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FHL Gazette: General Manager Feature: MG10 of the Serpents

Created by NorwegianOiler on 2014-02-21 02:27:37

 

 

 

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

I have always been terrible at declaring my team names in any fantasy sports league. When I learned that I had to give my team a name, I was not looking forward to it. It took weeks of careful consideration to arrive at the Serpents. As a matter of fact, my first choice for a team name was the Frostbites (!). I very nearly took that one, until I worked out that there was no such thing as more than one frost bite. There was only frost bite and the MG10 Frostbite sounded too strange.
From there, I started brainstorming animal names because traditionally, I have always liked animal names for teams. The trouble was thinking of something original. Names like the Lions, Tigers (sorry, Saevel) and Bears and the various bird names had been done too many times. So, I decided on the Serpents because serpents are freakishly cool animals, and in some cases dangerous and deadly.

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

Forwards:

Nicklas Backstrom, Marian Gaborik, Kyle Okposo, Tomas Plekanec, Mikkel Boedker, Michael Frolik, Jay Beagle, Mattias Tedenby, Carl Klingberg and Jakob Silfverberg.

Defencemen:

Duncan Keith, Nick Leddy, Ryan McDonagh, Kyle Quincey, and Carl Gunnarsson, who I actually traded last year but reacquired him last Summer.

And, Goaltender Carey Price.

* 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?

- The biggest surprise has been the development of my young defencemen, namely Nick Leddy and Ryan McDonagh, who were both still prospects at the time I drafted them. I didn't think the two of them would be this good so quickly.

- My biggest regret so far is not drafting a second starting goalie after taking Price.

- The pick I am most proud of is Ryan McDonagh, even though I couldn't dress for the first half of this season due to cap constraints.

* Who is the face of your franchise?

Marian Gaborik

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

Defence

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

Offensive depth.

* What are your immediate goals as GM of your team?

Make the inaugural FHL Playoffs and win one round.

What stage of the competitive process do you see yourself in? (Rebuild, win now, balanced approach, etc.)

Balanced. I have a nice mix of veterans, prime, near-prime, and developing players, but prospect depth that still needs some work.

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

Mikkel Boedker - Nicklas Backstrom - Marian Gaborik
Patrik Berglund - Tomas Plekanec - Kyle Okposo
Michael Frolik - David Legwand - Shane Doan
Joe Vitale - Rich Peverley - Jakob Silfverberg

Duncan Keith - Ryan McDonagh
Nick Leddy - Carl Gunnarsson
Kyle Quincey - Kris Russell

Carey Price - Al Montoya

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

Montreal Canadiens. I have not gotten the results the Canadiens have had in the real league, but in terms of the makeup and the style the Serpents would play would be similar to Montreal.

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

The basic strategy is to get the most out of what I have.

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

We are still a growing bunch and still have a lot of work to do. We are not in the business stirring up rivalries at this stage.

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

None come to mind.

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

Both KTown and NorwegianOiler have done the best jobs. Their teams have been the most consistent over these first three seasons.

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

Honestly, I can really only speak for my own team and I definitely think my team has overachieved this year. Quite a few players have played above my expectations this year, especially in the first half of the season, but I knew the early success was not going to last and that has proven true.

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

NorwegianOiler

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

No. In my opinion, NorwegianOiler is trending up and will just edge out Quinstone and Dawgtoy for #1; however, I think KTown will come out on top in the playoffs. Unfortunately, I think KTown is too far behind to make enough of a push for #1 in the regular season, but his team is about to get a huge boost with Steven Stamkos nearly ready to return. In the playoffs, KTown will be just too much to handle.

* What do you enjoy most about the FHL?

I enjoy the comprehensiveness.

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

I usually log on Saturdays to examine my roster and check messages and once on Sunday to submit the roster for the coming week. I sometimes log on during the week.

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

Not too much at all. I like it the way it is now.

* Which aspects of the FHL would you be reluctant or opposed to changing?

I would listen to any change that is proposed.

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

Best of luck to all the General Managers going forward and thank you all for making this league the most fun I have ever had as a fantasy league member.



FHL Gazette: General Manager Feature: Choudu of Megasus

Created by NorwegianOiler on 2014-02-20 03:53:21

 

* What is the reason you chose your particular team name?
- My initial name choice, Grande Testacilies, was kyboshed by the league. Megasus seemed like the next logical choice for me. NorOil's Comment: It was for the better. No scrotal names in the FHL. The "Elbows High" were more than enough - thank God they've moved on.

