The start of hockey season couldn’t come at a better time.
My fantasy football team, which at first glance appeared to be a “dream team,” has stumbled out of the gate to an 0-2 nightmare. But all the months of football chatter, analysis, and draft preparation are finally behind us, and it is time to turn our attention to the frozen pond.
I spent last month bashing the overkill given to Crosby and Ovechkin. Now, as fantasy drafts get underway, it is time to revere them. But rather than talk about what we already know, that these two top God’s fantasy wish list, I prefer to discuss something more fun.
This is my top ten list of guys that could be a bust, but could help your team reap the rewards if they can overcome the risk.
Martin Brodeur, G, New Jersey Devils
I figured I’d start with an attention-grabber, since you’re probably saying I’m crazy for including him on this list.
After all, we’re talking about the greatest goalie in hockey history, who also happens to be listed no lower than 15th in most fantasy ranking lists. So here it goes.
First of all, he’ll be 39 years old before the end of the season. Even Wayne Gretzky, Brett Favre, Lance Armstrong, and Michael Jordan had to take off the cape eventually. And for a goalie, who plays the entire game, hitting the ice and jumping back up while toting 50 pounds of equipment, that 39 looms even larger.
Take into account that he has played at least 77 (out of 82) games, in three out of the past four seasons (which are numbers not typically seen in goalies in their 20’s, let alone late 30’s,) and I predict that this will be the year that all that work catches up with him, and he finally becomes human.
This could either mean another serious injury, or allowing more and more soft goals that have not been associated with him until recent years. I should add that he earned at least 44 wins in each of those years. But again, I believe this season will show us a serious decline in his play.
The Devils also lost Paul Martin, unarguably their best defenseman, which will dramatically increase the amount of shots that make it through to him.
However, with Johan Hedberg backing him up, expect Martin to start another 70-plus games this season.
And since he is, in fact, Martin Brodeur, combined with the New Jersey Devils track record of putting an above average team in front of him and Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise lighting it up, expect those 70-75 starts to reap some fantasy rewards.
Tim Connolly, C, Buffalo Sabres
While having never completely lived up to his potential...