Update: And then there were four. Twenty-six filled and four franchises left so it's not too late to grab one for the upcoming season. See details below:
Welcome to the Federal Hockey League. The FHL has been setup to provide a simulation for lovers of the greatest sport on earth, ice hockey. The league homepage can be found here: www.greytowergames.com
You as the general manager decide what players to try to acquire, what line combinations should be used for even, power-play, and short-handed situations, when and who to cut and who you would like to trade for. All of these decisions will need to be done with consideration to a salary cap. Unlike some other fantasy leagues which utilize some players statistics for a given day or week, yielding a aggregate score for your team, the FHL utilizes the players strengths and weaknesses, their finesse, shot, checking, speed, grit, and hitting ratings to compare against the opposing teams to determine the outcome for each of your 82 regular season games. The FHL uses the previous years stats of all players in the league in a schedule of computer simulations to resolve each game individually and the season in full.
The league will be split into 2 conferences with 3 divisions in each conference. There will be a total of 30 teams in the league. Our thought is that it is better to have a larger number of teams as opposed to a smaller super league because this forces owners into finding and using the fringe players that might have otherwise been left out. Let’s face it, some of the most colorful characters over the years in professional hockey have been the fringe players.
The current plan is to have the computer follow a predefined schedule (coming soon for each team) and play league games at their predefined time. Afterwards, the resulting game stat sheet will be available for view online and the team stats will be updated as well. The on-line reports will afford the general manager a gauge to measure his team’s performance throughout the year. You may decide that more depth at defense is needed after an injury or two. Maybe some additional scoring punch is needed for the final playoff drive. Do you trade a young but unproven prospect to pick up that veteran player who is set to become a free agent next year? On the converse side, do you throw in the towel for the playoffs late in the season and trade your veteran for the prospect? These types of decisions will be left up to you as the teams coach and general manager.
The working plan for the initial player assignments has it will be conducted in 2 phases. The first phase will be the draft and will most likely be 2 to 4 rounds of a snake draft (draft order reverses at the bottom (…28,29,30,30,29,28,…)). Draft order will be determined by drawing teams from a hat. Players drafted in this manner will be assigned a salary based upon their overall draft position. With this in mind, the salaries will be balanced out so that all 30 teams will have the same salary outlay for the drafted players. An example would be the team with the first overall draft pick would also have the 60th overall pick (30th in round two). Therefore as an example Draft position 1 might have an 8 million dollar salary and the 60th pick might be 4 million for a combines 12 million outlay. The team that is drafting 30th will also get the 31st pick (snake draft again) and the prices for each player might be 6 million or 12 million for the two. The number of drafting rounds has yet to be determined but once the drafting is done, GMs will move on to the free agency signings of all remaining professional players. GM’s can either plan to attend the draft locally if they are in the Harrisburg, PA area or make their selections at the appropriate time online via the FHL website. Right now, I anticipate the draft will take time some place in early to mid August.
Fee agency will start right after the draft and last for a few weeks. The free agency process will take place entirely online and be made up of several signing periods during which time a finite list of players, chosen by each team, will be available to bid on. These bids will be silent in nature and each player will be limited to the number of players (as well as the monetary impacts that the signing would have on the overall team cap of course) they can bid on. For the first year, team rosters will most likely be limited to 25 players. This number will likely expand as additional players are signed via amateur draft and other means.
Once both of these activities have been completed, the owners will have to make a determination as to the length of contract they want to extend to a player. If the owner goes longer term, 5 years for example, then the player will be willing to take a slight pay cut to sign the longer term deal. If the player is offered only a 1 year deal, then the price for their services will be higher. The shrewd GM will know how to best manage his players and the his cap space based on his observations of the player and whether or not a good statistical year was a flash in the pan or the harbinger of a long and productive professional career. The carrying over of players and their contracts from year to year is what will enable teams in this league to develop their own storied history like the great NHL franchises in the past.
Team owners can be as hands-on or hands-off as they wish to be. At minimum, they will be required to participate in the draft and free agency and then submitting line combinations and general instructions for style of play.
If you have an interest in owning/operating a team, or you have any questions, you can drop me an email here. [email][email protected]
I hope to see you at the draft this summer and behind the bench come Fall,