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FHL Information: Playoff cutoff 2014-15

Created by NorwegianOiler on 2014-12-30 02:07:23

The final games of the NHL regular season are played on Saturday, April 11th. As in previous years, the FHL playoffs are conducted parallel to the finish of our regular season. The top 16 teams after the games on Sunday, March 8th will match up against each other in traditional fashion: 1st vs 16th, 2nd vs 15th, and so on. Each matchup will last a week of NHL action, while the final matchup lasts a week plus the shortened final week of NHL regular season action.

So:
Playoff round 1: Week 11 (Beginning March 9th)

Playoff round 2: Week 12 (Beginning March 16th)

Playoff round 3: Week 13 (Beginning March 23rd)

Playoff Final: Week 14 & 15 (Beginning March 30th, finish April 11th)

 

The FHL trade deadline follows the NHL schedule and is set to Monday, March 2nd.



FHL Gazette: Christmas roundup

Created by NorwegianOiler on 2014-12-23 01:10:30 (updated by NorwegianOiler on 2014-12-30 03:10:36)

Christmas update: As members of the FHL rejoice at temporarily escaping the ruling clutches of the Vikings, another reign of supremacy is underway. At this time last season, the Militia were stuck at the bottom end of the standings, struggling just to make the playoffs. Now, however, they are as dominating as the Mustangs and Gladiators were at the half-way point of last season.

Soothsayers and prophets crawl out from under their rocks to claim in hindsight that they all saw it coming, that the Milita was destined to reach their potential eventually. Led by emerging stars Tarasenko, Johansen, and Tatar, Jfrizzio's crew are blossoming into a contender.

Nearly as impressive are the Chiefs, whose position at this stage a year ago was outside of the playoffs at 17th. Having a healthy Pekka Rinne and a breakout Brock Nelson is certainly helping Zack to mount a serious title challenge in a difficult environment. Perennial contenders Heatwave and Bulldogs are lurking in the shadows just behind the top three.

Moreover, the Rattleheads have quietly set themselves up for a successful campaign after barely treading water all of last year. Crott's underrated team will seek to build upon this early success to put up a strong playoff campaign and a good regular season finish.

The Tigers are back aided by supplying Lundqvist with a proper goaltending colleague. The Canucks' flying start has given Ryan Miller a new spring in the FHL.

The surprises of last season, Mustangs and Gladiators, have had opposite trajectories. After impressive campaigns last year, both have fallen out of the top 5 and are closer to missing the playoffs than winning the title. Are they in the running for McJesus?

Still, we're barely over one third into the season with much action yet in front of us. Most teams are a clever trade or two away from climbing over the tightly packed pile of mediocrity that occupy the mid-table. To battle!



2014-2015 Pre-season survey: NorwegianOiler's Vikings

Created by NorwegianOiler on 2014-10-27 14:03:12

Where did you finish last season and what are the main reasons you ended up there?
The Vikings finished on top. Finally. It took some work to correct the mistakes that were made during the inaugural draft. I overemphasised the usefulness of established NHL checking liners and what I perceived to be cost efficient and safe players. The result was a lineup with too many Stolls, Gleasons, and McCormicks. Numerous trades later the Vikings are a far better team, albeit quite top heavy. The main reason we finished first eventually was due to being stacked at forward, while keeping pace on defense, and acquiring another starting goalie in Steve Mason during the year. Several key performers were on silky smooth deals, i.a. Duchene at some 3.5M, Moulson at 3.33M, and Mason at 1.5M. The Vikings were quite far behind even in February and March, but our key players kept putting up solid numbers and turned the campaign into success just in time.


What have you changed about your team since the end of last season?
A few things, mainly dropping some dead bodies we had carried around since the inaugural season. We've just traded Steve Mason to allow for Darcy Kuemper to ascend to a starting role with the Vikings - a risk with the reward of saving some salary in the process. That is much needed as the Vikings have many well-paid NHL regulars. New to the roster are, most notably, the likes of Jiri Sekac, Dmitri Jaskin, and more recently through trade Andrew Shaw, Michael Raffl, and Kevin Hayes. In addition to mercilessly seeking new blood this year, we've added future pieces like Nikolai Ehlers and have two first rounders in this season's ostensibly deep draft. Basically, it's the same team coming back for more plunder - with the biggest change being the inflated salaries of certain members of the Viking warband. 


What is your goal for the season - what would you consider a successful campaign?
I'd like to say I'm happy with top three, but I know that I will be disappointed with anything less than a repeat, ideally taking both the league and the playoff titles again. It takes a lot, and injuries and form may sink a team without trace. Viktor Hedman is already out for an extended period, but there is depth in the roster to stay afloat still. If all else fails, I will find solace in finishing above my main rivals the Tigers and Heatwave.


