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Old 07-13-2016, 07:30 PM   #1
One Post Wonder
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General Hockey questions

Hi All,

I picked this game up on a Steam sale, because I like management sims. I've started a new game and taken over Milton Keynes in the English League. But now I realized I don't know anything at all about Hockey, and that might be a problem since I am managing a Hockey team. These are the major questions I have:

1. I know NHL teams have four lines. I don't have nearly enough players in England to make up that many lines without dipping into my youth teams. Would a team on the English level need 4 lines?

2. When I see 'winger' I'm equating that to soccer. So do wingers usually control their side of play and try to get assists? Would a right handed player on the left wing tend to cut inside and take more shots than a left handed player?

3. What does the center generally do? Is he the goal scorer or is he more of a transitional player between defense and offense, like a midfielder?

4. I know what enforcers and agitators do, but why would I want them and how do they help me win? Signing an enforcer sounds like signing a baseball pitcher whose only role is to throw at people. And agitators sound like crappy players whose main skill is being a dick.

5. How do the youth teams work? Do I fill them with free agents of that age group and just see how they progress?

and 6. I can't sign any staff because they ask too much money. But I'd like to scout individual players, is there no way I can have someone scout a region AND look at individual players like in FM?

Thanks.
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Old 07-13-2016, 10:52 PM   #2
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An enforcer's role is to protect the team's talent. Their presence on the ice makes the other team think twice about laying out a star player with a big hit for fear of retaliation. They also deliver big hits of their own and wear down the other team. They will engage in fights to rally, inspire, and motivate their teammates (provided they win the fight). Past NHL enforcers include Bob Probert, Marty McSorley, and Tie Domi.

Agitators jobs are to get under the skin of the other team and draw penalties. They aren't necessarily crappy players, but they play a tight-checking, grinding style of game and are always there to break up plays, tie up sticks, and prevent players from getting space to manoeuvre with the puck. They can also be a good net-front presence in the offensive zone. Past NHL agitators include Sean Avery, Dino Ciccarelli, and Tomas Holmstrom.
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Old 07-14-2016, 10:33 AM   #3
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Thanks. Even I've heard of Dino Ciccarelli so that doesn't match up with what I'd read about agitators at all.

Although I'm still not sure what effect if any an enforcer has in FHM2. Does your team get a large short-term bonus if the enforcer wins a fight? Does having a good enforcer limit the checking effectiveness of the other team?

Now that I've played a few hours, I see that most of my questions were stupid. The biggest change to me, that I'm still learning to deal with, is how minor leagues are handled in hockey - that you don't own your minor league and U20 teams and players. I see guys with NHL contracts playing all over the place. There are young guys contracted with rival teams playing with guys on my team. It's not like any other sport I'm familiar with.
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Old 07-14-2016, 02:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by One Post Wonder View Post
Hi All,

I picked this game up on a Steam sale, because I like management sims. I've started a new game and taken over Milton Keynes in the English League. But now I realized I don't know anything at all about Hockey, and that might be a problem since I am managing a Hockey team. These are the major questions I have:

1. I know NHL teams have four lines. I don't have nearly enough players in England to make up that many lines without dipping into my youth teams. Would a team on the English level need 4 lines?

2. When I see 'winger' I'm equating that to soccer. So do wingers usually control their side of play and try to get assists? Would a right handed player on the left wing tend to cut inside and take more shots than a left handed player?

3. What does the center generally do? Is he the goal scorer or is he more of a transitional player between defense and offense, like a midfielder?

4. I know what enforcers and agitators do, but why would I want them and how do they help me win? Signing an enforcer sounds like signing a baseball pitcher whose only role is to throw at people. And agitators sound like crappy players whose main skill is being a dick.

5. How do the youth teams work? Do I fill them with free agents of that age group and just see how they progress?

and 6. I can't sign any staff because they ask too much money. But I'd like to scout individual players, is there no way I can have someone scout a region AND look at individual players like in FM?

Thanks.
There a few rules I employ about wingers: If the winger is more of a passer/playmaker I ensure he is on his correct wing (lefty stays on the left). This means the player has the ability to makes plays without going to his backhand. When the winger is a scorer (sniper) I sometimes place him of his off-wing so he can get a better angle of the net.. I do this more often on the Powerplay lines.

