The First Annual Nation Network Hockey Pool

Due to the high volume of requests, for the first time ever the Nation Network will launch a hockey pool open to all of our faithful readers! Details are after the jump.

A little further down the page, every entrant will be asked to construct their own team – 14 forwards, seven defensemen, and four goaltenders (we cheated a little on the number of goaltenders because we didn’t want to leave certain players out). The scoring will be explained in each section, and it’s going to be slightly different than what most will be used to, so please keep it in mind when making selections.



  • Goal: Worth 1.25 points
  • Assist: Worth 1 point
  • Plus/Minus: Worth 1 point

Example: Last season’s Hart Trophy winner was Corey Perry. He recorded 50 goals, 48 assists and a plus-9 rating. If he matches those totals exactly, he will be worth 119.5 points – 62.5 points for goals + 48 points for assists + nine points for plus/minus.

Why are goals valued more? It’s simple: goals are rarer in the NHL than assists, and so players that score them should get a little extra consideration.

Please pick one player from each category below:

Position Player Player Player Player Player
First Line 1 Evgeni Malkin Alexander Ovechkin Corey Perry Daniel Sedin Martin St. Louis
First Line 2 Nicklas Backstrom Ryan Getzlaf Anze Kopitar Henrik Sedin Steven Stamkos
First Line 3 Loui Eriksson Marian Gaborik Marian Hossa Patrick Marleau Alexander Semin
Second Line 1 Jarome Iginla Ilya Kovalchuk Rick Nash Bobby Ryan Henrik Zetterberg
Second Line 2 Pavel Datsyuk Brad Richards Eric Staal Joe Thornton Jonathan Toews
Second Line 3 Taylor Hall Dany Heatley Patrick Kane Jeff Skinner Thomas Vanek
Third Line 1 Daniel Briere Jeff Carter Shane Doan Phil Kessel Zach Parise
Third Line 2 Sidney Crosby Matt Duchene Vincent Lecavalier Jason Spezza John Tavares
Third Line 3 Daniel Alfredsson Jordan Eberle Patrik Elias Claude Giroux Teemu Selanne
Fourth Line 1 Alex Burrows Martin Havlat Brendan Morrow Patrick Sharp Chris Stewart
Fourth Line 2 Logan Couture Ryan Kesler Mikko Koivu David Krejci Mike Richards
Fourth Line 3 Pierre-Marc Bouchard Ales Hemsky Jaromir Jagr Ryan Smyth Alex Tanguay
13th Forward: David Backes Mikhail Grabovski Mike Ribeiro Derek Roy Paul Stastny
14th Forward: Cody Hodgson Ryan Johansen Nazem Kadri Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Brayden Schenn



  • Goal: Worth 1.25 points
  • Assist: Worth 1 point
  • Plus/Minus: Worth 1 point

Example: Last season’s Norris Trophy winner was Nicklas Lidstrom. He recorded 16 goals, 46 assists and a minus-2 rating. If he matches those totals exactly, he will be worth 64 points – 20 points for goals + 46 points for assists – two points for plus/minus.

Please pick one player from each category below:

Position Player Player Player Player Player
Defense 1: Dan Boyle Mike Green Nicklas Lidstrom Lubomir Visnovsky Shea Weber
Defense 2: Dustin Byfuglien Drew Doughty Duncan Keith Kris Letang Dion Phaneuf
Defense 3: Brian Campbell Tobias Enstrom Alex Goligoski Tomas Kaberle Marek Zidlicky
Defense 4: Brent Burns Alexander Edler John-Michael Liles Mark Streit P.K. Subban
Defense 5: Christian Ehrhoff Cam Fowler Sergei Gonchar Erik Karlsson Tyler Myers
Defense 6: Zdeno Chara Joe Corvo Mark Giordano Erik Johnson Keith Yandle
Defense 7: John Carlson Andrei Markov Chris Pronger Ryan Whitney James Wisniewski



  • Shutouts: Worth 5 points
  • Save percentage: Worth 2.5 points for every 0.001 above 0.900.
  • Goaltender must play in at least 10 games to qualify – if he fails to meet the threshold he’ll be worth a basic value of 50 points.

Example: Last season’s Vezina Trophy winner was Tim Thomas. He recorded nine shutouts and a 0.938 SV%. If he matches those totals exactly, he will be worth 140 points – 95 points for save percentage and 45 points for his shutouts.

