Tips on succeeding in your online league.

There a few basic things not enough GM's know, your team isn't doing to well, but here is how you can get over the hump.

CONTENTS:

1.Invite all prospects to training camp
2.Do not sign your prospects unless they will play
3.2Way contracts
4.GM's on NHL teams
5.Use the draft 101 section
6.The Team Option
7.The Player Option
8.Ticket prices
9.Training %'s
10.Assigning the right people
11.The search for consistency
12.Budget increases, how to get them
13.How to set your lines, use your lines and send your lines
14.Basic Finance
15.Training regiments
16.How to use your league file

1. Invite all prospects to training camp-It is hard to believe that some GM's do not do this. You don't have to sign them, they remain as RFA's after camp. It is imperative that you invite ALL of them to training camp. This will do 2 important things. They will all get some experience, and sometimes, just sometimes, a low rated prospect will get a lot better from just being there, they don't even have to play!

The other really important thing is, when you draft a player, his training is set on 'rest' by default, that isn't good. If you have him at camp, his training will be changed to something more productive to the player.

2. Do not sign your prospects unless they will play-This is a really important point, a lot of people sign them and then return them to junior, this is pointless. They remain as RFA's if you do not sign them, so why do it? You can gain a few benefits by leaving them as RFA's until they play.

Example 1 is that when a player is signed and then returned to junior, he cannot be called back up until the next season. If the player is unsigned, he can be signed at any point in the season to bring him up, neat trick huh?

Example 2 is that the player is not going to be contributing to your team, so why pay him if you don't have to?(and you don't!) The contract will expire and he will just want more money! To keep your prospect contracts low, do not sign them until they will be on your AHL or NHL team.

3. 2Way contracts-This may come naturally to some, but a lot of people do not sign their AHL players to 2way contracts. This is bad (shame on you!), now you are paying an AHL player NHL money. When a player has a 2 way contract and he is sent to the minors, he doesn't get paid his whole amount on his contract, big $ saver here.

4. GM's on NHL teams-Ok, you are in an online league, open your game and look at your team. When you scroll to your team in the pull down menu to access it, what name is in the GM box? YOURS! The GM on your pro team is useless, you are the GM, he does nothing. There are few things you can do with him, (don't fire him) most GM's make great scouts. Or, you can use him as your AHL GM, what good is that? When your team is forced to 'fast sign', the AHL GM is who picks the player. The better the GM, the better the player. (this is also subject to availability)

5. Use the draft 101 section-This may help you draft better.

6. The Team Option-This is your best friend, this will help you get at least 1 extra year out of a player at his current salary.

7. The Player Option- Why are you letting him decide? Don't give this choice. It may help the player settle for less money, but it will make you look dumb if he decided to leave, right? How do you make a player sign for less? No Trade Clause, why is everyone so afraid of this thing? If the deal isn't 4+ years, it is no big deal, as long as you don't give your whole team one, lol, just keep it to your cornerstone players.

8. Ticket prices- Does anyone pay attention to these at all? Most of you right now are going, "doh! I forgot about them!". This is a simple way to keep your money flowing. If you are attracting fans every game, raise them, if you are having trouble getting fans, lower them. How can you find out if fans are coming? After a game is played in your stadium, double click the game score, this will bring up a wealth of info on that game, including attendance.

9. Training %'s-Your league may have auto training, but you still have to set who runs the programs and the resources for them. Don't forget this simple tidbit.

10. Assigning the right people-Why do people still assign their physic to 'rest'? Don't your players know how to sit down? The rest should be simple, view the FAQ (on the EHM 101 main page) if you are not sure.

11. The search for consistency-The #1 most important stat in EHM is not overall, that is second. If a player is 88 overall and has 50 consistency, he is really only giving you half of his worth. No, I do not mean he is really 44 overall, I mean is he is 88 overall half the time and a lot less the rest. especially when looking at goalies, I still think a 74oa goalie with 80 consistency is worth more than a 80oa goalies with 50 consistency, that is just a matter of opinion though.

12. Budget increases, how to get them-Everyone knows no matter what market your team is, big or small, you have to manage your money wisely. Once you have mastered a set ticket price limit that makes you money and draws fans, you need to look at your finances. If you are in the green, look at your payroll. This is found on the team info tab. There are 2 numbers, the first one is your teams budget for players, the one in brackets is the teams actual payroll. Some people think they need to be under the budget, this is wrong. If your team is under budget, you will not get an increase in payroll.

At the end of the year, all money you make over 5milllion will be collected by the "shareholders" or is it the "board"? Either way, these fictional people take away all of your hard earned money, and for what? Doesn't it mean anything? I am here to tell you it does. Let's say you make 7million over the year, so you have 12million total. To make that extra 7million count, you have to aim to get your budget increased. If you are making money, at some point in the season a news article will appear saying something to the effect of, "board considering budget increase". If you are under budget at the end of the year, they will not increase it, because you didn't even use the budget they gave you, and you demonstrated that you can keep it under. You have to be over budget and making money to get an increase. This can lead to disaster, but it is a chance you take, it is best to be just barely over budget when aiming for that increase, especially if you are a small market team.