Centres do a bit of everything - depends on their skillset. Their job without the puck is more involved than the wingers (typically) as they help out the defense more. Most centres have a good awareness both offensively and defensively. It is not as important for them to be quick like a winger, as long as he has the awareness and positioning. Having said that, a quick centre is never a bad thing.

When constructing your forward lines, try and think more about pairs than about threesomes. Grab a playmaker and shooter and then place a third guy on the line that can keep up with them, but can perhaps do a bit more physically/defensively/whatever the other two players lack. Use your depth charts to aid you a bit in this too.

Hope some of this helps/makes sense
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Old 07-14-2016, 10:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by One Post Wonder View Post
Thanks. Even I've heard of Dino Ciccarelli so that doesn't match up with what I'd read about agitators at all.

Although I'm still not sure what effect if any an enforcer has in FHM2. Does your team get a large short-term bonus if the enforcer wins a fight? Does having a good enforcer limit the checking effectiveness of the other team?

Now that I've played a few hours, I see that most of my questions were stupid. The biggest change to me, that I'm still learning to deal with, is how minor leagues are handled in hockey - that you don't own your minor league and U20 teams and players. I see guys with NHL contracts playing all over the place. There are young guys contracted with rival teams playing with guys on my team. It's not like any other sport I'm familiar with.
Does that mean you feel good about your other questions then? If you would like more answers, please let me know.

An enforcers role though (especially when dealing with historical mode) is to make sure really that he's the one fighting and sitting in the penalty box and not someone else. Taking the 1980s Oilers as a prime example, you have Dave Semenko who was a decent hockey player, but his job was to make sure no one messed with Gretzky. He wasn't getting injured or having to fight on his own because Semenko was there to protect him. Without Semenko, Gretzky eithers going to be dropping the mitts himself (which risk injury and limits is effectiveness if he's in the box) or you have someone else with a higher fighting skill who may take guys on who you don't want (like, I don't know, say Messier). Hopefully that answers that.

Minor leagues are a whole different ball game all together. I know you said you're playing in the EIHL, so it's a little different too, but here's a brief (and simple, keep simple in mind) history that maybe explains how Minor Leagues came to exist and North America and function.

Prior to the 1967 expansion (well even further than that), NHL teams essentially had scout groups in different locals that gathered the best hockey players around and put them on teams to help essentially start training them for NHL Clubs. Typically players signed A, B, or C contracts - meaning (in short) if they wanted to play pro, they'd play for _________ club. This worked okay. But you started seeing super-groups. There was a time for instance that Montreal had the rights basically to everyone Eastern Canada.

Post expansion (and well, 1963 rally), things changed. The first amateur draft was held when players approximately 20 years old were drafted by clubs, rather than free to sign contracts with whoever signed them. Amateur clubs began to pop up, and you get eventually what turns in to a the WHL, OHL and QMJHL as the first "major minor" league for players who were not yet draft eligible. These organizations exist for that same purpose essentially today. To help players get to a higher level of hockey while finishing their schooling.

The introduction of the WHA into the world changed things again, as they started selecting players at age 18 - messing with the NHL by preemptively taking players the NHL would have wanted. This eventually led to rules be changed again, but we'll get back to that.

At the same time, NHL clubs recognized that you couldn't keep an indefinite number of players with the 6 teams, and some players needed to grow a little bit, so an agreement was made to make minor league clubs that would play against each other. This is a gross oversimplification of the complex history of minor league hockey, but what it comes down to is this (I say this because there was multiple leagues, some dealing with Free Agents, some with contracted players to NHL clubs, etc): The AHL now exists essentially as a training ground for players in hopes of going to the NHL who likely weren't a Top 10 NHL pick.

So here's how things (typically) break down:

NHL - Top Players in the World playing
AHL - Top Prospects (and a few veterans) continue to play games at a high level in hopes of making it to the NHL.
CHL (WHL/OHL/QMJHL) - Top Canadian prospects (as well as Americans and a few from other various foreign countries) play together in a top league. Players are aged 16-20.
NCAA - See Below.

So after the introduction and folding of the WHA, players were able to be drafted at Age 18. Some players are ready to play at that age. Others are not. If a Canadian (or someone with CHL rights) is drafted and signed to a contract and they don't make the NHL, they cannot be sent to the AHL. They MUST be sent to the CHL as part of a fairly old agreement to make sure top players stay in Canada for some time. If no rights are held by a CHL team, they are allowed to go to the AHL.
If a player is drafted however and is in the NCAA (American College Hockey), they can't be signed until they decide they are done with their education and at that time the club may send them to the NHL or AHL - the odd time CHL if the player wishes to continue their growth their if they are under 20 and a team wants them.

