It's Fantasy Hockey Week
The NHL season officially kicks off 17 days from now, but training camps started for four teams Tuesday and will get underway leaguewide Friday and Saturday. Two exhibition games this weekend mark the first preseason action of 2008-09 as well.
More importantly, this time of year is when fantasy hockey gets going in earnest. On Saturday afternoon, I'll be a guest for an hour on Hardcore Sports Radio's Fantasy Show for an NHL preview, so if you're into satellite radio, tune us in (Channel 98).
I've been told that Neil Smith will also be part of the show, and that he claims to have "invented fantasy hockey."
Should be interesting, in any event. I might ask him if he would draft any Islanders.
The show's good timing, too, given that my first draft of the season goes tonight at 7 p.m. in the Hockey Open Invitational league (B2). The B1 draft goes on Sunday night, while the heavy hitters in the third annual Blogger Invitational square off on the 27th.
Notables in the lineup
Blogger Invitational: Chris from Covered in Oil, Islanders Army, Japers' Rink, Matt from The Battle of Alberta, Dean Millard from Global Edmonton, Pension Plan Puppets, Greg Wyshynski, Sharkspage, Earl Sleek, Spector, Five Hole Fanatics, The Forechecker, Dan Tolensky, two other members of The Globe's sports desk and two Black Aces just to make things interesting. There are 18 teams with representatives from all over the place: B.C., Alberta (3), Toronto (6), PEI, New York, Washington (2), California (2) and Tennessee.
Open Invitational (B1): Kevin Forbes from Hockey's Future, a few more close friends from the local media, my old man (!), the two Black Aces and a lot of well-known commenters from this site are in this massive 20-team pool. We'll be drafting 400 players this weekend, nearly two-thirds of the NHL.
Open Invitational (B2): Guy Katsaros from McKeen's Hockey, Hockeybums, Ryan Pinder from the Penticton Vees, Arpon Basu, Kevin Snow from the Buffalo Sabres, 14 challengers are in this one, which drafts tonight. Twenty more teams, 400 players.
Thanks for all of the interest and my apologies to those who didn't get in this year. I'll be better setup next time around to accomodate more entries.
What follows are McKeen's Hockey's picks for the top 15 scorers this coming season:
- Sidney Crosby 115
- Alex Ovechkin 107
- Vinny Lecavalier 104
- Evgeni Malkin 100
- Dany Heatley 99
- Pavel Datsyuk 96
- Eric Staal 93
- Jonathan Toews 92
- Jarome Iginla 91
- Anze Kopitar 90
- Joe Thornton 90
- Henrik Zetterberg 88
- Marian Hossa 88
- Jason Spezza 88
- Ryan Getzlaf 87
I'll have a few of my picks once the drafts are over, including sleepers and rebound candidates.