13. How to set your lines, use your lines and send your lines- I don't think I can stress the importance of this enough. First thing you need to do is open your lines, this is the 5th item on the Tab by Tab page. If you are not familiar with the page, take a detour there first ....I will wait here........

I see you are back (or still here), let's talk lines. Strategies are important, most ask, "what strategies should I use?", and also, "what is the best length for shifts?". Both excellent questions and I will answer them.

My opinion of each strategy:

Passing plays: reliable for your offensive guys, this is the most basic strategy.

Run &Gun: this simply does not work well at all. You may get some goals from a line of all 90's oa players with this, but they will allow more than they score.

Dump & Chase: Primarily a 4th line tactic with fast skaters who's abilities are limited.

Hit & Grind: The true essence of hockey, there is also a bug in the game that makes this the "super tactic" in most cases.A lot of online leagues have rules against allowing this to be used too much, if your league does not have such a rule, I suggest using it lots!

Neutral Zone Trap: This is a great strategy for a 3rd line with great defensive forwards. I am a strong believer that every team needs one of these lines to succeed.

It is all a matter of opinion again, but I will break down my personal experience with each one. You have to ask your self first, "what kind of players do I have?", "What kind of team do I want to run?" and "What kind of coach do I have?". There is really no set way a coach works for this, but his strong attributes will matter. Time to choose your own adventure.

I am a 1 line team with no supporting players.

I have 2 good scoring lines and some other players.

I am all offense, all the way down.

I am all defense, all the way down.

I have nothing, can I salvage this team?

If I missed one, please email me or msn me(preferred) and I will add your special situation to this explanation.~disclaimer~ These are very basic explanations, the actual players you use will affect how these lines work, I cannot begin to imagine the various combinations of players you may have to work with, so I will keep these very basic.

I am a 1 line team with no supporting players.- Well, if you are a one line team, you know what line #1 will look like. If these players are all offense, you will probably do best with a "passing plays" strategy and a shift length of 70. If they are defense, a solid "hit and grind" combination with a 60 is supreme. Line 2 should be the support for these players, you want to have some oomph to get out there and take some minutes away from your tired line 1. No matter what kind of line you put out, the 2nd line has to be productive. A simple NHL style recipe is best, 1 shooter, 1 passer and 1 grinder. A good old "dump and chase" will be sufficient and a shift length of 40. Line 3 may be getting scary for you now, this is basically your trap line on a 1 line team, hitting is not important here, what is important is defense, positioning(marking) and checking. (Please note that a 'check' is not a hit, i.e. a poke check is a type of check, this is his ability to execute once in position). "Neutralzone trap" is the strategy and a 30 shift length is good. Line 4 becomes an after thought here, you have to have one, so you cannot simply ignore them, you can use it as any combination, another trap line, a grind line, another scoring line, depends on what you have as your remaining depth, a shift length of 20 and a strategy to fit the players you use is recommended. Once your lines are set, click here to learn how to save and send them.

I have 2 good scoring lines and some other players.- The overall of your players comes into play some here, you do not want to simply put your 3 best players all on one line, this may weaken your second lines scoring. The old philosophy on "spread out the scoring" can be used on a team like this one, line 1 and 2 may be very different in abilities, line 1 may have players that are 80-80-80 and line 2 is 72-73-74. mix them, put your 2 best players on line 1 and your 2nd best player for the remaining position on line 1 with them, the best one on line 2. Each line can be set to "passing plays" and each can have a shift that ranges between 50 or 60. i.e., line one is 60 and line 2 is 50, or make both 60, or both 50. The support line on line 3 is a great idea to make this the trap line, all defense is good here, hitting is not important here, what is important is defense, positioning(marking) and checking. (Please note that a 'check' is not a hit, i.e. a poke check is a type of check, this is his ability to execute once in position). "Neutralzone trap" is the strategy and a 30 shift length is good. On a team like this, the 4th line isn't just a "toss out what you have left" line, you need to be creative. Line 4 should be your grind line. This is the line with the enforcers and hitters. Defense should come above all and the players need to be big with the ability to "Hit and Grind" as the line strategy suggests. The shift length can be 20 or 30 depending on how much better line 2 is. Once your lines are set, click here to learn how to save and send them.

I am all offense, all the way down.- Ah, the ever creative team with very little "character" support, this is a fun team, but not a smart team, but hey, who am I to criticize? It is your team. This will depend on how far down your depth chart goes and what the overalls are line between players 1-4 on each position. An ideal all offense team will use Line strategy "passing plays" with a shift length between 50 and 60 (depending on how much better line 1 is than line 2). Line 2 can be more open, with no one behind you to pick up the trash, a "dump and chase" or the ever dangerous and not so brilliant "Run and Gun" can be used here with very little fear, a shift of 40 to 50 is best.(depending on how much better line 2 is than line 3). If you choose to set line 2 t one of the above options, you can have line 3 be more reliable, again a "passing plays" is good, and a shift length of 30 to 40 (depending on how much better line 3 is than line 4). Line 4 is all about fun, these guys are the 4th scoring line on a team with 4 scoring lines! If this line is good, match the shift length with line 3, if they are not as good, make them 10 less, you know, just like stated above. The strategy? It doesn't matter! These guys can try anything, they are rarely on the ice, whichever strategy has them scoring the most, use it. Once your lines are set, click here to learn how to save and send them.

