Third Degree Burns: Valuing the A-holes (NSFW)

by Dobber Sports on January 16, 2018

 

By Chris Burns – Howdy from deep in the heart of Texas! Most of you probably don’t remember me, and those of you who do need to get a life! I was one of the original writers for Dobber back in the day until real life caught up to me and I lost my focus (Dobber’s note: he was actually the first writer I added). Now, after almost eight years on hiatus, I have decided to put pen to paper and see if I still have the edge that made my early articles fun and interesting. Hopefully you will enjoy my take on fantasy hockey enough that I can be back on a semi-regular basis! Hats off to Dobber on his recent battle with cancer and his strength in handling the ensuing hurdles that came along with that diagnoses. The fact that his commitment to this website never waivered throughout his battle speaks volumes to his character and I’m proud to call him a friend. Now enough of the sentimental crap and on with the show!

 

Having been involved in Fantasy Hockey since the mid 80’s, when drafts were done in person in a basement, one nerd (usually an accountant) kept track of all the picks, and stats were updated monthly at best (using the newspaper stats), I have garnered my fair share of knowledge and had my fair share of success. However, until as recently as this year, I have let one aspect of fantasy hockey be controlled by my heart and not my head. It was time to accept that I had a problem, yet it wasn’t easy to address it, not by any means. It has taken me nearly 30 years to figure out just how costly this prejudice has been, and I’m sure many of you are guilty of it as well. The fact is, it can cost you a league title, and the problem I’m referring to is refusing to draft/acquire the guys you think are total assholes in real life hockey!

Now I’m not referring to the guys who are total pricks on the ice but are blatantly obvious fantasy producers who you need to have on your team if possible (think Corey PerryP.K. Subban, & Brad Marchand) or even guys who are just about to become one of those elite level producers/assholes that you need to own if possible (think Evander Kane & Nazem Kadri). I’m referring to the guys who are often sitting right near the waivers level and/or could probably be easily acquired by trade in your league. Guys who sneak in under the radar so to speak. Guys who people HATE yet they can add peripheral stats that could very well put you over the top. The guys that many inexperienced owners will overlook. With most of my leagues now including stats like hits, blocks, and obviously PIM’s, these guys can make the difference in roto leagues by up to 36 points (12 team league) and single handedly steal you a week in Head to Head where your offensive guys shit the bed.

 

Here is my list:

 

Antoine Roussel

Without a doubt, Roussel is one of my own personal most hated players. Everything about his game drives me nuts. From the turtling, to the constant complaining, to the incessant greasy nonsense after EVERY whistle – this guy just plain pisses me off. Up until this year, I had a personal NO ROUSSEL policy and I adhered to it. Strictly. However, if you dive deeper than the surface aggravation, you’ll find a guy who can help on several fronts. He is always in the mix for the penalty minute lead, doesn’t hurt you offensively, and gets his share of hits and blocks. He also gets his share of top 6 minutes in Dallas and has started to get back in form after some early season injuries. Not bad for a guy you can acquire on the cheap and plug in as necessary. A$$HOLE RATING 9/10    VALUE RATING 6/10

 

Timo Meier

One of the newest kids on the block in real time but looks like a veteran when it comes to playing like a prick, Meier also has some offensive talent that may or may not surface. (He actually has five goals and six points over his last eight games). He doesn’t add a lot of penalty minutes yet, but averages almost two hits per game and blocks his fair share of shots. He is also as greasy as they come when playing the aggravator role. Fun fact: Meier is Swiss, and you don’t find many European players on this list who don’t play on the blueline. I say give this kid a couple years and he could be a 40-point prick – think a poor man’s Evander KaneA$$HOLE RATING 7/10    VALUE RATING 4/10

 

Brendan Gallagher

This guy is without argument one the biggest idiots in the game today. But, he gets the damn job done which is the main reason I hate him so much. I would say that he almost belongs in the category with Kane and Kadri at this point, but injuries have slowed him the last two seasons. When healthy, he can aggravate at a Ken Linseman level, and score at a 30-goal pace. That is quite the combo and valuable as hell if you can get past the fact that just seeing his stupid face can cause an ulcer. He puts up respectable stats across the board, but is probably the most gifted offensively on this list. Put him alongside Pacioretty and you might have the best 1-2 prick punch in the NHL. A$$HOLE RATING 9/10    VALUE RATING 8/10

