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VHLM Rulebook


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Table of Contents

1 - VHLM Prime Directive

2 - Rosters

3 - Waivers

4 - Trades

5 - Dispersal Draft

6 - Free Agency

7 - Playoffs





1 - VHLM Prime Directive


The VHLM is primarily a development league. Its objective is to be a welcoming and engaging environment for new players, in the hopes that they remain active and eventually graduate from the VHLM. General Managers and their assistants are expected to make offers to new players until their team is considered full. They are also expected to release inactive players from their rosters.


Failure to comply with the VHLM Prime Directive may result in any of the following punishment, depending on the severity of the infraction.

  1. A warning, with grace extended to allow the GM to re-submit lines and carry on.
  2. Forced removal of the inactive player(s).
  3. Loss of draft picks and/or free agency signing rights (not waivers).
  4. Dismissal from the role of VHLM GM.


1.1. Releasing Inactive Players

  • A player is considered active if they have updated on the portal in 21 days.
  • Teams need to release inactive players as soon as they notice they are inactive.
  • Players cannot use inactivity to be removed from a team. If an inactive player comes back and becomes active later in the same season they were released from their previous team, this team has a priority claim on them. They can elect to bring them back on the team as if they never released them, or they can let them become a waiver or a free agent, depending on if they were previously VHLM drafted or not. (i.e. Halifax releases Sven Eightnine after he's been inactive for 21 days. Eightnine updates again later in the same season. Halifax has the choice between bringing them back to their team directly, or letting them sign with another team.)
  • VHLM teams may have one inactive goaltender on their rosters, who must be at or under 100 TPE. Teams with no goaltenders may claim an inactive goaltender at or under 100 TPE, under a priority-claim system such as that used for inactive free agency in the VHL.
  • Teams with an already-rostered goaltender who becomes inactive over 100 TPE may keep that player for as long as that is their only goaltender, up to at most the end of the season.
  • Upon the signing of an active goaltender, the team must release the inactive goaltender. 
  • All inactive goaltenders must be released at the conclusion of the season.


1.2 Retired Players

  • Retired players must be dropped once they cross the 3 week threshold without updates. The only exceptions would exist if a player retires 3 weeks before playoffs, at the TDL, or after the TDL. If the user recreates after retiring, the following rules will apply.
  • No user may have 2 players from the same VHL draft class in the VHLM at the same time (Ex. If S89 forward Viktor Jensen was playing in the VHLM in S89 and wanted to retire and recreate while finishing the season with Jensen, he would have to wait until the S89 Trade Deadline in order to retire and recreate with a new S90 player).
  • If a user retires their player and recreates into the same VHL draft class, the older player must be dropped by their VHLM team (Ex. If Advantage retires S89 Viktor Jensen at season start and creates a new S89 player, Jensen must be released).
  • A team may not roster two players by the same user concurrently. If a team has an older retired player and wants to sign the new player, the older player must be dropped. (Ex. If Las Vegas rostered Jensen but wanted to sign Advantage's new player, Jensen must first be dropped).


2 - Rosters


2.1. Roster Size

  • The maximum roster size for VHLM teams is 22 players - 12 forwards, 8 defensemen and 2 goaltenders.
  • A team isn't considered full until they have 9 forwards, 6 defensemen and 2 goaltenders on their roster. Teams below these threshold are expected to keep making offers to waivers.
  • If half the teams in the league are at or over 9 forwards, 6 defensemen and 2 goaltenders, the requirements for a team to be considered full will be pushed to 12 forwards, 8 defensemen and 2 goaltenders.
  • If most teams meet these new requirements, the Commissioners may elect to enable the farm league.


2.2. Use of Players Within Lineup

  • Forwards may be played on defense, and defenders may be played at forward positions, if this is necessary for GMs to complete a full lineup or to maximize ice time for active players.
  • This may only be done with permission of the player or players involved. Use of a player out of position without consent of that player will be considered a violation of the VHLM Prime Directive.


