Fantasy Hockey Coach - Hockey Pool and Keeper Hockey Advice - The Trade Bin: Blockhead

  • The Trade Bin: Blockhead

    The Trade Bin.
    By David "Hank" Henke

    The Trade Bin looks at trade scenarios and some general ideas and tips to make trading with other Owners (you may use the term Poolies, GM’s, Coaches,… I will call them Owners) more enjoyable and successful. While this is mostly with keeper leagues and salary cap leagues in mind, the information should be useful in yearly leagues as well.

    I have a name I like to call these different trade scenarios.
    “The Long Lost Friend”
    “Block Shopping”
    “Fishing Expedition”
    “Don’t be a Blockhead”
    “Apple of my Eye”

    “Don’t be a Blockhead”
    Most sites that host fantasy sports have an option called the “Trade Block”. While this tool is widely used by owners, many don’t maximize its full affect. Seems easy enough just select the players you don’t want any more and put them on the “block” right? Well, no, not unless you want to sell at a discount or worse get no action at all. Here is my advice.

    1. Don’t take the “Super” out of Superstar-If you are going to “block” a superstar, put him out only with other superstars, or better yet alone. You lose the wow factor instantly when he is buried in with prospects or rejects. Consider Retail Merchandise 101, when you go to the mall, there are the racks stuffed with the low priced garments and then there is a small quantity of the beautiful designer high end garments folded perfectly, single file taking up an entire display case. The appeal of that same garment changes when found in the discount rack and no one wants to pay full price from the discount rack. You unwittingly lower the value of the player instantly when you surround him with lesser players. I think Pavel Datsyuk has earned his place on the display case, far far away from Barrett Jackman.

    2. Less is more…effective- Avoid constantly placing/housing for an extended period of time three-fourths of your team on the block. Owners will assume you are not that interested in moving any particular player and won’t bother. Also, it looks a mess and even if an owner can find quality players among the clutter, owners are given too many choices. I was in the home improvement store the other day to buy a paint brush. There were 30 different choices. I just want a brush to put paint on the wall for goodness sakes. How about small, medium and large. I can make that choice. “Oh, I see Nathan Horton, yea I might ask about him, oh no wait, David Perron also; no Jack Johnson; maybe Bryan Little; Ugh, I can’t decide… oh wait, I see a Datsyuk neatly folded over there on the other block all by himself, I will go over there instead.”

    3. Utilize free publicity- Use the publicity players/teams get with white hot streaks , minors call ups, goalie controversies, Gordie Howe Hat Tricks, returns from IR, firings/demotions, … We fantasy hockey owners are no different than the rest of the humans. We tend to give higher value to celebrities, even for bad acts (boy are we a strange species in that way or what). Mikhail Grabovski, Mason Raymond, Lars Eller, Jaroslav Halak(got off to blistering starts), Colorado players, Flyers players(fired their coach and flat stink right now), Mika Zibanejad & Kreider recent call ups, Oilers & Caps goalies getting a lot of attention early in the season, and holy smokes Tomas Hertl. Now, let me be clear, I am not saying that all of these players are overachieving and should be purged from your team. Based on your scoring and roster needs, it is for you to determine if these players are better served on your team or are perfect sell high candidates. I am just saying this is a great moment to PROMPT AN OFFER for these players. For instance, for your Raymond who is an extra winger on your team for a center you so badly need. Even in my keeper leagues, I have seen slow start Flyers and Rangers flying all over the place. So, the publicity of their slow start is at least prompting action. If the right offers don’t come, you just keep the celebrities and enjoy the production.

    4. Have some fun with the block. It is a great communication tool and I have really had some fun exchanges with owners that have helped build relationships. Occasionally put a Ryan Kessler or Kevin Shattenkirk out there for some fun. Semi-bluff that you are on “full tilt” (it is a poker term and go into this in more depth in future article) with your struggling superstar. You never know when an overwhelming offer will come along. In other cases, include some fun notes, “Won’t consider any offers that include Blackhawks cause…well cause I hate the Blackhawks.”
    Lastly, you will notice I used “Kessler or Shattenkirk” and not “Evgeni Malkin and Erik Karlsson” for the fun choice. Kessler and Shattenkirk are very very good players (in fact two of my favorites, hint hint), but assuming I was truly open to the idea of moving a truly elite player like Malkin or Karlsson, I would never “Block” them. I would instead, send an email to the league and inform them I am at least considering dealing said truly elite player and I would disclose my “general” plan/needs. This should reduce your wasted time on foolish offers and get right to the owners that are serious.
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