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BFHL League Rules

All (mostly) the nitty gritty details you need to know to have the best experience possible while playing BFHL.  These are by no means set in stone and will be adjusted as needed. Recent changes are noted in red.  

Simulation Times

  • Games are simmed Monday to Sunday at 850pm PST and website should be completely updated by 9pm PST.
  • You have any time before 850pm PST to submit your new roster/lines file.
  • The loading of lines and simulation of games is automatic so don't expect us to stop the process so you can get a few more minutes to submit your lines.
  • Your lines/Rosters will be set by the simulation program if it finds your roster or lines to be incomplete (Usually due to injury or suspension)

Salary Cap

Yup it's a cap league and we're going to mirror the NHL. You can't pick the best available players all the time or you'll blow your cap.  Some tough decisions will need to be made to pick the right team balance while not going over cap!  Current numbers are as follows:

  • Max Salary Cap: 82.5 Million [Updated Sep 2022]
  • Min Salary Floor: 61.0 Million [Updated Sep 2022]
  • Farm Cap: 2.985 Million (Players in farm are 10% of Pro salary, meaning you can sign $29.85mm of NHL Salaries in the farm team) [Updated Sep 2022]
  • Min Salary: 750,000 [Updated 9/23/2022 MOU increases it to $775,000 starting 23-24 year]
  • Max Salary: 16.5 Million [Updated Sep 2022, note this is 20% of max cap]

Q:  What if you're over cap and can't get under?
A:  You will lose one pick in the prospect draft for every player we need to release from your team to get under cap.

  • Teams will lose the first available 1st rnd draft pick, then first available 2nd rnd draft pick, etc so that it doesn't matter what years your draft picks are
    • Once you have lost 5 picks (1st rnd, 2nd rnd, 3rd rnd, 4th rnd, 5th rnd), then it will go back to losing a 1st rnd pick again
    • It will always start as a 1st rnd pick PER EVERY instance the team is over cap (not per drop; it starts as a 1st rnd every time the league has to intervene and drop players)
      • For further clarify - say you dropped 3 players in month 1 to get under cap.  You then go over cap again in month 2 after some trades and need to drop a player again.  You will lose a 1st rnd pick, NOT a 4th rnd pick, as this is another instance the league has to intervene.  Whereas, the 3 players dropped in month 1 all occurred at the same time.

Farm Player Salary Limit [Implemented in 2019-20 season, limit updated Sep 2022 based on updated RFA compensations]

  1. Rule applies to all players.
  2. No player with an annual contract value greater than the "Limit" (Limit will be linked to the lower RFA compensation figure for 1st and 3rd, less $1) may be sent to the minors (e.g. for 2022-23, this would be $4,201,489-1 or $4,201,488 [updated Sep 2022] and value defined in the Rule Book each season) [Edit for greater certainty, the lower limit of $4,201,489 means that player will be in pro-roster.  At $4,201,488, that player can be in the farm.]
  3. Policing:  Automatically done by sim.  Will not be able to move player to the Farm.

Player Buy Outs

  • Buy outs will be rejected if it will put the teams Projected Bank Account in the red
  • Like in the NHL, a bought out player cannot play for the team that bought him out until that player has played for at least one other team.  In other words, you can't buy a player out and resign him right away.  [Sept 1, 2014] For further clarification, the player cannot play during that BFHL season (so if you buyout someone in off-season, they can't play the coming season).  If you buy a person out at trade deadline, you can't sign him rest of that season, but can sign him in the off season).  
  • [Clarification added Jul 3, 2013 to coincide w/ NHL ruling:  You cannot trade a player to another team, have that other team buy him out, then resign the player.  This will be considered cap circumvention.]
  • [Added Nov 19, 2013 but starts Sept 1, 2014]  Starting in the 2014-2015 season, players bought out will incur the following penalties
    • GM pays cash component equal to 50% of bought out amount (immediate payment)
    • Cap hit component is 50% and spread throughout the contract
      • ​For Clarity: The cap hit reduces the Pro Salary Cap (clarification added: Sep 24 2016)
    • For example, a $8 million player with 4 years left would result in $16 million of immediate cash payment PLUS every year (for 4 years), there would be an a cap hit of $4 million per year
  • ​[Added Nov 2013, but implemented Sept 1, 2014]:  Unlimited buyouts during offseasons (subject to penalties noted above).  During season, maximum 3 buyouts.
  • During the season, you cannot buyout a player earning less than $3,176,330 (note this escalates based on cap increase %).  [Remember to update annually where applicable, last updated Sep 2022]

Farm and Waivers

  • Player's salary is 10% of pro salary while in the farm
  • Players who are 25 years of age or older and have played 10 pro games or more, must clear waivers before being sent to the farm.
    • You have one day window to pick up a player on waivers
    • There is no compensation for players lost to waivers
    • Use the Client program to put your bid in for waivers.  It will automatically handle all waiver requests and priorities and will assign player(s) to the appropriate teams.
  • Players 24 years of age and younger are exempt from waiver rules

Waivers Claim Procedure

So you see a player on waivers that you want?  Please follow the below procedure

  1. Use Client Program
  2. Click Once on your Team
  3. From the menu bar, choose Team --> Waivers option
  4. On the resulting pop up, click on your team name, and the click on the player on waivers you'd like to claim
  5. Press the button "Assign Player to Team"
  6. Message will appear saying so and so team is interested in so and so player, click ok
  7. Exit the pop up
  8. Double click your team to open it.
  9. SAVE to file, YES to Upload.
  10. Wait til next simulation to see if you got the player or not.

