LeBrun: Inside the NHL’s intense, vicious, hilarious fantasy football wars

HENDERSON, Nev. Jacob Trouba dropped some big news this week at the NHL player tour.

He has stepped down … as commissioner of the Rangers fantasy football league.

“I turned over the commissioning to Foxy this year,” the Rangers captain said with a laugh, referring to teammate Adam Fox. “I could not handle it anymore. Too much complaining. Oh man. It’s always the people who try to circumvent the trade system and make side deals.

“Now it’s Foxy’s problem.”

Don’t get Trouba wrong: He doesn’t need the grief, but he loves the fantasy league. And he’s not the only one.

The Athletic spoke with 32 star players representing 29 of the 32 NHL’s teams, and all of them confirmed there’s a vibrant fantasy football league that consumes their NHL clubs.

“It’s crazy how much our team conversation during the year is based off of football,” the Ducks’ Troy Terry laughed.

“Every morning, you’ve got trade talks, and then football season is over and we’re like, ‘What are we going to talk about?’” Trouba said.

Who are the NHL’s most intense owners? And most annoying? Who talks the most trash?

Here’s a look inside hockey’s fantasy football wars.

Cody Ceci is the Oilers’ defending champ, but the big news is the new player this season.

“My first year,” said Leon Draisaitl, who is partnering with Jack Campbell. “I’m 1-0 after Week 1. So far I’m loving it.”

Why did he finally join?

“Guys were all over me for the last couple of years that I had to be part of it and so I said, ‘Screw it, I’m in.’”

It’s quite the change of attitude, according to Draisaitl’s fellow superstar teammate, Connor McDavid.

“He complained about it time and time again. He hated hearing about it,” McDavid said. “He got a win in the first week. I think he’s hooked now.”

McDavid also shared a little intel or, at least, a suspicion.

“(Ryan Nugent-Hopkins) runs it for our group, but it’s very much run by Zach Hyman,” he laughed. “I hope they’re not colluding. I definitely warned them about that.”


You want to talk fantasy football fanatic?

“I’ve spent by far the most time and research on it in the last four, five years,” Filip Forsberg said. “I got to know (49ers tight end) George Kittle a couple of years ago. Our wives are best friends. … That kind of sparked some interest. And once I’m into something, I want to actually be into something.

“My first fantasy draft, I spent like 50 hours of reading and watching of research. … And I made the Super Bowl (but) lost.”

One teammate already has tried this season to leverage Forsberg’s friendship with Kittle. That same teammate, according to Forsberg, is also the worst fantasy player on the team.

“It’s Roman Josi,” Forsberg laughed. “He’s probably No. 2 in time spent (researching) after me, but I think he’s been in the bottom three for four years.”

And yeah, Josi drafted Kittle and then tried to entice…

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Read More: LeBrun: Inside the NHL’s intense, vicious, hilarious fantasy football wars 2023-09-15 11:10:13

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