Icy Grail


The Grail is an advanced Fantasy Hockey Dynasty League and has been running strong since 2006. There are 2 championship titles awarded… Rotisserie and Head-to-Head. There are 14 teams. The Grail is very stable and has many GMs that have been in the league for many years. This is not a local friends' league. The Grail has had GMs from all over the world.

The Grail is a "wager" league, not a straight "money" league. See WAGER section for details.

The Grail is a community of Fantasy Hockey enthusiasts that enjoy a more in-depth fantasy experience. The league is run by an IT Professional and longtime fantasy commissioner. Rules are not changed arbitrarily and all changes are announced, typically a season or more prior to implementation.

All GMs are required to stay active in the Grail. I realize most FHLers participate in many leagues; however, the Grail must be a PRIMARY league. The Grail’s design promotes a lot trading (upwards of 150 trades each year); trade negotiations often take time to agree on terms. WhatsApp is used for league updates, trade talk, and discussions.

As a Dynasty League, each team's roster will rollover from year to year based on player contracts. GMs also manage a salary cap and a team budget. The Grail creates its own marketplace. The Grail doesn’t use NHL contract amounts. Player Contracts are determined by the bidding of players.

The Grail has a very customized set of categories. See CATEGORIES section for details. The categories and player positions were tweaked over several years in order to deepen the player pool and create unlimited strategic approaches. The Grail is structured to force GMs to plan ahead and make tough decisions along the way. A real NHL GM faces many obstacles building and keeping a team together; the Grail uses those real-world decisions as a blueprint for this league.


Any form of Collusion will not be tolerated. Any GMs suspected of Collusion will be removed from the league without refund.


Below are 3 separate posts I've come across on other websites by fellow Grail members. They are honest unprompted testimonials:

“… You will be overwhelmed once you get started. There are 20 scoring categories, prospects, farm players and 16 teams. I cannot stress enough how much detail is in the league. It’s fun and there are a great group of guys... Daily lineup changes, free agent bidding process on a daily basis, constant trade offers. Too much to go into but it’s one of the best if not the best fantasy hockey league you will ever be in.”

“…BUT I do warn you, simple Yahoo strategies do not work in the Grail. We got the best of the best in the Grail, you need hockey knowledge both pro and amateur, some economic planning, good negotiation skills, and some luck to compete. Joe has spent countless hours explaining all the rules to each of us. The Grail is the most thorough league going. The detail will just blow your mind away.”

“The league blows away anything Yahoo can do… There are so many more statistical categories and even more strategies to think about. You got a salary cap and a spending budget for free agents. You can trade draft picks, money or even your place on the waiver ladder for players. I can go on and on. Joe listens to everyone’s suggestions to help make the league a place to stay. He wants a community of hockey fanatics. I suggest you really think about trying it. I have been doing fantasy sports since 1983 and I probably will never join another Yahoo league unless it’s with some friends.”

Annual Fee

The only fee is a $12.00 USD annual fee. With exception to an optional WAGER option, there are no additional costs during the course of the year. Any further reference to "money" within the rules refers to Team Fantasy Money, not actual out-of-pocket expenses.

The Grail uses the Fantrax Premium Commissioner Management System. The system allows for complete control over a league with many custom settings.

Charging an annual fee also acts as a "Vetting Process" to avoid collusion and to raise the integrity of the league.


Every GM, with exception to some newly appointed GMs, pays an annual fee (See FEE section), and approximately $3.00 from every fee collected is put in the Grail Money Pot. The Money Pot is only awarded to the GM that both wins the ROTO title AND placed a wager at the start of the season.


Prior to the start of every NHL regular season, any GM that is confident he will win the Grail’s ROTO Championship Title can place a $10 wager to win the title. The entire wager amount is added to the Money Pot. The wager is NOT mandatory and does not exclude any GM from winning the ROTO title.


The GM that wagers that he will win the ROTO title and then wins the ROTO title will be awarded the entire Grail Money Pot.

Rollover of Money Pot

If the GM that wins the ROTO title did NOT place a wager, then the entire pot of money is rolled over to the following season. If a regular 82 game season is suddenly cut short of 70 games, similar to the 2020 season, the money pot will automatically rollover to the following season. If all NHL teams have played at least 70 games, then the current ROTO leader will be crowned champion and awarded the money pot.

Why Wagering and not Straight Money League?

Money leagues have a greater sense of urgency to win and can invite many forms of collusion and cheating. Also, in Dynasty form, these leagues are much harder to fill an open GM spot, especially for weaker teams, since money is the primary objective. The Grail is designed for the Fantasy Hockey enthusiast looking to play General Manager and is intended to allow a GM to build up a team as he prefers such as through the draft. The Wager option adds an additional incentive to win, but not at the expense of the Grail’s primary mission.

ROTO & H2H Titles

The Grail has 2 scoring titles. The overall Grail Winner goes to the Rotisserie Champion; however, the H2H Champion rakes in nearly the same amount of team winnings (Fantasy Cash). Each week, you will go Head-2-Head against a conference rival while also accumulating stats to your ROTO totals. There are no playoffs for either title. The team with the most ROTO points wins the Rotisserie Title and the most H2H wins secures the Head-to-Head Title.

Where to Find the Rotisserie Standings

Fantrax has 2 different pages for tracking the 2 separate titles.

  • H2H: The standings for H2H can be easily found on the Fantrax Home Page.
  • ROTO: The Rotisserie standings can be found by going to the Standings page, then clicking on the Season Stats tab.

At the end of the season, team rewards are given for each H2H win. Even if you are not challenging for a title, staying active to the end is very important to your team’s budget for the upcoming offseason.


See the WINNINGS section for the reward amounts for both the Grail’s ROTO and H2H Champions.


There are 2 conferences, 7 teams in each. At season's end, the conferences will be restructured using the Season Ending Rotisserie Standings, grouping the best/worst teams together to even the field for the next season. The conferences are appropriately named Upper and Lower. Most H2H matchups are within each conference. The H2H title is designed to allow for weaker teams to win a title during a rebuild; you only need to dominate your conference to win the H2H title.


Failure to meet either the GS or GP minimums, you cannot win either the Grail or H2H title. See GAME MINIMUMS section for current GS and GP minimums required.


  • Starting Season Payout = Varies (See "ECONOMY" section for formula)
  • Grail Champion (ROTO) = $35,000
  • Second Place (ROTO) = $15,000
  • Third Place (ROTO) = $10,000
  • H2H Champion = $25,000
  • H2H Second Place = $15,000
  • H2H Third Place = $10,000
  • Each Conference Winner = $10,000
  • Winner of each Category = $3,000
  • H2H Win = $1,000
  • MVOffensive player in Grail = $3,000
  • MVDefenseman in Grail = $3,000
  • MVGoalie in Grail = $3,000
  • NHL Hart winner = $3,000
  • NHL Conn Smythe winner = $3,000
  • NHL Calder winner = $5,000
  • NHL Selke winner = $2,000
  • NHL Norris winner = $3,000
  • NHL Pearson winner = $3,000
  • NHL Vezina = $3,000
  • LIC members = $3,000 for each task
  • Admin Task = $1,000
  • Arbitrator = $2,000 for each player arbitrated
  • Integrity Reward = $5,000 for reporting each illegal action that is manually maintained

All Trades Approved

All Trades are submitted to the Commissioner for approval; The Grail does not use a veto system. The Commissioner approves all trades with exception ONLY to trades that suggest collusion.

