Saturday, December 31, 2011

Mid Season Survey Results

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The Season 7 Opinion Survey is now closed and below is a rundown of the results. As you will see, the most enlightening piece of information we learn from this, is that very little needs changing according to the majority.

The first question as always is to gather general opinions on any changes we put in place this year based on last years voting. As you can see below, most everyone is happy:


The one GM who wasn't totally happy had only an issue with the number of minimum goalie games needed, wanting them to be increased.



GRIEVANCES

In the world of complaints over GM actions, there are very few who actually have complaints or see issues with any of the mentioned Grievances this year.

Grievance #1 - The Ploughman Rule

Asking whether this tactic should be banned or not, GM's said...


Grievance #2 - Draft Day Trading

Asking whether or not this should be banned, GM's said...


Grievance #3 - Tanking for Picks

Asking how GM's feel about this, they said...


We did dive much deeper into this topic in the survey however, first asking whether or not it's the tanking for picks itself being the problem. Here's what we discovered.


As you can see, two of the biggest issues within this topic are Carrying NA players and minimum player games. Fortunatly, we had questions in this survey concerning those very topics.

NA Players

Asking whether there should be a max on NA players at any given time during the season, GM's said...


When questioned what the total number should be, GM's said...


Minimum Player Games

When asked whether or not we should instate minimum player games within the league, GM's said...


And when questioned what the number of games should be, GM's said...




NEW IDEAS

Stat Categories

GM's were first asked how they felt about the number of stat categories we currently have, with below being the results:


Based on those results, it's perhaps not surprising how the results turned out regarding possibly adding two new ones, those being Take Aways and Time on Ice.



Transactions Carry Over

GM's were also asked whether we should be allowed to Carry remaining transactions over to the next year, with the following being what the responded with:




As you can see, there is really nothing to vote on at the end of they year save a couple questions regarding NA Players and Minimum player games. Other than that, all is well in Dub land. Good stuff.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Mover and Shaker - Week 12

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There will be no week in review this time around, but the mover and shaker award for week 12 is the season long bottom dweller of the league. With his 8.5 point gains this week, this newbie to the Dub pushed off all competition to take home the prize. Though he has no chance in hell of winning the league this year, he does win a free move this week, dropping from 11 used to 10.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Mover and Shaker - Week 11

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At the early stages of this season we focused on how all the past champions are doing so far this year and after week 11, we'll do the same. 3 of the past 5 (the 6th is no longer with us) are stuck in the bottom tier at the moment, all fighting for lottery positions. Greatness, Untrust and Sunnyvale Shithawks are all struggling to make anything happen this year. The most recent champs however, inTIMidators and Ploughman's Posse, are pushing hard to stay within the top ranks of the league now that they've got up there. They sit in 3rd and 4th position currently with only 5 points seperating them... though it should be noted that they are both still 30 points behind the 2 league leaders.

In moving and shaking, we have a first for the year with Porter's Penguins winning for the 2nd week in a row. His team, after struggling all year, has finally started to push his way up the ranks. After his 14 point drive this week, he now sits in 11th overall. After sitting 15th for the first 10 weeks, this drive to the top is impressive and time will tell if he can keep moving on up. He'll have one additional move to play with to make this happen, now at 2 used instead of 3.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Mover and Shaker - Week 10

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After week 10, we see a shift in the placement of teams and with it the structure of the tiers. For the first time in several weeks we have a new 3rd place team, the inTIMidators, who scuffled past Roly Snipes. What is decieving about this placement is that it's not so much about this team rising to the occasion, as it is about the teams above him sprialing downward leaving plenty of room for the two on top breathe a sigh of relief. The 2 tiers we have discussed in recent past have now split into 3 distict battles, with the only one that truly matters of course being the one between No Homers and King Flameheads who sit alone in their own top tier, 30 points ahead of 3rd place. This would be the 2nd battle. Teams 3 down to 8 are seperated by only 20 or so points creating quite the fight for 3rd overall. Teams 9 thru 16 still fight for lottery placement and have no real shot at any of the top 3 ranks at the moment. Things are still early however. The league is very unpredicable, but this is the outlook as of now.

In Moving and Shaking we have movement and shaking from more a likely candidate than last week. From the top of the league to the depths of despair, we shift focus to Porter's Penguins who gained 17.5 points this week to push himself above 100 points total for the first time since the end of the first week. It's unclear what this little push means at the moment, but the crowning of Mover and Shaker this week should add some cheer to this GM's spirits. With the crowning comes a free move dropping him from 4 used to 3.



Sunday, December 4, 2011

Mover and Shaker - Week 9

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After the first week in the third month, the two tiers we discussed last week remain intact with the only real battles taking place being in bottom tier where everyone is fighting for 9th overall. The tough realization when they get there is that they are still over 40 points below 8th. Teams are so tightly locked into their positions in the top tier that it'll be tough to take either one of them down a notch now. In respect to each other in the top 8, there was absolutley no movement in positions from last week, save the top 2. No Homers, who finished first last week, was toppled by King Flamehead. The see-saw nature of these two so far this year look to be shaping up to be an epic battle for the championship...

In  Moving and Shaking we've had something happen that we haven't in a couple years when FigJam broke a record by being the first to do so. The team that takes home the Mover and Shaker award this week finished in the top two last week and the rarity of either of the top two ranked teams winning this award is notable. King Flamehead, with his 15.5 gain this week is the noteworthy one, just edging out Sunnyvale Shithawks (a figher in the second tier) for the win. With it he gains a free move leaving him with 10 used, down from 11.

The stats:


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Mover and Shaker - Week 8

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After 2 months of play, the league has now shifted into a 2 tier league, where the potential winners of this year are becoming more defined as are the potential losers. From ranks 1 to 8 we have a point span of 203.5 down to 158, with the 8th place team being  45.5 points out of first. It's believed that any of these teams could potentially win at this point but beyond that, teams 9 to 16 look to to fighting for lottery placement. The 9th place team is 30 points out of 8th and 75 out of 1st. Below that is a free fall down to the worst team who is now 161.5 points out of first place.

In moving a shaking this week, for the 3rd straight week in a row, the 8th place team jumped to 5th with a massive gain in points and again like the other weeks, was only one of two teams who broke 10 points or more and more than doubled the other high finisher. The inTIMidators is the team that joins this odd constant we seem to be in with regards to moving and shaking, and for his 29 point gain this week he wins a free move, dropping him from 9 used to 8.

The stats including average placement over the month. Click to make bigger.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Mover and Shaker - Week 7

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This weeks review will be short and sweet and not because there is nothing to say. The league is still very active with quite notable movement, but this week we'll only declare the winner (mainly because this weeks update is late as it is).

