by John Biehler
If you’ve been playing fantasy hockey for a number of years, you inevitably start to get attached to certain players. You have it stuck in your head that the player is a star and has to be drafted. If you’re interested in winning, you sometimes have to forget the past and acknowledge when the dog just can’t run like he used to. The trends indicate that these boys are on the way down, if not out of relevance altogether. You have to know when a star player has maxed out his potential and has started down the slope to retirement or obscurity.
Jason Blake – Blake surprised many by rebounding back to 63 points last season. That’s barely worth a look, and he’ll be pushing it to get any where near that next season. Look elsewhere for your offensive needs.
Jamie Langenbrunner – Langenbrunner had a brilliant season in 2008 that he will never match again. If you draft Langenbrunner, you’re a silly, silly girl.
Mike Modano – Modano has absolutely no value as a fantasy option. If you draft Modano, you should be playing fantasy baseball or knitting.
Teemu Selanne – Selanne’s glory days are clearly behind him now. He’s no longer able to crack the #1 power play unit in Anaheim, and will be hard-pressed to get back to 30 goals again in his career.
Mats Sundin – It’s questionable still whether or not Sundin will be playing next season, and where. If he does, he’s still no longer the consistent point producer he once was. Take a chance on him very late in the draft, but don’t think you’re getting a bargain here.
Rob Blake – Don’t let his awe-inspiring performance last season sucker you into thinking it’s going to happen again. Blake has had an amazing career, but it’s going to start to wind down in 2009. Bank on Blake falling down to about 30 points this season.
Ed Jovanovski – Jovanavski has finally managed to put together 2 straight 80 games seasons. Too bad it took him this long. He’s undoubtedly on the downside of his confusing career and is barely worth consideration this season.
Tomas Kaberle – Kaberle’s numbers have fallen for the past 4 seasons to the point where he’s falling off the map. If Burke can trade him for value this summer, he should take the money and run. Expect him to be in the 30 point range again this season.
Nicklas Lidstrom – No doubt he’s still one of the best in the business; however, he’s no longer the #1 choice, as he had been for the last decade. Expect a small dip in production this season, down to the 40-50 point range.
Peter Budaj – Budaj peeked in his 2nd season and has slidden steadily over the last 2. He’ll be lucky to be in the NHL next season. If he is, he’ll be starting for Colorado, so he may be worthy of a deep bench spot.
Jean-Sebastien Giguere – Giggy lost his job in Anaheim and is suddenly wildly overpaid as a backup. This will make it very difficult for the Ducks to trade him, and thus, makes Giggy’s fantasy value worth next to nothing. That is, unless Hiller gets hurt.
Dwayne Roloson – Roloson finished the season with an impressive run, earning MVP honors for the Oilers. However, he’s no Spring chicken and the Islanders aren’t threatening to dominate the Eastern Conference any time soon. Not to mention, adding Biron to the mix… All told, it’s time to thank Dwayne for a good run and pass on him at the draft.
Jose Theodore – The Phoenix has risen for the last time. Despite his comeback in 08, and a half-decent showing in Washington last season, it’s just about the end of the line for Theodore. You’re better off drafting Andy Moog in hopes that he comes out of retirement.
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