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FHL Gazette: General Manager Feature: Crott of the Rattleheads

Created by NorwegianOiler on 2014-02-19 01:41:20

 

* What is the reason you chose your particular team name?
I'm a metal head, so I wanted something that related to that and was original. Megadeth's mascot Vic Rattlehead was a purfect fit, as a team name and mascot. I thought about using the Kreator Demon, but as a mascot he would be almost as terrifying as Pierre the Pelican.

* From the original draft, who are still on your roster today?

186. RATTLEHEADS (Crott): Daniel Cleary
232. RATTLEHEADS (Crott): P.A. Parenteau
376. RATTLEHEADS (Crott): Andrei Loktiono
476. RATTLEHEADS (Crott): Vyacheslav Voynov
522. RATTLEHEADS (Crott): Mats Zuccarello
525. RATTLEHEADS (Crott): Zac Dalpe

* Looking back at the inaugural draft - what's the biggest surprise?
- What is your biggest regret, and what is your proudest pick from that draft?
(If you did not partake in the inaugural draft - assess, if you like, the original owner of the club's choices)

I used my late round picks on some promising prospects, some that are now a big part of my roster. Getting Zuccarello 522nd and Voynov 476th, are looking like steals now. On the other side Derek Roy and Drew Stafford were flops, and at times could have been traded for expired Mcdonalds cupons.

I made very few trades my first season, but after that the flood gates opened. I moved Sedin for Marleau, then flipped Marleau the and some draft picks for Getzlaf.

* Who is the face(s) of your franchise?
Currently it is Ryan Getzlaf and Zdeno Chara, But I have a acouple players rising up the depth charts in Zuccarello and Nyquist.

* What do you perceive to be your team's biggest strength?
My roster doesn't have a specific position of strength, but overall youth on my roster would have to be my biggest asset.


* What do you perceive to be your team's biggest weakness?
I've sold the farm to turn my team around, no regets as I feel my young team still has room to grow and look forward to picking in the first round again in 2016.

* What are your immediate goals as GM of your team? What stage of the competitive
process do you see yourself in? (Rebuild, win now, balanced approach, etc.)
As of right now with no draft picks to make selling an option at the dead line, I'm looking to only improve my roster as I look to move up the standings down the stretch and make the playoffs next season.

* If you were to dress a lineup of 12 forwards, 6 defensemen and 2 goalies from your roster - how would it look?

NYQUIST-GETZLAF-ZUCCARELLO
GLENCROSS-MONAHAN-PARENTEAU
DESHARNAIS-BRASSARD-BRODZIAK
WEISE-BERGENHEIM-NEIL

KRONWALL-CHARA
VOYNOV-BRODIE
KULIKOV-SALO

LEHTONEN
NEUVIRTH

* What NHL team would you compare your roster to? (Think, perhaps, in terms of physicality, positional strengths, results, etc.)

NY Islanders, a young team with promise trying to find their way.

* What, if any - and without giving up too many secrets, is your fundamental strategy as an FHL GM?
Buy low, sell high.

* Which FHL team, if any, do you view as your rival(s)? Why?
Don't really have a rival... Yet.

* Has any FHL trades caught your attention - why is that?
None that I can think of with having to spend hours going through the transation archives.

* Which FHL GM do you think does the best job? Why?
Although the Heatwave are 5th this season, since the inaugural season Ktown has put together a contender and won back to back FHL championships.

* Which teams are the FHL's biggest over- and underachievers in your opinion?
A few teams have some high value contracts from players that are surpisingly having great season. Other teams suffer from injuries and the GMs inactive managing.

* Who do you think will win the FHL Regular season this year?
- Is that the same team you believe will win the playoffs as well? Why/why not?
I feel the regular season is the Gladiators to lose as they have a strong team this season and will be the team to beat in the playoffs.


* What do you enjoy most about the FHL?
For the most part the dedication by managers to be active enough to make this league work.

* How often do you log on, say in terms of average visits per week?
In the past I wasn't that active, maybe once a week as I was really busy with work and traveling. Latley I've been alot more active as I try to turn the Rattleheads around.

* If you could change aspects of the FHL, what would you change?
Maybe a days on roster based cap hit, so if you trade a seven million dollar player at the deadline the team receiving the player only takes on the remaining cap for the season.

* Which aspects of the FHL would you be reluctant or opposed to changing?
Changing the scoring system, it closes the gap between high offensive and two way/gritty players.



FHL Gazette: General Manager Feature: Steve-o of the Raiders

Created by NorwegianOiler on 2014-02-18 01:16:39

 

Time has come for the wily bantering antagonistic enigma who shares his screen name with one of the icons of modern western culture.

 

Great idea bud!

* What is the reason you chose your particular team name?
Same name as my beer league team for the past 10 years, logo is too

* From the original draft, who are still on your roster today?
Bobby Ryan
Jeff Skinner
Tuukka Rask
Brandon Dubinsky
Tuomo Ruutu
Marc Staal
Ryan Ellis
Adam McQuaid
Josh Gorges
Justin Williams
Jason Pominville
Brad Boyes
Antoine Vermette
Brandon Prust
Jannik Hansen
Jason Garrison
Dan Hamhuis
Nate Thompson
Jake Allen

Only ended up trading a couple guys and having to drop another couple, so I'm pretty happy with who I drafted.

* Looking back at the inaugural draft - what's the biggest surprise?
Jason Garrison - picked in the 20th round and then lit it up. That's from the Raiders picks. Overall, Yandle going early was insane.

- What is your biggest regret, and what is your proudest pick from that draft?
Regrets would be Nodl and Bergfors - both got waived by their teams. Proudest pick would be Rask. Got him after Miller so my goaltending tandem was killer for a couple years.

* Who is the face(s) of your franchise?
Rask. Goaltending has been a strong point.

* What do you perceive to be your team's biggest strength?
Just a solid steady team. No high end talent (Ryan I was hoping would be), but nothing really dragging me down until the cap dropped this year.

