hawkfan89

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hawkfan89 last won the day on February 26

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  1. Thanks man, I'm glad you're enjoying it! Your series is cool, I love the concept. I've actually considered doing something similar sometime for Atlantic Canada but for junior hockey. It's taken a while but Long Island is finally in contention again. I'm really looking forward to that LI/NY series myself. Several colour schemes were considered for the Raiders, I settled on carrying over the Black and Red from Ottawa because it just looked the most aggressive. A change could be possible in the future. I will say of all the new uniforms for 2005-06, the Raiders are one of my favorites. It's not a huge overhaul but I think it looks pretty good. Glad you're enjoying the series! Crowley's contract is up after '05-06, at which point he will almost certainly retire, but if Minnesota wins this year, there's a good chance this will be it for him. I'm sure he will not leave the PHL story entirely, however.
  2. 2004-05 Regular Season October 8, 2004, seven Months after being traded for the first time, Brad McNair began his first full season in Milwaukee. McNair gave Choppers fans a lot to be excited about right away when he lit up the Chicago Shamrocks in the home opener, scoring four goals in a 6-3 win. The native of Cornerbrook, Newfoundland enjoyed a career season in 2004-05, winning the Cleveland Cup with 109 points including 52 goals. McNair switched from center to right wing, where he flourished playing alongside team captain Brent Zahorsky and Milwaukee finished first place in the Western Conference. After spending nearly five seasons in a very messy situation in New Orleans, McNair finally found himself on a contending team. “It’s been a lot of fun this year” said McNair. “I really believe this team has what it takes to win right now.” The Choppers barely edged out the Dallas Desperados for first place. Dallas held the top spot heading into the final week of the year, before Milwaukee won the last two games of the season to tie the Desperados in points, giving the Choppers the title as they had more wins. It was a disappointment for the Desperados, who had enjoyed a strong year despite some injuries to key players. The Western Conference was a tight race, with Seattle, Minnesota, Edmonton, and Kansas City all fighting for home ice advantage in the playoffs. But one of the most surprising stories of the year was the Denver Bulls, who climbed back in to post-season for the first time since 1996. The Bulls return to the playoffs was largely due to the spectacular play of Martin Barker in net. Barker was a finalist for the Whyte Trophy with six shutouts, while Justin Pratt contributed with 86 points. It had been a long time for the franchise, as attendance was beginning to suffer and the team was losing money. But by season’s end, the Western Airlines Center was full every night. “We’ve put a lot of work into this in the six years I’ve been here” said head coach Jacques Colette. “This is a big step. It’s exciting in this building for the first time in a while.” In the Eastern Conference, the Long Island Concordes hoped to make the jump from emerging threat to true contender. In November, the Concordes made a blockbuster trade, sending longtime star Bruce Evans to the Edmonton Northern Lights in exchange for superstar Ilya Rusakivich. Rusakivich was holding out on the Northern Lights, who did not want to overspend with Kris Nazarenko nearing the end of his contract. Rusakivich immediately inked a massive, ten-year, $100 Million deal with the Concordes. The Concordes did not regret their new acquisition either. Rusakivich played very well on a line with countryman Ilya Severov, scoring 56 goals to lead the league. Long Island finished fourth, earning home-ice advantage for the first time since 1991. Philadelphia and Toronto ruled the Eastern Conference once again, while the Boston Bulldogs, led by captain Brendan Marlo, broke 100 points to take third place. The Miami Stingrays won the South Division, yet finished in seventh place due to new league rules which guaranteed division winners only a playoff spot. After a decent performance for Canada at the World Hockey Challenge, Eric Moon followed up with his best regular season performance since he won the scoring title in 2001-02. Moon scored 33 goals and added 42 assists for 75 points. In Montreal, the Royale’s 18 year playoff streak finally came to an end. The Royale spent the latter half of the season in a tight race with Detroit, Carolina, and Cleveland but ultimately fell to 11th place, five points out of the final playoff spot. At the trade deadline, realizing their post-season hopes could be slim, the Royale dealt veteran Aaron Duplacy to the Minnesota Lumberjacks, hoping to give him a chance at one more championship. The Eastern Conference playoff race would come down to the final day of the season. Detroit face Toronto, needing either a win or a Carolina loss to get in. Carolina beat Miami, meaning it was do or die for the Mustangs. Eric Woods proved to be the hero, scoring twice in a big 4-2 win as Detroit clinched the final playoff spot. The last day of the season was also special for another reason. Minnesota faced Milwaukee and both teams had already clinched playoff spots, yet the game garnered attention anyway as longtime Lumberjacks captain Jason Crowley entered the game with 699 career goals. Late in the second period, Crowley beat Choppers goaltender Brad O’Donnell to become the seventh player in PHL history - and the first US-born player – to score 700 goals. Crowley was given a 10-minute standing ovation and even the rival Choppers congratulated him for the milestone. “I honestly never imagined doing this. It’s an amazing feeling.” Said Crowley, who had hinted at retirement during the season. “It’s been an honour to play in this league for so long.”
