Didn’t get an opportunity to weigh in on the Blake Wheeler signing. Here are some quick thoughts:
I like the term and dollar amount. Wheeler isn’t a household name, but he has been a very productive forward for a number of years now. And I think he is really only scratching the surface of his true offensive potential.
Since Wheeler’s rookie season of 2008-09, he has ranked 45th in the NHL in even strength production (per 60 minutes).
He’s strong on the PK.
The Jets are buying up five UFA years with this contract (hence the dollar amount).
Winnipeg’s issue was overpaying for Ondrej Pavelec – a talented but inconsistent goaltender. The Little and Wheeler contracts have both been very solid for the team.
I'm covering the ramblings and website for Dobber today and Tuesday. I'm off on vacation later this week, so we switched days.
The timing couldn't have been better, as it gives Dobber a few days to hammer out the final details for the 2013-14 DobberHockey Fantasy Guide.
My fantasy hockey mailbag is open until Tuesday night.
Ask your questions here.
Friend of the site Rob Vollman (who runs HockeyAbstract.com) has released a phenomenal product – the Hockey Abstract.
Rob is a smart dude on the cutting edge of a lot of the statistical developments of this sport. But his best attribute as an analyst is to explain the "why" and the "how" behind the metrics and statistics he uses. They aren't just numbers created to fit his ideas or thoughts.
I have relied upon him extensively for my writing over the years as well as my DobberHockey Fantasy Guide contributions.
Here's more information about Hockey Abstract, which you can pick up at Amazon (or as a PDF here):
Statistical analysis is coming to hockey in a wave very similar to the one that hit baseball years ago. To prepare the baseball world for the boom in statistics, they needed a guide book that could act as a foundation, and that was Bill James’ Baseball Abstract. Hockey, too, needs that guide book: a Hockey Abstract that can show how the sport can be viewed through that same type of objective lens that James brought to baseball. At last, it is here.
Hockey Abstract is not a textbook, but a guide for how to use analytics to study hockey. Ten questions are answered in a fun and informative way, including who is the best player, goalie or coach, which team will finish first next year, and which was the most lopsided trade in history. Each answer is built on the common foundation of certain key statistics and concepts that are explained in almost as many pages and chapters at the back.
Rob's business model is a lot like DobberHockey's – a wealth of phenomenal free content that is supported by periodical releases (our guides, and the Hockey Abstract book in his case). Pick it up and help support a fantastic site.
Some random Monday morning fantasy hockey thoughts:
Love the potential Columbus lines once Nathan Horton is healthy. Don't see the Jackets splitting up the Calvert/Atkinson duo, and I really think Letestu is a big time sleeper because of the fact that he can play both C and LW.
My lines for Columbus assuming everyone is healthy:
A good mix of speed, skill, and defensive ability
A power line in every sense of the word. Grit, net presence, board battles. Johansen is the key here – is he ready to take the next step?
This is a gritty, tenacious, and speedy line that can score, check, and do a lot of good things. Atkinson isn't a third line player, and he will see a lot of PP ice time.