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Experts wade into the fantasy pool Add to ...

But last year, Elliotte and I made a massive 15-player trade – my prospects for his vets – and a day after, Elliotte texted to say the newest member of (my team) the Mad Hats, Henrik Zetterberg, had just had a five-point night. I think I reeled in the leader a week later, and ended up winning. So thanks, Elliotte, I owe you. Although I just checked your roster and I’m thinking a lot of those guys – Corey Crawford, Drew Doughty, Keith Yandle, Ryan O’Callahan, at very attractive salaries – would look pretty good on my team this year.

GMs in the gridlocked NHL can’t seem to make any kind of trades. We can make Sam Pollock blush with the sorts of seismic deals that we can pull off.

Friedman: Don’t forget our salary cap no longer exists after the draft, so it’s much, much easier. There is no way real GMs would make the kinds of trades we do. One similarity: Just as NHL GMs get comfortable dealing with certain brethren, we do, too. There is one guy in our league who is a great guy, but is just exasperating to deal with.

Shoalts: Elliotte, I have no problem making trades with Mike Zeisberger (Toronto Sun). All it takes is a little patience and the right social setting. I won the pool, or was at least solidly in the money one year after a blockbuster 10-or-so-player trade with him. It was completed around one in the morning on a cocktail napkin in Tom Reid’s Hockey Bar in St. Paul. As Elliotte said: we don’t have the same restrictions as NHL GMs but it’s fun to try and think like them in handling your team. We are vulnerable to the same faults as some GMs. In my case, it is developing an attachment to a player who should have been dumped long ago. I also argue, in vain with the people like LeBrun who are in charge, that we should be allowed to be as ruthless as some GMs.

Nothing beats the pleasure I felt in the days before everything was instantly on Twitter. In a Globe and Mail hockey pool Eric also belongs to, a morning phone conversation revealed a star player had blown out his knee and was done for the season. I hung up, ran down to the other end of the newsroom and traded him to our justice reporter, Kirk Makin, for another star player. The glow had not worn off when the wire report came out and Makin started screaming. Nobody bought my argument that pools are supposed to imitate the behaviour in the NHL and the commissioner nixed the trade.

LeBrun: Toughest part of my job as league commissioner is deciding whether to approve trades you guys make. A journalist trying to cheat? I always want to make sure there’s no side deal involved. I actually gave some thought to not approving that 15-player trade because I felt there were too many players involved. Which reminds me, new rule for this season in our fantasy league: eight-player maximum on any trade.

Shoalts: Like none of your trades have never stunk to high heaven.

Friedman: When Pierre talks is talking about “side deals,” that was me. The one year, I actually paid attention on a day-to-day basis and finished in the money, I made a trade with the stipulation I’d send that owner a certain player before the next season. People freaked.

Duhatschek: That’s a pretty clever gambit, Elliotte. I’m surprised Pierre wouldn’t have allowed it on the basis of its creativity. Our commissioner is irrepressible on this topic.

Last week, I’m in Banff talking to the New York Rangers’ Brad Richards about his upcoming season. It was great, so old-school, just me and (TSN’s) Jermain Franklin. You could actually have a conversation. Anyway, I thank him afterward and as I’m leaving he says, “Oh by the way, Pierre texted me this morning and told me I should tell you to trade him Shea Weber in the pool.” Unbelievable. Now, Pierre is actually enlisting NHL players now to help him win.

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