PRO RESULTS
358
359
360
MSHL RESULTS
358
359
360
TOP 5 POINTS G-A-P
Artemi Panarin (TOR)16-28-44
Brad Marchand (MTL)15-27-42
Jonathan Toews (TOR)14-28-42
Steven Stamkos (DET)14-24-38
Claude Giroux (HAM)12-26-38
TOP 5 GOALS GP-G
Nail Yakupov (LAK)35 - 18
Patrice Bergeron (BOS)35 - 18
Taylor Hall (NYI)36 - 18
Tyler Seguin (NYI)36 - 17
Artemi Panarin (TOR)36 - 16
TOP 5 GOALIES GP GAA
Semyon Varlamov (CGY)171.81
Jonathan Quick (NYR)161.89
Michal Neuvirth (DET)191.99
Marc-Andre Fleury (QUE)182.08
Ryan Miller (HAM)182.21
TOP 5 POINTS G-A-P
Robby Fabbri (ANA)25-38-63
Justin Fontaine (ANA)28-27-55
Max Domi (TOR)27-21-48
Sven Andrighetto (SJS)21-25-46
Roman Cervenka (PHI)19-26-45
TOP 5 GOALS GP-G
Justin Fontaine (ANA)36 - 28
Max Domi (TOR)36 - 27
Robby Fabbri (ANA)36 - 25
Liam Reddox (EDM)36 - 25
Patrik Laine (NYR)36 - 22
TOP 5 GOALIES GP GAA
Viktor Fasth (QUE)142.45
Aaron Dell (TOR)122.50
Tobias Stephan (BOS)112.56
Henrik Karlsson (CHI)142.59
Joonas Korpisalo (SJS)182.73
1 - Marc-Andre Fleury (0.975)
2 - Ryan Callahan (2-4-6)
3 - Tom Kuhnhackl (4-0-4)
1 - Sean Monahan (3-7-10)
2 - Gabriel Landeskog (4-4-8)
3 - Andrei Kostitsyn (3-1-4)

#NSHLFriedge

Sunday, February 18th

Elliotte Friedman #NSHLFRIEDGE

#NSHLFriedge on All-Stars, the ICC & the Future of the Playoffs!

When the NSHL All-Star Ballots went out earlier today, teams were told to pick 5 players from their pro roster and 3 players off their minor league roster and no further details were released.  Usually at this point there's an explanation of what's coming up in the next phase of the process, however this year the league is mum on those details.  I tried to dig around as best I could before today's article.

I reached out to the always cryptic Commissioner, and honestly, I didn't get very far.   What I did get is this: "At the request of the host, this year's event will feature a bit of a different feel to it which should actually make the three game series far more interesting."

Thanks Commish.  Helps a lot.

Seriously, I understand that it will not be a typical East vs West breakdown and a draft will be involved which always makes things interesting, especially with Hurricanes' GM Dwayne Hamm involved.

The Team Canada vs Team USA thing has really taken off since debuting last season in my opinion.  The roster unveilings are intresting and there has been some behind-the-scenes commentary on who makes it and who doesn't.   While GM Hamm's USA squad looks similar to last year's, the Canadian team has a very "who's good now" feel.  The PSC Finalists were both locked in early, while Tyler Toffoli and likely even Evander Kane probably wouldn't have been on anyone's radar a few weeks ago.

Speaking of international selections:  the InterContinental Cup is slated to start rolling in the next little while and according to my sources at the league office a number of changes have already been introduced that will completely change the shape of the competition.

I've been told that the competition is now 10 teams with multiple entries from a few nations in order to even out competition.

There will be three Team Canadas,  three Team USAs, two Team Europes plus Team Russia and Team Sweden.  Nations like the Czech Republic and Finland have been rolled into the Team Europes due to a general lack of depth, specifically on the blue-line.

The Team Canadas and Team USAs will be broken down by age:  an Under 25 squad, a 25-29 squad and a 30+ veteran squad. Team Europe will be broken down similarly:  one under 30 squad and one over 30 squad.

The Commissioner confirmed another key to the "new look" tournament:  5 of the 6 squads from North America will be in the same pool for the round-robin portion to give the European teams a better opportunity.

"The NSHL has so much North American talent that we can break it up a little by age and give players a real opportunity to shine.  The young guys can play their game, and the veterans can attempt to make a go of it too.  I'm really, really excited for how this thing is shaking out."

I believe the league will be releasing details on roster selection sometime this week.

