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Everything posted by hawkfan89

  1. This is my first time really posting anything on here but I've been reading and following these forums and this site for several years now. For the past year I've been closely following the AFA project (History of a Fictional Football League, http://boards.sportslogos.net/topic/98092-history-of-a-fictional-football-league-new-orleans-krewe-field/) and it inspired me to create a fictional league of my own for Hockey. Using the site https://www.random.org/lists/ I've been simulating through the seasons and creating logos & uniforms for each team. I've started the league at the 1939-40 season, with nine teams. I have results completed through the 1945-46 season as well as uniform changes so I will post one season every few days until I'm caught up, at which point I will begin posting the seasons as they happen. Because I've already completed a few seasons, the designs for the first few seasons will be pretty much set in stone but I will be accepting feedback as we get into re-branding & expansion in the '50s and '60s. Current Year: 2002 List of champions: 1940 - Toronto 1941 - Windsor 1942 - Chicago 1943 - Boston 1944 - Boston 1945 - Boston 1946 - Boston 1947 - Hamilton 1948 - Chicago 1949 - Buffalo 1950 - Buffalo 1951 - Chicago 1952 - Boston 1953 - Hamilton 1954 - Hamilton 1955 - Chicago 1956 - New York 1957 - New York 1958 - Toronto 1959 - Boston 1960 - Quebec 1961 - Quebec 1962 - Quebec 1963 - Detroit 1964 - Toronto 1965 - Quebec 1966 - Montreal 1967 - Nova Scotia 1968 - Montreal 1969 - Detroit 1970 - Detroit 1971 - Boston 1972 - Minnesota 1973 - Detroit 1974 - Detroit 1975 - New York 1976 - LA 1977 - LA 1978 - LA 1979 - Minnesota 1980 - California 1981 - Calgary 1982 - St. Louis 1983 - Chicago 1984 - St. Louis 1985 - Pittsburgh 1986 - St. Louis 1987 - St. Louis 1988 - Milwaukee 1989 - Milwaukee 1990 - Long Island 1991 - St. Louis 1992 - Montreal 1993 - Boston 1994 - Chicago 1995 - Montreal 1996 - Minnesota 1997 - New York 1998 - Minnesota 1999 - Montreal 2000 - Kansas City 2001 - Philadelphia 2002 - Seattle Here are the uniforms for the 1939-40 season. The template is a modified version of one I found online and will be updated as the series moves along. I wanted to keep the early logos very simple so I mostly used letters & clipart, although I created some (Boston, Detroit, Philadelphia) from scratch. logos will become more original in the future. Standings: 1. Hamilton 2. Detroit 3. Toronto 4. Chicago 5. Montreal 6. Boston 7. Philadelphia 8. Windsor 9. New York For two decades, pro hockey was played in three major leagues; the Southern Ontario Hockey League, the American Professional Hockey Association, and the Quebec Hockey League. After years of fighting between the two leagues it was decided to create a new league made up of the top teams from each league and the Professional Hockey League (PHL) was formed with former Toronto Racers owner Henry Lewis elected as league president. The Hamilton Kings dominated the regular season on a 30-goal effort from 10-year veteran Johnny Williams. The New York Civics finished last place despite a big rookie season from 16-year-old Sam "Skippy" Cleveland. The Toronto Racers caught fire in the playoffs, defeating Chicago before pulling off a huge upset over the rival Kings in the semifinals to face the Montreal Royale in the finals. In the best-of-5 final, Montreal took a 2-0 series lead before the Racers stormed back to win the championship with winger Wally Girard scoring the winner in game 5.
  2. That's probably what I would do. I would probably post games and highlights and stuff. I used to spend hours on teambuilder. NBA's team creator is incredible, I've just never liked basketball video games that much. I really wish the NHL series could incorporate something like that. The only bad thing about it is I would never get anything important done There actually is a pretty decent team creator in NHL 18, I've actually got a full league of custom teams that I play with and it's fun. The arena options are amazing now. I agree though, the one thing that's missing is a logo upload option. Sometime I'll post my NHL 18 teams, I'm curious to hear feedback about them now.
  3. The seasons? I use Excel and a dice roller function on this site: https://www.random.org/dice/. I use the same site for other things too, such as the draft lottery. Most likely I'll simulate seasons in real time, each game at a time. However I've also heard rumors that EA Sports may incorporate some kind of logo upload to the NHL series in the future. It would be pretty cool to actually be able to play PHL games and show screenshots. We'll see what happens. I use a few different random name generators mainly for last names. Typically I pick first names myself based on what names were common during a specific era (like Dave and Bobby for the 60s and 70s, or Chris and Brad for the 90s), though I get ideas from the generators for those as well. Random occurrences are events during a season that are not expected or "supposed" to happen that can affect how a team fares, such as injuries or perhaps a breakout year for an unlikely player. There is a list with a number next to each event and if I roll that number, there are instructions to either add or subtract wins based on the corresponding event. For example, an injury to a star player means I roll the dice again and subtract the resulting number from the team's wins. A breakout year for a depth player means the opposite. This is what happened for Miami with Eric Moon last year. I rolled a "depth player breakout" that ended up giving the Stingrays 11 extra wins. Who I pick to be that "depth player" for the story is completely my choice and is not random, but I try to make it a realistic pick.
