I never understood it, but like everyone else, I rolled with it at first: if you play fantasy hockey, you benefit from taking players that take a lot of penalties.

The reason that makes sense is because, well, …hold on here.

The reason that makes sense is because….

Hmm.

Wait it’s actually really stupid.

Hockey fans in general seem to think PIMS are a good thing (gritty!), and they love the guys on their team that spend a lot of time in the box. Hell, Tiger Williams is the NHL’s most penalized players of all-time, and he’s widely beloved by fans, who are apparently unaware that penalties are detrimental to a team’s chances of winning.

Congrats on drafting more guys who harmed their team’s chances than your opponent did last week!

The reality is that when you’re sitting on the bench, and you’re next to get on the ice, it’s infuriating to see the refs arm go up. Sweet, instead of actually playing hockey, I get to either block shots, or not play at all. Thanks.

I played with Curtis Glencross in college, and I swear, that dude took more stupid penalties than anyone I’ve ever played with. He put us down a man with regularity because of either laziness, selfishness or ignorance, and it made our team crazy (though must of us did enjoy his charging penalties. He used to light kids up in college.)

So why would he have higher fantasy value (around 60 PIMS per season lately) than a clean player who doesn’t kill his team? I mean, I get that it’s fun to have more stats to compare in a week, but shouldn’t it work the opposite way? The guy with the least PIMS wins?

I ran a league a couple years back that took PIMs out, and I assure you, the number of people who wrote me to say they missed rooting for a hooking penalty totalled zero. If it’s fights you’re after, then hell, make the stat “Fighting Majors.” I’d be down with that. Picking a tough guy would be like picking a kicker in fantasy football. You’d wait til the last round to say “Brandon Prust.”

So don’t do it, folks. Delete this stat from your league this season, whenever that is. This should really be obvious. How are leagues still set up this way?