During my chat with the Commissioner I was asked what I thought about a massive potential change to the post-season format.  After giving my answer, I asked if I could write about the idea and got the green light.  You might want to be sitting down for this one.

I'm told the Commissioner's office is strongly considering a switch to the post-season structure for NSHL18 where the league would balance out the regular season schedule and then let the teams with higher seeds choose their opponent each round.

With six teams per Conference making the Playoffs currently, the idea being proposed would still give the top teams a bye, and then the 3rd place team would be able to choose their opponent from teams 4, 5 or 6.  The thought process behind the idea suggests you may not match-up ideally to a 6th place team who may be hot from a final push to make the post-season.  Maybe you stack up better against the 5th seeded team so you choose them.

Some say it's a gimmick, and they may be right.  At the same time, think of the additional implications if the day after the regular season ended teams had to essentially call out another GM for being their "ideal" target.  This could add to rivalries and other financial incentives.

One vision of the idea which may be an extreme (the Commissioner's words, not mine):  all 20 teams "make the playoffs", there are 4 byes and 5th chooses from the 15 remaining clubs for a Best-of-Three.  Extreme indeed.

Finally, I'll close with this from my chat with the Commish.  Don't hold your breath for any "Easy Money" events in the near future and expect the league to transition to a "participation points" system instead. "The same guys always sit out the 'Easy Money' events, who just happen to typically be the guys with the biggest need for the cash.. seems like a waste of time."

I got the vibe at that point in the conversation that the league isn't prepared to bend too far on any bankruptcies that might come down the line. "There are guys here who have a bunch of cash in the bank they can't spend.  I'm going to spend my time focusing on adding value to that aspect instead."

Be interesting to see how things shake out over the coming weeks.  I get the sense there's a lot of improvements coming down the pipeline.  The All-Star Classic seems like the start of a crazy ride ahead. 

- Friedge

#NSHLKyper: Bruins Talking Re-Build

Friday, February 2nd


BOSTON READY TO DECLARE THEMSELVES "SELLERS"

Patrice Bergeron has been the face of the Bruins' franchise for his entire career.  A franchise that hasn't always been dominant, but has pushed their way into the post-season more often than not and taken a few deep runs and even walked away with a Stanley Cup.  Add to that a Hart Trophy for Bergeron himself, and several other years being on the final ballot.

And this year, that could all change.

At 31 is in the final year of an $11M contract and is set to become an unrestricted free agent unless Franchise Tagged by the Bruins - a very real and some would say very likely possibility.  But in talking to some folks around the league over the past couple of weeks I've learned the team is very strongly considering trading what would likely be one of the biggest names on the market for a number of assets, and then reach out to Bergeron in the off-season to see if they can re-sign him.

Risky?  You bet.  But the Boston Bruins are in urgent need of re-tooling.  They rank in the bottom third in the league in Goals For and are dead last in Goals Against.  Their blue-line is atrocious.

The team has Dylan Larkin, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Mikael Granlund, Magnus Paajarvi, Jordan Caron, David Pastrnak and recently added Nicklas Backstrom to their depth of 20-somthing year old forwards.  Unfortunately, none of those pieces is the stud replacement for a potentially departed Patrice Bergeron.

Boston fans aren't going to like this, but it's time to FACE THE FACTS in Beantown:  the era is OVER.  Sell your assets and START FRESH.

Want to hear something else Bruins' faithful don't want to deal with either?  The Bruins first this coming off-season doesn't belong to them.  In fact, after the changes last season with Florida and Nashville folding, the pick doesn't belong to ANYBODY.  It's gone.  Poof. So as the Bruins plummet in the standings, a whole bunch of other Lottery teams are cheering them on, knowing only good things can happen without the pick in play.

OK.  So Bruin fans, what are the options?  Seriously.

We've established the team needs blue-line help.  OK, so where do we get it?

Well, for one, the New York Islanders have 26 year-old Sami Vatanen with only 3 assists in 26 games played wasting away his prime behind Jonathon Blum, Ryan McDonagh and Keith Aulie (!!) and have Seth Jones on the horizon.

Not sure if the two teams have talked much since the Holidays, but before Christmas there were whispers of a Mikael Granlund and Torey Krug for Vatanen and Mikhail Grabovski swap. Granlund's a significant upgrade over Grabovski, while Krug could fit in nicely on the defending Champs' 2nd line pairing. Krug's due for a drop in salary at the end of the year too, no way anyone offer-sheets him at over $5M based on his production to date.

