I have told many a story here about my fantasy leagues and the great fun I have had playing in them. Most of those stories are about my fantasy football leagues. Although fantasy football is what I spend most of my fantasy time on, I am also involved in other sports as well. The biggest and longest running league that is not football related in the dynasty hockey league I have been part of for the past 8 years. Now, I have had lots of success in my fantasy football leagues and have a few championships under my belt but the only way I can describe my performance in the hockey league is, abysmal.

In the previous 7 seasons of my dynasty hockey league, I have failed to make the fantasy playoffs. To say that I have just missed the playoffs is an understatement. I have downright SUCKED!!!! I have had some of the most frustrating seasons ever and to be honest, I am not entirely happy with some of the rules and settings in our league. Having said that, I am competing under the same rules as everyone else. My finishes in the league are as follows:

  • 2011 - 9th
  • 2012 - 9th
  • 2013 - 10th
  • 2014 - 10th
  • 2015 - 9th
  • 2016 - 7th
  • 2017 - 7th

This has been extremely frustrating for me. I consider myself to be very knowledgable about hockey and have really attempted to make the moves necessary to get better and improve my team but the fantasy gods have not been kind to me in this league. To give you a little context, I should start by describing how the league works. It is a weekly head to head league where the players accumulate stats in 11 different categories. The 11 categories equate to a matchup within the matchup that can win you two points. The categories are goals, assists, points, PP points, SH points, PIM, and game-winning goals for the forwards and then wins, GAA, save percentage, and shut outs for the goalies. Although it is a weekly matchup and winning the most categories gets you a win, in theory, the points won from each category win is the key. This means that there are 22 points on the line each and every week.

This is a part of the league that I am not actually a huge fan of. I have had seasons where I actually had a winning record in terms of beating my opponent but in the weeks that I lost, I lost so many categories that I ended up with a losing record. I have petitioned to have the categories only count as a point for that week and that the results should be determined by the weekly winner. What I mean is that if you win the week, you get a win, period. That means that there would be 22 weeks to play and 2 points awarded for each weekly win. Unfortunately, the majority of owners do not agree with my analysis of this problem. It should NEVER happen that you win more weeks than you lose and still finish outside of the playoffs. If we want to make this league as realistic as possible then the scoring needs an adjustment. If the Tampa Bay Lightning lose a game 8-2 they only suffer one loss. In our league, we suffer 8 losses and 2 wins. Does that make sense?

Perhaps my biggest problem has been with goaltending. Goaltenders have a huge position of power in our league and are next to impossible to acquire. I feel like I have been chasing down quality goalies for the past 7 years and I have taken some big-time lumps along the way. When this league started, I was a last minute entry. I found out about the league the day before the draft and I was not even able to attend because of the short notice. I drafted over the phone and from a list that I gave to a buddy who was also in the league. At the time, I had never played this format of fantasy hockey before and had no idea of the real fantasy values of the positions. With 4 whole categories dedicated to the goalie position, one or two guys on your roster can have a MASSIVE impact on the result of a weekly match. At that initial draft, I elected to wait on the goalie position because I wanted top end players that score points. Boy did I mess up and I have been paying for it ever since.

In my first draft, I ended up with Steve Mason, Niklas Backstrom and Anti Niemi. Niemi was the only one that was worth even drafting. I had a high scoring team and I lost the goalie stats pretty much every week. To make things even worse, this was a dynasty keeper league and so all of the good goalies were attached to rosters and could only be acquired through trades. Now, I have made so many trades for goalies over the years that it makes my head spin. I just can't seem to catch a break and believe me, I have tried. I have had some great offensive players over time. In order to get a good goalie, you have to pay through the nose. I traded Henrik Sedin in that first season for Ryan Miller. Miller was elite and I thought I had found my guy. It was the last season he was close to being productive in fantasy stats. A year later I traded Patrick Kane for Corey Crawford and again I thought I was set. Wrong again!!!! It has been the same thing over and over.

My last place finish in 2014 earned me the number one pick overall and as an Oilers fan, I couldn't have been more ecstatic to be the person who got to draft Connor McDavid. At the same time, I was also able to add Leon Drisaitl to my roster. This was my chance to make the turn and push towards a playoff birth. Scoring had never been my issue though and I continued to struggle. Some new great goalies have come along over the years but somehow I seemed to be too late on the waiver pick up or missed out on the draft. A great example of this was Carter Hart coming up and excelling this season. The day I went to add him to my roster I see that he was picked up two hours earlier. Frot he past couple years I have been riding with Tukka Rask and Jake Allen as my netminders and it has just not been enough. Both have been great at times but they have been inconsistent. This year, Allen has lost his job altogether and I have had to cut him loose.

This season has been my best year ever in fantasy hockey. Not because I have scored any better than in the past but because I have had a little luck along the way. Rask had a rough start tot he year and it looked as though he might have lost his job. Allen has been a disgrace the entire year and did lose his job to an unknown rookie. I have been rotating goalies off the waiver wire all year. I think I have had 15 different goalies on my roster this year. Going into the trade deadline I was actively pursuing a trade for a high-end goalie for the playoff push. I was a buyer and I was willing to play. The only problem is that the costs were through the roof. I couldn't afford to mortgage my future for just any goalie. I am stacked with scorers. McDavid, Kuznetzov, Draisitl, Panerin, Giroux to name a few. I was offering up Panerin but I wasn't getting any takers. I even threw out an offer in an effort to make a point to the rest of the league about the problem with goalies values. I offered McDavid straight up for Vasilevsky. I was never going to make this trade but I wanted to see what would happen. I got laughed at. Not a chance would that owner trade his goalie for McDavid. Does this seem right to you?

In the end, I was able to trade Panerin and my first pick next year of Sergi Bobrovsky. This was an amazing deal for me considering I got a 2nd round pick in return. The guy I traded with is going to finish last so his 2nd round pick was 11th overall. I gave him the 5th overall pick. I only dropped 6 spots and I got an elite fantasy goalie. Now I have a hot Rask and Bobrovsky going into the playoffs. I have made it to the promised land for the first time ever and now that I am in the playoffs anything can happen. All I need is for a few guys to go on a hot streak and I could end up with a fantasy championship. Tonight is the first night of my quarterfinal match. I will update the situation next week and hopefully, I will be telling you about my preparations for the semi-finals.

Do you play fantasy hockey? Ever been in a fantasy league where you have sucked as bad as I have sucked in this league? I would love to hear your stories.