* What do you perceive to be your team's biggest weakness?
Lack of a great scorer.

* What are your immediate goals as GM of your team? What stage of the competitive
process do you see yourself in? (Rebuild, win now, balanced approach, etc.)
I don't rebuild. I am against tanking for the purpose of rebuilding. My goal is to be top 10 every year (which I was until everyone started shitting the bed a few weeks back) until I have that year where a couple players have career bests, and then make a push.

* If you were to dress a lineup of 12 forwards, 6 defensemen and 2 goalies from your roster - how would it look?
No cap concerns?
Ryan-Skinner-Hemsky
Ruutu-Dubinsky-Pominville
Williams-Vermette-Hansen
Smith-Smith-Smith

Garrison-Hamhuis
Staal-Ellis
McQuaid-Gorges

Rask
Lack (Allen once St. Louis stops fucking around and brings him up)

* What NHL team would you compare your roster to? (Think, perhaps, in terms of physicality, positional strengths, results, etc.)
No idea...Detroit? NorOil's comment: May I suggest, perhaps, the Columbus Blue Jackets. Strong overall, few peaks in terms of elite talent; solid defense even if it is unimpressive on paper, superb goaltending. Just came to mind.

* What, if any - and without giving up too many secrets - is your fundamental strategy as an FHL GM?
As mentioned above, stay in the top 10 until a couple players have career years and make the push then.

* Which FHL team, if any, do you view as your rival(s)? Why?
Racki and Trogdor. I know them. I am better than them. Wait, I think I know a couple other dudes too. Them too.

* Has any FHL trades caught your attention - why is that?
Can't recall any, but I do remember some big names being traded which you'd never see in the NHL. Didn't Crosby get traded at one point? NorOil's comment: Indeed he did, and Ovechkin, and a Sedin, and Tavares, Duchene, Backes (twice, I believe), and a handful of other top FHL players.

* Which FHL GM do you think does the best job? Why?
Other than myself? I'd have to say the two time winner, just cause I look at his roster and can't believe they would even finish high.

* Which teams are the FHL's biggest over- and underachievers in your opinion?
See Ktown. How the hell does that team win?

Can't think of any underachievers.

* Who do you think will win the FHL Regular season this year?
Anyone in the top 4. The standings can change quick, but I don't see anyone making up more spots than that.
- Is that the same team you believe will win the playoffs as well?
Couldn't tell you. Teams get hot at the right time and they could take it. I was in 7th 4 weeks ago. 14th now. Shit changes quick, and that's without any big injuries.


* What do you enjoy most about the FHL?
A little more in depth than just picking the best players. Larger teams and more teams mean less players to snag when injuries hit, and the cap means you can't just grab all the best players.

* How often do you log on, say in terms of average visits per week?
Daily to check standings, but I don't login as much.

* If you could change aspects of the FHL, what would you change?
I'd leave it much as it is now. Maybe up the 1.5 mil limit as the cap increases. I find there is too much player hoarding now as it is, so increasing the passive or roster sizes just means even less would be out there if an injury hits.

* Which aspects of the FHL would you be reluctant or opposed to changing?
Roster size. If anything, maybe reduce it.

* Is there anything else you have to note that would be of interest to the fellowship of the FHL?
It's been fun boys! (and girls if they are kicking around). Sorry the site has hit the shitter, but honestly, writing about that shit team now is a drag. Even watching the games is a chore. Other than that, once the cap rises, I will challenge for the cup. Just you wait!



FHL Gazette: General Manager Feature: Ktown of the Heatwave

Created by NorwegianOiler on 2014-02-17 06:05:34

 

With some humble GM presentations out of the way: Here comes bigmouth Ktown with the tale of how he defiled the virgin Norack Cup. Twice. 

Keep your signal fire wood dry. Watch your rivers. The Vikings are on their way.

 

* What is the reason you chose your particular team name?
Location - the heat waves in Kelowna during the summer are murderous. Plus, the blue is for all the lakes in the Okanagan.

I had the idea when Racki and NorOil first started talking about the league, and then I used my limited skills to craft my own logo. I was hooked from then on. Winning a couple of seasons means there are no big plans for a name change, but we’ll see about the logo…

* From the original draft, who are still on your roster today?
Stamkos, Seguin, Dwyer, Stepan, Greene, Schenn

Burns was traded away, and then reacquired.

Orpik, Khoklachev, Beaulieu were free agent signings in the post draft rush.

Hagelin, Foligno, Wingels were 1st season signees, so I consider them part of the original Heatwave roster.

* Looking back at the inaugural draft - what's the biggest surprise?
The draft was fun – it was obvious what GMs were targeting and you could see strategies develop early on. Some were going for solid long term plans, others for short with quick returns, and others were looking at building a competitive roster to keep for awhile.

- What is your biggest regret, and what is your proudest pick from that draft?
I didn't draft a goalie soon enough and had to give up pretty valuable pieces to put together the tandem I've got.

My best pick was obviously Stamkos as the third overall, but I'm proud of getting Seguin, Stepan, Schenn in the late rounds. All three guys have been really solid the last 3 seasons, and despite Schenn and Stepan struggling somewhat this year, I’m looking forward to having them around for a long time.

* Who is the face(s) of your franchise?
In the first season, I’d say the best rep for the team was Hartnell – a solid offensive producer, with tons of grit. That year, the Heatwave topped most categories, and hits/blocks was one of them. I drafted carefully, picking guys in the late rounds that may not have been huge scorers, but guys that could get me a lot of the unsung points.

Last season, I’d say Iggy was the face. The Heatwave started slow, but worked up to full speed before sealing the deal with both the regular season win and the (unofficial) first playoff run. A leader like Iggy would be a perfect icon for that team.

This year, Stamkos is the face. A strong team that hasn’t produced to expectations due to a number of factors, but injury placing tops among those. We’ll see if Stammer’s return will light a fire to bring the Heatwave back on top at the end of the playoffs.

