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Claimed: Around the VHL [1/2]


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VHL HQ - For my media spot this week, I will take a deeper look at my "Notes" series - a shameless rip off of Elliotte Friedman's 31 Thoughts, and go in depth into points of discussion around the league. A lot has happened in the past week or so, a lot of which has been covered extensively, some of which has been talked about more behind closed doors. In an effort to talk about the league's goings on, I will touch on all subjects I can think of, but won't go greatly into depth on things that haven been discussed to death. Without further adieu, let's take a look around the league...

 

The top spot in the standings is still up for grabs, and between Riga, Toronto and Seattle, it's really anyone's game. Riga, and their star duo of Fred Krigars and John Locke have continued their dominance over the league this season, catching fire of late both as a team, going 9-1-0 in their last 10, and as a line, putting 9 points between Locke and 3rd place Cornerstone in the league's scoring race. Locke has once again hit the 50 goal mark, with his league leading 51 goals, and currently sits 6 points behind his line mate in league scoring. Seattle has cooled down considerably, as their top duo of Shawn Gretzky and Gabriel McAllister have fallen to 5th and 8th, respectively, in league scoring. Still, just 5 points separates third place Seattle and first place Riga, with the Bears holding a game in hand and more than 10% of the schedule remaining.

 

As fascinating as the race to the top is, even more is the nature of the entire playoff picture. Only one series has a guaranteed team locked in, and that is the 4v5 Wild Card series with the Helsinki Titans firmly entrenched in 4th place, 10 points up on the New York Americans. This series, at a glance, is all but locked in, with New York sitting 17 points ahead of 5th place Calgary. However, after earning just 6 points in their last 10 games, and failing to eliminate the Wranglers in a game played today - had they beaten Calgary in regulation, they would have locked in their playoff position - some are wondering if the pre-season style pick might fall completely out of the playoff picture. It will be a tough hill to climb for Calgary, but with a game in hand, and doubt starting to creep into the Americans' minds, they have a chance to pull of something special in the waning days of the regular season.

 

