History of the
USENET/WWW Hockey Draft

2003-04

This page is dedicated to Andrew Scott, inventor of the USENET Hockey Draft

Andrew started the USENET Hockey Draft in 1987 to add a little fun to rec.sport.hockey. He has been a regular reader of hockey news on USENET since the net.hockey days in the early 80's, and it seemed like a fun way to enjoy the season. About 20 people played the first year.

The draft evolved and grew over the years. After he started USENET Hockey Draft in 1987, and watched it grow until 1994, he had to turn over the reins to Dave Becker because his career at Hewlett-Packad started to take off. He is now working in Product Marketing for HP.

The current "stock market" rules were instituted in 1989. In his last year as manager (1993-94), 342 teams from literally all over the world entered the draft. There have been past entries from:

  • Canada (all provinces)
  • United States (about 35 states)
  • Finland
  • Sweden
  • England
  • Germany
  • France
  • Russia
  • Italy
  • Norway
  • The Netherlands
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Hong Kong
Now that the Internet is expanding so quickly, Andrew forsee the draft becoming even bigger and better.

Quoting Andrew:

"It has always been my intention with the USENET Hockey Draft that we play for fun and everybody is encouraged to join."

"Some people were rather serious about the game and developed spreadsheets or simulations to tell them when to buy and sell players. Others simply tracked their favorite players over the season. Many people told me they became more interested in watching NHL games because of the draft."

"Regrettably, I had to give up managing the draft. I have enjoyed many email conversations with a lot of people over the years. I still intend to enter my own team ("Hurricane Andrew"), and I still welcome hearing from the friends I've made. Thanks, and good luck! "

(end of quote)

Note from Gilles:
Andrew now lives in Vancouver, but remains a die-hard Oiler fan (even now!). He is an avid Masters swimmer and also enjoys scuba diving, skiing, and golf. Andrew got married in 1998.

Meanwhile, the second manager of the draft, Dave Becker, just got married in the 1996 summer... I have meet Dave (he also lived in the Boston area), and I hope that Andrew, Dave and me can meet in a near future. I was hoping that we have a picture together, but this will probably never happen as David is now working in California.

Here are some important dates:

  • 1987
    Start of the first USENET Hockey Draft. At that time, Andrew Scott managed the draft using a spreadshet program. People would send their list of selected players, and kept them all year. They were 20 participants in the 1987-88 season and 45 for the 1988-89 season. Unfortunately, no files from those seasons were kept, and the statistics on those season appear to be lost. I hope that with the help of someone, or the Google USENET archives, I will be able to add those records to the current ones.

  • 1989
    Andrew Scott wrote a C program to help him managing the draft. Also the trading rules started that year.

  • October 1991
    My first participation in the Draft!

  • September 1994
    Dave Becker becomes the new manager, and add WWW support. The Draft does not start because of the lock-out.

  • January 1995
    Finally, The NHL season starts in January, and there is a record number of participants (700). I believe that hundreds have entered during the lock-out period, so there would have been less if the season had started on time (October 1st, 1994).

  • March 1995
    Unfortunately, Dave could not continue running the Draft because of personnal reasons, after the week 8 update.

  • September 1995
    At the same time I was looking for a job, I decided to give a try in taking over the Draft. Got the job and also got the Draft running on my Netcom account (Millions thanks to Andrew Scott), but with no WWW support (I remember that there were several e-mails about this). At that time, I have no idea what HTML was about (or even the C language), so I just told people that I did not have time, nor the resources to have WEB support. I have spent a lot of time to learn these two since.

  • March 1996
    Got that free WEB page from Geocities. Start adding support with alot of info. Hope that you like it!

  • September 1996
    For the 1996-97 season, WEB forms support (from cyberaccess) was added. Got those to work and had problem with some curious people who wanted to see the composition of all the other teams. Had to institute rule #18 because of this incident

  • July 1997
    Dump Windows95 out of my home computer, since then, I have been using Slackware LINUX.

  • September 1997
    Reduced the minimum purchase price back to 50.0 points.

  • September 1998
    Because of a tremendous decrease of scoring in hockey, I had to create a new rule (or formula) to determine the minimum purchase price for the Draft. This has worked well since they were more than 100 NHL players that had at least 46.0 points.

  • September 1999
    Modify rule #10 to allow 2 X minimum purchase price to count in the standings during the season, except for the final standings.

  • September 2000
    Had to change server since netcom was closing down. The draft moved to rahul.net.

  • September 2001
    The draft is now on gillescarmel.com, and because I am "master of my own domain" , I can run cgi scripts that will allow participants true WEB interaction with the draft.

  • October 2001
    Thanks to the help of Andy Froncioni, from Montreal, Quebec, Canada, for writing a Perl script to download automatically the NHL stats, daily standings are now published on the USENET/WWW Hockey Draft WEB site. Andy's script used the RDS (Reseaux des Sports) WEB site to access the stats, but I modified it to use the USA Today (the official stats source for this Draft) WEB site. Note that these standings are not officials. and that only the weekly standings and price lists are used for trading.

  • September 2003
    After 8 years in the Boston area, the manager moves to San Diego. The Pre-Season draft is running on a rahul.net server. Also, I modify rule #10 to allow 10 X minimum purchase price to count in the standings during the season, except for the final standings.

  • © 2003 Gilles Carmel