CURRENT EDITION: REV 2.8.1 (June 20, 2017)





















Notes are indicated by {}'s. The notes may be found at the end of the rules. They are generally comments that do not add to the rules themselves but may indicate some historical or logical reference.

References to rules should use the rule letter, number and name, such as A.1, Scope of Powers.

Examples are prefaced by EX:



The following principles detail what is expected from participants and the spirit in which the FHL will operate.

1. Scope of Powers: The Commissioner retains absolute control over all aspects of the FHL. The Commissioner may interpret or change rules at any time in any way and without notice.

The Commissioner may suspend or remove any owner from the league at any time. The Commissioner need never give any justification or explanation of any decision made. Ordinarily the Commissioner will not dismiss any owner without consulting the rest of the league, but reserves the right to do so.

If the Commissioner receives a sufficient number of complaints (determined at the Commissioner's discretion) about an owner, the Commissioner may call for a vote of the league members. If more than 50% of the owners vote for the owner's removal, the owner shall be removed immediately, without right to appeal and without any explanation.


2. Participation: Each owner is expected to respond promptly to league activities. League activities include, but are not limited to,

  (i)   Pre-season contract decisions and free agent auction

  (ii)  Trade offers

  (iii) All-star game balloting

  (iv)  Calls to vote from the league Commissioner.

It is understood personal matters may not make it possible to respond to all league activities. A lengthy history of non-responsiveness may be used by other owners to call for the removal of an owner.


3. Contact: Each owner must inform the league of any change of e-mail address or significant absences.


4. Responsibility: Every owner is expected to manage his team professionally and in particular to promote the long-term well being of his or her team and the league.  There are no financial responsibilities for FHL owners, except those that win the Duteau Cup (see section A.7).


5. Ethics: No owner shall deliberately attempt to undermine any other owner's participation or enjoyment, except to the extent that the rules and good-willed common sense permits.


6. For the Good of the League: Any owner that can no longer maintain a level of activity appropriate to a league of this sort, shall immediately inform the league and will be relieved of all responsibilities.  


7. Duteau Cup: The winner of the FHL is awarded the Duteau Cup. The only fiscal requirement of the FHL is that the winner assume the cost and obligation of updating the trophy nameplate with their team details (updated plate costs approx ~$10-$15 USD) and subsequently mailing the Cup to the next winner in a timely manner. {note A.7} In addition the winner is memorialized on the FHL web site.

8. Ownership Transfer: If an FHL team is vacated for any reason, a new owner will be named by the Commissioner.  The incoming owner assumes all of the players and assets (cash and draft choices) of the team as-is.  However, in the event that the team has dealt away all of its available draft picks without leaving any tangible asset for the incoming owner, the Commissioner reserves the right to award the team with compensatory draft choices that will be slotted at the end of the round in which the draft choice is awarded.  This process will be conducted on a case-by-case basis by the Commissioner.


These rules outline the official structure of the FHL.

1. NHL model: The FHL attempts to emulate the NHL as much as possible in its operation. FHL Divisions and Conferences mimic the NHL formation. Each FHL team assumes the same placement as its NHL-named team. Should re-alignment, contraction, expansion or relocation occur, the FHL follows the NHL.

2. Official Officers: The Official Officers of the FHL are (in rank order)

(i)        The Commissioner                 Daniel Robitaille

(ii)        The Statistician                 Paul Myers

(iii)        The Trade Co-ordinator         Doug Lewis

The office of Trade Co-ordinator will exist at the Commissioner's discretion. Should there be no designated Trade Co-ordinator, the Commissioner will serve in that capacity. The Statistician's duties are outlined in E.1, The Statistician. The Commissioner is responsible for all other aspects of the FHL.

3. Unofficial Officers: The following four Officials perform duties in support of the FHL. While these duties are not minor, they are not as demanding throughout the season as those of the Official Officers, and so have no true authority or rank.

All-Star Game Co-ordinator                Steve Gandour

Auction Server Admin                        Daniel Robitaille

FHL Web Site                                  Daniel Robitaille/Rob Tistale

Yahoo Mailing List Moderator        Mark Benvenga

In-season Free-agent signings    Mark Benvenga



The following rules indicate how a FHL team organizes its players.

1. Roster Types: A team is composed of three player classifications: Active, Reserve (R) and Prospect (P).

2. Active Roster: The active roster consists of 20 players, with the following conditions. There must be a minimum of 2G, 6D and 10F. There is a maximum of 2G, 8D and 12F. Only players listed on the active roster shall be used for scoring purposes during a scoring period.


