After the last two weeks of covering the 62 players that were featured in last-summer’s buy/sell series, we’re now ready to dive into why the suggestions went right or wrong, and what we can learn from this.
Out of the 62 players, here were my results for each of the buy, and sell potions of the recommendations:
I’m hopeful that I can pick a trend out of each both pointing to where I went right, and where I went wrong.
Taking a quick look over the names that I recommended, one thing jumped out at me immediately: Every non-NHL-regular that I recommended as a buy, ended up being a pass or a miss. This included players like Josh Ho-Sang, Tim Heed, Daniel Sprong. Prospects who had yet to get a chance to break out, that I figured would, didn’t. This is humbling, as it really shows I am not a prospect expert, and I will stick to numbers in the future (good thing I’m an engineer writing a numbers-based column with a salary cap focus). For much more useful prospect information, check out the actual professionals at DobberProspects.
Generally, with the buys, I did not miss on defencemen. That means a lot, as defencemen can be the hardest to find, especially in cap leagues where their real-world value just doesn’t translate into fantasy value.
As for the forwards, there were more of them, so there were more varied results. However, out of the three misses on NHL forwards (Kevin Fiala, Danton Heinen, Miles Wood), there is a bit of a trend in that they all had between 70-140 games of experience (less than two seasons). As a result, I am going to generalize and say that I didn’t take the sophomore slump factor into account, which would also cover the suggestions of Nolan Patrick and Nick Schmaltz. Now not every non-rookie with less than two seasons of experience is going to flop. The Alex Tuch suggestions was a hit, and Pierre-Luc Dubois continues to thrive in a first line centre role. However, the lesson to learn here is to be cautious expecting only linear growth from young skaters.
Here I have learned not to tell you to sell off star players like Patrick Kane, John Carlson, or Matt Murray. Claude Giroux was another one, and while he may be a sell at some point in the next year or two, due to being in his early 30s, generally these players are tough to be replaced by the pieces you would get back. Though they can be tougher to stomach with their cap hits, if you have managed your cap well, a player like this may end up being better to buy, as those cap hits drag down the value, making it tougher to drive up a trade market for them, and essentially having them be sold at a fraction of what they can be worth to your team.
Most of my hits were in the range of middle-tier players who had either just put up a career season or were in the early years of a new contract. Centres Kyle Turris, Alex Wennberg, and Adam Henrique are all new contracts that you were hopefully able to get out from under. Players such as Yanni Gourde, Alex Petrangelo, Jeff Petry, and Eric Staal end up being good players to shop around as the chances were slim that they would reproduce the seasons from the prior year.
However, on that note, most of your fellow GMs are also aware of this. Yanni Gourde for example I owned in one cap dynasty league up until two weeks ago, when I finally found a deal I was happy with for him. Last summer there was no one who would give me close to the value of a 45-point player on a $1 million contract, so it was best for me to keep him, reap the rewards of the cheap year, and then take whatever I could get by shipping him out to solve my impending cap crunch. Take the buy recommendations with a grain of salt, as they don’t mean you need to give the play away, just that it would make sense to explore what you could get in return, as it very possibly could out-weight the benefits of keeping the player for the next season and beyond.
As another small point worth noting, a few of the misses were due to nothing other than my own personal biases, as I have wanted a Jake Allen and Oscar Klefbom breakout for a few years now. Both continue to let me down, and I somehow still can’t cut off that last bit of hope. Maybe next year is the year, but most likely not. At least I will try not to drag you down with me into these foolhardy decisions.
This Summer’s Upcoming Series
I am already looking ahead to this summer’s series, and I am excited about it. It is one of my favourite sets to write, as it keeps a topic for multiple weeks, covers all sorts of different teams and players, but most importantly it signifies that start of another season (yes, I know this one isn’t even over yet).
Anyway, if you have any suggestions on format, how you would like players featured, or anything else, please let me know and I will do my best to take it into account. Usually it runs through August into September, and that is still the plan as of now. I would love to get it started early, but we do have to wait for a whole list of factors to be taken into account. We can’t just ignore the Stanley cup hangover, new contracts, trades, and the rest of the offseason fun.
In the meantime, enjoy the playoffs!
Previous Capped articles:
That caps off this week’s article, thanks for reading. As always, you can find me on twitter @alexdmaclean.