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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: 2000 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 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. Sorry for the delay everybody, these last two weeks at work were the busiest weeks of the year for me. Things should start slowing down soon though so hopefully I'll be able to post more frequently.
  3. 2000 Off-Season 2000 Entry Draft After the European “invasion” of the 90s, the 2000 draft was dominated by North American players. The Northern Lights held the first pick, selecting Red Deer, AB native Brett Reed, who grew up cheering or the Northern Lights. “I’m so excited right now” said Reed, a tough winger with scoring touch. “My dream was to play for this team.” The New Orleans Sound added another piece to the defence, selecting talented and smooth-skating defenseman Ricky Wolfe second overall, while Denver selected the first European player, speedy Russian Alexei Suvorov at number three. Long Island, already developing into a big, hard-hitting team, took another big winger in Justin Pratt. Pratt, a native of Green Bay, Wisconsin, was the first American to lead the Canadian Junior Hockey Association in scoring, also leading the Prairie league in penalty minutes. Trent Cameron was the highest goaltender selected, going to Calgary at number six, while Vancouver took Ricky Wolfe’s twin brother, Devan, at number ten. Chicago made things interesting when they traded young defenseman Bryan Briggs to Miami the 11th pick to select Jonathan Wheatley, who had captained the Prarrie Hockey League’s Lethbridge Tornadoes to a National championship. “You don’t often see an 18-year-old with the leadership skills that Jonathan has” said Shamrocks new GM Mark Raines. “We simply couldn’t pass him up.” 1. Edmonton – Brett Reed, F, CAN 2. New Orleans – Ricky Wolfe, D, CAN 3. Denver – Alexei Suvorov, F, RUS 4. Long Island – Justin Pratt, F, USA 5. St. Louis – Kevin Gilmore, F, USA 6. Calgary – Trent Cameron, G, CAN 7. Quebec – Marcel Boivre, D, CAN 8. Boston – Travis Tearney, D, CAN 9. Winnipeg – Teemu Niskanen, F, FIN 10. Vancouver – Devan Wolfe, F, CAN 11. Chicago (From Miami) – Jonathan Wheatley, F, CAN 12. Cleveland – Hendrik Soderstrum, D, SWE 13. Oakland – Jordan Rifken, D, USA 14. Milwaukee – Adam Wyrzykowski, F, CAN 15. Dallas – Dan Smoulders, D, USA 16. Carolina – Evgeni Babkin, D, RUS 17. Detroit – Brad Rich, D, USA 18. Pittsburgh - Mikael Edstrom, F, SWE 19. Seattle – Nick Spears, D, USA 20. Philadelphia – Reid Kraft, F, CAN 21. Toronto – Theo Galvin, F, CAN 22. Montreal – Jayson Strickland, D, CAN 23. Kansas City – Matt Wilhelm, F, USA 24. Los Angeles – Matt Mosley, D, CAN 25. New York – Devon Darcy, F, CAN 26. Washington – Kyle Logan, D, CAN 27. Minnesota – Joni Kita, D, FIN 28. Chicago – Ryan Sturm, D, USA Phenom Alert PHL scouts are already drooling over a 15-year-old from Saskatchewan named Kris Nazarenko. Nazarenko is just entering junior hockey this season and won’t be eligible for the PHL draft until 2002. He scored 133 goals in bantam hockey back in 1998-99, and many wondered if he could keep it up playing for the Canadian Development team at 15. Playing for the national team in 1999-00, Nazarenko led his team in scoring with 76 goals despite being as much as three years younger than most of the other players. Nazarenko is a big center with great hands that many PHL teams would love to have on their top line. Notable Retirements: Don Saleski, Head Coach/GM, CHI, 1969-2000 After a long and successful playing career in Chicago, Don Saleski was then hired to run the team in 1969. What followed was perhaps the greatest management career in PHL history. Saleski guided the Shamrocks to Lewis Cup championships in 1983 and 1994, and also played a big role in helping legend Vladimir Gaganov defect from the Soviet Union and become a star in the league. But Saleski’s most impressive achievement took his entire career to accomplish. During his 31-year tenure, the Shamrocks never missed the playoffs, and were almost always in contention. It is the longest playoff streak in the history of the four major team sports. Stuart Burns, F, LI, TOR, 1979-2000 Drafted by Long Island just three years after the franchise started, Stuart Burns became the first true franchise player in its history. After a rocky start with troubled head coach George Allen, Burns flourished under Cam Norton, leading the Concordes to the Lewis Cup finals in 1984, 1987, and 1990, where they finally won their first championship. In 1996, Burns left Long Island for his hometown Toronto, where he played the final four years of his career with the Racers. Dave Mack, F, NS, KC, 1980-2000 Growing up in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Dave Mack dreamed of playing for the hometown Claymores. In 1980, that dream was finally realized when the Claymores selected him second overall. Playing with his childhood idol, Russell Buchannan, Mack soon became one of the most popular players one the team, eventually becoming captain. In 1995, the Claymores were forced to relocate to New Orleans, at which point Mack, a free agent, signed with the Kansas City Twisters. After twenty seasons, Mack finally raised the Lewis Cup for the first and only time in his career with the Twisters. Jaroslav Danek, G, STL, MIL, 1983-2000 After defecting from Czechoslovakia, Jaroslav Danek came aboard the St. Louis dynasty after a trade with the Nuggets in 1983. Danek backstopped the Spirits to four Lewis Cups between 1984 and 1991 before leaving for Milwaukee in 1994, where he would ultimately finish his career. Jean-Claude Girard, QUE, MTL, KC, 1978-2000 Montreal native JC Girard made his debut with the Quebec Nationale in 1978, playing eleven years there before signing with his hometown Royale in 1989. Girard won three Lewis Cups with Montreal during the 1990s before signing with Kansas City, where he won his fourth and final title with the Twisters in 2000. Notable Trades Chicago trades D Bryan Briggs to Miami in exchange for 1st round draft pick. The Briggs brothers become teammates in Miami as Bryan joins his older brother Wade on the Stingrays’ blueline, meanwhile, the Shamrocks trade up in the draft and use the pick to select