3. Reserve Roster: Each team may have an unlimited number of players on the reserve roster who may play any position during the regular season (i.e, there is not the same limitations on positions as on the active roster). However, at conclusion of the preseason waiver draft (H.6), no team may have a reserve roster of more than 10 players (30 players total between active and reserve rosters).  This restriction is relaxed at the end of the first scoring period (C.5).  Players held in reserve are paid just like all other players, but do not contribute to the team's scoring.

4. Prospect Roster: In the interest of enhancing the ability of teams to draft and develop young players without using up valuable reserve roster spots, each team may place up to five "prospects" (defined as any player with either a U22 or D## contract type, see Section D for contract definitions) on a prospect roster.  Players on the prospect roster will

not count against the 30 active + reserve player limit, but also will not be eligible for promotion to the active roster that season.  Players on the prospect roster are still paid their regular salary.  Teams are still able to carry more than five U22 and D## players, but any players not placed on the prospect roster will be either on the active or reserve rosters as before and will count against the 30 player limit.  Teams are not obligated to place any players on the prospect roster, even if they have U22 or D## players.  Players are assigned to the prospect roster in the pre-season, after the auction.  

Players on prospect rosters may be traded during the season, but the acquiring team must have room on their prospect list for the incoming player or the trade is invalidated.  Players on the prospect list for a given season remain on the prospect list though the following off-season until the next pre-season begins in September.

5. Roster Limits: During the off-season and pre-season, there is no roster limit.  At the end of the pre-season waiver draft, teams must meet the 30+5 man roster limit (active&reserve + prospect, C.3, C.4).  During the regular season, there is an expanded overall roster limit of 38 players, P prospects included.  Teams may have more than 5 prospects during the season, however extra prospects over 5 are at the expense of the roster spot of a reserve player (ie if a team has 7 P prospects during the season, then there will only be 11 reserve roster spots so that 7 + 11 + 20 = 38).

6. Roster Moves: During each scoring period a team may make a Roster Move (transferring any number of players between the active and reserve rosters subject to C.2 Active Roster rules).  Roster Moves take effect at the end of the scoring period in which the move is reported.  They are emailed to the Trade Co-ordinator ( and should be formatted in the following manner:


Promote: Joe Smith, Samantha Levine

Demote: Stan Jones, Bill Murphy

where XXX is your team abbreviation.  This format allows the Trade Co-ordinator to copy and paste your Roster Move directly into the FHL Trader and such formatting is greatly appreciated!  The end of each scoring period is Sunday evening at 9 pm ET.  This is the time by which any and all Trades and Roster Moves made in a given scoring period must be submitted for these moves to take effect for the next scoring period.


Roster Moves are permitted after the trading deadline until the end of the regular season.  They are also permitted during the playoffs, in which case the transaction occurs at the end of the playoff round in which the transaction is reported.

At the end of the playoffs all reserve players are considered active.


Traded players retain their roster status from before the trade. It requires a Roster Move to change it. A team must make appropriate Roster Moves to ensure that the roster conforms to active and reserve roster rules or risk the effect of rule F.3 Rosters and Trades.


All FHL players play under one of four contract types.  There is the standard player contract (C-##), an "under 22" contract (U22), a pre-season draftee contract (D##), and a mid-season draftee contract (WD##).  A player's salary always precedes the contract type in the roster file (eg 15 C-10, 4 U22, 1 D08, 3 WD09).  Players may be de-contracted either during the pre-season or the regular-season prior to the final month of the regular season (see De-Contracting Section D.5)

1. C-## contracts: The majority of players in the FHL are signed to C-## contracts.  For C contracts, the ## denotes the summer of the year when the contract expires.  For example, a $10 contract ending after the 2008-09 season is listed as 10 C-09, whereas a $25 contract ending after the 2010-11 season is listed as 25 C-11.  If the contract is a multi-year contract, the player is paid the salary indicated for each of the years of the contract.

EX.  Jones has a 30 C-12 contract.  Jones is therefore paid $30 in each of the 2009-10, 2010-11, and 2011-12 seasons.

Players who sign C contracts will become free agents and be subject to the free agent auction after their contract expires unless that player is offered a mid-season contract extension (see Section L).

No player signed to a C contract may later be assigned a U22 contract even if the player is below 22 years of age.

2. U22 contracts: Players that are less than 22 years of age and are not in their first season in the league are signed to a U22 contract (unless they enter the league through the mid-season draft, see D.4, or re-enter the league through the free agent auction after having been cut in a previous season).  Those players that have U22 contracts can remain on U22 contracts for multiple seasons until the year that they are 22 years old on Sept. 15.  When a U22 player reaches the year during which they are 22 years old on Sept. 15, then their U22 contract must be replaced by a C contract.  Contracting rules are found in

Section H.2.

