What Price McDavid?

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As a result, it seems all but assured that the Buffalos will get the best shot at McDavid or have to console themselves with Eichel and they can certainly use a franchise center whether of the generational or "regular" variety.

That said, there is a good chance that neither the Sabres, Coyotes, Oilers or Leafs will have the ping-pong-ball luck necessary to justify the Dishonour for Conner.  Even so, maybe the best thing for a franchise who is closer to the playoffs, say Colorado, who are already fairly strong up the middle to redeux the Lindros trade.

I don't think so but as a thought experiment, what would be the best offers a team that doesn't get McDavid could make to the team that does get him?

Week 25 - Stats as of Thursday Night's Games

Note, the Ramapithicines total is 2ps less as a player was noted to be dressing last week for both pts and +/-.  That has been corrected here.

Still, they are closing the gap in a manner I am sure is most disturbing to the Severed Heads.  The Edge hold a narrow lead in Game One of the Challenge Cup Final heading into the weekend games.

Thanks to Brian for keeping a running update while I have been


Week 24 Stats - Challenge Cup Finalists Set

Congratulations to both the Great Whites and the Edge who both advance from the Challenge Cup Semis into the Finals.  The Edge employed a unique bait and switch strategy of "Selling Out" to the Heads before crushing them - inspired!

The Severed Heads will try and console themselves by holding on to their lead atop the Predator Cup standings but with three weeks to go, the Ramapiticines have closed the gap considerably.  Another week like this last one would see their positions flip.

Note, I have had to take 4 pts from the Wolves as I had them playing a benched player for +/- last week.  Now corrected.

Also, the Great Whites will have an extra half point as a result of a TG line-up mistake that I made back in Week 22.  That will be corrected the next time stats are posted.


Week 25 Line-ups...the Suspense builds with 3 weeks to go!

Well, can the severed heads escape from the cavemen and great whites for another 3 weeks?  AND WHICH TEAMS made the challenge cup finals?

Time will tell...

Please post your Week 25 Line-ups here!

Thank you.


Face-Off (1.0)

Hey all, Going to start a new idea on the blog here, which I am going to unabashedly call Face-Off...

Periodically, GMs can post a concept or hockey related thought or question for discussion. Other GMs can then post their thoughts, and give their arguments or evidence for or against the original idea posted! So to get us started:

 Is Johnny Gaudreau's present season performance the best-ever rookie performance by a Calgary Flame? 
Why or why not? Provide evidence to back up your response! 




Michal "Freakin" Pivonka, man...

Blast from the past...

Week 24 Line-ups and Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Week 24 Rosters are due.

Happy St.Patrick's Day!

Happy FUNHL birthday to Noble Doug who does the stats.

And I believe the Severed Heads are still in first; so... dedicate this line-up poster to Dan and Corey!

Good Luck All!

Please post your week 4, I mean, Week 24 line-ups here!

Thank you


To all of those chasing the Severed Heads....

FUNHL News and Notes part whatever

And for sure, this time, there will be FUNBA content. I swear. Really.

- Ok, so our trade deadline passed and we were treated to a genuinely bizzarre specatcle. No, I'm not referring to those pictures of me in leather pants that showed up on twitter, I'm talking about Dan's decision to 'go for it', despite being 50points back of the league leader. In the early days of the millenium I recall the Severed Heads being roughly that far back of the league leading Wolves, and after reviewing the Wolves team in detail, I was convinced I could still catch them. With the addition of a Kovalev here, and a returning from the grave Lemieux there, it actually happened.

So it isn't unprecedented that a team come back from that far down, but Dan was making this calculation with less than a third of the season to go. Fair enough. So far, not actually all that bizzarre.

No, what pushes Dan's Quixotic charge into the realm of 'holy crap he did what?' was his decision to move Uber-prospect Conner McDavid as part of the balls to the wall going for it. Nobody can argue Dan didn't get value for him, as the resulting return from Brian gave Dan enough assets to shop across the league for talent and overload at every position, but...dude, you just dealt Connor McFreaking David. And you weren't in 2nd place when you did it, but 4th!

That right there is an indication of solid titanium testicles. Or incipient mental illness. Or both.

- Among the other surprises this deadline week was Darrell packing it in despite being in 3rd place. Compare/contrast the ulatra-conservative PV with the Great Whites decision making at your leisure.

- Unremarked upon so far is that the team in 2nd place is the Ramapithicines. I confess, I had not considered them a serious contender even two weeks ago, but after thumping the Heads in the standings with a 50pt->30pt drubbing they are now nipping at the heels of the leader. They also made almost no moves to shore up their team for the stretch drive, and seem content riding Jason Spezza as 2nd line C to the end of days. I need a Xanax.