promising junior player Jonathan Wheatley. Kansas City trades F Josh McKenzie to New Orleans in exchange for F Mike Singer. Needing a veteran to replace Dave Mack, the Twisters send prospect McKenzie to the Sound for disgruntled veteran Singer. Key Free Agents Resignings: Sergei Gulinov signs new 12-year deal with Cleveland worth $12 Million/year. Dominik Musil signs new 6-year deal with Calgary worth $9 Million/year. Zdeno Kadlec signs new 8-year deal with Montreal worth $ 8 Million/year. Peter Lundholm signs new 10-year deal with Milwaukee worth $8 Million/year. Andrei Yegorov signs new 7-year deal with Vancouver worth $6 Million/year. Olli Heikkinen signs new 6-year deal with Seattle worth $7 Million/year. Kyle Clark signs new 7-year deal with Dallas worth $7 Million/year. UFAs: Jason Luna (BOS) signs five-year deal with Toronto worth $5 Million/year. The biggest signing of an otherwise quiet summer sees the Racers snag another superstar in Luna. Jarkko Turunen (LA) signs 4-year deal with New Orleans worth $3 Million/year. The Sound now have a veteran who can set up scoring star Brad McNair. Cedric Thibault (VAN) signs 4-year deal with Chicago worth $3 Million/year. Following one of his biggest offensive years in which he scored 28 goals, the tough 34-year-old winger hopes to pursue his first championship in Chicago. Elliot Andrews (KC) signs 3-year deal with Dallas worth $2.5 Million/year. Andrews joins his sixth PHL team as the Desperados strengthen their defense. Craig Bush (SEA) signs 1-year deal with Boston worth $2 Million/year. One of the most popular Bulldogs of all time, Bush returns after three years in Seattle at age 40 to finish his career in Boston. Ted McDougall (CHI) signs 3-year deal with Los Angeles worth $1.5 Million/year. The Wizards become one of hockey’s toughest teams, adding McDougall to lineup already featuring bruisers Kay Swafford, Owen Betts, and Marshall Jackson. News One of the most exciting stories during the summer of 2000 actually came out of Russia, where legend and future hall of famer Vladimir Gaganov announced he would be coming out of retirement to play for his home country in the 2000 World Hockey Challenge. It would be Gaganov’s third time playing in the tournament, he played for Russia in 1996 and for the Soviet Union in the inaugural tournament in 1976. Gaganov also addressed speculations about a PHL return, saying it is extremely unlikely. Meanwhile, Gaganov’s former team, the Chicago Shamrocks introduced their new staff in the wake of Don Saleski’s retirement. The Shamrocks decided to promote from within, as they had done with Saleski 31 years ago, hiring former assistant coach Brian Cullen as the new head coach and former head scout Mark Raines as the new GM. Cullen has been with the Shamrocks as an assistant since 1995, while Raines was in charge of scouting since 1989. “We’ve both been around this organization for a few years and we both learned from the best” said Raines. “I think it’s important that we carry one the rich tradition of this franchise.” As the summer went on, more news came out regarding the PHL’s two newest franchises. In June, both clubs announced their names, the Portland Cascades and the Atlanta Copperheads. Neither team would unveil a logo but Portland did confirm their team colors would be navy and silver. Both teams will begin play in the fall of 2001. After another poor season for the New Orleans Sound, there was widespread speculation that the franchise would leave New Orleans. In July, team owner Sam Bendt issued a statement that the Sound would not be going anywhere. “We’ve just added a new section of boxes to our arena and we’re looking to improve things on the ice as well” said Bendt. “We’re not ready to throw in the towel just yet.” On July 19, the Sound announced the hiring of former Denver Bulls Coach Grant Dunlop as their new General Manager. Dunlop promised to turn things around for the team on the ice, with the intention of building the franchise around Brad McNair, the 19-year-old center from Corner Brook, Newfoundland who had already helped draw fans to the Jewel Center in his rookie season with his natural scoring ability. The Sound’s acquisition of Jarkko Turunen from LA gave New Orleans a veteran playmaker to feed McNair. “I think if nothing else, we will be more exciting to watch this year” said Dunlop. Despite the optimism within the Sound organization, the hockey world continued to prepare for another possible relocation. Houston billionaire Bernie Cratt, who had just barely lost the expansion vote, expressed interest in purchasing the Sound, as did an investors group from Ottawa led by young software tycoon Craig Boulton. Ground was finally broken in the spring of 2000 for a new 18,000-seat arena just a few miles from downtown Ottawa. The Montreal Royale and Team Canada both received devastating news as the summer wound down. Vincent Durcharme continued to have problems with his knee at Canada’s evaluation camp just prior to the World Hockey Challenge. On only the second day of the camp, Ducharme left, announcing he would miss the tournament. After Ducharme underwent knee surgery on August 20, Royale team doctors announced he would be out of the Montreal lineup until at least Christmas. Ducharme has had a history of knee problems, the most recent injuring occurring during the 2000 playoffs when he received a devastating hit from Philadelphia’s Alex Leblanc. “With or without Vince, our goals remain the same” said Royale head coach Todd Beirness. “Our other guys know they’ll have to step up, we’ll be ready.” Veteran defenseman Jonathan Adams will serve as Montreal’s captain in Duchamre’s absence. The hockey world was hit with sad news just as training camps opened in September, 2000. Bobby Sorel, arguably the greatest goaltender in PHL history, passed away at his summer home in Montreal after a two-year battle with cancer. Sorel played 20 years in the league from 1966 to 1986, mostly with Minnesota, backstopping the Lumberjacks to two Lewis Cups in the 1970s but also spent time with Chicago and Long Island. Sorel is perhaps best known for making what became known as “The Save” in the final moments of the 1980 World Hockey Challenge to give Canada the title. Sorel passed away at the age of 52.
