by Doug Miller on 09/23/11 at 01:00 PM ET
Myself and my assistant GM for KK’s EASHL Club System had a meeting the other day, to discuss the current status of the Club, as well as how the EASHL itself is looking this year. The conclusion that we both came to is that things kind of suck at the moment. As it’s looking like we are going to end up sending about 95% of the Main Club’s current roster down to the Farm Club for now, since “training camp” is about wrapped up for us.
The EASHL seems to taken a bit of a dive in general this year, as the new Club Cool-down has turned into a doubled edged sword of annoyance. Making it even harder to put a new Club together from scratch, which was already no easy task to begin with. So we decided to look for a decent player-run league to satisfy our own personal needs for some good competitive 6v6 online hockey action. Personally, I had little faith in this, given past things I’ve heard about some player-run leagues.
Then we found the Moose Hockey League.
First off, I just want to make it clear that I’m not shutting down KK’s EASHL Club System… for now at least.
I do however, want to talk about what might just be the most awesome, best managed, best organized, and just downright cool player-run league I’ve ever seen.
For those of you might be in the dark about what a “player-run league” is, I can offer you a pretty simple answer. Player-run leagues are an alternative to the EASHL, which has had more than its fair share of problems over the years. Problems that only seem to be growing, despite EA’s best efforts… they will still not quite ever be able to offer all of the awesomeness that comes with a good player-run league.
The problem with most of these player-run leagues, is the “good” part. As currently, the most popular of these leagues is the VHL, but they have a number of just plain stupid rules and regulations that have kept people like me far away from them as an alternative to the EASHL.
However, I may have finally stumbled upon the best player-run league out there that many people may not have heard of yet. Although they are by no means “small-time” and they mean “serious business”. As they have an ever expanding player base, as well as several other things going on that have earned my stamp of approval… and I have pretty high standards. So much so, that have kept myself away from other player-run leagues, until now.
Enough rambling though, let me get right to the heart of this thing, and tell you why the Moose Hockey League (MHL) is the league to be in this year in NHL 12 and throughout the future of EA Sports NHL Franchise.
The following are some of the main features of coolness that you’ll find in the MHL.
Live Player Draft
At the start of every season, the MHL holds a live draft where each team captain selects their roster for the season. Each draft features an hour long pre-draft show video special. Accompanying the actual draft itself is a live radio show, as well as a chat room with an automated draft script. So members in the MHL can watch the draft go down, and not only talk about it in the chat room, but also call-in to the live radio show to be a part of what I’ve heard is one of the most exciting nights in the MHL, as they usually crack 100+ members in the chat room on draft night.
Every Monday through Friday, the MHL hosts their own internet video version of SportsCenter, which recaps everything that went down the night before in the MHL. Including featured players of the night, complete box scores for games, and more. Members are also encouraged to send in their own highlights, to be featured on the show.
Flan Fan Show
Also every Monday through Friday, at 5:30PM EST, the MHL hosts their own live radio show, to talk about everything going on in the MHL, from the latest scores, news, transactions and more. MHL members are also encouraged to call-in and be a part of the live show as well.
The MHL has over 10 capture cards in rotation to ensure that nearly every game is either streamed live, or recorded and uploaded for later viewing, so you can keep up on all the MHL action even if your don’t have a game scheduled that night. During playoff season, nearly every series is streamed live for people to watch and chat about in the chat room.
MHL on iTunes
If you miss an episode of MHL SportsCenter or the Flan Fan Live Radio Show, it’s no problem, as the MHL has it covered with all of their content available for download on iTunes. All audio / video files are also available in a format for listening / viewing on your computer or mobile device without any additional encoding required.
MHL Mobile App
The MHL features a mobile app available for Android, as well as an optimized mobile website for iPhone, iPod, and iPad, that act as webapps, so you can keep tabs on the MHL when you are out and about.
Of course I could have saved myself some writing by just showing you their promotional video for the upcoming season. Which was all I had to see before I was sold on the MHL.
As you can see, Jim mentioned plenty of other things that I didn’t even get into, as there is a TON of awesome stuff going on the in MHL, and it only looks to be getting better season after season.
Like Jim just mentioned in the video, the live draft for season 12 of the MHL will be held next Thursday, September 29th. So I highly recommend to anyone currently in KK’s EASHL Club system, or anyone looking for some awesome, fun, and competitive 6v6 online hockey to head over to the MHL’s official website (www.mooseonice.com) and get registered for the upcoming draft.