  3. The other thing about Kazakhstan is the uniforms would be fun to design. I always liked their unusual colour scheme, especially since so many hockey countries use some combination of red, white, and/or blue.
  4. I agree. I really didn't like how the Swiss unis turned out. They were a last-minute addition to the tournament so the jerseys were a little rushed. Britain has always been one of my favorite countries to design uniforms for and I also really like the current ones. Unfortunately for them, all countries will be switching to a new template for 2008 (which will also be a good thing for some other teams). I would say Britain's 08 uniforms are not quite as good as the 00-04 ones but will still be the best in that tournament so far. Hopefully the team will do a little better on the ice. The tourney will expand to 12 teams either in '08 or '12. It will partly depend on which countries have PHL content by then. In all likelihood, Denmark will return along with either Norway or one of the former Soviet countries like Latvia or Ukraine. Yeah the Sound never should have gone to New Orleans but for realism I am glad it happened (despite losing my hometown team of course). Every league has that one dumpster fire franchise after all. Now that the team is almost certainly headed to Houston, hopefully things will start to look up for them. I've finished updating the rosters so I'm hoping to begin the '04-05 sim tomorrow (the PHL actually played the 2004-05 season, unlike a certain other league). Thank you all for your patience!
  5. 2004 World Hockey Challenge In August, 2004, National teams from ten different countries arrived in Stockholm for the eighth World Hockey Challenge. The Russians entered the tournament looking to win their third title in a row, The host Swedes entered their strongest team eve, while the Canadians and Americans were both seeking redemption after disappointing finishes for both teams in 1996 and 2000. Things did not go as planned early on for both North American teams. The Americans opened the tournament against Slovakia. The Slovaks got an early lead when Montreal Royale star Zdeno Kadlec scored twice in the first period. Despite strong play from Matt Darwin in the USA goal, the Americans could not find a way to beat Slovak goaltender Petr Barca as Slovakia skated to a stunning 2-0 win. Meanwhile, the Canadians opened their tournament against Switzerland, a team playing in their first-ever WHC. Despite having only one PHL player on their roster, the Swiss stunned Canada 3-1, spurring panic across the country. The following morning the Toronto Sun ran the headline “No Canada; Why Canadian Hockey is Officially Dead”. It was Canadian GM and executive director Stuart Holly who proved to be the calming voice. “We will be OK, it’s one game for crying out loud” said Holly, who himself had played in the first four tournaments. In Pool B, both the Russians and the Swedes got off to fast starts. Each team allowed only two goals in their first three games, meaning their showdown at the end of the round-robin would decide first place in the pool. The game would be a goaltending exhibition between Alexei Rolonov and Viktor Holmqvist. Holmqvist was peppered with shots early, as Swedish defenseman – and Holmqvist’s new Boston teammate – Matt Andersson took a penalty. The dangerous line of Igor Zharkov, Ilya Severov, and Alexei Ivanov had some big chances but could not beat Holmqvist. At the other end, Rolonov was forced to keep the Swedes off the board through a late surge to take the lead. The climax came when he had to stop a 2-on-0 with Jonas Andersson and Hendrik Akerman. Ultimately, the game ended in a scoreless tie, with Russia getting first place thanks to a goal differential tie-breaker. After stumbling out of the gate, both Canada and USA played very well through the rest of the round robin. Canada shut out Slovakia and defeated Great Britain 3-1, while the Americans took out Switzerland 8-0 and Great Britain 4-0 with Matt Darwin turning in one of the best goaltending performances ever at the WHC. It would all come down to the battle of North America for first place in Pool A. Darwin finally allowed his first goal against since the opener just six minutes in when his Milwaukee teammate Brad McNair scored to give Canada the lead. The United States responded when Jake Wilson beat Pierre Noel to tie the game. The 1-1 tie would hold until midway through the third period, when Joe Murdock took a pass from Kris Nazarenko on an odd-man rush and beat Darwin to give Canada a 2-1 lead. It was all on Rimouski, Quebec native Pierre Noel now. Noel