Ramblings: Addressing league apathy. Also thoughts on Elliott, Saros, Leafs’ LW and the toughest team to forecast (Aug 13)
The last update of the Fantasy Guide was in on Friday night. This is why I leave the final three articles untouched (projected standings, projected team goals-for, my Calder picks) – it gives us (myself included) something to look forward to for updates during the weeks when there really just isn’t any action in the NHL world…
I’m approaching my first re-birthday. When I reach the anniversary of my stem cell transplant on August 30 I will provide my readers with an update on my health, what all has happened in my battle with leukemia and where things stand. So be sure to look for that. (Spoiler: it will be good)
Once again I turned to Twitter for help with Ramblings topics this week. I always seem to do that in the second half of August and the first week of September. Steve Laidlaw, who will be back here in two months, has been putting together his own projections for the season (it never hurts to do that, and compare). His was the first question – asking me which team or teams was the most difficult to forecast. And the answer to that is always the teams that are the deepest and have the most to consider. The more moving parts you have to deal with, the more things could go wrong. This mainly revolves around teams that signed a couple more players than needed, as well as have a couple of prospects who need to clear waivers in order to be sent down. Further complicating things would be if that team also has a couple of prospects who could be sent down without clearly waivers – but are too good. Try juggling all that! So for me the team that immediately popped into my head was Vancouver.
We can all guess the top nine on that team, but if you look in the Guide you will see that there are 10 more players getting games. Assume Tim Schaller and Jay Beagle are on the fourth line, and Elias Pettersson is on the team for sure. That’s 14 locks and two more spots for the eight players. Assume we hardly see Brendan Gaunce and Reid Boucher. And although the advanced stats and increasing ice time with every game seems to indicate that Travis Green really likes Darren Archibald, let’s call him a spare part as well. You still have Tyler Motte, who has been very good in a two-way role for the team but doesn’t need waivers to be sent down. You have A