28 July 2009

Building a Winner – Theory in Practice

There are surely as many theories out there as to how to build a winner in the NHL as there are teams in the NHL, and probably a great deal more. Everybody and anybody with a passion for the game (knowledge be damned) believes they have what it takes, in savvy and strategy, to put together a championship roster—such is the foundation of fantasy sports leagues and inspired debate in hockey forums and pubs alike.

cyclelikesedins Along this vein, an interesting hockey-social experiment is being conducted over at Cycle like the Sedins, as orchestrated by James T. O’Brien, in which I will be one of 30 armchair GM’s (representing le bleu-blanc-rouge, no less) participating in a full fantasy Re-Draft of the NHL. Inspired by EA Sports’ NHL franchise and its upcoming 2010 edition’s renewal of the fantasy draft option, the dispersal draft will be broadcast live over the course of the 23 rounds of selections as 30 GMs carrying unique perspectives and opportunities attempt to concoct their own recipe for success—from scratch.

The results of our ambitious project will then be applied to the soon to be releasednhl10_cover_300x3701 NHL10, with the newly constructed 30 teams facing off through a simulated 2009-10 season to determine a winner. Along the way, all involved and observing will gain some insight into differing schools of thought and team-building strategies as many of the participating GMs are chronicling their selections and the process that went into them on their own blogs.

I, too, will be offering up a few tidbits on this space while we go through this process, revealing some of the motivations behind my picks, sources of inspiration, surprises, successes, disappointments, critiques of other teams’ selections and, of course, lots and lots of trash-talking. After all, what fun would a fantasy league be without irreverent wit and zealous heckling?

As it stands, we are through 26 picks in the 1st round, with yours truly and his Canadiens owning the 29th overall pick. Any suggestions? Theories? Trash-talk?

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