Trades can be approved anywhere from immediately after submission up to 24 hours, depending on Commissioner and Admin availability.

Since all trades are processed by the Commissioner at the earliest convenience and not at a specific time, it can cause the teams involved to receive an illegal roster by Fantrax. But, do not worry, lineups are always protected on the day of the trade up to 24 hours after the acceptance of a trade. If an approved trade should cause your team to have an illegal lineup, post a message on the group chat: “Flyers request lineup protection for 12/22 due to trade.” Your lineup will be corrected within 48 hours. See the ROSTERS section for other Lineup Protection options.

The minimum trade asset in any trade is $500.


Suspicion of collusion is the only cause for a trade to be held up. Trades that suggest collusion will be submitted to the LIC (League Integrity Committee) for review, but this very rarely happens. Opinions on trades can be posted publicly; HOWEVER, posts suggesting collusion or unfairness must be submitted directly the Commissioner, privately. Posts of any kind should also remain professional. Trades that are seemingly "unfair" are not subject to rejection; one GM "fleecing" another is not considered collusion and these types of trades are approved.


Salary Cap Space, Team Money, and "available" Draft Picks can be part of trade deals. A GM can offer straight cash for a player via a trade or as an add-on to player-for-player trades. Future Draft Picks NOT YET DISTRIBUTED CANNOT be discussed as part of trades.

See the SCHEDULE section for the Trade Deadline and Re-Opening dates.


  • Allowed: Any trade with contingencies attached, must be announced at the time of the trade either publicly or to the Commish when details are sensitive such as a condition during Arbitrations that could adversely influence bidding if publicly announced.
  • Not Allowed: Stipulations on assets, such as: The 2nd Rd Pick will turn into a 1st if you win a title. This type of stipulation can cause chaos if the asset is accidently traded. And all teams involved in a trade are required to have an asset moving at the time of the trade.

Scoring Categories

The Grail utilizes over 30 different stats to create its 23 Scoring Categories in a very customized, competitive format. Some categories are weighted due to their arbitrary nature. I apologize for the naming conventions; I don't have control of category names.

Skater Categories weighted at 100%

Fantrax Name | Description

  • BG3 = Goals + GWG + OTG + Shootout Goals
  • A = Assists
  • FOW = Faceoff Wins
  • PPG = Power Play Goals
  • PPA = Power Play Assists
  • SOG = Shots on Goal
  • Tk = Takeaways
  • SHP2 = Shorthanded Points (SHG*2) + SHA
  • BAPt = Shootout Goals + Penalty Shot Goals + (Shootout Attempts*.25)
  • PIM = Penalty Minutes
  • 2G+A(D) = Defensive Points (2x DG) + DA
  • Hit = Hits
  • Blk = Blocked Shots

Skater Categories weighted at 50%

Fantrax Name | Description

  • H+GH = Hat tricks + Gordie Howe Hat tricks
  • GOON2 = Instigators + Majors + Misconducts
  • Shft = Shifts
  • +/- = Plus Minus

Categories weighted at 100%

Fantrax Name | Description

  • Wins = Win + OTL*.5 + SHL*.5 + OTW*.5 + SHW
  • GAA = Goals Against Average
  • SV% = Save%
  • SHO = Shutouts
  • SV+SS = Saves + Shootout Saves
  • ShSv = Shootout Saves

Netminder Categories weighted at 50%

Fantrax Name | Description

  • GS = Used to track minimum Goalie Starts

Extra Categories: (0 Points, Used for Player Valuation)

Fantrax Name | Description

  • *GP = Used to track Minimum Games Played by a Skater
  • TOI/G = Time on Ice per game
  • TOI-PP = PP Time on Ice per game
  • TOI-SH = SH Time on Ice per game
  • Cor = Corsi
  • ZS% = Offensive Zone Start Percentage

Tie Breakers

H2H tiebreaker is based on the overall points scored which is handled by Fantrax. If there should be a tie for the ROTO title, the tiebreakers are listed in order below. These are not automatically handled by Fantrax and will have to be calculated manually.

  • Team ahead in the greatest number of categories
  • Team with the most 1st Place Categories
  • Team ahead in GOALS

Why use Penalties and Shootouts as categories?

Some poolies argue that PIMs are a bad thing because players shouldn't be rewarded. I guess this comes down to the fantasy-philosophy of the individual. The Grail takes on the realism of management decisions, but not the realism of a hockey game. The Grail is about tracking stats. All stats are good except for those that are too arbitrary. Having a variety of categories improves the depth of the Grail's player pool which in turn further promotes trading. The more players-of-value a league has, the deeper the league can be.

Contact the Commish

Want to join The Grail? Send us an Email

If you have any questions or would like to join, email Joe at


The default Fantrax Roster page is not user friendly, but changing the preferences can make a HUGE difference. The first place every new GM should go is the TEAM > "My Team Preferences" page to make the following changes on the “General” tab:

  • Number of empty ACTIVE spots shown = Set to “None”
  • Hide rows during lineup change = Toggle “On”
  • Default scoring category view = Set to “Tracked”
  • Default lineup change system = Set to “Classic”

These changes will greatly condense and improve the Team Roster page, organizing it for easier use.

Next, set up your Notifications so that you don’t miss trade offers. Go to TEAM > “My Notification Settings” and choose email and/or device options for all trading events.

LINEUPS (Flexibility like you’ve Never Seen)

The Grail Lineup page has a lot of flexibility, much more than other leagues. A GM can add Free Agents without simultaneously dropping a player. You can also add multiple players beyond what your roster is allowed. GMs can freely move his players around on the Roster page without restriction, even if it creates an illegal roster. All of this flexibility increases the responsibility of each GM. Locking in a Legal Roster falls squarely on the GM. Also, while Fantrax provides warnings for most infractions, the Grail has roster options that are too advanced for Fantrax. The Group Chat is very helpful for resolving questions when you are unsure of anything.

What to Watch Out For

  • 2 Way Contracts (Fantrax offers no warnings): Because some of the Grail’s options, such as 2 Way Contracts, is manually maintained, the lineups are susceptible to be illegal even when Fantrax does not provide you a warning. For instance, if you start a Prospect that does not have a 2 Way contract, you will not receive a warning; however, the lineup will be illegal. At some point, the Commish will manually turn that day’s lineup to illegal and all stats will be removed from the team’s score. It's solely up to the GM to guard against these types of mistakes.
  • IR Grace Period: Injured Players are handled much differently in the Grail. The Grail has a 3 game Grace Period. Every GM has the flexibility to move a player listed "day to day" to the IR. We all know players can be listed as questionable for weeks at a time, meanwhile the player is taking up space on your roster. But, in the Grail, you can place these types of players into your IR, but you must return injured players back to your Active roster before he plays his 4th NHL game (back from injury). This is not tracked by Fantrax, but it is tracked by the league members. Read the INJURED PLAYERS section for details.