stopped 12 shots in the final minute alone before Eric Moon sealed the win with the empty-netter to give Canada the win and first place. Canada’s reward for finishing first was a quarterfinal date with the Czech Republic, a team that had underachieved in a tough pool but was considered dangerous nonetheless. Despite strong play from goaltender Petr Kaleek early, the Czechs simply could not contain the fast, hard-hitting Canadian style and soon 18-year-old Kaleek was beaten twice by McNair, then by Jared Baxter and Brendan Marlo in a 4-1 Canadian win. Meanwhile, the Americans faced a similar opponent in the scrappy Fins. Finland made life miserable for Matt Darwin, planting big, tough winger Antti Pulkkinen in front of the net. The Fins soon took a 2-1 lead but the American defense simply had too much size for Pulkkinen in the end. Veteran behemoths Randy Fernandez, Scott Drayton, and Kevin Hoyle each took turns delivering cross-check after cross-check to Pulkkinen and Jarkko Nikula as the game turned nasty. Finally, thanks to goals from captain Jason Crowley and Gus Avery, team USA skated to a 3-2 win to advance to the semis. The host Swedes were expected to roll over Switzerland, a team that was not even supposed to make the elimination round. However the Swiss team continued their gritty play and managed to force Sweden to a shootout, where goals from Mikael Forsberg and captain Gustav Mattsen gave the Swedes the win and allowed the home crowd to breathe again. The semifinals would be a repeat of the 2000 tournament, as USA faced Russia and Canada faced Sweden once again. Though the Russians had an advantage over the Americans in speed and skill, they were simply unable to match their size nor could they solve Matt Darwin. Goals from Jake Wilson and Travis Watson propelled Team USA to a 2-0 win and a berth in the championship game. In the other semifinal match, Sweden remembered all too well the heartbreaking late third period loss to Canada in the 2000 semis. This game would be tight as well, tied 2-2 after regulation. Two entire nations spent the five-minute overtime holding their breath as Sweden’s Peter Lundholm and Canada’s Rob Wentzel rung shots off the post. Overtime solved nothing, sending the game to a shootout, where Holmqvist and Noel turned away shot after shot. The shootout went to sudden death, where Swedish captain Gustav Mattsen beat Noel just below the bocker to give Sweden the lead. Canada needed a goal from Brad McNair to tie it. McNair skated in and deked Holmqvist. It appeared he had him beat but could not quite lift the puck over Holmqvist’s pad. The crowd was ecstatic, as Sweden would advance to the championship game for the first time ever, while the Canadians were devastated. The country that was considered hockey’s home had now gone four straight tournaments without a win. The United States faced Sweden in the title game and the game proved to be unusually high-scoring from the get-go. Mike Bidden opened the scoring for Team USA, then Darren Reid made it 2-0. It appeared the Americans might take their second championship until Matt Andersson’s point shot found its way past Darwin to bring the game within one. Late in the first period, the Americans once again extended the lead on a goal from Jake Wilson, who at age 20 was having a MVP-worthy tournament. USA led 3-1 going into the second period. Darwin and Holmqvist held the game at 3-1 throughout the second and the Americans appeared to be on their way to a title entering the third period. However, just 20 seconds into the third, Tomas Axelsson beat Darwin on a breakaway to bring the game within one. The Americans nursed the 3-2 lead for 12 minutes until Mattsen scored to tie the game. The Swedish crowd erupted while the Americans began to panic. Sweden nearly scored again when Mikael Larsson was sprung on a breakaway, but Darwin stepped up to make the save. The game would go to overtime, which ended quickly. The Swedes were forced to kill off a Lukas Edstrom penalty that was called in the dying seconds of the third period. After killing the penalty, Sweden rode the momentum and shifted the play into the American zone, where Gustav Mattsen immediately jammed a rebound past Matt Darwin to win the game and the tournament for Sweden. Mattsen, who would be named tournament MVP was mobbed by his teammates while the crowd gave their team a standing ovation. Mattsen then took the trophy into the crowd where the players celebrated with their fans. “We did it! We did it!” he screamed into the camera when interviewed. It was only the second time ever that the host nation won the tournament.
