User Interview: Cpetsche

Q&A with noted SimLeague Hockey user Cpetsche

We recently contacted Simleague Hockey guru Cpetsche to discuss drafting strategy, Howie Morenz, the Noodle, Gandhi, being Gary Bettman, Sim 3.0 and all of his other "favourites."

WIS

Thanks for taking the time out to meet with us.

Cpetsche

Pleasure's all mine.

WIS

Who is Cpetsche?

Cpetsche

He's a hoser; a toque totin' Canadian, happily married for 11+ years to Sheryl, father to Alex (hey bud!!) and the Noodle (Nathan). Co-owner/operator of an electrical contracting business in the Hamilton, Ontario area.

WIS

How did you learn about WhatIfSports.com and our SimLeagues?

Cpetsche

I stumbled across the site by chance, really. Was looking for something beyond the free Yahoo-type league and did a web search for SimSports, and presto! WhatIf came up, and I haven't left since.

WIS

Besides simulation sports websites, what are some of your other interests and hobbies?

Cpetsche

Well, when I'm not doing something work-related (go ahead and laugh, MB!!), you'll catch me hanging out with my wife & kids, doing family stuff - watching the tube, bodyslamming my kids, and listening to music. Anything but country and classical.

WIS

Which are some of your favourite teams of all-time?

Cpetsche

For hockey, the Habs for sure. Baseball? The Jays - not necessarily the WS days, but I really liked the Moseby-Bell-Barfield-Fernandez teams. Football - the Steelers, and their CFL "cousins," the Ti-cats. Man, do they suck; the hometown team, that is.

WIS

Did you play much hockey growing up?

Cpetsche

Nothing on an organized level, but certainly street hockey. Growing up we lived one house away from a 'dead' street - Argo Avenue - no houses, not really a thru street, rarely any traffic. We played 'til the street lights came on.

WIS

What players did you admire most growing up?

Cpetsche

Well, my favourite player growing up was Guy Lafleur; as my years advance I've had the opportunity to learn more about players whose prime days were before my time: Rocket Richard, Howie Morenz. At the same time, the player I most admire right now is Saku Koivu, hands down.

WIS

What is your favourite sports moment?

Cpetsche

It's gotta be the 92-93 Habs winning an unbelievable 10 straight OT games as they made their way to their 24th championship.

WIS

Build your all-time dream hockey team:

Cpetsche

Here's your starting 6: between the pipes, I'll go contemporary and choose Patrick Roy. On D, Bobby Orr & the Big Bird, Larry Robinson. The forward line would see Gretzky dishing pucks on the starboard side to the Rocket, and flipping those port side passes to #17, Wendel Clark!!!

WIS

What is your favourite WIS moment?

Cpetsche

Apart from getting the 11 Season League to continue season to season? I suppose meeting myself in the finals of an Original 6 theme league held eons ago is something I'll never forget.

WIS

Which coaches, past or present, do you draw on for inspiration?

Cpetsche

Call it corny, but my father is someone who inspires me. There are other individuals involved in my line of business that are ready, willing & able to dispense advice & wisdom when certain situations arise, needless to say, the C-man has a reliable network of those-who-know-better-than-him! Thank goodness!

WIS

If you had the power to replace Gary Bettman as commissioner, what is the first thing you would try to change?

Cpetsche

Man, to think that merely replacing him would suffice!! LOL! My change involves how team points are tallied. First, make regulation victories worth 3 points. Second, overtime starts 4-on-4 for the first minute, then decrease to 3-on-3, 2-on-2, etc as each minute goes by, until a goal is scored. No more need for the shootout - doesn't make sense to determine the outcome of a team game with an individual skills competition. Imagine if baseball ceased playing extra innings and decided to determine the game's winner using a home run derby.

WIS

What is the top sports related thing you want to do in life that you have not yet done?

Cpetsche

Every year I always want to plan for the train ride to Montreal to catch a Habs game. Maybe in '07, eh?

WIS

Which five people, past or present, sit at your dream roundtable discussion?

Cpetsche

Five, eh? Well, the c-man has always felt inspired by various musical types, so the first two would be Tom Waits & Nick Cave. And hey, what would a general discussion roundtable be like without the likes of Mahatma Gandhi and ol' JC himself, eh? And just to make sure things don't get out of hand, let's invite Bruce Lee to be our "moderator."

WIS

Obviously, you have been successful, but what is your opinion of the latest SimLeague Hockey engine release?

Cpetsche

What I truly appreciate about the new engine is that more than ever before, there's more than one type of team that an owner can put together that will be successful. This, of course, means that an owner can use more of his favourite players as part of his SimLineup, which ramps up the 'fun' factor from where I sit. Prior to 3.0, it was all about shooting percentage, right? Now we have variety in the ways we can be successful. This citizen of SimHockeyLand approves.

WIS

What can you tell users who may be unfamiliar with the game about the merits of SimLeague hockey?

Cpetsche

For those of us who have been around the SimHockey block a few times, we all are aware that previous engines made it a cardinal sin to choose an 'oldtimer.' The present engine really makes it feasible to choose players whose prime years took place generations ago. How does this benefit the user who isn't familiar with the game? For starters, it provides names of players from the past, and hopefully will spur the user into investigating the rich history that the game of hockey has to offer. If SimHockey can provide a portal into hockey history for some of our users, wouldn't that be nice?

