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Introducing BSH Fantasy Hockey 2015-16 Edition

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Celebrating the fifth anniversary of BSH Fantasy Hockey.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

With a few days to go before the puck drops on a brand new season, it's time to get our fantasy leagues in order. This year, we have a minimum of 26 open slots available on a first-come, first-served basis. As current members decline invitations, additional spots will open up.

If you wish to join, either put your email address in the comments below or email me at geoff.detweiler@gmail.com. I much prefer the comments of this thread, but either works.

Just as last year, we will have three tiers, five leagues, and 100 participants. That may change after this year as we attempt to shrink each league down from the existing 20 teams per, but has yet to be decided.

Joining

First, invitations are purely on a first-requested basis. Any method of delivering your email address (e.g. in this comment thread, email, etc.) to me will work just fine. Be aware that the waiting list is likely to include many more names than available slots, so if you do receive an invitation, do not hesitate to accept. We want to fill the available spots as soon as possible.

Secondly, if you participated in one of the Tier 2 leagues last year, you received an invite already. If you have not received such an invitation but feel you should have, let me know as soon as possible. Invitations will be sent to those on the wait list very soon, and at that point, whoever accepts their invitation first is in, regardless of prior year's results.

There are currently 12 of you who finished in the bottom-10 of a Tier 2 league and have yet to accept your invitations, so check your spam folders or those decade old email addresses you gave to Yahoo! way back when.

Promotion and Relegation

Because we have so many people who wish to join, we instituted a three-tiered, 100 member league. Here is how the five leagues and three tiers work, visually:

BSH Fantasy Hockey 3 Tiers

Hooray for three-year-old, Microsoft Word created flow-charts. More specifically, here's how it works:

  • Champions League - The top ten teams in regular season standings will remain in Champions, with the bottom half of the league being relegated (five teams each) to Tier 2.
  • Each Tier 2 league will promote five teams to Champions, relegate the bottom ten teams to Tier 3, and have the middle five teams remain in Tier 2. (see Playoffs for further detail).
  • Each Tier 3 league will promote the top ten teams in regular season standings to Tier 2, with the bottom ten teams being relegated. This guarantees a minimum of 20 new players every year.

As mentioned above, this format may change after this season as we attempt to shrink league sizes, but the basic structure - promotion and relegation based upon regular season standings - is likely to endure.

Playoffs

Anyone who is a fan of the English Premier League will recognize how we have structured promotion and relegation. In an effort to promote competition and reward extended success, we will rely heavily on the 22-week regular season to determine the final standings.

The playoffs in all three leagues will consist of two brackets of four teams. The top four teams after 22 weeks will play in one bracket while the teams ranked fifth through eighth play in a "consolation bracket".

We will utilize this consolation bracket to determine the final standings and thus the fifth and final team promoted to Champions from Tier 2. For example, in 2013's Tier 2 Black Consolation bracket, The Loopholes were the 8th best team after 22 weeks and won back-to-back games:

2013-14 Tier2 Black Playoffs

As a result, The Loopholes finished in fifth place, and earned the final promotion spot to BSH Champions League for the 2014-15 season. The other three teams were invited back to try again.

Got it?

In short, across all three Tiers, the top-10 regular season finishers are guaranteed an invitation to return to the same level or better. That should be the minimum target for all.

League Rules / Draft Date

One of the worst aspects of Yahoo!'s fantasy hockey is their limited amount of statistics available to use as categories. Add in the size of our leagues and you get limited options that need to be carefully balanced so as to avoid disproportionate importance.

Five years ago, Yahoo!'s inability to accurately assign positions to forwards resulted in the faceoffs won category dramatically increasing the value of those centers incorrectly labeled as wingers. Four years ago, our switch to counting stats for goalies proved misguided when forcing teams to roster a minimum of two goalies.

In other words, the scoring system has not been, and probably will not be, perfect. We're always looking for ways to improve it. This year, we've eliminated the utility slot to try and add depth to the free agent pool but all other rules remain the same:

2014-15 BSH Fantasy Rules

These will apply to all leagues, however the draft date is up to each league to decide on their own. The season starts October 7, so there is a bit of time to decide when they want to draft. It's worth noting, however, that Yahoo! draft slots do fill up quickly, so this decision should be made sooner than later.

Good luck.