League Background Information
As most of you know, I have the honor and the pleasure of being the commissioner in the first annual official Bleacher Report Fantasy Hockey League.
It started out with granting franchises to fourteen eager general mangers including myself, Bryan Thiel, Ken Armer, Alan Bass, Chris Bouthilier, Jason Klau, Brett Bods, Tyler Hill, Matt Eichel, Matt Ellenberger, Faiz Ali Verji, Eric Kuzmiak, Bernie Horowitz and Chris Hoeler.
As today winds on, more of those GMs will be writing articles here on Bleacher Report listing their lineups and naming head coaches.
But the fun started on Saturday night, when the live draft was held. Ten of the fourteen managers showed up which was a great percentage and as players were drafting, they got to listen to a special edition of my radio show, NHL 2Day, which I host with Alan Bass as we not only talked about hockey, but provided live coverage of the draft.
It made it all the more realistic and joining us for a Pacific Division preview on the show was NHL Community Leader Ken Armer. To listen to the episode, click here.
When the draft was complete, one would think that all managers would then leave and wait for the season to start before beginning to pay attention to the league; but actually, that's when the fun started.
Immediately, there was a blockbuster deal between Alan Bass and Ken Armer when Bass sent Brendan Morrow to Armer in exchange for Sidney Crosby. Bass was then engaged in another deal with Tyler Hill before things changed and the deal didn't fall through.
I sent Scott Gomez and Brent Seabrook to him in exchange for Joe Thornton and Mathieu Schneider. But that wasn't the last trade I made, as I have been aggressively pursuing other players. I then swapped Todd Bertuzzi for Cory Stillman of Chris Bouthillier's team and cut a deal with Eric Kuzmiak that sent Dustin Penner for Andrew Brunette.
I can tell you right now, the deals aren't done as I know of at least three that are close to happening, I'm included in one but I'm pretty content with my team now.
I also must say, I've been playing fantasy hockey for probably five years now and never have I seen this much activity. GMs are actually calling each other on the phone to discuss trades and structure deals and that makes this all the more realistic. I hope it will continue on through the season.
Below this, I will list the players that everyone took in the first three rounds and below that, I will give my roster at the current moment. It will be up to all other GMs to post their rosters either in comments or articles.
Early Draft Picks by Team
1. Bryan Thiel: Alex Ovechkin, Brad Richards, Paul Stastny
2. Ken Armer: Sidney Crosby, Corey Perry, Mike Green
3. Alan Bass: Jarome Iginla, Brendan Morrow, Carey Price
4. Greg Caggiano: Henrik Zetterberg, Marty Turco, Chris Pronger
5. Matt Eichel: Pavel Datsyuk, Rick Nash, Ryan Getzlaf
6. Eric Kuzmiak: Evgeni Malkin, Sergei Gonchar, Eric Staal
7. Chris Bouthillier: Niklas Lidstrom, Alex Kovalev, Brian Rafalski
8. Chris Hoeler: Dany Heatley, J.S Giguere, Martin St. Louis
9. Tyler Hill: Joe Thornton, Dion Phaneuf, Ryan Miller
10. Faiz-Ali Verji: Evgeni Nabokov, Vincent Lecavalier, Marc Andre Fleury
11. Bernie Horowitz: Jason Spezza, Henrik Lundqvist, Zdeno Chara
12. Matt Ellenberger: Martin Brodeur, Marian Gaborik, Mika Kipprusoff
13. Jason Klau: Roberto Luongo, Ilya Kovalchuk, Marc Savard
14. Brett Bods: Daniel Alfredsson, Marian Hossa, Chris Osgood
Assistant GM: Al Caggiano
Head Coach: Brian Leetch
Assistant Coaches: Adam Graves and Jeff Beukeboom
Goalie Coach: Glen Healy
Centers: Mike Ribeiro, Joe Thornton, Chris Drury
Right Wingers: Radim Vrbata, Chris Neil, Scott Walker, Darcy Tucker
Left Wingers: Henrik Zetterberg, Brian Rolston, Scott Hartnell, Andrew Brunette, Cory Stillman
Defensemen: Chris Pronger, Mathieu Schneider, J.M Liles, James Wisniewski, Ron Hainsey
Goaltenders: Marty Turco, Tomas Vokoun, Nikolai Khabibulin
As you can see, my team is built on grit as I have a lot of players who can net twenty goals and tally over a hundred penalty minutes. The team is also built on speed and driving to the net, no finesse here. Although there are a few moves I would want to make, I think this team is solid and is a good roster if I was a real GM.
Note: As the season begins and winds on, look for a weekly article from me updating standings and major transactions as well as input from some of the league's top general managers.