What’s in a name?

Dobber Sports




In marketing, they call it brand recognition. You aren’t going to the drug store to buy Kleenex, you’re going to buy facial tissues. Your loving girlfriend isn’t bringing you Tylenol to cure the beer-induced headache from last night, she’s bringing you acetaminophen. The value these names hold are worth far more than the actual product is. The same can be applied to players in fantasy hockey.


How many times have we seen a player score 100 points for a season or two only to never break the 85 point barrier again? How many times have we seen a rookie have a huge first year only to fade into obscurity just as quick as he arrived? The trick is to recognize these players before everyone else does and trade them before their stock drops completely.  Buy low/sell high, not breaking any new ground here. It’s just another example of how to apply it.


Here are a few examples of players whose name still holds more value than their actual stats do.


Vinny Lecavalier

Lecavalier is perhaps the best example of brand recognition in recent memory.  He broke out in the 06-07 season with 108 points having never topped 80 in his career. He followed it up with a 92-point campaign in 07-08. He was being drafted in the first round of every league and deservedly so. He had reached that elite status. The following season, to the dismay of fantasy owners everywhere, he put up a meagre 67-points in 77 games. “It’s an anomaly”, they said. “He was playing injured” , they cried. Vinny still went fairly high in many 09-10 fantasy drafts and he managed to score 70-points in a full season. Those aren’t horrible numbers, just not numbers you want to spend a second round draft pick on.


This season, he has 46 points in 56 games. Pro-rated it works out to 67 points. That’s about right; maybe a little lower than what it should be since he battled some injuries. Vinny Lecavalier is a 70-75 point player and he always has been. He had two spectacular seasons, but those were the anomaly, not the norm.  To prove it, look at this breakdown (if he played fewer than 80 games, stats are pro-rated):

<50 points: 2 seasons

60-70 points: 3 seasons

71-80 points: 4 seasons

90+ points: 2 seasons


At 31 years old, he is still in his prime. The problem is that the stars aligned for him for two seasons that raised expectations to unrealistic levels. Many poolies out there still value him as an 85-90 point player. However, those poolies become fewer and fewer each year. If Vinny is on