Kukla's Korner

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KK to Have Official EASHL Club System

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The official release of NHL 12 in North America is just around the corner, next Tuesday, and the early access download to be released later today, at 6PM EST for EA Sports Season Ticket subscribers.

So I figured today would be the perfect time to announce that Kukla’s Korner will have their own official EASHL Club in NHL 12 on Xbox 360. Well, not just one mere Club, but an entire “Club System” actually. Continue reading on for all of the details regarding this special announcement.

Back when I was playing Goalie for an Elite Level Club in NHL 11, I ended up getting into several heated arguments with my Club’s Main General Manager, over several issues. Mostly because he kept deleting our Club and starting a new one anytime we would go on a small losing streak, as he always wanted to keep our record looking good. That, and he was insistent on doing online searches of every Club that we were about to play against, and if they had any kind of good record or rank, he usually refused to play them, as he wanted to pick on weak Clubs to rack up easy wins in an attempt to get a higher overall Elite Division Ranking. Not to mention he had issues of getting mad very easily and simply quitting out of Club matches due to pure anger… a “rage quit” as me and some friends like to refer to it.

I had issues with all of these things, but perhaps none more so than the constant deleting of our Club, and thus, losing all of our Club’s record books and accomplishments, which is one of my favorite little features of Clubs in the EASHL. So it wasn’t long before I constantly kept reminding everyone in the Club, which included two personal friends I know in real life, that when NHL 12 came around, I was making a Club on Day 1 and never leaving it. This was all long before I had any idea that I would end up here at Kukla’s Korner.

As I began to cover NHL 12 announcements as they related to my EASHL coverage, I became very surprised at the amount of attention and conversation that my coverage was getting. I honestly was not expecting this when I joined the team here at KK. Then, at some point the idea hit me, to continue along with my idea of starting my own EASHL Club, and use my position here at KK to make it into something even bigger and greater than I could ever have originally imagined.

So with the back-story now out of the way, I can get into the details of this “KK EASHL Club System” announcement.

I’m sure the first thing several of you might be asking yourselves is “What is the difference between a regular Club and a Club System?”. Well, it’s quite simple, a Club System is simply a Club that actually consists of more than one EASHL Club. There will be a “Main Club” which will consist of the System’s top players at each position, and it will be my goal to have the Main Club be playing at a high level in the Elite Division. Elite Playoff Trophies are nice, but it’s my goal to have the Main Club eventually become contenders for the highest of honors, an EASHL Championship. There are still even greater aspirations than that, but I’ll touch on that stuff later.

I do want the Main Club to be competitive at a high level, but I plan to run things in a rather light and fun atmosphere, because after all, it is just a game, and it should be fun, which is how I plan on treating things. I’m not going to freak-out if we have a losing season or a short playoff run one month. The newer entries in the NHL-series require a ton of practice and experience to get better, as there is definitely a big learning curve, as it took me years, and hundreds of games to get to where I am at now, and I know I still have plenty of room for improvement myself. We shall all grow together as a TEAM though. Because hockey is a team sport, and requires a tremendous amount of teamwork and good communication to achieve success.

Anyway, the Main Club has already been created in NHL 12, complete with custom uniforms that match KK’s Red/Black/White color scheme. Of course, it’s named “Cluster Pucks” as that name even pre-dates this blog’s existence, as I’ve used it for other things in the past. Ideally I would have liked to have the Main Club incorporate the KK name somehow, but apparently according to Microsoft/EA’s word filter “Kukla” is an inappropriate word or somehow part of one. As a quick side note, the NHL 12 devs claim it’s Microsoft’s word filter, not theirs… yet I had no problem making a “Kukla’s Korner” Community in my early access download of Madden 12 this year.