  6. Welcome aboard! I'd love to see that project. I remember when it almost seemed like that's what the IHL was attempting to do when they started putting teams in big markets like Chicago and Milwaukee. I wasn't initially going to say it but "Roughnecks" is the leading contender right now. The logo I've been working on features an oil derrick but I'm trying to decide if it works as a main logo. I'll play with it some more. Right now I've been mostly focused on the WHC. The 2004 uniforms are done so I'll probably begin simulating the tournament tonight.
  7. The team has already gotten rid of most of their big contracts, unfortunately two of those players (McNair and Darren Reid) are potential superstars just entering their prime. They have been doing a good job with the rebuild so far though. Kaleek will be a solid goaltender, maybe one of the best. Koskov was also a solid pick. At 28, Nikula is not really young but could still be around when the team is ready to contend. He will be valuable in the room with all the kids or he could become a good asset at the trade deadline. The key to that deal was the first round pick, but since Boston's pick would likely be low, they needed to package it with something. Long term they will not keep the Sound name (this isn't the NBA after all). The name for Houston will likely be oil-themed. I had considered some space-themed names but went that direction for Cleveland instead. I also feel like the space theme is a little played out for Houston in real life anyway. I think we also have enough aviation-themed teams already. I have already started work on a possible logo and have tried it in different colours. So far the best combinations seem to be either navy and gold or navy and red. I think there's a good chance of a red jersey partly due to the very surprising lack of red primary jerseys in the league.
  8. 2004 Off-season 2004 Entry Draft It had been years since the Los Angeles Wizards had a true franchise player, but the team believed they finally had just that when they selected Russian sensation Oleg Gusarov with the first overall pick. Gusarov led the Russian national junior team in scoring and even played a few pro games in the European Elite League. The hope was that Gusarov would play in the World Hockey Challenge and then turn pro right away with the Wizards. The Portland Cascades selected Patrick Diaz, a big winger from Winnipeg with the second overall pick, while Pittsburgh took another forward, Chad Hartley. The New Orleans Sound made some particularly big picks, taking Czech goaltender Petr Kaleek 11th, and Russian star Dimitri Kozkov 18th. Both players were late 1985 birthdays and had played pro in the European leagues in 2003-04. Kaleek even backstopped his team to a championship and has been named Czech Republic’s starter for the 2004 World Hockey Challenge. 1. LA – Oleg Gusarov, F, RUS 2. POR – Patrick Diaz, F, CAN 3. PIT – Chad Hartley, F, CAN 4. OAK – Justin Ramsey, D, USA 5. CGY – Niklas Ohlin, D, SWE 6. WSH – Josh Lyons, F, CAN 7. DEN – Ryan Farmer, F, CAN 8. STL – Dominik Dvorak, D, CZE 9. CLE – Jamie Ward, D, CAN 10. NYC – Sami Tuominen, G, CAN 11. NOS – Peter Kaleek, G, CZE 12. WPG – Tristen Weaver, F, CAN 13. MIA – Kyle Hughes, G, USA 14. ATL – Dion Hoyt, D, USA 15. MTL - Nick Paszek, F, CAN 16. DET – Kurt Ostrowski, F, CAN 17. QUE – Jaroslav Kovac, D, SVK 18. NOS (From MIL) – Dimitri Koskov, F, RUS 19. MIN – Pascal Lafrois, F, CAN 20. VAN – Ben Schmitt, D, CAN 21. LI – Alexander Marinov, F, RUS 22. DAL – Dan Wolanski, F, CAN 23. KC – Jordan Cox, F, USA 24. OAK (From BOS) – Sean Miller, F, USA 25. CAR – Cameron Carr, G, USA 26. NOS (From TOR) – Ulf Hagelin, F, SWE 27. EDM – Bryan Taylor, D, USA 28. PHI – Jay Foster, D, CAN 29. CHI – Mike McMaster, D, CAN 30. SEA – Nikolai Ozerov, F, RUS Notable Retirements: Viktor Skogg, F, LA, MTL, 1986-2004 One of the greatest European talents in PHL history, Viktor Skogg came over from Sweden as part of the legendary 1986 draft class as a member of the Los Angeles Wizards. Playing with legends Stuart Holly and Sheldon Hopkins, Skogg proved to be a natural goal-scorer, finishing third all-time in Wizards goals. When Holly retired, Skogg became the face of the Wizards and was one of the few bright spots during a difficult decade for the franchise in the 1990s. In 2002, Skogg left LA to join the Montreal Royale, where he finished his career. Sadly, Skogg may be the greatest player to never reach the Lewis Cup Finals. Jonathan Adams, D, CGY, MTL, VAN, 1986-2004 Another product of that 1986 draft, Jonathan Adams earned a reputation as one of the fiercest competitors the PHL has ever seen as well as one of its most feared hitters. Adams was perhaps best remembered for his devastating hit that took out California’s Matt Pope and Ilya Severov at the same time in 1992 while he was a member of the Calgary Wranglers. Adams signed with Montreal in the summer of 1999, just missing out on a Lewis Cup championship that would unfortunately elude him his entire career. He finally reached the final with Vancouver in 2004, his final season, where the Bighorns lost a game seven heartbreaker to Philadelphia. Elliot