Manual aspects of the Grail's Rosters are policed by league members as a whole. And a rival GM will turn you in. Any GM that reports another GM’s illegal lineup will receive a $5000 finder’s fee. Here is a list of what we look for:

  • Player on IR too long
  • Starting a Prospect without a 2 Way Contract
  • Too many Farm players in the MINORS section
  • Carrying more than 4 goalies on One Way Contracts between the Starting Roster and Farm


19 Starters (14 active / 5 bench) plus 5 IR and 20 Minors (and 2 Way Contracts)

FLEXIBILITY! Daily management of Lineups have a lot of flexibility and subsequently can be tricky to manage. For instance, while players playing in early games are locked in, there might be games later that night. It is important to understand that lineups in The Grail do not officially lock until the day’s very last game has started (for your team). This may vary from GM to GM based on what games his players are playing. This means you can carry an illegal roster up to 1 minute prior to last game’s scheduled gametime. This option will allow teams to set their lineups continuously throughout the day (even after games have already started)... this is a very flexible roster option. A GM can wait on whether an injured-questionable player will start. A GM can wait until the game starts to decide which of two players to start. A roster might be over the Salary Cap all day, but a late roster move can bring a roster back under the cap. A GM might be over his roster limit, but is unsure which player(s) to drop; a GM can also use this extra time to try a trade a player or two. This means, BETWEEN locked rosters, a team CAN exceed the salary cap, have too many players, ect. There are many scenarios this provides GMs much needed flexibility during the course of the day, including trades.

However, when the final game for the day starts, a roster must be within all limits and restrictions.

POSITION FLEXIBILITY! In the Grail, you can start more D than W or vice versa. Or start an extra goalie over an extra W. Or start more C than D or vice versa. Yes, in the Grail, you can start 1 or 2 goalies. This type of flexibility allows a GM to focus on specific categories. Don't need Faceoffs? But way behind on Hits? Then start a goon and a hitting Dman rather than an extra C. See below to how flexible the lineups are.


14 Active Spots but a Wide Variety of Options

Min to Max Allowed

  • 2 to 4 Centers
  • 4 to 8 Wings
  • 3 to 7 Defensemen
  • 1 to 2 Netminders

Other Roster Spots

  • 5 Bench
  • 5 IR Spots
  • 20 Minors Spots and 2 Way contracts (see more info below)
  • No Restriction on the number at any Position Except Goalies
  • See section below for Goalie Limits


No team can have more than 7 total netminders on their team (across Active, Bench, Farm, and Prospects), with exception to any goaltenders on IR or LTIR; netminders on IR or LTIR do not count against roster-maximums.

Also, you can not have more than 4 goalies, with One Way contracts, on the entire roster (active, bench, & farm) with exception to goalies on IR or LTIR.

2 Way Contracts

Some prospects will have 2 Way contracts allowing them to start in the active lineup while maintaining their prospect status. This can be a powerful option in building a team if used effectively. There is no limitation on how many of the team's goalies can have 2 Way contracts. And there is no limit to how many of those goalies with 2 Way contracts can be called up to the active roster. Essentially, all 7 goalies a team has can have 2 way contracts and be on a team's active roster. To understand more about 2 Way contracts, finish reading the section below and then see the PROSPECTS section for more details.

MINORS vs PROSPECTS vs FARM (they are not the same thing!)

This is most complex part of the Grail. While it takes a minute to learn, the strategic elements it yields is well worth understanding their differences.

MINORS refers to a Fantrax section on the Roster page. It is the lineup section where GMs put both their Farm and Prospects players. Essentially, this is your Farm system.

FARM and PROSPECTS are classifications. Prospects refers to rookies or players that have yet to reach the NHL. The Farm classification can be attributed to ANY player, no matter the age or number of games a player has played in the NHL.


  • There are 20 spots in the Minors Section.
  • Players in the Minors section DO NOT count against the Salary Cap.
  • Only 2 of the 20 spots can be used to “Farm” any two players. Think of it as a way to stash a player or two. For instance, you can stash a player that won’t fit under your salary cap. Or you can stash a player that is underperforming. Or if you have players coming back from injury and you don’t want to drop any of your starters.
  • Farming players is entirely optional.
  • Prospects… a GM can use some or all his Minors spots for prospects. However, prospects require a “Prospect Tag” in order to be eligible to be placed in the Minors section as a Prospect, otherwise the player is considered a farmed player, taking up 1 of your 2 farming options. Prospects can also have 2 Way contracts. See PROSPECTS section for details.
  • Prospect Tags have restrictions and qualifications. See PROSPECTS section for details.
  • You can use all your Minors spots for Prospects or you can use up to 2 of the spots for Farm players and then the remaining spots for Prospects.

See FARM PLAYERS section for more details on farming a player and see PROSPECTS section for more details on prospects and 2 Way contracts.

LTIR (Long Term Injured Reserve)

Any reference to LTIR does NOT refer to a roster spot; LTIR refers to a Roster Tag. Any injured player that misses 5 straight games can be tagged as LTIR. A GM only needs to post a group chat request for a player to receive a LTIR tag which will remove the player's entire salary from the Salary Cap, similar to how the NHL handles LTIR. See the INJURED PLAYERS section for more details.


Rosters must be legal on the last day of the NHL regular season. Players on the IR must have missed the last game to in order to avoid dropping any players with one exception: any player still legally on LTIR can remain on the IR, whether still hurt or not.

Once into the off-season, there are no restrictions on roster size, salary cap, ect. All roster warnings can be ignored. So, trading for multiple players will not have any roster size restrictions.


A player's roster-position can be changed by request to the Grail Commissioner. The player MUST be listed as eligible for the requested position on one of the following FANTASY sites: ESPN, CBS, or YAHOO. The news equivalent for each site is not eligible. No other sources will be accepted. The change incurs a charge; see the FINES & CHARGES section for updated amounts.


Each offseason Fantrax may reset a player’s position. If you have players affected by this change, you must restart the position change process listed above.


Daily Leagues can be demanding and no matter how diligent we are, there are times when our rosters will take a lower priority in our lives. Lineup Protection is there for those times. There are several scenarios it covers and some protections are free while others come with a charge. The overall idea here is that we don’t want a GM to lose ground because life throws us a curve ball. We want all GMs to remain competitive throughout the year, so there are many options that affords a GM a safety net.

  • Trade: There is no set time for approving trades; they are usually approved at first sight. This can cause illegal lineups or, if not approved fat enough, can keep a roster from becoming legal. Because there is no set schedule for approving trades, GMs involved in a trade can post a request on the group chat to protect the lineup… “Flyers request lineup protection for 12/22 due to trade.” Your lineup will be corrected within 48 hours and any lost points will automatically be restored. Be conscious of your illegal lineups caused by trades and post your protection requests!
  • Away Announcement. If you advise the league that you will be “away” for a period of time, you will be fully protected from any roster issues. When you return, reach out to me directly, and I will work with you to get your backdated rosters updated and corrected. This can also include roster management.
  • Daily Lineups: On those rare times you missed a daily lineup, there are several options that can help protect your progress.
    • Emergencies, such as a death in the family. If you will not be available and had no time to set up all your lineups…send me a quick email…I will manage your team for you for as long as you need until your return.
    • Away from your computer? Message me, and I will set your lineup for you… even if I don’t actually see you message until the next day, if you sent it to me at your deadline, I will make the retroactive changes for you… no charge.
    • Just missed the deadline?? If you just missed the deadline, up to 15 minutes, message me directly, and I will make the adjustments for you. Basically, this is a 15 minute extension to the previous option.
    • Illegal Roster caused by Early Game Times. We sometimes get caught by the early game times, after we just signed a new free agent. Message me prior to 7pm ET of the same day, and for a $3000 charge, I will make your roster legal. This does not include moving players around in your lineup, however. Your lineup will remain as it was, but it will be legal.
    • Last Chance. If you flat out miss an illegal roster and it’s after 7pm and the grace period, you have one last option. Up until the start of the next day’s first game, you can have the roster corrected for $5000. You cannot move any players, but you won’t lose any points from Active players.

