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Dynasty Mode Guide by DeadUEMan

Updated: 05/09/2004

NHL 2004 Dynasty Guide
by DeadUEMan

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Table of Contents
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1. Legal Schtuff
2. Contact Me
3. FAQ
4. Dynasty Guide
   a) Starting Off
   b) Scheduling Practices
   c) Morale
   d) The Trade Deadline
   e) Playoffs
   f) End Of the Season
   g) The Draft
   h) Free Agents
5. Players Worth Getting
   a)Good Players With Potential
   b)High Potential Players
   c)Wild Cards
   d)Defensive Forwards
   e)Trade Deadline Players


----------------------
1. Legal Schtuff
----------------------

Okay, let's get this out of the way. This guide is copyrighted 2004 by the
author, me. Unathorized use is not permitted. For a little info on this stuff,
go to this address: http://www.gamefaqs.com/features/help/hcontrib_2c.html . If
you wish to use this guide on another website, e-mail me and tell me that you
are using it and then give proper credit to gamefaqs and me. That leads me into
the next section...


----------------------
2. Contact Me
----------------------

My e-mail address is deadueman@hotmail.com. If you have any questions about
this guide, feel free to contact me. Any suggestions are great, too. If you
just want to talk, get some friends, I'm not the type of person who likes to
talk to complete strangers. That said, if you want to talk about this guide or
anything related to it (hockey for example), feel free to e-mail me. I don't
want to answer any questions about controls, because I will go dumb and not
know the answer. So, let's save each other's time and not do that, okay?

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3. FAQ
----------------------

Q. What happened to my stats? They're not in the player profile after the end
of season!
A. Well, EA overlooked this one. They go away after a season, so you won't be
able to see more than one season that you've played at a time.

Q. Where can I find how long a player is injured for?
A. No where. Make sure to figure that out the day after the player gets
injured. It should scroll across at the bottom of your screen.

Q. What does potential mean?
A. It's a measure of how player will develop over time. For a example a 70 ovr
with 90 potential is more likely to develop into a 90 ovr player than a 70 ovr
with 50 potential.

Q. What do the hockey stats mean?
A. G = Goals, A = Assists, P = Points (G+A), +/- = Goals scored while player is
on the ice minus goals scored againist while player is on the ice, PIM =
Penalties in minutes, GAA = Goals Againist Average

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4. Dynasty Guide
----------------------

Okay, onto the good stuff.

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4a. Starting Off
----------------------

Okay, so which franchise do you want? Do you want to build a team up from
nothing (Pittsburgh, Chicago) or start at the top (Colorado, Detriot)? The game
is more set to build from nothing, and if you select Colorado or Detriot or
someone like that you'll eventually have to re-build. It's your choice, either
way works. It doesn't really matter what you decide to do until the trading
deadline and the off-season. Whoever you decide to take, use your upgrade
points on making your team better (that is, travel, practice rink, strength,
skating). Don't worry about anything else yet, use your points on that stuff.
You don't need to touch prices or anything the first season, it will be set.
Make sure to back and reset prices in future seasons (which I forget to do
often). This is in the GM menu under finances. While your in the GM menu, go in
contracts and take a look at your team. Get familar with the general salary and
age for your players. A quick 5 minute glace should be enoungh. Next, if you
are rebuilding, go to free agents and pick up Oleg Tverdoskiy (or however you
spell it). He has decent potential and can be an effective point man. If you
need help with your defense, he's a great pickup. If you need goaltending help,
you can pick up Potvin, but most teams have decent goalies, so that shouldn't
be too much of a problem. Now, spend a little time in office rewards. You'll
have a couple of options, so indulge yourself. Now, get out of the GM menu and
go into coaching options and make your lines. You don't have to change them,
but get to know them and the abilities of each line. I like to have at least
one line with three 80+ checkers for defense, and have one offensive and
defensive defensemen on each pair. Make your lines fit your style of play. In
the game, I recommend doing manual line changes, it works much better for me.
After you've done all of this, you're ready for your first game.