3. D## contracts: All players that are drafted in a given pre-season draft get a D## contract.  For D contracts, the ## denotes the year of the draft.  So D08 players are drafted in the 2008 pre-season draft in September 2008.  Drafted players that are less than 22 years of age will be denoted as D##U22, whereas those 22 or older when drafted are D##.  All drafted players get a salary of $1 for their rookie season, so all drafted players in the 2008 pre-season either have contracts of 1 D08 or 1 D08U22.

Players can only have a D## or D##U22 contract during their draft season.  When a player enters their second season, a D contract must be replaced by either a U22 contract if the player is still under 22 at the start of their second season, or by a C contract if they are not under 22.  Contracting rules are found in Section H.2.

4. WD## contracts: Players who are drafted during the league's mid-season draft get a contract designation of WD## where ## denotes the summer of the year that ends that season (eg a player drafted in the mid-season draft during the 2008-09 season gets a WD09 contract).  All mid-season draft picks get a salary of $3, so all mid-season draft picks during the 2008-09 season have a contract of 3 WD09.  

Players can only have a WD## contract during their draft season.  When a player enters their second season, a WD contract must be replaced by a C contract.  WD players cannot receive a U22 contract, even if they are under 22 years of age.  Contracting rules are found in Section H.2, and the mid-season draft is described in more detail in Section K.

5. De-Contracting: The cost to de-contract a player under a C contract is one-half of his remaining annual salary for each year, paid immediately at the time the player is de-contracted.  There is no cost to de-contract a U22, D##, or WD## player.

Should a player retire abruptly or suffer a career-ending injury during the course of a season, the total de-contracting fee remains one-half of his remaining annual salary for each year, however a portion may be deferred (if the team so chooses; must advise the commissioner at time of de-contracting) until the next preseason such that the amount paid during the year of de-contracting plus salary paid to that point in the season equals his annual salary (ie. fee paid in year of de-contracting equals remaining salary due to player for that season with balance deferred).

EX. Smith has a two-year $20 contract, retires suddenly and is de-contracted at the half-way point of the first season.  He had been paid $10 and is owed $30, so the de-contracting fee is $15.  Paying the entire fee at the point of de-contracting would cost the team a total of $25 that season, so $5 of that may be deferred until the preseason, hence the total paid for the player in the year of de-contracting equals his original $20 salary.  In other words, he was owed $10 in salary for the remainder of that season, so the fee due at the time of de-contracting is $10 with the balance deferred (if the team so chooses).


The following rules govern how the performances of FHL teams are ranked.

1. Statistician: The FHL Statistician is responsible for calculating scoring and reporting this information to the League. This information shall be reported at least once each Scoring Period.  Should personal obligations prohibit the Statistician from fulfilling this obligation, he should inform the league and Commissioner of this.

2. Scoring Periods: The regular season is divided up into 25 scoring periods.

Periods start and end at a time fixed by the Commissioner and Statistician. Usual Scoring periods commence on Monday and end on Sunday (inclusive), but may be altered by the Statistician.

Weekly Statistical scoring is used to determine a team's win-loss record during the regular season. During the playoffs teams

compete head to head using Statistical Scoring.


3. Scoring Categories: Defensemen and forwards score in the following categories:



PIM (penalty minutes)

Dstat (+/- factor)

Goalies score in GStat (shots,GA,W,T,SO factor).

A team's score in each of the five categories is the sum of the individual player scores in that category for all players on the active roster for that scoring period.


DStat = (+/-) - ((GP x team GF-GA)/(team GP x 4))

      + (multiple x GP)

multiple = 0.5 for defensemen, 0.25 for forwards. PP goals are not included in this calculation.


GStat = (2 x wins) + (ties) + (2 x shutouts)

      + ((0.15 x shots faced) - goals allowed)


4. Weekly Scoring: At the end of each period the FHL Statistician will tabulate team scores in each category. In each category the highest scoring team gets 30 points, the second highest 29 points, and so on, until the 30th highest scoring team gets one point.  Teams that tied in a particular category each receive the higher rank point with the next highest team receives the rank point expected given the number of teams in front of it.  When assigning rank points for GStat, teams that had zero GStat in a scoring period are ranked below any teams which a negative GStat.  This is to reflect the fact that a team with negative GStat had goalies playing that period, whereas teams with zero GStat in almost all likelihood had no goalies playing that period.  This ranking of GStat applies in both the regular season and the playoffs.  The rank points in each category are summed for each team to give their Statistical Score.  

