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The 2005-06 Season

Michael Finewax

I was going to write about self-isolating (or what it is like to be a Rotoworld writer) but we are going to take our first lookback at a previous NHL season from a fantasy prospective.

This week I am going to look back at the 2005-06 season, the first season after a year-long lockout in which the regular season was cancelled as well as the Stanley Cup playoffs (hopefully history does not repeat itself this season as far as the latter is concerned).   

Don’t forget, for everything NHL, check out Rotoworld’s Player News, and follow @Rotoworld_ HK and @mfinewaxhockey on Twitter.

There have been lots of changes in Roto Hockey since then. Back in 2005, most traditional leagues had six categories offensively including goals, assists, plus-minus, penalty minutes, shots on goal and power play goals. Not too many pools now use penalty minutes and plus-minus as they have been replaced by hits and blocked shots. Even power play goals as a category has been replaced by most with power play points.

The 2005-06 season began on August 1, 2005 (my first day at Rotoworld) as free agency occurred after an agreement between the NHL and NHLPA gave the league a $39 million hard salary cap.

The draft was held later that month and the Penguins enjoyed the fruits of picking first overall by taking Sidney Crosby. Since the NHL did not play the previous season, the first overall pick from 2004, Alex Ovechkin (known as Alexander back then), was also going to make his NHL debut.

The previous season of play, 2003-04, saw only one player get more than 87 points in a season and that was Martin St. Louis winning the Art Ross Trophy with 94 points.

But the league became more offensive in 2005-06 as seven players picked up at least 100 points and another seven had 90 or more points.

Ovechkin and Crosby finished third and sixth respectively in points with 106 and 102. It was the first time that rookies finished that high in the scoring race since 1926-27 when Bill Cook, Dick Irvin and Frank Frederickson finished one, two and four in scoring.

It was also the last season for the great Mario Lemieux who played in only 27 games, picking up 22 points before retiring on January 23, 2006.

Best Fantasy Center

Joe Thornton had the best season of his NHL career as he scored 29 goals and a whopping 96 assists to win the Art Ross Trophy, the only time in his career that he won the award. The amazing thing that season was that Thornton was actually dealt on November 25, 2005 from Boston to San Jose, making him the only player in NHL history to win the scoring title despite playing for two teams in the same season. While his shots on goal total was only 195, Thornton was a plus-31, had 61 penalty minutes as well as 51 power play points including 11 goals. It was his best season in a Hall-of-Fame career.

Honorable Mention:

Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh) – 39 goals, 63 assists, minus-1, 110 penalty minutes, 16 power play goals, 47 power play points, 278 shots on goal.

Marc Savard (Atlanta) – 28 goals, 69 assists, plus-7, 100 penalty minutes, 13 power play goals, 44 power play points, 212 shots on goal.

Best Fantasy Right Winger

The Rangers’ Jaromir Jagr had a fabulous season, falling just two points shy of winning the scoring title as he had 54 goals and 69 assists. Add in a plus-34 rating, 72 penalty minutes, 24 power play goals with 28 power play assists, as well as 368 shots on goal and Jagr was not only the top right winger in fantasy, but the best player overall in the 2005-06 season. He didn’t win the Hart Trophy (Thornton got the nod) but his stats were the best overall.

Honorable Mention:

Jonathan Cheechoo (San Jose) – 56 goals (led the NHL), 37 assists, plus-23, 58 penalty minutes, 24 power play goals, 41 power play points, 317 shots on goal.

Daniel Alfredsson (Ottawa) – 43 goals, 60 assists, plus-29, 50 penalty minutes, 16 power play goals, 48 power play points, 249 shots on goal.

Best Fantasy Left Winger

There were plenty of good left wingers, but rookie Alex Ovechkin gets the nod with his 52 goals and 106 points to finish third in NHL scoring. He led the NHL with 425 shots on goal and his 21 power play goals and 52 power play points were outstanding. He was only a plus-two and had 52 penalty minutes as he edged out Crosby for the Calder Trophy. It was the first of eight seasons to date, that Ovechkin had 50 or more goals.

Honorable Mention:

Dany Heatley (Ottawa) – 50 goals, 53 assists, plus-29, 86 penalty minutes, 23 power play goals, 43 power play points, 300 shots on goal.

