Skip to main content's fantasy starting lineup of past decade

by Pete Jensen /

From season to season, players who display statistical prowess across the board define the fantasy hockey landscape. Though 100-plus point producers are always welcomed with open arms, championships in multicategory leagues go beyond that.

Fans who have played fantasy hockey for much of the past decade probably recall the category-coverage assets who either lifted your team to great heights or spoiled your pursuit of a title. has constructed a starting lineup of the best single fantasy seasons from 2005-06 to present. These players got the job done with elite-level production in multiple categories while avoiding the liability tag in any standard-league category.

We encourage fans to share their most memorable single-season fantasy hockey player memories in the comments section below.

Fans who have played fantasy hockey for much of the past decade will remember the single-season greatness of Quick, Thornton, Jagr and the others who made this starting lineup. (Photo: Getty Images)

NOTES: This lineup has been constructed based on standard Yahoo Fantasy league roster size (two centers, two left wings, two right wings, four defensemen, two goalies) and categories (goals, assists, plus-minus, penalty minutes, power-play points and shots on goal for skaters; wins, goals-against average, save percentage, shutouts for goalies). Position eligibility was based on each player's primary position during the listed season. Honorable mentions have been included for each of the five positions.


Sidney Crosby, Penguins, 2006-07 - Crosby won the scoring title by a landslide in 2013-14 and had a 102-point, 110-PIM season in 2005-06, but his mammoth sophomore season takes the cake. More than half of his League-leading 120 points were scored on the power play (61), marking the most with the man advantage of any player during the past 16 seasons. His plus-10 rating, 60 PIMs and 250 shots on goal rounded out the most explosive offensive season of his acclaimed career.

Joe Thornton, Bruins/Sharks, 2005-06 - Jonathan Cheechoo leading the League in goals (56) in a season that featured seven 100-plus scorers was truly a testament to Thornton's brilliance. "Jumbo Joe" scored 92 of his NHL-best 125 points in 58 games following the trade that sent him from Boston to San Jose. He totaled a plus-31, 61 PIMs and 51 power-play points en route to winning the Hart Trophy that season. Only Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Bobby Orr and Adam Oates have had superior single-season assist totals to Thornton in NHL history.

Honorable mentions: Evgeni Malkin (PIT, 2011-12), Steven Stamkos (TBL, 2010-11), Joe Sakic (COL, 2006-07), Eric Staal (CAR, 2005-06)


Alex Ovechkin, Capitals, 2007-08 - These were the glory days of Ovechkin, who posted the highest single-season goal total (65) by a left wing in NHL history and the most by a forward since Lemieux scored 69 in 1995-96. He generated the third-most shots on goal (446) ever in a single season and finished among the League's top 10 in rating that year (plus-28).

Dany Heatley, Senators, 2005-06 - Heatley's first two seasons with the Senators were off the charts; he posted consecutive 50-goal, 100-point, 300-shot efforts that included spectacular ratings. But his numbers in his first season with Ottawa after the trade from the Atlanta Thrashers were even better than his second in terms of power-play points (43) and PIMs (86). He gelled alongside Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson; the dynamic trio combined for 296 points that season.

Honorable mentions: Daniel Sedin (VAN, 2010-11), Ilya Kovalchuk (ATL, 2005-06), Scott Hartnell (PHI, 2011-12), Brenden Morrow (DAL, 2005-06)


Jaromir Jagr, Rangers, 2005-06 - Jagr was a record-setting hit in his first full season on Broadway. He set Rangers franchise marks in goals (54), points (123) and shots on goal (368), adding 69 assists and 52 power-play points. His plus-34 rating and 72 PIMs made this arguably the best offensive season of any player in the past decade.

Corey Perry, Ducks, 2010-11 - Perry won the Hart Trophy and is the only player since Crosby in 2005-06 to register 98-plus points and 100-plus PIMs in a single season. He led the NHL with 50 goals and turned in a plus-9 rating along with 31 power-play points and nearly 300 shots (290). Much of that damage came alongside standout linemates Ryan Getzlaf and Bobby Ryan.


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Honorable mentions: Jarome Iginla (CGY, 2007-08), Teemu Selanne (ANA, 2006-07), Jonathan Cheechoo (SJS, 2005-06), Daniel Alfredsson (OTT, 2005-06)


Nicklas Lidstrom, Red Wings, 2005-06 - Lidstrom churned out plenty of vintage seasons over the years, but none was more impressive than his career-best 80-point output -- the highest total by an NHL defenseman since 1995-96. He's the only defenseman during the past decade with 50-plus power-play points and 50-plus PIMs in a single season, and his shots output (243) was impressive as well.

Mike Green, Capitals, 2008-09 - Green had back-to-back 70-plus point seasons in 2008-09 and 2009-10, but the first of the two packed slightly more category coverage for fantasy owners. He had the most goals (31) by a defenseman since 1992-93 and tied for the 11th-best single-season total ever at the position. His totals in power-play points (38), shots (243), PIMs (68) and rating (plus-24) were remarkable for a defenseman who played 68 games.

Erik Karlsson, Senators, 2011-12 - Since Lidstrom's 80-point season, the next highest-scoring defenseman in a single season was Karlsson in 2011-12 (78). He won the scoring race among defensemen by 25 points and finished tied for 10th among all skaters in points that season. Considering he also posted a plus-16, led all blueliners in shots (261) and was undervalued prior to that breakout season, it's safe to say fantasy owners struck gold by drafting him.

Dion Phaneuf, Flames, 2007-08 - Among defensemen with 140-plus PIMs during the past decade, Phaneuf (182 in 2007-08) was by far the best point producer (60 points). He produced shots at a very high rate (263) for a defenseman that season and chipped in 33 points with the man advantage. The rare nature of points-PIMs assets on the blue line makes Phaneuf a lock for this list.

Honorable mentions: Bryan McCabe (TOR, 2005-06), Zdeno Chara (BOS, 2008-09), Scott Niedermayer (ANA, 2006-07), Sergei Gonchar (PIT, 2007-08)


Martin Brodeur, Devils, 2006-07 - Brodeur redefined the term "workhorse" when he played 78 of a possible 82 games en route to 48 wins, a single-season NHL record. His 2.18 goals-against average and .922 save percentage were the best among goalies with 60-plus appearances that season. Factor in his 12 shutouts (tied for 14th on all-time single-season list) and you have arguably the best statistical season by an expansion-era goalie.

Jonathan Quick, Kings, 2011-12 - Quick had the best GAA (1.95) of any goalie with 69-plus outings in a single season since the turn of the century and carried his team with a .929 save percentage and League-best 10 shutouts. Los Angeles had the League's second-worst regular-season goals-per-game average that season, but still snuck into the Stanley Cup Playoffs and ultimately became the first No. 8 seed to win the Stanley Cup. If Quick hadn't been there to put the Kings on his back so often, they likely would've missed the postseason.

Honorable mentions: Henrik Lundqvist (NYR, 2011-12), Tim Thomas (BOS, 2010-11), Miikka Kiprusoff (CGY, 2005-06), Tuukka Rask (BOS, 2013-14)


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