Fantasy owners now know for sure that the NHL has locked out its players. What fantasy owners don’t know, is if regular season games will be missed and how many will be missed. Still, many fantasy owners will have their drafts before the end of September and will have to make decisions on players before knowing when they are going to play.
The new wrinkle for many fantasy owners is the fact that many of these players will play overseas and many players will not play at all. How much stock should fantasy owners put into AHL, KHL and other hockey league statistics? New York Rangers forward Rick Nash scored three goals and San Jose Sharks forward Joe Thornton had four points playing for HC Davos of the Swiss National League A. That is certainly impressive for the NHL, but can fantasy owners trust this kind of production in leagues with far less talent than NHL fans are used to?
An even harder situation to evaluate is what to do when drafting a player who decided not to play anywhere during the lockout. Fantasy owners must guess or do extensive research on who stayed in shape and who didn’t. For the older players, did they not play because the lockout forced them into retirement? With no official word, do you draft Teemu Selanne or Martin Brodeur? The lockout raises so many more questions than a typical off-season, which means fantasy owners may have to take a shot in the dark on draft day and hope they get what they paid for.