Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!
TSN is Canada's premier national sports network. While they have a partnership with ESPN, it should be kept in mind that they are not owned by them. They have many well connected and interesting, and occasionally annoying analysts such as Pierre McGuire, Bob MacKenzie and Ray Ferraro. Bob Mackenzie is one of the best at breaking trades and is usually credible on rumours.
http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/ Home of Hockey Night in Canada, the number one hockey show in history. Home of Don Cherry and his smarmy side-kick. As a website it's probably not that great, but if you want to watch HNIC streamed in Punjabi, this is the place to go. No, I am not making that up.
http://www.thehockeynews.com/ The Hockey News. One of the features I like best about this site is the team depth charts it gives. Most sites just give you a roster sorted by position, THN goes a little deeper.
http://www.nhlnumbers.com/ You want to know the salary cap implications of the guy you've never heard of that your team just traded for, this is where you go. Has all the info you need, even if the web design seems like it's from 1992.
http://nhluniforms.com/ Not a news site, but if you want to see the complete uniform history of the NHL, I've got you covered.
Essentially it's all fake players and teams, but it's pretty robust: You're the GM of a new hockey franchise: You get to buy/draft/train your players, build up your arena (seats, snack bars, skyboxes), upgrade your facilities (ie- Training Facilities makes your players train faster, Sports Academy makes you draft better player), etc.. It's something that you can play casually as well. I am a huge fan of Fantasy Sports, so I got into this game pretty quickly. Your team plays 3 league games a week, and you can fill up the rest of the days by playing other teams in "Friendly" matches.
There's no concept of "trading", which threw me at first, but in the long run it's better since you don't get as much collusion and people being shifty-like. Instead they've got a very Fifa-esque transfer system going, which I surprisingly enjoy.
There's a number of strategies you can employ as well. I went for the "putting my money towards the future" strategy where I didn't really spend alot of buying players, but instead upgraded things like my Sports Academy and Training Facility so that I could draft good players, and increase their stats faster. Others choose a more financial approach where they upgrade their stadium and their Human Resources/Marketing to earn money and then buy players.
The game is totally free. There is the concept of a paid "Pro Pack", which gives you additional options, but it's not necessary for enjoying the game. You can donate money for "extra features", in the form of the "Pro-Pack". But I would recommend waiting before you decide if you want to spend money on the game. The reason being is you get to try out the "extra features" if you stick around a play for a bit to see what you're missing.
There are many tips and tricks that've been shared in this thread, feel free to address questions in the thread.
Tip for you guys that I've noticed: My key producers all seem to have good passing... even my top scorers. Seems that the Passing attribute may be very important in determining goal scoring, as well as setting up goals for others.
My lines are setup so that I've got two forwards with high Shooting, and at least one forward with high Passing. Might be something that'll work for you next time you re-jig your lineup.
What I usually do is scout my opponent and see what importance and tactics he usually plays on. Not a lot of people know how to use tactics, and most just leave them as "Normal".
There are certain tactics that seem to "beat" other tactics... Kinda like rock/paper/scissors. Only instead of winning it gives a slight advantage.
For example, alot of managers play "Breaking up the Play" against someone who normally plays "normal", so it seems that "Breaking up the play" has a slight advantage against "normal" tactics. If someone plays offensive, I usually play Defensive. You can see what's now known as the "Tactic Matrix" in the blog here: Awesome Blog
I NEVER play 3 lines. Reason being is that your players get more tired, and as such don't train as quickly.
Notes about player energy:
There are two "energy"'s with players: Daily and Seasonal. Both start off at the beginning of the season at 100.
1) Daily energy is how much energy a player has for a game/training. It's maximum value is the Seasonal Energy, which I'll get into later. Training is contingent on how much daily energy your player has. Since bench players don't use energy, cuz they're not playing, they train faster.
2) Seasonal energy affects your players ability to be effective in games as the season wears on. For example, if you play a league game of low importance, your seasonal energy goes down 0.08 points. If you play a league game at Normal Importance, it goes down by 0.4 points. If you play a league game on High Importance, it goes down by 2.0 points. For friendly games, the rates are different: 0.02, 0.08, and 0.4 respectively. This number also affects your player abilities and team rating. (ie- if your players have an average seasonal energy of ~90, they're playing at 90% of their ability.)
So a few things: Don't EVER play on High Importance unless it's a CRITICAL game. Playing on High is like having your players play 5 games on normal. I play Low as much as possible and when I come up against a guy who could give me a run for my money, I play Normal. I usually don't play high until the playoffs come.
I'm going on the assumption that low secondaries essentially truncate your primary, using the theory that:
if (secondary or tertiary < 1/2 of your primary)
primary = 2 x secondary or tertiary
If I'm correct, and I'm not 100% sure if I am or not, so take it with a grain of salt:
45(Goa)+24(Pas)+28(Agr) = 97 in "Positional" OR
38(Goa)+19(Pas)+32(Agr) = 89 in "Positional" OR
32(Goa)+22(Pas)+16(Agr) = 70 in "Positional" OR
Goalie #1 is clearly the best player of the bunch.
Now, when you're planning your training, you should find a player ratio that you think works best, and train accordingly.
Otherwise, I will try to keep the first post up to date with whatever big news is going on. Olympic tournament discussion seems to be the order of the day. Lots of injury stuff going on Getzlaf's ankle, Koivu and Selanne, etc.