As it was last week, one team dominated all others with a massive gain. In fact, pretty much the exact same scenario as last week happened again with another team. The 23.5 points gained this week from the winner was 10 more than the only other team to a break 10 point gain (like last week). Also, this team jumped from 8th to 5th rank over the week and this too matches the achievement from the winner last week. This goes to show that the mid tier pack is quite unpredictable at this point. For this week, the dominator was Milltown Moose and for his dominance he is the Mover and Shaker in week 7. He gains a free move dropping him from 7 used to 6.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Mover and Shaker - Week 6

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The recap this week is all about the Mover and Shaker. Sure, we can discuss the fact that last year's champion has finally made a bit of a push up the ranks this week. Yeah, we could also talk about the fact that No Homers was dethroned from number one for the first time since week three (with the only other time him not being number one being after week 1). We could definitely talk about those things but the most glaring story this week is the Mover and Shaker so let's dive in.

After week six the team who gained the most points gained 24.5 overall and was one of only two teams who gained more than 10 points over the week, with the other team only gaining 12 total. The winner this week gained 3 ranks over the past 7 days to finish in 5th overall, perhaps even elongating the first tier we talked about last week by gaining 20 points on the previous 5th place holder. The inpronoucable team of KapitänMachtElch3.0 was the stellar team this week and the massive performance in comparison to the rest is why it's today's main focus. There was no fight. This team is crowned Mover and Shaker hands down, winning a free move dropping him from 8 used to 7.

The stats. Click to make big:


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Mover and Shaker - Week 5

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We are now through one week in the 2nd month of this young season and as we look at the overall ranks so far, 3 tiers have clearly come to be. While it is believed that parity between teams is at all all team high, the fact that some teams are gunning for the championship hardcore while others are rebuilding for future years is blurring this outlook, and is perhaps the reason why we have these 3 distinct tiers.

In first tier we have 4 teams who range in points from 204.5 down to 187, less than 20 points in the difference. The 2nd tier has a 30+ point gap ranging from 154 down to 124.5 and includes a whopping 10 teams all battling hard... for 5th overall. The last tier could perhaps be split in half with the two final teams seperated greatly. The15th team only possesses 83.5 points and is 50 points out of 14th, while the 16th team has only 52.5 points and is 30+ points out out 15th. Let's hope that these final two are rebuilding teams...

In Moving and Shaking this week, the candidates come from all 3 tiers and their point gains differ by only a max of 2. The InTIMidators, Zig Zag Zambonies and Roly Snipes all gained more than 10 points this week, 11, 12 and 13 respectively. While the former two battled hard, they just didn't have enough steam to pop off Roly Snipes, who now becomes the first of this early year to win two Mover and Shaker awards. With this win his used moves drop from 9 to 8.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mover and Shaker - Week 4

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It's now a month into the 7th season of 'The Dub' and by looking at the stats over the past 4 weeks, one thing is clear: Nothing is constant, not this early anyway. Sure, we have some mid tier teams who are stuck in the middle and some bottom dwellers stuck at bottom. Yeah, no doubt there are 3 or 4 teams who have made their homes around the top eschelons of the league but still, nothing is constant. Ask Untrust if you want proof of this. This is a team who gained 50+ points last week only to lose nearly all of it the following week. Then again, he did lose 40+ points in the 2nd week as well. Perhaps the massive ups and downs is this teams constant. We'll see.

In Moving and Shaking over the past month, no one team won more than once; another indication of the sea saw nature of the league so far (as it always is in early goings). In the 4th week we have Flames who edged out Roly Snipe's drive for his 2nd win of the young season. The Flames 27 points over the week placed him in 2nd overall in the league, making him the first Mover and Shaker of the year to win and not be in first place. His win this week gains him a free move dropping him from 3 used to 2.

The stats, including Average Rank over the past month (click to make big):


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Mover and Shaker - Week 3

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It's been said for a while that these weekly updates write themselves. The stories come from the stats that are presented, and the story this week does follow nicely on the tails of the last update. Tracking teams progression throughout the year is what Moving and Shaking is all about after all. If you tuned in 7 days ago you would have discovered how all the champions of old were struggling so far this season. As it turns out, one of those GM's either took notice of his position and made the right moves, or just was provided enough game opportunities to compete, but either way he has opened eyes with his movement and is the focus of this weeks story.

Untrust gained 51.5 points over week 3 and with that, leap frogged 8 other teams to grab hold of 1st overall. It's a wonderful feat after being called out, especially considering only 2 other past champions rose to the challenge, and these with only minute gains in comparison. With that all being said it perhaps needs no announcement, but it will be declared none the less; Untrust is the Mover and Shaker of week 3, winning a free move. He now has used 4, down from 5.

The stats:


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Mover and Shaker - Week 2

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After week 2 of the season the focus is now turned towards the teams which can boast being on the WTHL Cup as a champion. As it stands now, most every one of those teams are not sitting in pretty places. Even the GM who envisioned his 'Reign of Terror' to the bitter end last season sits in 5th at the moment, down 3 ranks and 10 points from last week. The Ravishing Rick Rude of hockey and champion from the season before, The inTIMidations, sits it 12th position and the nearly always dominating Greatness team, champion in the season prior to him, is at 13th. All the great teams of old seem to be having a hard go of it so far this season. The champion of the 3rd year and hopeful for this season Untrust, dropped 6 ranks and 31 points to sit at 9th and the winner of the inagural season doesn't even have a team. It should be noted however that the new owner of this team sits in last place... by a long shot.

The only bright spot when talking of previous champs of this league comes with Sunnyvale Shithawks, the 2nd year champion (under the name Ultimate Bohabs). This team over the week gained 33.5 points and rose 6 positions to sit in 4th place, and this after holding 1st for a while during the week.

In moving and shaking this week however, the story is not about past champions, even with the massive gain from the Shithawks. The winner this week gained a total of 41 points, rising from 10th overall to 1st in the league. The winner this week is not a past champion, no, but it's very clear that a push is on to be a future one. No Homer's incredible drive to number 1 this week gives him the distinction of being the Mover and Shaker and with it gains a free move, dropping him from 1 used to 0.

The stats below , click to make big.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Mover and Shaker - Week 1

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The 2011-2012 season is now 3 days old and with the end of the short week now passed, today marks the start of the weekly mover and shaker awards. As it always has been, the first award is based on the end of last years stats and serve us mainly as a starting point for the year. It's clear to all that not much can be fortold in the early days but, this first award does paint a picture of where things may go as time pushes on.

The clearest picture at this point is the difference a GM can make. The 7th season of 'The Dub' features two newbies into the fold who have both bought failing teams. One of these GM's has already made quite a splash in first few days by not only improving the placement of the failed team, but by doing so in massive fashion. GM Keith bought the ever struggling TeamSniperElite and it's obvious today that he didn't just change the name to Roly Snipes. He also made some incredible improvements to said team. After finishing last place (by a long shot) at the end of last year, in the first 3 days he's gained a whopping 137.5 points (which by the way smashes the record for these point gains). This massive point gain in the first few days should surely open some eyes and if that doesn't, the jump from last place to first overall definitely will. With this incredible achievement over the first few days, it's very easy to declare this newbie the Mover and Shaker for week one, and with that win comes one free move dropping him from 4 moves used to 3.

Stats below. Click to make big:


Thursday, October 6, 2011

It Begins

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Get your skies shined up folks and grab a stick of Juicy Fruit , the 2011-2012 season is about to begin! Today marks the first day of regular season games in the NHL and of course 'The Dub' with it.

