hawkfan89

Professional Hockey League; A Fictional History: 1998 Off-Season

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Magic Dynasty    481
18 hours ago, neo_prankster said:

Now with the possibility of teams moving, have there been any rumors of a certain movie studio wanting to bring a team to Anaheim or Orlando thru expansion or relocation?

Hey, I have said in the past I was planning on pulling an NYG/Concordes...

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RightGuard    9

What divisions will Kansas City and Miami be in, and will team info cards be provided? Those cards are the only way I can get each team's RGB color values.

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hawkfan89    564

I didn't bother to make a realignment post because there really won't be much of a realignment. Kansas City will play in the Central and Miami will play in the Atlantic.

 

As far as the team info cards are concerned, I actually did put them together and just never got around to posting them (crazy week). They're on the blog now, along with updated cards for other teams who've had retired numbers etc. 

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RightGuard    9
5 hours ago, hawkfan89 said:

I didn't bother to make a realignment post because there really won't be much of a realignment. Kansas City will play in the Central and Miami will play in the Atlantic.

 

As far as the team info cards are concerned, I actually did put them together and just never got around to posting them (crazy week). They're on the blog now, along with updated cards for other teams who've had retired numbers etc. 

I checked the team uniforms page, and it looks like Calgary's is missing. Whoops.

 

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hawkfan89    564
10 hours ago, RightGuard said:

I checked the team uniforms page, and it looks like Calgary's is missing. Whoops.

 

 

Fixed, thanks for the heads up!

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hawkfan89    564
1989-90 Regular Season
 
 
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As the 1980s drew to a close, the PHL was once again transitioning into a new era. Alan Garcia was serving his final season as league commissioner, while the league welcomed two new franchises, the Kansas City Twisters and the Miami Stingrays. The Twisters opened their inaugural season against the Denver Bulls on October 8, 1989. Former Calgary Wranglers defenseman Brian Trask scored the first goal in Twisters history, while Chris Withrow made 28 saves as Kansas City earned their first win in franchise history. In Miami, the Stingrays inaugural game was not quite as successful. Facing the Nova Scotia Claymores, the Stingrays never got into the game, losing 9-0. They would be shut out again by Washington in game two before finally redeeming themselves in their second home game with a 3-2 win against Toronto. Brett Flores scored the first goal in Stingrays history, and the fans gave their new team a standing ovation in the final minutes of the game. It would be one of the only bright spots in the Stingrays inaugural season, as the team finished the year with only eleven wins. The Twisters, on the other hand, actually looked like they could make good on Bill Truman’s bold aim of making the playoffs when they actually came within two points of eighth place in late January. Ultimately, the team finished just shy of the post-season with a very respectable 30 wins with Roni Laukkanen making the most of his increased playing time with his first-ever 40-goal season.
 
The California Nuggets started the season strong, winning their first four games in a row, before disaster struck. The LA Wizards were in town in October 17, and the teams were just arriving at the rink when the building suddenly began to shake violently. A magnitude 6.9 earthquake had hit San Francisco, forcing the league to postpone the game as the Golden State Coliseum suffered severe damage. The Nuggets had to scramble to find a temporary home while the city recovered and engineers assessed the damage to the arena. On October 20, the Nuggets played the Vancouver Bighorns in Vancouver as the home team. On October 25, the team played another home game against the Twisters at the 5,000-seat Sutter Arena in Sacramento. When the assessment of the Coliseum was complete, it was determined that the work to restore it to safety standards would be extensive, the team would be unable to return home until at least late November. The Nuggets and the PHL began to search for a consistent home until the repairs were complete. The solution would come in the form of the Dallas Metroplex, the former home of the Dallas Metros. The Professional Basketball League’s Texas Marshalls had moved into a new arena the previous year and the Metroplex now sat vacant. The Nuggets played seven home games in Dallas, each one to a full house. Many Nuggets fans made the journey to Texas to see their team but several locals came out as well, excited to have a team back in town, if only for a few games. Surprisingly, the team actually seemed to bond over the experience, winning five of the seven games in Texas. After returning home to the Coliseum on November 29, The Nuggets continued their strong play, remaining in playoff contention until the final day of the regular season, when they were barely edged out by Winnipeg.
 
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Meanwhile, in St. Louis, the Spirits enjoyed another very successful season, finishing first place in the Western Conference and second overall in the league. One of the highlights of the season occurred on December 15, 1989, when David Appleby scored his 1812th PHL point to pass the recently retired Stuart Holly for second place in the all-time scoring list. By season’s end, Appleby had 1881 career points and was poised to pass Skippy Cleveland as the PHL’s all-time leading scorer in 1990-91, sitting just 25 points away from the top spot. The Spirits finished just a single point ahead of the two-time defending champion Milwaukee Choppers. The Choppers finished with 106 points despite losing start forward Travis Curry for two months with a dislocated shoulder.
 