  4. I've updated the last post to include other uniform updates including two new alternates.
  5. Not really aside from city and regional traditions, for example the Stingers wearing black and gold like other Pittsburgh teams in real life. Other than that there has only been incidental similarities.
  6. My original plan was actually to simply have an alternate logo as a tribute to Oakland but leave the team as "California". I even considered calling them the Bay Nuggets at one point. Ultimately I went with Oakland because it just sounds better than the other two and I decided to go without a secondary logo because I felt the primary was strong enough to stand on it's own. I could maybe see an Oakland-themed third jersey in the future though. That's actually how I feel about leaving the 90s. Unfortunately, the 2000s won't be pretty at times. A lot of the 90s looks will be butchered by piping and darker colors before we start bringing back the classic looks at the end of the decade. I agree though about the Nuggets original logo. I could see the original colors (red, blue, gold) returning someday but if the "N" logo does return, it will only be as an alternate. I just realized I didn't post the other uniform changes, so I'll make another post with those. There are two new third jerseys coming out and one team promoting their alternate to full-time use but the Nuggets are the only major rebrand this season. I'll try to have those up tomorrow. Thanks guys!
  7. Oakland Nuggets Unveil New Look On June 27, 2000, the newly relocated Oakland Nuggets unveiled their new look for the 2000-01 season. The new logo features a pick axe breaking through a gold nugget in the team's new color scheme of Navy, Steel Blue, and Gold. The uniforms have a very traditional look compared to the previous ones, featuring a laced collar. "We really wanted to go for a dynamic look" said team president and co-owner Bill Pyke. "The jerseys are more conservative in order to give our new logo more visibility." Team captain Kevin Hoyle, a member of the team since the red, blue and yellow days, offered his opinion as well. "I like them, I just hope we can win some hockey games in them." The Nuggets will open their inaugural season at the new Allico Center on October 10, 2000. In addition to the Nuggets' new look, three other teams made minor changes to their uniforms. The Miami Stingrays retired their teal road uniforms, promoting the popular black third jerseys to full-time road use, while the Winnipeg Pioneers and Carolina Raiders both unveiled alternate uniforms.
  8. Yes, there is already a plan in motion to have the first outdoor game possibly as soon as the 2001-02 season.
  9. 1. Likely not until the 2001 off-season. The names and possibly wordmarks and colors will be ready this off-season, maybe the logo for one team, but I doubt I'll be able to finish them in time for 2000. The next post will be the newly relocated Oakland Nuggets new logo and uniform, and it's a pretty drastic change. That should be up by the end of this week. 2. Dallas may never change their logo, unless there's enough demand for it. Denver on the other hand will be one of a handful of teams to go retro by the late 2000s. The plan is for the Bulls to switch back to red and green and bring back a more modern version of the 70s and 80s logo. This will probably not happen for about a decade or so though. GM Doug Kelly is probably on borrowed time at this point. He has made some very questionable moves that have gotten this franchise in a very bad spot, most notably trading a first rounder for goaltender Ron Buckner, who retired two years later and never really did much in Denver. I think it would be cool to do some game covers, I just haven't found a way to work it into the story. Maybe I could create a page on the blog to include something like that. I might also be able to work the licensing into off-season news or something. we'll see what happens. That is the plan but it will take some time. Entering the 2000s, the navy Bulls are very much on trend right now, but the retro trend is coming. You will eventually see the Bulls back in red and green as well as some other familiar looks. New Orleans will almost certainly move at some point, but it won't happen as easily as you might think. The Sound could be the PHL's answer to the real-life Coyotes. Darryl Byrd is a stubborn man and is determined to make "his" markets work. The question will really be how long are the owners willing to put up with Byrd. A new commissioner would more than likely allow the Sound to leave for a stronger hockey market.
  10. basically any character introduced in the expansion council can be included in the story at any time, but that's not a guarantee. Characters who are directly involved with hockey (i.e. coaches, commentators, etc.) will always have the best chance of being included in the narrative. One character that was featured in the most recent finals was CBC play-by-play man Graham Helm, who was La Sainte-Flanelle Du Nord's character. I have a few more that I've noted who will be introduced at some point too.
