League Rulebook

The rules of the National Simulated Hockey League are intended to maintain the integrity of the league and ensure the best possible experience for its members. As the league is continually evolving and new technologies develop, the Commissioner reserves the right to change these rules at any time.

Member Activity

The league as a whole can only be successful if its members are active. As such, various events throughout the season require member participation. Roll calls and league surveys are required events without exception. Voting for league awards and All-Star Game rosters are also required but a team may miss one (1) out of four (4) of these events if necessary.

Any general manager who does not ensure that his or her team's roster complies with all league rules by any given deadlines will automatically be removed, as will any general manager who fails to make a selection in the league's Entry Draft. Any general manager who fails to assemble a valid lineup for his or her team's games will automatically be removed from the league.

A definitive response to all trade offers is required within five days (120 hours) of the initial trade offer. If a general manager does not reply to a trade offer within that time, the offering general manager can choose to post in the league Slack channel noting such and "at-mentioning" the non-responsive GM. If the non-responsive GM does not reply to that post within twenty-four (24) hours, s/he will be removed from the league.

Exceptions may be made for members who announce their absence in advance or are able to provide reason for their lack of response before their team is assigned to a new general manager.

League members are required to treat each other with respect, although "trash-talking" is allowed (and, to an extent, encouraged). League members who are deemed to be disrespectful may be removed from the league.

Teams are expected to actively compete. Any general manager that is found to be "throwing" games will be removed from the league.

The commissioner reserves the right to remove a general manager from the league at any time.

Team Rosters

Each team will be made up of no more than forty-five (45) players, split between a "Pro" roster, a "Farm" roster and a list of "Scratches." Only players on the Pro roster are eligible to play in league games. Players on the Farm roster will be included in Farm League games where they have the ability to raise or lower their respective ratings. Scratches are not eligible for play in either type of game. Any injured player is required to be on the list of Scratches.

In addition to the combined roster of players, each team has a "Property List" of players who are not eligible to play in games. Players on this list are eligible to be traded. The Property List is intended to contain players who have not yet played at a high enough level to be rated for league play but it may also contain players who were once rated but, for any reason, no longer are. Additionally, at the start of each season any player who is younger than 21 years old and has played fewer than twenty (20) National Hockey League games, or any player who has played fewer than ten (10) NHL games, may be sent to the Property List. Players on the Property List cannot be moved to the active roster until the next rerating occurs and only then if they are a rated player.

At no point during the season will a team be allowed to have more than sixty (60) players on its Reserve List - the combined rosters and Property List. If a team needs to release a player from its Reserve List, that player will be placed on waivers.

A team's roster may go above the player limit during the off-season. Teams must be back down to the limit by a date to be declared prior to the start of each season. If a team is above the 45-man roster limit as of that date, the last player listed on their team roster will be waived. If a team is over the 60-player Reserve List limit but not over the 45-player roster limit, the last player on their property list will be waived.

Each team may have no more than twenty-three (23) players on their pro roster. Players who are suspended or on injured reserve will not count towards this limit. Additionally, players who are not on the game roster - i.e., healthy scratches - who are also on waivers will not count towards the pro roster limit. Players on waivers who are on the game roster will count towards this limit.

For each game, a team's game roster must consist of eighteen (18) skaters and two (2) goaltenders. Of the skaters, at least three (3) must be centers, at least three (3) must be left wings, at least three (3) must be right wings, and at least five (5) must be defensemen. Any team that fails to dress a valid roster for a game will forfeit that game.

Emergency Position Changes

Should a team have fewer than eighteen (18) healthy skaters available but more than two (2) healthy goaltenders, they will have the option of dressing one of their extra goaltenders as a skater to complete their roster. Similarly, should a team have fewer than two (2) healthy goaltenders but more than eighteen (18) skaters available, the option to dress a skater as a goalie will be available.

Emergency position changes will not persist from day to day. They will need to be applied for each day that the roster is ineligible.

