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Professional Hockey League; A Fictional History: 2006 Off-Season

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Isaac Hart seriously reminds of Sean Avery...just with out the comments about other players’ wives

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13 hours ago, Ipapterotes said:

Looks like Edmonton's hoping Nazarenko's the next Holly or Appleby.

 

 

Wiki really needs an update

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2005-06 Regular Season

 

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Bi4imUT.pngThe 2005-06 season began full of intriguing storylines, mainly surrounding the league’s front office, where commissioner Darryl Byrd was still under investigation for potential mob connections. However the focus was on the ice as the season began, particularly on the west coast, where the Oakland Nuggets took huge strides in their rebuild. In his second season, Justin Ramsey scored 91 points while Andreas Ekbom enjoyed a successful rookie season. The big moment for the Nuggets came in November, when goaltender Kevin Washer broke his ankle, forcing the Nuggets to start undrafted rookie Travis Sweet. Sweet was spectacular, turning in one of the best goaltending performances in league history with an incredible 16 shutouts. Sweet went on to win rookie of the year, becoming the first goaltender to do so since John Gage in 1982. The Nuggets finished eighth in the Western Conference to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2001. Meanwhile, just south of the Nuggets, the Los Angeles Wizards also made their triumphant return to the post-season thanks largely to an early season trade that saw longtime Wizard Ilya Sakharov dealt to the Cleveland Cosmos in exchange for defenseman Hendrik Soderstrum. Soderstrum, just entering his prime at 25 years old, anchored the LA blueline while superpest Isaac Hart amped up his antics in his first season in purple and orange. Hart terrorized the stars across the Western Conference, at one point drawing a two-game suspension for tossing Randy McAllen’s stick into the crowd in a game against Seattle. Hart also embraced the LA life, hanging out with celebrities and even appearing on talk shows. Hart would even dance for the crowd after a win, instantly making him a fan-favorite. In the middle of all this, he also managed 43 points to finish second in team scoring as LA finished fifth in the West.

 

In Edmonton, Kris Nazarenko was feeling the pressure after signing one of the richest deals in PHL history. Nazarenko struggled early on, scoring only three assist in his first ten games, leading to scathing scrutiny from commentators across the country. His frustration boiled over in a game in Vancouver. After fighting Vancouver’s Devan Wolfe, Nazarenko engaged in a yelling match with some Bighorns fans and drew a one-game suspension after spraying water at them. Something seemed to click for the big center after the suspension, he finally scored his first goal of the year on November 4, launching a goal streak that would last into January, one of the longest in league history. Nazarenko finished with 92 points, fifth in the league, as Edmonton took third in the west.

 

Out East, the Long Island Concordes enjoyed a big year from Ilya Rusakivich. Rusakivich finished second in PHL scoring with 100 points while leading the Concordes to first place in the Eastern Conference, their first time winning the conference in 16 years. Goaltender Chris McNally played a big part as well, making his first career all-star appearance and finishing second in Whyte Trophy voting. The Cleveland Cosmos returned to the post-season thanks in large part to the acquisition of Ilya Sakharov from LA, while Jason Ferland rebounded from his personal problems to lead Atlanta back to the playoffs for the second time in franchise history. Ferland’s big year was remarkable after he had spent half of the 2004-05 season serving a jail sentence. The team arranged for him to live with veteran winger and team captain Alyn Bryant, who proved to be a valuable mentor. Ferland played the entire season sober, earning him the Fred Garfield trophy for dedication to the game.

