hawkfan89

Professional Hockey League; A Fictional History: 1998-99 Regular Season

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17 hours ago, hawkfan89 said:

Pioneers, Spirits Unveil New Uniforms

Just a few weeks after the 1997 playoffs came to an end, two more teams revealed new looks for the 1997-98 season. The St. Louis Spirits and Winnipeg Pioneers both introduced all-new jerseys, but unlike most teams in recent years, simply updated their classic logos rather than reinvent them completely.

The Spirits maintained the basics of their logo while modernizing it and updating the color scheme to navy, red, silver, and white. There are also two new alternate logos, one that appears on the sleeve of the jerseys and one that may appear on a third jersey someday. "We really didn't want to change too much" said GM Toby Griffith. "The Spirits have a rich tradition and we wanted to keep the brand instantly recognizable yet modern."

                                                                 STLlogos.thumb.png.080da44bead675e12640aef8c1a6c014.png

 

                                        STLunis.thumb.png.10f0edd040d1569e0adb53424f69ab6c.png

 

The Winnipeg Pioneers also made some changes to their uniforms. The original logo from 1966 remains, the only alteration being a tan-colored outline, but the uniforms have been changed drastically for the first time in the team's 33-year history. The striped "coonskin" design on the sleeves is now gone, but a design has been added along the waist meant to resemble a log fence. In addition to the uniform changes, a new alternate mark has been added featuring a covered wagon with a stylized "W". "We're excited about this new look" said GM Jacques Fortune, who had begun working on the new look when he was hired in the spring of 1996. "We tried different logos and even different colors but ultimately decided to stick with what was familiar and just tweak it. Personally, I think it works well."

 

                                                               WPGlogos.thumb.png.fe8d96c4d1f7a33b8a2e200774ae312c.png

 

                                     WPGunis.thumb.png.6aedacc5f44bcb5b53248daa7be9a55b.png

 

Meanwhile, the third jersey trend continued in 1997, as four teams introduced alternate looks. Cleveland's third jersey got the most attention from fans, featuring a constellation of an electric guitar on a black backdrop, a tribute to the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame, located near the team's arena. The Minnesota Lumberjacks unveiled their second alternate jersey a year after discarding the black one. This one is green with white tree designs on each side and the team's classic logo on the front. The jersey also features collar laces, something not seen on a PHL jersey since the early '80s. New York's alternate is black featuring the Manhattan skyline and the team's "NYC" alternate logo, while the Los Angeles Wizards will wear a "Colossuem Blue"  third Jersey with a sublimated pattern and an alternate logo reminiscent of the team's original logo.

 

                                                     97ALTS.thumb.png.6a338dca253796c30314a73cced11633.png

And apologies for posting twice when I shouldn't, the LA Wizards alternate (and late 90s colour identity) reminds me a bit of Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows XP Paint palettes. The Minnesota Lumberjacks third jersey is ace. Beautiful stuff with the New York Civics' black uniform - the Manhattan skyline is a nice touch!

And finally, the Cleveland Cosmos - that guitar is awesome and with it as a constellation is even better! Black for the space sky, guitar representing the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame, constellation representing the Cosmos nickname - everyone who followed the PHL would immediately identify the jersey with the Cleveland Cosmos! I could see it being used to today that all Cosmos fans would view it as legendary!

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If that Cosmos jersey existed in real life I would be buying it.

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Great updates to the Spirits and Pioneers. I noticed that the Twin Towers are featured in New York's alt, which makes me wonder how 9/11 will affect the PHL when that happens. Also, did St. Louis get rid of their alt the same time as the Lumberjacks black alt?

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Thanks for the feedback everybody! and I apologize for my absence, I've been sick for the last couple of days. My wife was also excited that you guys liked her jersey as well, maybe it will make an appearance for a couple of games someday. 

 

On 9/6/2017 at 11:38 PM, ChicagoOakland said:

Those green 'Jacks jerseys though! Fantastic! I can see those taking over the blues one day...and if the Jacks don't put the lace collar on all their unis they're missing out. That "flannel" alternate is pretty great too haha.

Also, I'm glad the Pioneers are staying with their old P. I have a real place in my heart for '70s-style graphic design.