Injured Reserve

Players who suffer an injury may be placed on injured reserve to clear a roster spot for a replacement player. Players on injured reserve will not count towards the pro roster player limit. Players are required to be removed from injured reserve upon their return to good health.

A player whose initial injury estimate is "day to day" is not eligible for injured reserve.

Players may be placed on injured reserve at any point prior to their return from injury.

Waivers

Waiver Eligibility

Skaters who have played more than eight (8) seasons and goalies who have played more than ten (10) seasons at the pro or farm level will be subject to waivers before they can be sent to a farm team. A player who has cleared waivers can remain with or return to the pro roster for twenty (20) schedule days or ten (10) games played before he needs to clear waivers again.

Releasing Players

Any time a team wishes to release a player for any reason, that player must first be offered up to the rest of the league via waivers, regardless of that player's waiver eligibility.

Waiver Availability

A player placed on waivers will remain on waivers until twenty-four (24) hours after the noon after they are placed on waivers (e.g., a player placed on waivers at 7:00 PM on Monday will remain on waivers until noon on Wednesday while a player placed on waivers at 11:00 AM on Thursday will remain on waivers until noon on Friday).

While a player is on waivers, all teams may make a claim on that player. In cases where more than one team makes a claim, the team with the highest waiver priority will be awarded the player.

If a team loses a player via waivers and the claiming team places him back on waivers later in the same season, the original team can claim the player and send him to the farm league if they are the only team to submit a claim.

Waiver Priority

Waiver priority for the start of the following season will be determined at the conclusion of the playoffs by the reverse order of the regular season standings. This order will also be used for the Waiver Draft. During the season, the waiver priority will be updated every ten scheduled days based on the standings at that time.

Waiver Draft

During the offseason, standard waivers will be suspended, with any player placed on waivers queued up for a "waiver draft." Only teams who have room under the roster limits may acquire a player during the waiver draft. Players waived during the waiver draft will be available in the draft. The draft will run until there is a round in which no team makes a selection or waives a player. For the purposes of record keeping, any rounds at the end of the draft in which no players were selected will be removed.

Trading

Through the Trades Office section of the league website, general managers may complete player trades with one another. Players on the team's roster and Property List are eligible to be dealt, as are a team's draft picks. The Trades Office section of the site is to be used only for confirming trades, negotiations should be conducted beforehand via email or other form of communication. Any trade that is not confirmed by all involved teams will be removed from the Trades Office after forty-eight (48) hours.

Players who are on waivers are not eligible to be traded until they clear waivers.

There will be a trade deadline each season set for after 80% of the scheduled regular season games have been completed. The restriction on trading will be lifted once the playoffs have completed.

Proper trading etiquette is that all trade offers must be replied to. A simple "No" is an acceptable response. Trade agreements made via email or other form of communication are considered binding.

Trade offers are considered void if any of the players involved are traded before a response is sent.

Future Considerations

Future considerations are a formal way of saying that part of a trade may be conducted at a later date. This is specifically applicable in the case of conditional draft picks, where the trading teams agree that if a certain condition (or set of conditions) is met, another trade will take place in the future to change the result of the original trade.

Because future considerations require a gentlemen's agreement between the trading teams, the obligation transfers with a general manager who completes a "Team Swap" (explained below). Similarly, if a general manager who owes future considerations as part of a trade drops out of the league, the new general manager of his team owes nothing.

Drafting

During each offseason, there will be an Entry Draft. Any person who is listed in the database at EliteProspects.com and not currently on a team's roster or Property List and who is at least nineteen (19) years old as of the day of the draft will be available in the entry draft. If a player who has a rating is drafted, he will be added to the drafting team's roster. Unrated players will be added to the Property List for the drafting team.

Entry Draft Order

The draft order will be determined by the previous season's standings. A draft lottery will determine the first overall selection, with the non-playoff teams eligible. The current draft lottery odds are as follows:

Standings PositionLottery Odds
10th Place32.8%
9th Place26.7%
8th Place22.0%
7th Place18.4%

Regardless of their position in the league standings, the playoff champion will select last in each round.

Each draft will consist of four (4) rounds.