Roster Limits and Line Ups

  • 23 Players max on Pro Roster
    • 18 dressed skaters, 2 dressed goalies required
    • Maximum of 3 Goalies
    • Minimum of 1 C, LW, RW (Note players playing out of position will play worse)
    • Minimum of 5 D
  • Can't stack your top 2 lines by double shifting players in the top two lines
  • Minimum 35 players in pro and farm (combined) at the BEGINNING of the season 

If the sim fails to run because of errors on a team, the following will occur:

  • Modification of Roster/Line up by one of the commish, potentially:
    • Exposing of a player on waivers
    • Having line up adjustments that may not make any sense.
    • Addition of players to fill Roster gaps
  • Loss of a draft pick at the next Entry Draft starting with the first pick


  • Trades will undergo a review period for league commisioners approval of up to two days before being processed (November 6th, 2010)
  • Current NHL CBA does not allow cash to be exchanged - BFHL will also follow the NHL's precedent 
  • Conditional trades cannot have a player involved in all outcomes of the condition.  For example, if player A goes to trade partner if X happens, but also goes to trade partner if Y happens, then it implies that player is going to that team regardless.  The player must be in the original non-contingent part of the deal - and that part must happen immediately.  This is to prevent the rental/borrowing of players (known as the Bombers Rental Trade rule). 

Free Agency Rules

  • [Added August 12, 2013]  BFHL tries to ensure that there are no duplicate players in free agency, but we are only human and errors do occur.  This has happened twice now as of when this rule was written.  GMs are responsible to make sure that THEIR players and prospects are not signed by another team.  If the "Original Owner" notices their players signed by a "New GM", it is the Original Owner's obligation to notify us.  If they don't [Added for clarification 9/9/2018] and the player is signed by someone else (and commissioner has already processed the signing),and there results in duplicate players existing, the original owner loses that player.  
    • If any trades happen, we will undo any and all trades to make sure the original owner loses that player.
  • [20190710: Reworded to first Sunday at 8pm PST] During the season, RFA bids (20230108: changed for clarity: OFFERSHEETS) can be submitted at any time - UFA bids will initially be at the first Sunday at 8pm PST of every month until February 1st. 

After the February 1st deadline, UFA free agent bids can be submitted at any time.