Now, to get down to some more announcements about KK’s new Club System in the EASHL. Cluster Pucks will be the Main Club, but at the moment I’m also planning on having at least two “Farm Clubs”. Much like other professional hockey leagues, these Farm Clubs are associated with the Main Club, and exist to help players at different skill levels develop, as on occasion players might be called up or sent down, depending on what management and other highly respected players agree is best for the Club System.

So what makes this Club so special and not just “my” Club, but KK’s Club?

One basic rule that I decided on as a primary reason for creating this Club System in the first place. That rule is simple. KK’s Cluster Pucks Club System will be automatically open to all KK Staff and registered KK members. As all KK Staff and website members will be guaranteed a roster spot and ice time, no matter what. I made this decision and rule for the Club System for all of you out there who enjoy playing in the EASHL, but have trouble finding a well managed, and decent EASHL Club to join up with. Yet another reason why I decided to make a full-blow Club System rather than just a single Club, as I know there are all types of players of various skill levels out there. As well as people that play more casually, and not as competitively. The multiple Farm Clubs will assure everyone that they can find the right Club for them within KK’s EASHL Club System.

However, this Club System will not just be limited only to KK Staff and website members, they just get the special benefit of a guaranteed roster spot. I’ve actually already had a few outside people contact me over Xbox Live in regards to joining an EASHL Club, although regular people will have to go through a small and informal “try-out” process, but this is mostly just a formality, as I’m open to accepting players of all variety of skill levels, and giving them a Club to be a part of.

As far as Club System Management goes, there is myself, who will operate as the Main General Manager, overseeing not only “Cluster Pucks” but all of the associated Farm Clubs as well. There is also my close personal friend Mike, who will be serving as my Assistant GM, in addition to being in charge of Player Scouting, as he has a very good eye for potential EASHL talent. Obviously additional GMs for the Farm Clubs will be needed overtime, but it’s been my experience that these people generally tend to step up into that leadership role naturally, depending on their character. Although at the moment, both myself and Mike are planning to have multiple Xbox Live accounts going soon, mine for management reasons, and his for scouting reasons.

At the moment, the Farm Clubs have yet to be created or named, but they will be in due time. As I said, I am only planning to have two of these Farm Clubs at the moment, but that may be expanded in the future if there is a need for it.

I know several of you will be downloading and enjoying the early access release of NHL 12 later tonight and over the weekend. However, due to compatibility issues between the retail version and early access versions of the game, in addition to my rather busy schedule covering HockeyFest tomorrow, followed by writing up my in-depth NHL 12 review, which will be posted Tuesday, none of the Clubs in KK’s Cluster Pucks system will begin play until at least September 13th.

So in addition to my general EASHL coverage on this blog, among other Leagues, I’ll also have some occasional special coverage of what our own Club is up to, including roster moves and other news involving the Farm Clubs, and their progress and standings as well.

Also, for those of you interested in joining up with KK’s Official EASHL Club, but also have an interest in competition beyond just the EASHL, I’ve already gone ahead and registered the “Cluster Pucks” team with GameBattles, which is MLG’s affiliate for other games not in regular rotation on their Pro Circuit. I’m not even quite sure exactly how their “teams” work, but for any of you who might be interested in joining up with that, you can check out the team’s profile page over on the GB/MLG website.

Those of who have who are qualified for a “walk-on” spot in the Club System, i.e. all KK Staff and registered members, feel free to contact me directly on Xbox Live. My Gamertag is “Doug IVI” and that’s “eye vee eye” at the end for those of you who might be reading in a font that makes it hard to tell what exactly certain letters are.

That same invitation goes out to any and all of you who are interested in joining the Club System, just be sure to include “KK” in the beginning of your message or in your friend request, so I can help sort through some of the junk I’m sure I’ll get by publicly putting my Gamertag out there like I just did.

I suppose that covers just about everything, but as usual, I’m writing this post at 5AM, so I might be forgetting something. So if you have any questions or comments, just post them below, and I’ll address them as I can, as my schedule is quite full for the next few days.

