With the Fantasy Hockey Top-12, players are seemingly interchangeable based on your preferences, but the Fantasy Hockey Top 25 are going to be mixed a bit more. The further down the road we go, everyone’s player list will differ based on scoring systems and personal preferences. Every one of these players should be taken early in serpentine drafts, late round one to the early third round, or top dollar bids in auction formats. I have Ben Bishop higher than most and I’m sure Tyler Johnson as well, but Tampa has something special down there… makes me glad my brother-in-law gets me free tickets whenever I’m in Florida. In the day and age of the salary cap, teams need to strike while their irons are hot before contracts get to big. Polkadamas predicts the Lightning and Caps will be squaring off in my Eastern Conference Finals…Please, blog, may I have some more?
This past offseason there was plenty of intrigue and surprises to go around for everyone; however, the biggest fantasy news and most intriguing of all surprises was Phil Kessel getting traded to Pittsburgh. The rich got richer, and the immediate benefactor of Toronto ridding itself of its “problem children” is the Penguins’ power play unit. It was only 8th in the NHL last season with a 19.3% conversion rate, but that was a down year in the Steel City after finishing in the top position the previous year. This could be a flashback from the 2000-01 Penguins team, which had five of the top 29 league scorers with Mario Lemieux at #29 tallying (76) points and (16) power play goals in 43 games. Go ahead and get 76 points in today’s game and you’ll get $8 million per season for your troubles. That first power play unit consisted of Mario, Jagr, Kovalev, Martin Straka and Robert Lang. While the thought of this year’s version has me at half mast already, the proof will be in the pudding or net. With all the options available to head coach Mike Johnston, he has to be tent pitching as well, while opposing coaches are having nightmares on trying to figure out how to Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel, Chris Kunitz and a healthy Kris Letang as a possible power play unit one, if they stay healthy for once. That was the Penguins’ Achilles Heal last year, man games lost, but a return of Pascal Dupris from blood clots, a healthy Patric Hornqvist and steady David Perron makes this one very skilled and very scary team. Anyway let’s get to the business of my 2015-16 Fantasy Hockey Top 12.