Create a "12 forward, 6 defenseman, 2 goalie lineup" from your roster
Parise - Duchene - Wheeler

Kunitz - Bergeron - Marchand

Perron - Shaw - Gallagher

Bennett - Girgenssons - Raffl

* Moulson, Jaskin, Martin, Hayes, Sekac

 

Hedman - Johnson

Edler - Vatanen

Merrill - Stuart

* Pysyk, Harrison

 

Schneider

Kuemper

 

Which players do you expect to carry your team?
Most of my forwards need to produce near their career averages for the Vikings to stand a chance. We have no Stamkos or Quick, who typically produce elite numbers. It is also vital that both my netminders keep getting games and play reasonably well.


Do you have any players you expect to surprise people this season?
Sami Vatanen is in the process of breaking out offensively, while young guys like Bennett (if ever he gets healthy), Jaskin (should he crack the Blues roster), and Sekac may provide much needed depth to our roster. Once the Sabres get back on their feet, Zemgus Girgenssons could put up nice FHL stats. In time I have high hopes for Nik Ehlers.


What are your team's biggest strengths and weaknesses?
The Vikings are built to kill. It's eighties hockey, wildly and perhaps naïvely offensive. The forward corps is among the best in the FHL. We lack defensive depth, although the top four are typically productive. We're somewhat vulnerable in net, having only one established starter in addition to a up-and-comer in Kuemper.


Which teams do you predict as top five in the FHL this season?
The Heatwave refuse to cool off and is likely to be top three at the very least. The Tigers, Mustangs, and Bombers have started well enough, but depending on injuries I see teams like the Rhinos, Militia, and Bulldogs pushing into the top five. These teams have different challenges as I see it. A few lack enough depth to make the final push, whereas others simply lack cap space to ice all their top players. Personally, I'd like to see the Militia take the next step, but they might need to disperse some wealth to maximise their output.


Which teams do you predict to be near the bottom come season's end?
The goalieless teams are going to struggle by the looks of it. The Lakers, Spartans, and Thunder will despair at their league position but salivate at the draft. If they still have their first rounders come June 2015 that is.


Do you have any messages to relay to the fellowship of the FHL?

I took note of the fact that very few GMs mentioned the Vikings as their favorite to win during the trade deadline survey last season. But I suspect you keep your signal firewood dry now.

 



FHL Gazette: The Foil Free Agent Team

Created by NorwegianOiler on 2014-10-25 15:34:27 (updated by NorwegianOiler on 2014-12-30 03:11:00)

FHL GAZETTE: The Foil Hockey League is driven by the minds of twenty-three competitive and analytical general managers. In this zero-sum game it is difficult to outrun the opposition, and it may feel even harder to catch up to those with a head start. Our free agency is not a cornucopia of skilled players, nor do players score pay-days from inflational bidding-wars. It is also intrinsically difficult to build anew merely from trading if all that you have to play with are marbles and wooden nickles. It is, however, possible to add important assets from crafty scouting and dilligent work in the depths of the FHL free agent market. To prove this, I shall present a roster consisting entirely of players that were not taken any FHL draft, be it the inaugural- or in any subsequent entry draft.

The Foil Free Agent roster - with teams that picked them in parenthesis. Note: Some were since released again! This is not meant to be an exhaustive list, but should serve as an example of a roster compiled entirely from FHL free agents. It IS possible.

(Do please notify me if there are other players you feel should qualify that I have otherwise missed)

 

G - Fredrik Andersen (Stingers)

G - Darcy Kuemper (Vikings)  

G - John Gibson (Rebels)

G - Petr Mrazek (Rhinos)/Viktor Fasth (Stingers)/Martin Jones (Lugers)/Alex Stalock (Bombers)


----------------------------------

D - Radko Gudas (Gladiators)

D - Justin Faulk (Stingers)

D - Roman Josi (*Panthers)

D - Matt Irwin (Devils)

D - Torey Krug (Bombers)

D - Thomas Hickey (Tigers)

D - Dylan Olsen (Tigers)

D - Damon Severson (Bombers)

----------------------------------

F - Brendan Gallagher (Vikings)

F - Matt Read (Bombers)

F - Adam Henrique (Bombers)

F - Brandon Saad (* Wildcats)

F - Beau Bennett (Lugers)

F -  Tommy Wingels (Heatwave)

F - Tomas Jurco (Stingers)

F - Cam Atkinson (Lakers)

F - Matt Nieto (Vikings)

F - Chris Kreider (Rhinos)

F - Mathieu Perreault (Vikings)

F - Carl Hagelin (Heatwave)

F - Andrew Shaw (Chiefs)

F - Thomas Hertl (Thunder)

F - Nick Bonino (Rebels)

F - Antoine Roussel (Rhinos)

F - Alex Killorn (Rhinos)

F - Ondrej Palat (Rhinos)

F - Reilly Smith (Raiders)

F - Boone Jenner (Militia)



2014-15 Pre-season survey: Choudu

Created by NorwegianOiler on 2014-10-25 02:53:02

Where did you finish last season and what are the main reasons you ended up there?
Last year I ended up 9th, the highest Megasus (or Wildcats) have placed. Depth up front helped but goaltending was my achilles heel.