  4. Hey guys, I apologize for my absence this week. I've begun simulating the 2002-03 season so that should be ready hopefully late this weekend or early next week. In the meantime, as requested I've done a write-up on how the simulation process works on the blog. I've even shared screenshots of parts of the spreadsheet I use. It may or may not make much sense but hopefully it explains the basics. https://phlnetwork.blogspot.ca/p/how-it-works.html
  5. 2002 Uniform Updates 2002 saw very little in the way of uniform and logo changes. At the start of training camp, the Quebec Nationale surprised their fans with the reveal of a new home and away uniform set, featuring a return to more classic striping. All the logos remained intact from the look introduced in 1993 as did the black alternate jersey. The team would wear the '93-'02 uniforms throughout the pre-season before officially changing to the new design just in time for the season opener. In other news, the Edmonton Northern Lights introduced a new era in the team's history with a new alternate logo, which would replace the Alberta map logos worn on the shoulders, while the Oakland Nuggets and Milwaukee Choppers both introduced new third jerseys. Oakland's new alternate is gold with the team name spelled diagonally down the front, while Milwaukee's uniforms are Silver with the team name in a stylized font on the front, and a new front-view version of the motorcycle logo on the shoulders.
  6. I may change that, partly because I'm working on filling out the Canadian junior league and I think I'd rather have a team in PEI in that league. Newfoundland could be an option too. McNair is currently seen as the future of that franchise, despite that future still being up in the air. He likely wants to be a major impact player in this league and the long-term contract is reflective of that. I wasn't really planning on it but I may do some primary logos at least if there is enough demand for it.
  7. Yes they have, Though Washer is still a star, he was expendable because Chad Cohen has developed into a more than capable starter and Washer was unlikely to resign next year anyway. This year the 'Dogs had a good draft. Simpkins is the top American forward in this draft and McPherson is a tough, hard-nosed defenseman who should fit in very well in Boston.
  8. Done. I replaced Sacramento with the much more interesting Tiger Sharks. If anyone else has ideas for minor league teams, I can make changes pretty easily.
  9. I created a page on the blog with the two affiliate leagues https://phlnetwork.blogspot.ca/p/minor-leagues.html
  10. 2002 Off-season 2002 Entry Draft The 2002 PHL draft was projected to be the strongest draft class since the famous 1986 draft. Edmonton won the draft lottery and predictably selected big Kris Nazarenko first overall. Nazarenko was predicted to be unlike any other player in league history with an unprecedented mix of size and skill. The 6’3”, 219-pound center led the entire Canadian Junior Hockey Association in scoring two years in a row, leading his hometown Moose Jaw Moose to a national championship. With the second pick, Cleveland selected talented American defenseman Ian Hunter, who had committed to Notre Dame but said he would play for the Cosmos right away if given the opportunity. Just before the third selection, Darryl Byrd announced that the Atlanta Copperheads had acquired the third pick from Washington in exchange for veterans Marc Brunelle and Jordan O’Reilly. The Copperheads used the third pick to take Jason Ferland, a troubled but talented winger from Moncton. Denver took the first Russian, Nikolai Kronin, while Winnipeg rounded out the top five with the selection of Jamie Moore, whose father, Austin Moore, was a legendary junior coach. Other interesting picks included Atlanta pick Jody Graves, the great-grandson of former Philadelphia Redshirt Donald Graves, and Spirits pick Tobias Grunberg, who was predicted to be the greatest German-born player of all time. 1. Edmonton – Kris Nazarenko, F, CAN 2. Cleveland – Ian Hunter, D, USA 3. Atlanta (From Washington) – Jason Ferland, F, CAN 4. Denver – Nikolai Kronin, D, RUS 5. Winnipeg – Jamie Moore, F, CAN 6. Toronto – Sean MacDonald, D, CAN 7. Portland – Daniel Boivre, G, CAN 8. Atlanta – Jody Graves, D, CAN 9. Calgary – Kyle Logan, D, CAN 10. Quebec – Saku Vertainen, G, FIN 11. St. Louis – Tobias Grunberg, F, GER 12. Carolina - Matt Wells, D, CAN 13. Long Island – Nathan Webb, D, CAN 14. Boston (From Oakland) – Jeffery Simpkins, F, USA 15. New Orleans – Ryan Aldridge, D, CAN 16. New York – Todd Morgan, F, CAN 17. Detroit – Brent Mitchell, F, CAN 18. Los Angeles – Mats Jonasson, D, SWE 19. Vancouver – Taylor Bennett, F, CAN 20. Boston – Brayden McPherson, D, CAN 21. Milwaukee – Luke Wilkerson, F, GB 22. Chicago – Kari Nurminen, G, FIN 23. Pittsburgh - Ryan Osborne, F, USA 24. Dallas – Evgeni Tatarov, F, RUS 25. Montreal – Pascal Dubois, D, CAN 26. Miami – Thomas Norberg, D, SWE 27. Philadelphia – Andrei Ilyukhin, F, RUS 28. Seattle – Roman Novatny, F, CZE 29. Kansas City – Austin Harvey, F, USA 30. Minnesota – Dylan Schalcher, F, SWZ Notable Retirements: Theo Sprouse, D, LI, CHI, MIA, 1982-2002 It didn’t take long for Theo Sprouse to become one of the Concorde’s most dynamic players with his offensive ability and physical presence. Sprouse helped Long Island to the Lewis Cup finals twice in the 80s in 1984 and ’88. In 1990, Sprouse played a big role in bringing the Lewis Cup to Long Island. In 1992, Sprouse left Long Island for Chicago, where he won his second cup in 1994. In 1998, Sprouse signed with Miami, where he retired. Ted McDougall, F, BOS, LI, CHI, LA, 1985-2002 The pride of Prince Edward Island, Ted McDougall was the Island’s first established player to play in the PHL. Drafted by Boston, McDougall eventually arrived in Long Island just in time to win the Lewis Cup with the Concordes in 1990. McDougall nearly won a second cup in 1995 as a member of the Chicago Shamrocks when they lost to Montreal. McDougall finished his career