As much as we want hockey to be back on ESPN, I have to say that they suck. I know, I know, that is a broad statement that includes many of the horrors that they perpetrate, but the one that is really bothering me right now is the awful fantasy game that they host.
Why do I hate it, oh let me count the ways:
1 - The game is made live later than any other on the internet.
2 - The pool of players includes guys that have been long retired or are even dead.
3 - The interfaces to rate said players is horrible - both the Java which goes slow as hell and the html which is incredibly inaccurate.
4 - Now that the season has finally started, the live drafts have been screwed up. I have a team that was due to draft two days ago and the computers crashed/froze/who knows so the league didn't draft until tonight - and as near as I could tell no team was able to access it.
5 - ESPN's solution to the problems? Give you another free team ... like people want twice the trouble.
6 - The live drafts are done through html, which makes them astoundingly frustrating and hard to follow.
7 - I am in the third and final year of a keeper league that clearly has owners who haven't checked since the beginning of the first year yet the service hasn't done anything about it.
8 - Team logos are limited to a pathetic goalie mask template - no I don't want a goalie mask with horns or one that looks like a pumpkin to represent my team.
So all this boils down to the fact that ESPN should be avoided at all costs for fantasy hockey. I've heard that CBS Sportsline's service is ok but a bit limiting. The NHL's in-house game is mediocre. TSN's is alright, but I highly recommend Yahoo!'s as it has the best interface, quality mediators who keep track of players, and great customer service, even though the game is free. Trust me, I know from experience and have 14 teams heading into this season across four services.
I am a geek.