Season 73 VHL Expansion!

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S73 Expansion

Friday, June 12th, 3:00PM EST



In December of 2017 the VHL made a very difficult decision to revert our expansion and return to the original 8 teams that we had when the league began. If I'm being honest with you all this was done as a last ditch effort to try and save the league which was floundering at the time. Recruitment was way down, old members were burning out, and the league could not adequately sustain 10 teams anymore, thus the unfortunate demise of the Cologne Express and Stockholm Vikings.


It took just over a year before we added another team, the Moscow Menace, to the mix in January of 2019. After that things took off. Only 2 months later we added the Malmo Nighthawks and then 6 months after that both the DC Dragons and Prague Phantoms. In under 2 years the VHL went from 8 teams, the lowest it ever had, to 12.


But we aren't done.


It is my absolutely amazing honour today to announce yet another expansion to the VHL and this time it's our largest expansion in league history. Bigger than Moscow or Malmo, bigger than DC and Prague, even bigger than the three team expansion the VHLM went through when Moscow was added. Today we announce that four new teams will be joining the VHL for the start of S73 which will bring our total up to 16 teams. Double what we had when the league began almost 13 years ago and more impressively double what we had in December of 2017, not even 3 years ago. This is thanks, in no small part, to the amazing work of the @Recruitment Crew  bringing in members like crazy, as well as the Dev Team (who can't be tagged but are no less appreciated) who continue to make the VHL portal the best site extension the sim league community has ever seen. It's also thanks to all of you though, we're a community first and whether you wear many hats or just "member" you are no less appreciated. When the VHL started with 8 teams people thought it was too much, that it couldn't be filled. To see the league double in size is absolutely phenomenal and I can't express how amazing it is.


Who am I kidding though, none of you want to read about me getting nostalgic any longer. We've got some teams to announce do we not? Let's cover North America first and then travel east.


So, starting on the west coast we find ourselves in the city of angels. The VHL has gone a long time without the glitz and glamour of Hollywood but no more. Let me introduce the Los Angeles Stars!



Los Angeles Stars

Bunclewirth Division

GM: @Josh





Moving east we hit another city that has been sorely missing out on a VHL franchise for what seems like far too long. Once ravished by a fire and burned to the ground this great city rose from the ashes which brought inspiration to it's VHL team, the Chicago Phoenix!



Chicago Phoenix

Low Division

GM: @JeffD


phoenix 2 png_V06.png



With the North American conference handled we head across the pond to the European conference.  Once known for expanding it's empire across the globe the United Kingdom has been sorely missed in VHL expansion for too long, that changes now with the London United!



London United

Shaw Division

GM: @McWolf




Last but certainly not least the VHL moves once again into uncharted territory for the league, Poland. Once nearly completely destroyed by war this great city refused to go down without a fight. That fighting spirit lives on in the Warsaw Predators!



Warsaw Predators

Gow Division

GM: @.sniffuM



The league would like to extend its greatest thanks to @Da_Berr who put together the Stars and United logos for us as well as the @VHL GM 's and @BOG  who have kept the lid on this closed over the past few months to keep it a surprise. This is an absolutely amazing achievement for the league and we're excited to see how adding four new teams shakes up the landscape of the league.


Now then, to business. There are also going to be some fairly significant changes to league rules and scheduling that are required to make 4 teams work.


Season 73 VHL Expansion Draft


We'll start with the S73 Expansion Draft, which will obviously be the largest in league history. In order to accommodate that fact there will be more than players from existing teams up for grabs. In fact, there will be supplemental picks in the 2nd round of each of the next two VHL Entry Drafts (S73 & S74), as well as the opportunity for the expansion teams to select their own draft slot for the S73 Entry Draft! The full details of the S73 VHL Expansion Draft can be found below.


  • All players eligible to play in Season 73 (S66-72 Players) are eligible to be selected, if left unprotected (including pending UFAs) 
  • Each team may protect up to 8 players (skaters and/or goalies)
  • Draft picks from existing teams may not be selected, except for:
    • If a team cannot/does not put forth one active player who is under contract for S73, a 2nd round pick in any of the upcoming 3 drafts (S73-75) is attached to any inactive an expansion team selects
  • The Expansion Draft will consist of 6 rounds
  • The Expansion Draft selection order will be determined at random
    • The Expansion Draft will be conducted in snake order (i.e. Whoever drafts 1st Overall will draft last in the 2nd round, and then first in the 3rd round, etc.)
  • No existing team may lose more than 1 player to the expansion draft 
  • S73 VHL Entry Draft slots, for where Expansion Teams will be drafting, will be determined randomly at the same time as the VHL Draft Lottery, falling anywhere from 5-12
    • Once the draft slots are finalized, they will be added to the Expansion Draft for teams to determine their own place in the S73 Draft
    • These slots will be where the expansion team drafts from in each round
  • A total of 8 Compensation Picks (slotted at 21-24 Overall, in each of the next 2 drafts - S73 & S74) will be available for selection by the Expansion Teams 
    • Teams may not select more than 2 compensation picks from a single draft; or 3 compensation picks total