in Los Angeles, where he spent his final two seasons. Gustav Janssen, D, DET, NYC, 1982-2002 Janssen served as a steady defenseman for the Detroit Mustangs for twelve years. When the Mustangs fell on hard times in the 1990s, Janssen was dealt to the New York Civics in 1994, where he won his first and only Lewis Cup in 1997. Janssen continued to play a veteran role for the Civics until 2002. Graham Boswell, F, CHI, QUE, MIL, 1982-2002 Though Boswell was mostly known as a physical role player throughout his career, but he was also known for scoring one of the most famous goals in PHL history, known by many simply as “The Goal”. In 1983, Boswell scored the overtime winner in game seven of the Lewis Cup Finals against Pittsburgh, giving Chicago their first cup since 1955. Boswell went on to play 20 seasons with Chicago, Quebec, and one final season in Milwaukee. Trevor Ramsey, F, CGY, MTL, CAR, EDM, BOS, 1983-2002 A dependable two-way player, Trevor Ramsey played a big role in two of Montreal’s three cups in the 90s. Ramsey also retires as one of the most travelled PHLers, having played for five franchises. Notable Trades Washington trades 1st-round pick to Atlanta in exchange for F Marc Brunelle and D Jordan O’Reilly. The Generals get two top-tier players in an effort to return to contention, while the Copperheads are now able to draft two key building blocks in Jason Ferland and Jody Graves. Oakland trades 1st round pick and F Luca Schober to Boston in exchange for G Kevin Washer. In an attempt to fill out their roster and continue to build for the future, the Bulldogs part with their star goaltender, picking up a solid prospect and a pick while Oakland hopes to return to the playoffs. Long Island trades F Kim Brodie to Philadelphia in exchange for F Alexei Ivanov. Former all-star Brodie will chase his first title in the twilight of his career, while the Concordes add a solid prospect. Key Free Agents Resignings: RFAs: F Brad McNair signs new 10-year deal with New Orleans worth $12 Million/year. D Matt Andersson signs new 8-year deal with Boston worth $10 Million/year. F Jay Phoenix signs new 8-year deal with Quebec worth $6 Million/year. F Brandon Kelso signs new 7-year deal with Edmonton worth $6 Million/year. F Ryan Woods signs new 4-year deal with Miami worth $4 Million/year. G Blair Kelsey signs new 3-year deal with Cleveland worth $4 Million/year. UFAs: F Sergei Vetrov (MTL) signs 5-year deal with Miami worth $10 Million/year. Vincent Ducharme’s former right-hand man will now try to work similar magic alongside Eric Moon in Florida. F Ilya Sakharov (STL) signs 6-year deal with Los Angeles worth $9 Million/year. Sakharov is the latest star to leave the Spirits, bringing natural scoring ability to LA. F Brendan Bittner (PIT) signs 6-year deal with Milwaukee worth $8.5 Million/year. The Choppers add more size up front with the 6’4” 221 lb Bittner. F Viktor Skogg (LA) signs 2-year deal with Montreal worth $8 Million/year. With the Sakharov signing, the Wizards lack cap room to re-sign their aging captain. Royale hope Skogg will replace offense lost from Vetrov. D Jonathan Adams (MTL) signs 2-year deal with Vancouver worth $4 Million/year. Hard-hitting Kamloops native hopes to end his career close to home after 16 seasons between Calgary and Montreal. G Todd Waddell (SEA) signs 5-year deal with Vancouver worth $3 Million/year. Grey Wolves backup finally gets opportunity as a starter with the rival Bighorns. News The 2002 off-season kicked off with big news in Toronto. After a dismal finish to the season, the team fired Head Coach Bob Lacey, leading to much speculation of who his replacement would be. That speculation increased just prior to the draft when GM Bobby Kitchen was also dismissed. Both searches ended on June 28, when former Racers enforcer Rex Hull was named the team’s new Head Coach and General Manager. Hull was one of the most popular players ever to wear the double blue, spending 18 seasons with the Racers from 1978 to 1996 and still holds the team’s all-time record for penalty minutes. In other coaching news, the Washington Generals fired head coach Doug Sharp, replacing him with former Bulldogs coach Gary Shantz, while 70-year-old David Zimmer decided to step aside as the Miami Stingrays head coach to focus on the GM duties. Zimmer hired former PHL star and successful junior coach Dennis Lambert as the new Stingrays Head Coach. After the success of the 2001 Holiday Classic, the league announced there would be a second one in December, 2002. This one would take place at Empire Stadium in New York City and would feature the New York Civics and the Montreal Royale. “The game last year was a big hit with the players and fans” said a league spokesperson. “It makes sense to make it an annual event.” Speaking of events, the 2004 World Hockey Challenge will be held in Stockholm, Sweden. Stockholm beat out Helsinki, London, and Montreal for hosting rights. With the PHL’s uniform deal with SporTech set to expire in 2004, several sports equipment companies were lining up to become the exclusive provider of PHL game uniforms. SporTech, desperate to make up for losing their PBL deal, made a bid to renew the contract, while Canadian-based Windsor Hockey also made a strong bid. Windsor Hockey, which began as a small stick factory in Nova Scotia in 1891, had grown to become one of the biggest equipment brands in the sport, now providing skates, gloves, and helmets, as well as sticks to nearly 30 percent of PHL players. Windsor was also the exclusive equipment provider for the Canadian Junior leagues, and would become the uniform provider for international hockey beginning in 2003. Finally, one of the biggest sporting equipment giants in the world, Duke Sports, made a bid for the uniforms. Duke pledged to “reinvent” the hockey uniform while maintaining the Aesthetic traditions. Duke had perhaps the most impressive pedigree of the three companies, providing equipment and uniforms for everything ranging from the Olympics to College Football for almost 100 years.
