MONTREAL HOCKEY LEAGUE
MONTREAL HOCKEY LEAGUE
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1.0 LEAGUE COMPOSITION
1.1 LEAGUE NAME: The league shall be called the Montreal Hockey League, or the M.H.L. for short. The name will not be changed at any time for any reason.
1.2 LEAGUE SIZE: The league is made up of 20 teams, though expansion of any amount, bringing the league to a maximum of 30 teams, is possible in the future.
1.3 LEAGUE ALIGNMENT: The 20 teams are grouped into 2 conferences of 10 teams, and then into 2 divisions of 5 teams in each conference. Division assignment was done at random at the beginning of the league's first season (2005-2006). Conference/Division Alignment will not change except possibly in the case of expansion.
1.4 LEAGUE HEAD OFFICES: Currently the league has a commissioner (Dan Kramer) and a co-commissioner (Mark Avila). The commissioner has final say in all decisions regarding league matters, but will certainly listen to opinions, appeals, and input from any General Manager. The Co-Commissioner is in charge of receiving all completed trades, and verifying roster size regulations and salary cap committments. Committees or other managers may be assigned/created in the future.
2.0 GENERAL MANAGERS
2.1 NUMBER OF GENERAL MANAGERS: Each club in the M.H.L. has one single General Manager. The General Manager role is not fantasy, but rather is filled by an actual physical real person. At present, there are 20 teams in the league, meaning there are 20 General Manager positions.
2.2 GENERAL MANAGER RESPONSIBILITIES: General Managers are responsible for creating franchises that seek to win - be it in the short- or long-term. General Managers are responsible for submitting lines and line changes, negotiating and executing trades, making draft selections, tendering contract offers to free agents, and making any other decisions in the daily operations of their club.
2.3 GENERAL MANAGER DISMISSAL: General Managers not meeting the above-mentioned responsibilities may be fired at any time, and removed from the league, at the discretion of the commissioner. Specific reasons for dismissal include inactivity/unresponsiveness, dumping of players in unfair trades, and/or blatant rudeness and disrespect towards other General Managers in the league. While we don't like losing General Managers this way, any G.M. is welcome to resign at any time.
2.4 GENERAL MANAGER REPLACEMENT: If a General Manaer resigns or is fired, a replacement will be sought to take over their team. Procedure for replacement will follow the M.H.L. Application Process (see section 11.0).
3.0 PRO TEAM GUIDELINES AND SPECIFICATIONS
3.1 DEFINITION: The term Pro Team refers to an active M.H.L. club, with parameters as defined below. It consists of only the players on its daily roster, and not players assigned to a Farm Team, as defined in section 4.0.
3.2 TEAM LOCATION: M.H.L. clubs may be located in any city in Canada or the United States. Teams may move to a new city at the start of any season, however if a team chooses to move, it may not do so again for 3 more seasons. The only city off limits for a team is Montreal.
3.3 ROSTER COMPOSITION: Pro Teams can be made up of anywhere from 20 to 23 players. Included in this must be at least 4 centers, 4 left wingers, 4 right wingers, 6 defensemen, and 2 goaltenders. Teams must meet these requirements at all times. For more information on player positions, see section 7.2. Pro Teams are restricted by a salary cap, which you can find out more about in section 6.0.
4.0 FARM TEAM GUIDELINES AND SPECIFICATIONS
4.1 DEFINITION: The term Farm Team refers to the farm club belonging to an M.H.L. team. All players on a Farm Team must be under contract to its M.H.L. Pro Team affiliate. A Farm Team is thus composted of some combination of prospects and/or signed free agents.
4.2 TEAM LOCATION: Farm Teams were arbitrarily placed at the beginning of the league's initial season (2005-2006). They may be moved at any time by the General Manager's request.
4.3 FARM TEAM COMPOSITION: Like Pro Teams, Farm Teams must be composed of at least 4 centers, 4 right wingers, 4 left wingers, 6 defensemen, and 2 goaltenders. There is no technical maximum roster size, but a team may only have 50 players under contract at any one time, making the effective maximum size 30 players. Farm Teams sizes may temporarily fall below the minimum requirement in case of injury replacement call-ups to Pro Teams, but may not remain as such long-term. The Farm Team is not bound by any form of salary cap.
