WhatIfSports User Interview: Aginor From WhatIfSports.com image

User Interview: Aginor

Q&A with noted SimLeague Hockey user Aginor

We recently contacted veteran user Aginor to discuss SimLeague Hockey, life as an umpire, Canada, a bunch of hockey players and much more .

WIS

Who are you? Tell us about yourself?

Aginor

My name is Rob and I live in Calgary. I work for an insurance company as an underwriter (no I don't sell insurance). Actually it's a really good group of people to work with. We believe in working hard but not being totally serious all the time. I'm in my late 40s while there are times I feel my age, I believe in striving to stay young at heart.

WIS

How did you learn about WhatIfSports.com and our SimLeagues?

Aginor

I link on a sports website. I figured what the heck, see what it's all about. Tried an exhibition Sim Hockey league and found it to be interesting.

WIS

Why hockey? Why not anything else?

Aginor

Why hockey?? If you’re a guy and you live in Canada AND you don't follow the NHL… well that's just wrong. But I guess there some that don't but I don’t know them or heard of them. Kidding of course. Actually I am presently in several HBD Worlds and one Sim Baseball League Draft theme. So I'm I don’t just participate in Hockey Sim side. Because I follow Hockey in the winter and baseball in the summer, these are the two sports I'm interested in.

WIS

Besides simulation sports websites, what are some of your other interests and hobbies?

Aginor

I ski in the winter though not as much as I used to. It's become a very expensive activity. I play slo-pitch in the summer also I'm a 'carded' umpire. So I get to play and umpire. Though recently I'm finding I don't enjoy the umpiring as much as I once did. Between a definite shift for the worse in the attitudes of players and the demands with bat restrictions etc etc. More and more umpires are just quitting, the hassles aren't worth the money you make. I myself feel next summer will be my last doing it too. My main physical activity is training in Karate year around. I've been doing that for 23 years. It's a very traditional dojo, and I've been lucky to find a real group to train with.

WIS

I am giving you the ability to sit at a table and have a roundtable discussion with five people. Any five, past or present, does not need to be related to sports. Who are you sitting with?

Aginor

Well would be a rather unique group I'm sure: Gichin Funakoshi (founder of Shotokan style of Karate and the man who introduced the art to Japan), Abraham Lincoln, Sir Winston Churchill, Leonardo Da Vinci and Socrates. I would be interesting to learn more about all 5 of these individuals and to hear their opinions. Maybe a chance to learn something about each and maybe separate reality from legend in each case.

WIS

Which are some of your favorite hockey teams of all-time?

Aginor

The Montreal Canadians of the late 70s and New York Islanders of the early 80s. That may surprise some, considering I live in Calgary. I liked those teams because they could win no matter how the opposition wanted to play it. Fast and wide open or hard hitting or even a defensive style, it didn't matter they could beat you.

WIS

What players did you admire most growing up?

Aginor

Well we played street hockey, we always wanted to be like Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito or one the other stars from the early 70s. My favorite during that time was Darryl Sittler, a solid player and a classy guy. Oh and no I'm not a big Maple Leaf fan, even though I say my favorite player was Lanny MacDonald. That was mainly because he played for the Flames.

WIS

Did you play hockey (or other sports) growing up?

Aginor

I played a little hockey as a kid but not a lot. Most of the hockey I played was on a snow covered street or field. Mainly played little league baseball and participated in school volleyball teams, as well as track and field. My father pushed me to try a lot different sports or activities. Not to be great at them, but learn enough about each one to decide whether I liked it or not.

WIS

Build your all-time dream hockey team:

Aginor

Well that is hard one for sure. At centre you have to have Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux but the other 2 spots are tough. I'd have to go with Bryan Trottier and Steve Yzerman for the final two spots in middle. On the right side, well Bossy is a no brainer, Lanny MacDonald, Gordie Howe and of course the Maurice Richard. At Left Wing you'd have Bobby Hull, Luc Robitaille, Frank Mahovlich and Valeri Kharlamov. The 6 D-men are toughest of the group in my opinion, but here you go: Bobby Orr, Larry Robinson, Ray Bourque, Al MacInnis, Denis Potvin and Paul Coffey. Finally between the pipes…Vladislav Tretiak and his back up Patrick Roy. The two from the USSR National team may surprise some, but they both were the best players of their time.

WIS

What is your favorite sports moment?

Aginor

Again, I'm going to surprise the readers. Most might think it would be winning a tournament of some kind or a league championship. Maybe hitting a homer to win a big game or something like that. But it’s none of these, it's was finding out how respected I was as a ball player.

During a tournament, I hit a line drive that struck the lady pitching in the jaw! Needless say I felt, well let us just say BAD. It was VERY serious! After the game, I heard someone ask the team she played for if they were going to get 'even'. Now this was a team from same league, and my team had played them many times over the years. What surprised me was the answer they gave this individual. In a nutshell, they told him that injuries were part of the game, they knew me and the kind of person I was etc. To learn I had the respect of those I played against…no praise could be higher.

WIS

What is your favorite WIS moment?

