We took time away and there was this nagging feeling like we were missing something in the fantasy hockey world. Coming soon may just be a return of those crazy turkeys that spotlight the worst of fantasy hockey weeks. In the meantime, enjoy this classic from 2010.
It is time to say goodbye to our turkey friends for the summer. They will be back come Labor Day with their usual hijinks and hilarity. All hockey season they have brought us the worst fantasy turkeys imaginable. These are the players that you wanted to stay away from, bench, or even take back into a deserted alley and end their misery. We compiled the entire year’s results right into the playoffs. This was not easy as the turkeys do not divulge the information so easily. There were some strong armed tactics used in order to get the results needed. No animals were severely harmed but one turkey was sacrificed for Thanksgiving Dinner. This had to be done. Now for those crazy flying turkeys.
Yes they have perches. The final installment of the turkeys brings you the three worst and then several dishonorable mentions. Voting is done by people and turkeys alike and the votes are tabulated by yours truly. Next year, we will take results from facebook and twitter as well. Now I present the results for Turkeys Of The Year.
These Three Turkeys (OF THE YEAR)
Alexei Kovalev, RW, Ottawa Senators
Why? This was easy. He vanished for the last 2 months of the season. His two points from Feb.14th on was horrifying to say the least for a guy who should have been close to a point a game for Ottawa. There were so many nights of only 1 and 2 shots on goal as well. For further insult, the double digit minus from the Olympic Break on also hurt. The lack of power play production crippled some teams almost singlehandedly. I heard the screams of fantasy gm’s everywhere. I could imagine it. We paid five million dollars for this guy to suck so bad that an AHL guy making a tenth of that could do better than this blindfolded. The minutes were there, the opportunities were there but yet the points were not. It is a very sad story. Surely this will be a tearjerker and a lesson for many fanasy hockey experts for years to come.
Wait I am not done yet. Did I mention he is 37 and has another year left on his contract? If he is bought out, it costs Ottawa 1.67 million dollars to do so. Maybe Kovalev goes back to the Rangers for a year or goes to the KHL which would spare us another year of torture. Let us pray.
Jonathan Cheechoo, RW, Ottawa Senators
Mercifully the reign of terror by the “Cheechoo Train” is over. He was bought out by Ottawa for exceedingly bad play. Chechoo had just 14 points in 61 games and well just five goals. His rate of decline suggested he may score a negative amount of goals next season. Where Kovalev did it for two months, Cheechoo found a way to do it over four months. That makes the futility more impressive in some ways but his ice time was being cut, unlike Kovalev who just kept playing the same bad tune over and over. Cheechoo could have been paired with the Pope and it would not have mattered. Many have said he is a product of Jumbo Joe in San Jose but that cannot be possible. Can it? 56 goals from this guy seemed like 56 years ago. The reality is that was the 2005-06 season. Now he is a 30 year old (err soon to be on July 15th) crashing faster than any supernova.
He might get a look by some team desperate to rekindle the magic but it would take a lot for any team to take him on which means I would not even think about having him on my team next season. There are many better options and frankly Cheechoo is like the woman that tricks you three times. That third time symbolizes the end. Happy trails Cheechoo Train!
Roberto Luongo, G, Vancouver Canucks
This choice is a bit controversial and we understand the slings and arrows that will come our way. Luongo was forecasted by just about every fantasy pundit as being the #1 or #2 fantasy netminder out there. He was not even close folks. He only had four shutouts all year, did have 40 wins but his 2.57 GAA and .913 save percentage was ehhhh….pedestrian by his standards. Luongo did not have a single shutout after Feb. 11th and some will say the road trip of death did him in but great netminders are supposed to rise above that. His playoff performance was uneven to say the least as he was rattled by LA first and then just torn to pieces by Chicago. The 3.23 GAA and .895 save percentage in the playoffs made many wonder again if Luongo really is the guy to lead Vancouver to the promised land.
Yes the injuries were significant for Vancouver but the excuses should not be there. Fantasy GM’s were expecting a 2.25 GAA and a .920 to .925 save percentage from Luongo, about 44 wins, and maybe 7 or 8 shutouts. Since we did not see anything close to that and he just looked inconsistent after the Break, you have to toss a turkey to Luongo, fairly or unfairly. This was tough. There were many deserving candidates. However when you have high expectations, you have to expect the wrath of the turkeys when you fall.
1. Slava Kozlov (ATL). Age might have caught up with him finally as he only scored 8 times in 55 games this year.
2. Guilliame Latendresse (MTL) — For his 23 games in MTL, he had 3 points. Went to the Wild and scored 25 times.
3. Todd White (ATL) — Had 7 goals in 65 games this year….26 pts a far dropoff from the 73 the previous year.
4. Olli Jokinen (CGY/NYR) — The shootout jokes aside. Jokinen was just awful all year…a shell of what he once was.
5. Wade Redden (NYR) — 14 points in 75 games. I kid you not. Never has been right sadly since his mom died.
6. Pavol Demitra (VAN) — This was just too obvious. Reeks of turkey!
7. Rick DiPietro (NYI) — Lifetime turkey achievement award winner? Maybe.
The turkeys again thank you for your help and see you in September with our All Turkey Preview Team for the 2010-11 fantasy hockey season. Happy hunting and remember to leave a few comments on the way out the door.