For fans of the NHL, the news that the lockout would soon be coming to an end was exciting because that meant that hockey would be back out on the ice. The league was resuming, and the best players in the world would once again be gathered under one umbrella.
The news is exciting to fantasy hockey enthusiasts for another reason entirely.
This isn't just about one league starting up. For some of us, it means the ramping up of several different fantasy hockey leagues that can take anywhere from 30 minutes a week of our time to an hour or two a day. Honestly, I tend to lean towards the latter example, if for no other reason than it gives me an excuse to read about more hockey-related things.
There are as many variants on fantasy hockey leagues as there are people that run them. Some people consider PIMs to be a legit category while some don't. Some guys like to be involved in a huge league with 20 teams and four players at each position. Some guys still like to play with just a few teams among friends, sharing a beer at a local draft and picking on each other via Facebook when the games go their way.
So lets lay down some basic parameters here. I'm writing about head-to-head leagues because I have way more experience with them. I'll also be writing about these leagues as if they are going to be one-offs, but I will make some keeper or dynasty league notes because I love long-term leagues, and as such, tend to be in that frame of mind.
I'll try and keep a more philosophical approach, as I don't want to say "these are ideas for 10-man leagues, these are ideas for 20-man leagues, etc."
More than anything, I'd really like to kick-start some discussions. Everyone plays differently, and I'd love to hear some thoughts from other avid fantasy hockey players.
P.S. - As usual, anyone who is involved in a league that I play in is not allowed to read this.
Here we go.