THN Ultimate Fantasy Guide- 2002-2003

I am sure many hockey fans bought THN’s (The Hockey News) 2002-2003 Ultimate Fantasy Guide. It looks interesting, the cover looks cool, and there are all kinds of interesting things on the cover. I did learn to never judge a book by its cover, and boy does that phrase sound right!
One thing that HTR members on this site dislike is when people post predictions. Predictions of how many points these players will score, who would win the Cup, and who makes the playoffs, and the standings. I don’t have a problem with that, as long as the writer who makes the predictions gives some good explanations as to why he made them. I am going to go through this magazine, page by page pointing out what seriously bothers me.

On page 15, “On the Up and UP” and in the “Ready for Takeoff” table, I have some problems with that. They have Alyn McCauley as the number one player who will have the big point increase. Ok, well it makes sense that his point totals should increase with more ice time, but what makes these people think that he will score 33 more points than last season? I am quite interested as to why they think that, and so I read what they have to say. ”Who knew? McCauley was a playoff revelation, as a fill-in for Mats Sundin on Toronto’s top line. If the Leafs are smart, they’ll give him more opportunities to contribute offensively.” Wow, I am ecstatic. I mean, I think that Mr. Townsend (the writer of that article) is willing to be smart by telling the Leafs that if they gave their 2nd line center more opportunities, then he might actually contribute offensively. How does the explain anything? There was no explanation to his magical prediction of +33 points for McCauley. I think McCauley can score 33 more points that last season’s total because he is the team’s 2nd line center who will also get power play time, and he could play with Mogilny. Now that wasn’t so hard, was it?

Once again, he (Townsend) ranks Vinny Lecavalier high in points increase, not to mention he was ranked number one by Townsend last season. This guy is dying to be right with Lecavalier. I actually agree that Lecavalier could score near 60 points this season. Why? Because he is the first line center and his wingers are better, with the addition of Fedotenko. The only thing that will stop him from scoring 60 points is Head Coach John Tortarella and his pathetic strategy. I am not going to say it’s a great explanation, but it explains why I am making that prediction. Townsend said “Enough silliness.” His article is all but silliness. There are no explanations to Townsend’s predictions, so he must have one shining crystal ball telling him all this.

In the “Big Dippers” table, I like how Townsend rants on Kim Johnsson. Sure the guy had a pathetic 2 points in the last 24 games, but does that mean he will have a downfall this season? Ohhh….watch out Flyers fans. This guy knows exactly what he is talking about. Yep. Flyers main offensive defenseman who has skills and talents will have a bad season because he only had two points in 24 games. Maybe we should all send Hallmark cards to Mr. Johnsson and tell him to not feel bad if he has a 15 points decline.

THE BIG E. THE BIG I.Q.. So, this was interesting…if you love math. After reading a full page, written by Rudy Mezzetta on page 17, and then doing the math by multiplying a player’s goals by three and adding his amended penalty minutes…you really get absolutely nothing out of it. So….ok, that was really interesting…(example of sarcasm).

Also, many thanks to Mr. Townsend for caring about us hockey fans who play the hockey pools. I will gladly read his weekly tips on THN’s site. Ok, “enough silliness”! Let’s move on….

Projected Standings

This is the best part, page 22. Eastern Conference: 1) Flyers. 2) Capitals. 3) Maple Leafs. 4) Devils. 5) Senators. 6) Islanders. 7) Hurricanes. 8) Rangers. 9) Bruins. 10) Penguins. 11) Canadiens. 12) Lightning 13) Panthers. 14) Sabres. 15) Thrashers. Now, this is my response to those predictions: 1) Why? 2) Why? 3) Why? 4) Why? 5) Why? 6) Why? 7) Why? 8) Why? 9) Why? 10) Why? 11) Why? 12) Why? 13) Why? 14) Why? 15) Why? Same goes for the Western Conference. I mean, come on…if a HTR member posted those standings, he/she would get too many disagreements and criticism in return, especially when there are NO explanations. So, let me get this straight. The Bruins will be out of the playoffs. The Capitals will be awesome. The Penguins will be better than the Canadiens. In the West, the Coyotes don’t make the playoffs…for no apparent reason, and the Predators will be last. Why? I hope I got the right magazine here because this is seriously trash.