Game Minimums

A minimum of goalie starts is required by season's end. Short of this benchmark will result in a Draft Penalty. Goalie Starts can be found on the FANTRAX Standings Page listed as *GS. See the DRAFT PENALTY section for details.

A minimum of total games played among skaters on the roster is required by season's end. Short of this benchmark will result in a Draft Penalty. See the DRAFT PENALTY section for details.

Season Ending Minimums

  • 1150 Games Played (Skaters)
  • 55 Goalie Starts (Goalies)

Salary Cap

The Grail’s salary cap is set by the NHL salary cap. If the NHL cap is $81.5m then the Grail salary cap is $81.5k (we just drop 3 zeroes). Any lineup that locks into place over the cap, the lineup will be illegal and garner zero points.

The Grail has adopted the NFL’s salary cap structure. In the Grail, unused cap space can rollover to next season and GMs can also trade cap space. Cap space can also be purchased.


At the trade deadline, each team’s salary cap is run through an algorithm that calculates unused cap space. The Calculated-Rollover (up to the Rollover Maximum allowed) will rollover and be added to the team’s salary cap for next season. This creates varying salary caps for each team. Cap-rich teams can either use their cap space for free agents or trading for high-salaried players or the cap space can be traded to another team for other assets.

Rollover Max

  • 15% of the TEAM’s current Salary Cap. A team cannot rollover more than this maximum.
  • Formula: (Team’s Cap + (Number of Minor Spots * 1000)) – (Total of Roster Salaries)


Cap space can be part of any trades. All cap space traded is applied immediately and cannot be deferred.


$5000 for each $1000 of space. Salary Cap can only be purchased between the Annual Payout and End of the Regular Season.

Budgets and Team Money

Every team has an operating budget that the GM must manage effectively. There are varies ways to acquire Team Money, and there are a variety of spending options within the Grail. Primarily, it is used to bid on Free Agents, players in arbitration, and offersheets. At the end of each off-season, any remaining Team Money is rolled over into next season, minus Revenue Sharing. See the ECONOMY section for details.


  • A GM can offer straight cash for a player via a trade or as an add-on to player-for-player trades. When a player is traded for $$, the money used in the trade has no bearing on the player’s salary. A traded player retains his original contract.
  • Paying Fines. Please refer the FINES & CHARGES section for details.
  • Long Term Injury Reserve. See INJURED PLAYERS section for details.
  • Moves from Minors to Active lineup. The number of movements from the Minors section are only limited by a GMs budget. See FINES & CHARGES section for details.
  • Re-signing RFAs. See the RFAs section for details.
  • Waiver Pickup. A player can be picked up off waivers for $500.
  • Bidding on players in Arbitration & Offersheets. See ARBITRATION & OFFERSHEETS section for details.
  • Purchasing Cap Space. See SALARY CAP section for details.

How to Acquire Team Money

  • Unused monies are rolled-over season-to-season, but are subject to Revenue Sharing.
  • Starting Season Payout. Each September, a payout will be calculated and distributed to all GMs in the League. Each team’s payout is based on a number of factors including Revenue Sharing. See the ECONOMY section for details.
  • Via Trade. A GM can acquire cash as part of any trade.
  • Winnings. There are a wide variety of rewards that are distributed. A team doesn’t have to win a title to secure some cash for its Team Budget. See WINNINGS section for details.
  • Compensation for releasing players to arbitration or to an offersheet. See ARBITRATION & OFFERSHEETS section for details.

Free Agency

The Grail has both WAIVERS and FREE AGENCY.


When a player is released from a roster, the player will go on 24-hour waivers. Fantrax handles the waiver process. Any GM can put in a claim for the player. The player retains his current contract if picked up off waivers. The waiver-claim order is reset every Monday based on the reverse order of the H2H standings.

  • There is a $500 charge for each waiver claim.
  • Unclaimed players become a Free Agent and the player’s contract is then voided.

Free Agents are signed using a blind bidding process Fantrax calls Free Agency Acquisition. The GM that bids the highest dollar amount acquires the player. The player’s contract will be for 2 years, and the winning bid-amount will then become the player’s salary.

  • Minimum bid on a FA is $1000.
  • Maximum bid allowed for a FA cannot exceed the “Maximum Allowable Salary” which is posted on the Fantrax Home Page; it's also the same as the NHL Maximum Salary.

Bid amounts must be rounded to the nearest $100. A player won by an ineligible bid is subject to be placed back into Free Agency.

  • $1000 = GOOD
  • $1500 = GOOD
  • $1550 = BAD
  • $1555 = BAD

In the case of 2 GMs bidding the same dollar amount, the FAAB will refer to the “Tie Break Order” based on the reverse order of the current H2H standings.


The night before the last day of the NHL Regular Season will mark the end of FA signings. Free Agency will be suspended until the Free Agent Market’s Opening Day in September.


Every September, players with expired contracts will be moved to Free Agency by the Grail Commissioner. Free Agents, however, can be re-signed. See RE-SIGNING RFAs for details. Several days after players with expired contracts are released to free agency (skipping Waivers), the Free Agent Market will open. All GMs will have time to strategically set up all of their bids on desired FAs. There is no limit to the number of players a GM can bid on.

Player Contracts

The Grail DOES NOT use the NHL’s player salary amounts. The GMs in the Grail determine players’ salaries. The high bids in free agency, arbitration, and offersheets become the players' salaries for 2 years. The current year acts as year 1 of the contract. The length of each contract is always 2 years with two exceptions: Franchise Players and Re-signing a FA. Traded and waived players retain their current contracts; once a player becomes a free agent, his contract is voided.


There are several ways to extend a contract currently on your roster such as Re-signing RFA’s, Farm Extensions, Prospect extensions, and Arbitration. The design of the league promotes trading, but it is possible to keep a core group together for extended periods if managed properly.


Every September, players with expired contracts will be released to Free Agency prior to the opening of the Free Agent market. Players with expiring contracts can be retained by either submitting a player to Arbitration or re-signing him to a one-year extension. See the RE-SIGNING RFAs and ARBITRATION sections for details.

Franchise Players

The Franchise Player is strategic element of the Grail where a GM must choose a franchise player well or be hampered by an overpriced player that you cannot move, much like the NHL.

The Franchise Player

  • Each team MUST have a Franchise player.
  • The Franchise has a no-trade clause and CANNOT be traded or dropped at any time.
  • The Franchise is automatically given a 5-year contract at the Grail’s Maximum Salary amount; however, the team is NOT charged for the salary increase.
  • The salary amount will decrease by 10% the 2nd year and then 20% each additional year.
  • Every September, a GM has the option to buy out a Franchise player, sending him to free agency. This is the ONLY option for removing a Franchise Player from a roster. See the FINES & CHARGES section for current buyout amount. The GM can reacquire the player in Free Agency.
  • When a Franchise if bought out, a new Franchise player must be named prior to the start of the season.


  • RFAs are NOT eligible for a Franchise tag. An RFA must first be re-signed in order to be eligible (watch for an RFA’s salary ceiling). See RE-SIGNING RFAs for details.
  • A player must be on an NHL starting roster. Players in juniors, college, AHL, or abroad are not eligible.
  • A Franchise cannot simultaneously carry a Prospect Tag.
  • The LIC has the power to reject any Franchise Tag request if the player fails to meet the standards of a Franchise Player. Such as, but not limited to, players expected to retire or seriously injured.


If a current Franchise player should retire during the season, the GM must then drop the player and a new Franchise Player must be tagged at the current max salary.


