The Stanley Cup playoffs are in full swing, and the fantasy hockey season is in the past.
Some of you are basking in championship glory, while others are gearing up for next season. Either way, fantasy managers are left to reflect on what was. There’s always next season.
But before we close the door on the 2017-18 campaign, let’s acknowledge the on-ice difference-makers who overwhelmed — or, in one case, underwhelmed — ESPN fantasy managers during the season. Fantasy hockey experts Sean Allen and Victoria Matiash weigh in with their selections of each award winner.
Unlike Sean, I am picking Hedman. Finishing 10th on the Player Rater between forwards Alex Ovechkin and Tyler Seguin among all skaters, the well-rounded Lightning defenseman ranked top five in points, power-play points, plus/minus and average time-on-ice.
Snellings: The Thunder, because if they lose then they’re out, with huge questions about whether George will re-sign with them in the offseason. Overall, the Cavaliers have the most at stake for the rest of the round, because if they lose in the first round there’s a real chance that they lose LeBron this offseason.
Marks: Oklahoma City. Losing would not only have the Thunder waiting two months for a decision from George, but also put the front office in a position where it would have to justify the cost next season for a team that lost in the first round. That cost could see Oklahoma City paying $270 million in salary and luxury tax, a substantial figure for a team that couldn’t get out of the first round.
Windhorst: Because of the George free agency and because they’re in an elimination game, it’s the Thunder. Not that a win would change everything. By now, George has formed his opinions. It’s more of a keep-hope-alive situation. Of course, the Cavs face the same thing, but they’re not in an elimination game.
Gerardo Parra (L), 3.8 percent, Colorado Rockies at Pittsburgh Pirates (RHP Chad Kuhl): Parra should continue seeing work at least against righty hurlers as long as David Dahl is hurt and Raimel Tapia is viewed as a continuing developmental project. The steady veteran carried a nifty .163 ISO against righty arms this year and Kuhl wilted against lefty bats from 2016 to 2017 with a combined slash of .290/.375/.506.