WIS

What is your general strategy for building teams?

Cpetsche

These days I like to keep my d-corps on the cheap (rarely will I use a high-priced, high-scoring fella, unless I have to as per theme league rules). I prefer goalies with high win totals, a decent save percentage, and a relatively healthy number of shots/saves per game. As for the forwards, there's usually a line of low-cost, high D guys. For the other nine starting forwards, I like to use guys with a combination of mid to high shots per game along with a respectable points per game average. More often than not if I've picked the right players for the right league, things go well. But man, when my picks are off, watch out!! That's when I abandon hope and shoot for the BigBuzz rule: if you aim for 20 wins with a substandard team, then you've got it made! LOL!

WIS

What is the most important thing to keep in mind while drafting?

Cpetsche

I suppose it's important to remember to use the players that you know will have success in the Sim - the Malones, the Dyes, etc. But it's also important to not forget to have fun - go ahead and use your favourite players! The way the game works now, you'll have a decent shot at icing a successful squad.

WIS

Are there any players in specific that you like to put on your team?

Cpetsche

For a while, it wasn't a Cpetsche team without Dennis Kearns or Yip Foster. Nowadays, if the league rules permit (or if I'm able to snag him in a draft league), the Russian Rocket usually shows up on my teams.

WIS

Are there any players that you feel consistently under or overachieve?

Cpetsche

Never had a Marcel Dionne that did well, but what I've noticed is if you're in a season-based theme league, and you have a bunch of dudes from say, the 01-02 campaign, even the likes of Jagr et al do not come close to meeting expectations.

WIS

How do you go about setting your lines?

Cpetsche

There was a time when everything was all aggressive, all the time. Nowadays that'll get you into more trouble than its worth. First, I'll let the team play according to its 'automatic' (ie. Season-starting) settings for a couple of games. If things seem to be OK, then I'll let it ride. If not, the first thing I usually do is restrict the shooting capabilities of my d-corps. It's important to remember to give your forward the chance to shoot as often as possible, especially when their RL SOG totals are relatively high. As Howie Meeker would tell you, you can't score if you don't shoot the puck!!

WIS

How much emphasis do you put on scouting future opponents?

Cpetsche

Well, to be honest, not a whole lot. That being said, I can tell you that if I'm in the playoffs, and I meet someone who I know I have trouble with, I get on my knees and pray to every diety that anyone has ever believed in. Does it work? Maybe yes, maybe no. Perhaps the SimGods are really that powerful!! LOL!!!

WIS

Do you make transactions (call-ups/demotions, trades, etc.) during the season? Why or why not?

Cpetsche

I rarely initiate trade talks, but usually have an ear open to trade offers during the season. You're likely to find me accepting a 'change of scenery' trade. As for the prospects, it's been hit & miss for the skaters, but I find that a decently rated ML goalie is able to hold his own for a while.

WIS

Who are the users you respect and who challenge you the most?

Cpetsche

Wow, the number of names on that list is a large one. Owners I respect? In no particular order: gollum, booman35, SAKABAKBRG, bigbuzz, bb_icetime, ntbaer, logain, apetsche (hey fella!!), damned, damag, aginor, raidersfan, smeric, sylemark, noose4, jmerch, wectina19, god_mike, evil_twin, jcarver67, xpoemtl, all of the gang in the 11 Season League. I've been around since the birth of SimHockey. I know for certain that there are many more names that I could list, but the ol' grey matter ain't what it used to be!!

WIS

What is your current favourite aspect of SimLeague hockey?

Cpetsche

Thanks for bringing back the option to rename our teams. I realize that's sort of a cosmetic thing that has nothing to do with the Sim itself, but it is nice to get that creative license back. As for the game itself, it sure is nice to be able to ice a good team with a broader cross-section of players.

WIS

What is your least favourite aspect of SimLeague hockey? If you could change one thing about the game that will not be changed with the draft center update?

Cpetsche

Honestly I don't know how necessary it was to perform the latest tweak to the engine that saw a dramatic fall in the number of shots on goal. When 3.0 was released, I thought it was awesome. I'll bet a dozen different styles of team drafting could have a chance at success. But after the tweak, more & more you'd see teams logging 5, 6, 7 shots on goal per game! If I wanted SimSoccer, I'd ask for it!! LOL!

WIS

Do you seek help in the forums/sitemail from other users? Do other users seek help from you via the forums or sitemail?

Cpetsche

There was a time when many a user would solicit me for info, and I gladly gave out whatever info I knew would help. But that was back when I seemed to be joined at the hip with the 16 wins in the post-season, if you know what I mean. Now that the success has waned (but not the fun!!), I don't get so many requests. As for perusing the forums for help, we've got a few excellent threads from which to get hints & help.

WIS

If you were in one of our games, which sport would you play? At which position? And, how much would you be worth?

Cpetsche

Oh that's an easy one. In my alternate universe, I'm actually an NHL-ready goaltender who has just never had his shot at the big time. When I'm between the pipes, I'm a lion, roaring at my opposition and ready to pounce on the puck. To that end, I'd put my unit value at about 864,749.

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