Every year around this time, you and your buddies gather and your local bar/pub/igloo (Canadians only) to conduct a fantasy draft. Somewhere around 11 or 12, you’re left with a dilemma. You could either roll the dice on a better player on a bad team (read: Nathan Horton, FLA), or a proven name who, well, did all of his proving on your Sega Genesis more than a decade ago. This isn’t like fantasy baseball, where you may get lucky and get 180 innings out of an aging Mike Mussina or Randy Johnson. This is hockey, damn it. If you’re an old forward, you might as well buy a nice suit and start angling for plush assistant coaching positions with your current club.
It was in this spirit that MYFO founded the Vincent Damphousse Award back in 2003, magically 4 years prior to our inception. We seek to honor those who have freefallen down your local fantasy draft boards with no chance of being drafted. Perhaps you remember back to the good old days, when these previous honorees were great:
- 2003: Doug Gilmour
- 2004: Vincent Damphousse
- 2005: Steve Thomas
- 2006: Luc Robitaille
- 2007: Petr Bondra and Pierre Turgeon
Jeff O’Neill, it’s time to meet your destiny.
The once great winger has announced at Hurricanes training camp that he’s agreed to end his attempt to become a fan favorite in Raleigh for the second time around. His career will be remembered for 237 goals, some of them as a Hartford Whaler.
At the age of 32, O’Neill has proved that the new NHL is a young man’s game, as he no longer has the speed and drive to keep up with, um, 38-year old Rod Brind’Amour, 36-year old Ray Whitney, 35-year old Scott Walker, and 34-year old Frantisek Kaberle. Congratulations, Jeff.
Now if you recall, last year Hopper predicted awarded this year’s trophy to one Trevor Linden, who he assumed would retire this off-season without much fanfare or praise. And he fucking nailed it. So in a new tradition, we will have two recipients – one of whom we will hop into our DeLorean and announce from the future. Our pick for the 2009 Dampy?