It’s a very simple two step process. First, in the upper right hand part of the site, you’ll see a “New Users CLICK HERE” link, which is where you sign up for the MHL forums. I highly suggest you use your actual gamertag as your username, as it helps out with the draft process and player scouting. Once you are registered with the site and logged in, just hit up the season 12 draft signup link on the main page, which will take you to another page where you can go over the quick list of basic league rules. Which there aren’t that many of, aside from how to handle things if a player gets lagged out of a game and other minor things. There is nothing wacky and dumb like most other player-run leagues I’ve seen before.
There is one little rule that applies to MHL rookies, like myself, which is that you are not eligible to be drafted in the main MHL draft in your first season in the league. The MHL of course has their own minor league system, the MAHL, which has a separate draft about two days after the main draft, which gives the MAHL captains time to scout players. This second draft is for all the players who went undrafted in the main MHL draft, as well as all of the new members to the league. The MHL media team has all the bells and whistles for this draft as well, it’s just generally not as populated as the main draft.
The only reason they put this rookie rule in place was so that someone couldn’t pull up out a “ringer” friend of theirs, and then draft them in the late rounds because no one else knows who they are. Personally, I don’t have any problem with this rookie rule, as I think it makes plenty of good logical sense to help keep the league as fair and balanced as possible.
In terms of flexibility for both preferred player position(s) as well as game schedule attendance, I don’t think anyone can touch the MHL, who makes this process very simple when you register for the draft. That way you can generally play the position(s) you want to play, when you are able to play. Although, like most player-run leagues like this, it will probably help your draft stock a bit if you are willing to play more than one position if need be, and are available to play on a “full-time” basis. Although their schedule isn’t that demanding, to allow as many players to be able to play when they can, while still offering up enough games to keep you busy if you’re active full-time.
If you want to get any additional info (which there is plenty of), or have any questions about the league, I recommend heading over to the MHL Website (www.mooseonice.com) and singing up on their forums and just asking at the “Help Desk” section. As I had a few basic questions, which I quickly got good answers to.
Plus, as things seem to be these days, I tend to get a little extra attention where ever I go, likely due to being a part of the excellent staff here at KK. So a few of the guys who run the MHL wanted to talk with me, and it looks like I might end up helping them out with some of the media stuff, given my 10 year background in the field.
Although, I was going to write this blog promoting the MHL anyway, since it was one of those “hey guys, I found an awesome player-run league you should check out” kind of thing. It looks like I might be working directly with the MHL on some level in addition to being a full-time goaltender in the league.
I know a good thing when I see it though, be it here at KK, or over at the MHL. I have the feeling it is only a matter of time before they take over as the biggest and best player-run league for the EA Sports NHL Franchise on Xbox. Some people, like myself, could argue that they are already there, even though I’ve yet to play a single game.
I’m sure some of you might still be a bit skeptical, which is fine. Because I’ll be reporting about my MHL experiences throughout the season as a part of my general EA Sports NHL-series coverage, as they are getting my personal endorsement as the one and only player-run league that you should join and play in. Personally, I love all of the stuff that they are doing. I’m very excited about the upcoming draft and getting involved in this awesome league as an alternative to the rather constant annoyance that is the EASHL at times.
On a final note, another reminder to those of you in KK’s EASHL Club System that might be worried about myself joining the MHL. I’d just like to assure you that it won’t affect the current EASHL Club System I have running at the moment.
Although we’ll see how everything ends of playing out over the next several months. At this point I’m not going to guarantee that the EASHL Club will be around forever, especially if the MHL turns out to be all of what I expect it to be.
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About Cluster Pucks
Here at Cluster Pucks, you find a little bit of this and a little bit of that, but it’s all hockey. I mostly try and stick to the rather insane task that I’ve given myself of attempting to cover the CHL, NCAA Hockey, as well as the EA Sports Hockey League, in addition to other EA Sports NHL-series related news. So yeah, unless I specifically plan something, you never know what you might get from me on a day to day basis. I tend to write pretty thorough and in-depth posts more often than not that. I can also be pretty opinionated at times, so feel free to disagree with me however you wish, just don’t be surprised when I comment back and keep the discussion going.
Before I came on board here at Kukla’s Korner, I spent 10 years of my life working as a writer and director in the independent film world. I don’t have any sort of formal degree, or hockey writing background other than my work here. Although I’ve always loved hockey and writing, so it seemed like the perfect fit. I’m always eager to hear what the readers think, so if you’ve got a question, comment, idea, whatever, just feel free to email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also follow me on Twitter at @dougmiller37
I’m also the General Manager of KK’s EASHL Club System (Xbox 360), which is always looking for new talent, so if you think you’ve got what it takes to run with some serious and talented EASHL players, feel free to contact me over Xbox Live. My gamertag is Doug IVI (that’s eye vee eye at the end). Just include KK in your message, so I can help sort out the junk messages.