Well, I don't know about anyone else, but suddenly it doesn't seem good enough to score 15 goals and 45 points in one season, unless you are a rookie. I remember when we used to respect Pierre Turgeon for his totals that seem to end up in that range now. Here are some older and/or younger guys who used to score 40 points and get respect, but are now highly criticized for staying consistent.
Brenden Morrow- Now I'm not saying people disrespect this guy, but his expectations have been largely raised recently. Before the lockout, Morrow was a consistent 17-20 goals and 40-45 points scorer. Now, as captain of the Dallas Stars, everyone expects him to consistently repeat last year's 23 goals and 65 points. Unfortunately, in his first year as captain (he has worn an 'A' for several seasons) he has been limited to 10 goals and 20 points in 28 games due to wrist surgery.
Stu Barnes- Sorry to keep going with Stars players, but for Barnes, it's true. For 13 seasons before the lockout, he was a highly respected 30-40 point scorer known for his grit and physical defensive play. Now, people are hinting that they expect more offense from this vet. He has 9 goals and 18 points in 54 games.
Pascal Dupuis- For this Wild scorer, it hasn't so much been his points as his goals. He used to be a 10-15 goals scorer and provided good depth on offense. Yet, because of one 20-goal year, people are complaining about his consistency to score 10-15 goals. The reason is easily because Dupuis was a fast player, and now that the NHL is fast, he has seemed to slow.
But that's my point! Due only to the fact that the NHL is faster, somehow now everyone is supposed to be better. Few people respect how Radim Vrbata is consistently in the 15-goal 30-point range, they expect him to score 30 goals! And I find it hard to believe that the Carolina Hurricanes consistently scratch Andrew Hutchinson because in each of his seasons so far, which have been less than 40 games, he scores at least 3 goals and 8 points! This is before and after the lockout, so he's more consistent than a lot of players. What about Sami Salo? He is only recognized as a key Canuck once he's injured. Peter Schaefer gets criticized for only scoring 9 goals, but at least 7 of them came in the 3rd period, 4 of them on the PowerPlay, and a game winner. Chris Neil has always gotten to the 5-goal 10-points 100-PIM's club, yet is only recognized as a fighter. Manny Malholtra is Columbus' key defensive center, yet so little coverage goes to him, that I had to look up Rick Nash, and then find Malholtra off the list of teammates. I could go on and on, literally a player per team that gets either no coverage or too much expectations.
Man, I don't even have anything left to say.
Okay, sorry. I'm back now. I don't have much, but I will add one thing about the Pittsburgh Penguins. Reading up on my trade rumors for the day, I saw that the Pens are looking for a solid veteran defenseman. Here's something from EHM that won't happen, but seriously could help the Pens in every area.
Goaltending- The current Pens are slightly weak in that area. Now, the way I did it won't happen, but I dealt off Marc-Andre Fluery to Carolina (details in defensemen), and sent my struggling Jocelyn Thibault to the minors. Fantasy Ottawa had put Martin Gerber on the block, and I took him for the rights to either Ross Lupaschuk or someone like him, and then received Peter Budaj from Colorado for a few '08 and '09 draft picks. Using Budaj and Gerber in a sort of platoon system, that would help the real Pens in goal. The reason it won't happen? The real Marc-Andre Fluery is a hot star for the future and the Pens would need a huge deal for that to happen. Ottawa would rather keep Gerber, and Budaj is to the Avs as Fluery is to the Pens.
Defensemen- Here's where it gets both more realistic and more absurd. Fantasy St. Louis signed Brian Leetch, so Bryce Salvador was put on the block. I think I might have recieved Salvador for Noah Welch, or another AHL defensemen. EHM hadn't managed to include the Tverdovsky-Gleason trade, but did manage to give the Canes 9 defensemen anyways. I recieved Tverdovsky and Andrew Hutchinson from Carolina for Marc-Andre Fluery, so it wasn't a horrible deal. It did work in fantasy. Also, ironically, Tim Gleason was put on the block by Los Angeles, and guess who snapped him up for 2 draft picks in '08? Not Carolina. I did. So now, in EHM, instead of Tverdovsky and Gleason being swapped for each other, they both went to the Pens. However, this won't happen because the Blues won't sign Leetch, the Pens won't trade Welch, and no team takes draft picks for Tim Gleason unless he really struggles.
Forwards- On offense, I actually didn't change much, but the small stuff was big. Fantasy Buffalo put Chris Drury on the block, and I received him for whoever was the Pens second line center before they signed Malkin. Ronald Petrovicky was grabbed from waivers, but he wasn't necessary. Andre Roy was also put on waivers, but had Petrovicky's story. Evgeni Malkin was signed, but EHM didn't see him as the player he really is. Also, I coaxed Theoren Fluery out of retirement, and am currently looking at Chris Ferraro. This won't happen because Malkin is really good, Drury would rather go to an immediate contender, and Fluery might not want to come back just yet. Also, Dan Carcillo was recalled from the AHL, and Jordan Staal wouldn't come to me.