Ramblings: Types of Players at an Advantage (or Not) Should Regular Season Resume (May 15)

Ian Gooding

2020-05-15

Which players would hold some kind of advantage should the regular season resume? I've seen this question asked a number of different ways on Twitter, so I'll try to tackle it here. The best way I can probably answer it is to provide general categories of players as opposed to a list of specific players that you should target or avoid.  

This answer assumes that the NHL goes ahead with its rumored plan to restart in July. Depending on what happens, one or more of these thoughts may not be relevant, depending on how the season is restarted… if it is restarted at all. In other words, don't bet your first-born child's college education that all of this will play out as planned. If the season is cancelled, none of this will matter anyway. There are still too many unknowns at this time.

Healing power

The two-month pause has allowed many players to recover from injuries while no new players have suffered injuries as a result of game action. For fantasy owners hanging onto players on IR, this is like finding money under the sofa cushions that could be anywhere from spare change to a $100 bill. A significant number of players who were injured in March should be ready for game action by July, if not right now. To find out who should be ready and who still won't be, check out our latest Injury Ward article.  

On a personal and related note, thank goodness I didn't trade Mark Stone in my keeper league for more immediate help. Anyone else who didn't make a similar trade of an injured stud for a short-term but lesser option must be thanking their lucky stars. Conversely, I feel your pain if you went all in this season in the hopes you would win, as I made a few other trades sacrificing the future to try to live for the moment.

How Swede it is

As you may know, Sweden has decided to implement fewer restrictions than other countries in handling the COVID-19 pandemic. I'm not going to evaluate the effectiveness of this plan, but instead focus on the hockey-related implications. Generally speaking, Swedish players have had greater access to their normal training routines, while players in other countries have experienced more stringent lockdowns. Even with the expected 2-3-week training camp before the season resumes, Swedish players should already have a leg up on players from other countries.

Jacob Markstrom has been able to benefit from both being able to heal from his injury and living in Sweden. I'm wondering if by designing this shiny new mask, he expects the season to resume, and if not, to re-sign with the Canucks for 2020-21.