* What do you perceive to be your team's biggest strength?
We're pretty balanced, and the squads tend toward the top 10 year after year. As well as scoring depth, we have a lot of guys that chip in on the unsung categories (hits, blocks, +/-). This season hasn’t gone well, but a lot of the depth points have kept the Heatwave in the mix, and in the top 5.

* What do you perceive to be your team's biggest weakness?
Right now, offence hasn't been as good as expected. Injuries have played a part, but so has the low salary cap. I’m honestly disappointed in the offence this season. Even with Stamkos, this team would have been lucky to break top 5 for offense.

I read gr8one’s profile, and he isn’t off the mark for calling the current edition of the Heatwave overachievers this season. For the crap offensive showing, the team is lucky to be in the top 5 still. I’m hoping that with next year’s rising cap, and hopefully the return of Burrows and Weiss to competitive form, we’ll see the Red and Blue up higher in the offensive category.

By the same token, I’d also submit that they’re underachieving heavily. Burrows scoring less than a half PPG, Stepan under 1, Schenn around .7, Jimmy Howard having trouble stopping beachballs… ugh. The list goes on. The only guys really shouldering the load this year are Seguin and the team defence…

* What are your immediate goals as GM of your team? What stage of the competitive process do you see yourself in? (Rebuild, win now, balanced approach, etc.)
Our goal is to always be competitive. Staying in the top 5 year after year is a long term mission. The original draft, my goal was to win year 1 – and we did. Winning year 2 was a bit of icing on the cake. Now in year 3, and having read the signs last season, I had a feeling the team wouldn’t be as strong in 2014. My goal is to ride this season out, and then to retake a top spot in 2015.

* If you were to dress a lineup of 12 forwards, 6 defensemen and 2 goalies from your roster - how would it look?
Wingels - Stamkos - Seguin
Burrows - Stepan - Weiss
Hagelin - Korpikoski - Setoguchi
Upshall - Dwyer - Foligno

Burns - Fowler
Suter - Schenn
Orpik - MacDonald

Niemi
Howard

* What NHL team would you compare your roster to? (Think, perhaps, in terms of physicality, positional strengths, results, etc.)
After draft - Boston. A good mix of skill, scoring and toughness
Now - Detroit. A decent team with good players, but injuries and scoring problems this season.

* What, if any - and without giving up too many secrets, is your fundamental strategy as an FHL GM?
I'm always thinking one season ahead.

* Which FHL team, if any, do you view as your rival(s)? Why?
Lol - I'm sure everybody hates the Heatwave - win 2 straight and you earn a target on your back.

That said, my biggest/favourite/most respected rival will always be MO and his Rhinos. Borne of the fires of the 1st FHL championship run. Not to mention, he’s a pretty good sport, so it’s fun to banter with him.

* Has any FHL trades caught your attention - why is that?
I'm still shocked that Tavares went for pucks, but it wasn’t my call to make.

From my own trades, I'm still upset about trading Evander Kane - I didn't do my research, and had Mike Del Zotto on the brain when chucker offered Streit. Not that Streit was a bad player – he was lights out for the Heatwave last season, and carried the D, but I originally thought I was getting a twentysomething young D stud. Whoops. To this day, Chucker offers me the dumbest trades 'cause I'm sure he thinks I'll screw up again. I’ve had to offer him a few stinkers back to see if he’s gonna let me recoup my costs.

That said, Streit brought me Suter and Weiss, so long-term the Kane trade may work out well in 2015.

* Which FHL GM do you think does the best job? Why?
I think dawgtoy is up for GM of the year - he took over a crappy team and made them a contender in short order. Quinstone is a close second. Both those teams were reassembled and are obviously looking good this season. A good job by both GMs, and I tip my cap.

Overall, for the last 3 seasons, I’d have to say that Norbot, gr8one and MO have done fine jobs. Always competitive teams, and usually in the top of the standings. While we rode MO pretty hard about Brian Burking a team in the first season, he really did make the team his own. The Rhinos are a fierce and competitive bunch. Not as good as the Heatwave, mind you, but pretty good nonetheless…

* Which teams are the FHL's biggest over- and underachievers in your opinion?
Tough to guess, so I’ll look back at my pre-season predictions (yes, you dogs, I have a spreadsheet to track all of you.)

I’ll say that the Mustangs are the biggest over-achievers thus far. I had them picked for dead last this season, and look at ‘em go. I think the label ‘overachievers’ might be misguided here, because they’ve held onto top 2 for ¾ of a season. I don’t think you can fluke your way through 5 months – we’ll see, I guess. That said, it would have been tough to predict how strong some of those guys would play this season (cough cough Alex Steen). But, the addition and emergence of Ben Bishop has given that team a great goalie, and all guys are putting up points in a decently balanced roster.

I also had the Serpents pegged low this season, and they’re heading into the Olympic break in the top 10. That’s pretty decent work by MG10.

Underachieving, I’ll have to point the finger at a decent guy (to my knowledge) and a fun GM to banter with – Zack and his Chiefs. I had them in the top 5 this season, but the lack of solid goaltending (injuries obviously huge here) and the defence not putting up points has killed the team. I fully expect the Chiefs to play well above their current spot in the 2015 season.

(dis) Honorable mention to Saevel and his Tigers, who should be a top 10 team on a regular basis.

* Who do you think will win the FHL Regular season this year?
The current top 3 are all fighting pretty hard for it, and the Bulldogs aren't far behind. While the Vikings have a great offence, they lag behind the Mustangs and Gladiators in overall balance. The Mustangs have 14 pts to make up in a couple of months, but Quinstone’s team has good balance as well.

*tosses coin* Heads – Gladiators, Tails – Mustangs…

- Is that the same team you believe will win the playoffs as well? Why/why not?
Don't ever bet against the Heatwave.