What have you changed about your team since the end of last season?
I've looked to bring in gifted FHLPPG players on "bargain" contracts - maybe the asian in me is starting to show in this league. Seeing that the salary cap is inevitably going to rise, so are player salaries - I wanted to set myself up to retain and dress up and comers without sacrificing any of my higher priced studs.

Out: T. Thomas, V. Leino, S. Brookbank, S. Gomez, D. Tyrell, K. Aucoin, A. Stralman. ME. Vlasic, B. Pouliot, D. Krejci, Mi. Granlund, J. Zatkoff

In: S. Gagne, G. Gelinas, A. Duclair, J. Lehtera, D. Heatley, Ma. Granlund, P. Byron, O. Maatta, O. Jokinen, M. Hanzal, T. Bozak


What is your goal for the season - what would you consider a successful campaign?

I'm looking to further climb the standings. 15th in my first year, 9th in my second, and the goal is for top 5 in my third.


Create a "12 forward, 6 defenseman, 2 goalie lineup" from your roster
Saad - Tavares - Macarthur
Hanzal - Sharp - Tanguay
Bailey - Bozak - Lehtera
Clarkson - Ennis - Erat

Sekara - Visnovsky
Maatta - Hejda
Stone - Reinhart

Elliot - Ward


Which players do you expect to carry your team?
Tavares, Sharp, Saad

Do you have any players you expect to surprise people this season?
Dany Heatley and David Clarkson I think are going to exceed expectations this year.

What are your team's biggest strengths and weaknesses?
I like how flexible my line-up is (I can move quite a few players without going through waivers). Goaltending is still a question mark though - i've got 1 starter and 2 *potential* starters that have been relegated to backup early in the season.


Which teams do you predict as top five in the FHL this season?
Bombers, Heatwave, Vikings, Rhinos, Megasus


- Do you have a favorite to win it all?
It's a toss up based on injuries, suspensions, surprise performers, etc. But, if I had to pick one i'd go with the Bombers. He's secured a #1 goalie and should threaten to take it all (unless I take out his knees first).


Which teams do you predict to be near the bottom come season's end?
Who knows - whoever it is, i'll trade you my first and Rob Scuderi for Connor McWhatsHisFace.


Do you have any messages to relay to the fellowship of the FHL?
I love trades, especially if they work in my favor. Keep them coming you wine guzzlin cheeze monkeys!


Ciao,

- Choudu



2014-15 Pre-season survey: Saevel's Tigers

Created by NorwegianOiler on 2014-10-24 01:09:13

Where did you finish last season and what are the main reasons you ended up there?

17th. Some injuries to key players, and trading away first Varlamov (the year before) and then Mason. Markström, who I had such high hopes for, unfortunately did not pan out.

What have you changed about your team since the end of last season?

I now have two good goalies, and a slightly more balanced roster. Datsyuk unfortunately had to go, and I expect Hartnell to be more consistent and less injured.

What is your goal for the season - what would you consider a successful campaign?

I hope to get back into the top 5 of the league. Considering my dreadful previous year, I'll be satisfied if I can manage that, and not too disappointed if I fail by a small margin.

Create a "12 forward, 6 defenseman, 2 goalie lineup" from your roster

Hartnell Benn Callahan
Foligno Tlusty Huberdeau
Haula Mitchell Versteeg
Nieto Sheppard Nash

DeHaan Doughty
Smith Sbisa
Kindl Volchenkov

Lundqvist
Miller


Which players do you expect to carry your team?

My goalies and Benn. I'm also hoping for good, injury-free years from Callahan, Hartnell, and Doughty. If Versteeg, Foligno and Tlusty deliver like they have in the past, I think I'll be in for a good season.

Do you have any players you expect to surprise people this season?

I'm waiting for Haula and Morin to step up and get some more ice time. If Panthers somehow stop being abysmal, I expect Huberdeau to produce as well.

What are your team's biggest strengths and weaknesses?

Biggest strength is in goal, right now. Of course, if one of my goalies get injured, I'm in trouble. My roster is also a bit shallow at the moment, I'm looking to add a couple more players before christmas.

Which teams do you predict as top five in the FHL this season?

The usual suspects, Vikings, Mustangs and Heatwave, will probably be there. I'll add myself, since that's my goal, after all. For the last spot, I'm gonna say Bulldogs.

- Do you have a favorite to win it all?

The Heatwave look kinda strong, but I can see both Niemi and Howard missing some games as the season goes on. I might go with the Vikings again, though I'm not so sure trading away Mason was wise ;)

Which teams do you predict to be near the bottom come season's end?

Not me, this year!

Do you have any messages to relay to the fellowship of the FHL?

Yes!