Welcome to the Third Annual FHS Fantasy Breakout Awards Show where we honour and pay tribute to those few select players who helped fantasy teams bring home the gold this past season.
We're here today to acknowledge the fantasy breakouts of 2010-2011. Those guys that were undervalued coming into the season and paid their owners back big time for that late round pick.
We're going to do things a bit different this year. Instead of one post we'll spread things out over a few days and also look to you for your input as well. Let us know if you agree with our picks or think we're off base.
SInce we're too lazy to come up with our own trophy names we'll steal the NHL's... but we've changed the meaning of a few of them:
- Lady Byng Memorial Trophy - breakout in assists
- Maurice Richard Memorial Trophy - breakout in goals
- Ted Lindsay Award - breakout in PIM/point combo
- Frank J. Selke - breakout in plus-minus
- Jack Adams - coach with the best offense and terrible defense
- Vezina Trophy - breakout goalie of the year
- Calder Trophy - breakout rookie of the year
- Norris Trophy - breakout d-man of the year
- Hart Trophy - FHS breakout of the year
Make sure you keep coming back to FHS over the next couple of weeks and have your say for each of our awards.
We'll start things off with the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy. Normally presented to the player who exhibited outstanding sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability... but since those attributes don't help out fantasy teams we decided to give it to the player who had the biggest breakout in assists.
The nominees are...
Ville Leino (5 to 34 assists an increase of 29)
Leino's 2009-10 was terrible... only 11 points in 55 games. He would have come a lot cheaper on draft day if it wasn't for his nutso playoffs (21 points in 19 games) helping the Flyers to the finals. He showed a lot of chemistry with Danny Briere and Scott Hartnell and kept that going this year as he picked up a breakout 53 points.
P.A. Parenteau (5 to 33 assists an increase of 28)
P.A. had some pretty decent AHL seasons coming into this year but at 27 years old and with only 27 games of NHL experience he wasn't on many fantasy radars heading into this season. Like Leino, he picked up 53 points for the breakout but was much more of a surprise than Leino was. If he picks up this award he'll owe linemate John Tavares a steak dinner.
Teddy Purcell (9 to 34 assists an increase of 25)
After a few big AHL seasons he was a flop in a Kings uni (22 points in 81 games) but things changed for Purcell with the Lightning. His nine points in 19 games at the end of last year gave us just a taste of what he could do. He finished with 51 points which exceeded the expectations of even the biggest Purcell fans. He was a mainstay on the 2nd line and had some good PP TOI (2:45 min / game) where he picked up 21 of his points.
Clarke MacArthur (19 to 41 assists an increase of 22)
One of Brian Burke's best moves was signing Clarke MacArthur away from the Thrashers. He almost doubled his point totals from last year (35 to 62) and finished 2nd on the Leafs in points.
Claude Giroux (31 to 51 assists an increase of 20)
Of the five guys up for the award Giroux had the most assists with 51. He just missed a breakout last year with 47 points so his breakout wasn't a surprise at all. What was a surprise was Giroux finishing 7th in the league in assists.. He was likely the highest drafted player of the nominations but his season still deserves a special mention.
And the winner is....
Tough to pass on Giroux and his monster season but Purcell had only nine assists last year. Picking guys like this off the scrap heap is what wins fantasy seasons.
Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the poll or comments.