STHS Commissioners: Handling The Off Season. Part 2 – Rerates

Math *can* be fun. Shame my Grade 12 Math teacher didn't think so.

Rerates can be handled in four ways; NHL Rerates, SIM Rerates, Hybrid Rerates and Manual Rerates. Three of them are relatively quick and painless, the fourth takes a lot of time and in my opinion is the most worthwhile option.

NHL Rerates are pretty easy to come by. Players are rated according to their NHL performance, whoever rerates the players releases a roster pack and the Commish uploads it to their league. It’s fast. It’s easy. It removes the Commissioner and GMs from the process as much as possible, which can be good or bad depending on the league; it also removes SIM performance entirely from the equation. A crafty Commish can typically find player packs for any year, in any style and of any colour; there are even packs out there that cover the KHL, AHL, ECHL, CHL and European Elite Leagues. NHL Rerates work for a lot of leagues, but they’ll have the hardest time being successfully implemented in a retro league, because there is absolutely no reward for individual player performance and scouting for the draft becomes a little trivialized. These Player Packs are also amazing starting points for any league in its first season.

SIM Rerates are my only knock against the STHS simulator. From my experience they tend to skew league balance after one or two seasons and the Commissioners end up combing through the ratings anyways. They are quick and are completely dependent on player performance. They’re good to have idly running in the background during the course of the season – with a huge attribute choke, maybe +/- 2 in any direction, but to rely on them for the big job at the end of the season is suicidal.

In leagues that prefer the automation, but like to maintain a particular level of control the Hybrid Rerate method is best route to take. Pick one of the first two methods covered (typically NHL Rerates) and manually adjust ratings to reflect league performance or balance out squads. I’ve been in leagues that give a 60/40 split in favour of NHL rerates, player performance still matters, but in the hands of an unskilled nob a roster can still produce high quality players.

And finally, we’re going to be spending the most time becoming intimate with Manual Rerates. This method is scary and takes a lot of time. Allows you the most control and if GM involvement is your cup’o tea it’s easy to integrate – we don’t cover the GM integration in this post, but we do in the next one. GMs will say you’re bat-shit insane for trying this and they’re probably right.

It took a few seasons of refinement, but this is the most effective method I’ve come up with. I usually give myself a week to do everything – some GMs will protest the league being shut down for a week, tell them that this is their chance to formulate an off season plan and write articles that’ll contribute to off season GM rewards.

First things first:

Mass Editing is your friend! My method requires you to go through the entire list of players twice. The first time through can be done entirely through mass editing.

Remember to always backup your rosters before attempting manual rerates, because you never know.

Rerates will be divided into two categories: Potential and Performance.

Divide player ratings into two categories: Core Stats (CK, SK, ST, DU, PH, SC and DF) and Arbitrary Stats (FG, DI, FO)

The range I typically apply to any given statistical rerate is +/-3. Before bonuses, the most any one stat can be boosted by an excellent season is +6 (for both the performance and potential rerate) and the worst it can get is -6 for a disaterous season. It chokes off wild attribute swings after one season of good performance and encourages long term statistical development. A good exmaple of a player who might have experienced a huge, but ultimately undeserved, attribute jump is Anson Carter, he had an excellent season in 05-06, but couldn’t repeat the performance once he signed with the Blue Jackets the following season.

Rerating Potential and Age (Core Stats only):

Potential and Age walk hand in hand. If it’s one thing that is common through every Fantasy Hockey League it’s that youth is valued – almost above all else. A player’s potential can become a universal indication of when they’ve stepped out of the early stages of their career development and into their prime, it’ll also begins to put pressure on older stars who may not be able compete at the same level they did earlier in their career. PO becomes the initial cornerstone of the Rerate process by determining what bonuses a player will receive based solely on a:

PO between 99-90
+3CK, +3SK, +3ST, +3DU, +3SC, +3DF

PO between 89-75
+2CK, +2SK, +3ST, +2DU, +2SC, +2DF

PO between 74-60
+1CK, +1SK, +1ST, +1DU, +1SC, +1DF

PO between 59-40
No statistical changes, the player is considered to be in the prime of their career and is Rerated based entirely on performance.

PO between 39-20
-1CK, -1SK, -1ST, -1DU, -2SC, 0DF

PO between 19-0
-3CK, -2SK, -2ST, -2DU, -3SC, -1DF

The whole process can be done quickly and painlessly through Mass Edition, if PO is between: and modify . Repeat the process for a few seasons and you have a good base for a natural development curve. Importantly it forces players to eventually age and slow down and gives a less immediate jump to prospects. A top end prospect would then have 8 seasons before hitting the point where their Rerate is based solely on performance and a statistical jump like this: +15CK, +15SK, +18ST, +15DU, +15SC, +15DF. Or take a player with 69SC up to 84SC if his PO is 99. This also gives a player about 14 years before they start to slow down.