When a Franchise player completes his 5-year term, the player can be retained by his owner by submitting the player to arbitration; there is no other option. A Franchise cannot be re-signed as an RFA. Arbitration is the only option.

Once a Franchise Player has been submitted to arbitration, he loses his franchise status and is treated like every other player. See the ARBITRATION section for details.

If arbitration is not elected, then the player's contract will expire and MUST BE released to Free Agency.

Annual Draft

The Grail’s Annual Draft is held in standard order based on the reverse order of the previous year’s ROTO standings. There are 3 rounds. The draft takes places each August. The draft order can change due to draft penalties. See the DRAFT PENALTY section for details.

Trading is OPEN during draft.

The Grail draft typically lasts approximately 2 weeks. The draft is held in the Fantrax Draft Room and each pick will have a 24-hour clock; however, any GM using the entire 24 hours, Fantrax will automatically set your team to auto-pick for the remainder of the draft.


  • Any player drafted in an NHL draft
  • Any NHL player currently unsigned to a Grail roster (Grail free agents)
  • Any player that can be signed to an NHL contract (undrafted NHL free agents)

Drafted players will receive a 2-year contract at the following salaries.

  • $1500 = 1st Round picks
  • $1000 = Remaining picks


A GM cannot draft a player that the same GM released in the final days of the regular season if the player did not go through waivers.

Farming a Player

Farming a player allows a GM to use up to two spots in the Minors section for stashing a reserve player (non-prospects). These spots are great for keeping one or two extra reserve players or stashing a player that won’t fit under your salary cap (players in the Minors section do not count against the cap). Or you can stash a player that is underperforming. Or if you have players coming back from injury and you don’t want to drop any of your starters.

It is recommended that you read the ROSTERS section prior to proceeding, if you haven't already.

Farm players in the Minors section are identified by their absence of a Prospect Tag. Any player in the Minors section without a prospect tag is considered a Farm player.

Players can be freely moved to and from these Farm spots at any time during the season, but every movement FROM the Minors incurs a charge. See FINES & CHARGES for updated amount.

A team CANNOT have more than two non-prospects in its Minors section and at any given time during the regular season. This will cause an illegal lineup (manually tracked – Fantrax will not provide a warning for this infraction).

Farming players is entirely optional.


Any player (including non-NHL players) can be moved to the Minors as a Farm player. There are no restrictions on what type of player can be placed on the Farm. Even an injured player or a player tagged as Long-Term IR can be farmed.


Don’t farm more than 2 players. Any Locked-Roster that includes more than 2 farmed players is an illegal roster and will incur a charge and loss of points. See FINES & CHARGES section for details.


Every year, at the Grail’s Trade Deadline, your Farm players can receive a 1-year contract extension (at the player’s current salary) if he meets the following requirements.

  • Zero Contribution. The player has NOT played a single game in the current team's ACTIVE LINEUP at any point during the course of the current season.
  • The player must stay farmed for the entire duration from the Grail’s Trade Deadline through to the end of the season.
  • If the player is REMOVED or TRADED from the Farm spot during the aforementioned time frame, the player will lose his eligibility.
  • Extension = Never played a game for current team + Placed on Farm from Trade Deadline to End of Season.

This Farm Extension option often encourages a lot of trades at the Grail’s Trade Deadline because GMs want to take advantage of a FREE contract year. Trading for a player at the trade deadline and stashing him on the Farm until the end of the season is a common Grail Strategy.

Farm Extensions can be voided, but the GM must express this to the Commish prior to the end of the season. After the EOS, the player will receive the extension.

Prospects and 2 Way Contracts

Every GM has a Minors section for building for the future. To understand the difference between Minors and Prospects, please read the ROSTERS section before continuing this section.

Prospects are handled very differently in The Grail.

  • Prospect must first qualify for a Prospect Tag.
  • Prospect Extensions allow a GM to fully control a prospect’s maturation process to the starting roster.
  • Prospects can earn a 2 Way contract, allowing the GM to insert a prospect into his active lineup.

The Prospect Tag

In the Grail, the term prospects refers to players with a Prospect Tag. In order for a player to be inserted into a Minor’s spot as a prospect, he must qualify and be tagged. To request a Prospect Tag, a GM needs to post a request on the group chat like, “Kings request prospect tag for McDavid.” Tags requests can be challenged.

If a tag request is challenged and deemed invalid, the team will be charged a fine that is paid to the GM that challenged the request. Any GM in the league can challenge a tag request and earn a reward. This also absolves the Commish for having to explicitly check the qualifications for each prospect request. This is a League-Wide responsibility. If a tag is not challenged within 7 days of the request, the tag cannot be reversed. See FINES & CHARGES for amount of fine.


  • The player must qualify as a prospect AT THE TIME of the Prospect Tag request.
  • The player must not have played in a TOTAL of 25 or more NHL games, regardless of the number of seasons.
  • The player CANNOT be 26 or older as of, or after, September 15th of the current season.


Prospect contract extensions allow a GM to fully control a prospect’s maturation process. Once a player has a Prospect Tag, the player retains the tag perpetually, season to season, until the GM decides to promote the player to full-time status.

At the Grail’s trade deadline, all prospects receive a 1-year extension to their CURRENT contract. Any prospects acquired after the trade deadline will not receive an extension. The extension assures that each prospect will be under the team’s control at the current contract until the GM decides the player is ready to contribute full-time.

To clarify, prospects do not lose any years off their contracts while they are tagged. There is NO restriction to how long a player remains tagged as a Prospect. A GM can choose to keep him as a prospect INDEFINITELY, across many seasons, if he so chooses, even if the player has become a fulltime NHLer. Each GM has the right to DECIDE when his players are “Fantasy-Ready,” which can be very different than “NHL-Ready.” Once the prospect’s tag is removed, his contract officially kicks in.


Prospects must remain in the Minors section of the Fantrax Roster page and CANNOT be moved to the Active Roster during the NHL season EXCEPT for prospects that have a 2-Way contract.

A 2-Way contract is a specially tagged prospect where a GM can insert the prospect into a team’s starting lineup without burning any time off his contract. His salary DOES count against the cap, but he still receives a free contract extension at the trade deadline, keeping his rookie contract unchanged.

Every prospect moved from the Minors incurs a charge. See FINES & CHARGES for amount.

2 Way contracts are easily identified… a prospect has a 2 Way contract if he has a Team Name in the “2 Way” column of the Fantrax Roster page. However, the 2 Way contract is restricted to the Team Name. No other team can use the prospect on a 2 Way contract in the current season.

How many 2 Way players can you use? As many as you want. You can have as many 2 Way prospects inserted into your starting 19 as you can afford.

How does a player get a 2 Way contract? Planning ahead. At every Grail’s Trade Deadline, a list of players is created that gives prospects a 2 Way contract for the following season, for his current team. To qualify:

  • Players must have a Prospect Tag at the Trade Deadline
  • Prospects who already have a 2 Way contract, cannot have played 20+ games for his current team.

The list is created only once per season which means newly drafted players in August must wait until the following year before they can play for a team under a 2 Way contract. The 2 Way list is set in stone for a year and cannot be changed. Even if a prospect is dropped or traded… if the player can be reacquired as a prospect and tagged, then the player can still be used on his 2 Way contract. See further below for more details on trading and dropping 2 Way prospects.

