DougieHamilton

 

Taking a look at how to manage a keeper league in the offseason

The NHL never sleeps. Though the on-ice action may come to a halt from mid-June to mid-September (sending legions of poolies into serious withdrawal shakes), those who run the teams find their summers consumed with the draft, free agent frenzy, contract negotiations, prospect camps, Olympic camps, research and development sessions and, on some unfortunate occasions, CBA negotiations. There's no such thing as downtime.

 

With the increasing popularity of keeper leagues, the same can now be said of fantasy leagues. Once an October-April pastime, most serious leagues now operate 365-days a year, thankfully giving us diehards an outlet for an obsession that never dissipates, even as the beach beckons.

 

Unfortunately, most online pool sites have failed to keep pace. Though some, like Fantrax, are starting to meet the needs of keeper leagues for year-round service, the majority of sites still shut down during the offseason, forcing commissioners to find creative ways to keep the league operational while waiting for their host to re-open for business in September.

 

Successful commissioners understand the need to keep rosters updated as trades go down. Salary cap leagues need to continually adjust their data throughout the summer as players are signed to new contracts. League activity is strengthened when managers have an ongoing communication outlet. There are rule changes to be discussed, voted on and implemented. All of these factors and more must be addressed as the long, hot summer months drag on.