4.4 FARM TEAM GAMEPLAY: Farm Team games are simulated along with each Pro Team game. It is not possible to set lines or anything of the sort for a Farm Team, but standings and scoring leaders are tracked.
5.0 FINANCIAL MATTERS
5.1 SALARY CAP: As stated above, every club's Pro Team is restricted by a salary cap, which is the maximum total sum of the salaries of the players on their Pro Roster. The salary cap may fluctuate from year to year, and it will never be lower than the NHL's salary cap (meaning it may be higher than or equal to). The salary cap for the 2006-2007 M.H.L. season is set at $44 Million. There are no exemptions for Farm Team call-ups, injured players, or injury replacements. You can view a team's total salary by clicking the Finances button on the Roster page, and looking next to Pro Payroll. A team's Pro Payroll may never ever exceed $44 Million.
5.2 CONTRACT BUYOUTS: Contract buyouts are not permitted.
5.3 MINIMUM SALARY: The minimum Pro salary is currently $450,000. Players on Farm Teams earn 10% of their Pro salary.
6.0 M.H.L. GAMEPLAY AND SOFTWARE
6.1 SOFTWARE USED: The M.H.L.'s games are simulated using a program called FHLSim. All General Managers must have a copy of the program called GM Editor, downloadable through the FHLSim website at http://www.fhlsim.com. It is this program in conjunction with the League Files that can be downloaded from the league website that enable a G.M. to edit his or her lines.
6.2 GAMEPLAY: Games are simulated nightly using FHLSim, and results are posted to the league website. There is no "on the fly" coaching, or manual gameplay. Everything is simulated automatically, then immediately saved and updated. Games follow the season schedule, posted at the start of each season.
6.3 SEASON LENGTH: The regular season will consist of 82 games. Under the current 20-team format, this will be 8 games against each divisional opponent, 6 games against each conference opponent, and 2 games against each team in the other conference. The top 8 teams in each conference advance to the playoffs at the end of the regular season. The playoffs is four rounds in length, each consisting of a best-of-7 series. The first round features 1st vs. 8th, 2nd vs. 7th, 3rd vs, 6th, and 4th vs. 5th in each conference, and teams are re-seeded each round, with pairings being highest vs. lowest, and the higher seed having home ice advantage.
7.0 PLAYER INFORMATION
7.1 PLAYER RATINGS: The ratings used in the M.H.L. are the D.V.H.L. ratings, courtesy of members of the official FHLSim forums. They kindly release new updated ratings after every NHL season, and we will switch to their latest ones annually. For some insight as to what the ratings mean, see one person's take on them here: http://www.surplusmachinery.com/hockey/FHL%20primer.htm
7.2 POSITION SWITCHING: Players can only play one position at any one time in the league. A player's position may be changed any time new lines are submitted, as outlined in the provision immediately following this one.
7.3 POSITION ELIGIBILITY: A player may be switched to play any position a reputable website lists him as being capable of playing. Examples of suitable websites include TSN.ca, RDS.ca, hockeydb.com, Yahoo! Hockey, ESPN, an Official NHL team site, or a news article from a reputable publication. Blogs, message boards, or other such sources will not be accepted. When you e-mail the league commissioner to get a position changed, you must include the URL of your source stating the player can play that position.
7.4 PLAYER RETIREMENT: There are two different ways player retirement is handled. If a player retires from the N.H.L. during an N.H.L. off-season, that player immediately retires in the M.H.L. as well. If a player retires in the middle of an N.H.L. season, that player will retire at the end of the current M.H.L. season. For N.H.L. unrestricted free agents, signing in Europe is considered retiring for M.H.L. purposes. Restricted free agents whose rights are still held by an N.H.L. club but who sign to play in Europe are not considered retired.