Before we get started, the league would like to once again thank Insider Tim for his incredible contributions to the league thus far. The team pre and post draft reviews were well thought out and presented brilliantly. Thank you Insider! We look forward to any contributions you wish to share throughout the year.

And now... It begins.

Puck Drop 2011: Team Review Epilogue

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Hope you folks enjoyed reading the breakdown on each team in the WTHL. It was a giggle as I killed time at work. Value is all pretty subjective in the fantasy world and if history tells us anything, there are varied opinions up and down the list of GM's in this league.

Just a reminder that grades were concocted on teams before they made any moves after the draft. Someone asked if I'd do a prediction on final standings but I'm not going to bother, as everything could be turned on its head by Christmas. There's just no guessing what's going on in a GM's head, or what'll happen in the NHL.

I got a day off tomorrow and a few Rickards chilling for tonights games and tomorrow afternoon's NHL Premiere in Finland. Tonights weather in Sin Jahn's is perfect for flaking out with the game and hoping that somehow, someway both Toronto and Montreal lose tonight.

I'll make a scattered post over the season, but for now everything is back in the Commishitheads hands. Thanks for reading and I hope your teams all get the clap.

T

Saturday, October 1, 2011

In One Week

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In one week it will be the first Saturday of NHL hockey, a day we will all likely be deciding on who to play and who to sit on a jam packed night.

In one week and one day we will be awarding the first mover and shaker award, based on the end of last season and on the games from Thursday to Saturday. It will tell little of how this season will unfold, but tell everything about how each team starts out of the gates. As the dust settles and the teams fall into starting ranks for this year, as apposed to final ranks of last year, we'll get a good indication of who'll be battling to rise and who'll be fighting to stay in place.

In one week minus two days, the season begins. Get your laces tied lads...

Thursday, September 29, 2011

WTHL Team Review: King Flameheads

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We wrap up the team reviews with a look at the comissioners entry, the Flameheads. Here's who he kept:

1. Drew Doughty
2. Anze Kopitar
3. Mike Richards
4. Jon Quick
5. Dan Boyle
6. Lubomir Visnovsky
7. Dustin Brown
8. Jonathan Bernier

California knows how to party. I s'pose, anyway. Featuring the best of the LA Kings, which isn't as bad an idea as it might have been in years previous. Watch out if LA goes on a cold streak, as the Flameheads will as well. He may want to diversify his team via the draft to ensure their fortunes aren't too closely tied together... but great start, especially on defense.

Keeper Grade: B+

Harris was in need of help on the wing, but really just needed to nab pieces of the puzzle to build a champion. Here's his draft:

10. Alexandre Burrows
24. Patrik Elias
27. Teddy Purcell
43. Matt Moulson
72. Drew Stafford
99. Olli Jokinen
115. Darren Helm
121. Johnny Boychuk
127. Blake Comeau
131. Dan Hamhuis
133. Scott Gomez
137. Linus Omark
143. Toni Lydman
153. Lauri Kopikoski
194. Brian Boucher

Complimentary wingers and role players achieved. I like this draft a lot, a good spattering of youth and dependability. No big steals, no huge issues leap out, and selections were made at forecasted rounds.

Draft Grade: B-

So we have a solid, dependable roster with growth possibilities for the future. There's not a lot of pop to make one think the Flameheads will make leaps and bounds up the standings, but the assets are there if things don't go as Flameheads hope with this squad.

Team Grade: B-

Six trades, four free agents and one waiver claim later, here's the depth chart. Is there more pop here now as to before those moves were made?

Ovechkin - Kopitar - Heatley
Brown - Richards - Stafford
Comeau - Jokinen - Purcell
Saad - Little - Brouwer

Connolly

Doughty - Visnovsky
Boyle - Lydman
Giordano - Hamhuis

Blum

Quick
Bernier
Boucher

WTHL Team Review: The inTIMidators

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We close the team reviews on the NHL's opening day with two teams that finished in the middle of the pack last season. The inTIMidators started a rebuild in mid-season, and hopefully the author can be objective in his review. Here's who he kept:

1. Steven Stamkos
2. Matt Duchene
3. Jordan Eberle
4. Thomas Vanek
5. Michael Grabner
6. Alexander Edler
7. Michal Neuvirth
8. Tyler Myers

Heavy on youth and a great contract situation. With little help available in the draft for goaltending, depending on Neuvirth is really flying without a parachute. Also, an over-abundance of youth could spell trouble if two or three of these studs regress or fail to take the next step in their development.

Keeper grade: B-

Going into the draft, the inTIMidators needed dependable scoring, some grit and goaltending. Here's what went on:

5. Derek Roy
25. Tuomo Ruutu
26. Cory Schneider
32. Dennis Wideman
42. Ville Leino
74. Ales Hemsky
90. Clarke MacArthur
106. Dennis Seidenberg
122. Jhonas Enroth
134. Michael Frolik
138. Tomas Fleischmann
154. Theo Peckham
160. Mathieu Garon
218. Trevor Daley
234. Cody Hodgson

So this team wound up with great depth and a few choice sleeper picks, but the goaltending is still suspect, despite the blue-chip prospects sported between the pipes. One also has to consider the health of Hemsky, and Fleischmann's ragged lungs. Still, a great draft when all is considered.

Draft Grade: B

The inTIMidators has most of the bases covered. Some dependable goaltending would've went a long way into making this team a contender, but with back-ups from four good teams and good assets up front, there's wriggle room to move up the standings.

Team Grade: B-

Here's the depth chart, no moves since the draft. Leino is naturally a centre, which may be corrected by Yahoo! at some point.

Vanek - Stamkos - Hemsky
Ruutu - Duchene - Grabner
MacArthur - Roy - Eberle
Fleischmann - Leino - Frolik

Hodgson

Myers - Wideman
Edler - Seidenberg
Daley - Peckham

Neuvirth
Schneider

Enroth
Garon

WTHL Team Review: Untrust

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Now it's time to closely inspect bumcrust. Eeewwwww! I mean Untrust. What we can trust in, is a loaded roster. Here's the keepers:

1. Mike Green
2. Martin St. Louis
3. Duncan Keith
4. Ryan Miller
5. Tomas Vokoun
6. Bobby Ryan
7. Corey Perry
8. Nicklas Backstrom

Hachi Machi! Let's move right along, shall we? Nothing to break down here.

Keeper Grade: A+

Untrust is merely looking to compliment the big guns in the draft, starting at centre. Here's how it went:

19. Evgeni Nabokov
35. Nikolai Kulemin
51. Joe Corvo
53. Milan Hejduk
67. Victor Hedman
83. Johan Hedberg
99. Jason Demers
115. Ryan Smyth
131. Frans Nielsen
147. Eric Belanger
163. Manny Malholtra
179. Matt Cooke
195. David Clarkson
211. Kyle Brodziak
227. Braydon Coburn

Leading off with Nabokov is suspect, but could pay huge dividends if he gets a trade like most parties are hoping, or if he does indeed stay and settle into the starting job. There were only a few decent options available in goal anyway. There are a few steals here with Smyth, Hejduk, and maybe even Nielsen if he continues the upward trajectory he's on. Things start to fall apart a bit in later rounds, but there's still lots of sandpaper to go around.