The 20+ game requalification restriction is to keep players from living on 2 Way contracts in back-to-back seasons. A prospect that plays 20 or more games on a 2 Way contract still retains his prospect status for the following year, but he will not have a 2 Way contract. He will have to wait another full season before he can requalify for a 2 Way contract. This can lead a GM to trade a prospect that will lose his 2 Way status since the prospect will be more valuable to another team, because the prospect CAN qualify for a 2 Way contract for his new team.


  • Prospects cannot be put on the IR or LTIR UNLESS the prospect has a 2 Way contract.
  • Injured prospects with 2 Way contracts can be treated either like a prospect or an active player. Meaning they can be slotted into an IR spot or the Minors. Remember however, that moving a player from Minors will incur a charge, that includes moving a player from Minors to an IR spot.


Once a player is tagged as a Prospect, the tag CANNOT be removed during the regular season; tags can ONLY be removed during the OFF-SEASON with 2 EXCEPTIONS: when a prospect is DROPPED or TRADED.


A prospect can be dropped from his roster at any time during the regular season. If a team drops a prospect, the player will go through waivers. Any GM that claims the prospect off waivers can elect to either keep or remove the prospect tag. If the prospect falls to free agency, then the player loses his prospect tag and would have to requalify as a prospect for any future team that wanted to tag him.


If the prospect does not have a 2 Way contract, the prospect is still very a valuable trade asset because when a prospect is traded, the player’s new GM has the option to immediately remove his Prospect Tag. A productive prospect buried in a team’s Minors is valuable to another team’s starting lineup. However, if the tag is not removed at the time of the trade, the tag is again locked on his new team for the remainder of the season.

WARNING!! If a prospect (without a 2 Way) is traded away at any time during the regular season, the player can neither be reacquired as an “active” player nor reacquired to remove a prospect tag. This would circumvent the rules and carries a heavy penalty. See FINES & CHARGES for details. This is a League-Wide responsibility to track.

Prospects with 2 Way contracts can freely be traded and reacquired without issue. As previously mentioned, trading or dropping a 2 Way prospect DOES NOT sacrifice the player’s 2-Way eligibility. If you reacquire a player via trade or free agency and he either still has his tag or can requalify for a Prospect Tag, the player can still be used as a 2 Way player.


  • A team trades a prospect with a 2 Way contract to another team and his tag is removed. Weeks later, the GM reacquires the same player and the player still qualifies for a Prospect Tag. Upon being retagged, the player regains his 2 Way contract.

Injured Players

See ROSTERS section for how many IR spots you have.

Players injured or even listed as “questionable” are eligible for the IR. Fantrax handles the IR eligibility; if a player has the option to be put on IR, the GM can move the player there including suspended players.

Grace Period

Once a player does return from injury, regardless whether or not he actually plays, the GM has the option to add him to the Active lineup or choose to keep him on the IR for up to 3 games played by the team. This means, a healthy scratch or a goalie dressed as a backup DO count as part of the grace period. The clock starts when the player is cleared to play. A player only qualifies for the grace period is the player actually missing time (this includes leaving a game early due to injury and does NOT return to the game). The player must be removed from the IR prior to the 4th game to avoid a hefty penalty. See FINES & CHARGES for details.

LTIR (Long Term Injury Reserve)

  • WARNING! LTIR does NOT expand your IR spots in Fantrax. LTIR is a special tag that takes a player's entire salary off the cap.
  • Tagged players CANNOT be inserted into the starting lineup until the tag is removed, even if the player returns from injury.
  • Tagged players CANNOT be dropped.
  • Tagged players can be traded, and the new GM has the option to remove the tag at the time of the trade. The player cannot be traded back to its original team.
  • LTIR tags can be purchased for 30 or 90 days. Once purchased, the player’s tag remains for the full 30 or 90 days. LTIR cannot be removed unless traded. See FINES & CHARGES for purchase amounts.
  • To qualify for a tag, a player must first miss 5 straight NHL games, and must be injured while on an NHL roster. Players injured outside the NHL such as juniors, AHL, college, and abroad do not qualify.
  • Players with 2 Way contracts can be tagged.
  • Tagged players can be inserted anywhere on a Fantrax roster except the ACTIVE section.
  • At the expiration date of the tag, there are two options
    • If the player is still injured: the player keeps his tag until he comes back from injury. The player is eligible for the 3-game grace period.
    • If the player is already back from injury: the tag is immediately removed and the player must be removed from the IR immediately; there is no grace period for healthy players coming off LTIR.
  • Request a tag on the group chat like, “Flyers request 30-day LTIR for Crosby.”


LTIR cannot be used at the start of the NHL season; the injured player must miss the first 5 games of the season before being tagged, no exceptions.


Players on the IR must be still injured on the last day of the regular season to avoid dropping any players with one exception: any player that still has a valid LTIR tag can remain on the IR whether the player is actually injured or not.

Re-Signing RFAs

Every September, players with expired contracts (RFAs) must be released to Free Agency. GMs, however, have the option to re-sign up to 10 of their pending RFAs to a 1-year extension. In order to extend a player's contract, his salary will be bumped by 40% of his current contract amount. Teams are also charged the full bump amount.

A week before the opening of the Free Agency Market, GMs will be asked to submit a list up to 10 RFAs they wish to re-sign. The contracts and budgets will be manually updated. GMs will also be instructed to drop any RFAs they are not re-signing. This players will skip waivers and go directly into the Free Agent pool to be available for the opening day of Free Agency.

WARNING! Watch for a Player’s Salary Ceiling

If a Salary Bump should cause a player’s salary to exceed the Maximum Salary allowed, then the player is NOT eligible to be re-signed and MUST be dropped. For this type of situation, the player should have been sent to Arbitration as it is the only option for keeping an RFA that will exceed his salary bump ceiling. See ARBITRATION section for details.

Arbitrations and Offersheets (RFAs Only)

WARNING! Prior to considering whether to send a player to arbitration or to re-sign him to a 1-year extension, please make sure you don’t have any RFAs that will exceed their salary ceiling if re-signed. A player that has reached the league’s salary maximum will not be eligible for an extension, leaving arbitration as the only option to keep the player. See RE-SIGNING RFAs section for details.

Player Auctions

Every offseason, prior to the annual draft, there is an open auction for Restricted Free Agents (RFAs). There are two options for submitting a player to be auctioned: Offersheets and Arbitration.

The primary difference between Arbitrations and Offersheets is how the player is submitted. The player’s owner submits the player to Arbitration and an offersheet is submitted by an opposing team’s GM.

The Grail Forum is used for all submissions and bidding. Both Offersheets and Arbitration are held in the same forum thread, simultaneously.


  • Whether a player is submitted to Arbitration or received an Offersheet, the player will receive a new two-year contract.
  • The team that signs the player will have to pay the full bid amount and any compensation owed (money and draft picks).
  • The winning bid amount becomes the player’s salary for 2 years.
  • Player’s Owner will have the opportunity to MATCH the highest bid for his players or release the player for compensation.


  • Arbitration: Any RFA (including a Franchise in his final year) can be submitted for Arbitration by his owner.
  • Offersheets: a list of eligible players will be posted on the Forum using the following guidelines.
    • Player must be an RFA
    • Player must have a salary of $2700 or more
    • Franchise RFAs cannot receive an offersheet


  • An unofficial list of players that can receive an offersheet will be presented.
  • GMs will have a 72-hour window to review the list and submit up to 3 of their players for protection. There is no cost. There is no option to protect more than 3 players. These protected players will be removed and an Official Offersheet List will be posted.