In the Eastern Conference, Vincent Ducharme and the Montreal Royale finally enjoyed the breakout season they had been waiting for, winning the Northeast Division with 94 points while Ducharme scored 61 goals to lead the league. However, it was not enough for first place in the East as the Long Island Concordes took the league regular season title with an all-time franchise high 114 points. Unlike past off-seasons, the Concordes had avoided making changes to their roster, choosing to rely on team chemistry. It seemed to work, as the Concordes finished the regular season as the clear-cut favorite to win the Lewis Cup. In Pittsburgh, Danny Stevenson announced this would be his final season as a PHL player. The aging Stingers finished in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, while Stevenson scored 29 goals. In his final regular season game at the Beehive, the crowd gave their captain a standing ovation that lasted 45 minutes.
 
The Eastern Conference saw several power shifts during the year, but few were as dramatic as the turnaround in two of the league’s biggest markets, Toronto and New York. The Racers, boosted by a big year from rookie goaltender Tom Branson and a breakout year from towering defenseman Randy Fernandez, made a big push for the playoffs late in the season, fighting tooth and nail with the Civics for the eighth and final playoff spot. The Civics were enjoying a breakout year as well from several of their young stars. Aaron Duplacy and rookie Tim Dixon emerged as one of the league’s new dynamic duos, while Lamar Jackson showed steady improvement on the blueline. It would come right down to the wire between the two clubs. By the time the Civics’ season ended on April 4, they held the final position with 77 points, while the Racers had 76 with two games in hand. The Racers faced Montreal for their second last game and came up big, winning 3-2 to clinch only their second playoff berth since 1981. Fans in Toronto were ecstatic as their team was finally making some huge strides. Civics’ fans were disappointed, but encouraged, as their club had shown huge improvement during the season, finally climbing out of the league basement.
 

 

Throughout the year, the entire hockey world had been keeping an eye on the situation in eastern Europe, as communism began to fall in several countries, the climax coming when the Berlin Wall separating East and West Germany was torn down on November 9. During the season, negotiations had also begun between the PHL and the Soviet government about the possible release of Soviet players. On February 3, 1990, following the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia, Czech forward Pavel Vana was allowed to leave the country and would join the Minnesota Lumberjacks in time for the playoffs. The Soviet Union was still unwilling to part with star players Sergei Krayev and Alexei Yolkin, but PHL officials were satisfied that progress was being made. “We’re very confident about the possibility of Russian talent arriving in our league very soon, we’ve made some big strides” said deputy commissioner Darryl Byrd.
 
     Standings.thumb.png.9fc10da1dce684bedcc9147a4f0800ef.png

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ChicagoOakland    429

Wow. As a Bay Area native, I am so happy to see the Loma Prieta earthquake play a vital part in the PHL story. Now I'm very,very intrigued to see the future of Bay Area hockey. I'm assuming that Oakland expansion bid might come in handy...

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Raymie    32

In-ter-esting... Way to, uh, shake up the season. Reminding me more than a little of the Hornets after Katrina...

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MBurmy    433

I didn't think Dallas deserved another team before...but they do now.  (When they get a team back, they're NOT gonna lose 'em again)

 

Still rooting for my Chops to get that three-peat though.

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Cardinal    65

Chemistry seemed to work. Lets see what we can do in the playoffs. I dont like winning the best record in the league though. I know the team that wins the regular season often loses come playoff time in the NHL but idk about the PHL.

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Jimmy Lethal    264

Alright, Concordes! Now don't suck in the playoffs.

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ChicagoOakland    429
3 hours ago, Magic Dynasty said:

11 WINS!?!?!?!? Come on Miami, you're better than that!

 

No they're not.

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Red Comet    55

The Twisters didn't too bad for an expansion team. Looking forward to a playoff berth in the near future if they keep  getting better.

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hawkfan89    564

The Twisters actually fit right into the average for recent expansion teams, but then again Edmonton and Long Island both dramatically overachieved in their first year so Kansas City's season was fairly good for their first one. Miami's tough start may do them good in the long run, there is a lot of very talented draft prospects in the coming seasons. 

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Jbadger9    37

Darn, I was hoping at least one expansion team made it to the playoffs

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hawkfan89    564

1990 Playoffs

http://phlnetwork.blogspot.ca/

 

 

The Milwaukee Choppers entered the 1990 post-season with the high hopes of completing a “three-peat” and becoming a true dynasty. Facing the young, inexperienced Minnesota Lumberjacks, Choppers fans expected round one to be a minor inconvenience.  A 5-2 victory in game one all but confirmed this in the minds of the fans. Game two went to overtime, where Minnesota earned a stunning victory on a goal from defenseman Jeff Winslow. Talented rookie Paval Vana stepped up big for the ‘Jacks in game three, scoring a goal and earning two assists in a 4-2 win. The Choppers had never expected to fall behind against Minnesota, but remained confident they could tie the series in game four. Travis Curry and Terry Hawkins each scored as Milwaukee took a 2-0 lead. It appeared the Choppers were back in control of the series, when the Lumberjacks suddenly exploded for three goals in the second period. Early in the third period, Jason Crowley scored a fourth goal to give Minnesota a 4-2 lead. Defenseman Olivier Meloche scored to bring Milwaukee within a goal, but it was too late, Minnesota now had a very unexpected 3-1 series lead. Facing elimination in game five, Milwaukee came out flying, ultimately winning 5-3 to force a game six. With most believing that the Choppers would win a game seven at home, game six was essentially a must win for both teams. Jason Crowley, Paval Vana, and Jacob Lundholm each scored while goaltender Jeff Brackley earned a shutout as Minnesota held on for a 3-0 win to stun the Choppers in six games. The win would be the largest upset in the first round of the playoffs, as St. Louis defeated Winnipeg in five games, Seattle swept Chicago, and Edmonton took down Vancouver in a hard-fought six-game series.

