Sunday, January 4, 2009

Secrets of drafting a rec league team

Yesterday I was a proxy GM in a recreational league draft, filling in for a friend who couldn't make it. Given the shenanigans that go on in the league on and off the ice, I thought drafting would be entertaining, and it was. And still pretty serious too, because people pay a lot of money to play in the league.

How it worked: All the players were rated 1-10 on consensus (kind of like Central Scouting) and then the list was printed out and distributed to the captains. Players can make comments when they sign up online, and those comments were on the sheets too. The league has an average age of about 35. With 15 players on a team, the draft goes 15 rounds.

Each of the 10 captains had to select themselves when players of similar ratings were going, which led to comments like this when someone took a long time in picking: "You could take yourself. Sure, you could reach."

There was one signup who hadn't been in the league before, but put down had been playing since he was 5. He could be really good. I took a gamble on him in the second round, because no risk, no reward, right? On second thought, there's no reward for me here since I play on a different team. I guess all I'm going for is that at the end of the season the comment is "You should let Holly pick your team again."

When in doubt, take the player with the French-Canadian or Russian name. Generally they can play.

There were a lot of moving parts in this draft, as many if not more as in the NHL draft. One guy needs to play a Sunday-heavy schedule for religious reasons. Some skaters also play goaltender and have to keep those obligations first.

Everyone gets picked, even Angry Bob. There's one guy who is not only no good, he has a bad attitude. He was the booby prize at the end, and people took preventative measures to avoid getting him. What kind of preventative measures? Well, there are about 30 twosomes in the league, relatives or carpools that need to play on the same team. It's like the Sedin twins in the NHL, except there are a lot more of them, and they aren't of the same quality. So if you take the player rated a 7 and they're part of a pairing, you have to take the player rated a 3 as well. In this draft there was even a threesome.

There are lots of things besides talent that can affect your draft position, and we're not just talking great attitude. The comment on one player as he was taken: "He's a 6 -- a 4 who brings great beer."

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