Thursday, July 20, 2006

Breaking up is hard to do

I participate in a lot of fantasy sports leagues. The most common way to win fantasy leagues is to pick players in the middle to late rounds and have them exceed expectations by far. As such, once you get past round 7 or so, you are really trying to find the player most likely to have a better than expected season.

With all of this in mind, there are players that you get attached to. These are the guys who are decent, but you know have the talent deep down to be amazing players. As such, you end up taking them year after year, thinking that this will be the year they live up to your expectations. And after they once again put up their decent numbers that you could have gotten from a number of players, you manage to convince yourself that next year will be the year.

I have a few of these players that I always seem to fall back to: Dick Tarnstrom, Jaroslav Spacek, and Sergei Samsonov(*). This year was going to be the year that I had a clean break from them. Spacek has established himself as a solid 2/3 defenseman, but there are enough defensemen that can do what he does. But then, it happened. After weeks of inactivtiy, Bob Gainey woke up and made three moves:

So here's my dilemma: My brain is telling me that this is not the best signing for the Canadiens - Samsonov is a fast, undersized skilled player who is easily hurt and doesn't necessarily fill a need. But my heart is saying "Greatest addition ever! What number is Samsonov wearing? 14? How soon can you get his jersey?"

Right now, I'm doing a good job of not letting my emotions run wild. I haven't run out and bought the home and away jerseys, but at the same time, I know that having Samsonov on the second line is better than what they previously had. But come October, should Samsonov have 14 points in his first 5 games, make sure you say hi to the crazy guy wearing the Samsonov jersey in the GTA, and I'll make sure to say hi back.

(*): You'll also note that all of these players were on the 2006 Edmonton Oilers team that almost won the Stanley Cup; truth be told, the Oilers also have Ales Hemsky, who is very close to being a charter member of the club.)

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