 

I can definitely see the greens getting a promotion someday too, though it may depend on their future success in the current blues. If they win another championship in blue (so far they've won all three Lewis Cups in the blue jerseys) it would be hard to picture them changing that, but then again Boston had no problem switching to the reds full-time so you never know. As far as the laces, Montreal and Detroit are slated to become the first teams to put them on their home and away unis in a year or two, but I have no doubt the 'Jacks will be in the mix as well in a couple of years.

 

On 9/6/2017 at 11:32 PM, Raymie said:

The Spirits wordmark typeface just does not do it for me. It's a rare whiff from you, but it's...not right.

 

I actually wasn't crazy about it either. I've gone back and changed the font to match the font on the jerseys, what do you think of this?

stl.png.64cb88083b30606900abae1ed0f5abea.png

 

 

On 9/7/2017 at 1:39 AM, Spanna65 said:

Hope the Spirits go back to theIr original loom in the 2000s.

 

It might take until the late 2000s-early 10s but the Spirits will definitely return to the classic royal blue look eventually.

 

18 hours ago, BellaSpurs said:

Just wondering if Cincinnati will ever get a team? Or will I have to settle with the Raiders?

 

Cincinnati remains a possibility, though their current bid has some tough competition from the likes of Houston, Atlanta, and Portland.

 

5 hours ago, RightGuard said:

Great updates to the Spirits and Pioneers. I noticed that the Twin Towers are featured in New York's alt, which makes me wonder how 9/11 will affect the PHL when that happens. Also, did St. Louis get rid of their alt the same time as the Lumberjacks black alt?

 

9/11 will have a similar effect that it did on the NHL. The Civics and Concordes will probably both be affected pretty directly, such as training camps and pre-season games being postponed. The whole league will probably wear some kind of patch throughout the year, and the Civics will probably change their alternate uniforms at some point with an updated skyline. And yes, the Spirits retired their third jerseys after 1995-96, the same year that Minnesota retired theirs. They will eventually have new thirds, but as per league rules, can't introduce a new one until at least the 1999-00 season.

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28 minutes ago, Cardsblues02 said:

I'm not sure if you are allowed to hint at this, but what other team might get third jerseys? With the success of the jerseys, I would think most team would have one. 

 

I believe almost half the teams have them now. As for teams getting them in the near future, Dallas, Edmonton, and New Orleans are strong bets to get them next year, Vancouver and Washington are also eligible but I don't currently have anything planned for them. maybe for 1999-00. Winnipeg and St. Louis will also be eligible in 1999, though both teams will probably wait as well. Seattle is the only team getting a full rebrand next year, so they'll probably have a third jersey by the 2000-01 season or so. The Twisters are also getting new jerseys next year for their 10th anniversary and will probably scrap their third for a while. They'll likely have a new one sometime in the early 2000s.

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So I made an Excel of all the teams currently in the league up to this point. I'm hoping it's as close to what hawkfan uses to keep check on his teams, and maybe someday I'll be able to chart the evolution of the league throughout the decades so help me be.

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Edited by RightGuard
Add photo

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As we enter more modern times and with the PHL existing for a long time now, are there any special traditions that certain fanbases have? 

 

In the 90s and 00s in real life, we were introduced to many cool traditions in the NHL. Whiteouts in Winnipeg, Rat throwing in Florida, Towels in Vancouver, Cannon in Columbus, the list goes on and on. And many of these things are what make Hockey so fun, especially during playoff time. Is there anything that fans of certain teams do that stand out as something really interesting? Maybe this question is too complex, but I'm very interested.

I'm no Miami Stingrays fan, but a Playoff Pinkout would be AWESOME!!

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I apologize for my absence this week guys, this is the time of year when work begins to ramp up for me so I might be a little slower with posts pretty much from now until Christmas. I am almost finished of the off-season post so that should be up either tonight or tomorrow. In the meantime, as requested, here is an updated list of minor league affiliate teams. I don't really plan on doing much with them for now though logos and uniforms might be a possibility in the future.

