How to Start a Fantasy Hockey Keeper League

by Dobber on August 19, 2014
fantasy hockey league drafting


Full rules/regulations taken from seven very different fantasy hockey keeper leagues


In the fall of 2006, readers submitted the rules for their keeper league hockey pools. Rules varied from head-to-head systems, salary-cap systems, straight points, and much more. The depth of these pools ranged from hardcore (500+ players owned) to your basic keeper league of 200 players or so. I have selected a sampling of some of the rules, edited in order to give you an idea of what is out there and what is needed to start your own.

By all means – use your favorite set of rules, or mix and match the rules that you like.



Drafting Rule of Thumb: A snake draft is generally the accepted means of selecting players in a one-year or keeper league. If there are 13 or more participants, than a modified snake draft is advisable.

Snake Draft: 1-12, 12-1, 1-12, 12-1, etc.

Modified Snake: 1-13, 13-1, 13-1 again, 1-13, 13-1, 1-13, etc.

*modified just has that one extra 13-1 inserted in there.




First and foremost, here is a copy of Dobber’s own keeper league rules:

Keeper League Version #1



This one is an interesting twist – you have a limited number of “keepers” – for two, three, and four years, and after that they cannot be re-signed – check it out….Sent in by Freddy:

Keeper League Version #2



Here is a keeper league that involves a salary cap, with rotisserie-style scoring (12 points if you are first in a category, one point if you are last, in a 12-team league). This one is pretty cool…from Ryan:

Keeper League Version #3



Another good one featuring large rosters and a Christmas waiver draft. It even includes stipulations for a player… dying? This is from ‘FERGIE’:

Keeper League Version #4



Here is a great one from Aaron – very in-depth rules, and includes a 15-man farm squad for prospects:
Keeper League Version #5



This ‘Lifetime Insanity Pool’ is fairly typical, but it puts heavier emphasis on defensemen scoring. It also requires roster updates every two weeks, i.e. choose the 16 guys you would like to activate. 
They also make it clear that wimps need not apply – strict rules with regards to emails, etc. I like that – you need to be firm with that rule before starting a hockey pool, or you will be left with one or two boneheads who do not email promptly, or are not available when you need them. Thanks to Jaron for this one:

Keeper League Version #6



J Status’ personal keeper league, the HHKL, features up to three drafts every year and a cascading keeper protection system that makes it a challenge to stay on top for long. If you like drafting and a league that encourages trades, this is the one for you:

Keeper League Version #7





Vetoes should only act as a deterrent. Lopsided trades happen. Severely lopsided trades happen. Are the two parties involved in the trade colluding to stack one team and split the pot? If not, then NO VETO. Fantasy Leagues are to be fun, not political. I have a veto rule in place in both my keeper leagues. In my 20-year league, we have put forth the veto process just ONE time and it did not pass. In my seven-year league, the veto process has never begun. But veto rules exist. As a result – harmony and fairness. To read a discussion on this from our forum, check out: 


To Veto, or Not to Veto…




(Keeper League Rules edited by Jamie Beckwith, Darryl Dobbs and J Status)