* What do you enjoy most about the FHL?
I enjoy running my team and it’s made me more of a hockey fan than just an Oilers fan. It’s fun to watch games and look for my guys, hoping for good showings out of them.

Not to mention, the banter that goes along with the league is pretty fun. I think all of the little posts and trash talk help this feel more ‘real’ so to speak. Yes, in its most basic form, the FHL is a fantasy hockey pool, but the way the GMs interact, it feels like an exclusive club that has a lot of fun.

* How often do you log on, say in terms of average visits per week?
At the least, I check out transactions at least 3 times a week. I used to be horrific - on the site 3-4 times a day, but I have to get some work done sometime so I try to control my FHL cravings.

* If you could change aspects of the FHL, what would you change?
I think the way we work with draftees, ELC players, and passive roster needs to be looked at. I think the passive roster is a great thing, but I’d really like to see options for clubs to drop ELC guys after a few seasons if they don’t make the big club.

* Which aspects of the FHL would you be reluctant or opposed to changing?
The scoring system is fun, and makes you concentrate on more than just goals and assists. I wouldn’t touch that at all.

The other thing is the idea of moving to lineups – I like setting a roster for the week, and going with it. Adding lines to the mix starts to be a little too much trouble, and would probably end up as a big pain in the butt.

* Is there anything else you have to note that would be of interest to the fellowship of the FHL?
I’d like to see more GMs contribute to the news – the group of GMs we have make this league fun. We need to hear more from everybody.

Oh, and no matter what happens from here until forever, the Heatwave will always have had their name on the trophy first! :P



FHL Gazette: General Manager Feature: Chucker of the Stingers

Created by NorwegianOiler on 2014-02-16 14:07:29

The Stingers was a name that I chose because I have always liked Sarnia and in the second season, when we made the name change, we drafted Nail Yakupov. The logo from Sarnia is one that I like a lot and being from Stony Plain, The Stony Plain Stingers had a nice ring to it. Maybe we'll be the pesky little team that stings a few in the future.

From our originally drafted team, we had almost all of or our guys still on the roster until very recently. The stategy was never to be great out of the gate but to try and get some guys that would be good in a year or two. Gabriel Bourque, Ryan Bourque, Emersen Etem, Mark Letestu, Lee Stempniak, Derek Morris and Corey Crawford are all current members that are still Stingers property. Only recently we traded away Austin Watson, David Desharnais, Justin Faulk and Rostislav Klesla, Sami Salo as well as Lars Eller. Maybe we should have done nothing!

I would say our best draft picks were Emersen Etem and Justin Faulk, who we later turned into Brayden Schenn. Corey Crawford is an obvious choice for getting a tender but seeing prospects turn into valuable players is more satisfying. Looking back, The Stingers Scouting did very well and gave the GM the ability to swap some of those prospects for proven players. We still like to have a balance of youth and experience.

Looking at how The Stingers have evolved, we see the face of our franchise in a different view. We look at our core players which include Brayden Schenn, Evander Kane, Nail Yakupov, Corey Crawford and Cody Franson. Evander Kane is the guy that stirs the drink for The Stingers up front and Franson provides stability on the blueline.

The Stingers philosophy has always been to have a strong blue line as well as goalie positions. This year saw an extreme drop off from last years unsung here Niklas Backstrom who was dealt to The Bombers along with Sami Salo for blueline anchor James Wisniewski. Our scouting has done an excellent job in signing two free agents who are starting to produce good results in Frederik Andersen and Kari Ramo. We are very comfortable in goal that next season will see both newly signed tenders becoming more established and bolstering out ability to roll with two or three quality netminders. Magnus Hellburg continues to develop on the farm but looks to be a good tender in a year or two.

The Stingers have identified the need for more balanced production at forward. We have had to trade away a lot of our blueline depth for prospects and established quality forwards that we feel will shore this up in the future. Scouting is always looking for guys who can compliment our lineup with effective contributions such as newly signed J.T. Brown and look for prospects Colton Sissons, Tomas Jurco and Miika Salomaki to add to the lineup sooner rather than later.

This season has been the season of the underachiever for The Stingers. Injuries have also plagued us at key postions. Had we equalled production from last season, we likely would be in a battle for 5th-6th seed. We still are in the playoff battle at 10th-12th spot, but clearly changes were needed to get to the next level so a program of retooling for next season while not tanking began in December. We still expect a strong finish but with tempered expectations as the championship is well out of reach. The balanced approach of having quality prospects as well as younger NHL players alongside established vets is the model for the franchise moving forward.

Our top roster would look like this:

Bourque-Schenn-Etem
Eriksson-Stastny-Kane
Maroon-Kulemin-Yakupov
Spaling-Letestu-Eakin

Franson-Morris
Polak-Gryba
Ericsson-Wisniewski

Crawford
Andersen (this one is tough as Ramo is looking like a starter so we will re-evaluate next camp)

We would like to see ourselves in the same light as The Dallas Stars. They have a similar approach to team building and skillsets and seem to be the NHL equivalent to The Stingers. A good mix of veterans with promise in goal as well as many young players starting to make their mark in the NHL. The future looks bright in our opinion.


I don't think our strategy is much different from other FHL GMs. Keeping an eye out for emerging players that may have slipped through the top few rounds of scouting is always something we look for as well as trying to identify players that have a good production to cost ratio. This season we had to do some moves we would rather not have done, but it was with an eye on the future cap and what our current core will be making. Being an off year with a lower cap has given us some challenges but also opportunities to keep our prospect pool strong.

Natural rivalries for The Stingers have developed in the last two seasons. The Raiders, Bombers and Lakers have been strong rivals that we always seem to be battling for positioning in the standings. This has not precluded any trade activity between the teams, but all of these GMs are wary of the fact that a bad trade can cost 3-4 positions in the standings.

The biggest surprise of this year was not a trade but rather a waiver of Tomas Vanek. The Stingers scouting department thought that getting a top draft pick and a prospect would not have been a problem for The Lakers, but we are pleased to see a top player no longer available to a close rival.