Teams are then ranked on the Statistical Score to derive an overall rank for the week. These rankings are used to derive a team's weekly record as follows.

Rank        W-T-L

1-3        3-0-0

4-6        2-1-0

7-11         2-0-1

12         1-2-0

13-17         1-1-1

18         0-3-0

19-23         1-0-2

24         0-2-1

25-27         0-1-2

28-30         0-0-3


Points are assigned to each team as per NHL rules (2 for each win, 1 for each tie). There are no overtime wins or losses. The points earned each week determine a teams standing and are cumulative for each scoring period.

EX: if Montreal are ranked 7th in goals, 8th in assists, 30th in PIM, 23rd in DStat and 4th in GStat, they score 24+23+1+8+27 = 83 points. If this results in an overall league rank of 15th Montreal will have compiled a 1-1-1 record for the scoring period and will have accumulated 3 points.

5. Tiebreakers: In the event of a tie (either to determine playoff seeding or the winner of a playoff round), the following criteria are used in order. Wins (not applicable to playoff round winner determination), Goals, Assists, DStat, PIM and GStat. In the unlikely event a tie still results, the FHL Statistician shall use a random method to break the tie.






1. Allowable Trades: Trades may involve players, cash, or draft picks. Once a trade is agreed on, it must be reported to the Trade Co-ordinator by both parties to the trade.  The maximum amount of cash that is allowed in any trade is $10.  Cash may only be traded during off-season and pre-season trades (those between the end of the FHL playoffs and the start of the FHL season).


2. Trade Announcement: Trades (and Roster Moves, see B.4) are announced in the FHL Trader, issued by the Trade Co-ordinator at the end of a scoring period.

3. Trades and Rosters: Trades must always satisfy the roster rules.  Each owner is responsible for making the correct Roster Move (C.4) by the end of the scoring period.  If the correct roster moves are not received, any active players received during a trade placing a team over the 20 man active roster limit will be placed on the reserve roster until the appropriate roster move has been made.  Other roster rules violations will invalidate a trade.    


4. Timing of Trades: Trades taking place during a scoring period are considered to occur at the end of the period.


5. First Week Trades: Trades that occur after the waiver draft and before submission of first period lineups are processed immediately and are in effect for the first period.  Trades during the first scoring period of the season occur at the end of the first period, similar to any other trade during the season.  

6. Trading Deadline: The FHL imposes a trading freeze from the first Sunday following the NHL's trading deadline until after the FHL playoffs end.  


7. Anti-Dumping Rules: Teams may not make hopelessly one-sided trades.  

In addition, no team may make trades that attempt to circumvent FHL rules.  The Commissioner reserves the right to cancel any trade without justification.

Owners who feel a particular trade is unreasonable in some regard, whether or not the trade satisfies FHL rules, or who have reason to believe that certain trades involve attempts to circumvent the rules should report the matter to the Commissioner at once.


8. Future Considerations are not allowed in trades.



1. Format: Playoffs will follow the current NHL format introduced for the 2013-14 season. Eight teams per conference qualify. They are the top three teams in each division and next two teams with the highest point totals (wildcards).

2. Match-ups and Seeding: Playoff match-ups are determined as they are in the NHL system; within each division.  The second and third place teams in each division play each other in the opening round.  The division winner with the higher point total (the #1 seed, see below) plays the wildcard with fewer points while the division winner with the lower point total (#2 seed) plays the wildcard with the higher total.  In Round 2, the winners of each divisional semi-final play in the divisional final.  Round 3 sees the two division champions face each other in each conference and the Duteau Cup final is still the battle of the conference champions.

The 2 division winners are seeded 1 and 2 for the first round where the division winner with the higher point gets the #1 seed and the lower point total division winner gets #2.  The remaining six teams are seeded 3-8 based on total points, using E.5 Tie Breakers as necessary.  Note that a wildcard team could have a higher seed (playoff multiplier) than a third place team if they have more points.

These seeds only determine the playoff multiplier for each team; they are not strictly relevant for determining match-ups as match-ups are divisional.  Teams keep their original seed through Rounds 2 & 3.

3. Scoring: Playoff scoring rounds correspond to the NHL playoff round.  Points earned during the playoff scoring period in each category are multiplied by a playoff modifier. Regular season points do not carry over into the playoffs, nor do the points accumulated each round carry over.  Each playoff round starts off with every remaining team having a score of 0 in all categories.

