Jimmy Lethal

Continental Hockey Federation (Washington Added)

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Jimmy Lethal    267

Notice: the CHF's graphical design is done by Kevin Harper/HarperK. All credit goes to him. Ideas and backstories are mine.

CFHbanner_zps7a31b126.png

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NEW JERSEY NITRO

Established: 2002-03 Season

Stadium: Johnny Rocket's Arena at Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson Township, NJ (18,542 capacity)

Garand Cups: 0

The Continental Hockey Federation (CHF) most recently expanded in 2002. At the time, most people thought the two new expansion teams would be located in the Southwest for the Western Conference and the Mid-Atlantic region for the Eastern Conference. While the former guess was correct, as a franchise was awarded to Albuquerque, New Mexico, the other was wrong. With many expecting a team in Baltimore, the league announced the second new franchise had been awarded to... the state of New Jersey. No city was specified.

This led to head-scratching galore. The market was already dominated by the New York Emperors and Philadelphia Talons. Newark was a craphole with no stadium, and Camden... well, the less said about Camden, the better. Most guessed the team would be given to Jersey City or East Rutherford; instead, the team ended up in 42,000-populated Jackson. While confusing, most (correctly) assumed the team would have some connection to Six Flags Great Adventure, which was located in the township as well. Sure enough, Six Flags owners Premier Parks announced they would run the team, and would name it after the then-new Nitro hypercoaster.

Clad in the B&M thrill machine's blue, pink, and yellow, New Jersey first took the ice at the then-named Great American Hockey Stadium, a state-of-the-art venue named after the park's Great American Scream Machine coaster (and still considered one of the best sports venues in North America). Their first game was an embarrassing 8-1 loss to the Charleston Aviators, who would go on to win the Garand Cup that season. Things didn't get much better in that first season, as the team only won four away games and finished with a 20-52-10 record, the worst in the league. Fortunately, the team managed to attract rabidly loyal fans for an expansion team, and managed to improve drastically in their second season, finishing 39-34-9 and squeezing into the playoffs as the East's final seed; unfortunately, they were swept by the Can-Am Trophy-winning Cleveland Shredders in the first round. The team stayed in the middle of the pack for a few years after that, making the playoffs two more times but only winning two combined games.

The team's ownership took a nosedive in 2008 when Six Flags entered bankruptcy. Suffering from managerial issues as the parent company struggled to keep its parks afloat, as well as an injury-ridden roster (including goaltender Rick DiPietro missing the entire season), New Jersey instantly dropped to the bottom of the league. Fortunately, they ended up winning the draft lottery, and used the first overall pick to select center John Tavares. The team was on the upswing from the immediate start of the season, going 8-1-1 in their first ten games, with Tavares scoring nine goals and four assists. The team floated around the top of the Potvin Division for the entire season, and on the very last game, they exacted their revenge on Charleston by beating them 5-2 at home to capture their first division title in the team's young history, as well as having Tavares win Rookie of the Year. Entering the playoffs as the second seed, they took out the Virginia Admirals in the first round four to one, winning their first-ever playoff series. In the second, they faced another Can-Am Trophy winner in the Montreal Guerriers. In a physical, low-scoring series, the Nitro beat Montreal in seven games, with the final game at home (a 3-2 win in which Tavares got his first hat trick) going into quintuple-overtime, the first and last time this has ever happened in league history.

Tired from that series, Jersey finally fell in the Eastern Conference Finals to the Memphis Pharaohs in five games. Since then, thanks to Six Flags emerging from bankruptcy and a wildly-deep farm system, the Nitro haven't missed the playoffs, and made it back to the ECF in the 2013-14 season, once again falling (this time to Charleston). With newly-acquired goaltender Mike Smith and Tavares leading the charge, Jersey's future looks bright.

NewJerseyNitro_zps335b31e9.png

Random Notes:

Captain: John Tavares

Goal Song: "We Like To Party" - Vengaboys

Mascot: Mr. Six

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Feedback is greatly appreciated in both the designs and backstories!

