Puck Pastor Mailbag

by Nathan Weselake on November 18, 2013



Puck Pastor opens up his mailbag and even manages to tie in 'boobs' with fantasy hockey


Spent the last week in San Pablito and Mexico City working alongside farmers and craftsmen towards the goal of raising the standard of living in their village. It’s our second time sending a team down there. I enjoyed the incredible hospitality, found much to admire, and benefitted from the automatic reordering of priorities which happens when you see poverty up close. Needless to say, I didn’t get much time to write this weeks “Puck Pastor”. So, I think I’ll address a bit of the correspondence which has come my way in the last few months via twitter, email, and comments. 


Hey, Puck Pastor! Long time listener, first time caller. Someone is offering me Dustin Penner for Jakub Voracek. I suspect he is trying to buy a Philly player low so I’m inclined to be wary; but this one is tempting because of the prime minutes Penner plays with Perry and Getzlaf. One year league with standard categories and I am a vegetarian.

-          Sleepless in Seattle


I suspect this is less tempting than it was a week ago now that Philly seems to be turning a corner. Conventional wisdom sees Voracek heating up with the rest of the Flyers and also sees Penner’s totals skewed a bit by a four-point game. If you want to play safe hang onto Voracek.


However, I think you might want to consider shopping Voracek for someone a little higher up the fantasy ladder. You might actually have an overvalued asset in Voracek. What if all the fantasy buzz about “buying low” on the Flyers has actually created a bull market for the Flyers? We are all waiting for the big breakthrough and it’s a bit like an overhyped IPO. There are managers out there imagining huge breakthrough’s coming for guys like Hartnell, Read, Simmons and even Giroux.


Case in point, I tried offering Krejci for Giroux in my one-year roto pool in a typical attempt to grab a slumping superstar where you are fooling no one. I figured I’d come out on top but it wasn’t a slam dunk by any means. Krejci’s +/- and ppp are rock solid and his goals and assists aren’t going to be that far behind Giroux even if Claude returns to his old form. Trade was rejected without explanation or counteroffer. It got me wondering if anticipation has led to overvaluation. If I had some Philly guys on my roster I’d be curious to see what I could get for them. The steals might be in the other direction. Offer Voracek for some bigger name and see what happens. Perhaps this is a way to succeed in an age when the “Scoop is Dead”; don’t buy the hype and zig when the market zags.


Hey Puck Pastor! I have to admit that I am not religious but maybe you can offer advice on how to fit Proverbs 5:19 into fantasy hockey.

-          Mojave Desert


For those unfamiliar with the Proverb it reads:


Rejoice in the wife of your youth, she is a loving deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts satisfy you always. May you always be captivated by her love.


Well, Mojave, underlying this proverb is a covenantal worldview that believes promises made and kept provide the most fertile soil for relationships. A covenant is a promise, which says, in effect, “No matter how poorly you perform I will still keep my end of the deal.” While there is alarming potential for abuse within a covenant and we need to be careful who we enter into them with, there is also tremendous upside. People in covenant are able to truly be in a relationship instead of merely auditioning for one. The safety of covenant allows for trust and intimacy because there is no back door. Anyone who shifts from a primarily commercial relationship to a covenantal one quickly realizes the higher potential for life within the covenant.


The closest thing in the hockey world is the promise of a GM that they are “committed to so and so”; usually a slow developing young prospect, a slumping veteran, or a coach. This commitment allows someone to grow without the added pressure of being one mistake away from tragedy. Ideally, the protected environment allows for talent to develop or emerge.


In fantasy hockey, I am not entirely sure what this means. I wonder if the fantasy owner might be wise to be on the lookout for places where a strong commitment has been made to a slumping player and understand that as long as that commitment remains there the potential for thriving is there too. You can think of Edmonton’s patience with Yakupov. Or maybe a better example is David Jones in Calgary. He gets decent minutes, great paycheck, and some power play time and none of it has turned into anything. But he still has potential simply because (so far) the commitment from the organization is there.


If a Jones turnaround seems unlikely, consider Olli Jokinen in what I would consider a similar situation in Winnipeg. Olli had big money, huge opportunity, and until recently, little success. Management stayed committed to him despite massive dry spells and it looks like over the last half dozen games Olli has become the player they thought he would be.


The simple takeaway (with appropriate adjustments for one year and keeper leagues) is this: if you give up on a player before an organization does you might get burned.


Dear Puck Pastor, Did you just compare Olli Jokinen to a graceful doe and vaguely imply he has man boobs?

            - G. Bettman


No, I did not.


Recently from Puck Pastor 


The Scoop is Dead Part 1 
Making Wise Decisions 
Thoughts on my fantasy hockey draft 
Capitalize on Chaos 


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