The modifier is 25 less 0.5 (rounded up) for each seed below #1 {note G.3}.  So the modifiers for seeds 1 through 8 are 25 25 24 24 23 23 22 22.  Teams keep their modifier for Rounds 1, 2 and 3.  For the Cup finals the modifier is 25 for both teams.

EX (above): In Round 2, 1 plays 7 and 3 plays 5.  1 keeps its modifier of 25, 3 has a modifier of 24, 5 has 23 and 7 has 22.  If seeds 5 and 7 win their matchups, they play in Round 3 with their original modifiers of 23 and 22, respectively.  When the winner advances to the Duteau Cup Final, they have a modifier of 25 just as the winner of the other Conference does.


4. Winning the Round: The team with the higher cumulative Statistical Score defeats its head to head opponent and advances to the next round.


5. Playoff Cash: Every playoff team will receive a onetime payment of $10 to next year's budget, $5 will be added to the team's budget for advancing to each round after the first round. This money is added to a team's balance at the end of the playoffs.

           First round  = $10

           Second round = $15 = $10+$5

           Third round  = $20 = $10+$5+$5

           Final round  = $25 = $10+$5+$5+$5





The following occur in order prior to start of a new season:


1. Revenue Sharing: Each team has $400 added to its cash balance at the start of the pre-season.  Revenue is added on Sept 1, the nominal start date.


2. Preseason Contract Decisions: Each team must submit decisions on all players with D##, WD##, and U22 contracts to the commissioner at this point.  Teams must decide with each such player if they want to retain them for the upcoming season or let them to the Free Agent Auction where they will have the right to make the opening bid on that player.

To retain D##U22 and U22 players that are still under 22 as of Sept. 15th, a team must offer the player a U22 contract worth double their previous salary.

EX.  2 U22 player Smith is 20 years old as of Sept 15.  To retain his services, the team must offer Smith a 4 U22 contract for the next season.

To retain D## players, WD## players, and U22 players that turn 22 as of Sept. 15th, a team must offer the player a C contract with a salary given by the following formula: new salary = previous salary + ($5 * number of years you want the player signed).

EX. 3 WD09 player Murphy is to be retained for three seasons.  Murphy's new salary will be $3 + ($5 * 3 years) = $18, and his new contract will be 18 C-12 (signed for three seasons, ending in 2011-2012 season).

EX. 1 D08 player Barber is to be retained for two seasons.  Barber's new salary will be $1 + ($5 * 2 years) = $11, and his new contract will be 11 C-11 (signed for two seasons, ending in 2010-2011 season).

EX. 8 U22 player Jones is to be retained for four seasons.  Jones's new salary will be $8 * ($5 * 4 years) = $28, and his new contract will be 28 C-13 (signed for four seasons, ending in 2012-2013 season).

A team may also cut any number of players with C contracts from its roster (however, they must have a roster size of 20-30 after H.10 Waiver Draft).  De-contracting rules apply.  De-contracted players may not be bid upon in the initial phase by the team who cut them and they have no team designation during the Free Agent Auction.  U22, D##U22, D##, and WD## players do not need to be de-contracted at this point; they can simply not be offered a new U22 or C contract and sent to the Free Agent Auction with team designation.  Players who have expired contracts at this time enter the Free Agent Auction with team designation.

3. The Draft: Any player not on one of the FHL rosters before H.2 Preseason Decisions and who has been drafted or signed by an NHL team is eligible for the FHL draft. Players cut in H.2 Preseason Decisions may not be drafted. This means each NHL player may not be drafted more than once in his FHL career. The draft consists of four rounds.  

All new draftees appear on their team's roster with a contract of 1 D## or 1 D##U22, depending on their age (see Section D.3).  The draft picks that are in the possession of each team for the upcoming FHL draft and the one subsequent to that are listed in the draft picks page on FHLCentral.  The picks for these two drafts are considered to be the only picks that a team has in their possession and only those are available for trade by the team.  New draft picks will be issued immediately after an Entry Draft is completed; ie immediately after the 2009 Draft, the 2010 picks will move up to becoming this year's picks and 2011 picks will be issued.

Draft position is determined by reverse regular season finish order.  The NHL lottery is used for the FHL lottery. If the 2nd worst NHL team wins the draft lottery, the 2nd worst FHL team wins the FHL lottery. The lottery team enjoys the first pick of the first round and reverts to regular draft order for subsequent rounds. The final four slots in each round are given to the conference finalists (worst regular season finish of the two picks 27th while the higher regular season finish picks 28th), the Duteau Cup finalist at 29th, and the Duteau Cup champion at 30th.  Some portions of the draft may be performed live using email, but teams picking deep in the round may need to draw up a list and submit it to the Commissioner.  Lists are processed in order and each owner will get the highest ranked player remaining on the team list.

