I take a lot of pride in my ability to draft a solid squad, but this year, circumstances didn’t allow me to attend one of my online drafts (I was on my way home to Toronto after seeing my Bengals play in Cincinnati – pretty much the ONLY reason why I’d ever miss a draft), forcing me to suffer the unenviable fate of having my team selected by the dreaded ‘auto-pick’.
Did I get the team I was hoping for? Hell, no. Not even close. But aside from the sheer randomness of the whole process, I really only have myself to blame for ending up with a sub-par lineup. I failed to pre-rank my players.
By the time I finally logged in the following evening, I discovered my roster was saddled with four of the best defensemen money could buy, including: Mike Green, Keith Yandle, Lubomir Visnovsky and Christian Ehrhoff. Unfortunately, all of them were ‘auto-picked’ within the first six rounds, costing me the chance to get my hands on some genuine top-flight forwards. Thanks for nothing. The season wasn’t getting off on the right foot.
Alas, I’d be forced to rely on my guile and craftiness, if I was going to build a winner. It wouldn’t be easy, but I’d give it a shot. Better than mailing it in, in October.
First order of business, trade one of the D-men for a solid, goal-scoring winger. I was in search of some much-needed punch. Outside of forwards Daniel Sedin (I actually randomly won the #1 pick!) and Brad Richards, my team had a big drop off in offensive talent, highlighted by the likes of P.A. Parenteau, Drew Stafford and Jiri Hudler. Yikes.
I sent out a note that night on the message board, offering to trade one of my top defenseman for a 2nd line guy, only to hear nothing in return. So, I started to fire off trade offers involving Green, figuring he could at least command the biggest bang for my buck, while still leaving me with three more-than-competent blueliners. There were at least a few teams which lacked depth on D (no kidding, I had all the studs), so I offered up a few one-for-one deals to my buddies involving him in exchange for Dustin Brown, Rene Bourque and Ryan Clowe. I wasn’t looking to rip anyone off, or get ripped off for that matter; Green, who had back-to-back 70+ point seasons from 2008-2010 and is still only 26 years of age, has a helluva lot of upside, despite coming off the concussion last season, while all three guys mentioned offer a near-guarantee of 30 goals and 60 points. All three deals seem kosher to me.
Despite not getting a nibble for either Brown or Bourque, my bait did catch me Clowe, the email notice revealing the trade was approved with my fellow poolie. I’m on my way back, I tell myself. One small step at a time.
Then, the unthinkable happens. The trade actually gets vetoed by the league. 50% ruled against it.
With no recourse other than to call BS on the message board, I post a note demanding an explanation why such a deal would not be allowed to pass. After a day of silence, one of my cohorts is good enough to respond, suggesting the trade didn’t go through because the guys had a problem with me not getting enough in return for Green, for was getting dealt for a “flash-in-the-pan” like Clowe. Huh? Really? I’m sorry, but Clowe rocks. Not to mention that I was the one that proposed the trade!
Of course, what does this guy do? He turns around and has the audacity to send me an offer of Milan Hejduk for Green. As if.
I turn to the commish, a good friend of mine, looking for answers. He offers little consolation to me saying, that while he didn’t veto the deal, he can understand why guys would. He proceeded to explain the philosophy of why an uninvolved GM would look to veto trades, based on the fact that the accepted trade offered no direct benefit to THEIR team. Huh? Really? So, what you’re saying is, I can’t make a deal to improve my team, because a guy who’s not even involved is afraid two other guys might be gaining on them? Ridiculous. I mean, why even have trades?
So, with little other recourse, I take the advice of said commish and attempt to push through the trade again, only this time, I make a plea to the league on the forum to allow the deal to go through this time. Only now there’s a new problem. The GM I was dealing with decides to reject the Green-Clowe trade the second time through. Figures.
The moral of this story? Take it from me, Don’t miss your online drafts, even if it is for a Bengals game in Cincy. You’ll be sorry.
Have you ever received the shaft in your fantasy hockey league? What’s the worst trade you’ve ever been offered? Time to chime in – I want to hear your stories!
Follow Dan following the ups and downs of the fantasy season on Twitter @Dan_Berlin