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FHL Gazette: General Manager Feature: NorwegianOiler of the Vikings

Created by NorwegianOiler on 2014-02-15 18:40:07 (updated by NorwegianOiler on 2014-04-30 04:03:33)

 

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 02:36:32

* 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.



FHL Gazette: General Manager Feature: Our lord and master Racki of the Bombers

Created by NorwegianOiler on 2014-02-14 02:23:32 (updated by NorwegianOiler on 2014-02-14 10:55:48)

The turn has come to our lord and master Racki. His team may be dubious, but his programming is quality! 

 

* What is the reason you chose your particular team name?
“The Bombers” name comes from the movie Youngblood. In Youngblood, Racki was the antagonist to “Dean Youngblood” who played for the Mustangs (where Dawgtoy’s team name came from, as named by Mr. Majestyk).

* From the original draft, who are still on your roster today?
Christian Ehrhoff
Max Pacioretty
Simon Despres
Zack Kassian
Mark Visentin
Jiri Hudler

* Looking back at the inaugural draft - what's the biggest surprise?
Keith Yandle at 6th overall, easily.

- What is your biggest regret, and what is your proudest pick from that draft?
Biggest regret: I guess not focusing more on older guys who have a more proven track record (i.e., I was really in search of long shot youth and overlooked guys who still had a good 3 or more years in them). Proudest pick: Probably because he’s been so valuable and was picked in the 2nd last round, Jiri Hudler.

* Who is the face(s) of your franchise?
Probably Max Pacioretty. He puts up good points and brings a fairly complete game, with a pretty rock solid cap hit. Only problem is he is oft injured. But he still outperforms most of the other Bombers players.

* What do you perceive to be your team's biggest strength?
The Bombers have been built for long term success and most of that is due to their penny pinching.

* What do you perceive to be your team's biggest weakness?
Biggest weakness is definitely at goaltender, but that was the price we paid in order to save cap hit. The goaltenders the team has look to be fairly good, but not sure any of them will ever be full time starters let alone hold a candle to a Pekka Rinne.

* 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.)

This team is taking a balanced approach. For the most part, we’d like to win now. The Bombers really started off the season on a terrible note (sitting in second last for quite a while). I’m not sure if anyone has noticed the meteoric rise, but we are looking to reach the top ten before the playoffs. The goal has always been to make the playoffs, but we also take great pride at acquiring future centerpiece stars such as Mark Sheifele.

* If you were to dress a lineup of 12 forwards, 6 defensemen and 2 goalies from your roster - how would it look?
Cole, Giroux, Hudler, Nichushkin, Nystrom, Ott, Pacioretty, Purcell, Read, Ryder, Scheifele, Soderberg
Beauchemin, Ehrhoff, Gonchar, Krug, Nikitin, Zidlicky
Greiss, Stalock

* What NHL team would you compare your roster to?
Probably Toronto… not likely to go anywhere, despite all the effort we put on this team. But damn, are the fans ever loud!

* What, if any - and without giving up too many secrets - is your fundamental strategy as an FHL GM?
Distract everyone while I scoop up all the young, less heralded stars like Matt Read, Carl Soderberg, Colton Sceviour (we hope).

* Which FHL team, if any, do you view as your rival(s)? Why?
I would have to say the Raiders, just based on our real life friendship, and that we drafted back to back, and seem to frequently be neck and neck in the standings (except for the start of this year).

* Have any FHL trades caught your attention - why is that?
I was pretty surprised to see John Tavares go.

* Which FHL GM do you think does the best job? Why?
Probably have to give a tip of the hat to Quinstone. He comes in, rookie to the league, and starts talking to everyone like he’s Ray Shero… “Hey, I don’t want to have to do this, but I’ll take your superstar off your hands for my 4th line plugs… that should help you out”. Somehow, he winds up swindling even the shrewdest GM into making bad deals, and winds up at the top. I’ve learned: never deal with Quinstone, because he will automatically steal your pants in the trade, slap you in the ass, and send you home thinking you made out not too bad. “These aren’t the trades you’re looking for” *waves hand*.

