For early birds, the time is coming to start preparing for Fantasy Hockey season, and studying the various guides that hit the magazine shelves and websites during August and September. Prompted by the post yesterday at Waiting for Stanley which examined the Hockey News' Fantasy Pool Guide from a Canucks perspective, I thought I'd try doing the same vis-a-vis the Nashville Predators.
The bottom line? If you plan on only buying one Fantasy Hockey Guide for the upcoming season, don't go with the one from the Hockey News. Now don't get me wrong; it's a well-crafted, very slick publication, but by getting on the newstands nearly a month before training camps open, it's not up to date on the summer happenings which are having a major effect on various players and teams. There are also some strange omissions which I can't explain.
For instance, Alexander Radulov still shows up on the Nashville roster as a main producer, but Jordin Tootoo (who received a two-year extension earlier this year) is not (prospects like Nick Spaling, are, however!). Sure, Toots may not be a top-line offensive performer, but many leagues use penalty minutes as part of the scoring system, making him a valuable addition to any team.
In short, wait another week or two and see what else hits the shelves. Certainly, any magazine-style publication is going to have a lead time that makes its information somewhat stale, but the Hockey News Fantasy Pool Guide surely could have benefited from another fortnight in development.