Another option would be to reach out to the Chicago Blackhawks and see if they'd have interest in NSHL17 journeyman Nicklas Backstrom (sources tell me they would). Backstrom to Chicago for a package involving Calvin de Haan and Tomas Tatar and things already may be on the mend.

What about Bergeron?   It wouldn't surprise me AT ALL if Chicago had interest here too and might be willing to throw Bruins' GM "Latenight" Spencer a guarantee that they wouldn't tag him and will let him hit the market in the off-season.

Interesting decisions to be made, my friends.

#NSHLKyper

The Next #NSHLLegend

Wednesday, January 17th

For the past several months Detroit GM Eric Gosselin and Montreal GM Sean Crowder have been sorting through old NSHL stats and working out highs and lows throughout the league's history. While there's still a lot to go through and a long road ahead, they've finally reached a point where we are starting to see the cream of the crop.

Over the remainder of the season the league will be unveiling the best of the best. Players who have had a major impact on the league over time.

These players have dominated the league over the years.

These players are the best we've seen.

These are players are NSHL Legends.

Joe Sakic was the first. Next?


Vincent Lecavalier

Who says a broken laptop that destroys a season is a bad thing? For Vincent Lecavalier a fluke, bonehead move by the Commissioner propelled him (and the Dynasty Ducks) to greatness. Vincent Lecavalier becomes an NSHL Legend as an Anaheim Duck.

After 15 seasons in the NSHL, Lecavalier sits atop the leaderboard in Points (984) and Assists (587), while sitting second in Goals (397), Games Played (1094) and Shots (3283).

He won two Stanley Cups, one in the BLD Era (Before Laptop Drop) with the Los Angeles Kings (currently the Tampa Bay Lightning franchise) and one to start the PLD Era (Post Laptop Drop) with the Anaheim Ducks (currently the New York Rangers franchise). He was a two time Hart Trophy winner as League MVP (PLD Era) in back-to-back seasons with the Ducks in Season 7 & 8 - at the same time capturing back-to-back Conn Smythe Trophies.

"In those two years I would call Vinny the uh 'Super MVP' because he was super in regular season and in our Cup runs. It was great to play with him because I could be certain I'd get some easy points every night." former teammate Pavel Datsyuk told those in attendance during the NSHL Legends dinner.

Following Season 9 Lecavalier signed the biggest contract in league history at the time: $13.75M for 4 years to remain with the Ducks.

"Cheap bastard didn't even pay for dinner once he signed that deal - and it was only at St-Hubert.." teammate Kristian Huselius joked. "Actually, I think I paid that night. Which is fine I guess, since I owe anything I made to him given how much he improved our team and my play.."

At the conclusion of that contract, the Ducks turned Rangers used their Franchise Tag on Lecavalier to ensure he couldn't walk away without something in return. It was the end of an era with the club though as his rights were then dealt to the Dallas Stars.

Lecavalier's award winning days were behind him at this point, but he would spend a couple of years on the most expensive top line in the league alongside Evgeni Malkin making $29.85M between them.

Lecavalier would retire ahead of Season 16 as the club decided to move the Las Vegas - which quickly turned into quite the debacle in itself.

"I'm truly Honoured to have been in the league for 15 great seasons. The guys all joke that my career success was started with a whirlwind when the laptop shattered, so I decided it's best to hang them up when the Las Vegas situation shattered as well. Thanks to Pav, Kristian and Geno for being here tonight - looking forward to celebrating with you guys, hope they're well stocked in vodka."

Introducing #NSHLLegends

Sunday, January 14th

For the past several months Detroit GM Eric Gosselin and Montreal GM Sean Crowder have been sorting through old NSHL stats and working out highs and lows throughout the league's history. While there's still a lot to go through and a long road ahead, they've finally reached a point where we are starting to see the cream of the crop.

Over the remainder of the season the league will be unveiling the best of the best. Players who have had a major impact on the league over time.

These players have dominated the league over the years.

These players are the best we've seen.

These are players are NSHL Legends.

Joe Sakic


THE ORIGINAL NSHL LEGEND

Those of you who have been in the league long enough were fortunate enough to see Joe Sakic's impact on the league first-hand. Joe was a dominant force in his eight seasons in the league and was always in the Hart Trophy buzz.

"It was a lot of fun competing against Joe all those years. He was amazing to watch and he really pushed me to up my game night in and night out. It's not surprising to see him become the first Legend." future NSHL Legend Jaromir Jagr said in his speech during the inauguration gala dinner.