Why are goalies valued this way? For years, hockey pools have based goaltender value on wins and goals against average. The problem is that these are heavily team-based measures – good goalies on bad teams are constantly overlooked because they rack up the losses and face a lot of shots, driving up their GAA. It’s impossible to remove team effects entirely, but under this system goalies get credit mostly for their save percentage. The shutout category recognizes a) goalies that play a lot and b) goalies that put together perfect games.

Please pick one player from each category below:

Position Player Player Player Player Player
Goalie 1: Marc-Andre Fleury Henrik Lundqvist Roberto Luongo Carey Price Tim Thomas
Goalie 2: Ryan Miller Antti Niemi Pekka Rinne Tomas Vokoun Cam Ward
Goalie 3: Ilya Bryzgalov Corey Crawford Jimmy Howard Miikka Kiprusoff Jonathan Quick
Goalie 4: Martin Brodeur Devan Dubnyk Jonas Hiller Kari Lehtonen Semyon Varlamov


To make recording everyone’s entries a little easier, I’m going to ask entries be formatted in a specific way. IMPORTANT: ENTRIES NOT FORMATTED IN THIS WAY WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. For each set of players, please record just the last name, followed by a dash, and please do so in the order presented above.

Example: Aaron A. Aardvark loves the alphabet (and alliteration), for obvious reasons, so he decides to pick the player with the highest name each time. His entry would look like this:

Malkin – Backstrom – Eriksson – Iginla – Datsyuk – Hall – Briere – Crosby – Alfredsson – Burrows – Couture – Bouchard – Backes – Hodgson – Boyle – Byfuglien – Campbell – Burns – Ehrhoff – Chara – Carlson – Fleury – Miller – Bryzgalov – Brodeur

This contest will close promptly at 7:00 PM EST on Thursday, October 6 – the starting point for the NHL regular season. Please have your entry in by that time by placing it in the comments section below.

Mandatory Product Placement

Have we mentioned that the Nation Network offers a high-end hockey pool guide, specifically designed to help in situations like this? Have we also mentioned that at its current price – $5.00 – no other comprehensive fantasy hockey guide is less expensive? Still not convinced? The link above also includes a sample of what is included with the Nation Network Draft Primer.


Naturally, for a big, season-long contest like this there must be prizes, right? I went down to Wanye Manor (pictured above) to ask for prizes from the Nation Network’s grand poobah himself. He reacted poorly, throwing a discarded coffee cup at me and taking off down the street. Eventually he stopped running, and turned to talk to me:

  • Me: Please, Wanye, can we have some prizes?
  • His Excellency Baron Wanye Von Gretz IV: Of course! Take anything you like out of the top bag in my shopping cart!

We will continue to negotiate with Wanye. Rest assured that prizes will be included, once we convince him to hand over something more value than the black milk crate (‘What do you mean nobody will want it? Look how sturdy it is!’) that he originally wanted to give to the first-place entrant.

  • trinkers

    Ovechkin – Stamkos – Marleau – Kovalchuk – Datsyuk – Hall – Briere – Crosby – Eberle – Burrows – Kesler – Smyth – Grabovski – Nugent-Hopkins – Weber – Byfuglien – Goligoski – Subban – Ehrhoff – Chara – Whitney – Lundqvist – Rinne – Quick – Dubnyk

  • Dutchscooter

    Ovechkin – Stamkos – Gaborik – Nash – Thornton – Kane – Kessel – Crosby – Selanne – Sharp – Richards – Jagr – Grabovski – Johansen – Green – Doughty – Goligoski – Streit – Fowler – Yandle – Markov – Lundqvist – Rinne – Howard – Lehtonen

  • adamjames


  • ColeRoll

    Perry – Stamkos – Marleau – Iginla – Datsyuk – Kane – Parise – Duchene – Giroux – Sharp – Couture- Tanguay – Backes – Schenn – Lidstrom – Byfuglien – Goligoski – Subban – Myers – Giordano – Carlson – Thomas – Rinne – Quick – Hiller

  • ColeRoll


  • J_Budd

    Ovechkin– Stamkos– Semin– Ryan– Datsyuk – Kane– Parise– Crosby – Giroux– Sharp – Koivu – Jagr – Roy– Schenn– Green – Letang– Enstrom– Burns – Ehrhoff – Yandle– Markov– Thomas– Miller – Quick– Hiller

