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Raspberries Hockey League (Fantasy)


blackhawkpat

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LC and I had a long talk last night and he has asked me to see if we can gauge any interest in having a fantasy Raspberries Hockey League, similar to the baseball and football ones we have had success with for years.

Now, the hockey season has already started, so we would be drafting players going forward, and their totals they have accumulated already would not count. This wouldn't start for a few weeks, either, and would only start if we can get at least eight players. Unfortunately, Yahoo is not currently letting me schedule an online live draft, so if it is too late to do that, what we would have to do is rank the players, freeze your rankings, and then Yahoo would randomly assign players to your team based on your rankings. That's not too bad, but I prefer the live draft. I need to email them and see why they won't let me schedule a draft right now. Some players prefer to let the computer draft their team, anyway.

I have set it up so it is very basic for the first year. We would only use four offensive categories (goals, assists, points, and plus/minus) and four defensive categories (wins, goals against average, saves, and shutouts) that would only be accumulated by your goalies. So, there are only eight categories, instead of the usual ten or twelve we use in baseball.

Each team would select two centers, two left wings, two right wings, one forward, four defensemen, and two goalies (plus four bench spots). Most hockey teams only play three games a week, four at max, so there would not be constant changes to be made for any players. Yahoo provides default rankings on the players if you just want them to help choose your team.

LC and I want this to be completely FUN, no money involved, and I have set this up so it is very fair with such small team rosters and categories. This way, the hockey experts wouldn't have much, if any, advantage, against someone who is just learning the game. By having such small rosters, there will be tons of good players left over to pick up if you don't like the way your club is going.

So, let me know if you have any interest in joining. I know we have alot of closet hockey fans here, especially the ladies, who love the game, but don't post much about it, so we'd love to have any of you join.

Just like the other fantasy games we play, if this is a success, we can add categories to it for next year and beyond, but I want this to be totally simple to join and totally simple to play, especially for those not that familiar with the great game of hockey. LC tells me he knows nothing about the sport, but wants to play just to have the camaraderie of everyone and to learn a little about the players and the game.

Let me know....I'm in and LC is in...next?

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Oh yeah! Go for it, boys and girls. I know absolutely ZERO about hockey --- not even how many teams there are in the NHL! I just thought it would be fun to learn a little more about the game. And I knew Pat could set up a "beginner-friendly" league. I think maybe we can do weekly lineups (instead of daily), to make it easier to handle, right Pat?

So... give it a shot!

--LC

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Okay, we've got myself, LC, Paulie, Harry, and Kim (Blonde Velvet) interested so far.

Let's start building this...Missm? I know you are a hockey gal. Debbie? We've got plenty of Penguins available! Marlene? Lots of Colorado Avalanche guys to be drafted out there. MARVIN?

We need eight to play, but can have as many as twelve (and if we have more, I could probably get them to make divisions so we could get everyone in). Feel free to PM me with any questions. Who's next?

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C'mon. How about BeatleJay? Mitch...? I promise I won't take any Seattle or Cleveland players. Oh, wait -- Seattle and Cleveland don't have NHL teams. Ah well.... I do know now that there are 30 NHL teams (15 each in the Easter and Western Conferences).

Hey, a couple of quick hockey hits:

* While it's true that I have virtually no hockey knowledge, I have indeed attended one NHL game -- it was a Washington Capitals home game in the late 1990s (a playoff game). I was actually amazed at how different it looks in person -- the rink looks so much smaller than on TV, and the players' speed seemed twice as fast.

* I once had dinner with the great Maurice "Rocket: Richard. It would have been around 1997 or 1998. He had appeared at a sports collectibles show our company hosted to sign autographs. And he was one of the most polite, respectful gentlemen I've met. He was well-dressed for the autograph-signing event (suit and tie) and took it seriously, making a good impression with all the fans who came through. (And believe me, there are pro athletes who look down on fans.) I was sad to hear of Rocket's death just a couple years after I met him.

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OK....I'll give this a shot...however, I have to admit, I know next to NOTHING about the sport.. frown ..... spin No better time to learn, I guess. Just, please... be gentle with me.

Attagirl, Marlene! And... be gentle with me, too. blush

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I know very little about a lot of things,,,That includes hockey...Count me in...

Great! I tried to PM you on Facebook before I saw this. Send me your email, so I can send you an invite to register.

Sounds like we are up to nine already (me, LC, marlene, paulie, kim, harry, marvin, tom murray (VOX), and lew)

Might we get the original New Jersey devil, Tommy Tunes, to play? Keep 'em coming...there is room at the inn!

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I think Tunesy should definitely join! I mean, he's one two baseball titles even though -- by his own admission -- he's not really a baseball expert. How about it, Tunes? Join the club -- we'll all learn the game together.