* Which teams are the FHL's biggest over- and underachievers in your opinion?
Just because I have to pick a team, I’ll say Mustangs for overachiever. Who knew Alex Steen would explode? Jaromir Jagr is still a superstar at age 74?? Come on. Sidney Crosby? That guy still has a brain in there? I mean, really. Really. Full credit to Dawgtoy though for making this team a winner, for real. Last year: 16th.. this year (so far): 2nd. That’s a hell of an improvement.

For underachiever.. I expected the Spartans to be a much better team this year. I suspect he’ll get up there in due time though.

* 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?

Regular season: Quinstone will likely win it.
Playoffs: Bombers will win, duh. We’re rising up out of the ashes like a Phoenix. Hide your children.

 


* What do you enjoy most about the FHL?
Its diversity, its complexity, and its uniqueness. I don’t think there are many, if any, hockey pools that exist that are so feature laden. It’s almost like an NHL GM simulator. It’s quite involved and complicated. It’s very interactive / social.

* How often do you log on, say in terms of average visits per week?
I’d say I am on the site an average of 5 times a day. Sometimes a lot more. I’m actually probably on there a lot more than I realize though.

* If you could change aspects of the FHL, what would you change?
I’d say maybe smaller team roster sizes to allow for some better player movement via free agency and such. But I guess this mirrors the NHL more. It would probably help the bottom feeding teams pull out of the bottom a bit easier though.

* Which aspects of the FHL would you be reluctant or opposed to changing?
Anything that creates loads of work for the guy that maintains this site. :P That, and I don’t want to change anything that waters the league down, or dumbs it down, making it too easy on people to do things.



FHL Gazette: General Manager Feature: Buckminster of the Spartans

Created by NorwegianOiler on 2014-02-13 02:41:56

Today's installment of the general manager feature presents another of the newcomers to the FHL: Buckminster.

* What is the reason you chose your particular team name?
My preferred team name would actually be the Panthers (High School) or Cougars (after the Prince George WHL Cougars), but I wanted to make my team my own, and that meant changing the name to something new. I then just went through a list of potential names and narrowed it down to Spartans and Road Runners. The tiebreaker was team logo, and I liked the Spartans one better.

* From the original draft, who are still on your roster today?
With round selected in brackets: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (3), Devan Dubnyk (4), Dave Bolland (12). Others surviving since I took over the team: Ryan Malone, Roman Josi, and Dmitry Orlov. Malone and Bolland are both on my trade block if anyone is interested as well:D

* 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)
Biggest regret for me was that I wasn't part of the inaugural draft.

* Who is the face(s) of your franchise?
Right now I would have to say Ovechkin and RNH, though I'm hoping that one day Drouin &/or Seth Jones will be a part of that.

* What do you perceive to be your team's biggest strength?
I really like my defense going forward.

* What do you perceive to be your team's biggest weakness?
Due to Dubnyk's implosion this year, goaltending. Though overall, maybe NHL depth, I've got lots of good prospects, but very few injury replacements.

* 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.)
Definitely in a rebuild, but my goal is to keep climbing the standings each year until I can compete for the cup.

* If you were to dress a lineup of 12 forwards, 6 defensemen and 2 goalies from your roster - how would it look?
Ovechkin - RNH - King
Michalek - Bolland - Brunner
Roussel - Malone - Paajarvi
Flynn - Dvorak - Pageau
Josi - Carle
Streit - Campbell
Jones - Sarich
Khudobin
Dubnyk

* What NHL team would you compare your roster to?
Not sure, I think the Spartans have a really strong back end, good goaltending and a respectable top 2 lines, but no depth, and very poor results. Not sure who would compare...

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

* Which FHL team, if any, do you view as your rival(s)? Why?
Thunder for sure (Samson got me into this pool, and I just want to beat him). Other than that, not sure. Last year I would have said the Burninators with our little back and forth at the end of the season, but he's doing a lot better this year. How about I say every team to not make the playoffs...

* Has any FHL trades caught your attention - why is that?
Lots, most of the trades I see I don't understand why one guy would do that.

* Which FHL GM do you think does the best job? Why?
Probably Quinstone or Dawgtoy, If I'm reading right they took over teams shortly before I did and like me completely remade their rosters. Unlike the lowly Spartans though, they were immediately successful:(.