- Naturally one of the first moves the Heads made to shore up their own drive was to aquire the best offensive defenseman in the league, Mark Giordano, from the Edge. A week later, we returned a now permanently injured Giordano to the Edge in a package deal for (among others) Nik Kronwall. It's just that kind of year.

- Interestingly, aquiring McDavid has created a weird situation for Bladerunners. To wit, they already have future FP Nathan Mackinnon on tap to slot in behind Stamkos, but now they have McDavid presumably elbowing MacKinnon out of the way for that job. I don't see the Bladerunners dealing McDavid away, so it likely puts MacKinnon in to play.

- I have to believe we are closing in on the end days of Chara as elite defenseman/FP. Ditto for Marty St Louis as an FP. Nice run for both.

- Check out these rookie seasons;

Nathan MacKinnon 82gp, 24g-39-63pts
Taylor Hall 65gp, 22g-20a-42pts
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 62gp, 18g-34-52pts
Nail Yakupov 48gp, 17g-14a-31pts

Johnny Gaudreau 67gp, 19g-34a-53pts

The first four guys were picked 1st overall, while Johnny G is a 4th round pick of the Feaster regime. If I haven't said this before, I think he's ridiculously good, and will be a key component in the Flames rebuild. If he plays out the last 13 games at the pace he's had since November (remember he had just a couple of points in his first 11 games), he should finish with a rookie total higher than all of them.

- Speaking of the rebuild, As a result of the deadline deals so far, Calgary has 6 picks in the top 90 for the upcoming NHL entry draft (which is supposed to be one of the deepest drafts in recent memory) A mid-range 1st, 3 2nds, and 2 3rds. This is important because it is the teams that find useful NHL players outside the first round that eventually become elite. Anybody can hit on a player in the first (especially with the 1st overall), but oading up in the 2nd and 3rd increases the chances substantially
that the Flames will find low-cost players to add to the roster moving forward.

- A commenter on Lowetide made what I think is an apt comparison with regards to Edmonton's Yakupov, he's Phil Kessel 2.0. Kessel, you may recall, struggled with many of the same issues that Yakupov has, and put up similarily dissapointing results early on. We all know happened next, he was dealt away, and exploded inoffensive performance.


- If you just go by raw scoring (as the FUNHL does), Bob's Murderball team would be the best in the league, followed by the Skywalkers. 

- I know we are all going to look at this FUNBA year as being 'flawed', it just is. I'm working on fixing the issues that have cropped up and hope to have things ready for the start of next year. 

- Here are my projected FPs (keepers) for each of the FUNBA teams; 

The Goodfellas: John Wall-PG Wsh, LaMarcus Aldridge Por, Kevin Durant-SF OKC

The Sharpshooters: James Harden-SG Hou, Andre Drummond-C Det, Ricky Rubio-PG Mil

The Ball-Bearings: Chris Paul-PG LAC, Kyrie Irving-PG Cle, Jabaari Parker-PF Mil

The Chumfeeders: Steph Curry-PG GS, Victor Oladipo-SG Orl, Greg Monroe-C Det

The Murderball: Carmelo Anthony-SF NYK, Blake Griffin-PF LAC, Klay Thompson-SG GS

The Flatlanders: Anthony Davis-C NO, Damien Lilard-PG Por, DeMarcus Cousins-PF SAC

The Pirates: Russell Westbrook-PG OKC, DeAndre Jordan-C LAC, Al Jefferson-C Cha

The Skywalkers: LeBron James-SF Cle, Kevin Love-PF Cle, Andrew Wiggins-SG Mil

- The NBA's MVP race is red-hot right now. Leading contenders include; 

Steph Curry: because he's simply the purest shooter the league has seen in a generation, and even when his shot selection is poor (like taking a contested rainbow long 3 with 9 seconds left in the shot clock) is till goes in. 

Russell Westbrook: Putting up Magic Johnson-in-his-prime like #s, despite being 8 inches shorter than Magic was. Has been averaging a triple double for the last two weeks.  

LeBron: Unfortunately, merely averaging a 27-8-8 while playing elite defensively isn't enough to be automatic MVP this year. 

Anthony Davis: Is a total freak. He is statistically destroying all other bigs, and if his team were anywhere near a playoff spot he would win in a landslide. 

Chris Paul: The guy never gets a break. Blake Griffin goes down with an injury and Chris Paul turns DeAndre Jordan - a player who can't hit even free throws at better than 45%, into a massive offensive threat. He is the most elite defender in the league - period, and he won't finish higher than 3rd in the voting. 


FuNHL Lineups - Week 23

We are passing the brink. After the trade deadline, there's no turning back. Now we see who scores the highest as we jump from the edge!