 

Micheal Ferland

Ferland came into the league a few years ago and looked to be nothing more than a banger and aggravator. However, he did show flashes of skill that made me take notice even back then. He is somewhat of enigma as he seems to be morphing into a gifted goal scorer and elite level power forward as I write this. That being said, his first few seasons left me with a gut feeling that he would be awful to play against. Always hitting, regardless of the score and never one to back away from delivering a border line cheap shot. His recent surge of offense has definitely been helped by playing with Gaudreau and Monahan – but he has proven he belongs up there and has taken the opportunity and ran with it. My main concern is that he moves away from the crash and bang style that got him this chance. Remember Mr. Ferland – when a crusher starts thinking he’s a rusher, he soon becomes an usher!  A$$HOLE RATING 5/10    VALUE RATING 8/10

 

David Perron

This guy goes back and forth from my hated to loved list on a monthly basis. He will go stretches where he just completely ruins my day and then string 10 games together where he scores and plays an honest, tough game. He resurgence as an offensive threat in Vegas hurts his value as an agitator, but his career trend shows he probably still has it in him to raise the prick factor a couple notches. Hell, in Edmonton a few years ago he put up 57 points with just shy of 100 PIMs – that isn’t bad in any pool format! He is most valuable when scoring AND pissing people off – so hopefully his 75 points and 75 PIM pace this season keeps up, and maybe a few misconducts sprinkled in there would really put him at the top of the PTS/PIM value list!  A$$HOLE RATING 6/10    VALUE RATING 8/10

 

Alex Burrows

Oh, how the mighty have fallen! Once one of the prized shit disturbers in the league, he has fallen on near obscurity in recent seasons. He used to put up points at a rate of .75 per game and over two penalty minutes per game. Then a few injury riddled seasons knocked him out of the conversation and he has never found his spark in Ottawa. However, when this guy was at his prick peak, he was one of the best. I would change the damn channel just to avoid seeing him pull his routine. He truly deserves a place at the top of the list of why I hated the Canucks for the last 10 years. I still have hope he could pull off one or two more seasons with decent numbers across the board, but I’m not holding my breath. I will keep an eye on him though and if he gets hot I’ll gladly add him for a few games. A$$HOLE RATING 6/10    VALUE RATING 2/10

 

Radko Gudas

Just an overall jackass and coward in my opinion, but one who has hidden value (if you can stomach it) He hits a ton, he blocks a ton, he’ll get you penalties, and even had a decent season on the score sheet last year. But have I mentioned how much of a jackass he is? Suspensions, dirty hits, visor tucked right down to his chin, AAAAARGGGHH. If you count those hit/block categories in your pool, suck it up and grab him. Otherwise, be like everyone else and count the games until someone finally puts his head thru the boards. My anxiety level is up just writing this paragraph. I might have to grab a whiskey. A$$HOLE RATING 10/10    VALUE RATING  5/10

 

Alexei Emelin

Another guy who puts up piles of blocks and hits (many of them questionable) and yet always has the “WHO ME” look on his face. Can’t stand this dink. But he adds value. Man, I hate this guy. But he adds value. And so it goes every time I see him available on waivers. Not much else to add here except I actually now have a stiff whiskey in front of me. A$$HOLE RATING 9/10    VALUE RATING  4/10

 

Leo Komarov

Rounding out the hat trick of guys that make me need whiskey and shake with frustration is this meatball from Estonia. The fact that he plays on my most hated franchise in sports doesn’t help him any. He is a decent hockey player but just always seems to do something stupid or greasy and is another one who is always pleading innocent or surprised when he gets a call against him. Regardless, he does contribute in certain stat categories, and therefore must be considered if you are serious about being competitive in every area. **sounds of ice rattling in my empty glass**   A$$HOLE RATING 9/10    VALUE RATING 5/10

 