----------------------
4b. Scheduling Practices
----------------------

This seems like an easy part of the game, but it's very crucial to your team's
performance. The day after you play a game, check your players to see if they
are rated higher than they should be by the upgrades you have. Normally, this
happens before you get level 5 stuff for abilities (travel, practice irnk,
strength, skating). If you see this, schedule short practices after games,
there will be no penalty on abilities and you get endurance back. Now, when
scheduling practices, try to get one short practice a week so your player's
endurance doesn't start to suck quickly. Try to aviod long practices like the
plague. They kill morale and endurance, and you don't really need them at all.
Now, here's my formula for scheduling practices (don't mix up the order): If
you have one day between games, schedule a meduim or short practice (remember
to keep what I said above in mind). Two days schedule a short and then a
medium. Three days give them a day off followed by two meduim practices. Short,
Medium, Medium and Medium, Short, Medium work here, too, it's your choice. Four
days, I like Off, Medium 3X, but you can do anything you want. You won't get
more than 4 days off normally, so I won't worry about that. Whatever you do,
don't overlook this aspect of the game.

----------------------
4c. Morale
----------------------

Okay, I used to ignore this because I played with teams that had their locker
room upgraded when I first started. Then I started without an upgrade there and
my morale bottomed out in the first couple of games. First, don't panic. If you
play well and win a lot of your games, it will come up after about 10 games.
There are 3 factors for morale, according to EA's website: Points Streak
(team), ice time, and the locker room upgrade. You can't do much about the
ladder, but you can do something about the first two. Just win most of your
games and you'll be fine for the first. The second is tougher. EA's website
(why isn't this in the manual?) claims that 90+ players want 20 mpg, 80-89 ovr
17 mpg, 70-79 ovr 10 mpg, and 69- ovr 7 mpg. Well, it's tough to give out 20
mpg, espically at the end of the season when everyone's endurance is down.
Defensemen will get the most ice time (my top pair averages around 23 mpg), so
don't worry about them. It's the forwards. What will you do? Run your first
liners into the ground and keep them happy or even it out? Personally, I even
them out and hope to make up anything through winning. If you are having
trobule with morale, use your first upgrade on locker room (which should come
about halfway through your first season). Don't go overboard, however. 2
upgrades in locker room will be enough for all of your 20 years.

----------------------
4d. Trading Deadline
----------------------

So it's the trading deadline and you're wondering what to do? Well, first, are
you in the playoff race? If you are, you may want to consider getting some
players from teams that aren't in the playoff race. If you aren't, it's time to
dump salary. Let's start if you are in the playoff race. Look and see what you
need. If your goalie isn't so great, and you have no backup, get a good backup.
If your blueliners are weak, grab a blueliner. If you need scoring help, get a
scorer. Normally you can trade your first or second round draft pick for one of
these.  Try to get young players with potential that you want to keep. Grabbing
someone for a first round pick and then dumping him at the end of the season
isn't always the best way to do it, you throw away some of your future for
nothing. Now, if you're out of the playoff race, go to contracts. See who you
plan not to resign, or who you think is too old and draining salary. Trade them
away for draft picks and/or high potential players. In your first season, go
for high potential (get multiple high potential players). After you upgrade
scouting, go for the draft picks. Sometimes your team may be perfect in this
time however; if that's the case, do nothing. I have had teams with 4 lines of
80+ovr.  players. That's when you do nothing.

----------------------
4e. Playoffs
----------------------

So you've made the playoffs, eh? This is a different time of the year. I have
seen teams come back from 0-3 in a series while simulating, so don't overlook
that. This is the time where teams make a lot of money. When you start the
playoffs, go to finances under the GM menu. Change the ticket price to where
ever you get a full rink. For the first round, that's about 75, second round
about 80, third round about 90, and fourth round about 100. Those are just
guesses, it may be higher or lower than that. That's about it for the playoffs.

