Welcome once again to "An Expert's Audit". This audit will also be posted here as well as on my fantasy hockey blog at www.fantasyhockey.hockeyanalysis.com . I also do weekly reviews of teams for people who email in to me for a look-see. These audits will continue to appear here monthly and if you're interested in having your keeper team "worked over" then you can begin by emailing Dobber about it (via the contact link at the bottom of the website).
Protecting the right guys
It is a common misconception that you just keep the best players. Well I suppose it is true that in a straight draft keeper league you do indeed keep the best players, but that's because there aren't other factors to consider.
However, let's talk a bit about a salary league. In a salary league you don't protect the best players you protect the best value. There's a big difference between spending a fifth of your cap on Sidney Crosby and having a minimal FA protection on Steven Stamkos. Should you use 1/5th of your cap to protect Sidney Crosby or do you protect Sam Gagner, James Van Riemsdyk, and Cody Hodgson for the same price? You protect the kids and then you use the extra space in your cap to try and resign Sid for as close to the same price as last year. Protection in salary leagues isn't about talent, it's about value and it's always better to have your cake and eat it too.
And now, something completely different
We don't have a salary keeper question for this issue of EA, but that doesn't make it less important. Let's take a look at Steve Tremblay's West Coast Wings.
Steve emailed in with a simple question, who does he protect in this 10 team points plus .25 PIMs league? He gets to keep 12 plus 3 kids for next year. The definition of a "kid" in this scenario is any NHL'er who has played less than 82 games in his career. Let's take a look shall we? I've *'d the 12 keeps plus I've **'d three kids for you.
F Evgeni Malkin * PIT – duh, obvious keep.
F Alexander Ovechkin * WAS – wow, can't believe you have 2 of the top 3 options in the game. Very nice.
F Eric Staal * CAR – his 2nd half last season rocketed him into 3rd on your team's scoring.
F Dustin Brown * LA – PIMs are a bonus and he'll line up on the top 2 lines. The Kings are primed for an offensive output.
F Johan Franzen * DET – he's going to be the backbone of the offense, hanging out in front of the net. That analogy works right?
F Anze Kopitar * LA – he's quite a magician. I personally think he can be Datsyuk good.
F Mikko Koivu * MIN – he actually outproduced Kopitar in this system last season.
F David Krejci * BOS – I think he's right along there in the Datsyuk mold along with Kopitar. His youth will serve him well on your team too.
F Steve Ott * DAL – he actually outscored Frolov, Pominville and even Kopitar in this league last year and the PIMs bonus puts him over the top as a keep for me.
F Jakob Voracek ** CBS – he's only