By Matt Perry
Each year I like to mix my second favorite holiday with my second favorite activity (I think you can guess my favorite in each of the aforementioned lists). However, today I will ignore the scariest fact (that there is no hockey) and proceed despite the fact I have absolutely no hockey-based data to compile this list.
- Roberto Luongo will have the not-so-great fortune of knocking Ales Hemsky's never evolving fantasy value out of this spot. This year, if it ever gets going, Luongo could be in limbo sucking fantasy value from his roster spot for everyone who drafts him. If he isn't traded he will play his limited starts while being distracted. If he is dealt it could be to a situation with less offense and defense than he got in Vancouver. He could be a steal if he falls far enough, but it would take guts that would make my blood run cold.
- Taylor Hall with this nasty scar across his forehead combined with his ability to strike fear into his opponents is my Frankenstein pick this year. Hopefully the offseason shoulder surgery will be the last body part he needs sewn up for a while.
- Eric Staal. Every year he seems to end up on my team and while I love him he does come with some perplexing issues. When he is hot he is a monster. When he isn't he is almost a corpse. Sadly it is harder to forecast his metamorphosis than it is the Wolfman's. Staal shows up for more than just full moons, but not like clockwork. It will be interesting to see if Semin will help his reign of terror or become his silver bullet.
- Henrik Sedin is a sneaky pick in every draft. Like a ghost he just blends into your team like an efficient, high-scoring, omnipresent transparent entity. Roster him and forget about him. Get your 90 points, no surprises.
- Every year Cam Ward takes mediocre offensive support and turns in 30 wins and 6 shutouts. You'd think he arrives to work on a broom with the kinds of spells he puts on teams.
- For the last three years nobody has been scarier for NHL teams and fantasy owners (who don't have him) than Steven Stamkos. He has been lighting more lamps than Haddonfield (that is the hometown of Michael Myers of Halloween for all you non-horror junkies) lights Jack O'Lanterns.
- Every year the Anaheim Ducks have taken a crowbar to his sarcophagus and woken up Teemu Selanne from his summer slumber. The interesting thing is Teemu has never failed to destroy the competition and has rarely been seen shuffling about.
- This award is in poor taste. After a short playoff and long lay-off Alex Ovechkin showed up to camp with a Mr. Big sponsorship deal and a paunch around his belt in 2010. In 2012, with a lockout keeping him from workouts there is a chance the brass in Washington will be more busy pulling Russian supermodels out of his greasy fat rolls than getting him ready to do battle with Crosby.
Nightmare on Elm Street
- More like the Nightmare in Nassau. The Islanders really should have iced a competitive team last year, but were walked over again and don't show much in the way of improving. They continue to stockpile and ruin great NHL talent with no signs of stopping. Just like the franchise that dropped Freddy on viewers seven or eight times without noticing the story stopped working at some point in the third installment.
Friday the 13th
- Jason Voorhees proved to be virtually indestructible. The same can't be said for Pascal Leclaire. One thing the two share is the bad luck of Friday the 13th. Perhaps Leclaire will find his way back into the NHL. However, it is likely he will retire with a lot of potential, some short-lived Bluejacket franchise records and a handful of weird injuries.
- Alex Burrows. It may be petty, but I am not going to forgive his Stanley Cup snack on Patrice Bergeron until another player bites someone on the ice.
- I have reserved arguably the scariest horror movie for the scariest thing for fantasy hockey owners. Concussions. Nothing strikes fear in this day and age more than the dreaded "concussion-like symptoms" tag on a star player. Come on NHL figure something out to reduce the head injuries until it makes someone want to "Red Rum".