Andrews, D, MIL, DET, MIA, CGY, KC, DAL, CLE, VAN, CHI, EDM 1985-2004 Elliot Andrews was a valuable shut-down defenseman throughout his career. But the man nick-named “U-haul” was probably best remembered for the distinction of playing for more franchises than any player in league history. Andrews was drafted by the Milwaukee Choppers just days after the team moved from Dallas but only played a handful of games in Milwaukee before being dealt to Detroit for hall-of-famer Cliff Lyle. Ultimately, Andrews would play 19 seasons for ten teams, three of those teams within the 2000-01 season. Andrews managed to win one cup once, with Kansas City in 2000, the team he spent the most seasons with. Notable Trades New Orleans trades G Viktor Holmqvist to Boston in exchange for D Jarkko Nikula and a 1st round pick in ’05. Holmqvist gives Boston a true star in net, while the Sound get some big pieces for their rebuild. Pittsburgh trades G Ryan Shultz to Minnesota in exchange for 1st round pick in ’05. Shultz will replace Christian Grayson in Minnesota as the number one goalie after Grayson left for Calgary. Key Free Agents RFAs: F Jake Wilson signs new 12-year deal with Quebec worth $9 Million/year. D Corey Clark signs new 10-year deal with Chicago worth $8 Million/year. F Jayson Clarke signs new 5-year deal with Atlanta worth $7 Million/year. D Jyrki Rainimak signs new 4-year deal with Portland worth $6 Million/year. G Jussi Sykko signs new 5-year deal with Toronto worth $5 Million/year. G Martin Barker signs new 4-year deal with Denver worth $5 Million/year. F Justin Pratt signs new 6-year deal with Denver worth $5 Million/year. D Matt Potter signs new 5-year deal with Calgary worth $4 Million/year. UFAs: F Igor Zharkov (WSH) signs 5-year deal with New York worth $11 Million/year. After 12 years in DC, Zharkov leaves for Broadway as the Civics attempt to rebuild a contender through free agency. G Matt Darwin signs new 6-year deal with Milwaukee worth $9 Million/year. The Choppers lock up their star goaltender for the remainder of the decade. F Drake Klausen (SEA) signs 4-year deal with New York worth $8 Million/year. The Grey Wolves lack cap space to resign the popular Klausen, who becomes the second big-name player of the summer to sign with New York. G Christian Grayson signs 3-year deal with Calgary worth $3 Million/year. After a backstopping a legendary Lumberjacks team through the 90s and early 00s, Grayson takes his two Lewis Cup rings to Calgary, where the Wranglers hope to return to the playoffs. G Jake Borman (TOR) signs 1-year deal with Atlanta worth $1.5 Million/year. Borman will likely finish his career in Atlanta, splitting playing time with Ben Kerrigan. F Kim Brodie (KC) signs 2-year deal with Toronto worth $1 Million/year. Brodie will finish his successful career with the team he grew up cheering for and with a chance at a championship. News During league meetings in June, 2004, several rule changes were discussed. Among them, the league considered adding a shootout to decide tied games during the regular season. Shootouts had been used in International hockey for years and the league no longer wanted paying fans to have to settle for a tied game. In the end, the shootout was tabled for the future but would be tested at the 2004 World Hockey Challenge in Stockholm. One rule change that was adopted for 2004-05 was a change to the league standings system. Previously, the three division winners in each conference were awarded the top three seeds, regardless of point totals. Beginning in 2004-05, the division winners would only be guaranteed playoff positions. For example, in 2003-04, the South Division champion Carolina Raiders were given the third seed despite finishing with the fewest points of all Eastern Conference playoff teams. An identical scenario in ’04-’05 would see the Raiders finish eighth. “We want to make sure we’re rewarding the teams that win hockey games” said Darryl Byrd. The Atlanta Copperheads suffered a blow in July. Their star forward Jason Ferland had been arrested and charged with assault causing bodily harm when a brawl broke out in a Miami bar late in the season. On July 6, Ferland accepted a plea deal that resulted in a six-month jail sentence, meaning he would not be in the Atlanta lineup until at least February, possibly longer if the league decided to suspend him for the season. Though Atlanta GM Paul Needham was faced with faced with the dilemma of replacing his top center, his biggest concern seemed to be for the young man in his organization. “I think Jason made a big mistake and now he’s willing to pay for it and learn from it” said Needham. “He’s a good kid, we will be behind him as he deals with this.” The soap opera that was the New Orleans Sound finally seemed to be coming to an end in August. With the league unable to find a buyer committed to keeping the team in Louisiana, Houston billionaire Bernie Cratt finally bought the team for $150 Million. Cratt was honest when asked about his intentions with the franchise. “I will look to get the team moved to Houston hopefully within the next year or two” said Cratt. “All we can guarantee at this point is that the team will remain in New Orleans for 2004-05”.