Draft Grade: B-

The situation at centre never really got addressed in the draft, so there's a glaring hole in the middle of this team. Other than that, all categories are covered and Untrust should be near the top of the heap.

Team Grade: A-

Here's the depth chart after three trades, two waiver claims and a free agent. Does this altered line-up look better or worse?

Ryan - Backstrom - Perry
Nash - Carter - St. Louis
Kulemin - Belanger - Hejduk
Versteeg - Malholtra - Brodziak

Martin

Keith - Green
Ehrhoff - Schenn
Corvo - Kulikov

Miller
Vokoun
Nabokov
Dipietro

WTHL Team Review: KapitänMachtElch3.0

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Let's have a look at whatever name this team is called today. Here's the keepers:

1. Daniel Sedin
2. Henrik Sedin
3. Henrik Lundqvist
4. Marian Gaborik
5. Kari Lehtonen
6. Ryan Callahan
7. Patrick Hornqvist
8. Ryan Suter

Looks good, but things start to thin out near the bottom. Callahan is a great role player, Hornqvist is a natural goal scorer and Suter's key in Nashville, but really? Yes really. Joe has some gaps in his draft order, so these slots are all well-occupied.

Keeper Grade: A-

Looks like Joe took a look at the pool of available players and made a plan. He'll be after defensemen first.

11. Brent Seabrook
44. Travis Hamonic
48. Jamie McBain
50. Anton Babchuk
60. Zenon Konopka
114. Brian Boyle
146. Peter Mueller
162. Brandon Sutter
164. Carlo Colaiacovo
166. Andrew Cogliano
175. Bryan Bickell
182. Michal Handzus
198. Andrew Raycroft
214. Martin Biron
230. Nate Thompson

...and went after defensemen he did, with his first four picks. I'm not sure how sound that plan was, he still doesn't have what I'd call an elite d-man on his squad. Afterwards he filled out his roster with role-players rather than proven scorers. Mueller could be the steal of the draft, there was no news regarding his recovery, then a week post-draft the newswire was full of positivity for the Colorado forward.

Draft Grade: C+

Looking at the line-up on CaptainChristmasPowerRangerMoose, there's a huge drop off from the top line to the second. This team would be a bitch to play against in the NHL, but will it pop the twine enough to rattle foes in the WTHL?

Team Grade: B-

Depth Chart time! No changes since draft day.

Sedin - Sedin - Gaborik
Mueller - Boyle - Hornqvist
Bickell - Handzus - Callahan
Cogliano - Konopka - Sutter

Thompson

Seabrook - Suter
Hamonic - McBain
Babchuk - Colaiacovo

Lundqvist
Lehtonen
Biron
Raycroft

WTHL Team Review: Sunnyvale Shithawks

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Now let's grab some jalapeno chips and head down to Sunnyvale to see how the Shithawks are doing. Here's the keepers:

1. Mikka Kiprusoff
2. Ilya Bryzgalov
3. Shea Weber
4. Alex Pietrangelo
5. Dion Phaneuf
6. Chris Stewart
7. John Tavares
8. Jeff Skinner

Some key, youthful players and dependable goaltending. There are some who feel Tavares will top out as a 65-70 pt player, and Skinner will be a greater focus of opposing coaches this season, but all in all no fault here other than a light load at forward when Pietrangelo or Phaneuf might've been available in the draft.

Keeper Grade: B+

Going into the draft, the Shithawks needed forwards right away. Here's what happened:

7. Jay Bouwmeester
21. Alex Tanguay
23. Kevin Shattenkirk
39. Bryan Little
55. Devin Setoguchi
70. Kyle Turris
71. Valtteri Filppula
103. Nikita Filatov
119. Kyle Okposo
151. David Rundblad
167. Adam Larsson
183. Mikael Backlund
199. Colin Wilson
215. Ray Emery
231. Scottie Upshall

This draft started in the wrong direction and kept getting worse. Little, Okposo at 119 and a freshly-signed Emery are the bright spots, but starting out with Bouwmeester when top-line forwards were still available is a head-scratcher. Turris is still holding out,m and may be for awhile.

Draft Grade: C-

Sunnyvale is carrying some good chips for wheeling and dealing, which he'll have to in order to build a competitive team. If the kids on his roster all start paying off at the same time, all bets are off.

Team Grade: C+

We're gonna have to push some forwards into the LW position for the depth chart, as Sunnyvale is only carrying two natural left wingers. No moves since the draft.

Tanguay - Skinner - Stewart
Filatov - Tavares - Okposo
Setoguchi - Filppula - Little
Wilson - Backlund - Upshall

Turris

Weber - Pietrangelo
Phaneuf - Shattenkirk
Bouwmeester - Larsson

Rundblad

Bryzgalov
Kiprusoff

Emery

WTHL Team Review: No Homers!

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Let's turn to a unique case in the WTHL this year, No Homers! Here's who he kept:

1. Ryan Kesler
2. Phil Kessel
3. Ilya Kovalchuk
4. Jamie Benn
5. Dustin Byfuglien
6. Keith Yandle
7. Pekka Rinne
8. Jonas Hiller

Solid but not mind blowing for the following reasons: Kesler's injury, Kessel's fading from relevance, Kovalchuk needs to rebound, Whether or not Benn has plateaued, Byfugliens conditioning, whether or not Yandle will be coming back down to earth. Still, these are all players anyone would be holding onto, and team contract status is grand.

Keeper Grade: B

Going into the draft, No Homers needed centres badly, since Kesler was the only centre kept and great all-around player he is, he's not on the top line on Vancouver. Check this out:

3. Paul Stastny
6. Tobias Enstrom
12. Mike Ribeiro
16. James Wisniewski
22. Teemu Selanne
30. Steve Ott
31. Cal Clutterbuck
47. Antoine Vermette
58. Patrik Berglund
62. Kimmo Timonen
64. Anders Lindback
86. Brian Gionta
87. Dan Girardi
95. Brent Johnson
96. Jussi Jokinen

Yep, all picks were in the top 100 of 240 eligible picks. Scary stuff. I'm not even going to bother to break this down, it's so depressing.

Draft Grade: A+

Post draft, No Homers! features blanket coverage of all stats and is spoiled for choice for keepers entering later seasons. There could be some chinks in the armour as the season wears on insofar as dependability and durability are concerned, but the depth here is unreal.

Team Grade: A

The depth chart, after two trades:

Kovalchuk - Kesler - Selanne
Marleau - Stastny - Semin
Benn - Berglund - Kessel
Jokinen - Vermette - Clutterbuck

Ott

Yandle - Enstrom
Wisniewski - Byfuglien
Timonen - Girardi

Rinne
Hiller
Johnson
Lindback

WTHL Team Review: Caribous

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The Caribous have been stuck in the bottom of the standings in the past few seasons. Let's see who they kept to try and change their fortunes this year:

1. Pavel Datsyuk
2. Henrik Zetterberg
3. Jimmy Howard
4. Jack Johnson
5. Christian Ehrhoff
6. Shane Doan
7. Andrew Ladd
8. Dwayne Roloson

Great start. Can't find any fault here at all other than the amount of starts Roloson will finish with, and whether or not Ladd has plateaued or has more to show.