The Stingers give credit where it is due. It's hard to argue with success and The Heatwave have been a model of consistency. This year the hat is off to The Gladiators and Mustangs for moving out players that were ineffective for players that now see them neck and neck for the Norack cup.

Teams we see as over achievers is a tough one. The Megasus' seem to be getting more out of their roster than seems sustainable while the Lugers have been a team with no clear plan. Their GM has them walking in the wilderness and has made a lot of trades that just don't make sense. We see them as the farm team for the rest of the FHL.

This year's Rorack cup seems to be between The Mustangs and The Gladiators. Although The Bulldogs are in third place, we feel they are over achieving but expect late surges from The Vikings and, of course, The Heatwave. The last quarter will be an interesting sprint and we feel the return of Steven Stamkos could be the difference.

What I enjoy the most is the amount of knowledge that is needed to build a good team. Sometimes you think a player is a great prospect or a good vet, but managing a cap makes that tricky. A good GM is always looking at his roster and evaluating multiple factors that will define the team's performance. Knowing the stats is obviously key as well as researching player pedigree. Because of this, I am active on the site virtually every day researching anything that might give The Stingers an edge as we know all the other GMs are very savvy and doing the same thing.

The only thing I would change is entry level contracts and the ability to move a player off of the passive roster/onto passive at any time during the season, providing you don't go over the active roster max as well as the passive roster. Often prospects will get called up for the last half of the season. Sometimes that player will out produce a roster player. It would be nice to have a mechanism to activate that player. Perhaps the 1.5 waiver limit could be re-visited but this one is touchy as it really keeps a lot of GMs honest in doing their homework. If an increase is seen there I would say 1.75 is the max but would not be adverse to it remaining the same either.

As far as fellowship for the FHL, I feel we have a good bunch here except for Gr8one. :P I don't know how many times he keeps trying to offer all his crap for all of your quality. We are thinking about challenging him to a boxing match in a barn somewhere. XD

Seriously though, there seems to be a good level of communication amongst GMs. I would say one thing that should be changed is the elimination of the third round of the draft but that is simply because I don't place any value on the picks that late. It might make the free agency for prospects more exciting.

I think the playoff format is good to do. With the Oilers doing so shitty this year, it has been a year that a lot of GMs have really become ambivalent to the game.

Maybe creating a social media page for members would be of interest? I'm not sure about that even as many members like to separate their online persona from real life.



FHL Gazette: General Manager Feature: NorwegianOiler of the Vikings

Created by NorwegianOiler on 2014-02-15 17:40:07 (updated by NorwegianOiler on 2014-04-30 03:03:33)

 

In the tradition of the decidedly average general manager Mr. Steven Tambellini, I shall proceed to answer all the questions I have myself posed, though I will elaborate beyond merely concluding "yes" or "no" in contrast to what was Mr. Tambellini's established modus operandi.

 

* What is the reason you chose your particular team name?

A combination of factors. National heritage, hometown team name (basketball, has no hockey team) and the easy connection between GM screen name and team. The logo has been borrowed from defunct Jamestown Vikings. I'm not in love with the historically inaccurate drinking-horn helmet, but the 'stache and hair is glorious. 

 
* From the original draft, who are still on your roster today?

30.  Zach Parise
122. Alexander Edler
168. Patrice Bergeron
247. Blake Wheeler
306. Matt Martin
339. Mike Weber
394. David Perron
507. Mark Pysyk

Some notable departures include first ever Viking draft pick Roberto Luongo (moved, in part, for Corey Schneider), Nathan Horton (traded for Brad Marchand this season), iconic Viking Brent Seabrook (traded for Matt Duchene), Patrik Berglund (traded for Erik Johnson), Alexandre Burrows, and Jakub Kindl.



* Looking back at the inaugural draft - what's the biggest surprise?

Several GMs have already noted the selection of Keith Yandle at 4th overall - which is his actual FHL draft number - but there were certainly other notables. Cap awareness seems to have prompted GMs to undervalue certain players - such as Hossa (207), Phaneuf (296), or Heatley (332). Most teams, except possibly mrgod2u's Devils were reluctant to take on many high paid players, and thus possibly lost out on players of some value, though the above selection may only partially support that claim. Heatley's contract will not change hands as easily as the dollars would.

A horde of useless players were taken, players GMs have begged each other to take off their hands, which might be the worst to come out of the inaugural draft. Getting rid of a contract shouldn't be easy, mind you, if the only reason is to protect a GM from a rash decision.

There are some strange picks when you consider who were still available at the time, perhaps due to the difficulty of keeping aware of who was still on the table, but Seidenberg at 132 looks odd when players like Landeskog, Hedman or Ekman-Larsson were still up for grabs. It all comes down to team needs and priorities at the time of the pick, though. There were about as many misses as there were hits.


- What is your biggest regret, and what is your proudest pick from that draft?

My primary strategy was to secure a long term goalie right away - one with a reasonable cap hit, playing for a solid team, and secure in his starting role. Basically, I had Roberto Luongo for the worst possible time of his career, splitting time with my current starter Corey Schneider. When I dealt him to the Lugers, I knew he'd get the starting job somewhere, but didn't consider the chance that he'd actually have it in Vancouver. He's not a regret, as such, but in hindsight there are many picks I would have done differently. There are probably six or seven goalies I'd rather have taken, but the pick could certainly have been used better. I feel I made up for it by taking Parise in round two.

The overall strategy of the Vikings was to acquire value contracts in an effort to win right away. On that point, I have failed. My backup goalie Lindbäck, whom I had high hopes for, failed to produce sufficient numbers to back up an otherwise decent team - though it was populated with too many non-factors such as Cole, Colborne, or Russell. Out of the gate the Vikings were near the bottom in season one, but trading for Hossa (for Comeau and Powe and a 2nd) helped a lot. The result of the bargain contract hunt were players like Burrows, Wheeler, and Berglund, all of whom did very well for me. Wheeler is no longer cheap, but a great player nonetheless.