* Which teams are the FHL's biggest over- and underachievers in your opinion?
Under Achievers: Spartans
Over achievers: Everyone higher than me in the standings of course.

* Who do you think will win the FHL Regular season this year?
Whichever current top 5 team sells their soul at the deadline and sacrifices their future (to me hopefully) to win now.

- Is that the same team you believe will win the playoffs as well? Why/why not?
No, due to selling their soul, they will romp through the first few rounds of the playoffs only to crash and burn in the last round.

* What do you enjoy most about the FHL?
The combination of picking your team and watching to see how they do.

* How often do you log on, say in terms of average visits per week?
I log on probably only 1 or 2 times a week, but I check the news and standings daily

* If you could change aspects of the FHL, what would you change?
I would like to have a second league that with the exact same format, so that I could go through an inaugural draft.

* Which aspects of the FHL would you be reluctant or opposed to changing?
Everything, I think it's pretty good as is, so why change anything.

* Is there anything else you have to note that would be of interest to the fellowship of the FHL?
Sure, the Spartans have a few players that may be of great benefit to those teams in win now mode, so check out my trade block:D



FHL Gazette: General Manager Feature: gr8one of the Bulldogs

Created by NorwegianOiler on 2014-02-12 02:50:53 (updated by NorwegianOiler on 2014-02-12 06:19:26)

 

We continue our daily updates of FHL GMs, at least as far as I continue to get replies to the survey; and today I present one of the top GMs of our league, implied in name and explicit in performance: Gr8one.

Thanks to all who have answered so far, keep sending in your views and I'll keep putting them up for all to read!

 

What is the reason you chose your particular team name?
I wanted the name Bulldogs in homage of the “Syracuse Bulldogs” of the Federal Hockey league and in honour of the Federal league all time PIM leader and thug, Tim "Dr. Hook" McCracken, and the unforgettable Ogie Ogelthorpe. I had originally planned to go with a jersey that looked like that original teams but after struggling to make it the way I wanted I decided to go with what I currently have, with an eye on perhaps someday going with a “third” jersey dedicated to that legendary iconic team.



That is if I decide to keep the “Bulldogs” moniker, I am torn sometimes and have looked into the possibility of re-branding to something more befitting of my geographical location(Coastal, North Carolina). Perhaps Bullfrogs or 'Gators. Time will tell.

* From the original draft, who are still on your roster today?
36. BULLDOGS (gr8one): Ilya Bryzgalov
82. BULLDOGS (gr8one): Jaroslav Halak
128. BULLDOGS (gr8one): Jason Spezza
195. BULLDOGS (gr8one): Sean Couturier
413. BULLDOGS (gr8one): Mike Santorelli*
458. BULLDOGS (gr8one): Peter Regin*

* Left and subsequently re-acquired

* 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?

When I look back at the draft I can't really see anything that jumps out at me as a surprise so I can't really speak to that. As far as regret goes, I'd say that easily has to be Bryzgalov. I had a pretty good idea that goaltending was going to be a huge deal in the FHL and that having top goalies was going to be crucial to having a successful team. When I chose Bryz with my second pick, he had just come off two consecutive seasons that were outstanding and the Flyers looked to be a very up and coming team anchored by Pronger and a young dynamic forward corps, and with the signing Bryz I thought the Flyers were poised to become a powerhouse for many years, and his cap hit was comparatively decent compared to some other high end goalies...boy was I wrong. For my proudest pick, that's a tough one, Getzlaf is an easy choice, but that's obvious, and in a strange way Letang is a source of pride and disappointment at the same time since I feel he is one of the truly elite offensive catalysts in the game yet his style leads to so many injuries it minimizes his talents, and thus out of frustration(as well as big pay raise) of that issue I regrettably decided to trade him away. I truly feel bad for Letang, his family, and jfrizzio after hearing the news of him suffering a stroke, I hope he has a speedy recovery and comes back to have a lengthy, healthy career for the Militia.


