Puck Daddy - NHL

Ah, yes: Good to see Mr. St. Louis, Mr. Datsyuk and Mr. Brodeur adhering to the strict dress code of the Puck Daddy Fantasy Hockey Team...

This is the third year we've participated in the 16-team Hockey Blogger Invitational Fantasy League on Yahoo! Sports, organized by our esteemed friend James Mirtle and featuring blogging brethren like PJ from Sharkspage, Dirk Hoag from On The Forecheck, Earl Sleek from Battle of California and Lyle "Spector" Richardson.

Our first season saw us finish dead-ass-last because we gave up on the team halfway through the season.

Our second campaign was much more successful, making the championship round only to fall at the hands of Mirtle's boyish charm, 6-5, in the quarterfinals.

It's a Keeper League, and we brought back Pavel Datsyuk(notes) of the Detroit Red Wings, Dan Boyle(notes) of the San Jose Sharks and Martin Brodeur(notes) of the New Jersey Devils; one player at each position, per league regulations.

The rest of the team is in the draft order to your right, broken down by position later in this post. Being eternal pessimists with pride (and a little dough) on the line, we hate this roster with the fury of a thousand burning suns right now.

Drafted by yours truly with plenty of input from Leahy, here's how the 2010-11 Puck Daddy Fantasy Team breaks down. Yes, probably literally. Feel free to tell us it's not that bad or to point and laugh at our hack logic in the comments.

How's your fantasy team looking? Who was your best pick, worst pick, sleeper pick?

And here ... we ... go.

That stats categories listed here are the ones that are scored in the league. We've filed a formal protest over the snubbing of shorthanded points; alas, we're the vocal minority.

Datsyuk was our keeper over players like Simon Gagne(notes), Alex Burrows and Scott Gomez(notes). His production dropped by 27 points last season, and we're obviously wagering on that being an anomaly. If not ... well, at least he can keep us laughing.

We held off on centers for a bit before taking Lombardi in the ninth round, figuring the new Nashville Predators pivot will see lots of ice time and is usually good for about 50 points. Connolly is a total gamble, considering he's about as sturdy as a one-legged horse. Sam Gagner(notes) and R.J. Umberger(notes) were drafted around the same time, so we'll likely regret this.

Peverley could be a 16th-round steal, if there is such a thing. Regin's a total investment, hoping that he plays into the Ottawa Senators' top six this season. Anisimov was our Mr. Irrelevant, with the hope he earns time in the top six. 

In writing this post, it occurs to us that we have six centers on our roster. Which convinces us that a chimp could have drafted better.

The few, the proud, the left wings.

We took NHL draft No. 1 overall pick Taylor Hall(notes) of the Edmonton Oilers in the seventh round, with left wings like Ryan Smyth(notes) and Brooks Laich(notes) still on the board. If he's Patrick Kane(notes) circa 2007, we're golden. If he's Steven Stamkos(notes) circa 2009, we're [expletive'd].

David Perron(notes) was taken because we were writing the St. Louis Blues preview during the fantasy draft.

Seriously, that's it.

Every year there's some kind of technical difficulty during the draft that befalls us, and this year it happened during the fourth round.

We were on the clock and suddenly got a message that the Wi-Fi went down. So I did whatever I do when technology fails me, which was to scream profanities, complain about online drafts and to then start pounding on the keyboard obnoxiously.

Somehow, this led to the selection of Martin St. Louis(notes) of the Tampa Bay Lightning when, in all honesty, we were gunning for Matt Duchene(notes) or Marian Hossa(notes).

Nathan Horton(notes) of the Boston Bruins was one of the few picks we targeted and ended up with. He should have a career year, provided the Bruins' offense isn't the travesty-on-skates it was in 2009-10. We're waiting for Yahoo! to make him center eligible, because obviously we need a seventh.

Jakub Voracek(notes) was another guy we coveted, but only because everyone and their mother is saying he could be a breakout player for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Antti Miettinen(notes) is solid for 20 goals, and helps us fill an imaginary vowels quota.

Six words for our fantasy team this season: Just hand us the Lady Byng.

Seriously, we're going to have more game-winning goals than penalty minutes this season; having selected perhaps the most non-threatening group of defensemen in NHL history. These guys are a Disney Channel boy band. 

On the power play, this is an aces group, and they'll also pile up the assists. We would like to see Boyle and Suter increase their plus/minus a bit, just in case Zidlicky is a minus-50 this season.

Hamhuis was an 18th-round pick. Player taken right after him: Magnus Paajarvi(notes) of the Oilers.

Morons. We're morons.

Brodeur is Brodeur, provided coach John MacLean's system and the revamped blue line don't let him down with frequency this season. And, of course, if he can stay healthy, which is our main concern with Semyon Varlamov(notes) of the Washington Capitals.

Varly's already on the sidelines with an injury in the preseason. If he plays, his numbers will be great.

If. He. Plays.

Finally, let's get to the escrow-hating elephant in the room: Yes, we drafted Dan Ellis(notes) in the 10th round, even after all this happened. It was never personal with the dude, and it certainly was never about what happens on the ice: He's a solid 1-A goalie with the Tampa Bay Lightning, and someone that could get the majority of the starts. He makes goaltending, perhaps, the strongest aspect of our team.

Our awful, awful team; filled with drafting mistakes and question marks and more centers than a state university campus.

Off to the waiver wire. Sigh ...

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