  11. I don't have a definite plan yet, I will likely do some kind of real-time simulation with weekly updates. Whatever I do, it will probably be pretty simple, and it will probably be exclusively on the blog as I would want to respect these boards as concept boards and not use it for stats and season updates. I would still post new logos & graphics on here though. I still have to figure out how I'll simulate individual games, I've considered using the game Franchise Hockey Manager. We'll see what happens, it will still take 1.5-2 years to reach present day so there's a lot of time to figure it out. On another note, here's the Twisters sig that was requested by Red Comet. The player featured is KC captain Scott Drayton.
  12. I also like the top left. The black mouth is intimidating enough without the teeth and I feel like the lack of teeth adds to the logo's uniqueness.
  13. Long Island is still probably another couple of years away from being a consistent playoff team again. 1999 was a bit of a fluke I think. They do have some good young players and they'll have a lottery pick this year too so the future is getting brighter. Thanks! I actually had a lot of fun with this one. To be honest, I was glad to have two new teams in the finals, it's much easier to come up with interesting storylines. Yeah it's hard to believe we're into the 21st century. Even harder to believe that at least a couple of current (2017) players have probably already been introduced.
  14. 2000 Lewis Cup Finals There was no shortage of motivation for either participant entering the 2000 Lewis Cup Finals. The Washington Generals had a history of incredible runs ending in disappointment. In the early 80s, the Generals lost two consecutive finals, while more recently, in 1998, they lost again to the Minnesota Lumberjacks. “I was in the building for all three losses” said 62-year-old Martin Ryan, a Generals fan since the first season. “I don’t intend to see them lose again.” For the Twisters, it a beloved veteran player without a championship that gave them all the motivation they needed. Dave Mack had played 20 seasons in the PHL with Nova Scotia and Kansas City. He played in two finals in 1987 and ’97 but had never won a cup. Not only were the fans in Kansas City cheering him on, fans across Atlantic Canada, and specifically Nova Scotia also cheered on their hometown hero. Game one in Washington was hard-hitting right from the start as both teams tried to establish themselves early. “You usually don’t see physical play like this at the start of the final, these teams are both showing us how much they want it” said CBC play-by-play man Graham Helm. The Twisters would draw first blood, winning game one 4-2. Washington would then even it up again in game two thanks to two goals from Igor Zharkov. Jason Lind was the hero for Kansas City in game three, as the veteran goaltender earned a shutout to give his team a 2-1 series lead at home. Washington now felt the pressure. Desperate to avoid heading home down 3-1, the Generals came out hitting once again in game four. Their physical play would cost them, as captain Rob Wentzel went down awkwardly after hitting KC defenseman Brady Kyle in the second period. Wentzel left the game and did not return while the Twisters took the game 3-1 to lead the series by the same score. “We have to find a way to score goals” said Washington head coach Doug Sharp. The Generals took their coach’s words to heart in game five, with the Lewis Cup in their building. Wentzel still suffered from a lower body injury but played anyway, scoring Washington’s second goal. The game was tied 2-2 when Dave Mack gave the Twisters the lead. As the minutes wound down, the commentators talked about the possibility that Mack could have the cup winner in his final game. Then, with just 1:34 left in regulation, Brant Brown deflected Justin Hill’s point shot into the net to tie the game. The Twisters were devastated at being so close, and were unable to recover in time for overtime. Just 22 seconds into the extra period, Geoff Collier scored for Washington to send the series back to Kansas City for game six. The KC Sportsplex was packed for game six. The last time the Lewis Cup had been in the building, The fans had to watch the New York Civics carry it around the ice. Now their team had an opportunity to win it all at home. Washington, meanwhile, was determined to spoil the party. Four minutes into the game, Scott Whitmore gave the Generals a 1-0 lead. The lead held until the third period and it looked like the series could go to a seventh game, when JC Girard, another Twister veteran potentially playing his final game, beat Jake Borman to tie it up. Only a minute after Girard’s goal, Brett Delaney, who had been Kansas City’s best player throughout the playoffs, gave the Twisters the lead. With just over a minute left, Washington pulled Borman, desperate to tie the game. After Lind was forced to make a few big saves to preserve the lead, Travis Watson found himself on a 2-on-1 with Dave Mack heading for the empty net. Watson slid the puck to Mack, who sealed the win and the championship with 18 seconds left. The Twisters spilled off the bench and mobbed Mack while the officials scrambled to get things back in order so they could play the final seconds. When the puck finally dropped, the crowd counted down the last ten seconds as the Twisters celebrated a second time. Delaney was named playoff MVP, while captain Scott Drayton immediately handed the cup to Mack, who took it for a lap with tears running down his face. “I can’t imagine a better way to end my playing career” said Mack, confirming his retirement. In only eleven seasons, the Twisters had gone from lowly expansion team to Lewis Cup champions.
  15. They changed them in an effort to change their luck on the road. It worked in game six so they just continued wearing them. By the way, I just noticed an error, game six of that series says 1-0 Milwaukee, it's supposed to be 3-1 Minnesota. I'll fix it when I'm at my computer.
  16. Yes, the Hamilton Kings won three cups in the 1940s and 50s. I think this is the closest thing we've had to two Lewis Cup "virgins" since 1985, when Pittsburgh and Seattle met. Sure thing. If they win would you like the championship displayed in some way?