The team pages with the depth charts and miniature articles are also pretty bad. Is there anything such as a team review? No, there is just a paragraph about something on the team. Then, there are the “Make sure you have…”, and the “Stay away from…”. Now, I am not going to go over every team. I will just go over with my team, the Rangers, and then see what I have to say about it. It is a complete joke. Number one, fix the damn mistakes. Samuelsson is not a LW’er, he is a RW’er, as is Roman Lyashenko. I appreciate them making the Rangers look great on that page, but give me a break…the Rangers best LW’er as of now is Petr Nedved. Then, the goalie depth chart is also wrong. Vitali Yeremeyev is no longer in the Rangers system, and he is back in Russia. Anyway, man o man do the Rangers seem to be a kick ass team or what? Tom Poti predicted to have 42 points, being ranked 19th in the top 20 defensemen. Nedved will climb 14 points from last season’s 49 points. Dvorak will increase 11 points more. Hell, everyone will increase! Even Leetch is rated 2nd amongst all defensemen in scoring. To me, this looks like a kick ass team by THN, yet they rank them 8th in the Eastern Conference. Hehe…what the hell are they thinking! To me, by what THN is showing me, this team should be ranked at least 5th.
So, I am dying to buy THN’s next issue, which is the 2002-2003 yearbook. Looking at the cover of this magazine will make you think that it is awesome and that these so called “experts” will make you win hockey pools. If they are right, give credit to their crystal balls.

Thank you,

Micki Peroni

22 Responses to THN Ultimate Fantasy Guide- 2002-2003

  1. bruinsfan12 says:

    Judging by what you said, they could have hired me to write predictions and mine would have made more sense. Flyers 1st in the East – now that is a joke!

  2. Krockasian says:

    I agrree that the book wasn’t great but, firstly it is a pool book and primarilly a stat and refference mag. a lot of the trrades that happened this year aren’t in there ( since after the draft i think.) Although some predictions are way off you got to admit some aren’t too far off. The preds suck and boston is deffinatly doing down in the standings, ( i don’t know about out of the playoffs)

  3. YingYan says:

    Indeed but i don’t see why (like you asked about the writer’s lack of arguments) the Habs shouldn’t finish behind the Pens? It’s possible they do it but the Pens had all kinds of problems last year mainly related to a massive Canadiens-like flow of injury. I could go on but it was just to point out that you actually fell for what you legitimally criticised about him. Thus said i found your article very interesting, folks never forget journalist i a human being that makes errors, can be lazy and copy others work and doesn’t always have arguments to back his opinions if they are that and they really came from the writer. ‘Official’ doesn’t always translate in objectivity, incompetence can be found anywhere.

  4. mikster says:

    Look at the Canadiens roster, look at the Pens roster. I rest my case there.

    I don’t mind the predicitions….but for goodness sakes….EXPLANATIONS!

  5. mikster says:

    Yeah but give me a break…..if you want to make a prediction you have to exlplain it. Look at my prediction on McCauley if i say he scores 33 points. It only takes one sentence or two.

  6. YingYan says:

    That’s 1 aspect and it doesn’t convince me at all that the Habs should finish before the PENS and i’m also a habs fan so i know both teams. Bring arguments instead of resting your case.

  7. mikster says:

    Canadiens have more depth and they can rely on all four lines to score. The Penguins can only rely on Lemieux who won’t play all games, Straka who has to come back from an injury, Hrdina who is 25 goal scorer at best and is inconsistent, and then Kovalev.

    Canadiens roll all four lines and even McKay can score goals for them, their fourth line will get ice time.

  8. cwhockey says:

    As someone who has been in the fantasy game for five or six years now (both rotisserie and FHL sim), I didn’t draft or trade for players on the basis of their previous stats. I looked at scouting reports, training camps, development camps, etc. as the basis for getting players. What I believed they could do in the upcoming year. Listening to all the so-called experts gets all confusing; after a while, you don’t know what to think.

    And as for ranking where teams will finish, throw that out the window. Granted, it is fun at times to debate what the new year will bring. But even with solid reasoning, it’s still a crap shoot. I will make a couple predictions, though, and I have a feeling I’ll be pretty accurate: a pre-season favorite will be a disappointment during the regular season, an under-acheiving player will finally blossom, one team will surprise the league and make the playoffs when they shouldn’t have.

    If these seem very vague, your right. I can’t specify because I can’t see into the future. It’s kinda fun to try at times though.