My proudest picks are Wheeler (at 247), taking a chance on recently concussed Perron at 394 has paid off well, and I would say that Bergeron (168) and Edler (122) were decent picks. The majority of my "successful" picks were in no way examples of illuminated managerial foresight, merely the result of playing it relatively safe. I could, as everyone else, have taken players like Seguin or Landeskog, but rather picked the established (and often inferior) talent.

I wasted a lot of picks in the late rounds on players that would get minutes, but did very little with them, such as Comeau, Powe, Colaiacovo, Gleason, Stoll. My biggest regret is not taking more chances on hit-or-miss players instead of stocking up on secure non-factors.

Overall, I think the inaugural draft only provided some of the framework of my present roster. The other part is owed to extensive trading and free agent signings.



* Who is the face(s) of your franchise?

From heritage and stature alone, I'd be tempted to name Victor Hedman as the epitomized Viking. However, it is Zach Parise that most clearly personifies the Vikings - high end skill, determination, fearlessness. He would doubtlessly be our team captain if such a role existed. Honourable mention to a great two-way player like Patrice Bergeron and to acquisition Matt Duchene.


* What do you perceive to be your team's biggest strength?

The group of forwards I have assembled is very strong and has many years of production left in the tank. Even when Duchene and Moulson get raises, the Vikings should be able to contend for glory for some years still - particularly given the reasonable deals on youngsters like Bennett, Gallagher, and Girgenssons.

 
* What do you perceive to be your team's biggest weakness?

Prior to the acquisition of Steve Mason, goaltending was the main problem for the Vikings - mostly due to the lack of consistent playing time for the netminders. That has been, at least temporarily, solved with Mason - and hopefully Darcy Kuemper can keep up his solid play and become a starting goalie option.

The biggest weakness is currently injury proneness, several Vikings have had extended injuries (including, but not limited to Edler, Robidas, Bennett, Moulson, Parise) I have had players to fill in, but even some of those have been out leaving us at 21 or even 20 men.

Depth at defense is another concern, I'm happy to have players like Dumoulin, Merrill, Connauton, and Pysyk, but they aren't getting enough minutes to satisfy the Viking thirst for blood at present. I would like to add another depth defenseman or two (.7-1 FHLppg type, low salary). Call me, xoxo.



* What are your immediate goals as GM of your team? What stage of the competitive
process do you see yourself in? (Rebuild, win now, balanced approach, etc.)

Winning this season and consistently being in the top one in coming years. Keep shedding salary and filling in the roster holes with young talent like Girgenssons, Kuemper, and Pysyk.


* If you were to dress a lineup of 12 forwards, 6 defensemen and 2 goalies from your roster - how would it look?

Parise - Duchene - Wheeler

Kunitz - Bergeron - Perron

Moulson - Wilson - Marchand

Bennett - Sutter - Gallagher

(First to draw in would be Girgenssons, Martin, or Fontaine.)

 

Hedman - Edler

Johnson - Robidas

Stuart - Pysyk

(First to draw in would be Merrill or Dumoulin)

 

Schneider

Mason

(Kuemper the third string goalie)

 

Aside from the obvious lack of a true #1 defenseman, I consider this lineup to be quite well balanced and without significant weaknesses.



* What NHL team would you compare your roster to?

Early on, the Oilers - filled with scoring forwards, weak on defense and absent goalies. The team is more balanced now, and although there is a perception that the Vikings are "all offense" and weak elsewhere, I'll argue that only the total points matter. 10-9 is a win much as 5-2 is. Moreover, the Vikings have consistently dressed the minimum allowed on defense in favor of more offensive punch. But that's just how we are, we don't build walls, we attack them.

We're perhaps more like Colorado now, better offensively than defensively. The blueline has some top end quality, but is thin and young in the bottom pairings. Goaltending is solid even if not league leading.


* What, if any - and without giving up too many secrets, is your fundamental strategy as an FHL GM? I keep no secrets. The Vikings trade to fill needs, but realize that we need to satisfy the requirements of other teams as well. I like GMs who entertain ideas and propose deals, whatever the result. Our overall strategy is to keep renewing our roster to compete not just in the present, but in the near future as well. I will not rebuild, but gradually evolve. I try to find trading partners that have complementary needs to mine, whether it be positionally or in terms of where they are competitively.


* Which FHL team, if any, do you view as your rival(s)? Why?

The Tigers have already called me out as a rival, which I accept strictly on geographical basis. Saevel is a crafty fucker, but loves his players too much and maintains trigger discipline on trades too rigidly.

I consider the Heatwave to be a rival, mainly because he runs his big mouth too much, and it shall give me pleasure to finish above him in the standings from here until forever. Racki's Bombers could have been a rival had he entered a team in the FHL, but he chose to work on the site instead, for the benefit of us all.

I hold the Rebels, Lakers and Serpents in particularly high regard. We have made several key deals that I think have made our rosters better. We have had deals fall apart, but that's part of the game, but always seem to be able to hold good talks. I wish these teams particular success.


* Has any FHL trades caught your attention - why is that?

When I first came up with the idea of the FHL the worst case scenario was that GMs would be inactive traders and sit on their assets until the ice melted. My hypothesis was quickly falsified. I cannot believe that we have seen Crosby, Malkin, Ovechkin, Tavares all traded within three years. Moreover, Backes has been moved twice, Schneider twice, Duchene twice (or three times?). It has been trade bonanza.

A few moves have caught my attention over the three seasons we've played. I cannot say anything about the involved GM's motives, but comment merely on the side I'd have taken between the two trading partners (or what parts of deals I most like)

The Bulldogs made a good deal getting Voracek and Johansson (and more) from the Gladiators with Stastny, Niskanen and Markov going the other way. The former two are value for money. Getting Crosby in any trade is nice, even though Henrik Sedin was part of the deal. The upside for the Gladiators was getting the unified Sedin power. I'd say the Mustangs did well for themselves, though either team arguably manages fairly well...