Scheduling / Playoff Format


With 16 teams, there will obviously be a need for a new scheduling format, as the current 8/8/5 format would result in a nearly 100-game schedule. Going forward, teams will play Divisional Opponents a minimum of 6 times per season, Conference Opponents a minimum of 5 times per season, and Cross-Conference Opponents a minimum of 4 times per season. The remaining games will be randomly decided by the STHS Scheduling formula. This is subject to change if testing proves the math wrong but is the intention.


The next major scheduling change, as a result of growing to 16 teams, is the need for a new playoff format. With 4 expansion teams added to the mix, the playoff structure will expand to 10 teams, 5 per conference. The playoff format will be as follows:


  • 5 Teams make playoffs per conference
    • Division Leaders are guaranteed a top-3 seed
    • Teams 4 & 5 in each conference play best of 5 Wild Card Round, winner faces the top seed, in Conference Semi-Finals
    • Conference Semi Finals, Finals, and Continental Cup Finals are all Best of 7
    • Regardless of circumstance, games 3&4 of all rounds will be simmed in tandem, any further elimination games will be simmed one per day


Draft Lottery / Draft Lottery Tournament


With 6 teams now missing the playoffs, there will be some major changes to the Draft Lottery format. The first of which is the need for new Draft Lottery Odds. For the purposes of the Draft Lottery, all teams that miss the playoffs will be considered seeds 11-16 in the Regular Season Standings, and their draft odds will start as:


  • 16th Place: 30.0%
  • 15th Place: 22.5%
  • 14th Place: 17.5%
  • 13th Place: 12.5%
  • 12th Place: 10.0%
  • 11th Place: 7.5%


"Draft odds will start? Draft Lottery Tournament?" Indeed, with so many teams missing out on playoff action, the league has decided to add a new wrinkle to the Draft Lottery, which is a tournament that will decide the final Draft Lottery Odds, the format for the Draft Lottery Tournament will be as follows:


  • Non-Playoff teams will compete in a 10-game, per team, Round Robin style tournament, to be simmed by a back-up Simmer (Josh or Quik), which will determine final Draft Lottery Odds
  • Upon the completion of the Draft Lottery Tournament, the standings will determine minor changes to the Draft Lottery odds, as follows:
    • 1st Place: +5.0%
    • 2nd Place: +2.5%
    • 3rd Place: No Change
    • 4th Place: No Change
    • 5th Place: -2.5%
    • 6th Place: -5.0%
  • Should this affect the odds in a manner where one team passes another, it will not change the rule that teams may not drop more than 1 slot upon completion of the Draft Lottery
    • i.e. If 16th Place finishes last in the tournament, and 15th Place finishes first, while the odds change to 25% (16th Place) and 27.5% (15th Place), 16th Place will still be guaranteed a top-2 draft slot.


So, in conclusion: 4 new teams, new scheduling and playoff formats, new Draft Lottery Odds and Draft Lottery Tournament. Much excitement, and much congratulations to everyone who made this possible. As the league enters its 13th year of operation it is a source of pride to see the community grow to where it is today, and where it can continue to grow as we move forward!




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For real, this is the longest the behind the scenes people have ever kept a secret in league history. Enjoy all the shenanignas folks, hopefully spreading the talent around by lump summing here with a big addition leads to some better individual results for players and a bit more of a dynamic team environment besides "everyone is competing besides one or two teams." 



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1 minute ago, boubabi said:

LA and London's logos no bueno

Funnily enough most of the BOG likes those ones the most. We wanted a few simpler ones.

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1 minute ago, Beketov said:

Funnily enough most of the BOG likes those ones the most. We wanted a few simpler ones.


TBF I wasn't sold on LA until I saw it on a Jersey. Josh did a quick make up of what it may look like and I think it looks a lot better than first glance. As is the case with most new logo's sometimes they take time to grow on you. 






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