Wednesday, 16 September 2009

The Whale Tail

Ladies and gentlemen, your fantasy hockey team that I have taken over now has an identity. I don't want to break down the fantasy hockey pool too much today, but I will tell you that I have my five players, I have drafted the first rookie as a team owner, and I have created an identity for my fantasy hockey team. And, if things go as well as I hope they will, I will be handing out rings to my fantasy team for winning the Fantasy Cup. Or some prolific trophy. You know what I mean. Without further adieu, I present to you the newly-named team in the fantasy hockey league: The Whale Tail!

Why did I choose this name? It's basically self-explanatory. The Hartford Whalers had one of the best logos of all-time in the annals of the NHL. The "W" with the whale's tail coming up from the middle made it easy to see the "Whalers" portion of the name. However, the negative space left over in the area forms a perfect "H" for Hartford. Clearly, this is one of the most clever, understated designs in all of hockey.

When one considers the players who suited up for the Whale in their history, it's easy to see why one would like this team, despite their obvious shortcomings in the success department. Brendan Shanahan, Pat Verbeek, Chris Pronger, Ron Francis, Ulf Samuelsson, Paul Coffey - the names are storied, and the careers were long. I plan on bringing back the prestige and glory of the Whalers with this new team.

Here are the five players I decided to keep based upon scoring and their ability to avoid major injury:

  1. Jarome Iginla - the man is a scoring machine.
  2. Eric Staal - another scoring machine.
  3. Brooks Laich - the guy was a beast on special teams.
  4. Daniel Sedin - if one of them scores, the other has an assist.
  5. Miikka Kiprusoff - good teams start with great goalies.
Based on those five players, I have the foundation of a pretty good team, I think.

I also managed to have the first overall pick in the FHL Entry Draft, and I decided to go against the norm. I get that Tavares and Hedman are going to be good. There's no doubt. But I was thinking both short- and long-term with my first pick, and I needed a player who had a chance to crack his team's opening night lineup as well as put up some decent points. Tampa Bay will play Hedman, but they may not be very good again, and Tavares will have a shadow all season long. No one will alow him to break out on a weak Islanders team.

I wanted to go with Cody Hodgson since he can't be sent to Manitoba due to his age and the fact that he would be an overage player if he went back to the OHL. But I realized that he may also be playing on the third or fourth line in his first season, limiting both his ice-time and chances, after seeing who Vancouver had in camp as invitees. So I went with another OHL graduate in Colorado's Matt Duchene.

Duchene has a fairly good shot at cracking the Avalanche lineup, and he's playing on a team that is fairly weak down the middle. This, of course, will open up opportunities on the powerplay and penalty killing units, and I'm hoping he can step up to the challenge. If not, he's on my minor-league team for the net three years, so he can be used whenever I need him. Considering he'll have decent wingers on the top two lines in Colorado, I'm hoping 40 points will be a good target for him.

The Whale Tail also owns the first pick for the FHL Draft this year, so I'll have a good shot at assembling some more talent shortly. I'm banking on a few players that may fly under the radar for the later rounds, so we'll what comes of this draft on the 23rd. I'll keep everyone posted on the fantasy hockey league as we progress.

Other than that? We're a few weeks away from October 1 which is opening night for the NHL. I'm excited, and I can't wait for the season to get underway. I got a fever, and the only cure is more cowbell hockey!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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