Keeper Grade: A

Going into the draft the 'bous needed to keep an eye on toughness and flesh out the roster. He could've almost went on cruise control. Here's who he picked up:

20. Mikhail Grabovski
36. Niklas Kronwall
52. Andy McDonald
79. Alex Steen
84. Roman Hamrlik
112. Matt D'agostini
116. Jarret Stoll
125. Todd Bertuzzi
132. Jordan Leopold
144. Mike Knuble
148. Andrei Kostitsyn
150. Bryan McCabe
180. Saku Koivu
203. Marty Reasoner
228. Andrew MacDonald

Outstanding. Going for established stars over youth should work well here. Almost too heavily leaning on familiar names, as McCabe has yet to sign anywhere and some of these guys may be entering their autumn years. Those youngsters on the Blues were a nifty grab. No goaltending support? Risky play, though Tampa and Detroit should keep the wins coming.

Draft Grade: B

I'm not going to bother to double-check, but I think the Caribous sport the most 20 goal scorers of 2010/2011. Counter to that, there's no knuckle-dragger on this roster, which abandons one stat category. If the points come, maybe that wont matter.

Team Grade: B+

Here's the depth chart, with one trade occuring since draft day:

Zetterberg - Datsyuk - Doan
Ladd - Grabovski - Bertuzzi
Steen - McDonald - D'agostini
Kostitsyn - Stoll - Knuble

Koivu
Reasoner

Johnson - Kronwall
Hamrlik - Leopold
Demers - MacDonald

McCabe

Roloson
Howard

WTHL Team Review: The Killbot Factory

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What's coming off the assembly line at the Killbot factory this season? Here are the keepers:

1. Joe Thornton
2. David Krejci
3. Milan Lucic
4. Brent Burns
5. Brad Marchand
6. Niklas Backstrom
7. Antti Niemi
8. Steve Downie

A balanced attack. We have a few instances where the hope is for developing youth continues their upward trajectory, and an excellent goaltending tandem, especially since Niemi has proven to be the real deal after earning the #1 job in San Jose. More established production at forward would've been nice, but a good start drawn from good teams.

Keeper Grade: B

Going into the draft we're looking for reliable, 1st line wingers to balance out the roster. Here's how the draft went:

28. Ryan Whitney
37. Jason Pominville
76. Brad Boyes
92. PA Parenteau
107. Chris Kunitz
108. Marc Staal
124. Rich Peverley
140. Steve Montador
156. Artem Anisimov
172. Andrej Sekera
187. Michael Ryder
188. Antero Niittymaki
204. Steve Sullivan
220. Jason Arnott
236. Marco Sturm

Killbot Factory had a few gaps in early rounds which could've hurt their chances, but dependable talent slid down the ranks and was snapped up here. The later in this draft we go, the more question marks arise as to what can be expected, but for the most part the players selected here are sound investments. Parenteau could be the biggest misstep here, as the forward situation on Long Island is getting a bit crowded.

Draft Grade: B-

This roster is heavy with role-players on good teams, so there may be instances where limited ice time may hold back The Killbot Factory in the standings. A lot of dice being rolled and hopes to be fulfilled. We could easily see a big payoff, but a little sugar from Lady Luck will be needed.

Team Grade: B-

Here's the depth chart, after a trade and free agent aquisition

Lucic - Thornton - Iginla
Kunitz - Krejci - Boyes
Wolski - Marchand - Ryder
Sturm - Anisimov - Parenteau

Peverly

Whitney - Burns
Montador - Sekera
Staal

Backstrom
Anderson
Khabibulin
Niittymaki

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

WTHL Team Review: Milltown Moose

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Let's drop down to Milltown to check on the Moose. Is this team gonna clutter up the highway this year, or hide in the gulch during hunting season? Here's who was kept:

1. Evgeni Malkin
2. Jarome Iginla
3. Ryane Clowe
4. Carey Price
5. Corey Crawford
6. Craig Anderson
7. Mikko Koivu
8. Tomas Plekanec

Deep in goal, top line forwards and decent contract status. Like a few other GM's, one has to believe that Milltown took a look at what was available in this draft and chose his keepers accordingly. Malkin has to make a comeback and Ottawa has to rally around Anderson to meet high expectations here.

Keeper Grade: A-

Going into the draft we're looking for defensemen and wingers. Here's what Milltown Moose pulled outta the hat:

18. Brandon Dubinsky
34. Brooks Laich
59. Joni Pitkanen
66. John-Michael Liles
82. Kevin Bieksa
91. Max Pacioretty
98. Cody Franson
130. Blake Wheeler
171. Paul Gaustad
178. Danny Cleary
194. Peter Budaj
210. Mike Santorelli
224. Benoit Pouliot
226. Milan Michalek
235. Lars Eller

See a pattern? Good choices throughout and Dubinsky is a dandy, but Milltown was playing catch-up to flesh out other positions for the rest of the draft, thanks to a gap in the first few rounds from trading picks. Regardless of that he had a fine result, but his roster could've been monsterous if he didn't have 5 picks in the bottom 50.

Draft Grade: C

A look at this team and one has to think that some of these players must be on a short leash for results. The bottom six forwards and defense don't truly compliment the top line talent. This field needs some tilling.

Team Grade: B-

Three trades and two free agents later, here's the depth chart:

Clowe - Richards - Pominville
Laich - Koivu - Wheeler
Dubinsky - Plekanec - Cleary
Pacioretty - Gaustad - Samuelsson

Michalek
Sullivan

Liles - Bieksa
Pitkanen - McQuaid
Franson

Price
Niemi
Crawford
Greiss

Sunday, September 25, 2011

WTHL Team Review: Flames

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Welcome back to the WTHL Team Review series. Let's peer into the Flames and see how they're looking coming into this season:

1. Ryan Getzlaf
2. Vincent Lecavalier
3. Loui Eriksson
4. Johan Franzen
5. Mike Cammalleri
6. Alex Goligoski
7. Marc-Andre Fleury
8. Cam Ward


An excellent foundation that's almost tailor-made for what's available in this years draft. One issue aside from the majority of contracts here being set to expire is the hope that Cammalleri and to a lesser extent Franzen bounce back from middling performances last year. An eye is to be kept on Eriksson as well, who stands to miss Brad Richards the most in Dallas. All of these are mild concerns.

Keeper Grade: B+

Flames had a good selection order in the draft and only needed to compliment his existing keepers without a strong need at any one position except at defense, which was available in quantity. Here's how he did:
13. Tyler Ennis
29. Jordan Staal
45. Erik Johnson
46. Stephen Weiss
61. Justin Williams
68. Stephane Robidas
93. Gabriel Landeskog
109. Jonathon Ericsson
141. Zach Bogosian
157. Brandon Prust
173. Jiri Hudler
176. Ryan Johansen
189. Dan Ellis
205. Brooks Orpik
221. Martin Hanzal

An eye to youth, with proper attention paid to complimentary scoring and toughness. There may be one or two selections where the hopes for instant impact or a return-to-form are apparent, but a plan is obviously in place here.