When Mlab90 took Gagne and Goligoski from the Rhinos for Vandermeer and Glass I thought it was a robbery, though Gagne has since broken (*like glass*) completely. Still a lopsided deal from my point of view.

The Heatwave stole Howard and a 1st for Scheifele and pieces, which was a good deal. Nonetheless, the Rhinos made it up by getting Backes later - though the price was balanced in the present, Marleau going the other way, Backes is a cheap FHL force I openly court. He'd be a perfect Viking. Gr8one's deal to bring him to the Bulldogs was a sublime one, getting young Marcus Krüger in the process.

Other than that, Racki's pickup of Matt Read and Adam Henrique prior to season one was inspired GM'ing. Chucker got Faulk and Fasth for free at the same time - though I think he released Fasth again. Was it lack of commitment or Gladiatorial advice? The Raiders' pickup of Reilly Smith was genius, and I deeply regret not signing him myself - after debating it for days prior to the season. Earlier, Crott's research resulted in him grabbing Dimitri Jaskin just hours before I went online specifically to sign him. The Rhinos have made some apt free agent signings like Antoine Roussel and Rob Klinkhammer. Ktown picked up DeKayser, Wingels and Chiasson for fuck all, which must be nice for him. Though he was injured after his stellar start, Samson taking a chance on Thomas Hertl doesn't look too bad. In the future, I think Mlab90's free pickup of John Gibson will pay off nicely.

Now, I could have listed all the space-dwindling, roster-eating, uninspiredly gluttonous, waste of internet storage moves that have occurred during the past three seasons, but it would shame most of us to know that players like Belanger, Slater, Handzus, McCormick, and Jeff Schultz have been picked up by FHL teams...

 


* Which FHL GM do you think does the best job? Why?

Ktown is obviously among the top GMs. There's no substitute for winning, but there are some who have come along like Goldilocks to lay in someone else's bed. And as she proved, laying in a bed you haven't made yourself can ostensibly be a bigger problem than one would expect. Credit to Dawgtoy and Quinstone for turning their teams around, though they'll surely admit that there were elements in place on which to build. It has proven harder for others to straighten the keel of bottom dwellers.

The Rhinos have two second places prior to this season, and may yet climb from their current sixth place. I respect Metal&Oil for what he has achieved. My rival, the Tigers, have done a solid job before slipping into the mire this season - though I suspect he'll be back next season. The Burninators have come back from an injury riddled off-year last season and is a team with some quality. Choudu is quietly doing a fine job with the Megasus.

For his climb into the top - I'd give my current vote to dawgtoy for the most well managed - it's a tough task to go from 15th and 16th to 2nd.


* Which teams are the FHL's biggest over- and underachievers in your opinion?

What impresses me with Ktown is both his level of dedication and his detached approach to his players. I have already accused my friend Saevel of falling in love with his personell, something which I am truly guilty of myself, but Ktown suffers from no such emotional frailties. He ships people off with no sweet goodbye if his excel sheets so dictate. I look at his roster and think "how does this ragged assembly of guys, spiced with some excellent top end talent mind you, win anything?" But they do. That blueline has been ugly as sin from day one, but they produce. Personally, I drafted players like Burrows and Luongo against the voice of my inner fan, simply because they are good, but when I had to cut someone to bring someone in...gone they were. It may look like he overachieves, and maybe he does, but Ktown's team has won twice on the strength of ugly guys getting it done.

Which brings me to the underachievers - the pretty teams that cannot seem to win. The Militia is perhaps the team I'd want to take over had I not reigned over such a wonderful berserker gang as the Vikings. Laden with talent like Malkin, Towes, Tarasenko, Johansen, Kesler, Nash, Niederreiter, Voracek, and even some young prospects ready to emerge. The man has Letang and Karlsson on the blue line, though the crew that patrols the night shift look a bit worse. With Bernier and Hiller as a goalie tandem, the Militia lacks but one thing: Cap space for all this loveliness. Without many cheap ELC producers he cannot ice the corneucopia of hockey skill in the 64,3M world. If he isn't top 7 (at least) next season I'll be surprised! Jfrizzio's cupboard is stacked with shiny China. Put it to use!

The Chiefs is a solid team, in my view, that lacks finishing touch. They will do better next year. I'm not sure what has happened to the Bombers other than that pulling the goalie plug has opened a vortex of suckage on Racki. Offensively superb, but finds no overall team effort. Moreover, I don't have the details as to why the Raiders aren't in the top 10, but I think they ought to be.

 
* Who do you think will win the FHL Regular season this year?

I think I will win it if my players stay healthy. Should any one of my top forwards or goalies succumb to injury, I think Vancouver will settle the title race. If they have a solid stretch run, the Gladiators take the title (Sedins + Luongo), if Tortorella is pushed, the Mustangs have the quality to seize the title.


- Is that the same team you believe will win the playoffs as well? Why/why not?

This is a more open question I think. Teams with a combination of hot players can take out any other in a given week. Here's where the Bulldogs, Rhinos, and Heatwave come to play for keeps. I see the Bombers (if they can assemble a goalie tandem) as outsiders, perhaps even the assist-mongering Serpents. From the "mock" playoffs last season, there were teams outside of the top 16 that delivered results better than nearly all others in certain weeks.


* What do you enjoy most about the FHL?

From a creator's viewpoint, seeing it all unfold. Being in it myself is just gravy. It's fun to see how you all try to find ways to swindle, smarm, or plead to each other; to see how you build your teams, search for players and make bets on vets, prospects or outsiders. Mostly, it's fun to come up with solutions and improvements for the league. I enjoy challenging Racki with what's possible or viable to do, and answering his pervasive demands for clarity and detail in the rules. 


* How often do you log on, say in terms of average visits per week?

