As promised last time out, here is a breakdown of various online resources you might (or might not) use in your quest for fantasy glory. Since you're already reading this, I don't think I have to mention the merits of FHS, or the fact that the FSR and Breakout Bible were both released yesterday, so it's pretty much like Christmas in August, and you'll fail miserably if you don't buy both guides. So yeah, I won't mention any of those things. But here are some random thoughts about other hockey sites I visit regularly:
Chris Nichols: What's not to like here? Over the years his columns have shifted from pure advice-giving to an absolutely gruelling schedule of live-blogging - every night of the NHL season, seven days a week. Day-to-day during the season, I base pretty much all my lineup and waiver wire decisions on line combos and PP time, so Nichols' live blog is always my first (and often only) nightly destination. Also, he's a realist - no overblown point predictions. Instead, he tends to project opportunity. Smart.
Dobber: I'll say it here, once and for all: Dobber plays a nice Ashton Kutcher to Chris Nichols' Daniel Day Lewis. But I will also say this: the Dobber forums can be excellent, and I have spent a lot of time there. I tend to over-research, and also generally just like reading about my own players in different fantasy scenarios. So the forums are great for that. But when I see pool "gurus" trading Stamkos (+Shatts +Lehtonen?) for Chara/Brodeur, or more recently, letting Parise and Visnovsky slip through their fingers in a somewhat pointless "rebuild" prospect swap, I just want to scream, punch myself in the face and drink myself into oblivion. So actually, a fairly regular night for me.
Hockeybuzz: The Perez Hilton of hockey sites. Like Perez, Hockeybuzz delivers a steady diet of salacious rumours of questionable origin. Also like Perez, Hockeybuzz has a huge, active audience. But just who the hell is Eklund anyway? Bernie Pascal? Alex Daigle? Terry goddamn Crisp? A grade 6 kid from Mississauga? The answer is all of those things - with a dash of Ann Landers thrown in for good measure. Not really a fantasy resource at all, but good fun if you're bored.
hfboards: Well well well. What a bunch of whiny babies. What a bunch of whiny babies! What a bunch of seriously whiny babies. Some babies just sit there quietly, content and contemplative, showing amazing poise for such a young age. Then there are the babies that just won't shut up - whine whine whine scream scream whine motherfucking whine. Good Christ. Make up your own minds, but I know which kind of baby I like better. Wah.
Hockeysfuture: Now this site, I love. It is by no means perfect, but look at us - half-shittered and googling Silverberg on a Saturday night!! Go start your own site. where you rank every prospect (eventually) with not only a number but also a letter. A LETTER! That's even better. HF is popular enough that if you google a prospect's name, one of the auto-fill suggestions is that player's name + hockeysfuture. If you don't have time to dig any deeper, hockeysfuture will do nicely.
Goalieguild: Justin M. Goldman is obviously quite mad - but I mean that in the best possible way. An absolute idiot savante for all things goalie. Now don't be turned off by the hand-drawn, ballpoint-to-looseleaf coats of arms. If what you want is a completely passionate, extremely thorough analysis of established goalies and prospects, you needn't look much further than Mr. Goldman.
Fantasyhockey911: Hm. I thought Yahoo discontinued their Geocites a few years back, but apparently FH911 was able to hold on to one of the classic, circa 2002 templates. Unapologetically low-budget, 911 doesn't care for your fancy flash pages, futuristic smartphones or magical wireless internet. Instead, they deliver a no bullshit, meat-and-potatoes look at which goalies are your starters on any given night. 911 was king for me, until I discovered...
Leftwinglock: Like 911, a site which names starting goalies, right up until game time. 99% accurate, which I'm guessing is close to 911's ratio - but the big difference here is LWL's graphics and awesome logo. I like it! Minimalist, crisp, and who cares if their lead post for most of last year was about some other site ripping off their sources. Great way to double the competition's traffic, offset by satisfying your own terrific ego. Or maybe that's just the rum talking here. I check out 911 and LWL every day, so I'm not playing favorites here.
Copper and Blue: If you are dead serious about unravelling the minutia and fine lines of all things hockey and stat related, C&B is the answer for you. Kind of like a hot girl with a PhD, I give Copper and Blue a ton of attention but half the time have no idea what they're talking about. Wouldn't trade a minute of it for anything though. Check it out after everyone in your house has crashed and you've got an hour to dig deep.
So there you have it. This is by no means a complete list, and I'm hoping some of you will give up your own trusted sites in the comments for this article, so that I may steal them for my own. For that. I thank you in advance.