All of this is done before considering a player’s performance.

Remember to make a backup and save your progress.

Rerating Performance (Both Core and Arbitrary stats) for Farm and Pro:

I like the tackle this one on a team-by-team basis, it requires a little bit of prep work and can be very long winded; it’s easier to come back to the process knowing you just finished rerating the Senators as opposed to sitting down and trying to remember which Smith you left off on. A reminder, I recommend typically suspend trading for a week or so while I plug away at the Rerates. Most GMs are forgiving. If you’ve assigned a player agent, it’s also a good idea to distract GMs with RFA presigning.

First things first:

DO NOT hesitate to give players minuses for performance. GMs are going to whine and moan about any attribute decrease and make up any excuse to reverse the decision, this is why GMs also have a little bit of control later on in the process. As mentioned in Part 1 of this series, I like to keep player ratings suppressed as much as logically possible.

Find the highest and lowest point for every statistical category (on both farm and pro) and work out an average, this’ll give you a good indication of where a player’s performance sits amongst his peers in the league. +3 attribute increases being reserved for the absolute upper crust of the league.

Before I tackle each team I also find an average of the team’s major statistics. Goals, assists, points, +/-, SH%, PIMs, Hits. A good player performing poorly on a good team may experience a decrease in skill, whereas a good player performing poorly against the league average, but well against his teammates would experience a small increase.

If a player has played more time on the Farm team, use his farm stats. I tend not to be to generous with playoff performance, but I do factor it in.

Now for the tough part. Starting with the first team in the league – usually Anaheim if the rosters page is in alphabetical order – begin to rate every single attribute for every single player.

+3 – Player meets and exceeds expectations
+2 – Ahead of the pack, but not the top
+1 – On par
0 – Par
-1 – Below average
-2 – Didn’t perform up to expectations
-3 – The season to forget about

A brief rundown of what to consider with each attribute:

CK – Hits
FG – PIMs
DI – PIMs, hits
SK – Age, Time on Ice
ST – Hits, shots blocked
DU – Games played, Time on Ice
PH – Assists
FO – Faceoffs taken, FO%
PA – Assists,
SC – Goals, shots, SH%
DF – +/-, shots blocked

Now you see how this portion can accelerate or stymie prospect development, and hopefully the benefit to having a strong farm system. (A tip to any GM who has made it this far: If you’re in a league that takes its farm system seriously, do everything you can to stock your farm system with quality. Not only will it give you plenty of depth options, but also a quality place to develop your youth and you will consistently be a contender in some way or another.)

At the end of it all jump into Mass Edition again and decrease PO by 5 and hand out +2LD, +3EX for every player in the league and for the love of fuck save your work.

Captains, Alternates and The Playoffs. (EX and LD only)

At the beginning of every season I ask that the GMs declare a team captain and two Alternates. I toss the names onto a spreadsheet and check the spreadsheet at the end of the season. Captains who remain on the same squad the entire season receive a +2 LD bonus, Alternates receive a +1. If a Captain or Alternate was traded during the course of the season, they do not receive the bonus.

For teams that were playoff bound, I typically gave a +1 EX for each player who made it to the post season (and actually played a game – not scratched). I continually toyed with adding higher EX bonuses the deeper teams made it into the post season, but it became to cumbersome to keep track of and with the other bonuses out there, I abandoned the idea. Do keep it in mind when combing through teams during the Manual Rerate process, but don’t put a lot of weight into it.

Award Bonuses:

Most leagues I’ve been in tend to have an award system that’s closely aligned with NHL awards. Sadly the leagues never tend to go much further than that. “Hooray, you won an award!” and are sent on your way. I like to give Rerate bonuses to players who receive individual awards. It’s usually something small, but chances are that if a player scores the most goals in the league during the regular season he’s already recieving a +3 (plus his potential modifier) to his SC.

The Award bonus system typically worked something like this:

Hart Memorial Trohpy: +1 to all Core Stats, +2 to LD
Lady Bing Memorial Trophy: +2 to DI
Calder Memorial Trophy: +1 to all Core Stats
Art Ross Trophy: +1PH, +1SC, +1PA
James Norris Memorial Trophy: +1DF, +1ST, +1CK, +1PH
Frank J. Selke Trophy: +1DF, +1ST, +1CK
Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy: +1SC, +1PH

Once those bonuses are applied, you’re done with the Manual Rerates.

Next: GM player Rerates and Free Agency.

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