Commentary

The Vicky Files: Avoiding a bad situation

Updated: March 8, 2008, 6:00 PM ET
By Victoria Matiash | Special to ESPN.com

The following matrimonial tale certainly adds new flavor to the casual expression "So, sue me." A man in Italy is taking his own wife to court for nagging him into alleged impotency. Sergio Vinucci claims he has medical evidence that his spouse's ongoing harassment has rendered him incapable of performing his husbandly duties in the bedroom. According to Mr. Vinucci:

"All she ever does is complain. It is extremely stressful and it has left me unable to be a man. I want some compensation."

He's suing her for $280,000 (U.S.).

There's no word on the reasoning behind this arbitrary sum (why not an even 300K? why not a nice, round number even in euros?); we'll just assume that's how much Sergio considers his manhood to be worth. Fair enough. My question is, why are these two still married? Or, at the very least, living together? If someone is making you so miserable that it affects your physical workings, do you not move out of the house? Whatever limp excuse (ha) Mr. Vinucci offers for hanging around this alleged battleax, I don't buy it. If a situation doesn't suit your temperament, find a new one. The same goes for fantasy hockey. Seriously, there's a parallel. Read on.

I read articles across the Internet regarding fantasy hockey, and it amazes me how often authors speak of dumping off this guy on someone else or scooping up another. I've been playing fantasy hockey for two years in a competitive 12-team league, and you know how many trades have been done in those two years? ONE. Last year I traded Marty Turco for Simon Gagne. I've offered over a dozen trades this year, probably six of which were very fair and mutually beneficial. The point is: even in a competitive 12-team league, people still would rather dip into the free agency pool than trade away for help, and drop a slumping proven player rather than seek a trade. Getting a trade done is nearly impossible and no author in the fantasy hockey world ever seems to acknowledge that. What gives?
Leigh from Buffalo, N.Y.

Considering the uniqueness of this note, I decided some privately funded (paying the phone bill myself), informal research was in order. After speaking with and e-mailing many different fantasy players, in a wide variety of leagues, one unsurprising conclusion emerged clearly: Every group and player is different. Some, like those in your league, Leigh, never make trades; others exchange players almost every week. Those were the extremes. Most others I talked to, like myself, make two to three deals a season. But size also comes into play. Although exchanges are rare in a 10-team association -- there's almost no need -- try surviving in a deep 18-plus team league without trading; it's nearly impossible.

At the end of the day, Leigh, if you're interested in a more trade-happy league, perhaps join a different one next season. I'm not suggesting you abandon the one you're a part of now, by no means, but try out another group as a bonus. Seriously, there's always room for more fantasy hockey in all our lives.

I have Joe Sakic and Paul Stastny, and having two Colorado centers makes no sense. I've been trying to trade away a package of Stastny and Wade Redden, and the only offer I've gotten for them is Daniel Briere. Do you think this trade is worth it, with Redden playing so badly and Briere playing with Vaclav Prospal now?
Brandon from Tallahassee, Fla.

No, I don't like this trade. Considering how much outstandingly bad luck Colorado has had all season, in terms of injuries, and despite an ongoing rotation of mottled linemates, Stastny has produced consistently. It doesn't seem to matter what players you hook the guy up with, he manages to score on a regular basis. Even off the top line at present (it's Sakic, Milan Hejduk and Peter Forsberg), he'll earn you roughly a point per game for the duration of the year. His value lies in his adaptability. Besides, there are worse linemates to have than Andrew Brunette.

And although I've considered Redden an overrated fantasy commodity for a while now, he still has some worth. The Senators likely will turn their fortunes around before the postseason, and as their top scoring defenseman, Redden will be forced to play a part in that. With the departure of Joe Corvo, he won't have a choice.

So even though Briere's a great fantasy asset -- Prospal or no Prospal -- this is too high a price to pay. I would continue negotiations.

Entering the stretch run in my H2H league, I seem to have this persistent urge to tinker with my goaltending. I'm currently running a three-goalie system that includes Ilya Bryzgalov, Henrik Lundqvist, and Pascal Leclaire. I'm worried about Lundqvist's consistency as of late. Would I be a fool to drop him in favor of say Carey Price, who is still available on waivers in my league? Other notables available on waivers include Jose Theodore, Mike Smith, and Marc-Andre Fleury. Should I believe the Price "hype" or continue with Lundqvist?
Andrew from Toronto

Does the toaster need an adjustment? Could the curtains use a hemming? Go find yourself a small household job to tinker with and leave your goaltenders alone. Lundqvist had a couple of weak games, but that's no reason to dump the fellow. He's one of the top-ranked fantasy netminders in the NHL. Altogether, I wouldn't touch your corps of guys before entering the playoffs, when schedules and opposing teams become more of an issue in head-to-head leagues. You're in good shape. But by following sheer logic, some of your leaguemates aren't. So, as a bonus, I have a message for them.

Dear guys and gals in Andrew's league,

This applies to those of you with poor goaltending. Pick up Theodore. Now. He's playing phenomenally and shouldn't be left to waste away on waivers. You might consider Price as well. That is all.

Sincerely,
Victoria

Victoria Matiash is a fantasy hockey analyst for ESPN.com. You can send her e-mail for potential use in "The Vicky Files" by clicking here.

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