Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Can you figure out the simple rules behind these weird rosters?

We’re going to try something different today.

Well, yes, pretty much everything has been different lately. That’s really the only way you can go when the sport you cover presses an indefinite pause button. The unofficial motto around The Athletic’s hockey pages has been “let’s get weird” and between 27-year-old power rankings, jersey-based futility lists and one psyche-damaging trivia question, I think it’s fair to say we’ve delivered.

But today, we’re going to try a different kind of different. Instead of me banging my head against a wall for your amusement, you’re going to get to play too.

One of my favorite posts to write is the kind where I take some weird rule or limitation and then try to build the best possible roster based on it. We’ve done a showdown between NHL brothers and father/son combos. We made fun of Maple Leafs trades and bad free agent signings. Last week, it was an all-time roster where nobody had ever played a game with anyone else.

You guys seem to like it, so I went ahead and made a few more. But this time, I’m not going to tell you what rule I was following when I put the team together. Your job is to figure that part out, working through the players I’ve given you to see if you can crack the code. You can post your leads, thoughts or brainstorms in the comment section and I’ll drop in the offer hints or nudges where needed.

Will this work? Maybe not, but don’t act like you have anything better to do today. Let’s make some rosters.

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