04:56 PM - September 1, 2010 by ezio
Hey everyone…Rammer here again to talk about the most addicting mode I’ve ever played, Hockey Ultimate Team in NHL 11. Right now, the entire dev team (at least those not on well deserved vacation) are playing in the EAUHL and already we are seeing very different strategies for building a team. As we’ve stated before, this mode is all about YOU being the GM of YOUR team and building the way YOU want to for success against the rest of the world.
We’ve all heard Brian Burke’s philosophy for building a championship team. He wants six ‘white collar’ guys to put the puck in the net and six ‘blue collar’ guys to bang and crash so his team is tough to play against. We see other teams like Pittsburgh which were not very good for many years but during that time, they were accumulating top draft picks (like Crosby and Malkin) and creating a young talented core that grew together until they were ready to make a run for the cup. Once they were ready, management brought in some key free agents to play specific roles and that’s how they were successful in building their championship team. In a lot of ways, Chicago followed the same recipe of taking their lumps while accumulating young superstars (Toews and Kane) through the draft and building around them. They won the cup this year but as we’ve seen this off-season, they’ve had to retool their line-up because they couldn’t re-sign all of their players under the cap thus making it a lot tougher to build a dynasty.
There are so many different approaches to building your Hockey Ultimate Team that over the next week, myself and some of the other members of the dev team will be sharing their philosophies and documenting how they’re doing in our ‘dev team only” EAUHL.
I’ll start with me…With the addition of the CHL this year, my approach is to rack up as many top prospects as possible and build around a solid core of young superstars that I can keep together for a long time and not have to worry about the cap. The key for me is that the young guys have the most training slots, are a small cap hit and have the longest careers.
So…after earning a couple packs and making a crafty trade, I get Cam Fowler and Ryan Ellis playing D together. Both these guys played defense for the Windsor Spitfires last year so their chemistry is through the roof. Along the way, I earned several training cards so I decided that I was going to train up Cam Fowler first and try to get him up to a 90+ rating. I put 6 training cards on him and got him up to an 85. A couple games later, I tried advancing to play a game and was reminded that I had a player without a contract. Guess who…Cam Fowler. No problem RIGHT? I’ll just go put a 40 game contract card on him which I had waiting for use on one of my young players. WRONG! I could put the contract card on him no problem…AT TWICE THE SALARY!
GM lesson 101: When you try to re-sign an 85 rated player, he will cost more than trying to sign a player rated in the 70’s! LOCK UP YOUR YOUNG TALENT TO LONG CONTRACTS BEFORE TRAINING THEM UP.
I haven’t made that mistake again but what I began to notice was that I was using up games of my key players and my team was nowhere close to being ready to make a run. I want to build a dynasty and reign supreme for a long time. To do that, I want at least 6 young forwards and 4 young d-men who have all been trained up playing together for at least 35 - 40 games. I changed my approach once again.
Now I’m keeping all of my key young players on my Scratched Roster and in My Collection (instead of playing with them). This is essentially my farm team. As I gain good training cards and 35+ game contract cards, I’ve been applying them to these key guys (contract cards first including AN 80 GAME CONTRACT CARD). Hopefully, in the next couple of days, I can bring all of these guys into my active roster and start reaping the rewards of my patience. As other GM’s start to run into salary cap issues near the end of this season and the start of next season because they have to resign their players, that should be when I really capitalize with my approach. Stay tuned…
In the meantime, you’ll be hearing from some of the other dev team members and their experience to date in the EAUHL.
Source - NHL 11 In the Crease Blog