Tips for NHL 2004

Having played in Dynasty Mode to my 20th [and final] season, I’ll admit it: the tips on NHL 2004 from EA Sports’s own site are dead on the money.

I’ll add a few:

  • Don’t sim more than four or five games in a row without at least looking into what’s happening with your team.
  • If you go on a long road trip, your fanbase will be affected by what you do. I suggest looking at price points on tickets frequently, but especially after a long road trip.
  • The last few seasons of Dynasty Mode, be cognizant when signing a player to a long-term deal. I sense that players who are signed for a long term&emdash;and are, therefore, cost-certain&emdash;are slightly more valuable in trades. For example, in this 20th season, about 2/3 of my team is looking at a walk year. [Doesn’t matter, because well, there’s no 21st season. ;)]
  • Play your team every once in a while. Do so in a 5-minute-period game. It’ll give you a feel for what your team needs, and it’ll also satisfy your hockey jonesing. Dynasty mode’s about the long haul, sure, but you want to play some hockey.
  • In the playoffs, do schedule practices, but only shorts or mediums. If you’re going to sweep, still schedule some practices&emdash;the off days will hurt you some. I sim postseason series until I win them or am at elimination, and then I play the series until I win or am eliminated.
  • 4th and 5th round draft picks are generally useless. Until your scouting level is at 7 or more, third round picks might as well be. Package them with players from your team to get a better deal in trades, whether that deal is a high draft pick or a better player.

The game does have some things that bother me about it, but that’s another entry. I probably need to be at my console when writing that one.

[Note: this entry inspired not by my obsession with NHL 2004 but by the fact that I saw a search engine query hit IJSM. I swear. I’m not an addi … okay, I am. Shaddup.]

[UPDATE]: Those of you who have been finding this page from Google: please see all the posts I’ve made that have NHL 2004 tips and discussion.