__________________________________________________ __

This should hopefully help explain a little more why you may see players who are owned by different clubs playing together. Prior to about 8 years ago, the AHL actually had several teams that were split clubs as there wasn't enough teams. Having watched the Manitoba Moose be an affiliate of both the Dallas Stars and Vancouver Canucks, I don't think it was a bad thing.

The EIHL I'm a little less familiar with but I'm guessing they have some sort of minor league system they can draw players from. European leagues are tending to draw from a more Soccer style way of business which works as well.

I hope this helps and makes things a little clearer for you! If you have more questions, please ask.
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Old 07-15-2016, 12:47 AM   #6
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The very best agitators are those that are independently decent (or better) players. Ciccarelli is an example, but my favorite was Esa Tikkanen, who was a good defender and penalty killer, good forechecker, and completely infuriating to other teams. Great moments include kissing Keith Jones during a stoppage and a beautiful exchange with Sergio Momesso (no slouch himself) where Tikk pretended he was going to slash Momesso, then when Sergio flinched Esa grabbed his stick and threw it halfway up the ice.

Vladimir Konstantinov was another great and infuriating player, google "Konstantinov and Messier" for one of his "great" moments.
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Old 07-15-2016, 06:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by One Post Wonder View Post
Hi All,

I picked this game up on a Steam sale, because I like management sims. I've started a new game and taken over Milton Keynes in the English League. But now I realized I don't know anything at all about Hockey, and that might be a problem since I am managing a Hockey team. These are the major questions I have:

1. I know NHL teams have four lines. I don't have nearly enough players in England to make up that many lines without dipping into my youth teams. Would a team on the English level need 4 lines?

2. When I see 'winger' I'm equating that to soccer. So do wingers usually control their side of play and try to get assists? Would a right handed player on the left wing tend to cut inside and take more shots than a left handed player?

3. What does the center generally do? Is he the goal scorer or is he more of a transitional player between defense and offense, like a midfielder?

4. I know what enforcers and agitators do, but why would I want them and how do they help me win? Signing an enforcer sounds like signing a baseball pitcher whose only role is to throw at people. And agitators sound like crappy players whose main skill is being a dick.

5. How do the youth teams work? Do I fill them with free agents of that age group and just see how they progress?

and 6. I can't sign any staff because they ask too much money. But I'd like to scout individual players, is there no way I can have someone scout a region AND look at individual players like in FM?

Thanks.
I got some time so I may be able to help.

1. Most hockey teams at all levels run 4 forward lines and 3 defensive lines. Some (mostly european teams) run 4 defensive lines but still using only 6 defenders as that is all you can dress. If you don't have enough players to fill out a roster you will likely have to hit Free Agency to sign enough guys to fill out a roster. If you are in a lower tier league you won't be able to sign any high ability guys as they play in higher tiered leagues.

2. Wingers can come in a variety of player types. There are scorers like Ovechkin and Tarasenko but also playmakers like Marty St. Louis and Patrick Kane. One of your top lines should usually be built around at least one goalscorer and one playmaker, it doesn't really matter what position they play. Generally though pure goalscorers are more often Wingers.

3. Centers have the most defensive responsibility of any forwards on the ice as they control the middle lane. Most centers should have some defensive abilities. You want your top centers to be either 2way players or playmakers. I'd transition most goalscoring centers to wingers personally.

4. Having agitators and enforcers is entirely up to you. Most lower tiered leagues, especially those in North America are full of these kinds of players. I find simply dressing solid two-way players at the bottom of my lineup is sufficient and usually wins me more games. I only keep around agitators if they have decent offensive or defensive abilities. At higher levels, like the NHL, many of these guys are being replaced with skill or defensive players. European leagues often times have very few of these kinds of players because of stiffer rules on fighting.

5. Youth teams are for younger players to develop their games. You would usually keep them down there for awhile until they start producing well and then call them up. If they can manage to hold their own then you can keep them around. If they get eaten up, send them back down for more development.

6. Depending on the league it might be hard to get scouts. You might want to go into commissioner mode and edit a scout onto your team. You can definitely scout individual regions.
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