Over the past week or so, I’ve put on a new hat: I’m a commissioner! Not of the entire NHL, sadly, but of the Adventures in Pucking fantasy league over on Yahoo Sports. It’s a private password-protected league that operates with a closed draft. This is because we have seven players and each of us has a different busy schedule of our own. Plus, some of our players live in Pacific time, not Eastern, which would make meeting a live draft even more difficult. We just wanted to make ladies’ agreements with one another and pick players via private discussion. Then, everyone’s rosters were given to me via email, I entered their picks, I helped the ladies if there was a conflict and now I think we’re pretty much ready to rock and roll next month.
Putting this league together has taught me about the meaning of compromise. Before discovering a league needed at least four teams to become valid and make draft picks, it was just going to be Krista and me, so I made a lot of picks using that assumption. However, when other women joined and began making their wishlists, I gave up a few of my desired players so they could have them and everyone could be happy. I said goodbye to Tim Thomas and Patrice Bergeron, but you gotta do what you gotta do!
Also, among all seven of us (The Magnificent Seven, perhaps), there is 0 prior fantasy experience. We’re all learning this together and that is going to be fun. Do keep that in mind.
Without further ado, I present the lineups of the Adventures in Pucking 2011-12 fantasy league, in order of when the teams joined the league. Each team has three of every position, plus four guys hanging out on the bench.
We Got Da Cup
Name origin: the euphoric chant Patrice Bergeron performed before the duck boat parade in June
Left-wingers-Milan Lucic (Boston), Matt Moulson (Islanders), Taylor Pyatt (Phoenix)
Centers-David Krejci (Boston), Joe Pavelski (San Jose), Eric Staal (Carolina)
Right-wingers-Michael Ryder (Dallas), Wayne Simmonds (Philadelphia), Corey Perry (Anaheim)
Defense-Zdeno Chara (Boston), Alex Pietrangelo (St. Louis), John Carlson (Washington)
Goalies-Ondrej Pavelec (Ugh), Pekka Rinne (Nashville), Ryan Miller (Buffalo)
Bench-Tyler Ennis (Buffalo), Patrik Berglund (St. Louis), Devin Setoguchi (Minnesota), Andrew MacDonald (Islanders)
Commish Notes: Obviously there are quite a few Bruins on my team (and a former one in the form of Ryder), but I tried to diversify and include Western Conference men as well. I picked two Blues after consulting with a Blues-loving friend who has fantasy experience about good picks. And even though I can’t stand the team he plays for, I just had to pick Pavelec. I did recently swap out Tuukka Rask for Miller because while “Tuuk Tuuk,” as I call him (a reference to the Thai tuk tuks), has the potential to do well in net and proof that he has before, he’s rather rarely used as of late.
Name origin: A pun on “Duck Amuck”
Left-wingers-Bobby Ryan (Anaheim), Alexander Ovechkin (Washington), Ryane Clowe (San Jose)
Centers-Patrick Sharp (Chicago), Jordan Staal (Pittsburgh), Steven Stamkos (Tampa Bay)
Right-wingers-Patrick Kane (Chicago), Michael Grabner (Islanders), Jarome Iginla (Calgary)
Defense-Duncan Keith (Chicago), Mike Green (Washington), Dustin Byfuglien (Blah)
Goalies-Corey Crawford (Chicago), Carey Price (Montreal), Semyon Varlamov (Colorado)
Bench-Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh), Vladimir Sobotka (St. Louis), Jakub Voracek (Philadelphia), Chad LaRose (Carolina)
Commish Notes: Like how my team is thick with Bruins, Krista’s is slathered with Blackhawks (and a former one). Both our teams also have a Staal and a Ducks star. But Krista also picked the gifted Michael Grabner and selected some quality guys from the Caps to help diversify her team and add Eastern flavor.
Name origin: The drop bear is an Australian myth. They’re pretty much meat-eating koalas who drop from the trees and land on people below.
Left-wingers-Pavel Datsyuk (Detroit), Patrick Marleau (San Jose), Thomas Vanek (Buffalo)
Centers-Patrice Bergeron (Boston), Anze Kopitar (Los Angeles), Ryan Getzlaf (Anaheim)
Right-wingers-Jeff Carter (Columbus), Rick Nash (Columbus), Claude Giroux (Philadelphia)
Defense-Drew Doughty (Los Angeles), Nicklas Lidstrom (Detroit), Dennis Seidenberg (Boston)
Goalies-Jonathan Quick (Los Angeles), Antti Niemi (San Jose), Henrik Lundqvist (Rangers)
Bench-Dustin Brown (Los Angeles), Nicklas Backstrom (Washington), Brooks Laich (Washington), Lubomir Visnovsky (Anaheim)
Commish Notes: Anyone who doubts the quality of California teams should look to Erin’s lineup for their doubts to be quashed. She’s showing a lot of California love, between Gold Medal Getzlaf, the Kings representation and Marleau and Niemi for the Sharks. She’s also added in Boston’s Seidenberg and Bergeron to represent the team geographically closest to her.
