New to ESPN Fantasy Hockey in 2010 is the way the system allows you to manage your head-to-head team throughout season. Unlike previous versions of the game where the system enforced a game starts limit, this year the system enforces a maximum number of acquisitions allowed per head-to-head matchup. An "acquisition" is defined as a player added from free agency (or waivers) to a team's roster. The rule is simple - you are allowed an average of one (1) acquisition per day in which there is an NHL game played. So for a typical 7-day NHL week, each team is allowed seven (7) acquisitions. Once the acquisitions limit is reach, a team will no longer be able to add players until the following matchup begins. Note that under this rule change, the system will not enforce any maximum number of games played in the H2H game. This rule was instituted to protect against teams who streamed players on the last day each week and we hope it provides a better experience managing your team.

Acquisition limits notes:

  • There is no limit on acquisitions before the season begins. The system only starts enforcing the rule on the first day of the season.
  • Dropping players or receiving player(s) via a trade does not count against your acquisition limit.
  • There is no limit to the number of acquisitions allowed per day (as long as it doesn't exceed the maximum). You can add seven (7) players to your team on a single day, or balance them out throughout the matchup (ie, 2 on Tuesday, 2 on Friday, 3 on Saturday).
  • Since player additions lock at the first game of the day, the weekly transition for acquisition limits will usually take place with the first game played on Sunday's.
  • Your team's current acquisition limit balance is displayed on three pages within the game - your "My Team" and "H2H Box Score" page, as well as the "Players" pages (free agency/waivers). The league "Standings" page will continue to display the total number of acquisitions made for the entire season.

All standard FHL leagues play with a fixed 22-week regular season, with the playoffs taking place over the final four weeks of the 26-week NHL season. To view your team's schedule click on the "Schedule" link on your main team page. Below is a detailed look at the H2H season schedule (with acquisition limits included).

Week 1    Thurs. 10/1 - Sat. 10/3 3   Opening Night Thurs. 10/1.
Week 2 Sun. 10/4 - Sun. 10/11 7 No games Sun. 10/4
Week 3 Mon. 10/12 - Sat. 10/17 6   
Week 4 Sun. 10/18 - Sun. 10/25 7 No games Sun. 10/18
Week 5 Mon. 10/26 - Sun. 11/1 7
Week 6 Mon. 11/2 - Sun. 11/8 7
Week 7 Mon. 11/9 - Sun. 11/15 7
Week 8 Mon. 11/16 - Sun. 11/22 7
Week 9 Mon. 11/23 - Sun. 11/29 7
Week 10 Mon. 1/30 - Sun. 12/6 7
Week 11 Mon. 12/7 - Sun. 12/13 7
Week 12 Mon. 12/14 - Sun. 12/20 7
Week 13 Mon. 12/21 - Sun. 12/27 5   No games 12/24 and 12/25
Week 14 Mon. 12/28 - Sun. 1/3/10 7   Happy New Year!
Week 15 Mon. 1/4 - Sun. 1/10 7
Week 16 Mon. 1/11 - Sun. 1/17 7
Week 17 Mon. 1/18 - Sun. 1/24 7
Week 18 Mon. 1/25 - Sun. 1/31 7
Week 19 Mon. 2/1 - Sun. 2/7 7
Week 20 Mon. 2/8 - Sun. 2/14 7
Week 21 Mon. 2/15 - Sun. 3/7 7   Break for Winter Olympics in Vancouver
Week 22 Mon. 3/8 - Sun. 3/14 7   End of regular season 3/14
Round 1 Mon. 3/15 - Sun. 3/28 14   Winners Bracket: 1v4, 2v3
Round 2 Mon. 3/29 - Sun. 4/11 13   League Championship; End of season 4/11

The playoff bracket view display shows how your bracket would look according to the current selections. Note that all teams who do not make the playoffs still participate in a consolation ladder each week until the season is complete. The playoffs start on Week 23 and run through Week 26 of the NHL season (4 weeks). Round One takes place during Weeks 23 and 24 (two weeks), and Round Two takes place during Week 25 and 26 (two weeks).

NOTE: In 2009 ESPN changed from the "legacy" rules of playing two individual matchups over the two weeks and adding them together (ie 7-3 + 4-6 = 11-9). This season BOTH week are combined into one single matchup period (which also extends the acquisition limits to include two weeks).

The top four teams in a league make the playoffs. These four comprise the two division champs and two wild-card teams. Division champs are the teams that win the league divisions. The two wild card teams are based on winning percentage and can come from the same division.

When your league converts into playoff mode the system automatically generates a seed for each team in the league based on the regular season results. The seeds determine where the system places each team in the playoffs. The primary factors which determine seeds are:

    1. Division Winner
    2. Winning Percentage
In the event that two or more teams have the same winning percentage at the conclusion of the regular season, and have played the same number of head-to-head games between them, the following tiebreaking system determines the seed: 1 - Overall record *
2 - Head-to-head record
3 - Division record
4 - Coin Flip
    * NOTE: Overall record is based on winning percentage. Therefore, a team that has more losses than another team might have the same winning percentage.

In the event that two or more teams have the same winning percentage at the conclusion of the regular season, and have not played the same number of head-to-head games between them, the following tiebreaking system determines seed:

1 - Overall record
2 - Division record
3 - Coin Flip

Scoring during the playoffs works much the same way as during the regular season, with the object to win as many categories as possible. The difference is that each playoff round lasts two weeks, not one week (as during the regular season). As such the acquisition limits are increased and you get two full weeks to accumulate stats in each stat category. By winning 6 or more of the 10 categories during each playoff matchup you'll guarantee yourself a win. In the event that two teams have the same win-loss-tie record at the conclusion of their two-week playoff game, the following tie-breaking system is employed:

    Tie Breaker for Playoff Games
    1. Higher seeded team

NOTE: During the playoffs, once your matchup ends, the scoring is final and no scoring corrections will be applied.

In Round One of the playoffs, the division winner with the best win/loss record plays the wild-card team with the worst win/loss record; the other division winner plays the wild-card team with the better win/loss record. In Round Two, the winners of Game 1 and Game 2 in Round One (see table below) compete for the League Championship. Each round of the playoffs spans a two-week period. The remaining teams in each league compete in the consolation bracket.

1 1 vs. 4 W1 vs. W2*
2 2 vs. 3 L1 vs. L2

1 5 vs. 6 W1 vs. W2
2 7 vs. 8 L1 vs. W3
3 9 vs. 10 L2 vs. L3

Final league standings following the second round of the playoffs

From the League Championship bracket:
*1st place - Winner of game 1, round 2
2nd place - Loser of game 1, round 2
3rd place - Winner of game 2, round 2
4th place - Loser of game 2, round 2

From the Consolation bracket:
5th place - Winner of game 1, round 2
6th place - Loser of game 1, round 2
7th place - Winner of game 2, round 2
8th place - Loser of game 2, round 2
9th place - Winner of game 3, round 2
10th place - Loser of game 3, round 2