Vote: Who is FHL's MVP?

Originally Published: March 31, 2003

Unless you live in Florida, this shouldn't be a tough concept to grasp. We're giving you a ballot with six nominees for FHL's 2003 MVP award. All you have to do is pick the player you feel is most deserving of fantasy's highest honor. Now get out and vote!

FHL MVP CANDIDATES

Marty Turco
Position: G
Avg. Draft: 50.49

Profile
2002-03 Stats
GM
W-T
GAA
SPCT
55
31-10
1.85
.930
Notes: Entering the season, Dallas thought enough of Marty Turco to hand him the starting job and hand Ed Belfour a ticket out of town. Fantasy owners weren't so sure, waiting until the sixth round to pick Turco. That ranked him behind goalies like Martin Biron and Brent Johnson. Dallas knew what they were doing. A late-season injury that limited Turco's availability may cost him some votes, but no player provided a better return on investment.

Martin Brodeur
Position: G
Avg. Draft: 5.91

Profile
2002-03 Stats
GM
W-T
GAA
SPCT
73
41-9
2.02
.913
Notes: Brodeur can't match Turco when it comes to save percentage or draft value, but it's tough to argue with the raw numbers he posted for New Jersey. Always a workhorse, Brodeur appeared in more games than any goalie but Columbus' Marc Denis. Brodeur led the league in goalie points, and his goals-against average was third-best among goalies who played at least 50 games. Only Turco and Roman Cechmanek posted better goals-against averages.

Al MacInnis
Position: D
Avg. Draft: 35.21

Profile
2002-03 Stats
GM
G
A
PPSH
PIM
SOG
80
16
52
39
61
299
Notes: Fantasy owners knew one St. Louis defenseman would merit first-round consideration with the new defensive-points category, but most assumed Chris Pronger was that defenseman. But with Pronger felled by injuries, the aging MacInnis put together a season for the ages. How dominant was MacInnis? Only five defensemen earned positive scores on the Player Rater, and none of the other four were within two Rater points of MacInnis.

Todd Bertuzzi
Position: F
Avg. Draft: 25.58

Profile
2002-03 Stats
GM
G
A
PPSH
PIM
SOG
82
46
51
42
144
243
Notes: Bertuzzi might be the most valuable fantasy player in hockey, or he might be the second-most valuable fantasy player on his own team. Such is life with Markus Naslund in Vancouver. An offensive juggernaut who topped 40 points and 40 assists, Bertuzzi also does the dirty work for fantasy teams. Of the 21 players with at least 140 penalty minutes, no other player came within 40 points of Bertuzzi's offensive production, and only Scott Mellanby came within 60 points.

Milan Hejduk
Position: F
Avg. Draft: 66.63

Profile
2002-03 Stats
GM
G
A
PPSH
+/-
SOG
82
50
48
35
52
244
Notes: Like Bertuzzi, Hejduk suffers from comparisons to one of his teammates. But it isn't just Hejduk's 40-plus goals that earn him a nomination, even though only six players scored 40 goals this season. What really separates him from the crowd is a gaudy plus-52 rating, tied with Forsberg for best in the league.

Markus Naslund
Position: F
Avg. Draft: 12.56

Profile
2002-03 Stats
GM
G
A
PPSH
+/-
SOG
82
48
56
54
6
294
Notes: If you're a fan of raw numbers, Naslund is your kind of candidate. The first player to 100 points this season, Naslund is unmatched when it comes to goals and power-play prowess. All those points on the power play mean his plus-minus rating is merely average, but offense is the name of the game in fantasy hockey.

Peter Forsberg
Position: F
Avg. Draft: 8.50

Profile
2002-03 Stats
GM
G
A
PPSH
+/-
SOG
75
29
77
33
52
166
Notes: We tried to keep Forsberg off the list, we really did. After all, you know what happens when too many names end up on a ballot. But it's tough to have a MVP vote without the league's leading scorer. Three points in the season's final game pushed Forsberg to 106 points on the season. He didn't dominate goals and shots on goal like Naslund or penalty minutes like Bertuzzi, but it's tough to ignore the total points and plus-minus rating.