Introduction
WHAT ARE FANTASY GAMES?
Have you ever dreamed of what it would be like to own your own professional sports team? Fantasy games are a way to live out that dream. And, to make things easier, all fantasy games are fundamentally the same - real athletes and their real-life performances are used to generate points for fantasy teams in fantasy leagues.

For example, in a traditional fantasy league, there is a set number of "team owners." There are a set of rules that determine everything from team roster size, to scoring method, to schedule. You and your fellow team owners hold a draft, i.e. fill your fantasy roster with real-life hockey players.

Then throughout the season, you will set your line-up based on how well you think "your" players will perform. The statistics your positional players generate in their real games are collected, and fantasy points are awarded based on these numbers. The better your players perform, the more fantasy points accrue for your fantasy team.

Ultimately, these points determine a winner in seasonal leagues. The team that accumulates the most points (or points based wins) over the course of the season - or prevails in the postseason-is declared the league winner. With the league championship comes the glory to boast about it until the next season rolls around, at which point the other teams can smell sweet revenge.

WHAT IS ESPN FANTASY HOCKEY?
Welcome to the world of fantasy hockey - ESPN Style! ESPN.com Fantasy Hockey is the closest thing you can find to buying your own professional franchise and becoming the team's coach, owner and president. All decisions are yours to make. And lucky for you, hockey is a game filled with unbiased player performance statistics. By using these statistics, you have everything you need to understand which players are performing well and which ones are not.

ESPN.com's Fantasy Hockey (FHL) is as close as most of us will come to owning franchise and becoming the team's manager, owner and president. All decisions are yours to make. Each team owner is supplied with all of the tools -- multiple draft methods, unlimited waivers and trades, free agency, an all-empowering commissioner, chat rooms, league bulletin boards, player statistics, etc. In other words, everything needed to build a championship hockey team.

Statistical reports, expert analysis and up-to-date feature articles from ESPN.com editors are readily available to keep owners informed. Armed with this information, owners are free to create the team of their dreams. To win, an owner has to be crafty, as each team competes directly with nine other owners who are equally determined to come out on top. Owners can choose who they compete against and are free to join a league at their own level of competition.

Like the race for the final NHL playoff spot, the league title could be determined on the very last day of the season in rotisserie leagues. For head-to-head scoring, the top four teams in each league will play each other in the playoffs, conducted during the final weeks of the NHL regular season. The remaining teams compete in the consolation bracket. Regardless of your regular season record, your team is guaranteed to play every week of the NHL season.

Once you join a league, ESPN provides you with everything needed to build the best possible hockey team. And sure, you got your cut-throat, 11th hour wheeling and dealing between armchair LMs, fully customizable league rules and scoring, multiple draft methods, live box scores, waivers, trades, free agency, custom player updates, a commissioner, league bulletin boards, sortable stats for all players, and more. There's plenty of room to sling trash-talk throughout your league, and enough stats and weekly analysis to make you the next Scott Burnside. We just want to make sure you know what to do with it all! So sit back as we take you through the keys to ESPN Fantasy Hockey. Then get crackin' on creating the next fantasy dynasty!

REGULAR SEASON AND PLAYOFF DATES FOR FHL 2014 (Standard and Prize Eligible leagues):

H2H SEASON OVERVIEW
REGULAR SEASON DATES NOTES
Matchup 1 - Matchup 21 Tues. 10/1 - Sun. 3/16  Season Starts Tues. 10/1/13
PLAYOFFS DATES NOTES
Round 1 Mon. 3/17 - Sun. 3/30  1v4, 2v3
Round 2 Mon. 3/31 - Sun. 4/13  League Championship

PLAYER GAME LIMITS:

Default H2H Game Limits are set to "No Limit" for Goalies, Forwards, Defensemen and Utility player slots.

The default Roto Player Game Limits have been adjusted as follows:

  • Goalies (2)  164 (82 per slot)
  • Forwards (9)  738 (82 per slot)
  • Defensemen (5)  410 (82 per slot)
  • Utility (1)  82 (82 per slot)