By now, most of you have probably drafted a fantasy hockey team. By now, you probably also have heard the news of the day that the NHL canceled another chunk of games. Let's put that news aside for just a moment and assume there will be some sort of season. (I know, I know, it seems like a bit of a reach on this day, but play along.) If the NHL lockout comes to an end in the short term, and there is a season, there are certain things you can do to help your cause in terms of having an edge over your fantasy hockey competitors. What can you do now to help you win later when the foolishness of the business side of the game is behind us?
Even if you have drafted your teams already, keep an eye on what is going on in leagues overseas. If there are NHL players tearing it up overseas, don't be afraid to make that move now as opposed to later as most leagues do allow roster moves regardless of the lockout.
While we are talking about players to keep an eye on, something else to consider is the players that are closer to home in the American Hockey League. As one agent mentioned last month, the players that are playing in real games and keeping a real schedule in the minors will be in a great position to hit the ice running, so to speak, in a short training camp. For example, a player like Tampa Bay Lightning prospect and Syracuse Crunch forward Cory Conacher, who has spent the last year and a half basically scoring at will in the AHL. He could be a player that may be worthwhile to get on your bench now, because he may have some added value early on in a shortened season.
Goaltender is such an important position over the course of a full season, and it will take on an even bigger role in a potential shortened season. One thing to keep in mind, in a shortened season, there will be plenty of back-to-back games, which means backup goaltenders are likely to get a lot more work. Just something to keep in mind considering the goaltender position accounts for almost half your stats in most formats.
The one thing to remember, if there is a shortened season don't be afraid to be bold with your roster moves. In a potential 48-game season, there are sure to be many surprises along the way.
About Mike Corcoran
Mike Corcoran joined KFFL in 2011 as their senior fantasy hockey writer. The Tarrytown, New York, native hosts a hockey radio show on ESPN Radio in Tampa, and covers the Tampa Bay Lightning professionally.
You can follow Mike on Twitter @MikeCorcoranNHL