Ilya Kovalchuk (Atlanta) – 52 goals, 46 assists, minus-six, 68 penalty minutes, 27 power play goals, 56 power play points, 323 shots on goal.

Also:

Brenden Morrow (Dallas) – 23 goals, 42 assists, plus-30, 183 penalty minutes, eight power play goals, 17 power play points, 146 shots on goal.

Best Fantasy Defenseman

Nicklas Lidstrom had 16 goals and 64 assists to lead all blueliners in points but he was also quite good in the rest of the categories as he was a plus-21, had 50 penalty minutes in addition to scoring nine times with the man-advantage and adding 41 power play assists. The Detroit great had 243 shots on goal to finish second to Rob Blake among blueliners in the category. Lidstrom won his fourth Norris Trophy and would win three others in his illustrious career.

Honorable Mention:

Sergei Zubov (Dallas)– 13 goals, 58 assists, plus-20, 46 penalty minutes, nine power play goals, 39 power play points, 141 shots on goal.

Bryan McCabe (Toronto) – 19 goals, 49 assists, minus-one, 116 penalty minutes, 13 power play goals, 45 power play points, 207 shots on goal.

Mathieu Schneider (Detroit) – 21 goals, 38 assists, plus-33, 86 penalty minutes, 11 power play goals, 29 power play points, 188 shots on goal.

Best Fantasy Goaltender

Miikka Kiprusoff of the Calgary Flames was the top goaltender in the NHL in 2005-06 as his 42-20-11 record to go with a 2.07 GAA and a .923 save percentage was deserving of the top honor. He won both the Vezina and William M. Jennings Trophy, the only time in his career that he won either award. Martin Brodeur led the NHL in wins with 43 but his 2.57 GAA and .911 save percentage, left him far behind Kiprusoff in fantasy value. It was a great year for rookies as Henrik Lundqvist played in his first season after coming over from Sweden.

Honorable Mention:

Dominik Hasek – (Ottawa) 28-10-4/2.09/.925.

Henrik Lundqvist – (New York Rangers) 30-12-9/2.24/.922.

Cristobal Huet – (Montreal) 18-11-4/2.20/.929.

Martin Brodeur (New Jersey) – 43-23-7/2.57/.911.

2005-06 LEADERS

Points

Joe Thornton – 125

Jaromir Jagr – 123

Alex Ovechkin – 106

Daniel Alfredsson – 103

Dany Heatley – 103

Sidney Crosby – 102

Eric Staal - 100

Goals

Jonathan Cheechoo – 56

Jaromir Jagr – 54

Ilya Kovalchuk – 52

Alex Ovechkin – 52

Dany Heatley - 50

Brian Gionta - 48

Assists

Joe Thornton – 96

Jason Spezza – 71

Marc Savard – 69

Jaromir Jagr – 69

Brad Richards – 68

Nicklas Lidstrom - 64

Shots on Goal

Alex Ovechkin – 425

Jaromir Jagr – 368

Olli Jokinen - 351

Marian Hossa – 341

Simon Gagne - 334

Hits

Brenden Morrow – 234

Trent Hunter – 230

Zdeno Chara – 224

Chris Neil - 221

Dion Phaneuf – 203

Brooks Orpik -203

Steve Begin – 202

Blocked Shots

Jay McKee – 241

Karlis Skrastins – 207

Colin White – 199

Andy Sutton – 195

Niclas Havelid - 192

Penalty Minutes

Sean Avery – 257

Brendan Witt – 209

Chris Neil – 204

Brenden Morrow – 183

Steve Ott – 178

Matthew Barnaby – 178

Plus/Minus

Michal Rozsival – Plus-35

Wade Redden – 35

Andrej Meszaros – 34

Jaromir Jagr – 34

Mathieu Schneider – 33

Goaltending Wins

Martin Brodeur – 43

Miikka Kiprusoff – 42

Marty Turco – 41

Martin Gerber - 38

Manny Legace – 37

Goals-Against-Average

Miikka Kiprusoff – 2.08

Dominik Hasek – 2.09

Manny Legace – 2.19

Cristobal Huet – 2.20

Henrik Lundqvist – 2.24

Save Percentage

Cristobal Huet - .929

Dominik Hasek - .924

Miikka Kiprusoff - .923

Henrik Lundqvist - .922

Tomas Vokoun - .919

Manny Fernandez - .919