As a service to FHL teams, the option of taking the results of the most recent NHL Draft as their team's draft list is available.  This can be considered the FHL equivalent of Central Scouting Services, which provides free rankings of draft-eligible players to all NHL teams, which teams in turn augment with their own scouting.  GMs who prefer not to spend large amounts of time scouting players can select the default list and still participate in the draft.

4. The Auction: Players subject to the Free Agent Auction will be made available on a web site. When the Auction Server Admin is ready, he will inform each team of their password and bidding begins.  The entire roster of each team will appear on their team's auction page.  Players with contracts will appear with their contracts, while players without contracts will be available for bids.  The Auction Server will track the total salary committed in signed contracts for each team, the total salary represented in outstanding bids by each team, the total salary each team would have if they were successful in all their bids, and the cash balance of each team when considering their cash on hand against their total hypothetical payroll

(contracts plus bids).

There are two numeric columns on the Auction Server which must be filled to place a bid on any free agent; the base and annual columns.  The first column is the base salary you wish to pay a player, while the second column is the actual salary he will earn per year of his contract when you consider adding additional years beyond a base one-year contract.  If you wish to make a one year offer to a player, then the base and annual numbers you enter will be the same.

EX: You wish to make a one-year contract offer of $6 to free agent Smith.  Enter 6 and 6 in the two columns and you will offer a one-year deal worth $6.

If you want to offer a multi-year contract to a player, the second column will be larger than the first by an amount that is equal to five multiplied by the added number of years over the first.  That is, for a two year contract, the second number is five greater than the first... for a three year contract the second number is ten greater than the second, etc.

EX: You wish to make a two-year contract offer of $20 per year to free agent Murphy.  Enter 15 20 in the two columns and you will offer a two-year deal worth $20 per year.  The second column is the salary of the player, and the difference between base and salary is $5, representing one added year after the first.  Or count, in multiples of five, until you get to 20 by saying two numbers.  15, 20 gets you to 20 in two numbers, so 15 20 is a two-year deal worth $20 per year.

EX: You wish to make a four-year contract offer of $45 per year to free agent Jones.  Enter 30 45 in the two columns and you will offer a four-year deal worth $45 per year.  The second column is the salary of the player, and the difference between base and salary is $15, representing three added years after the first.  Or count, in multiples of five, until you get to 45 by saying four numbers.  30, 35, 40, 45 gets you to 45 in four numbers, so 30 45 is a four-year deal worth $45 per year.

Bidding is broken into periods. Usually a period will consist of a 24-hour weekday (Weekends do not count).  During the opening period (period 0), GMs are allowed to offer contracts ONLY to players on their own teams.  No offers may be made to players on other teams at this time. After this opening period ends, the auction is open to bids by all teams on all players and offers may be accepted.  

If a player receives a bid from a team other than his former team and then does not receive any further bids for two consecutive periods, he will sign the last offer made to him.  However, when a player receives a bid from his former team, he will wait only one period without receiving further bids before re-signing with his old team.  This reflects a measure of loyalty shown by the player to his former team.  The player will wait only one period to sign after receiving a bid from his former team at any point in the auction; the loyalty is shown throughout the auction, regardless if the team makes an initial contract offer in period 0 to the player or not.  Players with no bids whatsoever will remain in the auction until it ends.

EX: Free agent Smith receives an initial contract offer from his former team during the initial bid period (period 0).  If no bids are received during period 1, Smith will accept the offer after only waiting for one bid period to get offers from outside teams. However, if another team offered a better contract to Smith during period 1, Smith must go through periods 1, 2 and 3 without receiving any better offers before signing with that outside team.  If the original team then outbid the outside team for Smith before period 1 ended, Smith would only wait until the end of period 2 before re-signing with his original team.

It is possible the Auction could continue for a lengthy period.  If there are any remaining unsigned players in the auction after the start of the NHL regular season, they are deemed holdouts.  These players may not be listed on an Active roster for the first scoring period and will be placed on the Reserve roster once they do sign a contract.  They will be eligible for promotion to the Active roster for the next scoring period.

A team makes bids using the rules of bidding outlined above, using the two columns of base and annual salary to offer single year and multi-year contracts, with the following provisions used to determine a 'better offer'.  A player will always accept a better offer in the Auction.

