Putting together rules for a possible 12 or 14-team Keeper League for next year.

Hi all,

I enjoy the comments and opinions on this site, from the site contributors as well as the community comments. Would appreciate it if you all could list some of your favorite or best rules/ideas for a keeper league, including which stats I should consider using (I am considering not having PIM as a stat but would love to find a site (Yahoo?) which would allow me to have 5-Min majors) and provide for keepers as well.

In addition, does anyone know of any fantasy hockey sites which specifically deal with Commissioner issues such as these?


A few of the particulars I'm considering:

  • Do I maintain a rookie list separate from the active roster (a farm team), or just have the roster include both? If so, should I increase roster size? Should we have an "Entry Draft" for the rookies, or just include them as part of the initial draft? I am a big believer in "keeping it simple, stupid," so I'm leaning toward just increasing roster and drafting rookies who may not even play in the NHL that season during the initial draft. My feeling is if they are available in the player database, such as Yahoo, ESPN, TSN, etc., they are available to be drafted.
  • Forwards vs Defensemen? How many of each? In an attempt to emulate actual NHL rosters, I'm considering 12 forwards, 6 defense, 2 goalies and 8 bench players (3 "healthy scratches" plus the 5 rookies/farm team players discussed above, which are probably "NA" or unavailable players not on an actual NHL team yet. 28 total players per team. Also 5 IR slots.
  • How many keepers should we allow? Do we cap number of keeper goalies at 2? I have heard of leagues which did not have a limit on protected/keeper goalies, and a few managers would hoard all the goalies and force the rest of the league to draft all goalies for the first round of next season's draft. Not that I think this is necessarily a bad idea, but still.....thoughts? I am thinking 10-12 keepers as of now, but haven't decided on whether or not to limit the number of goalies kept.
  • If farm team players are maintained on a separate farm team list, what determines rookie eligibility? NHL games played? In the NHL, to be considered a rookie, a player must not have played in 25 or more NHL games in any preceding seasons, nor in six or more NHL games in each of any two preceding seasons. Any player at least 26 years of age (by September 15th of that season) is not considered a rookie. Should I use the same requirements, or just limit it to a maximum number of games in the NHL, say 25 total? Of course this is all eliminated if we just include the farm team players on the roster and eliminate any need for differentiating rookies.
  • I decided against the Dynasty League format because I do want to have an annual draft. I've heard of some pretty diverse keeper/draft pick rules, any thoughts as to what works best? If a manager decides to keep 10 "keepers" for the upcoming season, would he or she not have a draft pick until Round 11? How does it work if all managers don't keep the same number of players? Am I over-thinking this here, do the individual fantasy hockey sites take care of all this during the draft? I do know Yahoo allows the Commissioner to place keeper players into certain rounds, so I would place all keepers on their respective teams prior to the draft. This is from the Yahoo site:
  • As the commissioner of a public league, you are in charge of all aspects of your league, including:
  • Making draft pick trades an option in your league
  • Selecting when in the draft order you wish to place keeper
  • Keepers are typically used in place of a draft pick.
  • Example: Keepers are set for the first two rounds of the draft. This means that draft picks cannot trades cannot include the 1st or 2nd round draft pick. Remind your managers! Sounds like this answers my question.
  • I know I want draft picks to be trade-able assets as well. I am very familiar with the Yahoo fantasy hockey site, has anyone had any negative experience with the draft pick feature on Yahoo?
  • Considering giving the team with the best record to not make the playoffs, or a possible lottery for all of the non-playoff teams, as the way to determine which team receives the #1 overall pick. Both these ideas come from this site.
  • I am considering making this an auction league with salaries/contracts for the player. I participated in a NL-only auction rotisserie baseball league years ago, and really, really enjoyed myself. It was nice knowing, yes you could certainly ensure Barry Bonds and Albert Pujols would be on your roster, as long as you also realized you were then limited to $1 on the remaining 20 players needed to fill out your team ;) More importantly, do current fantasy hockey sites allow this option? I think Yahoo does.....
  • If I did decide to go the auction league route, this would also mean we would be enabling the FAAB feature as well. I can see myself getting away from my "K.I.S.S." mantra if we do decide the league will be an auction league.....
  • Following my self-imposed "Keep it Simple, Stupid" rule , if we do decide against an auction league format, I'd still like to consider keeping track of how long a manager has "owned" a keeper, with a max of 4 years allowed (or possibly a max of 3 years, not sure yet). After that the player can't be kept and must be released back into the available player pool to be drafted at the end of the 4th/final year. A player traded will keep the same designation until available again in the draft. For example, if I've had Evander Kane (!) on my roster for 3 years prior to this season, he would go into the 2013 season as a "Year 4 Player" ,designated by a (4), and keep that label even if traded to another team this season. This idea comes from my auction league days, and I think it increased the realism of the league.
  • Trades: league vote/veto or Commish decision to authorize? I've been in both types of leagues, and I didn't like the fact the Commish had the final say. I'd much rather the entire league know they have a voice. I would like to think if the Commish trade approval, I would only veto a deal if there was collusion suspected, but using the specific site provider trade function would seem to eliminate most of these issues. I would also like to have a Assistant Commissioner as someone to bounce ideas off of and help maintain league integrity, etc. But I do not believe the Commish should veto "bad" trades, as I am a firm believer in letting managers have free reign to improve (or destroy) their teams as they see fit.
  • I haven't decided yet how to handle trades during the "offseason", when the league site could potentially be down (as with Yahoo). I am thinking the deadline to submit keepers could be a week before the draft, with all players trade-able until the deadline, except for "Year 4" players. I am thinking as Commish I could keep a list of all rosters during the off-season and have all trades sent to me with trade particulars stated in matching emails from both managers before approval.
  • Waivers: I am seriously considering adopting a waiver process much like the process used in many fantasy football sites/leagues: waiver order is based on the previous week's standings. I think it gives the lower-place teams a better shot at players, especially the "hot" rookie/keeper players. Thoughts? Of course this might be eliminated if we use a FAAB, but at this point I think I'm leaning towards the non-auction/FAAB league structure and just designating keepers as 1st Year, 2nd Year, etc., so waivers would be used.
  • STAT CATEGORIES. At this point I'm thinking:
  • Goals (G), Assists (A), Plus/Minus (+/-), Powerplay Points (PPP), Shorthanded Points (SHP), Shots on Goal (SOG), faceoffs Won (FW) (I'd rather use a Faceoff percentage, if such an option exists), Hits, Blocks, 5-min majors/fighting (10)
  • For goalies: Wins (W), Losses (L), Goals Against Average (GAA), Save Percentage (SV%), Shutouts (SHO) (5). I'd like to add one more goaltending category, in order to reflect the importance of goaltending. I'd even love to weight the SV% stat, but that's opening a whole new can of worms.....
  • I am not a big fan of PIM's (negatively affects the team in "real" life), game winning goals (too random) or stats which more often than not seem to end up a tie at the end of the week (I"m looking at you, short-handed goals/points. But I want to reward/ acknowledge the penalty killers!).
  • Minimum 3 goalie starts per week.

I am sure I've forgotten some very important considerations, any thoughts/ideas are most definitely appreciated.

**EDIT: Just saw A_Train's fanpost from early last month, which included community commets which helped answer a few of my questions. Thanks **

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