Points and Penalty Minutes

09/09/2009 12:00 AM - 

Points and Penalty Minutes
Contributed by: Ian Gooding

What if the penalty minute category was treated the same way as the stolen base or the save in fantasy baseball? Fantasy baseball owners draft base thieves that possess very little home run power, and they covet relief pitchers with no proven track record if they are first in line for saves on their major league team.

I consider penalty minutes to be an “inverse” category. In other words, conventional hockey wisdom has the tough guy as the kind of player that possesses very little skill. This theory does not hold true across all situations, as there have been several players who can fight and score (eg. Bob Probert, when he scored 29 goals and accumulated nearly 400 PIM in the 1987-88 season, a feat we may never witness again). As well, known pests like Sean Avery, Steve Ott, and Alex Burrows quite often will provoke the opposition into a fight, but won’t actually drop the gloves.

So why don’t we covet penalty minute kings like Daniel Carcillo? Simple. Penalty minutes are the easiest category to find on the waiver wire (eg. Colton Orr was third in the NHL in 2008-09 with 193 PIM, and he should be readily available in any league). But what if we made a point to draft at least one of the following options in order to ensure success in the penalty minute category?  

Top points/penalty minutes options (minimum 25 points, 95 penalty minutes)

Player Points Penalty Minutes
Ryan Getzlaf, ANA 91 points (25g-66a) 121 PIM
Corey Perry, ANA 72 points (32g-40a) 109 PIM
Scott Hartnell, PHI 60 points (30g-30a) 143 PIM
David Backes, STL 54 points (31g-23a) 165 PIM
Sheldon Souray, EDM 53 points (23g-30a) 98 PIM
Alex Burrows, VAN 51 points (28g-23a) 150 PIM
Zdeno Chara, BOS 50 points (19g-31a) 95 PIM
Dion Phaneuf, CGY 47 points (11g-36a) 100 PIM
Steve Ott, DAL 46 points (19g-27a) 135 PIM
Ryan Malone, TB 45 points (26g-19a) 98 PIM
Rob Blake, SJ 45 points (10g-35a) 110 PIM
Kevin Bieksa, VAN 43 points (11g-32a) 97 PIM
Milan Lucic, BOS 42 points (17g-25a) 136 PIM
Brandon Dubinsky, NYR 41 points (13g-28a) 112 PIM
Ed Jovanovski, PHX 36 points (9g-27a) 106 PIM
David Clarkson, NJ 32 points (17g-15a) 164 PIM
Matt Cooke, PIT 31 points (13g-18a) 101 PIM
Paul Gaustad, BUF 29 points (12g-17a) 108 PIM
Braydon Coburn, PHI 28 points (7g-21a) 97 PIM
Ethan Moreau, EDM 26 points (14g-12a) 133 PIM
Mattias Ohlund, VAN 25 points (6g-19a) 105 PIM

Don’t forget about one player who made this category famous: Sean Avery. He recorded 22 points (8g-14a) and 111 PIM after playing just 41 games when all was said and done. I should also mention penalty minutes leader Daniel Carcillo, who found the time to record 14 points (3g-11a) despite spending 254 minutes in the box.
A key to success in multicategory leagues is to have one of Dion Phaneuf, Zdeno Chara, and Sheldon Souray on your roster – defensemen who can rack up the penalty minutes while not hurting your point totals. If that’s not possible, secondary options like Ed Jovanovski, Kevin Bieksa, or Braydon Coburn could work.

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