WhatIfSports User Interview: Gooner From WhatIfSports.com image

User Interview: Gooner

Q&A with Gooner

We recently contacted veteran user Gooner and we talk about Mark Messier (a few times), the Edmonton Oilers (more than once), and hockey! We also get into specific regarding SimLeague Hockey.

Gooner Records
Game Record Championships
SimLeague Hockey8853-6172 (58.9%) 26

WIS

Who is Gooner?

Gooner

I’m a husband and father living in Victoria BC. I was born in the USA but grew up in Edmonton during the Oilers dynasty years. As a hockey fan, I was truly spoiled.

WIS

How did you find out about WhatIfSports.com?

Gooner

I clicked a link at www.tsn.ca in 2003 and slowly got hooked. I love hockey, stats and fantasy pools so WIS SLH was a dream find.

WIS

Besides simulation sports websites, what are some of your other interests and hobbies?

Gooner

I'm an avid soccer player, coach and fan. I'm a huge supporter of Arsenal FC whose fans are known as Gooners, hence my nickname. I love any and all types of sports fantasy pools. I enjoy marathon running, golf and flyfishing, but with young kids I haven't had much time for golf or fishing in recent years.

WIS

I am giving you the ability to sit at a table and have a roundtable discussion with five people. Any five, past or present, does not need to be related to sports. Who are you sitting with?

Gooner

Arsene Wenger, Alan Davies, Friedrich Hayek, P.J. O’Rourke, and … well, Elle Macpherson!

WIS

Which are some of your favorite hockey teams of all-time?

Gooner

The 1980s Oilers revolutionized hockey. To be living in Edmonton at the time was amazing. I doubt we will ever see another NHL rivalry as intense as Edmonton vs Calgary in the 1980s - ever.

I have grudging respect for the Islanders of early 1980s because I think they helped inspire the Oilers to greatness, and loved seeing the 1994 Rangers win the Cup. More recently, the Avalanche of the late 1990s early 2000s were terrific. I would have loved to have seen the Bruins of the early 1970s, and Red Wings of the 1950s just to see Bobby Orr and Gordie Howe at their peaks.

WIS

What players did you admire most growing up?

Gooner

Mark Messier - above all others. He’s far and away the most complete hockey player I’ve seen in my lifetime – goals, assists, PP, PK, PIM, leadership, confidence, speed, strength, toughness, intelligence, intimidation, durability, stamina, etc, etc. No one compares.

Honorable mentions to Wayne Gretzky, Ray Bourque, Joe Sakic, Mario Lemieux, Mike Bossy, Marcel Dionne, Steve Yzerman, Al MacInnis and Guy LaFleur because they each had that rare combination of talent, humility and loyalty. Oh, and Dave Semenko!

WIS

Did you play hockey (or other sports) growing up?

Gooner

I played hockey until I was about 12, but being 6' tall by the time I was in 8th grade, hockey gave way to volleyball and basketball. Mostly I played soccer, and still do to this day. And I played a ton of golf in my younger years.


Mark Messier Gooner really likes Mark Messier.

WIS

Build your all-time dream hockey team:

Gooner

C – Messier, Gretzky, Lemieux, Esposito
RW – Bossy, LaFleur, Kurri, Neely
LW – Gordie Howe, Robitaille, Bobby Hull, Ovechkin
D – Orr, Robinson, Coffey, Bourque, Stevens, MacInnis
G – Roy, Fuhr
Scrubs – Semenko, Probert, McSorley

WIS

What is your favorite sports moment?

Gooner

April 25, 2004. Tottenham 2-2 Arsenal. The 2-2 draw was enough for Arsenal to lift the Premier League trophy at the home of their hated North London rivals. This was also Arsenal's undefeated "invincible" 2003-04 season (26W-12D-0L), the only team to go a full season undefeated in English football since 1889.

In hockey it would be a toss up between game 7 of the 1987 Cup final and game 7 of the 1994 Cup final.

WIS

What is your favorite WIS moment?

Gooner

Like many others, it would be my first Cup. It was a Washington Capitals team in avarro's 3 year franchise league. I was in Las Vegas for a stag at the time, and spent way too much money at the internet café checking my scores and juggling my lines. But it was worth it!

WIS

With the NHL season coming up soon, what are you most excited and looking forward to?

Gooner

They [Oilers] probably won't win many games, but I'm excited to see the talented Edmonton Oilers rookies, especially Taylor Hall. It's going to be a slow rebuild, but there’s a sense that the Oilers could be really good in a few years. I'm also looking forward to yet another season of the Maple Leafs missing the playoffs – just the thought of it warms my heart.

WIS

What is your general strategy for SimLeague building teams? What is the most important thing to keep in mind while drafting?

Gooner

I like to draft a mix of forwards with high Def ratings/low scoring, high goals/low Def rating, and then a few with high Def and high scoring. On the blue line, at least 3 or 4 D-men with high Def ratings and at least two with high assists for the PP. Goalies are a bit of an afterthought.

WIS

Are there any players in specific that you like to put on your team?

Gooner

Messier of course, but I’ve have consistent success with players like Chris Chelios, Mario Lemieux, and Luc Robitaille.

WIS

Are there any players that you feel consistently under or overachieve?

Gooner

Overachievers include players like Bernie Federko, Guy Charron, Lee Fogolin Jr

Underachievers include Mike Bossy, Steve Shutt, Johnny Bucyk, Bobby Orr, Paul Coffey, and most of the oldtimers, especially the goalies.

WIS

How do you go about setting your lines?

Gooner

I tinker with my lines a lot during the season but I always try to make sure each line has three very different types of players (e.g one with D, one with gls, one with assists). If nothing seems to be working, I will load up my top two lines with my top players and hope for the best!

WIS

Do you make transactions during the season? Why or why not?

Gooner

In progressive/regressive leagues I try to make deals depending whether I’m going for the Cup or rebuilding my franchise. In theme leagues, if my team is still struggling halfway through the season, I will look to make a deal with another team that’s low in the standings.

WIS

Who are the users you respect and who challenge you the most?

Gooner

The users I respect the most are the ones who are competitive, but also reliable in the progressive/regressive leagues, notably shaggyno9 (also a real life friend), aginor, vegcity, robroy, peter_puck, nickneely, jmerch, jcarver67, sikboy21, etc. I also respect users who start up theme leagues, users who manage progressive leagues, and the old-guard sapheads – guys like gollum, damag, bb_icetime, cpetsche, logain, evil_twin.

WIS

What is your favorite aspect of SimLeague hockey?

Gooner

I like the strategy, the competition, and the community. And I love drafting in progressive/regressive leagues.

WIS

How about your least favorite aspect of SimLeague hockey?

Gooner

(1) when users repeatedly go MIA during progressive league drafts or take weeks to post their keeper lists; (2) users who build a strong, short-term progressive league team and then quit as soon as the franchise becomes weak; (3) waiting for users who take forever to enter their teams into a league they've joined.

WIS

If you could change anything about SimLeague hockey and/or the site, what would you change?

Gooner

(1) Hockey Dynasty (2) WIS Admin-managed SLH tournaments (3) make the draft centre more progressive league friendly by adding some of the features that exist in baseball.

WIS

Thanks for your time Gooner. Hopefully our users are more informed on some Hardball Dynasty strategy now thanks to you.


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