 

Despite Ferland’s strong play, the South Division was won by Carolina, while the newly relocated Houston Roughnecks failed to climb out of the division basement. The year had had an interesting start for the Roughnecks, who were still in the process of moving from New Orleans when Louisiana was hit by Hurricane Katrina. With the Jewel Center being used as a relief facility, many of the Rounghneck players who were still in New Orleans eagerly helped out around the community. The team actually delayed the start of its training camp so the players could settle into their new home after staying behind to help out. In the midst of a difficult first season in Texas, there were some bright spots. Rookie Derek Ewin scored 36 goals and appeared in the all-star game. Ewin played on a line with team captain Mike Bidden, who, having begun his career in Halifax in 1992, was the only player to play for the franchise in all three locations. In Detroit, the Mustangs endured their worst season in years, but there was a certain optimism around Motor City, as the fans knew the team had to bottom out so it could be rebuilt. The Mustangs held a fire sale at the trade deadline, dealing almost anyone of value. Star forward Andrei Alexeev was traded to Carolina for goaltender prospect Cameron Carr and forward Brandon Sweetwater, while veteran defenseman Magnus Olsson was dealt to Milwaukee for two promising young players, Jonathan Keller and Luke Wilkerson. Finally, the Mustangs sent Mikael Forsberg to Kansas City for a first round draft pick. “We made some tough decisions and said goodbye to some beloved players, but I think we’re setting ourselves up for a bright future” said GM Jack McCoy.

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The Minnesota Lumberjacks were accused of being too sentimental during the off-season, especially after signing longtime captain Jason Crowley to another deal when many felt the team should rebuild. The Lumberjacks believed they could chase one last title if they kept the team intact, but age had finally caught up to them. The ‘Jacks sat six points out of a playoff spot at the trade deadline. Though the playoffs were in reach, a championship seemed extremely unlikely. On the eve of the deadline, Crowley approached GM Paul Wilson and requested a trade. Crowley wanted Minnesota to be able to acquire assets to start a rebuild, while he would chase one last cup. Wilson agreed and began shopping his franchise player around. The Dallas Desperados won the sweepstakes, acquiring Crowley for a first round pick and center Alexander Andreyev. Crowley and Wilson were both overcome with emotion at the farewell press conference. “I never wanted to leave here” said Crowley. “But I love this team and for them to have a chance to win in the future, I had to go.” Over 3,000 Minnesota fans showed up at Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport to say goodbye to their captain. Two nights later, the hockey world witnessed a bizarre sight, as Crowley donned black and yellow for the first time, scoring the opening goal in a 3-1 win over St. Louis. Unfortunately, Crowley was injured in his fourth game with the Desperados and would miss the remainder of the regular season, though he was hopeful to return in time for the playoffs. “Jason was a big addition for us” said Dallas coach Willy Rowe. “We know these things take time but we hope he returns soon. I think he has another run left in him.”

 

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Carolina Raiders: 39-34-7, 85 pts.

 

Someone in the South division had a winning record. 

 

What is this world coming to.

Next you'll be yelling me 2 teams from that trainwreck made the playoffs. Blasphemy

Also, have the Bighorns and Stingers ever been NOT pure trash?

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Holy cow, we are in. My first time posting since the 2001 season I would imagine... but will sweet turn sour next season? Maybe trade while he is hot? Whatever I don’t care, let’s make a run nuggets.

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How old is Crowley? Dallas was willing to give up a first round pick on a rental player?

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Damn, I'm sad to see Crowley go, especially considering he's from Minnesota. Too bad the hometown hero didn't get the sendoff he hoped for.

Also, LOL at the J. Peterman ad.

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finals or bust boys, let's freakin' go

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I'm glad the Raiders are back! Gotta say, even thought they look pretty good, I'm still holding out for a black/blue rebrand soon. It fits the city much better (you will not find a lot of red here, but with the Panthers and Hornets blue is everywhere), and I think looks better if done right, which is not hard to do. That having been said, I'd like to see a deep playoff run Raiders!

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Time to go BACK-TO-BACK on 'em, Chops!

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Somehow the Twisters got in. I'm getting the feeling that this is either the last or getting very close to the last time this team is going to compete for a championship. 13 straight seasons in the playoffs or some streak that would be admirable if the Shamrocks haven't been making the playoffs every year since before man got on the Moon.

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I'm confused, in your season write-up it says that Edmonton won the North division, but Milwaukee has more points than they do (which would put them ahead of Edmonton).

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23 hours ago, TargetToad said:

Carolina Raiders: 39-34-7, 85 pts.

 

Someone in the South division had a winning record. 

 

What is this world coming to.

