Once the calendar flips from July to August, many puckheads start thinking about fantasy hockey, and that's when the deluge of messages come our way asking when Yahoo! Sports will be opening up registration for the coming season.
Player rankings are desired to be seen and fantasy GMs want to get ahead start on planning for yet another roller-coaster ride; nothing but hope after their draft, and then questioning their moves come February as they sit in last place.
It's a labor of love we couldn't do without.
It's our pleasure to announce that the Yahoo! Fantasy Hockey leagues for 2010-11 are up and running, so you can finally go register your team and league today.
As you get your teams and leagues prepared, here are the Top 100 players as per the Y! Sports/Rotoworld draft rankings. Let the debates begin.
No surprise to find Ovechkin and Crosby Nos. 1 and 2 on the list; and after a Vezina Trophy-winning year, Ryan Miller vaults from No. 53 a year ago to Y! Sports' top ranked goaltender.
Nos. 11-100 after the jump ...
Mike Green was a Top 10 player a year ago, but 12 less goals knocks him down to No. 12. Martin Brodeur moves up from No. 28 after yet another solid year and once again proving that he's always a reliable choice -- well, outside of playoff pools.
One of the great things about fantasy hockey is the depth around the league. If you're in a 10-12-team league, you'll be drafting one of these fine fellows in the third round. Not too shabby, eh?
34. Mike Richard, C
Semin takes a big drop from No. 15 a season ago, but as he enters the final year of his deal with much to play for, he'll make for a nice mid-round selection.
You figured Craig Anderson might get a little more love with the way he performed not only during the regular season, but also during the playoffs for the Colorado Avalanche. Then there's Dion Phaneuf being ranked higher than offensive blueliners Sergei Gonchar(notes), Mark Streit(notes), Nicklas Lidstrom(notes), Shea Weber(notes), and Zdeno Chara(notes). Don't you just want to be picking after the guy on autodraft with those cats still sitting on the defensive side of the board?
52. Mike Cammalleri, LW
56. Sergei Gonchar, D
58. Brad Richard, C
Franzen is low here because he was injured a year ago. We know what he's capable of. And again, look at this depth in Round 5/6 here.
61. Mark Streit, D
64. Nicklas Lidstrom, D
65. Zdeno Chara, D
67. Nicklas Backstrom, G
Vanek has also been great with the power play points and Chris Stewart could be a steal if he can come close to his breakout year a season ago.
72. Jon Quick, G
78. Shea Weber, D
With 24 goals in 57 games last season, you could argue Hossa should be higher with a full season. If there's a solid late-round defenseman to nab, you can do no wrong with Ehrhoff after coming off a plus-36 season with 23 power play points.
If you're in a league that values TOI, Calder Trophy winner Tyler Myers would make for a nice 8th rounder. Not to mention the production that'll come with it. Marty Turco sitting behind the sold Chicago Blackhawks defense could make him worth much higher than No. 86 and nowhere near deserving to be that close to Kari Lehtonen. Finally from this group, is Patric Hornqvist able to follow up his fantasy surprise with another 30-goal season now that he's carrying a nice new contract?
Hartnell is great for the PIM shaving racked up at least 143 or more in each of the past three seasons along with 10+ power play points.
As for those notable guys that didn't crack the Top 100 you'll find Mikko Koivu(notes) (106), Teemu Selanne(notes) (112), Joe Pavelski(notes) (113), the dangerously potential steal in Nikita Filatov(notes) (114), Edmonton Oilers first overall pick Taylor Hall(notes) (130), Tyler Seguin(notes) (236), Dustin Byfuglien(notes) (276), and Matt Moulson(notes) (348).
We'll once again have a weekly fantasy column once the season gets up and running, but in the meantime, looking at this list, who should be higher? Lower?
Care to share your sleepers?