Sakic becomes a Legend as a Toronto Maple Leaf, where he spent his first six seasons before a year in each New York (Rangers) and Philadelphia. It's in Toronto where he won two Stanley Cups, two Hart Trophies, 4 Selke Trophies, a Lady Byng, an Art Ross, a Rocket Richard and a Conn Smythe.

To date, Sakic's career +235 plus/minus leads all retired players and is an amazing 60 points better than second overall.

"Joe won all those Selke's because his focus was defense first. He never took a shift off." Likely future NSHL Legend Paul Kariya added during his speech at the gala. "I'd have to believe if the league didn't decide to reset after Season 6 he'd have been a career Maple Leaf. I know Joe loved it there and for all the things he did for the city, I know they loved him."

Joe Sakic was never traded, not once. When the league reset for Season 7 he became a New York Ranger in the SuperDraft - the large draft to determine the new teams. He wasn't taken by the Maple Leafs, despite having the first pick because they had their eyes on the future: Jonathan Toews.

"We had the opportunity to bring Joe back but we saw the potential in Toewser and we knew Joe's career was winding down. It made sense at the time and the fact that we still have Jon in our lineup to this day says all you need to know about the decision and our loyalty." Leafs' GM told reporters following the ceremony.

Following Season 7 the Philadelphia Flyers would bring Sakic in as an unrestricted free agent at what was at the time, the largest contract ever tendered: $8,650,000.

Season 8 would be Joe's last in the league, although his impact on the game remains through career stats where he's still the second highest overall in numerous categories.

"It's an absolute Honour to be named an NSHL Legend, to be here in front of so many fantastic hockey players, many of whom will undoubtedly be joining me very soon. Go. Leafs. Go!"

"Next Year ODW Will Be A Lot Faster..."

Monday, December 4th

Elliotte Friedman

Board Approves Opening Day Waivers Changes

On Monday morning, what was meant to have been DAY 2 of the regular season, the Commissioner put the league on notice.

"We are going to be onto Day 4 of a process that involves teams taking THIRD and FOURTH line players, or in some cases, HEALTHY SCRATCHES. There will be changes forthcoming. Next year Opening Day Waivers will be A LOT faster."

The Commissioner and the Board have agreed that next season the league will revert to claim by proxy, rather than the LIVE! "draft style" format.

"This should be a fun process where trades could occur. Instead GMs have ruined it by being under prepared and in certain cases, intentionally delaying the process in favour of trying to source out a deal that never happened."

Next year GMs will be required to submit a list of players in preferrential order and the results will be done and posted within an hour.

Not the process the league wanted, but the process it deserves.

...5 picks still to go.

Introducing: Trophies

Friday, December 1st

Elliotte Friedman

It's Time To Pay Attention.. Trophies Have Arrived!

"This will be the next big thing in simulated hockey.." a source with knowledge of the NSHL's latest endeavour told reporters prior to the press conference.

On Friday morning the Commissioner released preliminary details on what the league is simply calling Trophies.

"Anyone who has played a video game in the past decade has some understanding of accomplishment "trophies" - and hopefully some kind soul out there can explain it to Joe.." the Commissioner joked.

The new idea allows GMs to stake a claim to a "trophy" based on a particular accomplishment achieved during the season. For each accomplishment, only one "trophy" is available so it's based on a first come, first served basis.

As an example, one "trophy" would be awarded for "a 5 game point scoring streak". The first GM to e-mail in with the reference that their player has achieved this would claim the "trophy" and the associated prize money that goes with it.

In addition to "trophies" for an accomplishment, there are four levels of "trophies": bronze, silver, gold and platinum which get increasingly harder to achieve and therefore come with greater reward.

Using the example above of a point scoring streak, the "trophy" levels are:

Bronze - 5 games
Silver - 7 games
Gold - 10 games
Platinum - 15 games

The league will be releasing a more detailed list of available "trophies" in the coming days.

Have an Idea For a Trophy? Submit it Early!

The league will be constantly accepting ideas to add additional "trophies" and levels from GMs as more ideas come up.

The only requirement will be:

A GM must submit a "trophy" idea at least 5 sim days prior to being eligible to claim it.

Decent ideas will be rewarded, but the league says they're not going to reward a team for a wise GM sitting on a milestone.

Feel free to talk up on the Twitter using #NSHLTrophies to get your ideas or questions heard!

Here's $10 Million Bucks

Sunday, November 26th

Elliotte Friedman

NO REALLY, IT'S $10 MILLION BUCKS..