I am all defense, all the way down.- This is a tricky team, but this can be a winning team also, This is more or less the Wild, and hey, they win! How do they do it? Line 1, shift length can be set at 40 or 50, depending on how much better line 1 is than 2, it is good to make both line 1 and 2 the same shift, mix your players (don't put the best 3 players all on line 1) and make them both "hit and grind". Line 2 can be either 40 or 50 as well.Line 3 and 4, again, mix them, and make them both "neutral zone trap" and shift them at 30. Once your lines are set, click here to learn how to save and send them.

I have nothing, can I salvage this team?-Yes, this is a team that most people say is "rebuilding", you are likely playing a bunch of rookies before they are ready to play, bravo! You may be nuts, but you can make this work. First thing is first, overall just went out the window, Line 1, 2, 3, and 4 will all be at 40 for length. You can adjust this separating the 1st line from the 4th as the season moves on. Line one needs the best players with Offense (not overall) on it. Make this strategy "passing plays". Line 2 will be your best defense players, this line will be "Neutralzone Trap". Line 3 will be your biggest remaining players (make these guys all train on physic for a while too, he he), this is the "Hit and Grind" line. Line 4 can be your best remaining players by overall, this is the "dump and chase" line, it can also be a great weapon as a second "Hit and Grind" line. This is a "nothing to lose" circumstance, but at least these lines will gain you some respect. Once your lines are set, click here to learn how to save and send them.

How to save your lines- Once your lines are set, be sure to "confirm" them. The button that says "save" will be available now. Click the save button and save your lines as any name you wish in a directory you will remember. Once it is saved, go to the folder you saved your lines in and add them to a zip. This will make your lines easier to access for your commish. Simply attach them to your next team email, and you are done for another day.

14.Basic Finance- Most of this tutorial should have you understand finance, but I will touch up on it a little more for you so you don't have to feel left out in the dark by that big budget team that is kicking your ass. One EHM community member wrote: "maybe some basic financial strategies to keep newbies out of money trouble until they gain experience. I've seen online leagues where an inexperienced GM is taken to the cleaners by more financially adept competition.", this couldn't be more true. If you use example 12, you should be able to build your budget slowly into respectability. This is all very simple, if you feel something is missing, or you do not understand, use the contact info below to get your point to me, I will be sure to add it.

15.Training Regiments- Just a quick review on how to use manual training and how to decide what to use. This is something that stems from the 'Invite all prospects to training camp', you must invite them, so they can be trained, if you do not invite them, they will remain on rest all season and that doesn't help them. The most obvious things to look for when picking your training regiments is the ability of that player, when a player has good Offense, you train them on offense, when they have good defense, you train them on defense, goalies on goalie, etc. Now that seems too simple, this is something can can get tricky, what if your forward has good defensive skills? The answer is, train him on defense. It is smart to hone the skill that he has naturally, training a player like this on offense will just give you a player that is balanced, but balanced with 2 weaker skills.

Defensman that can score need some offensive training also, if not all offensive training, and then there is the kicker......on manual training, you may find a lot of players start to go red, by this I mean, their abilities start to turn red, which means they are going down. If this happens, these players usually require Physic, or they just suck, or you need to read the AHL section on the main EHM 101 page. Since development means everything, and training is such a huge part of this, it is best to use manual training. Why is that? I hate to say it, but yet another AI bug in this game, the auto training does not train your players right. Most people feel more comfortable with auto training, but I am telling you that manual is better if done right. For a more in depth review of manual training, please visit the 'Manual training and how to do it right' section.

16.How to use your league file- Before we go any further, we need to create a place for your files to go, open the game and start a new game. It does not matter what team you choose, or what rosters or anything, just start a new game. Now that your new game is open, note what the name of your leagues save file is (ask your commish if you do not know.) Once you know the name of the save file, save your new game as that same name (the same name as the league file) now close the game. Now on to using the file:

There are a few ways to do this, depending on what winzip you use, but I will explain the easiest possible way for all the people who have no clue at all. First thing, if you are here it is because winzip confuses you, get rid of it and get this: http://www.rarlab.com/download.htm

Now that you have winrar, here is what you do. Click on your leagues save file, likely linked on the website or in the boards. When a window pops up, click save, make sure you note where the game is being saved to. Once the save is complete, go to the directory where your file is. Open this file. Once the file is open, there will be an extract button, press this button. You will notice a path area, that is the thing that tells you where the file will be going, C:/My Documents for example. This files need to be extracted to: C:\Program Files\Eastside Hockey Manager\saves in order to do this, each one you select will open new options. click C: then program files, then eastside hockey manager, then saves, then click OK, then click"yes to all".