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Jimmy Lethal    267

CHARLESTON AVIATORS


Established: 1979-80 Season


Stadium: Boeing Center, Charleston, South Carolina (19,032 capacity)


Garand Cups: 3 (1990-91, 2002-03, 2013-14)



The Fed expanded in 1979 to the South, adding eight teams. One of these were the Charleston Rebels, South Carolina's first professional sports franchise. The team, originally owned by former NFL star and South Carolina native Jake Scott, took the ice that year, with Bryan Trottier (acquired from St. Louis in the Expansion Draft) as their first captain. The team was average for their first few seasons, always having an above-.500 record but never making the playoffs. The team changed their name to the Aviators in 1982, referencing Charleston's Air Force base. Their first playoff appearance was in 1983-84, fueled by a 85-point season from Trottier (54 goals, 31 assists). They won in the first round, defeating the Washington Presidents in six games, but would lose in six in the next round to the Toronto Tigers.



They stayed relatively successful for the next few seasons. Then Hurricane Hugo hit. The Category 4 hurricane struck Charleston and made the Aviators' arena, Hangar 79, unfit to play in. Having to spend the 1989-90 season playing home games in Columbia, the team suffered their first losing season with a 30-44-8 record.



The team was able to return to the Charleston area in 1990, beginning play at the newly-built North Charleston Coliseum as Hangar 79 was repaired. They came back with a vengeance, clinching the Can-Am Trophy for the league's best record for the first time, finishing 55-17-10. This was also their second divisional title, having previously won one in 1987. The Aviators breezed through the first two rounds of the playoffs, notching back-to-back sweeps of Ottawa and Charlotte before facing the Buffalo Soldiers in the Eastern Conference Finals. The team's offense really shined as they won the series in five games, scoring an average of six goals per game (their only loss was because Buffalo was able to outduel them on offense, winning 8-7 in overtime).



Finally, the team made it to their first ever Garand Cup Finals, meeting the Seattle Evergreens. They won the first two games before losing the next two. They returned to win in Game 5, setting up a potential series-clincher in North Charleston. The two teams were tied 3-3 when overtime hit, where the legend of "The Goalie Goal" was born. With a minute left to play in the first overtime period, goaltender Mike Richter stopped a shot from Seattle's Steve Patrick in an unconventional way - by smacking it away from the area with his stick. The puck traveled at high speed all the way across the ice and managed to get past a distracted Felix Potvin for the game-winner. Only two years after Hugo, the Aviators brought a championship to Charleston.



Trottier retired after the 1993-94 season, leaving Charleston without their star player. The team took a dip in success, only making the playoffs once in the following five years. In 1999, Jake Scott announced his selling of the team to Boeing chairman of the board Philip M. Condit, whose first notable act was managing to draft both Sedin twins in that year's Entry Draft.. The team would make it back to the Cup Finals the following season, but would lose to Las Vegas in seven games. They won the Garand Cup again in 2003, with the Cup-winning goal in Game 5 over Vancouver (naturally) being scored by Henrik Sedin, with an assist by Daniel.



The team's fortunes jumped up and down throughout the following decade, making the playoffs every other season from 2004-05 to 2011-12. They notably had a revolving door at head coach over this time before finally settling on Jack Capuano. They moved into the brand-new Boeing Center in 2012 as Boeing opened a plant in the area and became a part-owner of the team (Condit had retired from Boeing by this time). They ended up winning their second Can-Am Trophy in the 2012-13 season, but were shocked by the eighth-seeded Orlando Sorcerers as the first victim of their miracle Cup run. They did win the Garand Cup the following year, sweeping the Portland Snowhawks in the Finals, with both Henrik and Daniel putting up an identical 62 goals, 22 assists. The brothers ended up being named co-winners of the CHF MVP Trophy. The Aviators are defending champions coming into the 2014-15 season.



