Major minor realignment, a dash of stats and a bushel of prospect rankings.
I’m just getting back on my feet from my vacation, the publishing of the awesome fantasy guide (buy it here) and getting hired for a full-time co-op job as part of my degree at UBC!
The biggest news of the last week is the possible reconstruction of the AHL, which could see five teams moving west and the establishment of a true western conference. You can read Travis Hughes’ guess on how things will shake out here.
With the loss of Abbotsford to New York, the two westernmost AHL teams are now Texan and still closer to Florida than California. That may soon be rectified, as a true AHL western conference could take shape through the acquisition of some ECHL teams (no that doesn’t stand for East Coast Hockey League, or anything else anymore). The ECHL would offset those losses by acquiring the remaining Central Hockey League (a league that is likely to be defunct soon anyways).
This will mean that NHL western conference teams will get a prospect development boost. Will there be any sort of tangible value to be added to west coast prospects? I doubt it. While Abbotsford players being away from home for 80 days a year certainly hurt the development of Calgary prospects, that has already been rectified. Western NHL teams keep many pairs of eyes locked in on their prospects to the east, and while it will certainly help with call-ups and logistics to have them closer to home, it isn’t enough to make a fantasy-relevant impact. I am much more interested, from a fantasy perspective, when an NHL team acquires their AHL affiliate outright.
The Dallas Stars did just that, and while their relationship with Texas was certainly rosy, a complete consolidation of intent and knowledge can only strengthen their pipeline.
Also, Edmonton bought the ECHL’s Bakersfield Condors much earlier this year, which could be a move in anticipation of them moving to the AHL in the aforementioned reconstruction.
Why Stats Matter
Wherever you are on the advanced stats debate, it is silly not not atleast glance at the stats every once in a while! for a few reasons.
Supplementing what you already know with extra information can only increase your success in drafting and adding players. If you keep aware the limitations of what you are looking at it, stat’s can’t hurt.
You will be able to make a more informed decision on who is more likely to bounce back or fall silent, and it should help you buy high and sell low.
If you already know your stuff, you can use your own knowledge to notice players that are doing well for reasons not described by current statistcs. For example, in Baseball, a pitcher named Chris Young should be terrible by all of the sabermetrics, with a fastball in the 80’s, no good secondary