* Who is the face(s) of your franchise?
David Backes. Prior to me trading Getzlaf I'd have easily said him, it was very difficult trading away Getzlaf, he is everything that epitomizes what I want the Bulldogs to be as a team, big, mean, skilled and a born leader, but with the signing of Getzlaf's massive contract I thought it was necessary to go in a different direction that allowed more balance to my roster without having so much cap space devoted to one player. The acquisition of David Backes though really helped propel the Bulldogs forward and still have that same identity with him as the new face of the Franchise.

* What do you perceive to be your team's biggest strength?
Easily my group of forwards which have been battling the Vikings all season long for most points earned by forwards.

* What do you perceive to be your team's biggest weakness?
Overall I'm pretty happy with my team, but right now I really wish I could squeeze some more points from my D-corps who are currently quite young. I've traded away some pretty high end defenceman in the pursuit of youth on my back end and although I have extremely high hopes for Ryan Murphy, Justin Faulk and to a lesser extent Travis Hamonic whom I perceive to become absolute stars in this league I fear they may be a season or two away from attaining that elite status. That being said, I'm pleased with my acquisition of Byfuglien, and Tanev looks like a nice young D, and I think Connor Carrick is going to develop into a high end offensive d-man, but I do admit to feel a longing for a high end point producing player back there.


* 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.)
Immediate goals I'd have to say would be to just come off this Olympic break healthy with my current roster players and really have a strong finish to the season, and then hopefully make a nice push toward the championship. I'm definitely in the “win-now” phase, , but I ALWAYS have an eye on balance and although I would love to make a push for the championship I also have some young pieces and valuable picks that I put a premium on going forward. The Bulldogs want to be a a perennial contender, so although I am currently of the win-now mindset, not at the cost of mortgaging a strong future.

With my young up and coming D corps, young forwards like Couturier, Coyle, Simmonds, Kruger and Shaw, plus highly skilled and dynamic prospects like Trocheck and Boucher as well as 3 first round picks in the next two years combined with my relative current success in the standings I feel I am getting close to that balance that I've been aiming for.


* If you were to dress a lineup of 12 forwards, 6 defensemen and 2 goalies from your roster - how would it look?
This was tougher than I thought, I left some very good players off this list, would have loved to have Richards, Cogs and Penner, and of course Enstrom would have been nice to have on this list as well, but overall I think thise set of forwards would be pretty dominant and there's enough skill and youthful exuberance on the back end to hopefully compensate for the lack of experience.

Marleau Backes Simmonds
Vanek Spezza Semin
Johannsen Couturier Shaw
Raffl Kruger Coyle

Hamonic Byfuglien
Faulk Murray
Carrick Strait

Halak
Raanta

* What NHL team would you compare your roster to?
There are a few teams that come to mind immediately, and all for the same reason really, big, heavy teams with a strong group of forwards, St. Louis, San Jose, L.A. And of course the Ducks...but if I had to pick one, I'd probably have to say the Ducks, similar skill sets in the forward ranks and a relatively young unproven D corps

* What, if any - and without giving up too many secrets -, is your fundamental strategy as an FHL GM?
Balance, balance, balance... it's just one big balancing act, just always in search of finding the right mix of cap money, defense, offense and of course goaltending, and it doesn't end there, I think the rosters need to have a nice balance of age, with a steady stream of good prospects, young players that are cheap and of course established veterans that you can count on.


* Which FHL team, if any, do you view as your rival(s)? Why?
There are a few teams that I take great joy in looking at below me in the standings, Racki, Chucker and K-town...just because it looks so damned good on them, especially that wily knucklehead K-town who is always dangerous and will probably make a nice run after the break if Stamkos can find his game. But this question is about a feeling of rivalry and that distinction goes to one team ahead of all others. The Vikings. I don't know what it is, but the K9's and those glorious Nordic warriors, but we always seem to be fighting it out neck and neck in the standings.

* Has any FHL trades caught your attention - why is that?
I can't think of any off of the top of my head, but there have definitely been a few head scratchers and “what were they thinking” moments. The recent movement of Tavares was pretty surprising, but I don't say that judgementally though since I have the utmost respect for all of my fellow GM's, and have no doubt that for whatever movement takes place a lot of thought and reasoning has been put into it and done for a good reason in their own mind.

