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So last month I discovered one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen in online gaming. Now I’ve run several Xbox Live leagues in the past, namely the 30 team NHL 2k3 league, a Halo league that produced the first ever National Champion in Halo, Halo 2 had a league as well as a couple others. I’ve also been involved in a few that have been very well run including the FHL currently.

But NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING has been more well run and more organized than LeagueGaming’s NHL Team League that I joined recently. According to the website there are over 200 members in this league. The basic premise is simple, play NHL 08 on Xbox Live using the team play option and play 3 vs. 3 with a locked player.

The detail of the league is much more complicated however. There are currently 12 teams, each complete with it’s own minor league team. Every organization currently has 16-18 players on it. There is an actual schedule with an actual game time each night. Each organization is run by a GM who assigns players to a specific game. So even though you only play with 2 teammates each game, it’s a true team effort because everyone must pull their weight for the franchise to be successful.

Season 1 was a huge success and season 2, which gets underway on Sunday, brought some expansion teams (complete with a giant expansion draft like you would see in the NHL).

My experience is very little as I was picked up VERY late in season 1 by the Detroit Red Wings. Because I entered the league so late, I was unable to get my feet wet, and found myself drafted by the expansion Columbus Blue Jackets. I found myself unusually excited for a video game. As you know, I grew up a Wings fan but became attached to the Jackets when they came into the league, and they’ve become my favorite team.

Being an expansion team can be tough because it’s usually the lower tier of players you get stuck with. I know a couple guys on the team and how they play so I have pretty high hopes for the Jackets in this league.

It appears my first game of the season is indeed the season opener against the San Jose Sharks. Game is Sunday December 9th at 830 eastern time. (7:30 my time)

I’ll post in the future about how this league is going and how it continues to grow.

Major props to everyone involved in keeping this the most organized league I’ve ever been a part of.

If you have an Xbox 360, Xbox Live, and NHL 08 and want to join the league, go to LeagueGaming’s website

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