2.3. Player Eligibility

  • Players who have earned 200 TPE or less at the VHLM Cutoff Date during the offseason will be eligible to spend the upcoming season in the VHLM. However, if they pass 200 TPE between the cutoff and the start of the season, they could be called up to play in the VHLE.
  • Players may earn past the 200 TPE threshold while they are on a VHLM team, but they can't have more than 200 TPA. Subsequent TPE need to be banked, and will be made available to the players when they graduate from the VHLM.
  • A player cannot back claim old tasks that would have put them past over the 200 TPE threshold.
  • There will be no call-ups or send-downs between the VHLM and the VHLE at any point during the season.
  • VHLM players are allowed to play a maximum of 4 seasons in the VHLM after they are drafted to the VHL. Any player who completes 4 post-VHL draft seasons in the VHLM will be moved up to the VHLE regardless of TPE. (Ex. Nico Pearce was drafted in S81. If he remains in and eligible for the VHLM through the conclusion of S84, he will be moved up to the VHLE for S85 and beyond.



2.4. Salary Cap and Contracts

  • There is no salary cap in the VHLM.
  • VHLM players who aren't affiliated to any VHL team (either because they haven't been drafted yet, or because their Rookie Contract ended) are all paid $1,500,000.
  • VHLM players affiliated with a VHL team will be paid by the latter, up to $3,000,000.



3 - Waivers


3.1. Waiver Eligibility

  • Players created between the VHLM Dispersal Draft and the start of the VHLM Playoffs will be waivers.


3.2. Waiver Rights

  • Teams signing players as waivers will hold their rights for the remainder of the season. If the players are still within the TPE limits of the VHLM at the VHLM Cutoff, these same players will be eligible to be selected in the upcoming VHLM Dispersal Draft.


3.3. Discussions with Waivers

  • Discussions between General Managers and newly created players are to happen directly in the player's creation thread.
  • The player has to publicly accept the offer from a team before the team sends it over on the portal.



4 - Trades


4.1. General Trading Rules

  • If a GM makes a trade offer in the portal, they are accepting the trade on their team's behalf. Once a receiving GM accepts a trade offer in the portal, it is considered accepted by both parties, and posted automatically to the forums.
  • All trades will be reviewed by the Commissioner's Office before they are made official in the portal. If a trade is found to be excessively detrimental to a franchise, intentionally compromising to the integrity of the league, or in violation of any other trading rule found in this section, it can and will be vetoed by the commissioners.
  • Once a trade has been accepted by all parties, it cannot be reversed unless it's blocked by the commissioners.
  • After the trade deadline has passed, no trades are allowed to be made until the end of playoffs. The VHLM shares the same trade deadline as the VHL and VHLE.


4.2. Trading Draft Picks

  • Draft picks may only be traded two seasons in advance during the regular season (before the trade deadline). During the off-season, draft picks of that off-season's draft and the two consequent drafts can be traded. (i.e. In S80, a team could not trade a S83 draft pick. However upon the completion of the season, S83 picks could be dealt along with S81 and S82 selections.)
  • Trades found to bypass the above rule (i.e.  trading a S81 3rd round pick during the regular season and then having it traded back for a S83 2nd round pick in the off-season.) are not allowed. If such trades are made, the 2nd trade (the one in the off-season) will be blocked by the commissioners.


4.3. Conditional Trades

  • Teams may add conditions to trades, so long as they do not circumvent any other rules regarding player movement, including, but not limited to: Draft Pick restrictions or Violating the integrity of the league.
  • Conditions must be explicitly stated at the time a trade occurs, and agreed upon by both parties directly in the trade thread. Once a condition is agreed upon, make sure to tag a commissioner, who will add it to the list of conditional trades to manage.
  • All conditions must convert prior to the conclusion of the following off-season.
  • Any draft pick that is part of a condition may be traded in a separate trade, so long as the receiving team understands that there are conditions attached to that pick. (i.e. Philadelphia and Houston make a trade where Philadelphia gets the higher of the two teams' 1st round pick and Houston, the lower. Houston then trades their 1st round pick to Yukon, who needs to acknoledge that they will actually receive the lower 1st round pick between Philadelphia's and Houston's.)
  • The Commissioners hold the right to veto any conditional trade if they feel like it circumvents league rules.


