FH 201: We Go Where Few Dare To Go

Instead of the normal weekly piece, we decided to do something completely different.  There are so many feel good stories and turkeys in the first five weeks of the fantasy hockey season. OK we’re not quite at week five yet but who’s counting?.

Some have looked at the early part of this year like a bomb going off and now it is time to pick up the pieces. Actually the reality is this. It is a time to look forward at other possibilities while touching on what is going on now.

If you took a snapshot of the 2010-2011 Fantasy Hockey season, what would it look like? Picture a painting 1/6 of the way done for a visual. As I have said it many times on the show, the hardest thing to judge is what direction our teams are headed. What could be a hot start now could turn into a lemon instantly and the reverse could happen just the same.

Every Sunday Night fellow IH colleague Rosenthal and I take a look at fantasy hockey from a decidedly warped point of view. However this Sunday, we bring in Daryl Dobbs himself from Dobberhockey.com. There have been many debates from fantasy experts throughout the years but Sunday promises to be different. This is a no holds barred look at the state of fantasy hockey as it stands now and in the future.

Humbly, I hope as many of you can listen to this as possible. Any fantasy hockey fan really should as it could be a peek into the future as well. The Dobberhockey site is the gold standard when it comes to fantasy hockey. It is proof of the commitment that we have toward not only Inside Hockey but to fans of the genre everywhere. That forward thinking is what has made some of our potential changes more than just pipe dreams.

Here is a small list of what we have proposed for the fantasy hockey fan in the State of Fantasy Hockey.


The formation of a KHL fantasy league along with a potential SEL league.

Yes these do sound crazy on the surface, but remember how foreign of a concept fantasy hockey seemed to be at first? That is what I thought. With the advent of daily shotgun leagues becoming more prevalent because of sites like Fanduel.com, the potential is there.

Other reasons why this could take off are the following. The “how fast news travels” argument. Ten years ago it was the NHL and little else. Now on a given night, one can find an “internet stream” of the KHL, SEL, and even British and Aussie hockey leagues as well. There is no limit to what the future may hold as the NHL itself has taken to the media road less traveled.

How would a KHL league work?

This again is a very good question. If you can do AHL fantasy leagues even, why not the KHL?  The stats are readily available. It just needs a matrix and people willing to put it on an actual site. Yahoo’s Russia site is toying with the idea but since there are a considerable amount of diehard hockey fans in the world, going international with fantasy hockey makes sense.

In the short term, most league would be standard 5 x 5 or 6 x 4 leagues with your offensive and goaltending categories. That would make scoring easier and less likely for dramatic scoring errors like you see now with the advent of hits, blocks, faceoff win %, etc. Roster changes could even be done daily and yes there is a time difference but what is several more hours to be honest? There may be a prototype KHL league next year so stay tuned.

More Daily and Weekly NHL leagues for money.

The success of these short duration leagues is astonishing to most but not to the keen observer. There are even practice leagues for free for those a little afraid of putting down their hard earned coin on a blind chance.

Does anyone remember the old Sandbox and Smallworld leagues. Well if you combine the two and shrink the length, you have the latest craze in fantasy sports. Now it has spread to hockey.

It is a bettor’s dream and nightmare for some. However, these are things the fantasy hockey fan should be more than aware of.

In future editions of Fantasy Hockey 201, we will be talking to those who have been successful in these leagues so you can get that edge.  One thing is certain, more of these leagues will pop up in the coming years. They are not going away at all.

A self help guide for people in Auction Leagues

Yes this sounds mean but I watched too many of these leagues in Yahoo and ESPN to know one thing. People were not ready for them. When you see 40% of a team’s value plunked on one player, it is a sign and a bad one.

It is awesome that people are flocking to fantasy hockey leagues but there are some basics to these new wrinkles. What we will try and do is help these new “auctioneers” buy and sell their way to fantasy glory as the season goes on.

A fantasy hockey power rankings?

This one sounds like the craziest idea yet. A plan that has been put forth is to do a three week rotation of sorts between forwards, defensemen, and goalies starting in December or January. This was something that could not be started early because hot flashes come and go.

Every week taking the top 15 or 20 players in each major position and adding in our big movers and droppers with an easy to follow formula unlike another sport who has a system known as the BCS. A system that is much more simple is the plan going forward for this one.

The project is still in development so bear with us as we work out the final kinks in something that does not always have a perfect or agreeable solution. Either way, it should spark even more debate.

For every turkey, there should be stuffing

A new segment on the show giving praise out to the players that stuff your team with goodness.

The studs and top dogs of the fantasy world are nice but what about those guys that give your team the unexpected push to victory. Those are the players that deserve the real glory because without them, your team goes nowhere.

We will even toss out a few feelers on those you should consider on your team before everyone else goes and nabs them. The “Wire Troll” will truly expand as it will have a presence in several places.  Steve Downie is a major stuffer for example.

Updates on various leagues with real scenarios

You asked for it and we will try to deliver on as many of these as possible. No question is too big or small and our goal is to help the fantasy sports GM out there kick some tail and bring home some dough or bragging rights. The hardest thing is to be blindsided by an unexpected occurrence. Surely we cannot take all of these problems out of the equation but at the very least can dispense the knowledge needed to be able to navigate these probable minefields. There are so many proposals that we may list a few more on Sunday’s show.

The question is now up for the fans. What can we do to serve you better? Changes are coming for the better and we cannot wait for the fan to be part of them. What do you say hockey nation?


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