Tap the Brakes
Name origin: A joke of somewhat forgotten origin but related to Daniel Carcillo
Left-wingers-Taylor Hall (Edmonton), Nikolai Kulemin (Toronto), Clarke MacArthur (Toronto)
Centers-Nathan Gerbe (Buffalo), Sam Gagner (Edmonton), Mike Richards (Los Angeles)
Right-wingers-Chris Stewart (St. Louis), Jordan Eberle (Edmonton), Alexander Semin (Washington)
Defense-Brent Seabrook (Chicago), Ryan Whitney (Edmonton), Alex Goligoski (Dallas)
Goalies-Cam Ward (Carolina), James Reimer (Toronto), Miikka Kipprusoff (Calgary)
Bench-Niklas Hjalmarsson (Chicago), Mikko Koivu (Minnesota), Jose Theodore (Florida), Anthony Stewart (Carolina)
Commish Notes: Nicole hails from just outside Edmonton and adores the Oilers, so it’s no surprise they’re well-represented on her squad. I briefly considered taking Hall for my own, but relinquished him once Nicole expressed interest in joining. I also think it’s awesome that she’s got both the Stewart brothers and her goaltending triad (quad, if you count Theodore) is pretty top-shelf talent.
Pump My Tires
Name origin: The infamous Roberto Luongo-Tim Thomas drama that happened during the Stanley Cup Finals
Left-wingers-Henrik Zetterberg (Detroit), Alexandre Burrows (Vancouver), Dany Heatley (Minnesota)
Centers-Brad Richards (Rangers), John Tavares (Islanders), Phil Kessel (Toronto)
Right-wingers-Martin St. Louis (Tampa Bay), Teddy Purcell (Tampa Bay), Tyler Seguin (Boston)
Defense-James Wisniewski (Columbus), Dan Boyle (San Jose), Shea Weber (Nashville)
Goalies-Tim Thomas (Boston), Ilya Bryzgalov (Philadelphia), Dwayne Roloson (Tampa Bay)
Bench-Daniel Carcillo (Chicago), Cal Clutterbuck (Minnesota), Carlo Colaiacovo (St. Louis), Tim Connolly (Toronto)
Commish Notes: Taryn lives in the Vancouver area but is not a humongous fan of the Canucks. (In her draft pick email to me, she wrote of Burrows “I’m going to regret this decision oh wait I already do.”) She does have some pretty solid talent from teams she does like, though, picking lots of Lightning (including the immense Roloson) and then two stars of Boston’s.
Name origin: The delicious cupcakes sold at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
Left-wingers-James van Riemsdyk (Philadelphia), Zach Parise (New Jersey), Blake Comeau (Islanders)
Centers-Scott Gomez (Montreal), Colin Wilson (Nashville), Jason Spezza (Ottawa)
Right-wingers-Kyle Okposo (Islanders), Brad Boyes (Buffalo), PA Parenteau (Islanders)
Defense-Matt Gilroy (Tampa Bay), PK Subban (Montreal), Kevin Shattenkirk (St. Louis)
Goalies-Al Montoya (Islanders), Rick DiPietro (Islanders), Jimmy Howard (Detroit)
Bench-Colby Cohen (Boston), Frans Nielsen (Islanders), Mark Streit (Islanders), Danny Cleary (Detroit)
Commish Notes: Vicky also puts a lot of faith in her favorite team, the Islanders. She’s also picked four guys who played college hockey at her alma mater, Boston University (Cohen, Wilson, DiPietro and Shattenkirk). Since Cohen is just a Bruins prospect and is playing with the P-Bruins right now, he’s on the bench, but he could swap up at any time, who knows? Vicky’s picked some other gentlemen from tri-state area teams that don’t wear blue and orange, plus some quality Habs talent.
Ice Ice Baby
Name origin: Part Vanilla Ice song, part reference to a famous Alexander Ovechkin tweet “hahaha ice”
Left-wingers-Mason Raymond (Vancouver), Sean Avery (Rangers), Evander Kane (That place)
Centers-Maxime Talbot (Philadelphia), Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh), Jonathan Toews (Chicago)
Right-wingers-Jaromir Jagr (Philadelphia), Mike Knuble (Washington), Nathan Horton (Boston)
Defense-Erik Gustafsson (Philadelphia), Kristopher Letang (Pittsburgh), Brooks Orpik (Pittsburgh)
Goalies-Chris Mason (Blah), Roberto Luongo (Vancouver), Marc-Andre Fleury (Pittsburgh)
Bench-Marc Staal (Rangers), Pascal Dupuis (Pittsburgh), Daniel Sedin (Vancouver), Henrik Sedin (Vancouver)
Commish Notes: Anna is a Penguins fan and you can tell by her lineup–she’s picked some quality Pittsburgh talent, especially in her d-men. But, in perhaps a show of “keep your friends close and your enemies closer,” her lineup also includes quite a few Flyers, including Talbot and Jagr. She’s also selected some of Vancouver’s finest (I hope Raymond is feeling well enough to play too, but just in case, she can call up Dupuis or D. Sedin to sub for him). An interesting mix!
Like I said, nobody in our league has any experience. We’re all friends just looking to have a good time playing some fantasy hockey. I’ll start doing a Commissioner’s Report on our fantasy results, perhaps at the end of each week, with standings and interesting notes. I’m very excited to head this unique and interesting league!