 

Pacific Hockey Association (PHA, founded in 1980)

 

Anaheim Magic – LA Wizards

Portland Wildcats – California Nuggets

Everett Black Bears – Seattle Grey Wolves

Victoria Monarchs – Vancouver Bighorns

Houston Saturns – Cleveland Cosmos

Lethbridge Wranglers – Calgary Wranglers

Red Deer Barons – Edmonton Northern Lights

Saskatchawan Reapers – Winnipeg Pioneers

Utah Mountaineers - Kansas City Twisters

Las Vegas Card Sharks – Dallas Desperadoes

Kelowna Grizzlies – Milwaukee Choppers

 

 

Can/Am Hockey League (CAHL, founded in 1954)

 

Hartford Bulldogs – Boston Bulldogs

Windsor Wings – Detroit Mustangs

New Jersey Civics – New York Civics

Indianapolis Speed – Chicago Shamrocks

Toronto Junior Racers – Toronto Racers

Trois Riveres Couronnes – Montreal Royale

Raleigh Raiders – Carolina Raiders

Rochester Warriors – Denver Bulls

Nashville Stars – St. Louis Spirits

Halifax Schooners – Long Island Concordes

Scranton Miners – Pittsburgh Stingers

Hershey Keystones – Philadelphia Redshirts

Norfolk Warships – Washington Generals

Cincinnati Eagles – Minnesota Lumberjacks

Laval Blanc et Bleu – Quebec Nationale

PEI Red Claws - Miami Stingrays

Austin Bats – New Orleans Sound

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1997 Off-Season

 

1996 Entry Draft

 

Though not as strong as the 1996 entry draft, the 1997 draft certainly had no shortage of talent. With the first pick, the Milwaukee Choppers selected big Swedish center Peter Lundholm, then traded for the number five pick, using it to take hard-nosed defenseman Todd Brownlow. Dallas took USA National team star Kyle Clark with the second pick, while the New Orleans Sound rounded out the top three when they selected offensive defenseman Sheldon Harrison. Other interesting picks included Boston’s Isaac Hart, the son of pro football legend Billy Hart, LA selected goaltender Ryan Blank, the league’s first California native who grew up a fan of the Wizards, and finally New York selected the first German player in PHL history, Tobias Krause, who played fairly well as a 17-year-old at the 1996 World Hockey Challenge.

 

 

1.      MIL – Peter Lundhom, F, SWE

2.      DAL – Kyle Clark, F, USA

3.      NOS – Sheldon Harrison, D, CAN

4.      LI – Patrick Murphy, F, CAN

5.      MIL (From DEN) – Todd Brownlow, D, CAN

6.      DET – Eric Woods, F, CAN

7.      SEA – Olli Heikkinen, F, FIN

8.      PHI – Sergei Dyatlov, F, RUS

9.      STL – Ben Wagner, D, USA

10.   MIA – Derek Snyder, F, CAN

11.   QUE – Mikeal Johansson, D, SWE

12.   CGY – Dominik Musil, F, CZE

13.   BOS – Isaac Hart, F, USA

14.   CLE – Dylon White, F, CAN

15.   VAN – Andrei Yegorov, F, RUS

16.   PIT – Vladimir Rezek, F, SVK

17.   WPG – Trent McCulloch, D, CAN

18.   EDM – Igor Zhabin, F, RUS

19.   CAR – Corey Powell, D, CAN

20.   CAL – Jared King, D, USA

21.   MTL – Zdeno Kadlec, F, CZE

22.   WSH – Brant Brown, F, CAN

23.   KC – Jamie Reid, D, USA

24.   CHI – Chris Butler, F, CAN

25.   LA – Ryan Blank, G, USA

26.   TOR – Toivu Niskala, F, FIN

27.   MIN – Murray Bennett, D, CAN

28.   NYC – Tobias Krause, F, GER

 

 

 

Notable Retirements:

 

Travis Curry, F, DAL/MIL, 1981-1997

One of the last great players to have played for the Metros/Choppers franchise in both locations, Curry served as Bruce Gratton’s best sidekick throughout the 1980s. The duo led Milwaukee to back-to-back Lewis Cup championships in 1988 and 1989 with Curry scoring the Cup-winning goal both years. In 1992, Curry once again played a key role in leading the Choppers to their third appearance in the finals, where they would lose to Vincent Ducharme and the Montreal Royale. Curry would play five more years with the Choppers until his contract expired in 1997. With Milwaukee opting not to resign him, Curry retired rather than hit the free agent market.