  17. 2000 Playoffs Appearing in the playoffs for the first time in franchise history, the Dallas Desperados really did not expect to get very far. Dallas had finished 26 points behind their opponent, the Los Angeles Wizards, and even their own fans were just happy to be there. “Realistically, this team will be lucky to win a game” said analyst Kevin Williams. After dropping the first two games in Los Angeles, the Desperados did indeed earn their first playoff win in game three thanks to a big third-period goal from Kyle Clark in front of an excited sell-out crowd. In game four, AJ Vernon was the hero in overtime when he beat Jim Cochran from a tough angle to tie the series at 2-2. Heading back home, the Wizards now felt the pressure. “We just need to stick to our game and we’ll be fine” said Adam Lawless. Cochran’s shutout in game five was exactly the response needed for LA, as the Wizards now had a chance to take the series in Dallas. Game six was a tight one, with LA severely outplaying the Desperados through two periods, but goaltender Alexei Rolonov kept turning them away. Finally, rookie Antti Pulkkinen scored on a breakaway to give Dallas the lead. Rolonov continued to shut the door as the Desperados held on to force a game seven in Los Angeles. The Wizards once again stepped up their game in game seven, as Viktor Skogg scored twice in a 4-1 LA win. Despite losing the series, the Desperados had pushed the Wizards farther than anyone had anticipated, and in the process, created a buzz throughout the city. “I think what we accomplished here was huge for this franchise” said veteran Jeff Jones. Elsewhere in the Western Conference, the Kansas City Twisters had to overcome an early deficit against the Seattle Grey Wolves, but Brett Delaney turned in one of the most dominating performances ever in a playoff series, scoring 12 points in seven games as the Twisters outlasted Seattle in seven games, while Minnesota spoiled Milwaukee’s return to the post-season in six games, and Chicago defeated California in five to end the Nuggets’ time at the Golden State Coliseum. In the Eastern Conference, the New York Civics were a confident team entering their first-round matchup against Detroit, a team making their first playoff appearance since 1992. But the Mustangs quickly shattered that confidence with two big wins at Broadway House to take an unexpected 2-0 series lead. Back in Detroit, the Civics scored early in game three, only to give up three fast goals early in the third period as the Mustangs won the game 3-1 to take a chokehold on the series. “We didn’t expect to be in this position” said captain Aaron Duplacy. “No team has ever come back from 3-0 before but that doesn’t mean we can’t be the first one.” In game four, Duplacy backed up his words with a two-goal performance in a 2-1 New York victory to salvage the series. The Civics were still alive and had a chance to extend it to six when game five went to overtime. Through two extra periods in game five, goaltenders Jason Wyley and Jeff Pelton turned the contest into a goaltending duel. Early in the third overtime, Andrei Alexeev finally ended the marathon when he knocked in a rebound to complete the upset for Detroit. It was the first playoff series victory for the Mustangs since 1989. In other Eastern Conference action, Washington took six games to eliminate Carolina, Philadelphia upset Toronto in five games, while the defending champion Royale took out Pittsburgh in five games. After defeating the Racers in five games, The Redshirts moved on to face the Vincent Ducharme and the defending champion Montreal Royale. Powered by Brendan Carnes’ two goals, the Redshirts stunned the Royale in game one with a 3-2 victory. The Royale bounced back, however, taking games two and three before the Redshirts tied the series with a 4-3 overtime win in game four. The Royale suffered a devastating loss in game four, as Ducharme suffered a knee injury on a hit from Alex Leblanc. Though it was a clean hit, Montreal still hinted that they would go after Leblanc. Game five went into overtime once again, with Jared Baxter proving to be the hero for Philadelphia, giving them a 3-2 series lead and a chance to complete the upset at home in game six. With his team facing elimination in game six, Ducharme attempted to return to the lineup, but only played seven minutes before having to call it a night. Baxter, Leblanc, Jeff Waters, and Jonathan Stafford all scored while Ben Kerrigan made 49 saves in a 4-1 Philadelphia win to send the Redshirts to the Eastern Conference Finals to face the Washington Generals after the Generals defeated the Detroit Mustangs in six games. In the west, the Kansas City Twisters faced their Midwest rivals, the first-place Chicago Shamrocks. Kansas City went right to work, jumping to a 3-1 series lead after the first four games. With their season on the line in game five, Chicago made a change in net, swapping out Dan Pilford for rookie Jake Likens. Likens played admirably in goal but the Shamrocks once again could not come up with enough offence. The Twisters won 3-1 to advance to the Western Conference Finals. Meanwhile, the Minnesota Lumberjacks faced the Los Angeles Wizards. Viktor Skogg suffered an concussion early in game one and the Wizards managed only four goals all series, as the Lumberjacks headed to the West final for the fourth time in five years. The Western Conference Finals would be a showdown for the ages, as the Kansas City Twisters met the Minnesota Lumberjacks. Minnesota, the favorites to win the series, took the first two games at home with Jason Crowley continuing his career year with four goals in the two games. In Kansas City, the Twisters also took advantage of home ice, winning game three in overtime, then taking game four in a 5-0 blowout. In game five, Brett Delaney was at it again for the Twisters, scoring a hat-trick while Jason Lind made 38 saves as the Twisters found themselves just one win from the Lewis Cup Finals. With their backs against the wall for game six, the Lumberjacks once again leaned on their captain. Crowley scored twice as Minnesota forced a game seven at home. Game seven was a classic. Lind and Christian Grayson both made save after save as the game remained scoreless after three periods. Late in the third, Jeremy Kitchen took a penalty, giving Minnesota a powerplay. Lind was forced to make nine big saves including a nearly impossible glove save on Brendan Marlo as the Twisters killed the penalty. The game went to double overtime, where Dave Mack, likely playing in his final PHL season, finally ended the game for Kansas City, sending them to the Lewis Cup Finals for the second time in franchise history. The Twisters would face the Washington Generals, who ended Philadelphia’s magical run in six games. Jake Borman was spectacular in net, while star forwards Igor Zharkov and Rob Wentzel carried the offence. It would be Washington’s second time in the Championship round in three years. “I think this team has grown up a lot and I think we’ll be ready for it this time” said Wentzel.
