Ramblings: The Olympic Risk for Goalies, Players Being Drafted Too High in Yahoo (Sept 4)

Ian Gooding

2021-09-04

The NHL and NHLPA have agreed to allow NHL players to participate in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Since the schedule already has a three-week break during February, this announcement should come as no surprise. The agreement also allows the NHL to back out if the COVID situation worsens either in the world or in the form of cancelled NHL games that could not be otherwise rescheduled. This is exciting news, although we will have to remain cautiously optimistic given the unpredictability of COVID in the past year and a half.

I'm always up for international competition featuring the best on best. And I'm even more excited about the possibility of Canada winning another gold medal. 😊 Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid should get the chance to play on the same team, just as Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux did in 1987.

The one thing I don't like about the Olympics is the interruption to my fantasy leagues (although I do realize that games will be made up later). The Olympics can affect players in terms of extending their seasons, possibly exposing them to injuries, and wearing down teams that have hopes for a long Stanley Cup run. Senators fans may remember the 2006 Olympic injury to Dominik Hasek that caused him to miss the rest of the regular season and postseason. That injury sticks out to me because he was on a couple of my fantasy teams that year.

Maybe one draft strategy is to target goalies and maybe even players that won't get picked for the Olympics? I decided to do some digging on this topic and found that the effect may not be as pronounced as you would think. Check out the before- and after-Olympic numbers for these 2014 Olympic starting goalies, each of which were important fantasy pieces at the time. Not only did these goalies not drop off post-Olympics, but in all cases their ratios actually got better.

<
NameCountryW-L-OT BeforeW-L-OT AfterGAA BeforeGAA AfterSV% BeforeSV% After
Carey PriceCanada26-17-58-3-02.332.28.925.932
Jonathan QuickUSA16-13-211-4-22.181.86.911.924
Tuukka RaskFinland25-13-411-2-22.111.83.928.935
Henrik LundqvistSweden22-18-311-6-2