Looking back to May of 2004 and Martin St.Louis as the most valuable asset in fantasy hockey
St. Louis must feel a lot like Rodney Dangerfield these days, no matter what he does he 'can't get no respect.' Despite coming off of an Art Ross winning season at the age of 37 and producing near or above a point per game the last 11 years there are still those in the fantasy world who are unsure about him.
Since the Stamkos injury last week there has been a lot of talk on twitter centered around the value of St.Louis. How will his point totals be affected without Stamkos? Can the Bolts' power play continue to be 16th in the league? How will he respond to being the focal point of opposition schemes?
I've owned St.Louis at a number of different junctures of his career and as a result have learned that he is quite possibly the most consistent player around. Yes, he is 38 years old and at some point father time will force him to either slow down or retire. However, that doesn't appear to be this season and perhaps not next year either.
Will the loss of Stamkos hurt the Lightning and their chances of making the playoffs? Of course it will. He is a sublime talent and there is no way to spin his loss into anything but a colossal hole for Tampa to fill. That said, an individual's fantasy hockey value can stray significantly from the worth of a team in the NHL standings – Marty St.Louis is such a case.
In this week's post I wanted to dig back through the rankings and examine St.Louis in the year 2004. At this time Stamkos was only a teenager, while he had firmly established himself as one of the pre-eminent fantasy assets in any draft. At the time there was speculation that Vincent Lecavalier was the driving force behind St.Louis' success, a strong, soft-handed centerman who was helping buoy Marty's numbers. Now, watching the much younger Lecavalier fade into a supporting role we're left to wonder if St.Louis' greatness was underappreciated, if he was in fact the true offensive catalyst on Tampa Bay's 2004 championship team.
Coming into 2013-14 he had surpassed 90 points (pro-rated over 82 games) in three of the previous four seasons. Through this year he has amassed 20 points through the first 20 games and looks likely to challenge the 90 point plateau again.
Way back in May of 2004 as the NHL plunged towards a full season lockout St.Louis had just put together a 38-goal, 94-point, 212-shot season and was considered a virtual coin flip with Ilya Kovalchuk for the number one spot.