Current Offer        New Offer        

Single Year        Any Single Year with a higher base.

Single Year        Any Multi-year with the same or higher base.

Multi-Year        Single or Multi-Year (length specified by new

                offer) with the current base offer doubled or

                increased by $10, whichever is less.

Multi-Year        Multi-Year with same base as current offer,

                but length extended.

EX: A team makes an initial free agent contract offer to a player for $8. If he receives no bids, he will sign that offer. However, a team bids $10 base $10 annual for one year. That is a better offer. The player waits and next day receives an offer of $10 base $20 annual (a three year contract). This is a better offer. A team makes a bid of $15 base $20 annual (a two year deal). This is not a better offer as it does not double the base or increase it by $10. The next offer is for a base $20 annual $20 contract. This is a better offer.


A team may not trade a player until he accepts a contract.


Each team is allowed to overspend during the auction, as not every offer may be accepted. When a team enters the Auction, some cash is already committed in the form of Existing and Special Contracts. The remainder of a team's cash may be used in the auction. In addition, each team has the ability to overspend by $20. Any bids in excess of this amount will be considered invalid by the Auction server and will be rejected.  As the overspend is stipulated on the Auction Server and the rosters are contained therein until the end of the Auction, the $20 overspend limit is in effect until the end of the Auction.

Be warned however, there are serious consequences for the inability to meet your team's budget. These are explained in I.2 Failure to Meet Payroll.


5. Waivers: Active Rosters must be determined at this time for the first scoring period.  Reserve rosters are limited to 10 players, for a total team roster of 30 players, plus up to five players on a team's prospect list.  Teams with more than 30 roster (active+reserve) players must place enough players on waivers to at least meet the 30 player limit.  Teams with fewer than 30 players may also use the waiver wire at this time if desired.


6. The Waiver Draft: Teams with either rosters of less than 30 or prospect lists of less than 5 may pick up players in the waiver draft.  Only H.5 Waivers players are eligible for the Waiver Draft.  Teams get one pick per round and can make selections until they reach both the roster limit of 30 and prospect list limit of 5.  Teams that are selecting players that they intend to place on their prospect list must be eligible for the prospect list (ie either U22 or D##) and the team must declare to the commissioner at the time that the selection is made that the player is to be placed on the prospect list.  

The team with the lowest total salary gets first pick. The draft has as many rounds as are necessary.  Teams assume the original contracts of the waived players.  If a waived player is not drafted by another team, the original waiving team may elect to keep the player instead of decontracting, but only if the original team has less than 30 active players. If they have 30 or more players, they must decontract the waived player.  De-contracting fees apply, even for players that were just signed in the Free Agent Auction.


Participation is optional. Once a team forfeits a pick for a round, it forfeits all remaining rounds.


1. Payday: There shall be 25 payment periods per season. These shall usually coincide with scoring periods. Each team shall pay 1/25th of the total value of all annual salaries on the active, reserve, and prospect rosters each scoring period.


2. Failure to Meet Payroll: Teams can reach conditions where they may be unable to meet the obligation of I.1 Payday. Should this occur, the team is subject to the following penalty: They will be ineligible for the playoffs.

3. Payroll Requirements: To avoid situations where teams carry unrealistically uncompetitive rosters for the purpose of banking very large amounts of cash for use in subsequent seasons, all teams must abide by a hard $500 salary cap, which must be adhered to at all times throughout the season.  Any trades or player signings which put a team over the cap will be invalidated.  In addition, a soft $325 minimum salary floor is also in effect.  Teams that wish to carry less than $325 in salary at any point during the season may do so, but those teams will be charged as if they have a $325 payroll (ie $13 per pay period).  In this way, a team has the opportunity to rebuild with younger (ie cheaper) players, but they do not stockpile excessive cash in the process.

No team will be allowed to project a stockpile of excess cash (ie bank balance; Cash At Season End) of more than a $100 at any time during the regular season.  Should a team's payroll and available cash situation project a higher number than $100, that number will be capped to $100 with the excess contributed by the league to the FHLPA retired players pension fund.


1. Teams may waive players by reporting them to the Commissioner before start of the first scoring period of the month. The Trade Co-ordinator will announce the waived players in the first Trader of each month. Each team may waive one player per period.  The first waiver period falls in the first scoring period of November, while the final waiver period ends during the month of the FHL trade deadline.

