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News :: Beware of Overall

March 11, 2005

Ever wonder about the Overall rating of player in FHLsim? Ever wonder how it’s calculated? How it works in determining games? Ever wonder why some other team has a 75ov player who ended up with 38 goals and your 75ov winger did virtually nothing? Well, it’s our job to unveil some of those mysteries, both known and unknown in this article.

First and foremost, many simulators like Sierra FrontPage Sports series never used an overall rating for players. Those types of ratings just told the key attributes for each position and left it at that for the player to figure out which player was the best for his needs. The advantage of those ratings is that you learn in detail, which attributes are key and you develop a good sense of player value very quickly.

Sean Bates had every intention of doing such a rating system, but at the very end threw in an OV attribute for a quick synopsis of player evaluation and he actually devised a use for the OV in the simulator. What he didn’t intend was to confuse the player evaluation process and unfortunately, that is exactly what he did. The actual use in the sim for OV is for dividing class of player. Anything over 80 is called a superstar and the sim is programmed to calculate the number of 80+ov players on your squad and effect attendance proportionally. Although, ticket prices & winning are more effective attendance attraction tools, you can have an extremely high ticket price and/or a very poor winning record and still have more than adequate attendance by having a number of over 80ov players on your squad. For use in deciding games and as a predictor of how your team will perform Overall is an absolutely useless and meaningless statistic.

But the drawback is in player evaluation. There are so many styles of players in the NHL and to hockey in general that most of them cannot accurately be evaluated with one single number. Basically, you have your skill players, snipers, power forwards, checking types, defensive & offensive defencemen and of course, role players. The best ways to evaluate these players is within the individual attributes and ignore Overall. Granted, this is difficult. Hard to trade a 76ov player straight up for a 72ov player and feel you got the better player, although it is possible. But if you have this evaluation process in your confidence, you can make that deal and get another player/prospect or pick and make out like a bandit.

In order to make sense of this evaluation its best that we discuss how the sim evaluates overall with each position and which attributes it deems important.

Forwards – OV takes several factors into evaluation. Two factors that effect OV very much are ST & IT. Strength & Intensity are attributes that can soar up OV quickly. Hence that obsession both sim and NHL teams have for the prototypical power forward. While both strength & intensity are effective in the sim, they are not necessary components for all your players on the team. All you really need are three forwards with high strength & intensity. If you package a few low ST skill players around these guys, it will increase the effectiveness of the low ST players. The really big factors for forwards are SC/PA/PC, it stands to reason that Scoring & passing are the keys to getting points on the board. As a result, a few points in any of these categories will impact overall significantly. Speed & Skating will effect forwards more than defenceman but less than goalies. The sim has a bias for fast players, but it seems to be less than the bias for strength. It is always a good idea to try and find a few forwards with high DEF ratings for your checking line and penalty killing units, but the key here as with anything in the sim is to achieve a balance. You cannot win with just defensive forwards as much as you can’t consistently win with a group of skill only players. DEF will not effect forwards significantly as the PC/PA/SC statistic. Here are the major attributes that effect forwards:

High – SC, PC, PA
Medium High – ST, IT
Medium – SK/SP/DEF
Medium Low –EN/DU/DI
Low – LD/EX


Defencemen – Some research uncovered some very interesting data about overall with the defencemen. The simulator basically categorizes defencemen in two different ways. Offensive & Defensive types. It takes the data inputted and decides if the defenceman is a skilled Dman and evaluates overall on the principle of skill. Oleg Tverdovsky is just such a defenceman; his skill stats in SP/SK/PA are so high, no matter how dreadful his DEF rating is inputted it will not effect overall much, if at all. So, you find him at 77ov in many leagues, that would be a legitimate #1 Dman rating, but he basically a power play specialist and should valued as such in trade. Meanwhile, if the sim sees a particularly high DEF rating on a player coupled with low skill numbers it will rate the defenceman based on defensive type. The defensive types will always be a notch or two lower than the skill guys in overall, but in most cases will be just as or more effective. The top defencemen are the players that combine some skill and high defence ratings a’la Rob Blake. Defenceman should also be thought of as a group, it’s only as good as its weakest link. When you cant get skill guys or high DEF ratings, stick to trying fill the remaining slots with Dmen with high IT & ST, usually these players are effective in keeping shot on goal down as their size and intensity neutralizes more skilled players and they block many shot attempts.

Medium High: PA/ST/SC
Medium: SK/SP
Medium Low: EN/DU/DI
Low: LD/EX


Goalies – Goalies are the easiest position in the simulator to evaluate. If nothing else, than there isn’t a difference in the types and styles of goalies. They all have the same job, stop the puck. Basically, if you just evaluated on a goalie on four attributes, you will do fine. Those attributes are SP/SK/PC/IT. You could take these four stats and add them up to evaluate one goalie versus another and get a very good indicator on which goalie is the best puck stopper. There are some wildcards in goaltenders that must be used to decipher the difference in quality of goalkeeper. Experience & Leadership should be very important to goalies. They can keep a high level of play or raise their play in key games and crunch time of games. Passing Accuracy would help the defencemen out in their own zone and likely decrease the opportunity for the opponent to create a forechecking turnover. Strength is often a tiebreaker in evaluating goaltenders. High Endurance & Durability is really a must in a No.1 goalie regardless of how it effects overall.

High: SP/SK/PC
Medium High: IT/ST
Medium: PA
Medium Low: DI/EN/DU
Low: EX/LD


This article is meant to help you assess overall versus individual attributes in trading and drafting. If you don’t need a high PC forward, don’t worry about the overall about the player you are trying to acquire, because without it the overall can only get so high anyway. If you are looking for a Defensive defenceman, then use that high skill type with poor defense rating as trade bait and get yourself a package of players & picks. Defenceman are only so effective in putting up points anyway, mostly they score on the power play. On the flip side of this, you have been probably evaluating players in trade without overall in mind if you do any evaluations including the player’s age & salary. Now, if you can separate the individual attributes just as you have in age & salary, you have a head start on all your competitors.