4.4. Reacquiring a Player Previously Traded

  • Any trade to re-acquire a player that was traded within the same season will be subject to commissioners' approval.



5 - Dispersal Draft


5.1. Draft Eligibility

  • Every player who created after the previous Dispersal Draft will be eligible to be selected in the upcoming Dispersal Draft, with the only exception being if they reach 201 TPE before the VHLM Cutoff Date, which would make them ineligible to play in the VHLM in the following season.


5.2. Drafted Player Rights

  • A player selected in a Dispersal Draft will have its rights held by the team that drafted them for three seasons.
  • Three seasons after they were drafted, players will be released by their VHLM team and will become VHLM free agent if they are still below the TPE threshold of the league.


5.3. Draft Order

  • All selections will be based on reverse regular season standings, no lottery or no change after the playoffs.


5.4. Draft Pick Limit

  • No team may hold more than two picks in each of the first two rounds of any VHLM draft. For example, a team may have up to two 1st-round picks and two 2nd-round picks, but no more. They can hold more than two 1st-round picks or two 2nd-round picks for any given season, but the team must be compliant with the rules as of the prior Trade Deadline. (Ex. A team must be compliant for the S87 draft by the S86 TDL)
  • Each team must hold a minimum of three picks in the first four rounds of any draft.
  • Each team must hold at least one pick in either the first or second round of any draft.
  • If a team can't find a trade partner for their extra selections from either the 1st or 2nd round, every pick after their first two of each round will be forfeited.
  • If a team uses more than two picks in either the 1st or the 2nd round and it is only noticed after the fact, the players selected after the first three picks of each round need to be released immediately and they won't be allowed to sign back with them directly.
  • Punishments for breaking these draft pick rules will be handled on a case by case basis by the VHLM Commissioners



6 - Free Agency


6.1. Free Agent Eligibility

  • Players who were drafted over three seasons ago and saw their draft rights expire will become free agents.
  • Players who were drafted and were released before their rights expired will become free agents.
  • For obvious reasons, there is no inactive free agency in the VHLM, like there is in the VHL.


6.2. Free Agent Contracts

  • Free agent contracts will always be only one season long.
  • Teams will need to release their free agents at the conclusion of the season, but they are free to re-sign them if they are still eligible to be VHLM Free Agents.


6.3. Free Agent Limit

  • Teams can only have three free agents on their team at once.
  • This number is subject to change if deemed necessary by the Commissioners.


6.4. Tampering

  • The act of tampering, which is prohibited by the VHLM, is defined as any member of a VHLM team making direct, or indirect, contact in order to entice, or persuade, or attempt to entice, or persuade a member under contract with another VHLM team to enter into negotiations with, or request a trade to, a team that they are not currently under contract with.
  • The punishment for tampering is decided upon by the VHLM Commissioners, and may include sanctions against offering Free Agent contracts to the player(s) in question, sanctions against offering any Free Agent contracts in upcoming Free Agency period, and/or draft pick forfeiture, or removal from the role of VHLM GM.