Draft Grade: B

This team is well balanced and has every category covered. The only real qualm is depth scoring, but when it comes to fantasy scoring, Flames is going to be among the top of the standings with this roster.

Team Grade: B

Here's the depth chart, no transactions since draft day

Cammalleri - Getzlaf - Eriksson
Ennis - Lecavalier - Franzen
Staal - Weiss - Williams
Prust - Hanzal - Hudler

Landeskog
Johansen

Goligoski - Robidas
Johnson - Bogosian
Orpik - Ericsson

Fleury
Ward

Ellis

Less than 2 Weeks

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The incredible posts from WTHL's first insider as of late has certainly helped pass the time as we all anxiously wait for the season to begin. Hopefully the reports on the remaining teams will equally help the next week and a half fly by. Another big thank you out to Insider Tim for the work in this. Great stuff!

We're down to only 12 days to go folks, and exactly 2 weeks until the first Mover and Shaker award is given out. Giddy up I say. Giddy up.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

WTHL Team Review: Zig Zag Zambonies

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Let's welcome aboard the newest GM to the WTHL with a breakdown of what's expected this coming year. Keepers coming into this season are:

1. Mark Streit
2. Dany Heatley
3. Brayden Schenn
4. Luke Schenn
5. James van Riemsdyk
6. James Reimer
7. Ondrej Pavelec
8. Dustin Penner

Not a lot to get excited about here, for this season at least. ZZZambonis swung a deal to get two starting goalies which was great since he had nothing going on at that position, and he also sold off some current stars for some depth. Some youth and mid-tier scoring, but a lot of patching to do in the draft.

Keeper Grade: C
Going into the draft Zig Zag needed to sneak in some top-line talent as soon as possible if he wanted to compete this year. He inherited a patch-work team so an eye on the future was to be expected. Here's his draft:

9. Martin Havlat
41. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
57. Ty Conklin
73. Ian White
89. Scott Clemmensen
105. Jonathon Huberdeau
121. Tomas Kopecky
137. Mikael Samuelsson
153. Michael Del Zotto
169. Sean Bergenheim
185. Nino Neiderreiter
186. Alex Burmistrov
201. Matthew Lombardi
217. Eric Gudbranson
233. Nazem Kadri

Zig Zag Zambonies went balls-in on prospects and didn't achieve a whole lot in creating a competitive roster. Which is a sound philosophy for the coming seasons, but there could've been some established players added here to save this season.

Draft Grade: D
It's still not guaranteed, but Nugent-Hopkins is looking to make the Oilers roster this season and his status will make the biggest impact on ZZZ's fortunes. For the most part, this GM is watching and waiting to see who will break out and earn a spot on next years squad. ZZZ was left with a lot of work to do on his team, and thus far has made some good headway.

Team Grade: D+


Here's the depth chart, three trades and a free agent addition later:

van Riemsdyk - Nugent-Hopkins - Havlat
Penner - Schenn - Samuelsson
Kopecky - Kadri - Niederreiter
Bergenheim - Buristrov - Ward

Huberdeau
Lindstrom

White - Schenn
Ellis - Del Zotto
Gudbranson

Reimer
Pavelec
Clemmensen
Conklin

WTHL Team Review: FIGJAM

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Let's take a look at a team that made a push for top spot last year with FIGJAM. Here's who was kept:

1. Semyon Varlamov
2. Logan Couture
3. Claude Giroux
4. Kris Letang
5. John Carlson
6. David Backes
7. Jeff Carter
8. Scott Hartnell

Contract status is looking great for now and next year, and even coverage on stat categories. A heavy emphasis on youth, with only the injury prone Varlamov and Carter's acclimation to Columbus being mild concerns.

Keeper Grade: A-
Heading into the draft FIGJAM only needed to maintain some complimentary scoring and to shore up the goaltending. Here's what he managed:

14. Mark Giordano
69. Al Montoya
77. Erik Cole
78. Sergei Bobrovsky
85. Tim Connolly
94. Jakub Voracek
110. Dmitry Kulikov
126. Derek Stepan
142. Jonas Gustavsson
158. Marcus Johansson
174. Jacob Josefson
190. Anthony Stewart
206. Tyler Kennedy
222. Ron Hainsey
238. Greg Zanon

The emphasis on youth and prospects continued into Figgy's draft. Expectations are heavy for big payoffs with such a heavy investment in the future, and one has to wonder if FIGJAM is leaning too heavy on the crystal ball, so to speak. The lack of dependable players with proven production and depth on defense are the things to look out for here.

Draft Grade: B
FIGJAM has just about all stat categories well covered and is built to contend for some time to come. There is some weakness at defense and left wing that could drag down the team as this season goes on. With minor tweaking or if some of these youngsters have a break out year, FIGJAM will be in the thick of the battle for the championship.

Team Grade: B

Here's the depth chart after two trades and a waiver pick-up.

Smyth - Giroux - Backes
Hartnell - Couture - Voracek
Kennedy - Connolly - Cole
Korpikoski - Nielsen - Stewart

Stepan
Johansson
Josefson

Letang - Carlson
Hainsey - Ekman-Larsson

Varlamov
Bobrovsky
Montoya
Gustavsson

Friday, September 23, 2011

WTHL Team Review: Porters Penguins

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Next on the examination table is Porters Penguins. This team didn't fare to well last season, let's see who's returning to make a go of it this year:

1. Zach Parise
2. Maria Hossa
3. Andrei Markov
4. Niklas Lidstrom
5. Steve Mason
6. James Neal
7. Patrick Sharp
8. Jaroslav Halak

A decent cluster of talent, but a few concerns are apparent. Porters Pens are counting on a few players to bounce back from injury and a few players here are forecasted to have middling performances this year. A ransom was paid to rescue Porters prospects between the pipes.

Keeper Grade: C+

The key components Porter needed going into the draft were centers, which was going to be a tall order with the picks he had available.


40. Dave Bolland
80. Mike Fisher
88. Martin Erat
102. Radim Vrbata
104. Mason Raymond
118. Tyler Bozak
120. Viktor Stalberg
128. Andrej Meszaros
136. Brett Clark
152. Fedor Tyutin
168. Sergei Kostitsyn
184. Paul Martin
200. David Legwand
216. Lee Stempniak
232. Niclas Bergfors

Porter just couldn't plug the holes needed with only three picks in the top six rounds. Also, the Pens went to the well for forwards heavily in Nashville, which is a harsh team to draw from considering the coaching style of Barry Trotz.

Draft Grade: C-

There are some complimentary pieces of the puzzle here but a lack of first line talent, capable goaltending on mediocre teams, and a weak pipeline for the future leads me to believe the Penguins wont be contending without some moves or some serious overachieving from his bottom six forwards.

Team Grade: C


Depth Chart - No transactions since draft day.