 

Toronto gave Long Island a scare, jumping to a 2-1 series lead. But unlike the Choppers, the Concordes found their game again in time to win the tougher-than-expected series in seven games. Montreal also won their series with Detroit in seven, while Boston and Nova Scotia went to a game seven as well, where the Claymores gave up a 3-1 lead in the third period as the Bulldogs won in overtime to advance. Pittsburgh faced Philadelphia in a hard-fought rivalry matchup that would turn out to be Danny Stevenson’s final series as a PHL player. Stevenson’s last goal turned out to be the winner in game four, as Philadelphia won the series in six games. At the conclusion of game six, the Pittsburgh crowd gave Stevenson a standing ovation as he skated several laps, waving goodbye.

 

In the second round, Long Island faced their old nemesis, the Boston Bulldogs. This time, rather than attempt to out-grit the Bulldogs, the Concordes forced Boston to play a more wide-open game. Boston managed a win in game two, but simply could not match Long Island’s speed and ultimately succumbed to the Concordes in five games. Montreal continued to roll as well, winning a tough, six game series with Philadelphia thanks in large part to a eight-goal effort from Vincent Ducharme, including a hat-trick in game three. Seattle goaltender Brian Westin turned in one of his best performances ever against Edmonton, as the Grey Wolves defeated the Northern Lights in five games.

 

After taking out the two-time defending champions in round one, the Minnesota Lumberjacks now had to be taken seriously. Still, entering their second-round matchup with David Appleby and the Spirits, the Jacks were still the overwhelming underdog amongst fans and the media. “We’re just having a lot of fun right now” said Jason Crowley. “We know our job is just to go out and play hockey, while all the pressure is on them, just like the last series.” Crowley’s confidence took the form of a two-goal, three-point performance in game one, as the ‘Jacks won 6-4. By game five, the series was tied 2-2. Appleby scored twice as St. Louis nursed a 3-2 lead throughout most of the game, when Minnesota responded with three fast goals in the third period to take the win and a 3-2 series lead. In game six, the Spirits were only seconds away from forcing game seven with another 3-2 lead, when Vana scored to tie the game. Just nineteen seconds later, rookie Greg Willis scored to give Minnesota a 4-3 lead. The Lumberjacks would hold on to pull off their second major upset of the year, their flair for the dramatic earning them the nickname; “Cardiac ‘Jacks”.

 

There would be one last challenge the Lumberjacks would need to face to reach their first Lewis Cup final in eleven years, the Seattle Grey Wolves, a team that had only lost one game throughout the post-season. After big wins in games one and two in Seattle, Minnesota headed home with a 2-0 lead. The Grey Wolves were in trouble. In game three, captain Pete Holloway put the Wolves on his back with a four-point performance including a goal and three assists in a 5-2 win. Seattle would then win game four, also by a score of 5-2 to tie the series. Game five would be critical for both teams. Seattle held a 3-1 lead entering the third period when Ted Lovell was called for an elbow. Hindrik Hjertsson scored on the powerplay to pull Minnesota within one. With just seconds left in the third period, Crowley delivered the tying goal to send it to OT, the Cardiac ‘Jacks had struck again. Just 45 seconds into the overtime, Greg Willis scored  the first overtime goal of his career to give the Lumberjacks the win and an opportunity to advance to the Lewis Cup Finals at home. Game six was a tight, but high-scoring contest all the way through, with the teams knotted at 4-4 by the third period. Late in the third, Jake Fairbanks had a golden opportunity to put Seattle ahead when he beat Jeff Brackley on a breakaway. Unfortunately, the puck hit the post and the game remained tied. With less than four minutes remaining, Marcus Renberg’s point shot finally found the back of the net to give the Lumberjacks a 5-4 lead. After withstanding a late push from Seattle, the Lumberjacks poured off the bench, Minnesota was headed to the Lewis Cup Finals.

The Eastern Conference Finals would pit the Long Island Concordes, the league’s top team during the regular season, against the Montreal Royale, a talented young team on the rise. The Royale would manage to steal home ice advantage with a 3-1 win in game two, but they were unable to get back into the series after that. Long Island won the next two in Montreal, before decisively ending the series with a 7-0 victory in game five. Stuart Burns finished the series with an incredible 9 points, nearly two points per game, while Pascal Renaud never game the Royale a chance in net. It would be Long Island’s third trip to the Spring Classic, and facing the Cinderella Minnesota Lumberjacks, the Concordes hoped the third time would be the charm.

 

 

Round One

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Round Two

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Round Three

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