Have some fun blowing it all up
Five Steps to tanking the right way
By Dave Dickenson
Rebuilding can be a dirty word to most especially in hockey pools.
It means you wasted your entry fee that year, you lack bragging rights against your buddies and you’re in for a season of being ridiculed and tortured by other members of the league.
Some league’s especially keepers can be tough to turn around an expansion team or take over a previous owner’s team and there are no other alternatives to retool it all from scratch.
It’s a slippery slope to tank your team for a good pick and trying to rebuild… there’s also a right way and a wrong way to do this, so here’s some steps to do it properly and have some fun in the process so your league isn’t ready to murder you for being a huge douchebag whose sitting all his guys.
1. Know your targets
Rebuilding is tricky and usually you can’t do it without some very good players or even a superstar or two. You need to get those types of players and usually your draft won’t have too many of those guys available who aren’t 18 year old rookies or guys who aren’t quite up to that level yet. You need to identify one or two of those guys and make them a priority. See what it takes to get them… offer up your best players as depth for them to get those guys and round out your roster with scrubs… because it’s too hard to get those star players otherwise.
2. Amen brother you are healed! Praise the lord and pass the ammunition!
Sounds strange? Yep!... but makes sense when you add it all up… Take in their tired, weak, weary and injured souls or in this case stars, for some healthy able bodies who can help them out in the meantime and give you a star when they get off that stretcher and are “healed” and dancing up on stage like a Southern Baptist conversional ceremony preaching the healing power of the lord. Either way it flat out works… think guys like Jason Spezza in this roll… he’s a star when healthy and bound to put up numbers for you… however when he’s hurt which can be often he’s frustrating the crap out of somebody and ripe for the pickens.
3. Tanking is truly an issue of timing
You have to again think who’s out there and available to be snagged in the draft if you tank… there’s a lot of best guessing in this process, but for me the biggest thing to do is to look at what’s coming up the ranks from drafts as to who you want to building your team around in the future. Tanking this year may not be the best idea, since the 2014 NHL Entry Draft has a handful of guys who will be good players at the top and a bunch of solid role players after, but may lack the star power of other years… namely the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. Why go with good players like Sam Reinhart, Aaron Ekblad, Will Nylander
, or Nick Ritchie
who may take some time to develop and have upside to be very good players, when you can wait a year and go for Connor McDavid
or Matt Barzal
, who are scoring machines?
4. How to **** off your friends without making them mad at you
So you’ve decided to tank… good plan… something most GM’s have done at one time or another during their illustrious fantasy hockey careers. This could anger other people in the pool. They wouldn’t like the freebie week for everybody or if you picked and chose who you dressed your best against... then watch out for the backlash. The key is knowing you’re out that year’s entry fee, you need to have fun, but also make sure not to burn bridges completely with the other plebes in your pool… so here’s a simple trick I learned. In keeper pools with unlimited roster moves, I grab a collection of my opponents most hated players and ones from his least favourite team to play against him. You’re still likely to lose, which is what you want, but if you did somehow manage to win the week you have that much more ammo to rub it in to him and brag how his least favourite players still managed to defeat his craptastic team. You’ve had your fun, you’re either getting bragging rights or the loss you really want and most importantly of all you haven’t burned a bridge for future trades.
5. Roster lock maneuvering and effecting league-wide change
Okay this is only for the advanced. When the season is over you have a good overview of which keepers are where and who is stronger and weaker etc… that’s the perfect opportunity to make your mark on the league and control how the league’s power structure lies for the next season. You’ve already tanked you should know who may be available, but you can also make trades for potential non-keepers giving them picks to load up for your run. Another area to play up is helping to distribute the wealth by dealing guys who aren’t keepers for you to a team whose keepers are weak for potentially a future draft pick or two… or dealing two potential keepers to him for a superstar for yourself.