Parise - Sharp - Hossa
Neal - Fisher - Erat
Kostitsyn - Legwand - Vrbata
Raymond - Bolland - Stempniak

Bozak
Stalberg
Bergfors

Lidstrom - Meszaros
Markov - Clark
Tyutin - Martin

Halak
Mason

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

WTHL Team Review: Greatness

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Welcome back to the WTHL team review as we examine Greatness, one of the more active GM's who enjoys working the trade lines. Stacked with talent, Greatness was the closest team to challenging for the championship last year. Here's who he kept:

1. Sidney Crosby
2. Alex Ovechkin
3. Roberto Luongo
4. Jonathan Toews
5. Rick Nash
6. Martin Brodeur
7. Patrick Marleau
8. Alexander Semin

Yikes. This is a 16 team league, isn't it? The only issues Greatness has going on here is his contract status, all these players are free agents at the end of this season. No defensemen kept, but plenty of help available in this years draft for that position. Crosby's status is still murky, but no one in their right mind would put Sid back in the draft pool.

Keeper Grade: A

Greatness went into the draft needing defensemen and complimentary fantasy scoring which should've been a snap, even with some big gaps between picks after heavy trading. Let's have a look:

4. PK Subban
15. Jose Theodore
63. Derick Brassard
75. Rene Bourque
111. Sergei Gonchar
127. Simon Gagne
143. Troy Brouwer
158. Matt Carle
191. Nik Antropov
197. Kris Versteeg
207. JS Giguere
213. Kurtis Foster
223. Tomas Holmstrom
229. Ed Jovonovski
239. Sam Gagner

It looks as if we have some insurance picks at centre and in goal taking precedence over a real fleshing out of the roster. Greatness did manage to put off some sleeper defensemen such as Carle and a hopefully-returning-to-form Gonchar until mid-rounds, but this teams flank could be exposed as the season progresses.

Draft Grade: C

Greatness, like Ploughmans Posse, leaned heavily on the future to make a push for the big win in 2010/2011. Greatness has been one of the more consistent teams in the WTHL and will work the phones again I'm certain. If his plans fall into place he'll be back fighting for top spot. If not, there's work to be done here.

Team Grade: B

Here's the depth chart after a whopping five trades and a waiver pick up. No flies on Jimmy! Did he cash in this year for next year already? Time shall tell.

Hall - Crosby - Gionta
Burrows - Ribeiro - Bourque
Gagne - Brassard - Brouwer
Holmstrom - Antropov - Langenbrunner
Gagner

Subban - Gonchar
Carle - Hedman
Jovocop

Luongo
Brodeur
Theodore
Giguere
Hedberg

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

WTHL Team Review - Roly Snipes

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From the top let’s head to the bottom and the Roly Snipes. This team is under new ownership after a dismal last place finish this past April, but things are looking up. Check out these keepers:

1. Patrick Kane
2. Brad Richards
3. Jason Spezza
4. Chris Pronger
5. Tomas Kaberle
6. Taylor Hall
7. Daniel Alfredsson
8. Tyler Seguin

Not bad, not good either. There are some players being monitored for bad wrists and Tyler Seguin may be another season away from making the leap to stardom, but burning a contract year on him while he’s on a deep Bruins roster is still a sound decision. No goalies kept which is rough, this draft in particular.

Keeper Grade: C

Roly Snipes was in dire need of some hard hitters and most of all, goaltending heading into the draft. Half of his keepers are in their final year of their WTHL contract and the rebuild continues in earnest. Here’s how his draft turned out:

17. Jaromir Jagr
33. Devan Dubnyk
38. Mike Smith
49. Evander Kane
54. Travis Zajac
65. Brian Campbell
81. David Booth
97. Nikolai Khabibulin
113. Sheldon Souray
161. Nathan Gerbe
177. Ryan Malone
193. Ray Whitney
209. Jason Labarbera
225. Pierre-Marc Bouchard
240. Andy Greene

Roly’s draft went pretty well. One negative would include sporting the goaltending tandem of Phoenix and Edmonton respectively; no worries about activity and they’re as good as what was available this draft, but not the greatest teams to roll with. Also the impact of Souray and Jagr are a question mark. Otherwise Roly Snipes has an investment in youth sprinkled among dependable players and a sound gamble on comeback performances from Zajac (who wont be available for a month or two after Achilles surgery) and Campbell, who’ll be back as top gun in Florida after being stuck behind Keith and Seabrook in Chicago.

Draft Grade: B

I’d consider the rebuild almost over and Roly Snipes is an improved team. Still, weaknesses in goal and in a few skaters stat categories remain apparent. It was surprising actually, old warhorses were taken in hopes of competing this season where grabbing prospects may have served the roster better down the road.

Team Grade: C+

Depth Chart of current team – two trades, one waiver pickup since draft day. Weaker at wing, but great depth at centre!

Kane – Toews – Kane
Booth – Malkin – Jagr
Whitney – Spezza – Alfredsson
Malone – Zajac – Bouchard

Gerbe
Seguin
Prospal

Pronger – Kaberle
Campbell – Souray

Dubnyk
Smith
Labarbera
Budaj

See you in a couple of days as we take a look at Greatness and Porters Penguins.

WTHL Team Review: Ploughmans Posse

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Howdy folks and welcome to the first installment as I review the teams in the ultra-competitive WTHL, as we compare what teams may have been looking to add to their respective rosters pre-draft, how their draft went in accomplishing this, and how their team stacks up when staring down 1520 man-games of rotisserie fantasy hockey.

Let’s start at the top with the reigning champion Ploughmans Posse. Not only did P-man get to enjoy his Boston Bruins winning the Stanley Cup last season, but he coasted to an easy victory while sporting several Bruins on his roster. Let’s look at his keepers going into the draft.

1. Zdeno Chara
2. Daniel Briere
3. Patrice Bergeron
4. Joe Pavelski
5. Nathan Horton
6. Brendon Morrow
7. Cam Fowler
8. Tuukka Rask

At first glance, not incredibly impressive. His keepers feature some key pieces of some good teams, and even coverage of the WTHL stat categories, but limited in goal with the one time starter/current back-up goalie of the Bruins with Rask. Contract wise, he’s in good shape.

Keeper Grade: B-

He managed to work the trade lines over the offseason and shipped out Jaroslav Halak, Patrick Kane, Jarome Iginla and Ryane Clowe to get back in the upper rounds after gutting his draft picks to ensure victory in 2010/2011, stockpiling the top two picks of 2011. Nifty work, considering their respective contract status and overall value. Kane’s wrist recovery is being closely monitored, and Iginla is perhaps the lone bright spot on a dismal team who’s been dealing with back spasms in camp. Here’s how P-man did at the draft:

1. Tim Thomas
2. Eric Staal
8. Erik Karlsson
56. RJ Umberger
100. TJ Oshie
149. Marek Zidlicky
165. Chris Neil
170. Curtis Glencross
181. Wayne Simmonds
192. Ryan Ellis
202. Joel Ward
208. Francois Beauchemin
212. Andrew Brunette
219. David Jones
237. Magnus Paajarvi

After mortgaging the 2011 draft to ensure victory, P-man did the best with what he had. His contracts are in great shape and trading assets he couldn’t keep to get those 1st round picks were key. He chose to load up with skaters and increase fantasy scoring by committee instead of diluting his goaltending tandem in the hopes that Thomas (and Rask) can come close to repeating those magical SV% numbers of their championship season.