Aginor

Well without a doubt winning the Championship in Sim Hockey for the first time. Beside that was joining my first draft style theme league. I want to thank Logain, for that! He is the one who got me hooked. Also, winning my one World Series in HBD was cool too.

WIS

What is your general strategy for SimLeague building teams? What is the most important thing to keep in mind while drafting?

Aginor

I only play in Prog/Reg Draft Style Leagues (have 8 presently) my strategy of putting a team together is really quite different for any open league or other theme league. Unlike those, players are basically exclusive to one team (eg you don’t see 20 of Wayne Gretzky or Joe Malone or whoever is the favorite right now), so your team is closer to reality. You have to build around the few really good players you do have. The Draft done between seasons is the key here. It's important that you take into consideration several factors. Firstly is the player pool from which you'll be drafting from. This of course depends on whether the pool is just from one NHL season or more. Then there is keeper limits; the less restrictive this is, the shallower the draft will be. Also, are there any roster restrictions (salary, positions etc)? Of course not the least important is the YOUR roster!! What are it's strengths, weaknesses, needs etc etc?

So when drafting my team, my position in the draft will of course dictate what is available when my turn comes up. I attempt to strike a balance between having a competitive team now and building for the future. You always hear "Well you take the best player available". While true for the most part, there are times when you have to by-pass what looks like the BEST player due to a pressing need your team has or will have is the near future.

WIS

Are there any players in specific that you like to put on your team?

Aginor

This question does really apply cause of the fact I play draft leagues. So there is NO specific player. There is more a type of player. With the recent updates to the Hockey Sim, this has made Defensive Rating of your forwards very important. Therefore you see a lot of owners drafting forwards in the later rounds who have a good rating in this area, regardless of their other stats.

WIS

Are there any players that you feel consistently under or overachieve?

Aginor

Again, it more a type of player that any specific player. The high scoring low defence rating forward, would more the type that under performs. That is unless you can surround him with some players with high defensive ratings. When I did play in the open leagues, I found a lot of the players from the late 60s and 70s to be disappointments. That may of changed, cause I've not played any open leagues in quite some time.

WIS

How do you go about setting your lines?

Aginor

That depends on what I've got really. I know it's a cliché, but it happens to be true. If I've got some forwards with solid offensive stats and decent d-ratings, then I can set my lines to either medium or conservative (I rarely use aggressive or checking, but have used them from time to time). On defense, again let's see what we have, if my d-men don't have very good offensive stats then let forwards do the shooting. In draft style theme you have to take what you can get, so I feel it's important to be flexible. You seldom get exactly what you want. Your team is going to have weak or questionable players; you have to deal with it.

WIS

Do you make transactions during the season? Why or why not?

Aginor

I'm mostly one of the least active in this regard among owners. Oh I will make trades but of course it has to be one I feel makes my team better. With draft style leagues there are of course 'rental' players (player with 1 or 2 solid years left). The owner is looking to rebuild by trading them for picks. There is nothing wrong with that, if you are willing to trade the future for a shot at the present season title. The thing is, I've found the playoffs a little bit of a crap shoot. Mainly cause these draft leagues are full of really experienced owners, who are good at getting the most out their teams. Therefore, I've never acquired a 'rental' player. The few deals I do make are for long term benefit. Hopefully both sides win.

WIS

Who are the users you respect and who challenge you the most?

Aginor

Over the many seasons and leagues of draft style theme, I've competed against a lot very experienced Hockey Sim owners. To name a few: bigbuzz, SAKABAKBRG, shaggyno9, god_mike, vegcity, wectina, logain, cpetsche, gooner, peter_puck…. These are ‘usual’ suspects in most of the draft themes I'm in. They all do their research and seem to always have very competitive teams in these leagues.

WIS

What is your favorite aspect of SimLeague hockey?

Aginor

Again I'll slant this toward the draft style themes I play. It comes to one word: Decisions! When drafting, who do you draft especially when there are several good choices? When comes to some ‘keeper’ lists, again who do I keep and who do I put back into the draft pool. I love when the decisions are of the difficult kind. Not saying I always make the 'right' choice but it's the challenge that having to make these choices I like.

WIS

How about your least favorite aspect of SimLeague hockey?

Aginor

Before the recent updates, I would have said the lack of user friendliness of the Sim Hockey system for draft style league. Now with the ability to link the season together etc, this has helped a lot. The draft centre makes it hard to do research for future seasons. Like most others, I have set up my own spread sheet etc for this purpose. This can be a drawback to someone just getting into a draft style theme. Even if the Draft Centre had the same ability has SLB, to search a search season for players in their first or last season would help. I think some new owners, find this a be hurdle in staying in a draft theme.

WIS

If you could change anything about SimLeague hockey and/or the site, what would you change?

Aginor

I think like a lot of long time owners in SimLeague Hockey, would like to see an Ice Hockey Dynasty. I got hooked on HBD cause of it's depth and would love to see something similar for us 'puckheads' out there.

WIS

We will let you know when that happens. Thanks a lot for your time Aginor and good luck in life and in WIS.

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