2. Claims may be made during the next scoring period. Priority is given to teams lower in the standings should several teams claim the same player. Teams may make multiple claims during a single waiver period.  If multiple players are claimed by a team, the first claim is processed in order and the team then has their priority moved to the end of the order.  The claims of all other teams are then processed before the first team has an opportunity to make their second claim.  If that player had not been claimed by any other team earlier, then he is awarded to the first team.  Claims are announced in the following Trader.  Players who are placed on waivers may not be traded by their original team during the week that they are on waivers.  Teams also may not "claim" their own player during the waiver process; they may only retain him if no other team places a claim on him and if they stated that they want to retain him if he cleared waivers.

3. Teams who claim a player on waivers assume his contract. If no other team claims a player placed on waivers, the original team pays for Decontracting (D.5) or may elect to keep the player.  The decision to keep or decontract a player that clears waivers is solely up to the waiving team and it is their responsibility to report that decision before the end of the waiver period... ideally at the time when the player is waived.  If a team waives a player and fails to specify whether to keep or decontract the player in the event that he goes unclaimed, the player will be decontracted and the appropriate decontracting fee will be applied.



1. Mid-Season Draft: Right around the time of the NHL All-Star game, the FHL will hold a one round mid-season draft.  This is a draft of players in the NHL, but not currently on any FHL roster, nor have they ever been on a FHL roster.

The mid-season draft pick cannot be traded, nor can the player selected with the pick be traded during the season; ie players on WD## contracts cannot be dealt until the end of the playoffs.  They can be traded once the off-season begins and the trade freeze is lifted.

2. The order is based on reverse league rankings from the last scoring period before the draft, with the lowest ranked team drafting first, and the highest ranked team drafting last.  


Participation is optional.

3. To be eligible for the mid-season draft, the player must have played at least 15 games (skaters) or 10 games (goalies) in the NHL during the current season by the day of draft. U22 eligibility cannot be given to a player drafted in this draft. {note K.3} Players previously drafted may not be acquired via this draft.

Salary and contract details are found in Section D.4.


1. Contract Extensions: During the NHL all-star break each team is allowed to extend the contract length by one year of a single Binding Contract normally set to expire at the end of the current season. The cost is $20 added to the base and annual salary beginning the next year.





Where two or more teams are in dispute over some matter, like a trade, and these rules do not cover the matter in dispute, the league has successfully used the following procedure for resolution of the problem:


1. Arbitration: The Commissioner will ask an anonymous owner to act as Arbitrator with the teams in dispute having the right to request that certain owners not function as Arbitrator.  


2. Argument: Each team makes its case to the Commissioner.


3. Relaying of Facts: The Commissioner communicates the relevant facts to the Arbitrator and gives the Arbitrator a list of possible decisions doing his best not to reveal the identities of the teams involved (often this is impossible).


4. Judgment: The Arbitrator makes a decision and communicates it to the Commissioner without having to offer any justification for the decision.


5. Results: The Commissioner communicates the decision, which is final and not subject to further negotiation, to the owners.


6. Anonymity: To allow this process to work, owners should not attempt to discover the identity of an Arbitrator and anyone being asked if they are an Arbitrator should respond, "Arbitrator? What Arbitrator?"




The following rules specify the general manner in which expansion will be conducted. Owners may decide to modify these exact rules in their details prior to any expansion, but modifications to the general format of the expansion will not be permitted.


1. Protection: If the next NHL expansion brings in 2 teams, each team gets to protect 7Fs, 4Ds and 1G plus any U22s (every team must leave at least 2 players exposed). Goalies are drafted first. A team can only lose one G. The four teams losing a G can lose no more players. The other 22 teams then each lose 2 Ds/Fs. This leaves the 2 expansion teams with 22 Ds/Fs and 2 Gs. For 1 team expansion, one more D and F can be protected. For expansion of 3 or more teams, one less D and F would be protected.

2. Expansion Contracts: The expansion team may then give or extend existing contracts to players. They do this by adding $5 to the annual salary for each contract given or extended. The final expansion roster may not have more than 10 players under Existing Contract (players not subject to the upcoming Auction).

3. Expansion Draft: The expansion team will get the same pick in the lottery draft as the corresponding NHL expansion team.



A.7 - Jon Barrett founded the FHL and named the championship trophy after Jean Duteau, the league's original Statistician.

G.3 - This encourages teams to vie for higher seedings and simulates home-ice advantage.

K.3 - This is to keep teams from drafting prospects, which we would like to see drafted in the preseason draft.  


CURRENT EDITION: REV 2.8.1 (June 20, 2017)

REV 2.8.0 (June 19, 2017)

REV 2.7.0 (Aug 1, 2014)

REV 2.6.0 (May 16, 2012)