Filed in: KK Website Business, Fantasy Hockey and Gaming, Doug Miller, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cluster+pucks+eashl+club+system, ea+sports+hockey+league, ea+sports+nhl+12

Comments

Ataris18's avatar

Nice this sounds like a great idea.  One question though if I join this club, I’m assuming this would be the only club I could be a part of correct.  Very interested in this and would like to be a part of a solid group of players who will enjoy playing with more than 2 players for most games.

I won’t be getting my copy till sept 15th due to work travel but I will be playing it non stop after that point.

Posted by Ataris18 from Tucson, AZ on 09/09/11 at 02:00 PM ET

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Bummer.  I have a PS3 like I’m sure a lot of other KK members do…It sure would be nice if we could have this club system for both consoles.  You have a great idea Doug, great concept…it’s sure to be a lot of fun.

Posted by Geno71 on 09/09/11 at 02:09 PM ET

Doug Miller's avatar

Nice this sounds like a great idea.  One question though if I join this club, I’m assuming this would be the only club I could be a part of correct.  Very interested in this and would like to be a part of a solid group of players who will enjoy playing with more than 2 players for most games. I won’t be getting my copy till sept 15th due to work travel but I will be playing it non stop after that point. - Posted by Ataris18 from Tucson, AZ

Well, it’s a standard rule in the EASHL that you can only be a member of one Club at one time, although I’m not going to have any kind of rules on Club hopping, unless you happen to be a starter on the Main Club’s roster, or hold a management role with one of the Farm Clubs… then leaving the Club might not exactly sit well with me.

For the general players in the Farm Clubs though, I won’t have a problem with Club hopping, as those players will be the one to have to deal with the EASHL’s new “Club Cooldown” which prevents you from joining another Club or creating a new Club after you leave your current Club. That cooldown time is currently set at 3 hours, although EA has said that will be greatly reduced once the game is released.

This will be a minor drawback to managing the Club System, as we won’t instantly be able to make roster moves within the system, and waiting out the cool down is kind of like waivers, thankfully other Clubs can’t claim players though, haha.

Although, as I said, for most players, I’m not going to have any kind of restrictions on Club hopping, but I will say this. For players lower in the system on one of the Farm Clubs, you’ll probably have a better chance of moving up in the system if you show some loyalty and stick with the Club as opposed to Club hopping, even if you do always eventually come back.

Also, don’t worry about not having the game until the 15th, as it is very likely we are going to treat the shortened September EASHL season as the Club System’s training camp and pre-season, as most players will be playing in the Main Club for the entire month, and we might be mixing up roster combinations quite a bit. So that myself and Mike (and anyone else we might decide is qualified for management role) can figure out what players will be “make the cut” and remain on the Main Club after the training camp period is complete, and what other players will be shipped off to one of the two (or more, depending on our roster size by the end of the month) Farm Clubs.

Bummer. I have a PS3 like I’m sure a lot of other KK members do…It sure would be nice if we could have this club system for both consoles.  You have a great idea Doug, great concept…it’s sure to be a lot of fun. - Posted by Geno71

Agreed. I’d like to have the Club System in place on both platforms, but there are several issues with that:

1) I currently no longer have a PS3, and even if I did, it would be a hard task to maintain a Club System double the size of the current one, considering my other day to day duties here at KK, it’s already going to be a lot to handle as it is.

2) The majority of the EASHL player base is on the 360, as there was mass exodus of EASHL players from PSN to Live after that PSN hacking incident a while back, so now pretty much all of the top players and Clubs are on the 360… I don’t have the exact numbers, but I know this is a fact, as I’ve talked to both NHL 12 devs and EA Sports Community Reps about the issue, and the fact of the matter is that the 360 has become more of the “main” EASHL due to migration of so many highly ranked players and Clubs.