7.5 FREE AGENCY: The age for unrestricted free agency in the M.H.L. is 29. That means if a player is listed as 28 on the league website, he will be turning 29 at year's end, and thus will be an unrestricted free agent. Players turning 28 and younger whose contracts are expired become restricted free agents, meaning their former club retains their rights. For unrestricted free agents, contract negotiation is handled by public bidding in a designated thread on the Contract Negotiation Board on the M.H.L. forums. Restricted free agent contract negotiation will be handled by e-mail to the league commissioner. At the end of each season, each General Manager may select one player of theirs who is about to become an unrestricted free agent that they would like to retain. If a team has 4 or more players bound for unrestricted free agency - all with ratings 70 or higher - that club may choose an additional player to retain. In either case, the player's contract must be renegotiated like a restricted free agent.
7.6 PLAYER WAIVERS: There is no waiver draft, but in order for players to be sent to a club's Farm Team, the players must pass through waivers. Going through waivers means every other team is given an opportunity to put in a claim for the player, and if any team does, the team with the highest waiver priority as per the league website gets that player's rights from the player's previous team. That player is placed on the new team's Pro Team and would still have to pass through waivers to be sent to a Farm Team. If no claim is placed for a player, he is sent to his team's Farm Team. There are two groups of players exempt from waivers: (1) players aged 23 or younger, and (2) players taken in prospect/entry drafts still on their entry contract.
8.1 TRADEABLE ASSETS: General Managers may offer the following in trades: players they own that are under contract, prospects they hold the rights to, and future entry draft selections. Money, match outcomes, or other such things may not be offered in a trade, and would be considered serious offenses.
8.2 TRADE NEGOTIATION: General Managers may use any means they choose to negotiate deals including any form of instant messenger (MSN, Yahoo!, etc.), the M.H.L. Forums, the M.H.L. Chat Room, e-mail, or live person-to-person talk.
8.3 TRADE CONFIRMATION: Once a deal has been reached, all parties involved must e-mail the league co-commissioner a copy of the agreed-upon trade. Only once all parties submit an e-mail will the trade be processed.
9.0 ANNUAL ENTRY DRAFT
9.1 DEFINITION: The Entry Draft refers to a player draft that will take place at the conclusion of each M.H.L. playoffs. The draft will be 5 rounds in length, with each club having 1 pick in each round. Teams are welcome to trade their draft picks at any point in time. Players eligible to be drafted come in two forms: (1) players drafted in the corresponding N.H.L. Entry Draft, and (2) prospects not currently owned by any club in the M.H.L. and whose names are not yet in the D.V.H.L. ratings database (meaning they have yet to play in the N.H.L.). The draft will be held live by some means at a date and time specified in advance by the commissioner. General Managers unable to attend the live draft are expected to submit an ordered list of prospects they would like to pick ahead of time.
10.0 M.H.L. AWARDS
10.1 DEFINITION: At the end of each season, players and teams win various awards, which come with a monetary backing. Award winners are also displayed for a full year in the Trophy Room on the league website. Some awards are statistical, and others are voted on by the league General Managers.
10.2 LIST OF AWARDS: For the full list of awards, see the Trophy Room. New awards may be created at any time.
11.0 M.H.L. APPLICATION PROCESS
11.1 VACANCIES: Vacancies refer to there being an M.H.L. club that does not have a General Manager. This may be because the previous General Manager is no longer a part of the league, or because a new team is being introduced.
11.2 APPLICATION TIMING: An application to join the M.H.L. as a General Manager or otherwise may be submitted at any time, whether there are vacancies or not. Accepted applications during a period of no vacancy will put the person at the highest unfilled spot on the Waiting List.
11.3 APPLICATION PROCEDURE: To apply, potential General Mangers must visit the Join League page on the league website. That page contains a form that must be filled out, and explains what to expect from there on.
12.0 RULE ERRATA AND ADDENDUM
12.1 RULE ERRATA: The commissioner reserves the right to modify any rule for any reason at any time. If such a thing is to take place, the commissioner agrees to notify all General Managers of the change(s) ahead of time, with a full explanation of the change(s) and reason(s) behind it/them.
12.2 RULE ADDENDUM: The commissioner reserves the right to add new rules or add clarifications to any rule for any reason at any time. If such a thing is to take place, the commissioner agrees to notify all General Managers of the change(s) ahead of time, with a full explanation of the change(s) and reason(s) behind it/them.