  1. Speaking of Calgary, Mats Johnsson has been on fire lately. After going 32 games without a goal to open the season, the sophomore has potted 9 goals and 19 assists, good for 28 points in his last 30 games, and moving himself into the top 10 among defenders in league scoring. A pre-season candidate for Most Improved Player, Johnsson's slow start likely cost him a shot at the trophy. However, he is entering his second off-season as a Restricted Free Agent, and if his strong finish continues, he may be looking at an offer-sheet worth close to league max, assuming he decides to test those waters. Johnsson is also looking like the probably candidate to represent the Wranglers in this season's All-Star game, sitting only 2 points behind team leader Luigi De Rossi.
  2. The All-Star game is one of the league's bigger announcements lately. Headed up by @Beaviss, the league will be choosing 24 players (12 forwards, 8 defencemen, and 4 goalies) to participate in a best on best game. It will be live-simmed using NHL 18, so members will get to see their avatars take the ice in a real life format. 1/3rd of the players will be nominated by their GMs, meaning each team will have at least one representative, while the remaining 16 players will be decided by a league-wide vote. It'll be interesting to see who gets voted in, and if there are any roster snubs - not going to lie, I think the only way Johnsson would get in is through the GM nomination, as he doesn't have much notoriety around the league given his poor stats last season and the first half of this season.
  3. Another announcement that was made last week, but ended up quickly put on hiatus, was the league's new TPE structure. After fighting affiliation for so long, it was finally announced that the VHL would be opening its doors and accepting PT submissions from other leagues (The SBA and EFL) as ways to earn TPE in our league. Unfortunately, a couple of issues arose from this announcement, as members from both the VHL and the presumptive affiliate leagues, took issue to the layout of the changes.
  4. The contention from the affiliates was that, while our PT value would jump to 8 TPE, affiliate PTs would be valued at only 5, or 6 if the member was eligible for Pension. This caused them some concern that, it would be more valuable for a member of multiple leagues to post a PT here, earn the 8 TPE, and then claim it for 6 TPE in other leagues, whereas posting a PT in the other leagues would be worth 6 there, and less than 8 here. It's a fair issue to have, as it would likely drain activity from other leagues into our own.
  5. VHL members took issue, for the most part, with the lack of changes to the update scale, meaning that they could, theoretically, put in less work and still come out with a similar, if not better, player compared to the league's current weekly cap. Some felt that this would lead to members from here, posting elsewhere and still gaining the same TPE, effectively draining activity from the VHL. Little ironic since that was the issue other leagues had with it too, but still a fair point to bring up.
  6. Word is, the league has made some structural changes to their announcement, which should be coming some time during the playoffs, or in the off-season, that will appease all parties. Of course, there will always be some who are unhappy with how things evolve, but it is my belief that the new proposal satisfies the league on a whole, and should help push us forward, toward a more healthy and active league!
  7. Unfortunately, there are some who will always push back against ideas, and in doing so, cross the line to get their voices heard. This lead to the dismissal of a prominent member, which has also turned very controversial. It is my belief that, as the wording should have stated, this suspension was indefinite, and the member could get a second chance in the future, if they were to check some very necessary boxes. However, knowing him and his strong-headedness, it is unlikely he will acknowledge his wrongdoings. He has, in the past, doubled down on his statements that crossed several lines, and has never, as far as I know, apologized or acknowledged crossing any lines. To me, you can't have that kind of presence in a sim league community. Trolling, arguing, fighting, etc. all have a place here, but this is also somewhere that people come to for enjoyment. Whether it's just to pass some time, or because of social issues/family life, it's not our place to know, and it certainly isn't our place to attack. If you disagree with someone, that's fine, you can let them know, but you have to know where to draw the line, and this member did not. If he comes back and apologizes, admitting that he went too far, then I do believe he should/would get another chance. I just don't see it happening, if I'm being honest.
  8. Conversely, even with the big announcement being put on hiatus while the league is working to fix it, we have seen several new members come in and create/re-create players who will be entered into the S60 draft. With the new announcement coming soon enough, that draft class could be very strong and provide new life for the league.
  9. League recruitment is in full swing right now, with @Kendrick and his band of merry men. They are doing some good work, and are doing their best to attract new members to our league. Right now, they need some help with graphics, so if any of the graphic guys are reading this, check out Kendrick's announcement and give it a go. Even if your work isn't chosen, there's some uncapped TPE in it for you.
  10. @Will also toyed with the idea of posting games in bulk. The idea was to have all games from each sim posted in one place, which would then create discussion and provoke rivalries and such throughout the league. I kind of liked it, going to one thread and finding my teams' games was easy, and I think it made it easy for members to banter. It lasted only 2 sims though. Personally, I think it was a case of timing. Making the switch this late into the season, it's a foreign concept to most, and the members aren't used to it. I wouldn't mind switching back to it to start next season, and sticking to it a bit longer.
  11. Another idea that is being bandied about in league HQ is the idea that, maybe, for the first time since the league began, we should be looking at career lengths. Way back in 2007, the VHL was the first league of its kind. Most leagues were simmed on consoles, making simming a tedious task and difficult to keep up with. The majority folded by their second season, and few made it past 4 seasons. So, when the VHL opened its doors, 8 seasons seemed an eternity.
  12. However, with this simming engine that would sim games in bulk, tally stats and keep track of standings, it made life a lot easier. Now, the VHL is more than a decade old, and it has kept very true to its roots - some would say too true. With players usually taking their first 2-3 seasons before becoming anything of value, that only leaves 2-3 seasons of prime production before being hit with depreciation. If you accumulate max TPE, depreciation can usually be staved off with a good use of your points, that's still only 5-6 good seasons in a career.
  13. Currently, there's two options for changing career lengths of players. The first is the more simple solution, changing the length from 8 to 10 seasons maximum. It's fairly straight forward, we would just change the maximum, and adjust depreciation accordingly, possibly pushing it back one season and adding a 4th depreciation value for a 10th season. The second solution, which is my favourite, is a little more complex. It involves 8 "free" seasons for a career. After the 8th season, players would have the chance to buy a career extender (either as a single season, or a slightly discounted package of 2 seasons). This would need to be fleshed out a lot more, as the cost for buying extra seasons would need to be high enough that players can't just keep buying them all the way through their 30th season, but low enough that it makes sense to buy it at least once or twice. There would also need to be even heavier depreciation, so that we aren't having guys in their 14th season who are still leading the league in scoring. If guys want to play it out that long, good for them, but there needs to be a payoff to keeping it going for so long.
  14. I've talked about it before, but I also think contract structure is something that could/should be looked at in the future. Again, it's something that hasn't changed much since the league began, and contracts really don't mean all that much to most people. I think making a solid player store, with short-burst bonuses (1 week, which would translate to roughly 12-14 games), career extenders, etc. would be cool ways to make contracts valuable. Change the League/Player caps. Add in Mercenary Contracts (UFAs who can be signed for any amount, as long as they fit under the league cap). Of course, this type of change would require more consistency in keeping track of finances and player updates (especially updates, they would need to be updated weekly both on the forums and in the sim), but I think it could bring about some real fun scenarios that provoke activity and rivalries (both player and team).


 

2102 Words, Claiming for weeks of:

Jan 22-28

Jan 29-Feb 04

Feb 05-11

Feb 12-18

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