 

Alexander Orlov, F, CHI, 1991-1997

One of the greatest players in the history of the Soviet national team, Alexander Orlov became a national hero in 1976 at the inaugural World Hockey Challenge when he scored the tournament winning goal against the heavily favoured Canadians. It would be 15 years before Orlov was finally allowed to leave the Soviet Union to play in the PHL for the Chicago Shamrocks. Teaming up with countryman Valdimir Gaganov, Orlov helped the Shamrocks to two straight Lewis Cup finals appearances in the mid-90s, where they would win it all in 1994.

 

Clark Pratt, F, NYC, 1978-1997

Though he was never considered a true superstar, Clark Pratt was one of the most popular players ever to wear a Civics uniform thanks to his toughness and work ethic. A broken leg endangered Pratt’s career in 1981, but the tough winger returned the following season. Pratt played 19 years in New York and his longevity was finally rewarded in 1997 when the Civics won the Lewis Cup, the first in Pratt’s career.

 

Brent MacDonald, G, NS/NOS, LA, 1982-1997

A native of Pictou, Nova Scotia, MacDonald grew up a huge fan of the Nova Scotia Claymores and finally realized his lifelong dream of playing for them in 1982. Throughout the 1980s, MacDonald backstopped the Claymores to an incredible seven straight Division titles, as well as an appearance in the Lewis Cup Finals in 1987. Unfortunatly, the Claymores were forced out of Halifax in 1995 and the team relocated to New Orleans that summer. MacDonald played one year in New Orleans before being traded to Los Angeles, where he split the goaltending duties with Jim Cochran before retiring.

 

Magnus Skoglund, F, DET, 1978-1997

Skoglund served as Detroit’s top player during a relatively dark time in the franchise’s history. The Mustangs missed the playoffs during the last five years of Skoglund’s career and made it past the first round only twice during the 19 season Skoglund wore the Blue and Gold. Nevertheless, Skoglund still went on to become one of the greatest players ever to wear a Mustang’s uniform, retiring as the team’s second-leading scorer of all time.

 

Brett Townsend, F, VAN, 1981-1997

Townsend’s accomplishments were largely overlooked as he played for one of the PHL’s weakest franchises for his entire career. Townsend nearly tied the PHL’s “Iron man” record, never missing a game from 1988 until his retirement in 1997. Townsend also retires as Vancouver’s all-time scoring leader and only 1000 point scorer in franchise history.

 

Chris Blythe, F, EDM, 1981-1997

One of the more popular players to wear a Northern Lights sweater, Chris Blythe won fans over with his natural scoring ability. Blythe helped Edmonton to their only Lewis Cup Finals appearance in 1993, where they lost to the Boston Bulldogs.

 

 

 

Notable Trades

 

Edmonton trades D Dwayne Ingram to Washington in exchange for D Jordan O’Reilly.Ingram.png.43f137081679d096dc43c158b9a47c7c.png

Nearing the end of his career, Ingram gets an opportunity to pursue a title with the Generals, the Northern Lights begin their rebuild with the addition of O’Reilly, a similar player to Ingram but at only 20 years old.

 

Milwaukee trades D Jed McKenzie to Denver in exchange for 5th overall draft pick.

The Bulls acquire a solid young defenseman, while the Choppers continue their rebuild with two picks in the top five.

 

 

Key Free Agents

 

Aaron Duplacy signs new 5-year deal with New York worth $9 Million/year.

The Civics lock up their franchise player and captain for five years.

 

Randy McAllen signs new 10-year deal with Seattle worth $11 Million/year.

Seattle is forced to match a massive offer sheet from Detroit, making the 21-year-old the second-highest paid player currently in the league.

 

Krayev.png.1e056a7aecef922984f82d6638b3b5f8.pngSergei Krayev (CGY) signs 6-year deal with Chicago worth $12 Million/year.

After a career-threatening eye injury, Krayev will return to the league as one of its richest players. Chicago gains a replacement for Orlov, while Calgary’s status as a playoff team is now in jeopardy.

 

Craig Bush (BOS) signs 3-year deal with Seattle worth $3.5 Million/year.

After 17 years in Boston, Bush leaves the Bulldogs to chase another championship and provide leadership to an up-and-coming Grey Wolves squad.

 

 

News

 

The summer of 1997 was an ominous one for the PHL. The collective bargaining agreement between the league and the players’ association was set to expire September 1, and little to no progress had been made in negotiations. Darryl Byrd refused to budge on a salary cap, while Brian Hunt and the players vowed they would never allow it. Since retiring from a long playing career with Denver in 1990, Hunt had earned his law degree in order to better serve the PHPA, and now was prepared to take them to war. “If Darryl wants to shut the game down that’s his decision, we will not accept a cap” said Hunt.