Andrew Shaw

Shaw is another solid option for steady stat production across the board. His grit factor trended up a bit in his first full season in Montreal last year and he has cemented himself as one of the most trustworthy aggravators in the league. I’m not sure what exactly drives me crazy about this guy, but every time I watch him play he gets under my skin. Maybe its his face? He actually looks like he is possibly inbred or missing the intelligence gene. Whatever the reason, if he continues to put up 40 points and triple digit PIMs, he should find a place in anyone’s fantasy lineup.  A$$HOLE RATING 8/10    VALUE RATING  7/10

 

Josh Manson

I’m torn on this guy. He plays mean like his Dad, and that isn’t a bad thing – but he also seems to have more back stabbing and cheapness to his game – which is a recipe for owner hatred. He is a stud in the making though and I think every team in the league would love to have him. 40-point D-men who hit, fight, and have a solid plus/minus are extremely valuable – in real life and in fantasy circles. Think a poor man’s Duncan Keith here for the long term. Feared, mean, and can hurt you at both ends of the ice – and physically! Not sure if he belongs on this list or if it’s just because he plays on Anaheim (dirtiest, greasiest team in the league) that I can’t stand him. A$$HOLE RATING 8/10    VALUE RATING 8/10

And the Anaheim reference leads me into the final member of this list …

 

Ryan Kesler

Before you all start ranting – I know he belongs in the same category as Marchand & Subban, and I know that there is so much more value to his game than what can be quantified in this short paragraph. But Jesus do I hate this guy. I hate him with every fiber of my being. I hate him on a level that I would rather never win another fantasy title than ever have him on my team. So, while I wrote this entire article on the pretense that you should never blackball a guy a based on your own feelings towards him, even I have a limit and threshold that I WILL NOT cross. And that is Ryan Kesler. This guy would spear his own toddler over the last popsicle. He would cross check his Grandmother to win a game of Go Fish. He turtles, he’s cheap, he is everything that I hate about this type of player. In fact, he is such a prick that he made Chris Pronger mad enough to stomp him with his skate. Anyway – enough about Kesler. My point is that even though you should never ignore a player’s value based on personal feelings, everyone does have a limit and mine is this guy.  A$$HOLE RATING 11/10    VALUE RATING 10/10

 

That wraps up my first foray back into the Fantasy writing circle and hopefully you found it interesting and amusing. My style is always about entertainment first and expertise second. There are enough fantasy geniuses on this site already and sometimes we all need to take a step back from the competition aspect of Fantasy hockey and remember it’s a game and its supposed to be fun! Cheers until next time!

Burnsy

 

 

Chris Burns wrote the column Third Degree Burns from 2006-2007, and was the original writer of Saturday's NHL Picks (Notch vs. Burnsy) from 2006-2007

 

10 responses to “Third Degree Burns: Valuing the A-holes (NSFW)”

  1. Big Ulf says:

    Gudas isn’t even getting good hits or blocks this year. Something’s wrong.

  2. Cal Growette says:

    Hahaha great article. Can’t wait for the next one!

  3. Djoos is loose says:

    Bieksa on Anaheim is the biggest baddest asshole there is

  4. Ed Dolle says:

    Chris Burns! Love to see you back, however short.

  5. FatFrodo says:

    I laughed so hard reading this. Brilliant!

  6. BK says:

    Great Read! Welcome back Burns hope you continue to send in contributions.

  7. starz31 says:

    You get an extra bonus star for ticking off fans on twitter. Who knew that “Sedin Sisters” was so insulting…haha.
    Personally, not a fan of the premise, but I liked your intent and liked the article’s focus.

  8. leafs93 says:

    You made my lecture that much more bearable – great read.

    Couldn’t help myself when reading the Gudas bit – what a scumbag! haha

  9. He Man says:

    Hopefully you’ll be back to regular duties, this segment is 5*. Chris Burns A$$HOLE RATING: 10/10, VALUE RATING: 10/10, but I’ll have you on my team like I hope Dobber does any day.

  10. Fred Marshall says:

    Welcome back Burnsy! I think those of us that remember you are still waiting on that uncensored pic that was promised back in the day! 😀