However, should enough people have an interest in starting a PS3 version of the KK Club, I might be willing to allow it, again, assuming there is a large enough of a demand for it, and I can find someone who I can get to know and trust to run the PS3 incarnation of the Club System, as I would like us to maintain a high level of respect around the EASHL.

Even if we don’t start winning Playoffs Trophies right off the bat, I still want the Club to have respect among the other Clubs as being very well managed as that will help us potentially “sign” some high level players should they enter the Free Agent market… which happens more often than you might think, due to many badly managed Clubs in the EASHL.

Posted by Doug Miller from Wyandotte, MI on 09/09/11 at 03:27 PM ET

Matt Fry's avatar

I’m totally up for it.  I mostly play OTP anyways.  Your issue was one of the reasons I stopped playing EASHL.  I had a friend who did that too.  I’d rather stay on a team that’s constant instead of jumping around all the time, even if we’re not the best team in history.  I
ll send you a message

Posted by Matt Fry from Winnipeg on 09/09/11 at 03:49 PM ET

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I’m interested in joining… downloading the pre-release right as we speak raspberry
gamertag: Wreked12

Posted by Eric M from Montreal, Canada on 09/09/11 at 05:00 PM ET

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We got a long ways to go from competing at top level however if we can break it down and play solid hockey then we can beat these higher skilled teams off of system alone due to the way NHL 12 plays We will need six willing bodies in order to do that tho

Posted by mike on 09/09/11 at 05:10 PM ET

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“Back when I was playing Goalie for an Elite Level Club in NHL 11”

I hope you know how awful of a goalie you were, every game we would score 5+ goals on you with ease.

Posted by J from Canada on 09/09/11 at 06:56 PM ET

Doug Miller's avatar

“Back when I was playing Goalie for an Elite Level Club in NHL 11”

I hope you know how awful of a goalie you were, every game we would score 5+ goals on you with ease. - Posted by J from Canada

I’m reckon that comment came from the former GM I used to play for, who I mentioned in this post. Given his immature nature, which is why we eventually parted ways, I can understand his reaction, as dumb as it is.

Shawzie, do you really think it’s smart to try and anger a guy who knows your Gamertag and knows you illegally pirated a copy of NHL 12? Especially when that same guy has contact with developers at EA Canada as well as EA Community Leaders, both of whom have the power to very quickly get you into a lot of trouble.

Not smart.

Anyway, my Gamertag is up in this post, people can go look up my Goalie stats in NHL 11. I know they aren’t phenomenal, but that’s due to a number of reasons, mainly the fact that most of the Clubs I played for were extremely good defensively, so I wasn’t exactly getting very many shots per game, and usually the shots that were taken were either breakaways or cross-crease passes, both very high percentage shots in NHL 11. Also there is the rather large amount of OTP games I played after I had my Legend card, none of which I ever quit out of, no matter how bad the team in front of me was.

I’m perfectly secure with my goaltending abilities though, and anyone who’s seen me play knows why. It’s just icing on the cake when I was playing in the media/dev team online OTP sessions and even the developers, who made the game, are complimenting my goaltending skills. Which even by my own admittance in this post, still have plenty of room for improvement… especially with all the new stuff in NHL 12.

Anyway, that nonsense aside. I’ve already gotten a fairly good number of responses about the Club System over XBL. So much so that I might have to get the first Farm Club setup before Tuesday, just so that everyone can get some ice time in, as we start to work on narrowing down the initial starting line up.

I know we won’t get to the top in a month, probably not even three. Rome wasn’t built in a day you know, and neither will be what is shaping up to look like a fantastic Club System for people to be a part of, so that way more people can enjoy the EASHL for how it was really meant to be played.

Posted by Doug Miller from Wyandotte, MI on 09/09/11 at 07:42 PM ET

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Doug,

I played with you, not against you. Rich Pointed this commet out to me, and I am here to say it was not me. If you do not Beleive me then check the IPs if you can

And as for calling anyone immature, irony. That’s all.