FUNHL News and Notes, Part 3

Well, here is the long promised, slow arriving third part to my N+N, Enjoy! (and FUNBA guys can stock through to the end for an update there as well)

The aquisition of Pearson-L P1 LA by the Barbarins is a nice pick up. Pearson has the holy prospect trifecta; he's young, already dressable, and his contract has lots of burn. Shame about the injury though.

Among the biggest delights this year has been the play of the 'Forgotten men' line in Tampa Bay; Palat, Kucherov, and Tyler Johnson have been unleashing hell on the rest of the league with their skill and skating. That line has one 2nd rounder, one late round draftee, and an undrafted free agent. Nice.

Calgary has something special going on, and one of the players with a nova bright future is TJ Brodie. A fantastic skater he has formed the leagues best defense tandem (with the more highly regarded Giordano). He's just 24 and entering his prime as the backbone of the Flames moving forward.

The Personal Vendetta had the leagues best RW (aside from The Edge and Knights Templar who both use two FPs at RW), but things have fallen apart of late. First Okposo got hurt, then Kessel went into a prolonged and pronounced funk. Nash is still killing it, but without the other two, the PV aren't as serious a threat as they were.

One of the questions Darrell will have to answer to himself for in exit interviews is 'Why didn't you make room via trade to promote Forsberg'? I'd argue he wasn't promoted for obvious reasons (Okposo, Kessel, Nash are all better), and I understand the reluctance to trade him (he's a homerun as a prospect), but the PV essentially wasted the young Pred's Calder season in favour of Phil Kessel.

As bad as the Giordano injury is for the Severed Heads, the Byfuglien injury is even worse for the PV. There is nobody on the PV roster who can step in to either the top LW spot, or the top TG spot and fill the (considerable) shoes Byfuglien's injury leaves behind.

Joe Pavelski is one of the more mysterious players for me. When lined up with Thornton he's a legit 40 goal sniper. When away from Thornton he can't seem to generate any offense, but is an excellent defensive center. Which is kinda weird? Innit?

Aaron Ekblad is going to score half as much as Forsberg, but is totally legit for being the Calder winner should that happen. That guy is a complete beast, at just 18. He's got size, speed, skill, and a bomb of a point shot. He's got future Norris trophies in his future and projects to be the Panther's 'Shea Weber' for the next 10 years.

I thought Martin St Louis should have been de-franchised 4 years ago. Yet, there he is. Still an FP.

There is good reason to have 'prospect envy' when reviewing the Scourge. Eichel is a future FP (he's got Malkin's toolkit, so book it), Draisaitl might not be FP worthy, but should be (at worst) the German Jason Allison, Sam Reinhart has a similar build and offensive skill set to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jacob Trouba is emerging as a two-way force on the Jets blue, and Nichushkin has buckets of 'Fear My Wingspan' to build his career on. That is 3 future starting pivots (at least one FP), a starting defender, and a likely #1 RW. All of which is why they are utterly calm about Lundqvist's injury and advancing age.

I'll be the first to say that much of this season has been a surprise for me. I certainly didn't expect to be in first place with a lead at Xmas, or that the lead would widen over the holidays, or that the 'Heads would move in to first place in week 6, and just stay there for another 4 months. If I had to point to one thing it would be 'health'. Unlike other occasions (like, say, last year when my top 3 picks were injured between draft day and start of the season), this year my guys have managed to avoid the hospital ward. Which is, you know, good. Just not replicable.

Along with health, the Severed Heads have had some outstanding performances from contracted players; Malkin and Backstrom are both top ten in scoring, Rinne (RFA), has been the best goalie in the league not named Carey Price, and super-pest Downie (RFA), had an absolutely incredible first 2/3rds of the year. But the happiest surprise is probably Johnny Gaudreau. Not only has he been excellent, he plays in Cgy ,and is an RFA! Expect to see more of this quintet next year.


Week 21 Stats - Challenge Cup Playoff Semi-Finalists

Hi guys, was home with a sick kid earlier this week so was delayed in getting these out.

Congratulations on the Great Whites on winning the Challenge Cup Regular Season.  They take on the Personal Vendetta as the Challenge Cup Playoffs get underway.  Congrats also to the Edge who get a shot at some hardware for the first time in a long time as they host the Predator Cup leading Severed Heads in their first round series.  Both series are best of three affairs.


Week 22 Line-ups - Challenge Cup starts...

Week 22 Line-ups please post here...

Week one of the Challenge Cup starts AND the trade deadline for the FUNHL is due next week!

What trades will lead to victory or have already been made?

We shall soon see.

Thanks and Good Luck!