  11. Ping pong balls just because it's cooler It almost did in 1986 actually. I had a similar story planned out involving Vincent Ducharme in the event that someone other than Montreal won the lottery. Turned out the Royale won it anyway and the rest is history.
  12. Draft lottery results are as follows: 1. Edmonton 2. Cleveland 3. Washington 4. Denver 5. Winnipeg Edmonton wins the lottery and will almost certainly claim Kris Nazarenko with the top pick. 2002 is projected to be one of the strongest drafts in history, even rivaling the legendary 1986 draft, so really any team with a top-ten pick should get a very good player this year.
  13. I would say Edmonton, they've had some high picks and have still continued to struggle (sounds familiar eh?). They do have a good shot at number one again this year though, and Kris Nazarenko is projected to be a generational talent.
  14. Quebec is getting new jerseys this summer but the logos and colours won't be changing. Also Milwaukee and Oakland are getting third jerseys. Uniform changes will slow down a bit for the next 2-3 years. The league's current uniform deal with SporTech runs out after the 2004-05 season so there will probably be a lot of changes in the summer of '05, similar to when the RBK Edge jerseys came out in real life. I already have a new template ready that features new uniforms as well as updated equipment. Welcome to the thread! The Raiders play in Charlotte, but represent both states just like the Panthers and Hurricanes. Probably not much this season. Their head coach, Bob Truman, is 69 years old and on the verge of retirement, having coached the 'jacks since 1976, so next off-season there may be a new coach. the team is aging but should have another run or two left in them, and there aren't really any cap problems.
  15. Although Seattle was considered much stronger on paper, they did only finish two points ahead of Miami in the standings. Miami's entire season was a Cinderella story though, while Seattle was slowly working their way up to this point in 2000 and '01, so for Miami to win probably would've been pretty surprising. Li played for the Dallas Desperados in their early years, played a few games for the Quebec Nationale in 1998-99 but spent most of that season and all of '99-00 in the minors. He split the 2000-01 season between St. Louis and their farm team in Nashville, then signed with Seattle, started 2001-02 with their minor league affiliate in Everett, then was finally called up to the Wolves for good in December. Radford was supposed to (started in '82) but I think he'll give it another year to see if they can defend. I would say '02-03 will be it for him though. Seattle's biggest problem could be the salary cap. They're right up against it right now and Drake Klausen will be due for a new deal in 2003 and you can bet it will be a big one, especially after that playoff performance. The Grey Wolves will have to decide if it's worth it to trade some of their depth so they can afford Klausen, or let him go.
