[AUTHOR’S NOTE: This was written for The Broad Street Bully, a blog and podcast my friend Drew and I started based off of our mutual interest in the Philadelphia Flyers. See it on http://broadstreetbully.net.]
The most fun I have playing NHL is assembling a team in Be A GM. Since the latest roster update, the Flyers now have everybody that will end up within the system this year. The team is only missing Medvedev. Apparently, NHL 16 can’t put him into the game until he plays at least one NHL shift.
So, the real Be A GM mode will start for me once the season begins. However, I still started the mode and played around with it to see what changes they made from NHL 14.
I don’t count NHL 15 as part of the franchise. Because it sucked dog shit.
Here’s what I noticed after wheeling and dealing players and then playing four regular season games.
Giroux and Voracek are good. This sounds obvious but it’s true. The two of them together are ridiculous. Their passing is top notch and I was able to thread some seams with these guys that led to some ridiculous goals. The bonus to them being so good is you can put anybody on their wing and it makes them better. I shuffled Gagner, Raffl, and Read through the line and all of them put up goals.
Raffl is good too. He’s only in the low 80s but he has hands and a decent wrist shot. He beat Crawford blocker side twice in my game against the Blackhawks. The Flyers are expecting more out of Raffl this year in real life so it’s good to see that the NHL developers have made him a better overall player.
Add Couturier to that same list. It seems like his speed got a little better and it’s much easier to pick corners with his wrist shot. I have him piloting the second line so he’s getting more scoring chances and he put in some decent goals. Good news for Flyers fans.
And Brayden Schenn. But it doesn’t even look anything like him. C’mon, NHL 16 developers. You figured out mostly everyone else.
Hagg has a heavy shot. I kept close to the Flyers plan with their prospects. I didn’t bring anybody up to the NHL squad except for Hagg, who I paired with free agent acquisition, Eric Brewer. I haven’t played with Brandon Manning yet, but Hagg has done an ok job so far as part of the second pairing and his shooting from the point has led to some goals.
Paul Holmgren is the worst for ruining the relationship with the Nashville Predators. I started my Be A GM tenure by trying to figure out how to shed some contracts and salary. Luckily, I didn’t have to venture far to find a suitable trade partner. The Predators took Luke Schenn and a third round pick for their first round pick. Then they took Andy MacDonald for their second round pick. Then they took Umberger for their third round pick. If you need to shed salary fast, and you’re playing Be A GM, go find the Predators and trade for all their draft picks.
Paul Holmgren is the worst for signing Vinny Lecavalier. I literally can’t trade him. I tried trading him to every trade for either a 7th round pick or the lowest trade value player that’s on the NHL, or AHL, squad so it counts as a roster spot. And nothing. He’s literally untradeable. I’ve tried to throw in extra draft picks and still nothing. I tried to take back up to two million of his salary and still nothing. Nobody wants his contract. The game actually tells you that.
The arrow system is growing on me. Now that I’m used to the passing arrows, and the targets on the net, the arrow system they have actually isn’t too terrible. Knowing where I’m aiming my shot is pretty useful when you have Giroux or Voracek and know they can hit that target.
But player controls are weird. I’ve noticed, primarily for defense, if you get out of position it’s somewhat difficult to get back into it. It’s going to take some getting used to keep the defenseman in position in your own zone. It just seems like if you pull them out of position even a little it throws off the whole structure in the zone.
The NBC announce team sounds like they were inspired by Perd Hapley. And that is something I’m saying because it’s something that needs to be said.
The morale system needs work. I don’t understand how it’s supposed to work because it doesn’t make any sense. I sent Bellemare down to the AHL and the game automatically made him the Phantoms captain. When I had a player meeting with him, I selected the option to tell him that I appreciate his play and made him captain for all his hard work. This response made his morale drop. Huh?
Free agent signing Eric Brewer told me that he didn’t think some of my trades were smart. I told him that he just needs to go out there and play and leave managing the team to the management. His morale wasn’t effected. Then, while he was playing in one of my top two pairings, I beat the Panthers 7-2, the game commended my ability to play team defense telling me to keep up the good work, and Brewer’s morale went down because he was upset with the team.
Nick Schultz was upset I traded Umberger but Brayden Schenn doesn’t care that he’s floating between third and fourth line center. Del Zotto’s morale dropped when I traded Andy MacDonald. But why? That means more playing time for him. That’s a good thing.
I’m confused on what I’m supposed to say to players to boost their morale because the obvious answer isn’t the right answer all the time, apparently. After four games, trying to manage everyone’s bitching is just me guessing how to respond because I have no idea if it will make them happy, or angry, or completely indifferent.