It has been a nasty couple weeks ladies and gentlemen. There were the injuries, and illnesses, and now all these cases of the mumps. The mumps have become like an unwelcome house guest. The questions are many and the answers are few. This long month of December drags on and today a few questions popped up for the mailbag.
Again, welcome to the craziest mailbag for fantasy hockey fans. We do not duck or hide. You bring us the questions and the answers are delivered in a blunt yet somehow thorough way. Let's do this!
Fantasy Hockey Mailbag
How worried should I be about my players contracting the mumps?
The devil is in the details here. If Beau Bennett is confirmed as having the mumps, then that makes 15 players with the illness. What is scary is that Pittsburgh medical staff struck again with Sidney Crosby. Everyone saw the pictures and it was crystal clear what was going on. Then it was as if Pittsbugh got its hands caught in the cookie jar. The tests confirmed what everyone feared and that was a positive result for mumps. Some people and players in this strain have even received booster shots and it did not matter.
This is not a big outbreak but it is significant and noticeable enough that no one should take any chances. The CDC recommends at least a five day isolation period (sometimes longer) once symptoms outwardly show. Crosby was about the clearest example shown and yet he was allowed to do charitable activities in a hospital. Now other players have contracted the mumps as the process starts all over again.
Any time a contagious illness like mumps persists, there should be worry for your fantasy teams. Look at some players who were already injured and then became ill. They took a lot longer to recover in some cases and yet it was not found out till later. By the way, Crosby might play by mid-week, although the weekend is a good bit more likely. "Patient Zero" is believed to be Corey Perry of the Anaheim Ducks but little of that matters now.
The best thing to do is stay informed as much as you can. Check your fantasy rosters a little more vigorously each day and hopefully the mumps will finally run its course once and for all.
Dallas Eakins was fired on Monday so what about those Taylor Hall rumors?
For now, do not even bother yourself with it. Until there is something more credible out there, it is not even an idea to acknowledge. I will say one thing. Taylor Hall is not coachable to a point. The repetitive mistakes seen means one of two things -- Hall was just dogging it or he really needs a crash course in Hockey 101. Whatever the case is, he will be on the block at some point but who knows how much of this is smoke and how much is fire. We will have to wait and see.
Right now, this puts the onus on Hall to showcase himself if these rumors are true. If he is a great player and not just a very good player, Hall must prove it once and for all. If he is deemed uncoachable then prove you are teachable. It had been put up or shut up time for awhile now. Now, Taylor Hall has to prove the skeptics wrong -- or else.
Thanks again for the questions and we will see you next week. Follow me on Twitter @ChrisWasselTHW for all the latest hockey and fantasy hockey talk.