  16. 2002 Lewis Cup Finals The 2002 Lewis Cup Finals began on May 29 in Seattle. It was Seattle’s first time in the Finals since 1985 while the Miami Stingrays made their first appearance. Across the city of Seattle, Grey Wolves colors could be seen everywhere. The Space Needle had a giant banner with the words “Go Wolves!!” hanging from it. Miami opened the scoring in game one with a point shot that was deflected by Jonas Andersson. The lead didn’t last long though, as Drake Klausen tied it just two minutes later. Two quick goals from Jason Radford and Randy McAllen gave Seattle a 3-1 lead and Miami never recovered, as the Wolves took a 1-0 series lead. Game two was all Seattle, as Olli Heikkinen and Luke Mann each scored while Sean Harrington made 34 saves in a 2-0 Seattle win. The series shifted to Miami for game 3, where the excitement throughout south Florida was at least equal to that in Seattle. The Castillo Center was packed with screaming fans nearly an hour before puck drop. With the crowd behind them, the Stingrays jumped to an early 2-0 lead with goals from Eric Moon and Theo Sprouse. The lead held until the beginning of the third period, when Randy McAllen’s powerplay goal cut the lead to 2-1. With 1:21 left, the Wolves pulled Harrington and pressed hard for the tying goal, until Stingrays captain Jeremy Sutton shot the puck the length of the ice into the empty net to seal the win. After a hard-fought win in game 3, the Stingrays were still alive. “I think we have the momentum we need to get back in this series” said Sutton. “We just can’t stop pushing.” Game four went into overtime with the game tied 1-1. Both Sean Harrington and Brandon Ward stood on their heads in net as both teams had several quality chances. Just as the second overtime began, Eric Moon thought he had the winner, even raising his arms in celebration. But Harrington made one of the most spectacular saves in Lewis Cup Finals history, spinning around to swat the puck out with his stick. 40 seconds later, Syong Li hit Klausen with a pass and Klausen made no mistake, beating Ward to give the Grey Wolves a 2-1 win and a chance to claim the cup on home ice. The Stingrays tried to stay positive, but it was obvious that the loss affected them, especially after Moon’s missed opportunity. “That’s a tough one to take to be honest” said Moon. “We just need to find a way to regroup for game five.” Both teams came out flying in game five, with four goals coming in the first ten minutes as the teams entered the second period tied 2-2. The Stingrays took the lead early in the second on a goal from Sutton, but Jason Radford quickly tied it. The 3-3 tie held until just under two minutes left in the third period, where Drake Klausen scored to give Seattle a stunning last-minute lead. Miami suddenly found themselves scrambling to tie the game, where Derek Snyder nearly beat Harrington to send it to overtime. But Jean-Francois Belanger cleared the puck into the empty Miami net to secure Seattle’s first-ever Lewis Cup victory. Drake Klausen was named playoff MVP with 17 goals in 24 playoff games. The victory was especially sweet for longtime captain Jason Radford, the only remaining player who had suited up for the Wolves in the 1985 final, and for Syong Li, who took nearly a decade to make the PHL after being drafted, then played for four teams in five years as well as several minor league teams before landing in Seattle in the summer of 2001. “This was a collective effort” said head coach Bruce Dickenson. “Everybody played their role to perfection, that’s why we’re the champions.”
  17. Photobucket changed their policy and now charges for their service, they also removed all images from forums etc. I've switched to imgur and I'm going to slowly restore the images when I get a chance. Finals are coming up soon.
  18. 2002 Playoffs Round 1 Eastern Conference Philadelphia (1) vs New Orleans (8) The Sound made their first playoff appearance since their Atlantic Canada days against the defending champion Philadelphia Redshirts. New Orleans proved to be no match for the powerful Redshirts, as Philly jumped to a 3-0 lead right away. In game four, The Sound finally got their act together, forcing the game to overtime, where Darren Reid scored to give the team their first playoff win in New Orleans. Two nights later, Philadelphia ended the series with a decisive 3-0 win. Miami (2) vs New York (7) The home teams won the first four games and the series turned ugly towards the end of game four, as two line brawls followed a 6-0 New York rout. Game five was tied 2-2 until the final 20 seconds, when Derek Snyder scored the winner before Jeremy Sutton sealed it with an empty netter. In game six, Miami finally became the first road team to win a game, taking the series with a 3-1 game six win. Montreal (3) vs Detroit (6) Montreal’s first playoff run without Vincent Ducharme was surprisingly brief, as Detroit immediately took a 3-1 series lead. Igor Kharitonov was Detroit’s best player, scoring three big goals in the first four games. Montreal salvaged a win in game four at home, then had an opportunity to force it to a seventh game when game six went to overtime, but Detroit would complete the upset thanks to a goal in the second overtime from Eric Woods. Pittsburgh (4) vs Boston (5) The Boston Bulldogs made their return to the playoffs for the first time in five years against the favoured Pittsburgh Stingers. The series was tight, ultimately reaching a seventh game. In game seven, the Stingers scored early to take a 1-0 lead, which they would hold onto until the final minute of the third period, when Boston tied it with a goal from Scott Rose. In the first overtime, the Stingers pressed when Boston took two penalties to give Pittsburgh a 5-on-3. Rookie goaltender Chad Cohen made save after save for the Bulldogs as they managed to kill off both penalties. The game remained tied after two overtimes where rookie Chris Haines scored on a breakaway to win the series for Boston. “We all feel sick right now” said Pittsburgh captain Scott Lindsay. Western Conference Minnesota (1) vs Los Angeles (8) The Lumberjacks entered the playoffs as the overwhelming favorites to win the Lewis Cup, and certainly to win their first round series against the Los Angeles Wizards, and so the hockey world was stunned when LA won the first two games both in overtime, both 3-2, with veterans Adam Lawless and Ted McDougal scoring the winning goals. Game three also went to overtime, where Jason Crowley hit the post before Lawless scored his second OT winner of the series. Game four was the fourth straight overtime game and LA defenseman Eric Hunt proved to be the hero as the Wizards completed one of the biggest upsets in PHL history in a series that was the first-ever four game sweep where all four games went to overtime. Kansas City (2) vs Vancouver (7) The Twisters and Bighorns met for the third time in four years and after losing game one 8-0, the Bighorns came closer than ever to finally beating the Twisters, taking them to a game seven after a hard-fought series. In game