  18. Hey guys, just letting you know I'm still alive. Unfortunately computer problems have kept me from finishing the playoffs for the last few days. everything seems to be working now so I was able to finish the simulation. I'm hoping to finish the write up at some point today.
  19. New Orleans is indeed on thin ice right now, there will be more on that in the off-season but basically nobody expected them to be this bad this long. Bernie Cratt has already expressed interest in bringing the Sound to Houston, but it won't be that simple. Ottawa was not a major player in the expansion process due to the arena not being completed until 2002, but there is now a group from the Canadian capital rumored to be pursuing the Sound. In all likelihood, Cratt and Houston get the team if it moves as the league will likely see it as a can't miss opportunity, but it will be interesting to see how it all plays out. Dallas was slowly improving all along and yes, this playoff appearance will be a big boost for them. The fans in Texas are pumped for some playoff hockey and the TexOil Center should be packed throughout the run. The big thing for the Desperados will be to make sure they get back in in 2001 and beyond and make a deep run at some point. For this year though, they're just happy to finally be in. The lottery will be held after the finals are over. Edmonton does have the best chance and this year the top prospect is actually a goalie (which Edmonton needs), Trent Cameron from Toronto. There is a very good chance that it will this season. Chicago may have finished first but actually have some holes in their roster. Minnesota (probably along with Montreal) is generally seen as the most complete team and the team to beat heading into the playoffs. The Bulldogs improved this season and Andersson played very well. The rebuild is right on schedule and Boston hopes to be back in contention by the mid-2000s. Milwaukee should be here to stay for a while. they have a great young core that finally broke out this season. They'll be a tough team to play against for Minnesota in the first round. The Chicago Shamrocks actually currently hold the PHL record for consecutive playoff appearances. the last time they missed the post-season was 1968. Under Don Saleski, they have never missed.
  20. 1999-00 Regular Season As the 20th century drew to a close, the Minnesota Lumberjacks finally moved into their new home. The Oval Center opened on November 8, 1999 as the ‘Jacks faced the Denver Bulls. In front OF 22,000 fans, the Lumberjacks won the opening game 4-0. “It’s a great building” said captain Jason Crowley. “It’s like something from the future, just in time for the year 2000.” Crowley enjoyed one of the best seasons of his career, winning the league scoring title with 117 points and climbing to ninth on the all-time scoring list. Brendan Marlo also had a breakout season for Minnesota with 91 points. The Lumberjacks finished second in the Western Conference with 107 points. First place in the conference and the league went to the Chicago Shamrocks, thanks to a 110 point effort from Sergei Krayev. Goaltending was a big question mark for Chicago entering the season but the duo of Dan Pilford and rookie Jake Likens performed admirably in net. With the team in first place and favoured to win the Lewis Cup, 74-year-old longtime head coach/GM Don Saleski announced he would retire at season’s end after 31 years at the helm for the Shamrocks. 1999-00 was a big year for a few teams who had been down on their luck during the 1990s. The Milwaukee Choppers finally returned to the post-season for the first time since 1994 thanks to strong seasons from Brent Zahorsky and Marc Brunelle. In Dallas, the Desperadoes finally reached the playoffs for the first time in franchise history, finishing sixth in the Western Conference. The Desperadoes clinched the playoffs on March 28, and the fans gave the team a standing ovation. “It’s been a long time coming” said GM Ross Becker. “I’ve said all along that the success will come and our patience has finally paid off.” The Los Angeles Wizards got off to a slow start in 1999-00, until they pulled the trigger in November on a blockbuster deal with St. Louis, acquiring Spirits captain Adam Lawless in exchange for young Czech star Petr Slavik. The deal gave the Wizards another veteran with championship experience, as Lawless was one of the few remaining pieces of the Spirits’ dynasty of the 1980s. After the trade the Wizards went on a tear, winning eleven games in a row in January and ultimately taking the Pacific Division. In the east, Washington finished first in the conference despite Igor Zharkov missing ten games with a knee injury. Tomas Axelsson stepped up big for the Generals, who also relied heavily on defensemen Justin Hill and Brendan O’Connor and of course, goaltender Jake Borman. The Generals became one of the tightest teams to play against, taking