Next you'll be yelling me 2 teams from that trainwreck made the playoffs. Blasphemy

Also, have the Bighorns and Stingers ever been NOT pure trash?

 

Carolina made some big deals in the off-season and during the year and it seems to have paid off. The Stingers best years were in the 80s, when Danny Stevenson was still playing. Ever since he retired, they just haven't been able to reach that level again. The future is promising though with young players like Roman Novatny and Joni Kita, plus they will have a very high pick in the '06 draft.

 

21 hours ago, TheHealthiestScratch said:

Holy cow, we are in. My first time posting since the 2001 season I would imagine... but will sweet turn sour next season? Maybe trade while he is hot? Whatever I don’t care, let’s make a run nuggets.

 

I think it would be a mistake to trade Sweet as he is only 20 and Oakland has a good young team. Though the Nuggets probably have little to no chance facing the Choppers in the first round, They have a very bright future. What will be interesting is what will happen to Kevin Washer in the summer as he will almost certainly be traded. At 32 he's not getting any younger but could definitely still start in the league and could bring in a decent haul for the Nuggets.

 

20 hours ago, Veras said:

How old is Crowley? Dallas was willing to give up a first round pick on a rental player?

 

Crowley is 38 and entering free agency so it probably wasn't the wisest move on the Desperados part, but the team is aging and definitely feeling the pressure to win now. The deal is comparable to the one the Flyers made for Adam Oates back in 2002, where they gave up their 1st, 2nd, and 3rd rounders only to lose him in the summer. If Dallas wins the cup, Crowley will likely retire but it would be worth losing the pick. If they fail to win, 

 

19 hours ago, ChicagoOakland said:

Damn, I'm sad to see Crowley go, especially considering he's from Minnesota. Too bad the hometown hero didn't get the sendoff he hoped for.

Also, LOL at the J. Peterman ad.

 

Haha I'm glad you liked the Peterman ad, I was wondering if anyone would notice. Although Crowley will probably never play another game for Minnesota, he will likely sign with them when he retires so he can retire a Lumberjack. Unfortunately this is the beginning of what is probably a long rebuild in Minnesota. Pavel Vana and Stanislav Zykov are nearing retirement as well and without a cup at age 30, Scott Rose may not want to stick around for a rebuild. The Jacks have a few pieces to build with but nobody special in the prospect pipeline, a Rose trade will likely be the next step.

 

5 hours ago, Red Comet said:

Somehow the Twisters got in. I'm getting the feeling that this is either the last or getting very close to the last time this team is going to compete for a championship. 13 straight seasons in the playoffs or some streak that would be admirable if the Shamrocks haven't been making the playoffs every year since before man got on the Moon.

 

I definitely think this is the Twisters last crack at a title. The team is aging and Scott Drayton is a UFA in the summer, unlikely to re-sign. KC would be wise not to follow Minnesota's example and start selling off assets sooner rather than later as they also don't have much in the way of prospects right now.

 

4 hours ago, Moser316 said:

I'm confused, in your season write-up it says that Edmonton won the North division, but Milwaukee has more points than they do (which would put them ahead of Edmonton).

 

Oops, I keep forgetting Milwaukee isn't in the Central anymore. It's fixed now.

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Travis Sweet = Pekka Rinne: Flew under the radar, becomes a demigod when given the starting role. Now everyone say it with me: Travis Sweet is too good right now.

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58 minutes ago, RedfieldNick said:

Travis Sweet = Pekka Rinne: Flew under the radar, becomes a demigod when given the starting role. Now everyone say it with me: Travis Sweet is too good right now.

How soon until Chicago's "The Playoff Streak Lives" lasts then until they screw over some former all-star turned GM candidate who then proceeded to turn Miami into a powerhouse.

 

Also, I can just imagine Trees response to the disaster that was the New Orleans Sound 

#TravisSweetIsTooGoodRightNow

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How is Kaleek doing? Haven’t heard from him in a while. All about developing talent and getting picks right now boys. Roughnecks to the top soon! Go Houston! 

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Very surprised to see that the front office story wasn't bigger news this year.

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