seven, Jimmy Otterburn made 31 saves in a shutout for Kansas City as the Twisters took the game 2-0 to eliminate the Bighorns once again. Seattle (3) vs Milwaukee (6) The Choppers struggled to find offense throughout the series, as the Grey Wolves shut them out by a combined score of 5-0 in the first two games. Milwaukee finally got a win at home in game three with thanks to goals from Patrice Goulet and Graham Boswell. The Choppers looked great in game four, but still lost 4-3 in overtime as Seattle took a 3-1 series lead. Boswell fought Scott Sherwood off the opening faceoff in an attempt to turn the momentum around. It wouldn’t work as Seattle shut the Choppers out once again 3-0 to take the series in what would be Boswell’s final PHL game. Dallas (4) vs Chicago (5) In a rematch from the 2001 playoffs, the Desperados hoped to exorcise some demons against the Shamrocks after a heartbreaking game seven loss. Chicago came out strong early in the series, taking a 2-1 series lead. But Dallas wasn’t finished, winning a hard-fought game four 3-2 thanks to a late goal from AJ Vernon. Dallas then won game five at home 4-1. Back in Chicago for game six, there was some controversy, as an early goal for Chicago was disallowed when it appeared that Chicago forward Cedric Thibault had interfered with Alexei Rolonov, even though Brent McGill had clearly pushed Thibault. Chicago never recovered, as Dallas won the game 4-2 to win their first series in franchise history. Round 2 Eastern Conference Philadelphia vs Detroit The Detroit Mustangs entered the second round on a huge wave of momentum after their upset over Montreal. Still, they weren’t expected to continue their run facing the defending champions. In game one, the Mustangs continued to surprise the hockey world with a 3-0 win, then followed it up with two more wins to take a commanding series lead. Despite the shock of finding themselves facing elimination, the Redshirts still managed a 1-0 overtime win in game four. Game five was tight until the third period, when goals from Andrei Alexeev and Mikael Forsberg gave Detroit a 4-2 win and another upset. Miami vs Boston The Bulldogs were confident after their upset over the Stingers, but regular season leading scorer Eric Moon stole the show once again for Miami. Moon had two goals in game one, then a hat-trick in game three, as the Stingrays immediately jumped to a 3-0 series lead. Boston won a face-saver in game four but it was too little too late, as Miami advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals. Western Conference Kansas City vs Los Angeles After two consecutive finals appearances, including a Lewis Cup victory in 2000, the Twisters couldn’t be blamed for a feeling of entitlement as they entered their second round matchup with the LA Wizards, a team coming off one of the biggest upsets in PHL history. After the teams split the first two games, the Twisters won game five 6-3 and never let the Wizards back into the series, taking game six 4-2 to return to the Western Conference Finals once again. Seattle vs Dallas After taking out Milwaukee in the first round, the Grey Wolves were once again the favorites in their second round matchup against the Dallas Desperados. The first four games were close and physical, as both teams tried to establish their physical presence. With the series tied 2-2 entering game five, both teams came out hitting. An AJ Vernon hit early in the game forced Drake Klausen out and he would not return. Despite losing Klausen, Seattle prevailed in a high scoring game 5-4. Heading home for game six, Dallas was now on the ropes. The Desperados put up a valiant effort in game six, but it would not be enough, as Seattle advanced to the Western Conference Finals with a 3-2 win. Conference Finals Miami vs Detroit The Eastern Conference Finals featured the red-hot Miami Stingrays against the Detroit Mustangs, a team appearing in the conference finals for the first time in 28 years. Miami took control of the series early, taking a 3-1 lead. Game five went to triple overtime where Patrick Fletcher won it for Detroit to bring the Mustangs back into the series. After the marathon in game five, both teams were tired in game six, where early goals from Eric Moon and Ryan Woods gave Miami a 2-0 lead. Kharitonov scored for Detroit on the powerplay but that was all the Mustangs had left, as the Stingrays took game six and advanced to the Lewis Cup Finals for the first time in franchise history. Kansas City vs Seattle It was déjà vu in the Western Conference Finals, as the Kansas City Twisters and Seattle Grey Wolves met in a rematch from the previous year. Like the year before, Kansas City took an early 2-0 series lead, followed by a Seattle home win in game three. In game four, however, the Twisters dominated the third period en route to a 5-2 win and a 3-1 series lead. It appeared that the expansion class of 1989 would be the matchup for the 2002 Lewis Cup Finals. In game five, Seattle staved off elimination with a big 3-1 win on the road, then took the Twisters to double overtime in game six, where 20-year veteran Jason Radford beat Jimmy Otterburn to give Seattle the win and force game seven. In game seven, Syong Li was the unlikely hero, scoring what would prove to be the winning goal while Sean Harrington made 46 saves in a 1-0 Seattle win. The Grey Wolves had come all the way back from a 3-1 deficit and would now play for the Lewis Cup.
  19. Just finished simming the playoffs, working on the write up now. Lots of big upsets this year!
  20. They are slowly climbing, playoffs next year is definitely a possibility. Realistically they should be back in about 2-3 years but it could be sooner. Jake Wilson had a good rookie year and they'll have a fairly high pick in this year's draft as well. As mentioned in the season post, the Seattle/Portland rivalry got off to an explosive start. Portland of course also has a geographic rivalry with Vancouver as well as Oakland. Atlanta's main rivals now are Carolina and New Orleans but you can also factor Quebec and Long Island in there as they spent most of the year in a race with those teams for the final playoff spot. Once these teams start making the playoffs, you'll start to see other rivalries develop. Of all the cities you mentioned there, Norfolk is actually the one I've had in the back of my mind as a possible expansion site someday, mainly because there is no pro sports team there in real life and it apparently is similar to my hometown, Halifax. I think a Navy theme would be cool for that city. SLC or Vegas would be cool too. The last time the 'Jacks missed the playoffs was 1985-86, the year before Jason Crowley was drafted. Since then they have really become a model franchise in the league. I agree that they are definitely the team to beat heading into the '02 playoffs, but when I look at their roster, I think age will hit this team hard by the mid-2000s. Crowley is 36, Pavel Vana is 31, and there really aren't any potential franchise players in the pipeline. Minnesota fans would be wise to enjoy the ride now while it lasts.
