A Cat's Chance in Hell?

Well, the first week's match-ups are coming to a close and we're getting a first glimpse of how the teams are stacking up. For the Hellcats, it's been and up-and-down week so far, with our current total of 134.2 points helped by Khabibulin's massive opening night shutout. Bulin has 21.6 points from 3 games so far, with decent performances from Ilya Bryzgalov and Mike Smith adding 12.8 and 14.2 points respectively from 2 games each.

With the Nashville starting goalie Rinne suffering an injury, I dropped Boucher on Sunday night and added Anders Lindback, who has played two full games while on the Hellcats roster and has notched up 2 wins with 17.4 points. I am really happy with the points chipped in from my goalies, accounting for almost half my total up to this point!

My highest scoring skater has been Matt Duchene, with 10.2 points over 3 games. The biggest surprise so far has been the performance of Brian Bickell, a free agent pick-up after dropping the injured Vinny Prospal. Nine points through four games has helped the team immensely, considering the lack of points from the more "elite" players, the most high profile example of which being Iginla, zero points through three games. As a team, we need more goals. Six goals from 52 total games is abysmal!

There have been some massive scores put up by the other teams, and I'm hoping that my goalies will continue to put up some decent points, but some of my skaters really need to up their game! With a few long-term injuries in my squad, I've got some interesting choices to make in the coming weeks!

Hellcats IceHL Blog #1

Hello, I'm the other James that'll be blogging about the IceHL. I'm James L, the GM of the Houston Hellcats - and for my sins I'm English! I'm an across-the-pond Rangers fan, the blame for which lies at the feet of my Red Wings-supporting school friend and his copy of NHL 99! I've been looking forward to the start of the season since the day after that underwhelming cup-clenching goal in game 6, its been a long summer!

Anyway, onto the Hellcats. The auto-draft presented me with an ok squad, but ranking 12th in the draft order meant I was never going to draft any of the superstars. Zach Parise was my first round pick, followed in the second round by Ilya Bryzgalov. Tavares, Duchene and Lidstrom were selected in the next three rounds.

The rest of my forwards were: Brian Gionta, Michael Grabner, Vaclav Prospal, Martin Havlat, Tuomu Ruutu, Marc Pouliot, Chris Drury, Jakub Voracek and Sean Avery. Not a stellar line up, but solid enough.

On D, I'm a lot more happy with my picks. Nicklas Lidstrom was joined by Andrei Markov, Niklas Kronwall, Mattias Ohlund, Andrew Ferrence, Nicklas Grossman and Matt Hunwick.

In goal, Bryzgalov is joined by Khabibulin, Mike Smith and Brian Boucher. Fairly happy with these, I'm hoping Bulin will be trying to pay back the Oilers organisation for sticking by him this summer.

The first trade offer I received was from the Winterhawks GM, Scott Kocienda. He offered Iginla and Matt Carle in exchange for Parise. I was very happy to accept the offer, picking up a player of Iginla's quality and adding a solid defenceman like Carle for a Devil! This move dropped Grossman onto waivers.

I then missed of out Marc Stall on waivers, but did manage to pick up Luke Schenn, dropping Andrew Ference in the process. Today I have claimed Erik Cole and Marek Svatos off waivers, with Grabner and Pouliot dropped from the team, just in time for the opening fixtures.

There have been several trade proposals flying about, and some that I have received have been very tempting, but no other deals so far.

All in all, I'm excited to see what this season brings. I'm not totally happy with my team, but we'll see how the season goes!

Thanks for reading this, and a big thanks to Chris for setting this up. I shall be watching the opening night's games with interest, and hope to update the blog weekly on the trials and tribulations of running the Hellcats.