  9. *Insert sinister laugh* Denver will have a completely new design and I'm not sure how it will be received, personally I actually like the logo, but they may also be one of the first teams to go retro in a few seasons. I've been picking at an updated version of their classic logo for a while now. I think overall I will tone down the piping from what was originally planned. A few teams with more modern designs will have it but most of the teams will just be carrying their current designs over to the new template anyway. I know, Detroit has had some bad luck because they've been stuck in between rebuild mode and contention for a while now. A rebuild is likely imminent and the first to go will probably be head coach Cliff Lyle. GM Bob Gill will probably remain in place to take another stab at building a winner.
  10. As a big Falcons fan I wouldn't know anything about that To be honest, I've kind of dreaded this era for the PHL. I was a 90s kid all the way. I always loved the retro Ducks, Panthers, and Coyotes uniforms, and I hated the original RBK Edge jerseys with a passion. I also hated some of the designs in the NFL and NBA that were similar with the piping and everything (including the Falcons). This is where I have felt very conflicted between making my teams look good, and making this project realistic. In the end, these uniforms really don't look that wonderful in my opinion, but very realistic for their time. I'm really looking forward to re-introducing third jerseys beginning in '06 because that's when you will start to see some retro-style designs. Similar to real-life RBK Edge, the plan is for the first set of uniforms to be very template-based and then over time, teams will start coming out with new, more original designs again.
  11. Yeah just to warn you guys there will be some pretty awful uniforms coming next season. Just remember it won't last too long though, the retro trend is right around the corner.
  12. PHL, Duke Sports Reveal New Uniform System Beginning in the 2005-06 season, PHL uniforms will never be the same. On July 1, 2004, Duke Sports & Apparel finally revealed their much-anticipated new FitLite hockey uniform, which will see the ice for the first time at the 2005 PHL All-Star Game. The new jerseys will be nearly 50% lighter than what the teams currently wear and also feature a slimmer fit, as well as an elasticized mesh-like material on the sides of the jersey and the underside of the arms to promote a more comfortable and breathable fit. The socks are also made with a more breathable fabric. As for the look of the uniforms, the Duke logo will appear just below the collar on the front of each jersey, while the PHL logo will now appear on the back. The league also announced that as of 2005-06 the home and away uniforms will be reversed league-wide, with the home team wearing their team colours and the road team wearing white. A few teams have stated that they will make major changes to their look, some will make more minor changes while most will simply adapt their current designs to the new template. Alternate jerseys will be suspended for one season but will return in 2006-07. The PHL requested that teams refrain from making changes to their uniforms for the 2004-05 season with one exception. In a new league tradition, the teams participating in the 2004 Holiday Classic both unveiled retro uniforms for the event. The host Boston Bulldogs will wear the uniforms they wore during the 1960s and '70s, while the visiting Philadelphia Redshirts will wear their uniforms from the same era, which was seen as the peak of the rivalry between the two clubs.
