Just as with Standard Leagues, Custom teams draft players from the whole NHL Universe.
As a default, there are 17 active/starting slots and 5 bench slots. In Custom leagues, the League Manager can adjust the roster size to best meet their needs. Roster settings can only be edited before the league's draft begins and the maximum allowed roster size is any combination of 30 slots.
The number of players on a team's roster defaults to 22 (17 starters, 5 bench) and can be customized by the League Manager. Here are the seventeen (17) starting slots by default:
- (9) Forwards (F)
- (5) Defensemen (D)
- (3) Utility (Util) - Any Forward or Defenseman position
- (2) Goalies (G)
As a default setting, there are 5 bench spots that may be occupied by players at any position. In the ESPN Custom and League Manager game the LM can change settings to their specific preferences. Statistics generated by players on a team's bench are not applied to the team's total stats.
Forward (F): If F is selected the league will draft individual NHL Forwards. The maximum number of starters at the F slot is fifteen (15).
Center (C): If C is selected, the league will draft individual NHL Centers. The maximum number of starters at the C slot is twelve (12).
Left Wing (LW): If LW selected, the league will draft individual NHL Left Wing players. The maximum number of starters at the LW slot is twelve (12).
Right Wing (RW): If RW is selected, team owners will draft individual Right Wing Players. The maximum number of starters at the RW slot is twelve (12).
Defense (D): If D is selected, the league will draft individual Defensemen. The maximum number of starters at the D slot is fifteen (15).
Utility (UTIL): If UTIL is selected, the league will draft players into the Utility slot. Any offensive position can be placed in this slot. The maximum number of starters at the UTIL slot is fifteen (15).
Goalie (G): If G is selected, the league will draft individual goalies. The maximum number of starters at the G slot is eight (8).
Bench (BE): The NHL players designated to be on reserve by the fantasy owner. These players will be inactive and unable to accumulate points unless placed in the starting lineup. The maximum number of BE slots is thirty-nine (39).
Injured Reserve (IR): NHL players can be put on the IR if they cannot play because of a season-ending injury. Players can also be put on the IR if they are inactive in the upcoming game(s) because of injury or other reasons. ESPN's system determines who is eligible for IR. The league creator can decide if the number for the DL slot will be 1-10 or none at all.
SETTING YOUR LINEUP
You decide which players to start for each day of competition. Your Team page allows you to analyze each of your current players, review their performance (previous day/week, year to date etc.) and freely move players between your active roster and bench. Roster moves involving a player may be made right up until that player's team is scheduled to begin playing in their first game of the day.
When you make transactions, you must move one active player to the bench or to waivers, when moving an inactive/benched player to your active lineup. If you make a move that violates a roster slot, an error message will appear, notifying you to double-check the proposed transaction. You will need to ensure that you are moving players into eligible slots per your league settings.
ESPN gives team owners the ability to modify their lineups for future days ofs NHL action. This can prove to be helpful if you will not have access to a computer (on vacation, business trip etc.) but you would like to make sure that you are receiving credit for players at each team roster slot. Go to your Team page and click on the links for the date(s) of interest to access your roster page for each future date. Then modify your roster. Please keep in mind that if you make any roster moves in the interim (adding/dropping a player or players) this will delete or clear any roster selections you made for future weeks.
ADDING / DROPPING PLAYERS
In Custom leagues there are going to be many unclaimed players available in the player pool; these players are called free agents. You may want to pick up one of these free agents (players not currently on a team in your league) for your "elite team." You can search the player pool by going to the Players page.
NOTE : If you wish to claim a player from free agency, you must have an open roster slot or drop one of your current players in exchange.
ROTO: SEASON GAMES PLAYED LIMITS
In the Roto Custom game the League Manager has the option to set season-long games played limits by either of these two settings:
- Enforce each position separately
- Enforce all players together
By default the system enforces limits on each position separately with 82 games played for each player in a particular roster slot. So if your league uses only one (1) Goalie slot, you are allowed 82 games played by that roster slot. If your league has two (2) Goalie slots, then the total is 164 games played. If your league enforces all roster slots together then the number is 82 x the number of roster slots (for example 10 slots x 82/per = 820 total games started). Note that if a team exceeds the game start max in the middle of a day, that team will continue to accumulate stats until the end of the day. Season games played limits can be edited at anytime by the League Manager but note the limits can only be increased, not decreased. Your team's current balance can be found on your main MyTeam page.
HEAD-TO-HEAD: MATCHUP LIMITS
In the head-to-head Custom game the League Manager has the option to set matchup-based limits by one of these settings:
- Limit Acquisitions by Matchup
- Limit Games Played by Matchup
- No Limits
Each owner in a keeper league is allowed to retain a small number of players they owned during the previous season, eliminating these players from the draft. All leagues are retained from year-to-year, regardless of Keeper setting. However, you are given the option to set Keeper rules for the upcoming season and the following year. If you decide you want to use Keepers this season, you can do so by opening the LM Tools page and then selecting "Yes" from the dropdown menu. You will be given options for how many Keeper slots to make available and when the keeper list locks. The same applies for the next season.
NOTE: If you are continuing a league from a different provider, you will need to select Keepers for use this season. You will then need to go into the Edit Team Rosters link and manually assign the Keepers to their appropriate teams BEFORE the draft. Also, if the League Manager allows draft pick trading, team owners cannot trade picks after keepers have been locked. So if you wish to trade draft picks, make sure you do so prior to the keeper selection deadline.