European employment rate up 264 players

Ethan Moreau, no. 264.

Ethan Moreau gets the dubious distinction of being the final player selected in the first EURO Hockey League draft.  The cagey veteran was the 264th player chosen. No word yet  on whether he’ll be sporting the number 264 as his Milan  jersey number or if a more traditional number will be given to him. Speaking of Milan, don’t be confused by reports you saw online today about goalie Andrew Raycroft being signed by Milan. It’s actually another Milan hockey club trying to get into an inferior league, the KHL. It’s not the EURO Hockey League Milan team. It just wishes it was. Raycroft wasn’t drafted by any of us so he’s trying to latch on to work in another league.

After Edinburgh made the gutsy and enviable pick of $3 million Andy Greene to shore up its relatively young defense corps, the biggest news of the day came on Oslo’s pick. Time expired and the Norwegians were given Daniel Briere. It was an odd outcome because until then, the computer had been dishing out cap-friendly players like Tim Brent, Francis Bouillon and Gregory Campbell.  Briere was the most talented player taken since about the 10thround, but his 4-year, $6.5 million contract scared many away. Still, he plays right wing, which isn’t the deepest of positions and he has finesse, experience and offensive skills. He

Danny Briere, Oslo RW

would be quite useful to any team. The question is which teams can afford him. Coach Frenchy has built a solid team but he is probably over the salary cap with Briere on the pro team. We’ll see how the crafty coach deals with this situation. (Note: We don’t know for sure if the computer selected Briere or if Coach managed to log on seconds before the pick)

For a complete draft recap, go to the GM Office tab, then “League” and “Draft History.”

Now it’s on to wooing the best coach for your team. Do you want someone who is a great motivator? A tactics guy who might make your power play click? A defensive genius? Or someone who is a little of everything? The choice is yours, but remember you will be bidding for his services along with 23 other GMs.

This is also the time to set your investments. The top window of the investments page will affect how your players perform during the year.  The bottom half will affect your team’s bottom line. It would be great if Websim allowed you to spend wildly and max every category, but that is not an option. Websim makes us figure out our own strategies. Feel free to share any thoughts  on investment or coach philosophies below. A veteran GM shared with me once that investing heavily in “Gym” facilities keeps players closer to 100 percent condition throughout the season.  He was right, I found. I don’t have any of the other areas down pat, though.

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