9 Reasons Why You Should Play Fantasy Hockey This Season
One week from tonight, the Montreal Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs (the two least scary mascots in sports?) will drop the puck to begin the 2015-16 NHL regular season. And with that, there are thousands upon thousands of Fantasy Hockey leagues having their drafts this week in preparation for it. So I thought I’d try to talk the rest of the world into a reason to try Fantasy Hockey this season!
Fantasy Hockey and You: 9 Reasons to Play
Let me try to entice you into giving Fantasy Hockey a shot!
1. Hockey Scoring Allows for Two Assists
For this reason alone, Fantasy Hockey is better than Fantasy Basketball. It’s ridiculous that an amazing outlet pass isn’t rewarded in basketball with an assist, just because the player that receives it hands it off for a dunk.
2. Fighting is Encouraged!
Some Fantasy Hockey leagues actually reward points for players that pick up penalties. It’s sort of a way to reward a small portion of players that don’t offer up much in any other statistical category. Consider them the middle relievers picking up “holds” in Fantasy Hockey with PIMs.
3. Connor McDavid is Going to Be McAwesome.
Every few years, you hear of a player being able to turn around whichever team is unlucky enough to earn the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft. Much like when Sidney Crosby was coming up in juniors, McDavid was the obvious No. 1 pick well before even the 2014 NHL Draft. As far as instant young stars go, the list has Wayne Gretzky, Eric Lindros, Sidney Crosby – and now, Connor McDavid. No pressure, though.
4. It’s Easily the Nicest Group of Fantasy Players in Existence
When you find a douchey Fantasy Hockey player, let me know. He’ll be the first. Fantasy Baseball has a small number of them (we call them Yankees fans), and Fantasy Football is probably half-and-half in douche-to-nice guys. Of course, you can’t swing a dead Celtics player without hitting a douchey Fantasy Basketball player. So it’s nice to see it all balance out with nice Fantasy Hockey players.
5. You’ll Have a Leg Up on Daily Fantasy Hockey
My buddy Jason Meller did an article this spring on how there is money to be made in Daily Fantasy Hockey because the sharks haven’t really turned their sights on it yet.
6. It’s a Great Time For Young Hockey Players
There are dozens of excellent young players in the league or about to join the league this season, and this is your chance to start following them now, before they become superstars. Guys like Edmonton’s McDavid, Jack Eichel (Buffalo), Johnny Gaudreau (Calgary), Filip Forsberg (Nashville) and Nikita Kucherov (Tampa Bay) will keep us excited for years to come.
7. You Can Learn the Sport Much Easier This Way
If you’re an amateur hockey fan at best, this is a great way to learn about the players in the league, giving you rooting interests for different teams and players.
8. The Tampa Bay Lightning Triplets
Last season, the Lightning rode their infamous young set of “triplets” all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals. Kucherov, Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat likely won’t be with the team as a trio for very long, as the team is forced to make moves because of an overflow of young talent. And that’s not even counting the young stud that was supposed to arrive and impress last year, Jonathan Drouin, but came up a bit short in a disappointing season.
9. Because Life Gets Boring After the Super Bowl
Between the end of January and Major League Baseball’s Opening Day in April, all that’s left is basketball. Luckily, March Madness and Spring Training help take some of the sting away, but by playing Fantasy Hockey, you’ll have something to pair with your Fantasy Basketball team.
Join a Fantasy Hockey league on a site like Yahoo! or CBS Sports, and you can even win back some money. Game on, Garth! Here's a Fantasy Hockey draft guide for about $5 you can download that should help you considerably!
Connor McDavid Photo Credit: Andy Devlin, Getty Images
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