July 12, 2014

Darren Kennedy

2014-07-12

 

It's hard to imagine anyone, even the world's most devoted hockey fan, avoiding the news that Lebron James is "coming home" to Cleveland. It was everywhere on Friday – he almost took over the internet.

 

I only have a passing interest in Basketball. I'll follow when the playoffs are on or if there is a marquee star playing against the Raptors. I ask a lot of dumb questions and generally annoy people who actually understand the sport. I, like most of you reading this, am a hockey fan and spent 97 percent of my time reading up on shots per game totals, ice time trends…etc

 

 

But, I've been hearing more and more about these multi-league fantasy pools. Basically, it's a pool that includes players from all four major sports: NHL, NBA, NFL, and MLB. Presumably, someone has come up with a standard system of measurement (which would take a lot of work to get right), that allows star players in one league to have comparable value to stars in another.

 

At first I was pretty skeptical. But the more I learn about it the more I'm at the very least intrigued. Imagine a first round draft that goes Crosby – Lebron James – Mike Trout – Ovechkin – Adrian Peterson – Aaron Rodgers – Kevin Love – Nichushkin (I may be placing Nichushkin a TAD high). It would be something to behold. I can imagine trades being even more outrageous; dealing goalies for starting pitchers, shooting guards for outfielders – my head starts to hurt just contemplating it.

 

I'm sure it's not for everyone. Heck it's probably not for me. However, if you've got a passing interest in any of the other sports it might be a unique way to fuse that with your love of fantasy hockey. If anyone already participates in something like this it would be great to read more in the comments.

 

On to the ramblings…

 

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The Blue Jackets signed Brandon Dubinsky to a 6 year, $35 million dollar extension.

He is 28 years old, and doesn't turn 29 until next April. My initial reaction is that this isn't a bad deal, especially considering the current market for centerman that can play top six minutes. Dubinsky's annual cap hit will be $5.85 million. In an ideal world he would be a couple years younger and Columbus would have been able to shave a year or two off the contract. I always worry about signing players through their dreaded 28 to 32 years, where decline can be, and often is, significant. Saying that, all signs point to another productive couple of seasons – he posted 16 goals, 34 assists, 98 penalty minutes, and 189 shots in 76 games last year. Columbus is improving as a team and the addition of Hartnell should provide even more offence for a squad that finished 12th in the NHL for goals per game (2.76).

 

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Dobber had a great take on Heatley's one year deal in Anaheim that I tend to agree with (and not just because he's the boss!). The former Senator is now 33 years old and coming off of by far his worst season as a professional (12 goals and 28 points). There is no question he has been declining sharply in Minnesota – his skating has eroded and he's no longer able to effectively use his once-upon-a-time monstrous snap shot. The fancy stats were even less kind – he carried a 44.5% Cosri at 5v5 through 2013-14.

 

But (there's always a but)… I'll still be targeting him in the late round of my pool. And here's why:

 

Anaheim's top six has a number of question marks. Outside of Getzlaf, Perry, and Kesler there aren't really any guarantees for who will skate where. Sure, guys like Silfverberg, Cogliano, Palmieri, and Smith-Pelly are expected to challenge for those spots, but there is uncertainty. If Heatley, by some miracle, comes to camp and starts the season in a top six role with decent power play time – who knows. I don't for a second think he could maintain a spot like that for an extended period. That said, if over the first 15 games he has 6 goals and 12 points you'll have an OK asset on your hands.

 

There will be at least one manager in y