 

As fans and players braced for the worst, the summer proved to be quite interesting. Immediately after the draft, the Detroit Mustangs presented budding Seattle superstar Randy McAllen with the largest offer sheet ever seen in the PHL, $11 Million for ten seasons. The problem for the Grey Wolves was that the franchise was in the process of being sold. Original owner John Dyson had found a local buyer, software developer Kevin Emms, but was still processing the transaction when the offer was given. Grey Wolves GM Bobby Vail had been told to wait for the official sale of the franchise before making any big moves, but he only had 48 hours to match the offer. The sale of the franchise was finally completed on June 30 just hours before the deadline and Emms gave Vail his blessing to match the Mustang’s offer. McAllen would be in Seattle for at least a decade.

 

In Chicago, the new Garfield Center was set to open when the season kicked off. In July, the arena was named the host of the 2000 World Hockey Challenge. “We’re very pleased to be able to bring this tournament here to Chicago” said Shamrocks owner Fredrick Garfield Jr. The Shamrocks would play all their pre-season games at Lincoln Sports Arena and make their last exhibition game a final farewell to the old building.

 

Two teams announced new arenas in 1997. The city of Detroit approved a new arena for the Mustangs. A 20,000-seat facility would be built on the outskirts of downtown Detroit as part of a new big league sports development that would also include a new Ballpark and a new outdoor stadium. The arena would open for Mustangs hockey in time for the 2000-01 season. Meanwhile, the Minnesota Lumberjacks announced their plans for a 22,000-seat arena, which will be located just southeast of downtown Minneapolis on the Mississippi river. The arena would open in the fall of 1999.

 

The summer came and went with no collective agreement in place. On the morning of September 1, Darryl Byrd announced the PHL would initiate a labor lockout until an agreement could be reached. “This is a regrettable day to say the least” said Byrd. “I had hoped the players would be willing to work with us on something, especially given that they knew the consequences of no agreement, but it appears that they value their own wealth above the overall health of the game, which is unfortunate.”

 

“The fact that he would try to blame this on the players, when they decided to lock us out, that’s disappointing” said Brian Hunt. Despite their distaste for each other, the two sides did resume talks throughout September in a desperate attempt to salvage the start of the season. Unfortunately, the season start date of October 10 arrived with no deal. Darryl Byrd cancelled all games for the month of October, the first time since 1985 that a work stoppage actually cancelled PHL games. Byrd was asked if he would ever be willing to lose an entire season. “That’s up to the players” he responded. When talks through October also went nowhere, all games in November were also cancelled, leaving fans to wonder if 1997-98 would even take place at all.

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As much as I would typically side with the players, I'm with Byrd on this one. Free agency without a salary cap is a terrible idea that makes it much harder for smaller markets to compete. I'd like to see a much less restrictive free agency system in place (incidentally, how was Detroit able to make an offer to McAllen at the age of 21? I thought players had to be 30 to be eligible), but a salary cap is the price they pay for that. 

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Let's see....The Loonie would've been trading really low against the dollar right now. Free Agency comes in and you can say goodbye to the Northern Lights, the Wranglers, the Pioneers and de Nationale.  

 

Heck, maybe even the Bighorns move and all you have left are the Racers and Les Royale. Also, Kansas City and New Orleans could be driven away to bigger markets too. There needs to be a cap for the long-term health of the league. 

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I have trouble agreeing with limiting how much a player can make if there isn't also a limit on how much the owner or owners can make. I get that smaller markets would suffer and nobody wants to see a city lose their team, but a cap doesn't prevent a team from moving should the owner decide that the team would be better off in a larger market so I don't fully buy into a salary cap as a way to protect smaller market teams. 

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We need a salary cap! So many small city teams would be driven away! I could see Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Quebec, Cleveland and Kansas City moving without a salary cap. Nobody wants to see just the Racers, les Royale and the Bighorns as the only Canadian teams. 

 

Smaller markets could not compete. Constant winning by New York and LA would be no fun.  No one wants to see the Northern Lights in Phoenix! Protect the competition.

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God, please put a salary cap in place for parity's sake.

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