2013-14 All-Bargain Team
By Thomas J. Harrigan, Fantasy Sports Writer
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - You really can't win a fantasy hockey league based on the first few rounds of the draft.
Every owner gets a chance to draft superstar players there, and many of those players panned out.
Sidney Crosby had 104 points, Alex Ovechkin scored 51 goals, Tuukka Rask had a .930 SV% and Erik Karlsson reached 74 points.
Besides injuries, it's the latter-round picks that really separate the Crosby owners from the Ovechkin owners.
Those are the players who made our 2013-14 All-Bargain Team.
(ADPs and Final Ranks from Yahoo! standard leagues).
Forward Line 1
Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks (87.7 ADP, No. 8 Final Rank) - With so many talented and accomplished forwards on the Sharks, including Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Logan Couture, Pavelski has often been a forgotten man. He made sure he'll be remembered from now on with 41 goals (third in NHL), 38 assists, 225 shots on goal (SOG) and a +23 rating. The 29-year-old suited up for all 82 games and had three hat tricks, tied with Tyler Seguin and Max Pacioretty for most in the league. He was the only player with multiple hat tricks to also log at least two three-assist games.
Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins (111.3, 18) - Bergeron is one of the NHL's premier defensive forwards and faceoff artists, and he had his fourth-career season with at least 60 points in 2013-14. The 28-year-old was particularly active down the stretch, generating 27 points (16 goals, 11 assists) in his final 24 games and closing the season with a 13-game points streak. Bergeron has recorded at lest a +20 rating in each of the last four seasons and finished +38 this season, second in the league to teammate David Krejci.
Wayne Simmonds, Philadelphia Flyers (147, 21) - On a team with Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek and Scott Hartnell it was the gritty Simmonds who led the Flyers in goals. He scored 29 and added 31 assists (career-high 60 points) and 209 SOG. As usual, Simmonds wasn't above dropping the gloves and made the sin bin his home for 106 minutes.
Forward Line 2
Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg Jets (107.6, 24) - Wheeler set career highs in a number of categories in 2013-14, including goals (28), assists (41), penalty minutes (63) and SOG (225). The winger got off to a somewhat slow start with 17 points in his first 28 games but delivered 52 in his last 54 contests.
Jarome Iginla, Boston Bruins (122, 25) - The 36-year-old Iginla didn't show his age this season and missed four games, none before April 2. He scored 30 goals, had 31 helpers, attempted 209 SOG, picked up 47 penalty minutes (PIM) and registered a career-best +34 differential.
Jaromir Jagr, New Jersey Devils (159.1, 26) - Speaking of players who didn't show their age, the 42-year-old Jagr had his best season since he returned from a three-year NHL sabbatical in 2011-12. Jagr had 24 goals, 43 assists (67 points) 231 SOG, 46 PIM and a +16 differential. He avoided injuries as well as he avoided Father Time and played all 82 games.
Forward Line 3
Scott Hartnell, Philadelphia Flyers (167.8, 30) - Hartnell is never going to have another season like his 37-goal, 67-point, 136-PIM, 232-SOG 2011-12, but he proved he's still a productive all-around fantasy asset this season. Hartnell was one of two players (teammate Simmonds was the other) who had both 200 SOG and 100 PIM and one of three players with 100 PIM and at least 20 goals. He ended up with 20 goals, 32 assists, 103 PIM and 207 SOG.
David Backes, St. Louis Blues (115.2, 31) - Backes was the other member of the 100-PIM, 20-goal club with Hartnell and Simmonds. He lit the lamp 27 times, had 30 assists, 165 SOG, 119 PIM and a +14 rating in 74 contests.
Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche (154.2, 34) - Fantasy owners were skeptical that the 18-year-old No. 1 overall pick would make a major impact right from the start, but like Ed Norton in "Primal Fear" his debut performance was magical. MacKinnon had 24 goals, 39 assists, 241 SOG and a +20 differential in 82 contests and was part of a surprising Avs team that recorded 112 points this season. He was just the second rookie in the last six seasons to hit the 60-point plateau.
Forward Line 4
Alex Steen, St. Louis Blues (159.7, 36) - The 30-year-old Steen entered this season with a career high of 51 points in his eight NHL seasons, but two months in he found himself on pace for 102 points. Injuries and regression hit him but he still finished with a career-high 33 goals and 62 points in 68 games. Throw in 211 SOG and a +17 rating and Steen was a top-40 fantasy option.
Ryan Johansen, Columbus Blue Jackets (Undrafted, 38) - Owners thought so little of the 21-year-old Johansen, the 2010 fourth-overall pick, that he wasn't even selected in standard league drafts. He ended up leading the Blue Jackets to the playoffs with 63 points. Johansen tied for 11th in the NHL with 33 goals and his 237 SOG ranked 31st.
Kyle Turris, Ottawa Senators (164.7, 54) - After four straight seasons with 20-29 points, Turris went outside the top-150 picks, but he nearly finished in the top 50. The 24-year-old clicked immediately with new acquisitions Bobby Ryan and Clarke MacArthur (another bargain who was undrafted by ranked 59th overall) on the Senators' second line and had 26 goals on 215 shots, 32 assists and 39 PIM.
Defensive Pair 1
James Wisniewski, Columbus Blue Jackets (135.3, 69) - Wisniewski was one of nine blueliners with at least 50 points and his 44 assists ranked fourth at the position. The 30-year-old never had more than 30 points in a season prior to 2013-14, but he collected 28 points on the power play alone and had 166 SOG and 61 PIM.
Mark Giordano, Calgary Flames (155.8, 72) - Maybe the lockout never ended in Giordano's mind because he sleepwalked through the ensuing season, producing 15 points and 58 SOG in 47 games. Fantasy owners responded by drafting him in just seven percent of all leagues. He came back with a career-high 14 goals to go with 33 assists and 63 PIM, and he increased his SOG by 1.6 per game from 2012 to finish with 180 in 64 games.
Defensive Pair 2
Matt Niskanen, Pittsburgh Penguins (148.8, 73) - With Kris Letang limited to 37 games by a stroke and Paul Martin suffering multiple broken body parts, the Penguins needed Niskanen to step up. The 27-year-old set career highs with 10 goals, 36 assists, 162 SOG, 51 PIM and a +33 rating.
Torey Krug, Boston Bruins (152.6, 115) - Boston put Krug with the top power- play unit alongside Zdeno Chara and the 23-year-old came through with 19 power-play points, 14 goals, 26 assists and 183 SOG in 79 contests.
Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay Lightning (168.1, 19) - The Senators dealt Bishop for Cory Conacher at the 2013 trade deadline and then waived Conacher 60 games into this season. Somehow, he was still a bigger bargain in fantasy than real life. Bishop went 37-14-7 with a 2.23 GAA, a .924 SV% and five shutouts and was the third most-valuable goalie.
Semyon Varlamov, Colorado Avalanche (128.2, 43) - If there was any doubt that Patrick Roy knows a lot about goaltending, it's gone after Varlamov produced a Vezina-worthy campaign under Roy's tutelage in 2013-14. Varlamov led the NHL with 41 wins and made an NHL-high 1,867 saves, 132 more than anyone else. He concluded the season with a .927 SV% and a 2.41 GAA.
04/15 18:25:30 ET