7 - Playoffs


  • The top 8 teams in the VHLM will make the playoffs.
  • To reward teams for playing well against frequent conference-based opponents, the 1 and 2 seeds will be awarded to the point leaders of each conference.
  • Seeds 3-8 will be determined purely by their place in the standings from that point forward, regardless of conference.
  • The winners of the 1v8 series will face the winner of the 4v5 series in one semi-final, while the winners of the 2v7 series will face the winner of the 3v6 series in the other semi-final.
  • Every series is a best-of-seven.
  • Conferences are aligned as follows:
    • Western Conference: Houston Bulls, Las Vegas Aces, Mexico City Kings, San Diego Marlins, Saskatoon Wild.
    • Eastern Conference: Halifax 21st, Miami Marauders, Mississauga Hounds, Ottawa Lynx, Philadelphia Reapers.
Edited by Spartan
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Changelog (22-09-2021)

  • Rearranged and reworded most of the rulebook.
  • Adjusted TPE threshold mentions throughout the rulebook to reflect the new 199 limit for VHLM players.
  • Formerly 1. VHLM GMs: Removed, unnecessary.
  • Formerly 2. VHLM Player Rights: Removed. The section had a bunch of different information than can now be found in 2 - Rosters, 3 - Waivers, 5 - Dispersal Draft, and a bunch of outdated information.
  • Formerly 3. Finances - Pay for ALL Act: Amended to 2 - Rosters.
  • Formerly 4. VHLM TPE Restriction: Amended to 2 - Rosters.
  • Formerly 6. VHLM Graduation Bonus: Removed, will be reworked with the addition of the VHLE between the VHLM and VHL.
  • Formerly 7. VHLM Practice Facility: Removed, the practice facility is now claimed directly on the portal.
  • Formerly 9. Releasing Players & Inactivity Release Rule: Amended to 1 - VHLM Prime Directive.
  • Formerly 11. Draft Picks: Amended to 4 - Trades and 5 - Dispersal Draft.
  • Formerly 14. Draft Lottery: Amended to 5 - Dispersal Draft.
  • Formerly 15. Commissioners Cup: Removed.
  • Formerly 16. Juniors: Amended to 2 - Rosters and simplified. We don't exactly need an exhaustive set of rule for the farm system. The details will be up to the Commissioners if they need to enable them.
  • 1.1. Releasing Inactive Players: Added the part about teams releasing inactive players having a priority claim on them if they come back to activity, to prevent players from using inactivity rules as a way to get out of a team and into a new team.
  • 2.1. Roster Size: Changed the requirements for teams to be considered full.
  • 2.2. Lines: Added. Preventing teams from double shifting players will inevitably give incentives for teams to actively offer spots to new players, so that they can replace 0 TPE bots with these new players.
  • 4 - Trades: Changed. Pretty much copy-pasted rules from the VHL Rulebook. Rules were basically the same already, but they were worded differently which made it confusing. The only notable change is in 4.3. Conditional Trades, with conditional trades now being allowed, under the same rules as the VHL.
  • 6.4. Tampering: Added. Copy-pasted from the VHL Rulebook. Rule existed in the VHLM forever too, but wasn't in the official rulebook.
Edited by McWolf
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  • McWolf unlocked this topic

Changelog (16-11-2021)


  • 2.2. Lines: Changed to 2.2. Playoff Lines. Changed so the restrictions only apply to the playoffs.
  • 5.3. Draft order: Changed to reflect the removal of the Draft Lottery.
  • 5.4. Draft lottery: Removed.
  • 7 - Playoffs: Changed the conferences to reflect the promotion of the Minnesota Storm and the Yukon Rush to the VHLE.
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  • Spartan unlocked this topic

Changelog (11-1-2022)

  • 5.4 Draft Pick Limit: Updated to reflect new draft pick holding rules.
  • 2.3 Player Eligibility: Revised language to match existing VHLM Eligibility standards of a 200 TPE/TPA limit.
  • 5.1 Draft Eligibility: Updated 200 TPE to 201 TPE to accurately reflect the cutoff for eligibility.
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Changelog (6-4-2023):

  • 1.1 Releasing Inactive Players: "Active" definition edited


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Changelog (6-11-2023)

  • Section 1.2 - Retired Players: Created to reflect changes in the below announcement regarding retired VHLM players and their subsequent recreates
  • Section 2.3 - Player Eligibility: Added bullet to reflect the below announcement regarding VHLM career limitations for individual players


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