Fantasy Hockey: 30 NHL teams in 30 Minutes
With the 2015-2016 National Hockey League (NHL) season set to get underway on Wednesday, October 7th 2015. It is high time we offer our daily fantasy sports (DFS) managers a brief look into what we are anticipating to see on the ice this year.
Will the New York Rangers repeat as President’s Trophy winners? Will the Edmonton Oilers end their post season drought? Will the Detroit Red Wings see their incredible 24 straight year playoff participation end? Will the Calgary Flames prove to be more than last season’s flash in the pan?
These are but a few of the riveting story-lines and sub-plots that fantasy hockey managers will have to weave through during this year’s cash draft contests. There are more storylines than there are teams this year, and as such the laymen will have a wondrous time watching it all play out. But the fantasy hockey manager has to look at it another way, the fantasy hockey manager has to be proactive, not knowing the fantasy sports landscape is the difference between winning, placing or being out of the money.
With that being said, here are 30 thoughts for the 30 hockey clubs in NHL:
The Montreal Canadiens finished the season with 110 regular season points; that total gave them the Atlantic division crown (2 points ahead of Tampa Bay) and 3 points back of the Rangers for the best regular season record and the President’s trophy. We expect Carey Price to have a similar record setting year, so riding the net minder in fantasy hockey contest is not a bad idea and we also expect to see Alex Galchenyuk up his previous point totals substantially with his move to center.
Tampa Bay Lightning:
The Bolts were arguably the best eastern conference team down the stretch. Being able to lean on Steven Stamkos (the best, if not top 2, goal scorer in the NHL) certainly helps! Their goalie. Ben Bishop emerged as a bonafide star. Those two factors along with the emergence of young talent solidified the Lightning’s future. We expect Stamkos to lay claim to the Maurice Richard trophy (top NHL goal scorer) and as such will be an expensive fantasy hockey darling. Unforunately we do not bee Bishop repeating his exploits again and we expect to see the Bolts youth struggle a little bit.
Detroit Red Wings:
For 24 straight years the Detroit Red Wings have been a staple in the fantasy hockey post season landscape. We are sorry to say that we don’t see this MoTown franchise extending it to 25. Pavel Datsyuk, Herik Zetterberg, Niklas Kronwall are, and have been, remarkable talents, but the sun is setting on their careers. We expect young guns like Tomas Tatar, Tomas Jurco and Riley Sheahan to take substantial steps forward and we expect the younger Wings to payoff in cash draft contests, but the Red Wings will not be playing for the Stanley Cup this spring.
The Ottawa Senators took everyone by surprise when they went on an unheard of run to secure a post season spot. Thanks to “rookie” goaltender Andrew Hammond, the Senators earned the right to face the Canadiens during the playoffs, eventually losing. We expect to see the “Hamburgler” Andrew Hammond, come back to earth so to speak. Cash draft contest mangers should be wary of selecting Hammond, in our opinion, the talented net minder will not get a starters full slate of starts due to Anderson’s presence. On the positive side for fantasy managers, we do see Bobby Ryan returning to his goal scoring form and as such could prove to be a bargain pick.
The Bruins were on the outside looking in come springtime last season and we don’t expect that to change this year. With Milan Lucic moving on the Los Angeles, Douglas Hamilton being traded away and Zdeno Chara showing his age, the Bruins do not have a promising 2015-16 ahead of them. We expect to see Tuukka Rask face a lot of rubber and steal a game or two. As such he could provide some fantasy hockey value. But goal scoring will continue to be at a premium in Beantown,
The Panthers almost clawed their way into the post season last year, the south Florida club certainly appear to have the perfect mix of youth and veterans, however that was not enough to secure a ticket to the spring dance last season. While we do see the Panthers improving on their 2014-15 season, we do not see them making the playoffs again this year. What we do see is great deals for bargain fantasy hockey picks on this roster. Names like Barkov, Jagr and Huberdeau are names that we see providing managers a good return on their investments.
Toronto Maple Leafs:
The fabled Toronto Maple Leafs were a comedy of errors last season. So much so that the off-season saw a complete overhaul of both the on ice product and the front office. 2015-16 will mark the first year of the Babcock error in Toronto. We do see the Leafs getting better, but we also see all the other clubs around them getting better, as such we do see a very high draft pick in the Lefs’ future. With no clear cut #1 goalie having distinguished himself, we would shy away from the Maple Leaf tenders, while they are certain to face a lot of pucks, they are anything but certain to win. We advise shying away from this club in your fantasy contests.
It is hard to say just how bad the Sabres were last season, were they terrible or were they just bad? Buffalo went all in for Connor McDavid but they had to “settle” for Jack Eichel. We see the Sabres making some serious inroads this season, partly because we do not believe they were as bad as they let on last season and partly due to new, young and hungry blood. We see Eichel giving fantasy mangers some serious return on their investments, at least early on, we will caution against leaning heavily on Evander Kane and we will say that Brian Gionta (for the money) will be a sure fire winner.
New York Rangers: COMING SOON
Washington Capitals: COMING SOON
New York Islanders: COMING SOON
Pittsburgh Penguins: COMING SOON
Columbus Blue Jackets: COMING SOON
Philadelphia Flyers: COMING SOON
New Jersey Devils: COMING SOON
Carolina Hurricanes: COMING SOON
ST-Louis Blues: COMING SOON
Nashville Predators: COMING SOON
Chicago Blackhawks: COMING SOON
Minnesota Wild: COMING SOON
Winnipeg Jets: COMING SOON
Dallas Stars: COMING SOON
Colorado Avalanche: COMING SOON
Anaheim Ducks: COMING SOON
Vancouver Canucks: COMING SOON
Calgary Flames: COMING SOON
Los Angeles Kings: COMING SOON
San Jose Sharks: COMING SOON
Edmonton Oilers: COMING SOON
Arizona Coyotes: COMING SOON