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Greg Wyshynski

I Hate My [expletive deleted] Fantasy Team: Evil goalie hoarding

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy

(Ed. Note: "I Hate My [expletive deleted] Fantasy Team!" is a weekly feature on Puck Daddy in which we vicariously live through two Yahoo! Fantasy Hockey GMs as they provide snarky advice and tales of woe. Your GM this week is Hextall454 of Melt Your Face Off.)

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By Hextall454

After putting the eight weeks of the season in the books, a fantasy GM can look back and take stock in what he's accomplished. Those fast-starters have crashed back to Earth (welcome home, Fabian), the curious slumps have been busted (welcome back, Ovie) and those you had your doubts about have punched the Fraud Card with authority (to hell with you, Sykora).

If you're happy with your place on the Almighty Table of Record (one man's mediocrity is another's contentment), you stay the course. If you insist on wearing your depressing neckties behind the bench, it may be time to pull a Rutherford and do something crazy.

Enter our basement dweller, DC Russians United.

As the commissioner of this fine league of puckheads, I get an e-mail anytime two squads have agreed to a trade. It is my civic duty to inspect for collusion -- but let's face it -- no one's tried to pull a fast one in seven years and I've got a full slate of hockey, blogging, and hockey blogging to decimate my work productivity. Nonetheless, the e-mails started to trickle in:

November 30: DC Russians United Trade Chris Osgood (G) to Claimed Off Waivers for Mike Green (D)

Ah, DCRU's taking opportunity of Green's IR status to bring one of his beloved Caps back to the Beltway.

December 1: DC Russians United Trade Cam Ward (G) to Icing with Sprinkles for Kris Versteeg (LW,RW)

Wait a minute. Did he just trade 2 goalies in 2 days?

December 2: DC Russians United Propose Trade: Alex Auld (G) to Red Bank Salsa Sharks for Patrick Marleau (C, LW)

Whoa. Hold the Red Phone just one second, Khruschev.

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Now it would be season suicide to punt our five goalie categories (W, Svs, GAA, Sv%, and SHO) by trading all one's netminders in favor of created a skater superteam -- at best, 8-5 decisions aren't exactly going to propel you to fantasy greatness. So with Ozzie and Cam headed away from our Nation's Capital over the Thanksgiving holiday, I ask the question: Just how many goalies did DCRU have stashed away?

Try six. With only so much ample goaltending to go around, the Russians have been slowly accumulating puckstoppers with the ultimate plan to cash in on the injured misfortunes of others.

After starting the season with Osgood, Ward, and Ryan Miller, someone started a collection. Prior to this latest streak, Mike Smith was signed and promptly dealt to the DVDs on Ice mere moments after Fatso joined Rick DiPietro on DVD's IR.

Over the next two months, underperforming DC skaters headed to the waiver wire while those carrying waffleboards were signed to short-term contracts. Ottawa's Auld, Nashville's Dan Ellis, and the Isles' Joey MacDonald made it a six-pack. What did this get him? A promising Caps blueliner and a surprising Chitown youngster with double-wing eligibility.

Now back to the proposed trade sitting on my table.

The worst thing you can do in fantasy sports is to reject a trade outright.

I don't care if it's Sidney Crosby for the guy who plays the organ at Nassau and an Auntie Anne's pretzel -- you always counter. Sure, after two or three rounds, you may ultimately cease negotiations, but you never know what could happen.

I have no intention of trading Patrick Marleau. Now that he's got eligibility at two positions, he is my sole source of roster flexibility -- and his 28 points aren't bad, either. So we counter with our Communist pal:

Red Bank Salsa Sharks Propose Trade: Markus Naslund (LW) to DC Russians United for Ryan Miller (G)

My logic is simple: DCRU likes trading away goalies he drafted. Also, I hate Markus Naslund.

Sadly, so does he.

DC Russians United Propose Trade: Ryan Miller (G) to Red Bank Salsa Sharks for Thomas Vanek (LW)

Even though I'm stuck in a Tryptophan malaise, I know better than to trade the 26th best player in the league, no matter how much I like the Guster. Time to cool this arms race back down.

December 3: Red Bank Salsa Sharks Trade Patrik Elias (LW) to DC Russians United for Alex Auld (G)

I've come around on Auld. With Martin Gerber in full-asplosion mode, the Thunder Bay native has the starting job on a team capable of winning. Their 5-1 victory last night dropped Double A's GAA below 2, 3rd best in the league. Elias was a good bargaining chip on a crowded bench of left wingers. And ever since Dispatch broke up, that name just isn't the same.

This, of course, will kick-start that damn Devil's inevitable 12 goals in 14 games streak. Bastard.

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