I have been doing hockey pools for many years and would consider myself a fantasy hockey veteran. If fantasy hockey was a real job and I was a suit working downtown, I like to picture myself with a spacious corner office and a nice view of the city.
There have been the family pools I have been in where I take pride in ripping off my younger brothers. I would win those leagues some years by 20 points. It also helped back then that my brothers would be in bed before any of the west coast games. Yes, some might call it heartless to buy your 11-year-old brother a 2 litre of pop, with the sole purpose of getting him all hyped up on caffeine and in a good mood so you can swindle Joe Sakic from him for 2 Maple Leaf 3rd liners. You gotta do what you gotta do to win.
One of my favorite dirty deals was against my best friend. To hide his identity we will just call him JFJ. This was a few years back and it was a very tight race to the finish. I had slipped out of 1st just before the trade deadline and my team was sinking fast. I needed to shake things up and land a solid point producer and somebody that shot the puck a lot.
I had been bugging JFJ for about a month trying to get Daniel Alfredsson who was having a solid year with the Sens. I would send him offers late at night,then cancel the trade 5 minutes after to get him thinking. I knew that Yahoo! would send him an email about the trade offer and that he would go look and see that it had been cancelled. We worked together so I was always planting little seeds about how hot some of my players were and how I got 10 PIMs last night from Scott Walker. I talked Scott Walker up for a month like he was the star of my team despite picking him up off waivers about a month earlier and spot starting him as my 13th forward.
It started off with JFJ saying comments like "Walker sucks", but slowly turned to "what round did you draft him in?" and then to "I saw Walker score last night. I think he got in a fight too." - the seed was planted and JFJ was starting to think about how Scott Walker could help his fantasy team. What's the next move? Well head to the local pub of course.
Going for beers and hockey is a great time to talk fantasy hockey and trade, as long as you're the aggressor. We were tossing back pints and the whole time I hyped up Scotty Walker, but made it seem like I couldn't deal him. My team would just miss his all around fantasy value.
Fast forward to the end of the night and JFJ was well over 10 pints, we had worked out a deal that would send me Alfredsson and I would help my best friend out and give him Scott Walker and Martin Lapointe who was another bench player for me that I got off waivers. The real challenge was making sure he would go home and click accept on the deal. I went home and right away sent him the trade offer and called him to make sure he had got home safe (I am a good friend like that). I told him the deal was up and if we did it right away we could have those guys on our rosters by Monday. Done Deal.
Well, Alfredsson finished that season with 40 goals and 89 points and was also picking up shorthanded points and lots of shots. Scott Walker finished with 32 points in 58 games, with very little production down the stretch. Lapointe did nothing and JFJ ended up dropping him a few weeks before the season ended.
My team turned it around and I was able to lock down 1st place. Yes, it was a dirty deal and a week after the deal JFJ was already calling for the league to revoke the deal. The league commissioner (me) though turned down his appeal.