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Darryl's Dispatch: NHL Fantasy Master Class

Darryl Houston Smith

Darryl is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and in 2011-12 won the Experts Fantasy Hockey League title. Find more of his work at or BlogTalkRadio. Follow him on Twitter at @dhoustonsmith.

Darryl's Dispatch

This is shameless self-promotion time. My wife and I have published an ebook on Amazon, NHL Fantasy Master Class.
This is not a stats book. I don't have a new forecasting system. What this guide represents is all that I have learned about the sport of hockey, how it is played in the NHL, and how that impacts the game of fantasy hockey.

- Don't take the news at face value. Understand that there is a level of hype that is coming from coaches in the hopes of misleading opponents.
- Agents trying to get better deals.
- Players trying to hide injuries.

Fans of my radio podcast won't be surprised that I take a stand on each of these.

This is a distillation of 40 years of watching hockey at its highest levels. We're trying something different here. No depth charts. Very limited stats. Most of what we have here are my insights and predictions for the season ahead.

I have reviewed every player of interest to fantasy managers and made predictions for their output. In it you will find my predictions for all the key fantasy players - who to own and who to leave on the wire. We write about each time, the effect of the realignment and identify key players.
Here's an excerpt:


New York Islanders

The Islanders are poised to build off of last year's surprising season but they still have a long way to go before they can consistently compete for a playoff spot. The two must-own players are John Tavares and Matt Moulson (no surprise). The next most important player on the Islanders will be the yet-to-be-named player who wins the right wing spot alongside these two. At press time, the candidates are Cal Clutterbuck (don't say that fast), Kyle Okposo and Pierre-Marc Bouchard and they will fight hard to win the position during camp as that pretty much seals up 55-60 points. The two that lose, will take a 20 point hit off the top.

I go on to list out the key forwards and my predictions for their point production.
Why is Kyle Okposo being mentioned in the same sentence as these two lesser players? What does that tell you about the coach's plans for him? It tells me that I'd be better off looking for a 60-point forward somewhere else. Six years we've been waiting for Okposo to crack the 60 point barrier. Fugazi - don't believe the hype.


Fans of my radio podcast, ProHockeyWeekly, won't be surprised that there is no waffling here. By no waffling, I mean no ifs ands or buts. There is only one "maybe" in the book, and here's what it says:

Ondrej Pavelec is a good goalie on a bad team. If only he played elsewhere. He is the type of workhorse goalie you could build a fantasy team around. Maybe some year you can but that is several years away if he stays long term in Winnipeg.

I am Black Moses and I take my commandments seriously. We'll keep score. No distracting pie charts. I just tell it like it is. Every fantasy worthy player is reviewed. If a player isn't in the book, he shouldn't be on any wish list of yours if not playing in a keeper league.

Can you afford not to buy this book?