If you were a GM of any NHL team (as many of us dream of), you'd have to have a set of principles as to how to run your hockey team and how to build it. So, if you were a GM, how would you build YOUR hockey team? I'll start with a couple, please try not to bash me; contructive critisism is appreciated. This is only a game, have fun.
--Never spending more than $4 million/year on a goalie. In any sport and any industry, the market is always overvaluing and undervaluing assets. IMO, the NHL market overvalues goalies. Without a doubt they are essential to a team's success, but at more than $5million money can and should be spent elsewhere. I'd want a keeper with a 0.900 SVP and who has playoff experience, so a veteran UFA signing. An example of this is Manny Legace or Dwayne Roloson. I'd want someone who doesn't have to steal very many if any games, only keep the team in it. Think game-managing QB.
--On the flip side, the market undervalues 2nd line forwards. I'm not a big Mike Comrie fan, but he should make more than the $1 million we're paying him; the same goes for Petr Sykora. I'd stock up on these 1 year contracts to players who have 60-70 point potential, signing 2-3 to solidify my forwards, using them on my checking line if necessary. Having a guy like Mike Comrie on your 3rd line may not be conventional, but when he's with John Madden and Marty Reasoner (hypothetically of course), you can give him his share of freedom offensively.
--Enforcers are a luxury, not a necessity. In spite of Zach Stortini's emergence as a fighter with some goals in him, IMO if you have a great captain you don't need an enforcer. If you have Jarome Iginla, who in my mind is the best leader a team could ask for in the NHL, a guy who's willing to fight tooth and nail for his teammates; an enforcer's not necessary. You need guys that can contribute, bottom line; that's the way it always has been and will be. Playing a guy for 5 mins; that's a waste. Drafting a guy in the 1st, 2nd, 8th round just on his ability to fight and rack up penalty minutes is a huge waste.
--Draft atleast one goalie every draft. Always have a pipeline of 'tenders coming. The more goalies you draft, the more likely you'll find a potential starter. 1 goalie drafted per year, no more no less.
--Make it a priority to obtain a pure offensive defenseman. ODmen do so much helping a team get out of the zone and kick-starting the offense, the offense truely does start with them. Obviously they're defensemen for a reason, but for one guy on that top 6, offense should be the main priority.
--Try to build as balanced a forward corps as possible. In a perfect world each line would play 15 mins, but no team has the depth to do that. However I'd try and have 2 2nd-line scoring units, with both posing an equal threat. Saves the cap space, and shows a more balanced attack.
--Pay good money for checkers. Have 2 ultimate shutdown forwards and one scorer on my 3rd line. John Madden in my mind is worth more than the $2.75million the market values him at (the contract he was signed to this past off-season by Chicago). Spend good money on the guys that are very much responsible for keeping Ovechkin, Crosby, Datsyuk and Zetterberg from taking over the game.
These are the only things I can think of, let me know what you think !