldn’t suffer a letdown, maybe after the Olympics, or in the playoffs (again. Do I really have to type ‘again’ again?).
So which is better- having an unstoppable first line, or having four very even lines like Buffalo had on Saturday? Frankly, I want the superstars putting up superstar numbers. If the Sharks only have three guys that can score at all, it doesn’t matter how the lines are constituted, we’ll be in for another playoff disappointment. But the opportunities presented themselves, Boyle was out of the lineup, and the second and third lines stepped up. I’m very encouraged. If Patty, Jumbo, and Heater decide to put up six goals between them per game and freeze everyone else out, I’ll find a way to live with it.
December 30th, 2009, 10:07 am
San Jose is the new Regina!
A quick congratulations to Dan Boyle, Patrick Marleau, Thunder Joe and Dany Heatley for making Team Canada for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics! Hard for anyone to argue that they all don’t deserve it and it would be surprising if Babcock didn’t use the Sharks top line as a unit in Vancouver.
Has Mike Green’s Norris Trophy status dropped that much? Has the reported locker room drama in Calgary prevented their three All-Star blueliners from being on the team? How funny is it that the worst team in the West (Anaheim) has three guys on the toughest team to make in the world? That doesn’t bode well for how badly Murray has screwed up their supporting cast.
Who got the Olympic shaft the hardest, Dudes?