--LC

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Yahoo has been able to get us a time for the live draft. It will be Thursday, November 3, at 8:00 PM (Central). If you can't make it, you can rank your players and let the computer draft for you (which I think a few might do anyways). We need everyone to finish registering and get a final count by the end of next week to see how many we will have and then our New Zealand pals can do their thing!

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Hey, we're up to six teams signed up! Niiice! I bet we'll get at least eight. Excellent recruiting, Blackhawk Pat! When I mentioned the, er, "need" for a 'berries hockey league to you just a few nights ago, I wasn't sure if there would be enough interest, but you've gone out and made it happen, so kudos! May you get all the Blackhawks you want at our draft next Thursday night.

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Hey, we're up to six teams signed up! Niiice! I bet we'll get at least eight. Excellent recruiting, Blackhawk Pat! When I mentioned the, er, "need" for a 'berries hockey league to you just a few nights ago, I wasn't sure if there would be enough interest, but you've gone out and made it happen, so kudos! May you get all the Blackhawks you want at our draft next Thursday night.

SEVEN! There's been a Harry sighting! Hopefully, Marvin and Kim will be next to sign on and then we get one more for the perfect ten league! (However, twelve sounds even sweeter!)

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BTW, just to reiterate... Commissioner BHPat has set up the league with these scoring categories:

Forwards/Defensemen Stat Categories:

Goals (G), Assists (A), Points (P), Plus/Minus (+/-)

Goaltenders Stat Categories:

Wins (W), Goals Against Average (GAA), Saves (SV), Shutouts (SHO)

So it's not too complicated (though I'm looking into how Plus/Minus is scored!). I know from setting up football and baseball leagues that Yahoo has a dozens of stat categories that allow you to keep your league basic or get a little crazy (like, I once played in a baseball league where "Grand Slams" were a stat category -- talk about random!). So I appreciate Commish Pat keeping things manageable here. Should be fun!

PS: Advance welcome, BlondeVelvet.

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LC, plus/minus is very simple. There are six players on the ice at one time for each team in a game, one goalie, two defensemen, a left wing, a right wing, and a center. Goalies are exempt from plus/minus, so we are talking the remaining five players.

If a goal is scored when you are on the ice, it's a "plus". If a goal is scored against your team when you are on the ice, it's a "minus". So, if in a game, you on the ice three times when your team scores (+3) and on the ice for only one goal against (-1), your plus/minus for the night is +2. If your team doesn't score while you are on the ice, but the opposition nets two, you are -2 for the night. I want to be clear in the "while you are on the ice" distinction. Your TEAM may score six goals, but YOU might only be on the ice for two of those, so those are the goals we are counting.

Now, there is one exemption to this. Powerplay goals or short handed goals do not affect your plus/minus because one of the teams was playing a man down, so it's only even strength goals.

The thought process in this is that even the best players on bad teams might have a low plus/minus because they will be on the ice against the best players from good teams...and viceversa, of course. Good players on top teams should have great ones.

This stat also rewards defensemen a little more, who don't always rack up tons of points, but they are on the ice when the forwards or centers do.

That is why I chose "saves" in the goalie categories, to even it out. Goalies on bad teams will see more shots against them, thus making more saves than the top goalies, because the best teams usually have good defensemen blocking shots before the puck gets to them.

One other thing I should reference for hockey newbies. The positions we will have on our team are: two left wings, two right wings, two centers, one forward, four defensemen, two goalies and four bench spots (up to you how you use them). A forward is considered ANY of the wing or center spots, so think "Utility" in baseball. Defensemen and goalies are NOT forwards, unless you find the very rare d-man who is listed in Yahoo as a forward and d-man, such as Winnipeg's Dustin Byfuglien, who switches between forward and defense.

This has been Hockey 101, taught by Blackhawkpat!

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Pat, I noted that exactly 15 goaltenders had 30 or more Ws in each of the past two seasons. But getting to 40 seems to be an unusual thing --- like 20 wins for baseball pitchers has become. Last year in the NHL, there were no goalies with 40 Ws, while there were five the year before, and two in each of the two seasons before that. Just an observation as I dig around in the world of NHL stats....

PS: No offense to any cultures with names that are "foreign" to we Americans, but... in scanning the list of NHL players, I notice all kinds of first names we don't see often in baseball and football: Anze, Olli, Tuomo, Pavel, Henrik, Pekka, Antti, Tuukka, and more.

"Ilyak, Mikko, and Jussi" doesn't quite roll off the tongue like "Willie, Mickey, and the Duke," does it?

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"Ilyak, Mikko, and Jussi" doesn't quite roll off the tongue like "Willie, Mickey, and the Duke," does it?

No, but you can scan the entire National Hockey League and not find a Placido, Alcides, Kosuke, Tsuyoshi, or Asdrubel and certainly not a Shin-Soo!

Hockey's answer to "Willie, Mickey, and the Duke" is probably "Wayne, Gordie, and Bobby" as in Gretzky, Howe, and Hull (or Orr.....and that wasn't a stutter!)

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