(Ed. Note: So we're getting into our fantasy hockey coverage here, and this is one of two weekly fantasy features. 'I Hate My [expletive deleted] Fantasy Team!' is a chance to vicariously live through two Yahoo! fantasy hockey players as they provide snarky fantasy analysis while experiencing the headaches and heartburn of their chosen addiction -- even if things look great on paper now.
Our authors this season are Hextall454 of Melt Your Face Off and The Rev. Zamboni on The Palm Isle, who will be featured in alternating weeks beginning next Thursday. First, here are introductions to their fantasy teams this season.)
You need to know this about me: I'm fiercely loyal to the team that I draft. Even though I wouldn't be charged a dime should I make a transaction, I take a lot of pride in carefully selecting the roster of skaters that will lead me to my first-ever Lord Manderville's Cup. (Named after Kent. Don't ask.) I'd rather let Vaclav Prospal drive my plus/minus into the ground rather than drop him for an equally streaky and mediocre wing.
Unless an injury, AHL demotion, or ethical conflict arises, I dress the players that I handed an oversized jersey and crappy truckers' hat to on Draft Night. Nonetheless, the commissioner steps to the podium, ethical conflict in hand.
With the 2nd pick in the draft, the Red Bank Salsa Sharks select Sidney Crosby.
Look, I didn't expect Ovechkin to drop. But the clock started ticking and I froze as if Fulton Reed was winding up in my direction. Who to pick? Iginla's got zero help on his line, Dany Heatley fails my "No Germans" rule, and Zetterberg was an absolute ass in "Panic Room." That leaves me, a Philadelphia Flyers fan, with a choice between two forwards from Pittsburgh who weren't old enough to see The Matrix in theaters without the accompaniment of a parent or guardian. Is the second pick too early to reach for Mike Richards?
Note: I still ended up with Mike Richards. I'm going to sweep Intangibles this year.
And now, PD Nation, your 2008-2009 Red Bank Salsa Sharks.
Centers: Hockey Jesus, Richards, Anze Kopitar, Patrick Marleau, Steven Stamkos
Left Wings: Thomas Vanek, Patrik Elias, Markus Naslund, Prospal, Dustin Penner
Right Wings: Marian Hossa, Jason Pominville, Nikolai Zherdev, Mike Knuble
Defense: Lubomir Visnovsky, J.M. Liles, Marek Zidlicky, Mathieu Schneider
Goaltending: Miikka Kiprusoff, Jose Theodore and Tomas Vokoun
By The Rev. Zamboni
I was late for my draft after spending the morning at the Cortland Pumpkin Festival. I called Pierre in California and had him log into my account while I drove. (password: "Zelepukin," I explained, "as in Valeri Zelepukin.") I panicked on my first two picks, with two balloons under my feet, the kids playing with light-up rubber ball/yo-yos in the backseat, and the oldest asking, "f---ing what daddy?"
Not awful, I think. But it will be. Oh, it will be.
Allow me to introduce myself, I am not clever.
I won this league, The Federal League, once, back when it was a significant advantage and source of debate if you had high-speed Internet. I drafted in a newspaper office in Oneonta, New York, under ceiling tiles stained yellow in a previous era when smoking was allowed in the newsroom. My team was called "The Broome Dusters."
Subsequent incarnations have been named "The Palm Islanders," "Five Minutes Moe," "Ice Stravaganza," "IR-Farm," "Poodle," and, in another league where, much to my protest, they didn't track PIMs, "PIMs Win Cups." We have a loose tradition of changing names in The Federal League throughout the season, so I have also managed teams under the name of "F Michael Ryder," "Waiving Chuck Kobasew," and "The Day to Days."
This year? I am "Bad Habitants."
I don't think that's very clever, but I suppose it's better than "I Arnott Gonna Win," or "The Byfuglien Bills." (heyoh!)
A short history of the Federal League
We've been official with Yahoo! since 2002, although I'm pretty sure we played some kind of salary cap league through TSN in 2000 and 2001.
Most of our managers have been with us through the years, including Pierre, who used to carry around a leather binder about six inches thick in the weeks leading up the draft. We have a few Islanders fans, two Sabres fans, a Bruins supporter, Leafs, Canucks, a few old newspaper friends, the commissioner's sister's boyfriend, and a morbidly obese Italian immigrant who is a Rangers fan and can go to hell.
We play head-to-head, and if you don't carry at least three defensemen, we will tell on you.
And we count PIMs.
Here are the hockey players I will learn to hate, this year
Draft pick number in parentheses.
Centers: Derek Roy (4), Jason Arnott (10).
Left Wings: Patrick Sharp (5), Andrei Kostitsyn (6), Zach Parise (7), Alex Tanguay (12).
Right Wings: Daniel Alfredsson (1), Marian Gaborik (2), Petr Sykora (11).
Defense: Dustin Byfuglien (13), Kimmo Timonen (14), Shane O'Brien (15)
Goalies: Carey Price (3), Cristobal Huet (8), Tomas Vokoun (9)