----------------------
4f. End of the Season
----------------------

Well, you've finished a season (finally) and it's time for the off-season.
First, you should have some upgrade points. If your team is in rebuilding mode,
use it on scouting. If your team isn't, use it on skating, travel, practice
rink, strength. Now, it's time to resign your players. If you have any good
players that you do not want to resign, trade them to other teams for draft
pick. I don't know why this work, but it does. If you ever have any player over
an 80 overall and you're not going to resign him, trade him away for a draft
pick. Anyways, when you are resigning players, get them for long-term deals.
You don't want to be resigning your stars every single season, as their salary
wants will just increase. Sign them for 5-6 years if you want to sign them. If
they're getting old, it's not a bad idea to sign them for just two years, it
will be cheaper. But, if you plan on keeping your stars there, long term deals.
Finally, don't forget to check the goalies. I have done this before and lost
very good goalies because I forgot to check the goalies. Don't make that
mistake.

----------------------
4g. The Draft
----------------------

Ah, the draft. My favorite part of the game. It's easy if you haven't upgraded
your scouting yet. Just do auto-draft, it'll do the job. If you have upgraded
scouting, it's a little tougher. You'll get more information, and that's a
pain. You have to choose between potential and good players today. Sort by
speed first and take a look at what you have. Doubtless there will be one
player that jumps out at out. Draft him unless his potential is low. If it is
low, look for the player who isn't as good but has potential. If you find such
a player, you have a decision to make. Do you want the best player now who may
not be as good in the future, or the one who may be a superstar in the future,
but not as good now? I'm not even going to start on that, it's up to you.
Finally, don't overlook your late round picks. When your scouting is good, you
can steal some low 70s guys that are good depth players. That's what wins cups,
a decent ammount of depth. Not 3 lines full of superstars that get injured
(cough, Avs). Now, when you sign these players, sign your best rookies to long
term deals. If you can lock them in for 5-6 years, you are set. You won't have
to resign them until you can tell if they are going to be superstars or busts.
The other way is to sign them for 2-3 years and see how they progress. If they
progress well, sign them to long term deals. This may be better long-term. Your
choice.

----------------------
4h. Free Agents
----------------------

I always recommend grabbing a couple of free agents, mainly because you get
experience from doing so. See what you need. Normally, goalies will not be
available, so draft those well. If you need depth at the blueline, look for the
mid 70s d-man with good potential. If you need checkers, get checkers. It's not
terribly difficult. But what if you're set? Get some low 70s guys with
potential or mad checking skills. I can't emphasize depth enoungh. Grab a
couple no matter what, if just for the experience points.

Well, that's the whole season. Hopefully that's helpful. As your dynasty
progresses, you'll probably find yourself rebuilding somewhere down the line. I
would recommend upgrading marketing and legal as your dynasty goes along, those
help, espically if you have high team salary.

----------------------
5. Players Worth Getting
----------------------

The players you have are key part of your franchise. You want to have about 6
players with good potential at least, with at least 3-4 playing nearly every
game. Planning for the future is important. The best team is the one with about
5-7 veterans and about 20 young players. When you upgrade scouting in your
dynasty, you should be able to horde a bunch of young players. I had a dynasty
with 4 lines full of young players. Of course I got it in the shorts when they
all had to resign at once, but it was fun while it lasted. Anyways...

Here's a list of players that I like on my teams for various reasons. I've
broken it down into a few categories if you like that better.

----------------------
5a. Good Players With Potential
----------------------

Brad Isbister (Edmonton)
High potential player that's great at killing penalties. He's headed towards
bust status, but he's pretty good to start out. Stick him on your first or
second line to begin with and he'll develop nicley.

Ilya Kovalchuk (Atlanta)
This guy starts off as a first liner, and he'll eventually progress to a 99
overall. Great pickup. You do have to resign him after the first season,
however.

Vincent Lecavlier (Tampa Bay)
Same as Kovalchuk. He'll progress to a 99 overall eventually.

Paul Mara (Phoenix)
Great skating defensemen. He's a good all-around player, and with good
potential. Looks like Sean Salisbury, though, and that's a minus.