the division thanks to their ability to shut down other teams’ offense. The defending champion Montreal Royale won the Northeast Division with Vincent Ducharme finishing second in league scoring. Former Calgary Wranglers defenseman Jonathan Adams provided a big physical presence on the blueline, while new head coach Todd Beirness picked up right were Don Shelburne had left off, coaching the team to 45 wins. After missing out on the Lewis Cup Playoffs for the better part of a decade, and after two very disappointing finishes in 1998 and 1999, the Detroit Mustangs finally returned to the post-season. Igor Kharitanov scored 93 points, but the big hero was veteran goaltender Jeff Pelton, who finished second in Whyte Trophy voting, earning 34 of Detroit’s 37 wins. Carolina also returned to the playoffs, while Cleveland dropped out of contention. Miami appeared to be on track to make the playoffs until February when defenseman Theo Sprouse went down with a severe back injury, forcing him to miss the remainder of the season. The Stingrays lost 20 games down the stretch, falling out of playoff contention. On New Years’ Eve, one of the most bizarre instances in PHL history occurred in a game between the California Nuggets and LA Wizards. Only five minutes after Midnight, Eastern time, the power went out in the Golden State Coliseum, leading to a near-panic from the 17200 fans in attendance, many of whom believed it was the anticipated “Y2K Bug”. After a twenty minute delay, the power was restored in the building, and order was restored as well. The incident served as a reminder that it was definitely time for the Nuggets to move into their new home. As one millennium closed and another began, three players from the late 70s hit the four-decade mark. Toronto’s Stuart Burns and Philadelphia’s Jeff Waters had both begun their careers in 1979, while Kansas City’s JC Girard had made his debut in 1978. Burns announced he would retire at seasons’ end, while Girard and Waters both indicated they could keep playing. “I’ve been in Philly for over two decades, I have never won a championship” said Waters. “I still feel like I can play.” Waters’ Redshirts’ team had a solid year in 1999-00, finishing fifth in the Eastern Conference, just half a game out of fourth. Facing the Toronto Racers in the first round, the team was confident they could make a big run. “We have a great team” said head coach Clint Allen. “I think we can surprise some people.”
  21. Cyborgs look good, I especially like the gear pattern. Loving the USFA so far!
  22. A lot of great name suggestions here. To be honest I've had a bit of a struggle coming up with a Portland name so I appreciate the suggestions for them in particular. My favorite name for Atlanta so far is probably the Stags. Another idea I had for them is the Atlanta Copperheads, as the Copperhead Snake seems to be fairly common in the southeast. On another note, I have finished simulating the 1999-00 season, just need to do the write up and artwork for it but it should be up by the end of the week.
  23. Portland, Atlanta Welcomed as PHL Franchises Beginning in October, 2001, the cities of Portland, Oregon, and Atlanta, Georgia will be home to PHL franchises. The PHL expansion committee voted Portland, Atlanta, and Houston as the top three candidates with Portland receiving the most votes. The three cities then went to a league vote among the 28 owners where Atlanta was unanimous and Portland barely edged out Houston. "We're very excited to welcome these two great communities to our league" said commissioner Darryl Byrd. "I believe these markets have a lot to offer to the league and the game itself." Even Portland's biggest opponent, Seattle owner Kevin Emms, welcomed the new franchise to the league. "We want to give a big welcome to the city of Portland" said Emms. "We couldn't defend our territory in the boardroom so I guess now we'll just have to do it on the ice. I can't wait to see how this rivalry develops." For Atlanta, the announcement marks the end of a long road that began during the 70s, when the city seemingly did not stand a chance against the likes of Edmonton, Long Island, or Washington to get a franchise. With the PHL boldly moving more into the south during the 1990s, the dream was suddenly in reach for the city. The Eastern Conference will not be realigned, Atlanta will be inserted right into the now-four-team South Division. In the West, Denver will move back to the Central in time for 2000-01 while Portland will play in the Pacific. No team names have been settled on yet.
  24. Hey guys, lots of great profiles here! I'll probably close this out tomorrow and announce the winning cities on Monday. I apologize for being absent throughout the process, I've literally been just working and sleeping for the last few days. I was finally able to catch up on all the profiles today. Thanks to everyone for participating!