* From the original draft, who are still on your roster today?
- Although I wasn't part of the original draft, there are still quite a few players still around from the team I inherited:
- JOSH BAILEY
- TYLER ENNIS
- MARTIN ERAT
- MIKAEL GRANLUND
- VILLE LEINO
- BRANDON SAAD
- SHELDON BROOKBANK
- ALEX PETROVIC
- PAUL POSTMA
- GRIFFIN REINHART
- ANDREJ SEKERA
- SHELDON SOURAY
- ANTON STRALMAN
- LUBOMIR VISNOVSKY
- BRIAN ELLIOTT


* Looking back at the inaugural draft - what's the biggest surprise?
(If you did not partake in the inaugural draft - assess, if you like, the original owner of the club's choices)

- The original owner of my team made some suspect choices for sure (including Keith Yandle as a 1st round (top 5) pick - although i'll admit that he did end up with a decent team overall.

* Who are the faces of your franchise?
- DAVID KREJCI, PATRICK SHARP and JOHN TAVARES are the faces of my franchise. BRANDON SAAD and MIKAEL GRANLUND are poised to be added to that list.

* What do you perceive to be your team's biggest strength?
- Depth at forward and D. When someone has gone down to injury, I've had someone else step up to replace him.

* What do you perceive to be your team's biggest weakness?
- The lack of a true #1 goaltender. Hopefully CAM WARD or BRIAN ELLIOTT will be in a position to fill this gap next year.

* 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.)
- Continue to improve in the standings, season after season. Although i'm not expecting a win right away (although it's only a matter of time folks!) maintaining a balanced approach while continuing make moves to round out positions is my goal.

* If you were to dress a lineup of 12 forwards, 6 defensemen and 2 goalies from your roster - how would it look?
FWD:
JOSH BAILEY, DAVID CLARKSON, TYLER ENNIS, MIKAEL GRANLUND, DAVID KREJCI, CLARKE MACARTHUR, BRANDON PIRRI, BENOIT POULIOT, BRANDON SAAD, PATRICK SHARP, JOHN TAVARES, ALEX TANGUAY

DEF:
JAN HEJDA, BARRET JACKMAN, ANDREJ SEKERA, MARC-EDOUARD VLASIC, GRIFFIN REINHART, SHELDON SOURAY

GOAL:
BRIAN ELLIOTT, CAM WARD

* What NHL team would you compare your roster to? (Think, perhaps, in terms of physicality, positional strengths, results, etc.)
- St. Louis - depth up front and on the blue line without a true #1 starter.

* What, if any - and without giving up too many secrets - is your fundamental strategy as an FHL GM?
- Continue to round out my FWDs, Defencemen, and Goalies by trading and drafting well.

* Which FHL team, if any, do you view as your rival(s)? Why?
- Everyone. In any given year, anyone can shine.

* Has any FHL trades caught your attention - why is that?
- I seem to find a reason to shake my fist at a good chunk of the deals made. None-the-less, I love how this league (and the respective GMs) are willing to take risks to improve their teams. If I had to pick one, the CHRIS KUNITZ for MATHIEU PERREAULT + a mid 2nd round pick caught my attention more than most.

The JOHN TAVARES trade has made a few appearances here; but, this deal made sense from a points and salary perspective (big names put aside). The "bag of pucks" returned for TAVARES have all increased in point value and some were recently leveraged to bring in JASON SPEZZA (amongst others).

* Which FHL GM do you think does the best job? Why?
- I love the wheeling and dealings of Metal&Oil and Gr8one - those mofo's trade like there is no tomorrow!


* Which teams are the FHL's biggest over- and underachievers in your opinion?
- I dont' think anyone is overachieving - some owners are having better than expected years due to unexpected player performances but good for them for making that bet. As for underachievers, I think if Racki had a goalie he would be top 5.

* 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 think anyone that's currently in the top 5 has a shot. If I had to place bets:
- Season: Gladiators or NorwegianOiler
- Playoffs: Bulldogs


* What do you enjoy most about the FHL?
- The creativity you must have to build your team and the interactions with the GMs.

* How often do you log on, say in terms of average visits per week?
- More than I care to admit! Multiple times a day.

* If you could change aspects of the FHL, what would you change?
- Goalies get more points for overtime wins, less points for shutouts
- Points for shots on goal
- Modifications to the 1.5M waiver rule

* Which aspects of the FHL would you be reluctant or opposed to changing?
- Not sure how this playoffs is going to work out - interested in seeing the results from our first one this year.

* Is there anything else you have to note that would be of interest to the fellowship of the FHL?
- Very fun league to be a part of and the owners here know there hockey!

 



FHL Gazette: General Manager Feature: Crott of the Rattleheads

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

 

* 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 02:16:39

 

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 07:05:34

 

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 15:07:29

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.