Play Free Fantasy Hockey Online!
NHL hockey is one of the major sports in North America, and has an enormous fan base around the world. When simply watching a game does not satisfy your craving for competition and being involved with the sport, it may be a sign that you need to play fantasy hockey. While these games started out with groups of people keeping track of scoring and rosters manually, fantasy sports in general have grown exponentially with the help of the internet. There are now many websites that offer free fantasy hockey, and even additional games such as playoff editions.
Find a website that offers free fantasy hockey. Most sites will have this option, and additional leagues where you must pay to play. The advantage to buying into the pay to play games is usually a more lucrative prize pool, or higher levels of competition and versatility. But for now, start by learning the basics and developing knowledge in a free league. Try using sites like ESPN, or Yahoo Sports to host your fantasy league. On these sites you must create a free account, and then may create a private league for you and your friends to play against each other, or join a public league where you will be thrown into the mix with a random assortment of players from anywhere in the world.
Your team will consist of a specified mix of forwards, defensemen and goaltenders. The specific numbers of each position will either be customizable at the beginning of the year by the league commissioner (whoever created the league), or will be a standard that is set by the host website.
Some leagues use a draft system where each team will select one player in each round, and this will continue until all teams have filled their roster spots. Depending on the league, there may be a specific number of "bench" positions to fill, where each team can draft several extra players of any position they believe will be useful.
Salary Cap Style
Instead of having a draft, some leagues will instead assign a salary level to each player. This is basically a value based on the players statistical value from previous seasons. In some cases, this salary will rise and fall over the course of the season based on the player's performance, in other cases it will remain fixed. Each player will have a salary cap that they may not exceed with the total cost of their players. This adds a new element of strategy to the game. Is it more beneficial to spend high dollars on defensemen, forwards, or goaltenders? Or maybe it is best to buy one high value player in each category and settle for low cost players for the rest of the team. It is all part of the learning process.
Fantasy hockey scoring varies highly between leagues, and may be another customizable feature on some sites. Some of the more popular scenarios use a system where goals, assists, plus/minus and penalty minutes and shots on goal all count for scoring among skaters. Meanwhile, goaltending points will depend on saves, goals against, and shutouts. This means that there are statistics where positive points can be accumulated like goals and assists, but stats like minus and goals against will be negative point values. The greatest point total at the end of the season will determine who finishes where in the standings.
There are lots of great opportunities to get started, and if you find that you have a lot of luck or are a very skillful player, it may be time to start playing in more competitive leagues for some great prizes! At the end of the regular season you may be disappointed that the league is ending, but there is also playoff fantasy hockey at many of these websites, so you can start fresh for an intense 2 months of action. If you are a serious fan with a craving for competition, play NHL fantasy hockey online for free!