  9. LEON says:

    If the Bruins don’t play to their potential the only place the Bruins can go is down, considering the fact they were the best team in the Eastern Conference. They have loads of talent in the organization to say that they will miss the playoffs, is not too far off, but way off, they are still definitely contenders and deservedly so

  10. fishlikeme says:

    I agree with you on the Hockey News forcaster. Their forcasters are always lame. However “The Sports Forcaster” put out by is probably a forcaster you’d like. They actually explain their predictions and make sense. I’ve been buying it every season for a few years now.

  11. LEON says:


    Yes, we all Know that if you so desired you could write an essay on any given topic. I for one considering you have no occupation listed, find it very interesting that you know so much about journalism that you want to pass your great knowledge on to others. You must be very generous as well. Don’t you think “Oh Wise One” that “Before telling someone to back up their argument with evidence, you should do the same when creating one”. That actually sounded like a fortune cookie.

  12. YingYan says:

    Morozov can score 20+ goals now that he’s been kickstarted by Lemieux and even when Mario didn’t play he was better after that.

    Beech will have a better year, possibly 20 goals too.

    Daigle will surprise some and maybe many let’s see how it turns out, he wants to play that’s for sure cause he’s on tryout.

    Koslov could make it.

    Straka will be back.

    Nieminen can score as grinder/net crasher playing with Mario or Kovy.

    The health will be better in general terms, ti wreaked havok to the PENS chemistry last year, take Ference for instance who had a reversed year by playing with everyone.

    Randy Robitaille has been a surprise, check his pts/game avrg. if he does that all year you’ve got yourself another Hrdina in terms of prod.

    Kraft is a long shot but has potential to be a good power forward now if he could do what he did in minors, he scored way more down there and i’m not dismissing him until the end of the season.

    The habs have nice players but not the best although their chemistry is very good as well as their goalie but don’t count out Hedberg.

    Remember that the habs had injury plagued years before the jyinx came on the PENS last season. Finaly the PENS just cleaned up their roster like Savard did wiht Habs by having a competitive camp where the under achievers will be trimmed out. Like Habs they will increase their salary mass as they just came out of the red.


  13. YingYan says:

    Leon, read my last post in response to the other reply by another poster and bring some arguments. Why this succeptibility anyway?



  14. YingYan says:

    Just to add that i’m not angry or anything but would rather talk about hockey with you Leon if you don’t mind. 😉

    Any opinions is welcomed for that matter but i do prefer the ones about hockey and especially if they’re backed by solid argumentation.

    p.s. Melichar/Roszival will have breakthrough years, they play well together and complement each other Melichr being more a defensive Dman as opposed to Roszival more offensive style.

  15. mikster says:

    All those are question marks. I’m sticking withthe Habs who have deeper depth, a more balanced team.

  16. titans says:

    Granted it sucked big time! (oops is that a strike hehe) But at least they’re starting to hit the news stands! At this point in the off-season any hockey fix is a good one!! As pathetic as this sounds I’ve been waiting months for the Hockey previews to hit the stands!! I need a hobby!

  17. LEON says:

    Michal Rozsival is progressing well, into a frontline D’man and could have a breakout year, considering he has a little more playing time under his belt. Their is no reason Melichar can’t do the same as he has been improving his game as well. Rozsival and Melichar can both play physical, but Melichar has a little more size and Rozsival has more offensive ability. Don’t forget Dick Tarnstrom, whom they picked up from the Islanders, I’m sure he will be somewhere in the mix. The Pen’s do have some talent in that position. When Brooks Orpik arives on the scene he will provide them with the hard hitting defensive D’man they need.

  18. YingYan says:

    indeed, i knew you had some gems you were holding back! 😉

  19. YingYan says:

    yes they do have less

    cant wait for the season to start!


  20. mikster says:

    Oh i can’t wait till the next one comes out on the 26th or 28th, i forget which date. I’m ready to kill THN!

  21. titans says:

    You know the dates they come out?? Wow and I thought I was a looser.

  22. Commissioner says:

    Rather than dwelling on what sucks, why not look for something better? Have all of you had a chance to read The Sports Forecaster? I’m not sure if it’s a big hit in the US, but it’s the Bible in Canada. It has a different edition for each of the Canadian hockey cities plus a US edition. If it’s not available in your city, you can order on line at

    I must admit that I accumulate a lot of my hockey knowledge by reading through years of this publication, for better or for worse. It has witty details and assessments of each & every player, including prospects & draft picks. It also explains how they come up with some of their predictions!

    Just hope that you guys don’t all claim to be the Commish after you read this! There you go, that’s my secret! Glad to share.

    The Commissioner

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