Ramblings – Thoughts on the Avalanche getting steamrolled, Beauvillier, Fleury, Miller and more (August 31)



Last week I broke ground on the 2020-21 Fantasy Hockey Guide. It's my 15th Guide. The timeline will be tight this year, with Free Agency opening up on October 9 and the season kicking off December 1 (tentatively). Many of your drafts will be held in late October, so I want to get this guide out as quickly as possible. Which means writing whatever I can in advance. Any analysis of the season that just ended can be done now – pretty much everything up until the final team rosters and injury notes. My projections rely on the actual team makeup, so that part needs to wait. I am targeting a release of October 16 for half the Guide, with the complete version ready by October 30 (or earlier if I can).

Oddly enough, a few leagues out there are actually holding drafts now. And they have pre-ordered my Fantasy Guide…and then wondering why it's not out yet. I can't do projections if I don't know the teams! Where will Braden Holtby sign? Alex Pietrangelo? Taylor Hall? Tyson Barrie? I do appreciate the eagerness, but commissioners: delay your draft. It needs to take place in the offseason, after the NHL Draft and Free Agency.


Further to my notes last week about European prospects getting in a couple of months of game action in European Leagues, this seems to be spreading to young NHLers now too. Last week I mused that the European prospects getting in 15 or 20 extra games in the KHL, SHL or Liiga may get a bump in their odds of making their NHL team versus North American prospects. NHLers such as Rasmus Asplund (Buffalo – Sweden) and Filip Hronek (Detroit – Czech) will get in some extra games, so will they head into NHL training camps in midseason form? Will this mean hot starts for those partic