Jean-Luc Grand-Pierre (Columbus/Atlanta)*
High potential. He's a good checker with a blazing shot. Great pickup for
anybody.

Janni Maarkanen (NYR/Edmonton)
Good goalie with good potential. A good trade deadline goalie that can back up
in the playoffs.

Dean McAmmond (Calgary)
He's a great 2nd line center. He's very, very fast and has decent potential.

Simon Gange (Philly)
He is one of the fastest players in the game and has a wicked fast shot. He has
pretty good potential, too.

----------------------
5b. High Potential Players
----------------------

Rick Nash (Columbus).
95 potential. Need I say more?

Mike Komisarek (Montreal)
A decent defensemen with great potential. He develops into a great all-around
defensemen.

Vaclav Nederost (Florida)
Great potential. I'm not sure if he's on the Panthers, but I'm pretty sure.
I'll find out later.

Rick DiPietro (NYI)
Decent goalie with 99 potential. Great pickup anytime, solid as a backup.

Kostantin Koltsov (Pitsburgh)
Blazing speed. He doesn't do much else at first, but he has great speed. Mario
Lemieux called him the fastest human on stakes. Great potential, too. Did I
mention he's fast?

Jordan Krestanovic (Colorado)
He's pretty fast to begin with, and is the best Avs prospect in the game. Can
be good down the line.

Jarrett Stoll (Edmonton)
Okay, this guy is crap to begin with, but he's has good potential. Let him
develop and he could be good, but I don't have the patience.

Garnet Exelby (Atlanta)
He's a balanced defensemen. I've seen him develop into an 85 in every category.
He's a good 6th or 7th defensemen to begin with.

Brandon Reid (Vancouver)
He's really fast (faster than Koltsov) and has good potential. A good 3rd or
4th liner who will give you 15 goals and develop pretty well.

Standislov Chistov (Anaheim)
Very good potential. He develops into something really special. Starts out
decent, too.

----------------------
5c. Wild Cards
----------------------

DJ Smith (Colorado)
Not great potential, but he's a good stay at home defenseman. If you need
depth, he's not a bad option.

Brian Willsie (Colorado/Washington)


----------------------
5d. Defensive Forwards
----------------------

Bobby Holik (NYR)
Best defensive forward in the game. I love putting him on a 3rd line and owning
it up. He has a huge salary, though, so use at own risk.

Matt Cooke (Vancouver)
A skilled agitator who can rack up the points. I hate him and the rest of the
team up north, though, so he's lucky to get a mention.

Martin Lapointe (Boston)
WAAAY overpaid (5 mil) but he's not a bad checker. A decent checking line guy.

Erik Cole (Carolina)
Very, very good checking guy. He can kill powerplays and is another great
defensive forward.

Grant Marshall (New Jersey)
A great defensive forward. He won't develop into anything special besides his
checking ability.

Mark Recci (San Jose)
A solid 2nd or 3rd line center. He's great a penatly killing.

Dan Hinote (Colorado)
Fast and a pretty good hitter. A great 3rd liner, but don't expect him to
develop past that.

Tyson Nash (Pheonix)
Same as Hinote. He's a great player for a 3rd line, one of my favorites.

----------------------
5e. Trade Deadline Players
----------------------

Todd Marchant (Columbus)
Fast and a great trade deadline pickup. He's only got one year left on his
contract, too.

Alex Tanguay (Colorado)
Decent potential, he's a great 2nd liner, though. He's pretty quick and only
has one year left on his contract. Good trade deadline stuff.

David Legwand (Nashville)
He's a good trade deadline acquistion. He's a free agent after season 1, so
you're not locked into anything.

Sergei Samsonov (Boston)
Yes, he only has one year left on his contract. He's one of the fastest players
in the game and is very young. I love him.

There are lots of great players to pick up, these are just a few examples. Most
are high potential, but some are just good players that can fit well on a 3rd
line. If you have any suggestions, please contact me.

*Two teams means the player was traded. The first is his original team on the
default rosters, the second his current team.

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