  25. Welcome everyone to the 1999 PHL Expansion Committee. The purpose of this committee is to select two new cities to join the PHL as expansion teams to begin play in October, 2001. Before we start, here are some basic guidelines. · First off I’m going to ask everyone to refrain from making up any current or former players, coaches, general managers, or owners from either the PHL or the GHL. If you would like your character to be any of these roles, I’d ask that you message me and I will suggest someone who either has not been mentioned yet or has very little written about them. The idea here is to maintain consistency and avoid conflicts in the narrative. · Although this project was heavily influenced by the AFA project, the PHL and AFA do not exist in the same universe. Please avoid overlap between the two leagues. · I will allow rumours because rumours are a part of sports. However, please do not post anything as fact that directly affects the PHL story. Please try to use some sort of disclaimer such as ‘‘there has been a rumour…‘‘. · Your character may or may not appear again in the narrative. · Your character should not be closely associated with any current or potential PHL franchise. The PHL would like this committee to be as un-biased as possible. There will be exceptions for characters such as players or local media members, however. · I would suggest making your character a relatively important person, i.e. a lawyer, politician, media member, etc. · Just to clarify something, real-life professional teams from hockey or other sports do not exist in this universe, nor do real-life venues. Real-life non-sports figures do exist for the most part as do real-life non-sports related events, such as World War II or 9-11. · This hasn’t really been a major issue yet but please try to make your character as era-appropriate as possible. This committee is meeting in 1999. · While I will welcome name suggestions, I do already have ideas for names and logos for most of these cities. However, there has been at least one instance where I scrapped my own idea for one that was suggested on the boards. That was the Nova Scotia Claymores. In that case, Claymores was 10 times better than what I had in mind so I ended up using it, so I do appreciate suggestions for names, even if I don’t always use them · Finally, when offering opinions on expansion, please stick to the cities listed. Those are the basic guidelines. I’ll post more if any issues come up. For now, here are the main cities in the running for expansion with the pros and cons for each one. The two winning bids will be chosen by the commissioner from the top three voted cities. *Population numbers are educated estimates and include entire metro areas. 1. Houston Population (1999): 4,600,000* Fan Support: Strong Owner: Bernie Cratt, an Oil Baron worth nearly $7 Billion. One of the wealthiest men in America who attempted to land a franchise for Houston in 1989. Arena: TexCo Center, an 18,000 seat arena built in 1985. The home of Houston’s Professional Basketball League franchise, also owned by Cratt. Pros: Houston has been trying for some time to land a franchise. Like Clint Love in Dallas, Cratt’s wealth alone is probably enough to support a team. That likely would not be necessary, however, as fans have shown a lot of excitement at the prospect of having a team of their own. The TexCo Center is still a relatively new building with all the facilities necessary for a PHL team. Cons: Hockey has had a history of failure in Texas, with the Dallas Metros forced to relocate and the Dallas Desperados also struggling. This could be a red flag, especially since Houston – like Dallas - is a fairly crowded sports market with teams in all of the other three major sports leagues. 2. Atlanta Population (1999): 4,000,000 Fan Support: Strong Owner: Joseph Cartwright, a Canadian multimillionaire living in Savannah, GA, who is determined to make hockey work in the region. Arena: Team would play in the 18,000 seat Coastal Airlines Arena, constructed in 1994. Pros: Atlanta may be the strongest bid the league has received. In 1989, the city was rejected largely due to suspicion that the potential ownership group was using the league to get a new arena for their basketball franchise. That group is no longer pursuing the franchise but the arena has been built and is waiting for a second tenant. Joseph Cartwright, who made his fortune in internet stocks, is a passionate hockey fan from Toronto who has promised to put everything into making an Atlanta franchise work. Atlanta is also one of the biggest TV markets in the United States, a hug attraction for the league. Cons: Atlanta is another crowded market with competitive teams in Basketball, Football, and Baseball. The Baseball franchise won championships in 1997 and ’98. A hockey team may need to become a contender fairly quickly in order to hold the fans’ attention. 3. Phoenix Population (1999): 3,000,000* Fan Support: Unknown Owner: Bob Winkler, an Oakland-based entrepreneur worth about $90 Million who was born and raised in Vancouver and is a huge hockey fan. Winkler previously attempted to land a franchise for Oakland but was rejected in 1989. After the Nuggets announced their relocation to the city, Winkler focused his attention on Phoenix. Arena: A 19,000-seat arena will be built by 2001. Team can play in a 14,000-seat arena in Tempe until construction is complete. Pros: Phoenix is a strong bid. Winkler has proven his commitment to the game with his second expansion bid in a second city. The PHL has never had any presence in the desert so the team would be entering a territory all their own. Cons: There are a lot of unknowns about Phoenix. The city is not a traditional hockey market and locals seem to have no real knowledge of the game whatsoever. Winkler has pointed to Miami’s success but even that is unproven. 4. Tampa Population (1999): 2,000,000* Fan Support: Fair Owner: Bay Athletics, an organization that owns Tampa’s Football, Baseball, and Soccer franchises. Arena: Sun Arena, a 22,000-seat arena to be completed in late 1999. Pros: Despite inconsistent performances on the ice, the Miami Stingrays have developed a surprisingly strong following, proving that hockey can work in Florida. Tampa may even be set up for even more success. The Sun Arena does not have a regular tenant at this point so the hockey franchise would have the building to themselves at least for now, and Bay Athletics has been committed to producing winning sports franchises for over 20 years. Cons: Tampa is also pursuing a basketball expansion franchise and there is concern that it could distract the fanbase from hockey. The fans in the city have been notably more enthusiastic about the potential for basketball. 5. Portland Population (1999): 2,000,000* Fan Support: Strong Owner: Bruce Goble, a local millionaire worth about $60 Million. Arena: Team would play in PacifiCo Center, slated to open in late 2000. Pros: There is no question about Portland as a qualified hockey market. Portland fans are typically divided between California and Seattle but would love to have a team of their own. Previous concerns about a suitable arena have been addressed with a new building opening late next year. Cons: Three teams already call the Pacific Northwest home and the market may be a bit crowded. The league would also gain little in the way of national prestige and TV revenue by expanding to Portland. 6. Memphis Population (1999): 1,000,000* Fan Support: Fair Owner: Harris Investments, a group of local entrepreneurs wanting to bring professional sports to Memphis. Arena: City would need to approve 20,000-seat arena proposed by potential owners. No other suitable arena at this time. Pros: Memphis is a completely untapped market in the sporting world. The hockey team would be the only professional team in the city and one of only two in the state. There has been a lot of excitement from the locals about the possibility of having a pro hockey team, even if they do not understand the game completely. Cons: The entire bid will hinge on the city’s decision about the arena, which won’t be made until city council meetings in January, 2000. The league will have to decide if it wants to take the risk of awarding a franchise where there is no guaranteed place to play.