August 11, 2014

Dobber

2014-08-11

Investigating older AHL stars and their odds of making a fantasy impact, and more…

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Last year I got a lot of emails/comments inquiring about the fantasy value of career minor-leaguer Travis Morin. After all, he just led the AHL in scoring. By a wide margin (88 points to second-place Zach Boychuk’s 74 points). Morin is 30 and the odds of him getting any kind of shot on a scoring line in the NHL approaches zero. Historically, the career AHLers who lead the AHL at this age go nowhere. Think Darren Haydar, Peter White, Christian Matte, Steve Maltais, Kirby Law, Alexandre Giroux, Keith Aucoin, Jason Krog…heard of them? It just doesn’t happen.

Not fairly, anyway. And by “fairly” I mean a sustained look on a scoring line for 15 or more games. Teams don’t have anything invested in these guys. Their money has been poured into their draft picks and younger prospects – the higher the draft pick, the more money spent on them. If you spent $5 million over the last five years on a 23-year-old you drafted in the second round, versus $0 on a 29-year-old you just signed a year ago to bolster your AHL club, who are you going to give a bigger shot to make the big club?

Defending Big D takes a look at Morin and reviews the most successful 30 year olds in NHL history – that is, 30 year olds who make their NHL debut at that age. Take away the Top 8, because all eight of those players made the jump in 1989 or earlier. Now that NHL hockey is worldwide with regards to players, you can’t look at that era. Since 1990, 34 points is as high as it goes – Lubomir Sekeras with 34 points in 80 games as a 32-year-old first year player. And that was with an expansion team.

It just doesn’t happen. Ever.

Not saying that it wouldn’t work. I probably would. But hockey politics are always in play, and this type of situation is no exception. That’s why the Islanders were so radical with Matt Moulson (one month shy of 26) and PA Parenteau (27). Imagine how radical a team would be if they tried that with a 30-year-old?

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