CharlestonAviators_zps19d53570.png



Random Notes:



Captain: Henrik Sedin


Goal Song: "Fuel" - Metallica


Mascot: Jet Jag (a jaguar fighter pilot)


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1clkgtramg    89

I always like seeing mid-sized cities/towns like Charleston get represented. I also like that you are targeting areas without a real team (within reason - obviously major Metro areas are exceptions) so that makes this series much more enjoyable and fresh. I also like the vibrant colours, Interested to see more.

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Jimmy Lethal    267

@Biscuit: The Nitro are colored as they are because they're based off the Nitro roller coaster at Six Flags Great Adventure, which has the same color scheme.Also, yes, there will be a San Francisco-based team.

@1clkg: A lot of the teams are from cities that either don't have major hockey teams (Kansas City, Charlotte), cities with only one other major team (Portland, Salt Lake City), and cities with no major league teams at all (Las Vegas, Charleston).

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Jimmy Lethal    267

^We'll consider adding more green.

Anyways, who do you guys want to see next: the Detroit Autos or Quebec Griffons?

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@Biscuit: The Nitro are colored as they are because they're based off the Nitro roller coaster at Six Flags Great Adventure, which has the same color scheme.Also, yes, there will be a San Francisco-based team.

@1clkg: A lot of the teams are from cities that either don't have major hockey teams (Kansas City, Charlotte), cities with only one other major team (Portland, Salt Lake City), and cities with no major league teams at all (Las Vegas, Charleston).

Ok understandable and cool looking forward to it

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Jimmy Lethal    267

DETROIT AUTOS


Established: 1947-48 Season


Stadium: Sawchuk Memorial Coliseum, Detroit, MI (21,004 capacity)


Garand Cups: 7 (1948-49, 1953-54, 1954-55, 1955-56, 1992-93, 2000-01, 2007-08)



The Detroit Autos were one of the Original Ten teams that formed the league in 1947, and were quick to success. They began as the Detroit Cougars in the old National Hockey League. They then changed their name to the Falcons, then Red Wings, before finally settling on Autos in 1940, referencing Detroit's vehicle industry. After the NHL evolved into the CHF, the Autos became the first Western Conference champions in league history behind goaltending phenom Terry Sawchuk; however, they would be swept by the Montreal Guerriers in the first-ever Garand Cup Finals. They would win the following year, however, defeating Washington 4-1, with Sawchuk surrendering only three goals in nine games.



The team would soon reach their golden years beginning in 1953, where they won the Cup for three straight seasons behind Sawchuk and Gordie Howe. During this time, the Autos won eighteen consecutive playoff games, a record that still stands today. Not even the 2009-10 Las Vegas Scorpions, who swept the entire playoffs, broke it, only having played sixteen games.



After that period of time, the team became an also-ran. They made the playoffs six times in the following fifteen seasons, and Howe ended up leaving for the Kansas City Knights during the 1965 Expansion Draft. Things worsened when Sawchuk died in 1970, and the team entered an eleven-year playoff drought. The team ended up calling on the services of Scotty Bowman as head coach in 1981, as well as opening the new Sawchuk Memorial Coliseum. Thanks to the drafting of Mario Lemieux in 1984, the team regained their former strength, beginning an unprecedented thirty-year playoff streak that is still going. In 1993, "Super Mario" and Bowman led the "Motor City Maniacs" to their first Garand Cup in almost forty years, defeating the Atlanta Swarm in six games.



The Autos remained a consistent contender, losing in the Finals twice during the nineties (both times to Ottawa). They'd win again in 2001, taking down their old rivals Montreal, and again in 2008, sweeping Virginia. Bowman and Lemieux both retired in 2006, but Detroit would draft Vladimir Tarasenko in 2010, and he has led the team well so far.



DetroitAutos_zps1930e3b4.png



Random Notes:


Captain: Vladimir Tarasenko


Goal Song: "Detroit Rock City" - KISS


Mascot: Henry (a race car-driving falcon, referencing the team's time as the Detroit Falcons)




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