* Which FHL GM do you think does the best job? Why?
Definitely mad props to Quinstone this year, he came into this league like a terror and made some very bold moves put his stamp on his team and found pretty much immediate success. Some of the other GM's that came in and took over others teams have done some nice things, and of course that rat-bastid K-Town, hard not to give credit where due to a two time Champion(ow, that hurt). Dawgtoy really has done a great job as well, his recent acquisitions could really have him positioned to put him over the top this season.

* Which teams are the FHL's biggest over and underachievers in your opinion?
Overachiever – K-Town,This one is weird for me, and I don't mean this in a bad way, if anything it's a compliment, but I can honestly say that when I look over rosters, in my mind on paper, K-Towns teams just don't jump out at me as being great, however, the results speak for themselves, two time Champion and although some pretty bad injury issues this season is still in the thick of things, so props to him.

Underachiever – Jfrizzio, I look at his team on paper and then where he sits in the standings and can't believe he's not in the top five...although this year the cap going down really hurt him, I think next year if he can tweak some things to utilize his roster fully he could have a very dangerous team.

* Who do you think will win the FHL Regular season this year?
I have no idea, it's so close this year, a slump or an injury or two can totally turn the tide very quickly.

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

Again, I honestly have no idea, but if I had to guess, I'd say that the the playoff winner will be different than points leader, I just think in the playoff format a hot streak or slump on any given playoff week will make the odds of being a “double champ” very difficult. Of course, this being the first season of seeing it in action it's really hard to know what to expect.

- What do you enjoy most about the FHL?
There are many things, one being just my love of hockey, this league just adds so many nuances to my real life love of the game, following not only the Oilers, but MY players as well. The other aspect I love is that sense of camaraderie I feel with my fellow FHL GM's. I've never met any of you yet I feel like you are all friends and in some weird way a small hockey family. Nerdy perhaps, but there it is.

* How often do you log on, say in terms of average visits per week?
Too often. I'm kind of obsessed to be honest. Probably at least 20-30 times aweek.

* If you could change aspects of the FHL, what would you change?
Nothing really, a few small tweaks, some sort of waiver eligibility scale that slides up/down with the salary cap is one thing, but I believe that's on the way, and some other small things that I can't think of at the moment. There are some GM's that I wish were a little more pro-active in managing their team, and I wish sometimes perhaps that there was some sort of unwritten etiquette that all GM's would acknowledge trade requests in a relatively timely fashion. Whether they're interested or not, a simple “no thank you” and a click on reject is all that's needed. That being said, I also understand the real life gets in the way and that's not always possible. I too have been guilty of this at times, and I understand that there are ebbs and flows in everyone's lives and will always be exceptions and extenuating circumstances, bet in general, that would be nice.

* Which aspects of the FHL would you be reluctant or opposed to changing?
I think it's currently pretty ideal. I'm never opposed to improving things and tweaking things and will always have an open mind, but one thing I was opposed to and don't think I could ever be convinced that having a graduated points system that was proposed last year would be something I'd ever prefer.

* Is there anything else you have to note that would be of interest to the fellowship of the FHL?
Not really, other than to just reiterate how much I enjoy being a part of the FHL and how much I respect and enjoy all of our fellow GM's. “Fellowship”...I really like that.



FHL Gazette: General Manager Feature: Saevel of the Tigers

Created by NorwegianOiler on 2014-02-11 05:31:04 (updated by NorwegianOiler on 2014-02-11 05:32:27)

 

Continuing the presentation of FHL GMs, here follows the considerations of my countryman Saevel.

 

* What is the reason you chose your particular team name?
Being from, and living in, Oslo, that part is self-explanatory. The city has been nicknamed "Tigerstaden", or Tiger City, since the 19th century, so that part felt appropriate as well. Also, tigers are pretty cool.

