Ramblings: I now have Cam Atkinson on every team


Food for thought:

2016-17 One year after posting a 0.65 points-per-game average, a 27-year-old winger who stands at 5-8 is having a breakout season under John Tortorella.

2002-03 One year after posting a 0.66 points-per-game average, a 27-year-old winger who stands at 5-8 is having a breakout season under John Tortorella.


Oh boy. My little man crush on ‘Dobber Darling’ Cam Atkinson has gotten out of control. I now own him in all three of my keeper leagues and I overpaid to acquire him in two of them last week. For the record, the above little tidbit is something that I dug up after I acquired him.

First, the background.

I drafted him in 2012 in two of my leagues. I knew that he would be at least a four-year wait and likely a five-year wait…but of course I was hoping for something faster. But that never seems to happen. Especially with late-round picks who are diminutive in stature. He had dominated the college ranks his last two years with Boston College and his impact in the AHL was immediate (32 goals in his first 56 AHL games). His debut in the NHL was also impressive. So I took him. In two leagues. The following year he had played half a season in the NHL (18 points in 35 games) and I drafted him in the third league – the one where you keep 12 players (the other two are full keepers).

That year (2013), I traded him in one of my leagues as part of a larger effort to land a defenseman. I also wanted to reduce my risk a little. In 2014 I drafted him in my Keep 12 league again, so I was back to owning him in two leagues. That year he got 40 points for the second time – no improvement at all. So he wasn’t one of my 12 keepers and in 2015 I was unable to re-draft him as someone else took him. They kept him after his 53-point season. And so we come to this season. All that time drafting him, sitting on him, pumping him up…and when he finally busts loose he does so above even my expectations. But I didn’t own him in two of my leagues.


Next, Trade 1.

I don’t recommend doing this, as this is quite a big ‘no-no’. Playing with your heart. But if Atkinson is the player he’s showing himself to be, then he’ll help me win. If I’m wrong, then I lose. Is that really making decisions from the heart over the head?

Last week I outlined my huge deal involving Ovechkin and how it landed me a million draft picks. I started to use that in my Keep 12 league to get Atkinson. But the guy who owned him really liked him (and who wouldn’t, right now?). I inundated him with offers, probably annoyed him. In the end, he countered Fabbri, Suter, a 2nd, a 3rd, and two 4ths (13-round draft). I re-countered with the 3rd removed. He went for it and Atkinson was mine. I overpaid, but I upgraded that forward spot from Fabbri to Atkinson (and got some games in hand with that deal, too). In exchange for a downgrade of Suter to my bench defenseman – Michael Matheson. And then I claimed Kevin Klein off waivers for my bench (hits count as 0.1 points, which makes Klein a little better). The draft picks – I’m flush with them. When I did the deal with Ovechkin part of my thinking was to use the picks to get Atkinson. Done.

I overpaid. But I think I helped my team. Assuming Atkinson is at least 80% of the player we’ve seen this year to date. I need something drastic to climb back into this league. Done.


Next, Trade 2.

The groundwork on this had been laid over the last two weeks and finally everything was resolved Friday over the phone. He wanted my John Tavares – whom I thought I wouldn’t trade until he’s into his 30s. But to get what you want, you have to give. So I would need some security if I’m giving up JT. The two players on his team that could do this were Nik Ehlers and Evgeny Kuznetsov. And since I’m in first place (and points carry over), I could use Ehlers’ points. But…Atkinson and Ehlers is too much to give for Tavares in this kind of league. So we just kept adding pieces until the two sides balanced out. Deal ended up being…

I give: Tavares, Wheeler, Nyquist, Orlov, Debrincat, 1st, future 2nd (four rounds of drafting, this is a full keeper)

I get: Ehlers, Atkinson, Silfverberg, Schultz, Bonino, 4th, future 4th

I overpaid again. But the deal gained me 20 points, upgraded my defenseman, got me my guy, and I have the ‘trade value’ security of Ehlers. What I mean by ‘trade value’ security is – if Ehlers were to break his leg tomorrow, I would still find no shortage of suitors. I could trade him easily. Whereas if that were to happen to Atkinson, then I would have a lot more trouble trading him for his value. Also, this pool counts the postseason. So I added two more Penguins, the Jackets will get in, and I now have Silf to match up with my Kesler.

As for the picks – I’m finding more and more often that my late first rounders and second rounders aren’t all that great. Once we get out of the Top 10, the ‘slam dunk’ draft picks are gone. I’m also finding that my picks in the third and fourth round have been tremendous lately.


Anyway, I hope I helped  you kill some more time as you wait for your family to get ready. We’ll be back with regular content on Tuesday. Stay safe!



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