  13. That is correct, beginning in the 2005-06 season when the new uniforms make their debut. More details will be revealed in the next post when the new uniform template is revealed. I think there will be a fairly extensive, expansion-like rebuild for that franchise once new owners arrive. As for the two Canadian cities mentioned, Ottawa would probably have a better chance than both, but after that I would say Halifax if they can get a new arena only because the fan base was so rabid and the league may be hesitant to have a team share a market (Southern Ontario) with the Racers. Fixed it, thanks for the heads up!
  14. Haha I couldn't resist. Sorry to any Vancouver fans on here
  15. 2004 Lewis Cup Finals The 2004 Lewis Cup Finals began on June 2 in Philadelphia as the Cinderella Bighorns, playing in their first-ever final, faced the heavily favoured Redshirts, playing in the finals for the second time in four years. Game one went to Philadelphia thanks to two goals from Alexei Ivanov. Game two was much closer, as the teams remained deadlocked at 2 until the third period, when Jared Baxter beat Philippe Gagnon with a hard slap shot. Philly took a 2-0 series lead with a 4-2 win. The series shifted to Vancouver for game three, the first Lewis Cup Finals game ever in the city. The statue of George Vancouver in front of City Hall was dressed in a large Bighorns jersey and an overflow crowd of 18,900 packed into Northwest Air Center. The Bighorns knew they needed a win to stay in the series. The game would go to overtime, where the Redshirts nearly took a 3-0 series lead when Jared Baxter rung a shot off the post. Moments later, Vancouver took a penalty when Tory Partridge was called for roughing. Philadelphia had another chance on the powerplay. But Gagnon stood tall, stopping 12 shots during the powerplay. As Partridge exited the box, defenseman Trevor Kerwick hit him with a pass and sprung him on a breakaway. Partridge beat Pierre Noel to win the game. In game four, Blair Horton was the overtime hero for Vancouver as the Bighorns tied the series. The pressure was now on the Redshirts heading into game five back in Philly. Captain Jared Baxter, held scoreless in Vancouver, knew he needed to step up if the team was going to close out the series. The Bighorns took a 2-0 lead early, leading coach Clint Allen to pull Noel in favour of backup Steve Christie. Noel, unhappy with being pulled, smashed his stick over the boards and had a few words with Allen before storming off to the dressing room. Meanwhile on the ice, Redshirts pest Alex Leblanc drew a penalty when he yanked Blair Horton’s stick right out of his hands after a whistle. Horton threw a punch at Leblanc and was called for roughing. Leblanc then scored on the powerplay and nodded his head toward Horton as he left the penalty box. An irate Horton once again went after Leblanc while Corey Powell and Tory Partridge squared off as well. Clint Allen even jumped up on the boards a started yelling at the Vancouver bench, calling them “a bunch of thugs”. After handing out several penalties, the officials finally got the game under control. That’s when the Philadelphia captain finally stepped it up. Jared Baxter beat Jonathan Adams to a puck in the crease and jammed it past Gagnon to tie the game. Then, with three minutes remaining in regulation, Baxter scored again as Philly took the lead. The Redshirts held on to take the game and a 3-2 series lead. With the cup in the building in game six, the big story concerned the Philadelphia net. Pierre Noel had struggled, while Steve Christie had played well. Christie was given the start. Noel made his disappointment with his coach known. “I think I could come back and win this for us but I guess he disagrees” said Noel. “We’ll see what happens I guess.” What happened was a 4-0 rout for a desperate Vancouver team to force game seven. The first time since 1987 and 1988 that the finals would go to seven games in back-to-back years. Prior to game seven, Clint Allen met with his number one goalie in an attempt to patch things up and to inform him that he would be starting game seven. Allen faced 38 shots as the game went to the third period with no score. Early in the third period, Sean Nowakowski finally broke the tie and gave Philadelphia the lead. The Bighorns scrambled to tie the game but Noel stood tall. Vancouver pulled Gagnon in a last-minute effort to tie the game, but Baxter took the puck the length of the ice and sealed the win with an empty-net goal. The Philly crowd counted down the final seconds as the players poured off the bench. The Redshirts had waited 62 years for their first Lewis Cup, the wait for their second was only three. Jared Baxter was named playoff MVP after an inspired performance. In Vancouver, the fans handled the loss with grace and class, despite their disappointment. They quietly left the Northwest Air Center, where they had watched on the big screen. Some fans even helped clean up garbage on their way out, while others were seen washing the windows of a police car. “Nobody would’ve blamed those fans if they rioted after the loss” said CBC commentator Graham Helm. “But they showed incredible sportsmanship.”