  21. Houston and Ottawa are probably the top options right now although Memphis isn't far behind. The Sound making the playoffs this season certainly helps delay a possible relocation, but it's still hard to say if the team will even survive Katrina. The Bulls were originally going to keep the current colours until about 2010, then switch when the retro trend really takes over, but I think now they'll probably at least switch to the old Red and Green colours as early as 2004-2005 if only because the current scheme has become so associated with losing. I should have a chance to work on some sigs tomorrow so hopefully I'll have that one done. I've had a couple requests but I think yours was next so I'll try to have that done tomorrow.
  22. The Wizards, along with the Spirits and Choppers, actually just moved into a new arena this season, I just forgot to mention in in the post. All arenas, past and present, can be found here: http://phlnetwork.blogspot.ca/p/team-information.html No new arenas next season, but Seattle will have a new one in time for 2003-04, and Calgary is in the final planning stages for theirs, which will likely come around 2005-2006. Toronto is also working towards getting a new building.
  23. Probably for about a decade or so, There may be some relocations during that time though.
  24. Denver was originally slated to rebrand around 2010 or so, but due to the lack of success in the current unis, I think you'll see a new look in the next few seasons, maybe when the new uniform template comes out in the next 3-4 years. It's hard to say when the streak will end. They're like the Red Wings in this universe, they've drafted very well and have become one of the most attractive free agent destinations in the league. I think it will catch up to them at some point though. 1999 where they lost to Montreal. That's one of the reasons for the rebrand this year, the teal and purple have only been associated with losing and the team wanted to reference the glory days. I was actually expecting them to get back to the playoffs this year but they were just squeezed out by other surprising teams in a competitive Eastern Conference. I think they'll be back soon enough.
  25. 2001-02 Regular Season After some key acquisitions over the summer, the New York Civics entered training camp with high hopes. Despite losing Aaron Duplacy in free agency, the Civics had signed superstar defenseman Kevin Hoyle and named veteran Lamar Jackson their new captain. On the morning of September 11, 2001, the coaching staff arrived early at the team’s new practice facility. Just as the staff was sitting down to go over the day’s practice, assistant coach Dave Tobin jumped out of his seat and ran to the window. “We were going over our lineups for training camp when I saw smoke coming from the World Trade Center” said Tobin. “We all just thought it was a bad fire, then we saw the plane hit the second one. At that point we cancelled practice.” The Civics and Concordes both postponed the start of their training camps indefinitely, while a nation picked up the pieces after suffering its most devastating attack in decades. The newest Civic was no stranger to disasters. In 1989, Hoyle was just beginning his fourth season in the league with the California Nuggets when the bay area was hit with a devastating earthquake. At just 22 years old, Hoyle showed his leadership when he, along with several teammates, went into the community to feed people who had lost their homes. Now twelve years later, Hoyle, now 34 and entering his 16th season, started Goals For Heroes initiative. For each goal the Civics scored, the players would each give $100 to New York emergency services. It wasn’t long before the Long Island Concordes joined as well, while the Washington Generals gave to their own local emergency services while also assisting those affected by the Pentagon attack. Opening night saw the Civics take on their usually hated rivals, the Concordes. It was an extremely emotional night as the teams held a tribute for those who had been lost in the attacks. The entire crowd at Broadway House belted out the Star-Spangled Banner as the two rivals lined up together on the same blueline. When it was time to play hockey, the teams played a tight game, going into overtime, where new captain Lamar Jackson scored the winner. The teams then saluted the crowd together as the crowd gave them a nearly 10-minute standing ovation. “It was important to get that win” said Jackson. “Of every game we’ve ever played, we had to win that one for this city.” Teams across the league held tributes for the victims of the September 11th attacks, and in Montreal, the Royale also held a tribute for likely the greatest player ever to wear the double red. Vincent Ducharme’s number 55 was raised to the rafters. “It was my childhood dream to play in Montreal for the Royale.” Said Ducharme. “I never expected it to go the way it did and I feel very lucky to have the career I had.” In their first post-Ducharme season, the Royale played well, taking advantage of a very weak Northeast Division to finish first in the Division with new addition Aaron Duplacy enjoying a strong first season in Montreal. Part of the reason for Montreal’s successful season was the disastrous season in Toronto. The Racers wasted a 46-goal effort from Joe Murdock as well as a 60-point year from Randy Fernandez and plummeted to 13th place in the Eastern Conference with 29 wins. Goaltender Jake Borman struggled after returning from an early injury but most of the blame was placed on the Racers’ depth players, and ultimately, on head coach Bob Lacey. Lacey was dismissed immediately after the season ended. The Washington Generals suffered a horrific season as well, unable to patch the hole in net after losing Jake Borman, the Generals allowed more goals than any other team in the league. Just two years removed from appearing in the Lewis Cup Finals, the Generals dropped all the way to second-last in the East. While the Racers and Generals