Monday, September 29, 2008

Extended Talk Part 1: PIM guys to target

Here are some notable guys who can provide valuable PIMs while not totally wrecking your team in points:

  • Daniel Carcillo (he had more than 300 PIM last season!!!)

Carcillo is an interesting guy in fantasy - I picked him up with my 9th round pick in one league and I'm not sure if I was doing the old reach around. I'm not certain whether or not he was a reach for a simple reason: it's unclear how "unknown" he might be.

On one hand, there probably are very few casual hockey fans who have even seen or heard of the guy. Still, one click on the "PIM" button brings up his name and he's fairly high on the Yahoo! list.

He might not hit 300 PIM again but he actually has reasonable offensive skills, so I think of him as a less-notorious version of Sean Avery. My suggestion is to go with your gut and pick him in the 9-13th round range. He has the potential to win quite a few weeks worth of the PIM category by himself.

  • Todd Bertuzzi (usually in the 40-60 point range and nearly a lock for 100+ PIM)

Every year, I make the same fantasy hockey deal with the devil and get Bertuzzi. Thankfully his stock has plummeted to the point that I've gotten him for bargain basement deals - and you should be able to as well.

Really, in the hysterical spots I've been drafting him (second to last round of a 10-team draft, absolute last pick in a 24-round draft) he very well could be a great asset even with pretty crummy points totals.

The biggest bright spot is that Calgary is where offense goes to die, so their lack of depth at forward might give the big asshole a chance to line up with Jarmoe from time-to-time. Don't bet on that, naturally, but it just shows how much of a steal the guy can be.

A douchey steal, but a steal nonetheless.

  • Chris Pronger (usually good for 40-50 points and pretty high PIM)

At one point Dion Phaneuf was the next Pronger, but now the artist formerly known as the Orbs is a poor man's Phaneuf (at least in fantasy and to Elisha Cuthbert). It's rare to find defensive guys with both point scoring and penalty potential, so Pronger is a solid D guy. In my mnd he's a weak No. 1 and an extremely strong No. 2 D guy on a strong fantasy team.

  • Jarmoe (a first round guy, great points, PIM and a smile that could make him a Dryden-sque politician in Canada once he retires)

Iginla is one of those do-everything superhuman guys. You know, the type of guys typically discredited by lowlifes such as myself because they're too damn perfect.

He's probably the best power forward in hockey right now, but fantasy vets remember that he once had a reputation as a slow starter. I'd be cautious to draft him too high; if it came down to Dany Heatley and Jarmoe I'd take the poor driving Heatley in most formats.

  • Sean Avery (wildly unpredictable, but he almost certainly will get great PIM)

The problem with Avery - other than the fact that he's the most divisive force in hockey aside from Gary Bettman - is the fact that he's gone from diamond in the rough to overrated.

I've seen people* draft him as early as the fourth round while obvious dynamos such as Dan Boyle were left blowin' in the wind. Honestly, I'd only draft him a round or two higher than Carcillo. He's a good pickup but draft him appropriately.

* - idiots.

  • Rick Nash (highlight reel gold club member, terrible awful no good very bad team around him)

I used to be high on this guy but he burnt me pretty bad one year. Now I probably underrate him too much. He's a guy who scores a ton, shoots a lot and gets plenty of PIM. He's also improved his D enough that he won't destroy your plus-minus.

Really, Nash is one of those guys who could be a third round steal. Even if I have some bizarre grudge against the guy (maybe it's his facial hair?)

  • Dany Heatley - Sidney Crosby

These two guys are worth noting for being top 10 players who can put up really good PIM numbers. Crosby might get the nod over Ovechkin for some because of his PIM, but really the Crosby-Ovie debate is a coin toss at this point.

Heatley is my choice for this year's "Other White Meat." By that I mean, f I can't have one of the NHL's biggest media darlings I would take Heater next. Aside from Ovechkin, he's the most automatic threat for a 50 goal season if healthy (Kovalchuk is up there, but his linemates are a joke).

So, in my book Heatley beats Brodeur, Zetterberg, Malkin etc. Take that to

  • Vinny Lecavalier

For some reason, I've always underestimated Vinny L but keep your eyes peeled for this guy. He's another elite scorer who can put up some PIMs albeit unpredictably. Just sayin'.

  • Brendan Morrow

He was a beast in the playoffs, but every draft I've had he's gone surprising early. Still, if he slips to the 5th round or slow scoop him up like mashed potatoes.

  • Mike Richards

This guy has big time slippage potential. He's a not-all-that-poor man's Ryan Getzlaf. Keep your eyes peeled for him too.

  • Ryan Getzlaf

Speaking of which, Getzlaf is one of my favorite could-be 3rd or 4th round type guys. He's:

a) The best forward on a team that won the Cup two years ago.
b) A guy who should get about 80 PIM
c) Should maintain a great plus-minus
d) Even has a humorous bald spot for comic relief!

Haven't seen a total package like that since Mr. Perfect!

  • Corey Perry

Sure, he's an even bigger douche that Getzlaf. But his douchery should put him in that rariefied 60-70 pt, 100 PIM good plus-minus range. Plus he should drop further than his balding partner in quacky crime.

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