DougieHamilton

 

Taking a look at how to manage a keeper league in the offseason

The NHL never sleeps. Though the on-ice action may come to a halt from mid-June to mid-September (sending legions of poolies into serious withdrawal shakes), those who run the teams find their summers consumed with the draft, free agent frenzy, contract negotiations, prospect camps, Olympic camps, research and development sessions and, on some unfortunate occasions, CBA negotiations. There’s no such thing as downtime.

 

With the increasing popularity of keeper leagues, the same can now be said of fantasy leagues. Once an October-April pastime, most serious leagues now operate 365-days a year, thankfully giving us diehards an outlet for an obsession that never dissipates, even as the beach beckons.

 

Unfortunately, most online pool sites have failed to keep pace. Though some, like Fantrax, are starting to meet the needs of keeper leagues for year-round service, the majority of sites still shut down during the offseason, forcing commissioners to find creative ways to keep the league operational while waiting for their host to re-open for business in September.

 

Successful commissioners understand the need to keep rosters updated as trades go down. Salary cap leagues need to continually adjust their data throughout the summer as players are signed to new contracts. League activity is strengthened when managers have an ongoing communication outlet. There are rule changes to be discussed, voted on and implemented. All of these factors and more must be addressed as the long, hot summer months drag on.

 

As a commissioner, how do you keep things up and running? I’ve got three essential tools in my summer toolkit.

 

The Spreadsheet: Long the commissioner’s best friend, many of us have fond (or not so fond) memories of crunching goals and assists on a spreadsheet every week through the dark ages of hockey pools (ie. before the advent of the Internet). Thankfully, we no longer have to do that, but even in this new day, the spreadsheet is a useful fantasy tool. My league has a mid-August deadline for announcing protected rosters for next season, so our roster spreadsheet provides a master list of protected players, as well as a listing of dropped players who will go back into the draft. Spreadsheets are also useful for tracking farm teams and salary caps, depending on the intricacies of your league.

 

The Website:Our league website is an essential management tool, not just during the off-season but year-round. Because our chosen host (Yahoo!) doesn’t have farm team capabilities, we use a separate website to track farm team rosters and other data that is unique to our league, such as player years of service (which we place limits on). It also gives us an ideal place to record league history, track draft picks, post league rules, write articles on league happenings and even create fictitious Twitter scandals featuring inebriated Dry Island escapees and naked pictures of Ryan Kesler celebrating with the championship trophy. Maintaining a website can be a lot of work, but chances are you’ve got someone in your league who has the skills to make it happen.

 

The Message Board: An online message board gives your managers a place to stay in touch throughout the summer. Here, rule changes can be debated, trade talks sparked and trash talk kindled. Many leagues have found a suitable home at Pro Boards, a free online forum with lots of great features. With enough creativity, Pro Boards can be adapted to fill many of the functions of a full website, if you don’t have the time or inclination to build your own site. Or if you want to keep things super-simple, start a thread in the Your League Chat section of the forums here on Dobber Hockey.

 

More and more fantasy sites are catching on to the growing popularity of keeper leagues. Hopefully, within a few years, the off-season dilemma will become a thing of the past. But until then, think outside the box to keep your league thriving until the chill is back in the air.


What are your strategies for keeping things running during the offseason?

Comments  

#10 seeleysurfer01 2014-08-09 05:39
Quoting Feadur:
I use a spreadsheet. even during the year, its really easy to have excel just "pull" data from Yahoo and add it to the spreadsheet automatically, keeping stats updated daily. Ive got data for the last 8 years available as well as players height, weight, draft position, and nationality (salary has to be inputted manually) and ALL of it is colour-coded automatically as well.

if anyone wants a sample, lemme know!



Can you send me that spreadsheet?
#9 joshbonar09@gmail.com 2014-08-02 05:01
Can I have a spreadsheet sent to me...

#8 KaKoW! 2014-07-31 14:47
Ummm.. that spreadsheet sounds amazing, would very much appreciate that being sent to me as well if possible! (harrington at Hotmail.com) Thank you!!
#7 Bruinsfab 2014-07-31 13:29
I would LOVE a sample of your spreadsheet! I have spent over 40 hours with my co commish this summer getting ready to transition our league to a keeper! Do you have the code for your website as well? I would love to use your framework for our league! Thanks in advance! bruins.evan at yahoo dot com
#6 bigal77 2014-07-31 04:28
Id love the spreadsheet too please


many thx!
#5 OceanMon 2014-07-31 03:41
Feadur! Would love to get your sheet! Lackofknowhau at yahoo dot ca. Thanks!
#4 The Bottlenecker 2014-07-31 00:38
Quoting Feadur:
I use a spreadsheet. even during the year, its really easy to have excel just "pull" data from Yahoo and add it to the spreadsheet automatically, keeping stats updated daily. Ive got data for the last 8 years available as well as players height, weight, draft position, and nationality (salary has to be inputted manually) and ALL of it is colour-coded automatically as well.

if anyone wants a sample, lemme know!


Would love to have a sample. I recently posted how I would like to start my own league, and your spreadsheet would be a great motivator to get things rolling. PM me, The Bottlenecker, for my email address please.
#3 Pit Bulls 2014-07-30 21:54
@#2Feadur - can you send me a copy of your spreadsheet to ? Sounds awesome
+2 #2 Feadur 2014-07-27 15:20
I use a spreadsheet. even during the year, its really easy to have excel just "pull" data from Yahoo and add it to the spreadsheet automatically, keeping stats updated daily. Ive got data for the last 8 years available as well as players height, weight, draft position, and nationality (salary has to be inputted manually) and ALL of it is colour-coded automatically as well.

if anyone wants a sample, lemme know!
+2 #1 pull the goalie 2014-07-26 20:12
Nothing wakes up the league like an offseason blockbuster trade.

You need to login to post comments. Registration takes 5 seconds. See link at top left under "home"