- ShawzY (no ie)

Ps club cooldown is 24 hours atm

Posted by Shawzy on 09/09/11 at 09:54 PM ET

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Oh no!  EASHL fight lol!  Sorry, had to get that in.

Sounds like a great idea and if I had a 360, I would totally be in.  The tiered club system sounds incredible and is definitely something to strive for.  But, alas, I am on PS3.  My club is mostly real life friends and people I have met playing different leagues online.  Currently, though, we are down to myself and another friend.  We will have a team again, but if the PS3 thing gets off, I’m sure we will both be willing to join.

Posted by pens fan in baltimore on 09/09/11 at 10:34 PM ET

Doug Miller's avatar

Shawzy, I always spelled it with an “ie” at the end.

Anyway, sorry. Rich just called me to tell me before you even posted that.

In my defense though, even people who know you thought that was you, so you can’t blame me for that one.

I wasn’t aware that I had made any rivals or enemies while playing NHL 11… so I’m guessing that was just some random jackass who is jealous that I’ve been playing NHL 12 since early last week. Well, let me just say, it’s not all unicorns and rainbows, as I’ve been dealing with a very annoying bug that has my offline BAP progression stuck at Amateur 1… and thus is preventing me from unlocking Legends! I’ve been working with one of the NHL 12 devs, trying to figure out how to fix it for the last 3 days or so… which is really, really annoying, as it’s really cutting into my time to actually enjoy the game instead of banging my head against the wall repeatedly.

Also, thanks for the heads up about the current Club Cooldown, as that time should come down even more by retail release, and will be important to know when running this Club System.

Posted by Doug Miller from Wyandotte, MI on 09/09/11 at 10:41 PM ET

Doug Miller's avatar

Oh no!  EASHL fight lol!  Sorry, had to get that in.

Sounds like a great idea and if I had a 360, I would totally be in.  The tiered club system sounds incredible and is definitely something to strive for.  But, alas, I am on PS3.  My club is mostly real life friends and people I have met playing different leagues online.  Currently, though, we are down to myself and another friend.  We will have a team again, but if the PS3 thing gets off, I’m sure we will both be willing to join. - Posted by pens fan in baltimore

No fight, just a case of mistaken identity, all is well and good now that it’s been cleared up.

Well, there we are with 2 more PS3 people. There might be the possibility of something with a PS3 chapter of this system… but I’ll have to wait and see how things go, and get a few other things figured out first.

Posted by Doug Miller from Wyandotte, MI on 09/09/11 at 10:47 PM ET

Primis's avatar

If I get around to getting 12 at some point, I’d be up for some club play.  I don’t have the luxury of being able to commit to anything regularly though, so it’d be sporadic.  I was actually going to try and join the CAG team on 11 on a casual basis but never got around to it.

As to the goalie stats thing… I can count on one hand the number of elite human goalies I have seen playing.  Other than them, every other human goalie gives up at least 2 soft goals a game.  It isn’t helped by the fact that most defensemen are more interested in attacking than playing actual defense… as hard as it is to find good goalies, good d-men that play actual “D” seem even tougher to find.

Posted by Primis on 09/10/11 at 12:22 AM ET

Itrusteddrrahmani's avatar

if anyone else is playing on ps3…looking forward to next week: gamertag:  odeh30. Add me!

Posted by Itrusteddrrahmani from Nyc by way of A2 on 09/10/11 at 12:58 AM ET

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This is retarded, why Would you blog about NHL 12???? How old are you. Sorry 14 year olds rage quit but it’s what we do… Shouldn’t you have a real job instead of ripping on little kids xbox time??? If you spent this much time working out I bet you could be in the real NHL—add my gt zeros saber

Posted by George forman from Utah on 09/10/11 at 01:43 AM ET

Paul's avatar

J or George forman or whatever you are going by this morning, please refrain from using multiple user names when posting or become a KK Member.

Thanks.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 09/10/11 at 09:18 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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