I think I can speak for all hockey fans when I say I'm looking forward to the league's return to an 82-game season. As a lifelong hockey fan, the uncertainty around the last two seasons has been difficult. While we're not all the way back to normal, this is a great step forward.
Before I get into my season preview, let me introduce myself. I'm Shawn Hutchinson, and I've been playing fantasy hockey since 2007. I've played in a variety of formats with anywhere between six and 20 teams, and I've seen numerous category layouts. I prefer to play in leagues with 8-to-12 teams, and I prefer old-fashioned head-to-head formats, although I've taken a liking to points leagues recently as well.
My goal with this column is to provide my audience with insight based on my experience both through the years and on a week-to-week basis. What you can expect from me each week this season (and hopefully beyond!) is an anecdote or two, some general strategic advice, and a few player spotlights for both the waiver wire and the trade market. As fantasy managers, we're always looking for sustainable success, and it's my goal to point out a few players that are going both over- and under-appreciated.
Since the season hasn't started yet, I'll begin with some of the things I've learned as I've drafted teams over the last few weeks. Without further ado, let's take a look at my fantasy must-haves and never-wants for the upcoming season.