* From the original draft, who are still on your roster today?
Quite a lot! In order of the original draft:

Lundqvist
Doughty
Datsyuk
Callahan
Benn
Jordan Staal
Boyle
Huberdeau
Bogosian
Sbisa
Downie
Pitkanen
Nick Foligno
Ellerby
Versteeg
Matthias
Brendan Smith
Quinton Howden
Tlusty

* 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?
In retrospect, I'm quite satisfied. Players like Boyle and Staal haven't panned out like I'd hoped, and I'd probably not have gambled on Filatov. The biggest surprise might be my last pick, Jiri Tlusty, who has been cheap and put up a decent amount of points.

* Who is the face(s) of your franchise?
Despite this years slump, I'll have to go with my number 1 pick, Henrik Lundqvist.

* What do you perceive to be your team's biggest strength?
I feel there's a good amount of players who have yet to reach their potential. This year has been a rough one, but there's a lot of room to grow.

* What do you perceive to be your team's biggest weakness?
At the moment, goaltending. We took a gamble on Markström that has yet to pay off.

* What are your immediate goals as GM of your team? What stage of the competitive
process do you see yourself in?
This year is an off-year. I wouldn't go as far as to talk about rebuilding, but there will definitely be big changes this off season.

* If you were to dress a lineup of 12 forwards, 6 defensemen and 2 goalies from your roster - how would it look?
Considering natural positions, it would look something like this:

Benn - Datsyuk - Callahan
Huberdeau - J.Staal - Versteeg
Tlusty - Foligno - Downie
Matthias - B.Boyle - Mitchell

Dylan Olsen - Doughty
Kindl - Bogosian
Sbisa - Brendan Smith (Pitkanen if he's not dead by now)

Lundqvist
Markström

* What NHL team would you compare your roster to?
Tough one. I actually think the line up above would do well in the NHL, and I feel it's fairly balanced. I don't think I can pick a team, though. What do you think? NorOil's comment: A good team in a transitional period with a mixture of young potential stars and established veterans; no obvious holes, but in need of some extra punch. Seems a bit like the Red Wings from an organisational standpoint. From a lineup perspective, with smooth skating defensemen and a solid goalie, perhaps a comparison to the Carolina Hurricanes (but with more pugnacity), but again, the Red Wings appear to be a good comparative fit.


* What, if any - and without giving up too many secrets, is your fundamental strategy as an FHL GM?
It was to build a stable team that would finish well every year. This year I may have sacrificed a bit too much for the future.

* Which FHL team, if any, do you view as your rival(s)? Why?
You, of course, as my fellow Norwegian ;)NorOil's comment: I accept this rivalry on the grounds of geography, but reject it as a presumtion of equality between our respective rosters, as the Tigers should clearly be considered the farm team of the Vikings.


I finished narrowly above the Raiders both the first two seasons, and this year they're struggling, like me. Rivalry would be a reach, though.

* Has any FHL trades caught your attention - why is that?
There have been quite a bit of huge deals. GM's don't seem to mind moving their top players around, as is to be expected I guess.

* Which FHL GM do you think does the best job? Why?
The Heatwave, Rhinos and Vikings have been very consistent at the top.

* Which teams are the FHL's biggest over- and underachievers in your opinion?
I'll stay away from talking anyone down, but I will say that my Tigers are certainly not where I'd like (or expect) them to be this year.

* 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'll actually bet on my "rivals", the Vikings, to pull through. As for the playoffs, I think it will be dominated by the top teams, but it'll be interesting to see how consistent they really are!


* What do you enjoy most about the FHL?
That it's the closest I'll ever get to manage an NHL team!

* How often do you log on, say in terms of average visits per week?
Depends a bit on what's going on at work. I try to stop by daily.

* If you could change aspects of the FHL, what would you change?
I really believe the passive roster is too small. Considering newly drafted players usually take a while to develop (even big talents), I'd like to see the league give us a chance to develop more of our "own" players. Maybe extend the number of passive slots from 5 to 10, for starters.

Would also be really cool to eventually have 30 teams, to mimic the real NHL even more closely.

* Which aspects of the FHL would you be reluctant or opposed to changing?
How points are calculated. I think it works well, and would be unfair to GM's who have planned ahead, perhaps selecting a player they think will pay off in a few years, given the current system.

* Is there anything else you have to note that would be of interest to the fellowship of the FHL?
Datsyuk and J.Staal are available, guys!