plummeted, the New Orleans Sound took advantage and finally reached the Lewis Cup playoffs for the first time since their days in Nova Scotia. Brad McNair finished second overall in league scoring, while Darren Reid added a strong season of his own with 90 points. “This is huge for this franchise” said owner Sam Bendt. “I knew we would get there eventually.” The defending champion Philadelphia Redshirts defended their Conference title on the strength of another big year from new captain Jared Baxter, but the biggest story in the East was the Miami Stingrays, who rose to second place in the Eastern Conference. One of the biggest reasons for the Stingrays’ big year was a stunning season from 27-year-old Eric Moon. Moon’s point totals increased from 69 points in 2000-01 to an incredible 118 points in 2001-02. Moon established himself as the league’s ultimate power forward, becoming the first player since George Allen in the 1950s with over 150 penalty minutes to win the scoring title. For the first time since 1994-95, the league welcomed two new franchises, as the Atlanta Copperheads and Portland Cascades finally made their debut. In Atlanta, Coastal Airlines arena was sold out for the opening game. After an over-the-top pre-game show that even featured a snake charmer, the players finally emerged from a giant snake head to Steve Earle’s “Copperhead Road”. When the game finally started, the Copperheads treated their fans to a 2-1 win over the Carolina Raiders. Meanwhile, the Portland Cascades opened their season on the road with a loss to Vancouver, before beating the Bighorns in their first home game by a surprising score of 7-1. Both teams enjoyed strong seasons, both finishing 12th in their respective conferences, with Atlanta finishing with 30 wins, just four points out of a playoff spot. “It’s huge for us to have a big first year” said veteran defenseman Jason Driscoll. Driscoll would not see the end of the year in Atlanta, however. On March 3, just two days prior to the trade deadline, Driscoll was dealt to the contending Kansas City Twisters, who were looking to add to their defensive depth. For the New York teams, it was a tough, emotional season. The Civics dropped a bit in the standings but still made the playoffs. Long Island won fewer games than the previous season, but still finished just two points out of a playoff spot, missing out on the final day of the season. The Boston Bulldogs also finally returned to the post-season thanks to an 11-point improvement. Scott Rose led the team in scoring, while rookie Chris Haines was nominated for Rookie of the Year. One of the special moments of the 2001-02 season came on boxing day, when the PHL went outside for the first time in its’ history. It was minus 10 in Chicago as the Shamrocks faced the Toronto Racers at Madison Field. The Racers won a tight game in overtime with Joe Murdock scoring the winner, but the real highlight was the legends game that was played earlier. Legends from both teams took the ice again for the first time in years including Mark Benson, Rex Hull, and Charlie Fisher for Toronto, and Vladimir Gaganov, Don Newman, and even 76-year old Don Saleski for Chicago. Saleski played one short shift and earned a standing ovation from the crowd of 72,000. “What a great event” said Saleski. Minnesota owned the West with 55 wins, as Jason Crowley finished fifth in league scoring. The Lumberjacks at one point went 19 games without a loss and only tied once during that stretch. The Kansas City Twisters also had another big year, winning the Central Division and finishing second in the West, While Seattle defended their Pacific title and took third place in the West. The Grey Wolves also had a new rival in 2001-02, as the Portland Cascades became the third team to reside in the Pacific Northwest. On February 24, the two teams met in Portland, where the Wolves jumped to a 7-0 lead. Portland responded by putting three of their tough guys out to start the third period. After the inevitable line brawl, Seattle responded by sending out 6’3” 246-pound enforcer Scott Sherwood. Sherwood grabbed Cascades’ rookie defenseman Jyrki Rainimak, luring scrappy Portland winger Troy Dowdy. Sherwood and Dowdy fought for nearly two minutes in one of the most entertaining fights ever while the crowd went wild. “That was old-time hockey right there” said Portland coach Rick Camford. The Dallas Desperados also continued to improve, earning 90 points for the first time in their history, while the Milwaukee Choppers returned to the playoffs after a disappointing 2000-01 season. Adam Wyrzykowski enjoyed a terrific sophomore season playing on a line with team captain Brent Zahorsky. Wyrzykowski scored 40 goals and created a buzz throughout Milwaukee. His jersey outsold all the other Choppers while fans struggled to pronounce his name. “He really is developing into a great player” said Zahorsky. “He’s fun to play with.” While Milwaukee returned to the post-season, Oakland dropped out for the first time since 1994. Key losses over the summer took their toll on the Nuggets, especially the loss of captain Kevin Hoyle and goaltender Bradley Pope. The Nuggets battled the LA Wizards and the Vancouver Bighorns all year for the final playoff spot, until an 11-game losing streak put them out of contention by mid-march. There were bright spots though. Greg Willis played well in net, earning five shutouts to lead the league, while young defensemen Jordan Rifkin and Evan Butler both showed promise. By the end of the season, one player had everyone’s attention and that player was not in the PHL. The Prairie Major Junior Hockey League’s Kris Nazerenko set a new league scoring record with 207 points while leading the Lethbridge Tornadoes to a number one ranking across the country. Nazerenko was projected to go first overall in the 2002 PHL draft, and as the playoff teams prepared for a run for the Cup, teams like Edmonton, Denver, and Cleveland hoped to land the player everyone believed could turn a franchise around.