Draft Grade: B-

All told, P-man has a strong top 6 with a complimentary bottom 6 and an impressive defensive corps. He may have made one too many trades last year and wrecked his draft and chances for a repeat, but he’ll once again contend for the championship and looks good for going into next year as well thanks to his offseason gamesmanship.

Team Grade: B-

Depth Chart of current team – One trade since draft day
Morrow – Staal – Briere
Umberger – Pavelski – Horton
Glencross – Bergeron – Jones
Brunette – Oshie – Simmonds

Neil
Helm

Chara – Karlsson
Streit – Fowler
Zidlicky - Beauchemin

Thomas
Rask

Monday, September 19, 2011

Introducing New WTHL Insider

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Our beloved WTHL continues to evolve in the 7th season. Beyond the world of new stats and trackers and rules and awards, this season we have a new feature being added to this blog and the league as a whole. At this time, we'd like to proudly announce the addition of WTHL's first Insider!

Fellow GM Tim takes this task head on, and in doing so will be providing analysis and updates throughout the year. To begin, he has some pre and post draft analysis on the way. Please read below for more information on this from the man himself.
I'll be doing a review of two teams per article, giving each team a grade of their keepers going into the draft and a grade of how their draft went. Just so people know I'm not hauling opinion out of my ass, grades are calculated by creating a rough median of player value with respect to 2011/2012 forecasts projected by McKeens, Dobber, and The Hockey News with respect to the stat categories used in the WTHL. So you'll see three brief summaries for each team (Keepers going into draft, Draft, Team evaluation post-draft with a final grade)

Also, since this is a deep league with 23 man rosters, I'll add on a depth chart for each team. With our league including categories like hits, blocks, etc I figured it could be a nice reflection of what lines, defensive pairings, starting goalies each team would ice if this were an actual hockey league. The depth charts are more for fun than any real evaluation, but could give us a peek at the hidden value of players with high hit and block counts. - Tim
Sounds exciting no?

The league offices would like to take this time to thank Insider Tim for this initiative and we look forward to all  future contributions!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

On Moving and Shaking

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As everyone knows (save perhaps the two new GM's) each week an award is given to the hottest team over the previous 7 days. We refer to this award as the Mover and Shaker award, which essentially is one free move, and is handed out each Sunday to the team who gains the most points during the week. The stats for these awards can be found in our weekly tracker and each week a screenshot of the stats, plus a mini writeup, will be posted on this blog as well. You can check out some of the past write ups by browsing the Topics by GM list on the left sidebar if interested.

PLEASE NOTE: The first week of the season will be a short one as the NHL opens on a Thursday night, which means the first award will be based on those three days. Everyone should also note that the starting rank for everyone is their end rank last season. The first weeks award will be based on who moves and shakes from there.

So with all that said, we're just 3 weeks away until the first Mover and Shaker is handed out. Whoopie!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

League Activity Explodes

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It hasn't even been a week since the draft, but that hasn't stopped GM's from already working on their respective teams. In just 5 days, we already have 7 trades conducted involving a total of 20 players and 22 draft picks being swapped. Who knows how many trade offers are out there as GM's send counter after counter to make something happen. It could be many or could be none, but with this many trades done already, it's likely to be many.

The waiver wire hasn't been as active as the trades, but some players have been grabbed and dropped in the first few days. In non player related news, smack talk activity has picked up as well with banter on the boards beginning in a big way. It's all rather exciting in the world of the WTHL right now. With still over 2 weeks to go before the 2011-2012 NHL season begins, the explosion of league activity is a great sign of just how exciting this year will be.

Bring on Oct 6th!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

On League Dues

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As noted in the official rule book (after being voted apon by 10 enthusiastic GM's) league dues have been upped to $50 dollars this year and are essentially due now. Many have already paid and I encourage the rest to do so as soon as possible. The league will be using a tool added to the Yahoo system this season for tracking who has paid and who hasn't. This is mainly to ensure everyone knows what they owe. You can find this tracker tool by going here.

This would also be a great time to remind everyone of the payouts going forward: $500 for 1st, $200 for 2nd and $50 for 3rd. That's not too shabby at all.

Monday, September 12, 2011

On Draft Pick Trading

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We will making a slight change to operations this season to accommodate the addition of draft picks within the Yahoo system itself... and quite simply, it just makes sense to do this anyway.

Starting with next years draft, we will be inserting the Keeper selections at the END of the draft instead of the first 10 picks. This means we are trading Rounds 1 to 13 during the season (and off) should we wish. Rounds 14-23 will be the Keepers, so DO NOT attempt to trade them when conducting trades. Penalties (because the Commish is a prick) may apply should this happen, mainly because there is no ability to fix it at the moment (not just the prick thing).

If you're wondering, though Yahoo has the trades listed (you can see them here), the tracker we are all familiar with will still be updated.

IMPORTANT NOTE: We still only have the ability to trade a traded pick ONE TIME. Yahoo may let you do it many times, but the rules state (until we open for debate again now that yahoo added the trades) that we can only trade any pick 2 times.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Start Ranks Updated - Draft Tonight!

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For those interesting in comparing each others Keepers, the tracker has been updated to include the starting rank of all 128 Keepers. The number entered here is what's listed as the O-Rank in the yahoo pages. Visit the Keeper page now to check it out!

Also, more importantly, THE DRAFT IS IN ABOUT 9 HOURS.

That is all.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Draft Gathering

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It's been customary as of the past few years to get together for the live draft. In past years, as many as half the league or more have joined each another in a single location to conduct their picks... and this year will be no different!

This sunday September 11th, the 2011-2012 kicks off at 9:30pm (NL time) and if you're interested in joining other GM's for this event, we'll be gathering at GM Brinston's house that evening. It is suggested that you show up at least 30 minutes early to ensure you connection is working fine, and please be sure to bring your own laptops. Without it, you will not be able to draft players and therefor would be useless for you to be there... unless you just want the company. :)

More details to come via email...

Sunday, September 4, 2011

One Week to Draft

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The summer passed quickly and it's all but certain that September will as well. With that being the case, next Sunday will be here before we know it and next Sunday is a big day: DRAFT DAY! That's right, in just over one week time, we will be selecting the remaining 15 players for our rosters. So, set your calenders and reminders to Sunday September 11th, 2011 at 9:30pm (Newfoundland time). Don't miss out!

Please see this recent post for more information on the draft.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Keepers Locked In

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Midnight has come and with it the deadline for Keeper selections. I'm pleased to say (though it would have been fun to randomly draw 8 players) that all GM's got their lists in on time. Now that all have been submitted and the deadline has passed, I've gone ahead and set the players within Yahoo now as well. If you check out the Draft Results page, you'll see the first 8 rounds populated. What's also neat is that the Players list now has the Keepers excluded. This is great for drafting purposes. Next up, Draft Day...