  • Processing time for FA bids will be as follows:
    • All sheets received prior to simulation will be processed and posted after the simulation
    • Depending on time constraints there may be some delay for posting the results and also may be some delay for having the results affected in the sim.
    • When the deadline is at the beginning of the month, all bids are processed in one batch on that scheduled day.  However, once there is no bid deadline (i.e. after February deadline), free agent bids will be processed in the order they are received; however, offers received on the same day will compete with other offers received that same day. 
  • BFHL Commish Team reserves the right to retract a bid if it would overly cap constrain the bidding team unless a plan is presented to the BFHL commish team and approved.
  • RFA
    • Free agents who are under 27 are RFA's [Added for clarity Jun 2017 - 26.9999999999 years old is still RFA.  27.0 years old is UFA]
    • [Clarification added Sept 2014 - BFHL calculates age based on age as of June 30, as per NHL CBA]
    • RFA Compensation - [Updated Sep 1, 2022]
      • $1,386,490 or below - none
      • $1,386,491 to $2,100,742 - 3rd round
      • $2,100,743 to $4,201,488 - 2nd round
      • $4,201,489 to $6,302,230 - 1st and 3rd round
      • $6,302,231 to $8,402,975 - 1st, 2nd and 3rd round
      • $8,402,976 to $10,503,720 - Two 1st, 2nd and 3rd round
      • $10,503,721 and up - 4 1st round
      • clubs must own all the picks for the UPCOMING draft(s) to submit an offer sheet, i.e. if two 1st rounders, its the upcoming two 1st round picks - cannot have a 1st rnd pick from YR1 and a 1st rnd pick YR3; must be YR 1 and 2 
      • [Clarification Added Feb 7, 2014:  Like the NHL, they must be picks from the team giving out the offer sheet - they cannot be another team's picks.  Also like the NHL, if you have to give two 1st round picks, they must be available within the next 3 years.  If you have to give four 1st round picks, they must be available within the next 5 years.]
    • Probability of resigning RFAs based on salary offered - free agency spreadsheet will be forwarded to GMs to determine their free agency strategy
    • Team owning the RFA must match within [EDIT Sep 2016 - 5 days to provide some time for other GM's to process their signing sheet for next round:  5] days of offer sheet.  If a team does not respond within [EDIT Sep 2016: 5] days, it is automatically assumed the offer sheet is not matched.
  • UFA's start at the age of 27
  • RFA are first assigned an offer from the team they last played with​​
    • [Added Jan 2013 (Originally proposed to all GMs in August 2012) - To retain RFA status, the team the player last played with MUST offer a qualifying offer ("QO")
      • Players earning under $660,000 must be offered at least 110% of their prior year's salary to qualify as a QO.
      • Players earning from $660,000 to $1 million must be offered at least 105% of their prior year's salary to qualify as a QO.
      • Players earning over $1 million must be offered at least 100% of of their prior year's salary to qualify as a QO.]
      • [Added Jun 2017 for Clarification:  A RFA may be offered a contract that isn't a QO.  If the player accepts the contract, he is signed.  However, if he does not, he will then be a UFA.]
      • [Note CBA never changed the brackets for annual increase in above - this does not change annually]
    • If player accepts offer, player joins team
    • If player rejects offer, other teams may provide an offer sheet
    • The team with the players rights have a right of first refusal and can match the offer sheet
    • If the team does not match the offer sheet, the player joins the team that gave the offer sheet, and compensation is paid
    • If the team matches the offer sheet, then the player stays with the original team
    • If no offer sheet is provided by other teams, and the RFA remains unsigned, the player remains property of the team [Changed Oct 6 2019] until the January FA signing period (January 5, 2020 for 2019-20 season) but can be subject to offer sheets
      •  If owning team wants to re-bid for the RFA, their offer must be at least 10% greater than the rejected bid.
      • Similar to RFA, for UFA, resubmitted offers from GM that had their contract previously rejected must be at least 10% greater than the rejected bid.
      • [Changed Oct 6 2019] If the qualifed RFA is unsigned by the team by the January signing period, the team will lose the rights to the player and the player becomes an UFA.
      • Everyone will have a shot at the now free agent at the February 1st and subsequent signing window(s).
  • UFA are first bid on by the team they last played with
    • If the UFA rejects the offer from the team he played for last season OR no offer was given by the original team, then all teams may bid for the UFA's services
    • The original GM gets the first bid because our free agency system does not have the ability to extend contracts until rerated player stats are out - consequently, this option to bid first is used to give the GM this "extended contract" option
    • Added for clarification - this has been in place since we started BFHL - for the benefit of the new GM's:  Highest bids are based on the re-signing probability offered NOT $ offered.  If that offer does not "win", next highest probability will be up. 
    • [Added Sep 29, 2014]  For bids that are identical, lets say Team A and Team B both bid 95% on a player.  That player generates a 25% probability dice roll for Team A and 50% for Team B.  It means that player wants to play on Team A more than Team B, therefore player will go to Team A (i.e. if Team A bid 26%, the team would still have won the bid).  


  • We aren't really using them yet.

Entry Drafts (Rookie Drafts)

  • Drafts are limited to players on the list  [Clarified June 2017:  List is composed of players actually drafted in the NHL that year]
  • Players not on the list will eventually be available through free agency when that player has a rating.
  • For the 2018-19 Season
    • Four Bonus picks at the end, 1st for BFHL Champ, 2nd for President, 3rd for conference leader 1, 4th for conference leader 2
    • Only one extra pick. Next highest divisional winners are in line
    • Tradeable pick.
  • For the 2019-20 Season
    • Top 3 picks will be a lottery.
    • 8 (starting after 2020) worst teams will be in the lottery with the same chances to get the 1st overall pick
    • Remaining 7 get same chances for the 2nd pick
    • Remaining 6 get same chances for the 3rd overall pick.
    • The most you can drop is 3 spots.
    • Trading does not reset the 24hr time clock

Activation of Prospects 

  • Prospects are activated at the CURRENT remaining actual AAV NHL contract as per (added June 2016 - or Capfriendly)
    • AAV is your base salary cap plus performance bonuses factored in.   
  • Starting in the 2013-2014 season, if a prospect has a rating and contract, he will be automatically activated - it will not be at the discretion of the BFHL GM.  
  • [Added June 2013 for clarification] When that prospect is automatically activated, the GM has a choice in whether to drop the player.  This is equivalent to the team and player not agreeing to an entry-level contract.  The prospect will then become an unrestricted free agent.  
  • [Added Sep 2017 for clarification to question from GM]  GM must officially drop the prospect before UFA bids are made, to allow other GMs the opportunity to pick up that prospect from free agency.  
  • [Added July 2016]  Activated prospects will follow NHL existing contract but will have one extra year in term to reflect the lag between BFHL ratings and NHL performance.  

Player Positioning 

  • Players may play multiple positions - positions must be listed on Eliteprospects. 
  • Changes allowed during the season as of Nov 1, 2011