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SICHL Featured in the Whitehorse Star

by Dave Smith | December 19, 2018, 1:01 AM ET

The Whitehorse Huskies and the SICHL crossed into real-world media as the team and league were featured in an article in the Whitehorse Star.

What follows is the story in full, as published in the Whitehorse Star on December 13, 2018.

Whitehorse Huskies sit 12th in SICHL

You might be thinking that the Whitehorse Huskies team has folded, and you would be right.

By John Tonin on December 13, 2018

You might be thinking that the Whitehorse Huskies team has folded, and you would be right.

This Whitehorse Huskies team has never laced up their skates and taken to the ice, so what and who are they?

The Supreme Inter-Continental Hockey League (SICHL) is an online keeper fantasy league, which features two divisions, the Canadian Conference and the World Conference. The SICHL is currently at 29 teams but looking to expand.

The popularity of fantasy sports continues to grow. According to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, it was estimated that in 2017, 59.3 million people were playing fantasy sports in Canada and the United States.

The Huskies came into existence in 1999, the same year the SICHL was founded, making them an original team. The team was founded and is still run by Donald Morrison, who lived in Whitehorse for 18 years, before moving to Penticton B.C.

The players in the SICHL use active NHL players to build their rosters. Unlike conventional fantasy leagues, which rely on players stats in that particular night’s games, the SICHL uses the player’s stats from the previous season.

“The player’s rankings are based on previous years performances,” said Morrison over the phone. “The points they get in the games have no bearing on their rankings this year. Instead, we set our lineups for the night and the games are run through a simulator and that is how you win or lose.”

The simulation of the games means the people running the teams have to be far more strategic when it comes to building their respective team.

“There is a lot of strategy involved,” said Morrison. “Everybody builds their team in different ways. Some build through the draft, some are active on the trade market to make a deep playoff run.”

The managers of the SICHL teams act very much like an NHL general manager (GM). The players they draft are with their team until they are traded, signed away as a free agent or retire.

Some notable players on the Huskies are Drew Doughty, Victor Hedman, and William Nylander. When it comes to building his team, Morrison says he watches a lot of hockey to determine who to pick on draft day.

“It makes watching hockey a lot more fun,” said Morrison. “I watch the junior games for players coming up in the draft.”

In the years Morrison has been playing his team has never won a championship, and his team has not got off to its projected start.

“No I’ve never won a Stanley Cup,” said Morrison through a laugh. “I have lost in a few playoff game seven’s. This year I was projected as the fourth best team, but it hasn’t started off that way, my team isn’t doing to well to start. My team moral is pretty low.”

Team morale is yet another piece the simulator takes into consideration while playing out the games. Fortunately for the Huskies and Morrison, there are ways to fix the team’s chemistry issues.

“To get the team morale back up and start winning there are a few things I can do,” said Morrison. “I can bring someone up from the farm system, just to shake-up the lineup, or I can make a trade, but I’m not big in the trade market.”

The Huskies record currently sits at three wins, five losses, and three overtime losses after 11 games. Like in the NHL the SICHL has a full 82 game season and then the playoffs.

“It is still early in the season,” said Morrison. “The simulator can be unpredictable, but every team goes through the ups and downs.”

Asides from the regular GM duties which come with running a team, the managers of the SICHL also write out press releases about the goings on with their teams. As well they set ticket prices for the arena. To attend a Huskies’ game at the Ice Barn, capacity 26,000, the current average ticket price is $67.69.

No money is exchanged in the SICHL, it is entirely for fun and bragging rights.

“It is all just for fun,” said Morrison. “It’s a good group of people who are running the teams. Some of them are hockey people working for places like TSN. But it is all just a bunch of people who love hockey.”

The SICHL currently sits at 29 teams. There are 14 teams in the Canadian Conference and 15 teams in the World Conference, which has teams in the United States, Europe, Cuba, and Iceland. Morrison says the league is looking to welcome an expansion team.

“The last time we had an expansion team it worked the same way as the NHL when Vegas got their team,” said Morrison.

The current leader in the Canadian Conference is the Vancouver Island Norsemen with 17 points. The Havana Revolution are atop the World Conference also with 17 points.

The Whitehorse Huskies will play today against the Calgary Mustangs.

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