Arbitrations and Offersheets are held simultaneously on the Grail Forum in an open auction style of bidding. This function of the league can take several weeks to conclude. Please update your forum avatar to illustrate your team-name to allow for easy identification.

All trading is suspended until all final decisions are in. This does not apply to compensation negotiations. More on COMPENSATION NEGOTIATIONS further below.

Submitting an offersheet or a player to arbitration is free.

In no specific order, GMs can either submit a player for Arbitration or submit an offersheet for a player by posting on the Grail Forum.

  • Click on “New Topic”
  • Subject Line: “OS: Connor McDavid” or “ARB: Connor McDavid”
  • Body: “Flyers bid $4500” or “Kings bid $16500”
  • Before you submit, make sure you have the available compensation to offer (see below for details)
  • Then submit the post
  • Each GM can only have 2 nominations on the board at a time (see below for details)
  • Each GM can have as many HIGH BIDS on the board at the same time as long as they can fulfill ALL the compensation for all of the high bids.

A GM can only have TWO active nominations on the board at any given time, meaning: there can only be up to 28 players on the board at any given time, two from each GM. Once a player is off the board, the original poster can nominate another player to either arbitration or an offersheet. A perfectly run board will have 28 players on the board, continuously.

Once a player is on the board, any GM can then freely bid on the player (except the player’s owner). When you place a bid, make sure another GM didn’t submit a post at the same time. The first GM to post the highest bid takes priority over all other bids.


  • Minimum bid = $3000
  • Maximum bid = The Grail’s Current Maximum Salary
  • The high bid that stands for 24 hours is the Winning Bid and that auction automatically closes. Any bid posted after the 24-hour mark, is voided.
  • Once a player’s auction closes, the GM that submitted the player to auction can now submit another player via Arbitration or Offersheet.
  • Every High Bid on the board MUST be backed by compensation in the form of Draft Picks and cash. Specific draft picks do NOT have to be applied to any specific player until AFTER the auction closes. Overlapping compensation is NOT allowed. See below for details.


A GM can have as many high bids on the board as he desires as long as he has the compensation in draft picks and money available.


  • A GM has the high-bid for 3 players on the board, at the same time. The total compensation for all 3 players includes four 1st Round Picks. However, the GM only owns three 1st Round Picks. This is a violation and if another GM challenges it, there is a hefty penalty.

Penalty for bidding beyond what a GM has available in compensation:

  • The loss of ALL high bids on the board and will be restricted from adding any news bids for those specific players included in the infraction. Bids on other players will still be allowed.
  • $10,000 fine.

Closed Auctions

  • The winning bidder must promptly post on the group chat what draft picks he is applying to his winning bid. Failure to post this within 24 hours has ramifications. See RESOLUTIONS further below.
  • The player’s owner can MATCH the winning bid.
    • Arbitration = $2,000 to match
    • Offersheet = $10,000 to match
  • The player’s owner can choose to release the player for the listed compensation. See the COMPENSATION section for details.
  • Compensation Negotiations: The player’s owner and winning bidder can choose to initiate negotiations for additional compensation or even alternative compensation for the release of the player. Compensation can include players, prospects, draft picks, cap space, team-money and/or other moveable assets mentioned under the TRADES section. Plainly, the GMs can restructure any part of the compensation, other than the winning bid itself, to facilitate the release of the player. However, the ONLY assets that can be used are those currently owned or just acquired via other negotiations related to the release of other players; meaning, future assets cannot be part of these negotiations. Any exchange of assets must be part of the RELEASE of the auctioned player since trading is closed during this auctioning period.
  • If the player’s owner takes more than 48 hours after the close of the auction to make a decision, there are ramifications. See RESOLUTIONS further below.
  • No Bids: A player that receives no bids will automatically be re-signed for 2 years to his owner at the minimum contract amount of $1000. This is a mandatory signing.


The auction will be open for nominations for 14 days or until there are no more players on the board. After the deadline passes, no more players can be nominated, but bidding on players still on the board can continue past the deadline until complete.


  • The winning bidder’s failure to post the compensation picks within 24 hours of the close of auction (without contacting the Commish with an appropriate reason for the delay), will shift the choice to the player’s owner. If the bidder has multiple picks to choose from, the player’s owner can release the player for his choice of picks (within the confines of required compensation).
  • If the player’s owner takes more than 48 hours after the close of the auction to make a decision, the bidder has the option to release the player back to the player’s owner. This is to keep the player’s owner from keeping the bidder’s assets tied up to a player with an undecided GM. If the bidder chooses this option, the player will AUTOMATICALLY be matched by the player’s owner at the full amount of the winning bid + the matching fee.
  • Bidders can be pinched due to long wait times on decisions by players' owners; however, the 24 Hour clock is there to protect against life situations and is not to be used for leverage or waiting for dominoes to fall.
    So once an auction has closed for a player, there will be a 1 hour period (within Grail business hours 8am to 6pm eastern) for mutual decision making or reaching out for alternative compensation. After the 1 hour period, the bidder is allowed at any time to post on WhatsApp...
    "Decision of [Player's Name] is Requested"
    For every business hour the decision goes without a decision... the player's owner will owe the bidder $1000 to a maximum of $15,000. Previously, the bidder had no recourse and was left in an unfair situation. This, hopefully will be a deterrant against lengthy wait times.

Compensation Legend

In addition to the picks below, owners also receive the FULL amount of the winning bid.

  • $3000 to $3900 ====== $5000
  • $4000 to $4900 ====== $5000 + 3rd
  • $5000 to $5900 ====== $5000 + two 3rds
  • $6000 to $6900 ====== $5000 + 2nd
  • $7000 to $7900 ====== $3000 + 1st
  • $8000 to $8900 ====== $3000 + 1st, 3rd
  • $9000 to $9900 ====== $3000 + 1st, two 3rds
  • $10,000 to $10,900 === $3000 + 1st, 2nd
  • $11,000 to $11,900 === $3000 + 1st, two 2nds
  • $12,000 to $12,900 === $3000 + two 1sts
  • $13,000 to $13,900 === $2000 + two 1sts, 3rd
  • $14,000 to $14,900 === $2000 + two 1sts, two 3rds
  • $15,000 to $15,900 === $2000 + two 1sts, 2nd
  • $16,000 to $16,900 === $2000 + two 1sts, two 2nds
  • $17,000 to $17,900 === $2000 + three 1sts
  • $18,000 to $18,900 === $2000 + three 1sts, 3rd
  • $19,000 to $19,900 === $2000 + three 1sts, two 3rds
  • $20,000 to $20,900 === $2000 + three 1sts, 2nd
  • $21,000 to $21,900 === $2000 + three 1sts, two 3rds

Fines & Charges

Roster related infractions listed below refer to Locked-Rosters. An infraction such as too many Farm players would not be an infraction during the course of a day prior to the roster becoming locked.

The list below does not cover all scenarios. Some infractions will be handled on a case-by-case basis. If loss of stats is deemed appropriate, the most recent Saturday’s lineup will be marked as illegal.