Several times per day. If I've sent a trade offer, I'm like grandma waiting for the mailman. Lurking behind the curtains.


* If you could change aspects of the FHL, what would you change?

Just about anything, if I believe it to be an improvement that could become accepted by the fellowship of the FHL. I have not abandoned the idea of lines, but I was reluctantly forced to postpone its realization. As Racki has stated on many occasions, there's no need to force changes upon the unwilling, and I will not, but I won't stop looking at adjustments to make the FHL more "realistic" without sacrificing simplicity or "playability". I will have to find time to show proper research on how such a feature would impact the league.

Near the end of the season we'll announce the exact changes that have been hinted to already - regarding waivers, free agency restrictions and other roster concerns. I'll say this, I will never accept making it "easy" - every decisison should and must have consequences that can go in either direction - positive or negative. The FHL shall not be a pick up and release league in regard to player signings.



* Which aspects of the FHL would you be reluctant or opposed to changing?
Fundamental scoring rules. I understand and recognize that GMs plan ahead and base their decisions in the reality of the current regime. I aim to be able to justify any change, minor or major, with fairness to all, but such changes shall not involve fundamental scoring systems. If that ever becomes necessary, it would have to be announced at least two or three years ahead of time. I think things work quite well as they are. There is value in grinders, backup goalies, or defensive d-men as there is in top end guys. It's about finding the right mix.

I do not think we'll ever have more than 25 teams for the sake of roster depth and the talent pool available. 24 might be the ideal number here, but we have no immediate plans of an expansion team either. Rules for that would also have to be a collaborative effort.


* Is there anything else you have to note that would be of interest to the fellowship of the FHL?

Over the last three years or so, Racki and I have spent thousands of lines of email communicating solutions and ideas for the FHL. He has realized most of them already, hours spent of which many of us are surely ignorantly blissful, but I hope we are not done improving. He has told me ad nauseam not to be a dictator with regards to the rules and development of the league. I feel I haven't been, though I might come across as uncompromising in certain situations. Whatever suggestions you may have come up with, know that I consider the implication of every one. Still, I hope that no GM feels he has not been heard in the process of developing the FHL. 

Lastly, and sincerely, thank you all for participating in the FHL. For taking the time to play. To negotiate. To banter. To gloat. To complain. To partake in something that is nothing without you.



FHL Gazette: General Manager Feature: Dawgtoy of the Mustangs

Created by NorwegianOiler on 2014-02-15 01:36:32

* What is the reason you chose your particular team name?
I didn't chose the name, but I've always been a Youngblood fan, so I've kept it.

* From the original draft, who are still on your roster today?
Subban, Stewart, Pavelec, Ladd, Demers, Sabotka, Toffoli, Bjugstad.

* Looking back at the inaugural draft - what's the biggest surprise?
- What is your biggest regret, and what is your proudest pick from that draft?
(If you did not partake in the inaugural draft - assess, if you like, the original owner of the club's choices)
Getting a stud like Subban in the third round. Drafting future stars late such as Toffoli, Bjugstad.

* Who is the face(s) of your franchise?
Sid. That is all!

* What do you perceive to be your team's biggest strength?
No holes, Third in forwards, Third in D, 2nd in goal.

* What do you perceive to be your team's biggest weakness?
Having me as the GM.

* What are your immediate goals as GM of your team? What stage of the competitive
process do you see yourself in? (Rebuild, win now, balanced approach, etc.)
Win it all, but not at any cost.


* If you were to dress a lineup of 12 forwards, 6 defensemen and 2 goalies from your roster - how would it look?
Ladd-Crosby-Jagr
Stewart-Henrique-Steen
Toffoli-Sabotka-Bjugstad
Helm-Anisimov-Morrow
Gio-Subban
Boyle-Gilbert
Braun-Demers
Bishop
Pavelec

* What NHL team would you compare your roster to?
Blues.

* What, if any - and without giving up too many secrets, is your fundamental strategy as an FHL GM?
Make moves that improve the team, while keeping a core/nucleus of talent together. Goaltending!

* Which FHL team, if any, do you view as your rival(s)? Why?
Bombers are my natural rival, but I'd have to keep my eye on the prize and therefore this season it has to be Quinstone and his Gladiators

* Has any FHL trades caught your attention - why is that?
Tavares!!! A game breaker for spare parts...zoinks!

* Which FHL GM do you think does the best job? Why?
Quinstone, Ktown, Gr8. Make astute moves and have kept their teams near the top.

* Which teams are the FHL's biggest over- and underachievers in your opinion?
I'm the biggest over achiever with Steen.
I'd say the Rhinos deserve a much better fate this season.


* Who do you think will win the FHL Regular season this year?
Quints one will hold off the Vikings to take the title.
- Is that the same team you believe will win the playoffs as well? Why/why not?
Not really excited about the playoffs. Wasn't really in favour to be honest.

NorOil's Comment: The playoffs only add, it does not subtract nor affect the previous regime. The two will run parallel to each other and merely keep things fresh for teams that are out of the regular season title race.

 


* What do you enjoy most about the FHL?
Keeps the hockey season exciting from a number of different perspectives. Always checking the Score to see how my team did.


* How often do you log on, say in terms of average visits per week?
I'd say three times a week on average.


* If you could change aspects of the FHL, what would you change?
Having to waive a player who's salary is over 1.5 mill is too low. Why can't I dress three keepers?

NorOil's Comment: Salary limit for waivers will be calculated as a percentage of cap roof from next season. Teams cannot dress three keepers as 1) It does not mirror the NHL and 2) To prevent goalie hoarding. Even now, some teams sorely lack netminding. Imagine if a team had three legitimate starters.


* Which aspects of the FHL would you be reluctant or opposed to changing?
I wouldn't have imposed the playoffs, but that's just my opinion.


* Is there anything else you have to note that would be of interest to the fellowship of the FHL?
Thanks to the management team for the hours of work and dedication.