MY FANTASY HOCKEY LEAGUE SHOUT-OUT

So I’ve been meaning to cobble together an extended post on all the transaction action in the National Hockey League this summer. What with this being the first offseason of normalization under the salary-cap structure, it’s been entertaining for me to track.

Alas, that’s going to have to wait, probably for an uncluttered weekend. I can’t wait.

In the meantime, I’ve somehow gotten a hankering to re-enter the fantasy hockey arena for this upcoming season, after not indulging for three years. Maybe it’s a way to ensure I’ll stay fully engaged in 2006-07 NHL action, amid all the other stuff I’ve got to juggle.

But I’d rather not do it solo, so to speak. I’m comfortable playing in Yahoo!’s Fantasy Hockey default setup; it’s robust enough for me, and I’m used to the statistical weights that game operates on. Plus it’s free. While any fees for other league engines would be nominal, I feel a somewhat lesser degree of self-loathing when I don’t have to shell out any dough for my fantasy sports fix.

As usual, I don’t have any offline friends or acquaintences interested. Hockey fandom is often a soloist pursuit…

So, this post serves as an invitation. I’d like to put together a group of participants for a Yahoo! Fantasy Hockey league. A group of at least eight guys/gals is the target; a maximum of about 15 would be about right, assuming I can scrounge up that many. It’s going to be free, but we can consider on-the-side wagering and/or offline prizes. All that’s required is active participation — no absentee team ownership!

Anyone interested can leave a comment below or email me direct. I’m crossing my fingers.

FINDING A FACE FOR THESE OLYMPICS

During my trashing of Bode Miller, I noted that the biggest tragedy lay in the marketing angle: A fundamental dearth of star power for Team USA, in all sports. (I would cite Men’s Hockey, since you’d assume NHL players would bring their own aura of celebrity with them, medal or no medal… But I’ll defer on that rant.)

That lack hasn’t gone unnoticed on Madison Avenue. Advertisers are cringing at the lack of anyone on whom to hitch a wagon, and are declaring Torino to be the weakest Olympics to come down the pike in years.

There were high hopes for Sasha Cohen.

Cohen stumbled to a silver, so I guess disappointment rules.

Actually, I’m not sure why Cohen isn’t better regarded. She was already a big name in figure skating before these Olympics; she certainly has enough endorsement deals already to prove her marketability. I’m betting she emerges as the most-endorsable figure from these Games.