This year the league will give away $10,000,000 cash to one GM. One out of twenty GMs, not bad odds eh?

Actually, the five Board members are ineligible, so it's one out of 15 GMs. Even better!

Between now and the Trade Deadline each GM may submit one "big idea" to the league with the goal of improving the NSHL in some way in mind.

All submissions will be posted following the Deadline where GMs will be allowed to ask questions & poke holes in other ideas until the end of the season. Submitting GMs will have one final opportunity to freshen up their original ideas based on the constructive feedback they've received.

At this year's #NSHLAwards the league (including the Board) will vote on which idea they'd most like to see implemented and that GM will receive $10,000,000 cash.

Get NSHL brainstorming and #GetNSHLCash.

#NSHLJerseys 4 Sale

Wednesday, October 25th

League Set to Introduce New Revenue Stream for #NSHL17

After months of speculation, the league finally unveiled plans to dip into jersey sales as a new form of revenue that's open to all twenty franchises. On Wednesday, the Commissioner spoke at a press conference about the potential new income source.

"We have entered into the hockey jersey market and we are extremely excited about it. All of our teams have been signed up under a new deal with Adidas that will allow them the opportunity to generate revenue off jersey sales. We think this is a terrific venture for our clubs and will help grow the game in all of our markets and even outside of our markets significantly over the next 12 months."

According to the league's plans, following the completion of the pre-season teams will be allowed to name three (3) players whose jerseys they want to market. Each of those three players will then have their jersey sales tracked and at the end of the year there will be incentives for the top teams in total sales.

How Will Jersey Sales Be Tracked?

STHS maintains a stat called "Star Power" which is based on the player's value to their team in games (using 1st, 2nd and 3rd Star nominations throughout the season). The league will take this number and multiply it by the agreed upon price for a team jersey ($150) to determine jersey sales.

Once a team has named their three (3) players at the start of the year, they may not change them.

In the event of a trade involving a player named, the team can elect to cash out then and there for the sales to date (minus a 10% early withdrawal fee), or can maintain the amount in the bank and hope to apply it to end of season incentives. The jersey sales a player makes may not be transferred to the new team as the names have already been printed.

Gretzky traded? You can take his $1M sales to date and cash in (pocketing $900k) or keep the $1M "in the bank" and hope it plus your other sales net you a bonus at the end of the year.

Captain & Alternates Bonus

If a team's Captain and or Alternates are the ones they elect to have jersey sales tracked for, a bonus is applied. 10% additional sales for their Captain and 5% additional sales for each Alternate.

Gretzky's your Captain? His $1M sales is now $1.1M.

Captains and Alternates must be maintained and recognized in the simulator throughout the year to qualify (you can't say they're your Captain for the benefit of jersey sales and then not actually name them your Captain in the sim).

Best Player Wins, No?

The "Star Power" statistic is based on game-to-game results and those 1st, 2nd and 3rd Star nominations (as we understand it from STHS). That means it's not just a statistical "points-based" category, so the player who wins the Art Ross isn't gurantee to do the best. Yes, it helps. Of course it does, people want to buy the jersey of the guys that score.

As a point of reference, the top 30 skaters and top 10 goalies based on "Star Power" from last season are listed below (with potential figures if they were named Captain or Alternates).

Yes, you will see some of the big name Award winners at or near the top, but Boston's Patrice Bergeron at number one over league MVP Tyler Seguin may surprise some folks.

Official Rule Changes

Sunday, June 25th

List of Confirmed Rules Changes

Added Sunday, June 25th:

Waivers

A player claimed off waivers following the Trade Deadline is ineligible to play in the playoffs.

Section: XIV

A team may submit more than one waiver claim at a time, however the team must prioritize their claims from highest priority claim to lowest priority claim.

Section: IX

If a team with multiple claims is successful at claiming a player, they lose priority on any other player on their list.

Section: X

IIHF Contracts

An IIHF contract is a minor league only, one (1) year, two-way deal with a guaranteed 10% Signing Bonus with no future rights regardless of age.

Section: II

One-Way Contract

Any player signing a contract that is 35 years of age or older is automatically given a one-way contract regardless of their salary.

Section: IV

League Average Salary

For reference purposes to rules within this rulebook, all averages are rounded up to the nearest $10,000 for ease of use (however both versions will be available).

Section: VI

Contract

The minimum wage for any player that signs who is not coming off of the prospect list is $500,000 per season.

Section: VI