  • qgenuis

    Ovechkin-Stamkos-Ericksson-Nash-Thornton-Hall-Kessel-Thornton-Hall-Kessel-Tavares-Giroux-Sharp-Couture-Jagr-Backes-Nugent Hopkins-Weber-Doughty-Kaberle-Liles-Ehrhoff-Yandle-Markov-Thomas-Miller-Bryzgalov-Varlamov

  • ItsTheBGB

    Ovechkin – Stamkos – Eriksson – Nash – Datsyuk – Hall – Parise – Crosby – Giroux – Burrows – Richards – Jagr – Backes – Nugent-Hopkins – Green – Doughty – Goligosky – Burns – Ehrhoff – Chara – Carlson – Lundqvist – Rinne – Bryzgalov – Hiller

  • Drew - Team no more tanking

    Ovechkin – Stamkos – Marleau – Zetterberg – Toews – Kane – Parise – Crosby – Giroux – Sharp – Koivu – Jagr – Roy – Nugent-Hopkins – Green – Letang – Enstrom – Streit – Ehrhoff – Chara – Markov – Lundqvist – Bryzgalov – Hiller

    Thanks so much for taking the time to do this guys, love the site!

  • Tron

    As a proponent of advanced statistics, why is Willis using things like goals and assists and plus/minus rather than Corsi, ESGF/60, ESGA/60 etc.

    If you want to change thinking and educate why have a pool using old line thinking?

    • Because contrary to popular belief, not many people know/care about advanced stats. You’d only have about ten guys entering the pool.

      Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from setting up your own “Super Cool Hockey Nerd Intense Pool (SCHNIP™)”, with a shiny new pocket protector and a case of Mountain Dew as the grand prizes.

  • Drew - Team no more tanking

    Hey Wanye, I think you are out of country right now so maybe you can or can’t help me with this. I can’t log in to because I can’t remember my password. When I ask to have it re-set and e-mailed to me it say’s my e-mail is not an active e-mail on the site. When I try to create a new account it says my e-mail is in use. I’m stumped.

    Also did you get an e-mail from LT re: me?

  • Drew - Team no more tanking

    Might be a good idea to specify which ” Sedin ” you are taking, or the powers that be might have an issue at hand when handing out the milk crate.

  • Drew - Team no more tanking

    How about a Wanye Gretz signed ON hat for a prize? Then You’ll just have to figure out if it goes to whoever comes in first place or whoever comes in last place, Ba-zinga!!!

  • Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate

    Ovechkin – Stamkos – Eriksson – Iginla – Toews – Skinner – Parise – Crosby – Selanne – Sharp – Kesler – Jagr – Ribeiro – Schenn – Green – Doughty – Enstrom – Streit – Myers – Giordano – Pronger – Luongo – Rinne – Kiprusoff – Lehtonen

  • Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate


    I’m In. #seewhattwowordscando

  • ItsTheBGB

    St. Louis – Stamkos – Hossa – Zetterberg – Datsyuk – Hall – Briere – Lecavalier – Selanne – Burrows – Richards – Jagr – Stastny – Nugent-Hopkins – Visnovsky – Doughty – Enstrom – Burns – Ehrhoff – Giordano – Whitney – Thomas – Miller – Bryzgalov – Hiller

  • theoil

    Ovechkin – Sedin – Semin – Zetterberg – Datsyuk – Hall – Parise – Crosby – Giroux – Sharp – Richards – Hemsky – Roy – Nugent Hopkins – Green – Doughty – Enstrom – Subban – Myers – Chara – Carlson – Price – Miller – Howard – Hiller

  • paul wodehouse

    Ovechkin – Stamkos – Marleau – Nash – Thornton – Skinner – Carter – Crosby – Selanne – Havlat – Richards – Smyth – Roy – Hodgson – Weber – Keith – Enstrom – Subban – Fowler – Giordano – Carlson – Luongo – Vokoun – Quick – Hiller

  • Wax Man Riley

    Ovechkin – Sedin – Eriksson – Kovalchuk – Datsyuk – Kane – Parise – Tavares – Selanne – Sharp – Couture – Hemsky – Stastny – Nugent-Hopkins – Visnovsky – Byfuglin – Goligosky – Subban – Ehrhoff – Yandle – Wisniewski – Price – Miller – Bryzgalov – Hiller

    And…. ummmm. Read the article. Made my picks. Fist in the air!