Five hole in hockey meme

Four Fantasy Hockey Footnotes Weeks 8-9: The Underachiever

At this point in the season it becomes safe to say who is easily on their way to irrelevancy in the world of fantasy hockey. They are the equivalent of a train wreck. These players should be avoided at all cost in any format of fantasy hockey league unless you have no other option. The fantasy hockey irrelevancy abyss is full of past stars and here are some new names to add to that list:

Dany Heatley: (Current Yahoo Fantasy Hockey Rank – 1816)

Dany Heatley
Dany Heatley. Photo by:

It’s unbelievable to think at one point Dany Heatley had multiple 50+ goal seasons in a row both of which he had over 100 points during. It wasn’t just those 2 seasons either that were amazing, he averaged over 1 point per game in all but 2 years between 2002-2009. Even when he did begin to taper off he still was productive. In fact he was still a vital part of my Fantasy Hockey Championship team back in 2011 with 53 points in 82 games. Although he had been in decline since 2010, most would argue this was age related. It wasn’t until the 2013-2014 season that something really seemed off. Having accumulated only 28 points in 76 games (0.37 points per game, by far the lowest average of his career), Dany Heatley became irrelevant in both the NHL and fantasy hockey. Many were hoping that his move to one of the top teams in the league, Anaheim, would be the spark he needed to rejuvenate his career. Unfortunately, he has only played 4 games and tallied 0 points this season and perhaps his current injury will be the final nail-in-the-coffin, for any relevancy in fantasy hockey.

Mike Smith: (Current Yahoo Fantasy Hockey Rank – 1852)

Mike Smith
Mike Smith. Photo by:

Unlike Dany Heatley, Mike Smith’s fall from grace is less surprising.  Many people only remember his good year, but to be honest over his career he has normally been at best an average goalie. It is hard to give up hope because many remember his stellar 2011-2012 season, where he posted a 2.21 GAA and .930 save %. But if you look at his career stats that season seems to be more of an anomaly then a standard. That one stellar season did happen to coincide with a team change, so it’s possible another relocation will give him that spark he needs. There is no doubt he can be great but at this point, playing on a mediocre offensice/defensive team, only a major change of scenery may be able to bring Mike Smith back to relevancy in fantasy hockey. And until that point I strongly recommend straying away from him if you can.

The Whole Carolina Hurricanes Team: (Current Yahoo Fantasy Hockey Rank – 189-882)

Carolina Hurricanes
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If you disregard Carolina Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward (Current Yahoo Rank – 189), there is not a single Carolina Hurricanes player currently ranked by Yahoo in the top 200 players in fantasy hockey. If that sounds appalling, that’s because it is. Even the lowly Edmonton Oilers and Buffalo Sabres can’t say they hold that distinction. The Canes have had an awful season filled with many long term injuries to key players. Cam Ward is their only bright spot but even he is just a faint glimmer in the fantasy hockey world as a whole. The Hurricanes season seems to be a lost cause at this point and as such any value associated with their players in fantasy hockey is diminished. Stray away from Canes players at all costs.

Ilya Bryzgalov?: (My Fantasy Hockey Rank – NA)

Ilya Bryzgalov
Ilya Bryzgalov. Photo by:

This guy just can’t seem to fit in anywhere over the last couple years. Yahoo has him technically currently ranked 329 in fantasy hockey but I’m not sure how you can be ranked if you haven’t played a single game this season yet. Then again it is hard to do worse than Mike Smith is doing in goaltending, I mean a baby could do better, so I guess I’m ok with Bryzgalov being ranked better than Smith even if it is a little proactively. However, even with his new stint on the Anaheim Ducks, I don’t see Bryzgalov regaining any fantasy hockey value. He will be a backup to Frederik Andersen who has been having a phenomenal season and I doubt as a result Bryzgalov will get much playing time if at all since the Ducks will have 3 viable backups for Andersen once Gibson recovers from injury. It definitely seems Bryzgalov’s days of importance ended after his first season with the Flyers back in 2011-2012 season. However, there is something about him that creates enough intrigue that allows him to keep finding a job after constantly being let go from teams over the last couple years. Maybe there is something left in the tank? Only time will tell, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

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