Any move FROM the MINORS section (Farm, 2-Way, etc) $4m (Mistakes can be reversed with same day requests
Waiver Pick Up $500
Salary Cap Increases (Luxury Tax) See SALARY CAP section
Fine for having more than 2 Farm players $10,000
Change a Player's Position $3,000
Buyout a Franchise Player $10,000
LTIR (30 DAY) $8,000
LTIR (90 DAY) $3,500
Accepting a Trade by mistake $3,000 (paid by offending GM)
Changing the Team Name (free for New GM's) $10,000
Illegal Player on IR (4 games) $10,000 per incident (paid to Whistleblower, anon), lose all the stats first day, & the player's stats removed from all lineups
Illegal Prospect on Active Roster $3,000 Cap Penalty, $10,000 per incident (paid to Whistleblower, anon), lose all the stats first day, & player stats removed from all lineups
**Illegally acquiring a former prospect $3,000 Cap Penalty, $10,000 per incident (paid to Whistleblower, anon), lose all the stats first day, & player stats removed from all lineups

Illegally acquiring a former prospect

  • A challenge can be made up until the last day of the season.
  • Rule applies to “IN-SEASON” trades only. Any trades of prospects during the offseason are allowed to return to his previous team in any capacity.
  • Exception: 2-Ways are allowed to be reacquired.


Cap Penalties will immediately reduce your team’s salary cap. GMs over their new cap will have 48 hours from the day the GM is informed to get his team under the cap. Cap penalties applied prior to the trade deadline will affect the team's rollover cap calculation.


Penalties can be appealed to the Commish or LIC. Circumstances that might influence a successful appeal: change of management; uncontrollable circumstances that caused the penalty, or even if the penalty does not reflect the actual performance of the team; for instance, if the team finished high in the standings. Due to the research involved, an appeal submission incurs a fee of $5000. If the appeal is won, the fee will be returned.

League Schedule

Using the schedule below, it’s a great idea to reread the related sections in the Rules.

For September, focus on the following sections:

  • Re-signing RFA’s
  • Franchise Players
  • Free Agency


April Next Round of Draft Picks available for Trades
May League Conferences will Restructure
July $$ Rewards Distributed to Winners
July Annual Fee Due
July Arbitration and Offerhsheets
August Annual Entry Draft (Slow Format)
September Annual Payouts
After Annual Payout Salary Cap can now be purchsed until End of the Regular Season.
7 days Prior to FA Opening Day Re-sign Restricted Free Agents
3 days prior to FA Opening Day Release Players with Expired Contracts
3 days prior to FA Opening Day Deadline for Franchise Player Buyouts
Mid September Free Agent Market Opens
Prior to Start of NHL Season Free Prospect Tags Deadline
Prior to Start of NHL Season New Franchise Player Announcement Due
Start of NHL Season All teams required under Salary Cap
Start of NHL Season Rosters must be under the Allowed Limits
March 7th Trading Deadline
March 7th Farm and Prospect Extensions Eligibility Deadline
March 7th Next Season's 2 Way Player List is Generated
March 7th 2 Way Players minimum games Deadline
End of NHL Regular Season End of Season
End of NHL Regular Season Free Agent Market Closes
End of NHL Regular Season Salary Cap can no longer be purchased until September, after the Annual Payout.
End of NHL Regular Season Trading Reopened


Tanking in fantasy has become part of the game even though it is universally disliked. Here in the Grail, tanking to secure a top draft position is an accepted strategy, but only because the Grail has several deterrents to make tanking a very difficult game plan. See below:

  • Team-Money: Losing accumulates little to no revenue for your team, making the offseason more challenging to acquire quality players.
  • Draft Penalties: A team that fails to meet the yearly minimum (Games-Played by Skaters and Games-Started by Netminders) will incur a Draft Penalty for each infraction.

See the GAME MINIMUMS section for current minimums that must be met.

See the DRAFT PENALTY section for details on the penalties.

League Integrity Committee

The Grail has a committee to increase the level of integrity of the league.


  • Analyze Rules for loopholes or adverse effects
  • Help structure League enhancements
  • Protect the League against Collusion
  • Review all Franchise Tags Requests
  • Resolve all difficult league decisions

Draft Penalties


A team will have its 1st overall pick that it owns knocked down in the draft 3 positions. The actual penalty is applied based what the team owned on the last day of the regular season.

Penalties are applied to the draft pick (not the team). Meaning, if the pick is traded, the penalty REMAINS with the pick.

A single team receiving more than one Draft Penalty will have all of the penalties applied to the same pick.


Cap Penalties will immediately reduce your team’s salary cap. GMs over their new cap will have 48 hours from the day the GM is informed to get his team under the cap. Cap penalties will remain in place until the end of the season.


Penalties can be appealed to the LIC. Circumstances that might influence a successful appeal: change of management; uncontrollable circumstances that caused the penalty, or even if the penalty does not reflect the actual performance of the team; for instance, if the team finished high in the standings. Due to the research involved, an appeal submission incurs a fee of $5000. If the appeal is won, the fee will be returned.


The Grail Economy is complex and GMs are neither required to have intimate knowledge of it nor use it as part of their strategy. This is an explanation of how the economy is run for any GM that is interested.

Ownership Philosophy

This section sculpts a specific perspective for each GM in the Grail. The term “General Manager” (rather than owner) was chosen specifically to define your role to your team. As with any Major League sports team, every team in the Grail starts the season with an operating budget for managing their team over the entire season. Every September, the Treasury will distribute an Annual Payout to each team. Each GM is expected to use the Annual Budget to improve his team. The GM is not required to spend all of his money; however, unspent funds may not necessarily rollover to the following season. The Grail uses REVENUE SHARING to limit excess rollover of “unspent” money from season to season. Teams rolling over large amounts of unspent money could see a large portion of it lost to Revenue Sharing contributions. The best way for a GM to increase his team’s budget is by league winnings. The team’s winnings are FULLY protected against revenue sharing and can greatly increase a team’s cash flow.

Spend wisely throughout the fiscal year, from September to August, because team budgets are reloaded only once a year.

The Treasury

The economy is regulated by the Treasury, which is a dynamic spreadsheet that was designed to accommodate all the complexities of the Grail. It also performs a separation of power from the Commissioner.

Download a Detailed Overview of the Treasury Spreadsheet

Protect Traded Money from Revenue Sharing

$7500 or more in a single trade, monies are protected from revenue sharing.


Any team that receives a Treasury Loan for disbursement, will have to pay the debt back to the Treasury the following September. A Treasury Loan is given from the Treasury when its necessary to bring a team’s budget to the Target Minimum budget needed to start the season.

Rule Changes

2023-24 Changes:

ROSTERS: No more than 4 goalies on one-way contracts are allowed on the entire roster (active, bench, & farm), with exception to goalies on IR or LTIR. There is no limitation on how many of the team's goalies can have 2 Way contracts. And there is no limit to how many of those goalies with 2 Way contracts can be called up to the active roster. Essentially, all 7 goalies a team has can have a 2 way contract and all 7 can be on a team's active roster.

ARBITRATIONS & OFFERSHEETS: Bidders can be pinched due to long wait times on decisions by players' owners; however, the 24 Hour clock is there to protect against life situations and is not to be used for leverage or waiting for dominoes to fall.

So once an auction has closed for a player, there will be a 1 hour period (within Grail business hours 8am to 6pm eastern) for mutual decision making or reaching out for alternative compensation. After the 1 hour period, the bidder is allowed at any time to post on WhatsApp...

"Decision of [Player's Name] is Requested"

For every business hour the decision goes without a decision... the player's owner will owe the bidder $1000 to a maximum of $15,000. Previously, the bidder had no recourse and was left in an unfair situation. This, hopefully will be a deterrant against lengthy wait times.

SALARY CAP: Salary Cap can only be purchased between the Annual Payout and End of the Regular Season.

2024-25 Changes:

Future Changes:

An additional round of draft picks will be added when the NHL Cap exceeds $85m