Special Drafts

If it is determined that one is required to protect the competitiveness of the league, the commissioner may declare a "Special Draft." A Special Draft can be declared at any time of the season or offseason and will follow the guidelines determined at that time.

Rerating

At the close of each season's playoffs, the players in the league will be rerated to reflect the status of their NHL counterparts. The ratings set used will be the most-recently pubished set from the CPHL. The ratings will be edited to include player vitals as recorded on TSN.ca.

Any player who is not currently signed to an NHL contract or has yet to make his NHL debut will not be eligible for play in the NSHL. Additionally, any player who is not rated will not be eligible, whether or not they otherwise meet the eligibility requirements. Unless otherwise noted, any player deemed ineligible will remain ineligible for the entirety of the NSHL season, regardless of changes to his NHL status.

Any skater who has appeared in fewer than twenty (20) games on a Pro roster and fewer than four (4) seasons combined on Pro and Farm rosters as of rerating will be considered a rookie for the following season. Any goaltender who has started fewer than ten (10) games or appeared in fewer than twenty (20) games and fewer than four (4) seasons combined on Pro and Farm rosters will also be granted "rookie" status.

Should no CPHL ratings be released during a NSHL season, the ratings from the end of that season will carry over to the next one, with player eligibility redetermined.

Retiring Players

Players who have retired from play in the real world may be submitted for retirement in the NSHL. This process allows them to exit the league without having to first clear waivers as a released player.

Game Scheduling

The regular season game schedule will be generated by our own custom scheduler. Playoff game schedules will be generated by the simulator software. For the regular season, each team will play six (6) games against each of the other teams. This results in a fifty-four (54) game schedule. At the end of the season, the top six (6) teams in the league will advance to the playoffs. Three (3) best-of-seven playoff rounds will be played to determine a champion from the six (6) playoff teams. The top two teams in the league will receive a bye for the first playoff round.

Prior to the start of the regular season, an exhibition schedule may be scheduled. The exact format of this schedule will be determined on a season-by-season basis.

Game Simulation

Games will be simulated using the FHLSim hockey simulator program. This program outputs game boxscores and statistics which are then read into the league website. The program is not infallible and any errors found should be reported to the Commissioner.

League Standings

Teams will be awarded two points for each win, one point for each tie, and zero points for each loss accumulated throughout a season. The teams will be ordered in the season standings by total points accumulated. Should two or more teams be tied in points, the following tiebreakers will be used:

  1. Games played, with fewer games taking priority
  2. Wins
  3. Points earned in games against the tied team(s).
  4. Goal differential

At the end of each regular season, the top four teams in each conference will be seeded into a playoff.

Team Naming and Relocation

No two teams in the league may have the same nickname. Similarly, no two teams in the farm league may share a nickname. A farm team may use an NSHL team's nickname only with the NSHL team's permission.

Every NSHL team holds exclusive territorial rights for a 75 mile radius from their city and exclusive territorial rights for a 50 mile radius from their Farm team. Each NSHL owner has the sole right to block or permit the movement of another team, be it Pro or Farm, into the exclusive territory of their own Pro or Farm team.

The announcement of a proposed move or name change will initiate a 7 day period during which league members can voice objections to the proposed change. Objections can relate either to the territory to which the team would be moving or the name the team would be taking.

In the case of an owner objecting to a move that infringes upon the exclusive territory of one of their teams, the move will be immediately rejected. All other objections would initiate a league-wide vote requiring a majority in favour of the change for the change to be approved. Tie votes will result in rejection of the change.

Changes involving an Identity switch must be presented with a logo, ready to use, or they will be immediately rejected.

Championship Recognition

Teams may add graphics representing championship banners to their team pages for any team awards as well as regular season playoff and conference championships and retired or honored numbers. These graphics will be created by the commissioner with input from the GM unless the GM wishes to create the images him/herself. Banners can be only redesigned by the GM who earned them and may not exceed 125 pixels wide by 200 pixels tall.

 
National Simulated Hockey League
 
 
 

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