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hawkfan89 last won the day on February 26 2018

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  1. Thanks man, I had a lot of fun creating this post. I'm hoping to use the spoiler feature more in the future, maybe in the playoffs or something. Glad you enjoyed it! I am working on a brief story where fans are bitter about the lottery and fans in Montreal have accused Nolan of rigging it to get Camden into the NY market. I certainly hope so. When I added the Concordes, the hope was that they would form one of the biggest rivalries in league history. Aside from a nasty playoff series in '94, it's been fairly quiet, mainly because the two teams have never really been good at the same time. Camden should turn things around in New York fairly quickly, meaning the Concordes should still at least be relevant when the Civics return to the playoffs. Oh they did, that will come up in the off-season post. Glad you enjoyed it! I'm hoping to do things like this more often, I like adding a little suspense and drama. As for Calgary, there is still hope. A new ownership group may be forming, whether or not they have the money to keep the team in town will be the big question, but it's a fairly strong draft all around, so the Wranglers should get a decent player at number 4. One of the things on the agenda for Houston this summer will be acquiring a decent backup to Kaleek. Trevor Blake was his backup in '07-08 and he's barely a PHL-caliber goaltender. Kaleek should be healthy next season but it might be smart for the team to carry some insurance on the bench. This team shouldn't be missing the playoffs over goaltending, they're too good. And there is indeed a navy alternate coming next season! A lot of teams will start going retro in the coming years but with no real history (in Houston), the Roughnecks new third will definitely be a modern design, similar to the home/road jerseys. Playoff simulation is underway. I've decided to post one round at a time to help build suspense a little more. the first round should be up in a day or two. Thanks everyone!
  2. 2008 Draft Lottery On the eve of the 2008 Lewis Cup Playoffs, the PHL conducted its new-look draft lottery. With the new format, any non-playoff team who also missed the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons (2006, 2007) is entered into the lottery. The bottom two teams in each conference are entered regardless of their performance in the previous two seasons. any team that finished in the bottom two in their conference three years in a row (2006, 2007, 2008) is automatically given the best odds. Teams were given increasing odds in reverse order of finish from the current-year (2007-08) standings with the exception of teams who finished in the bottom two of their conference three seasons in a row. since there was no such team in 2008, the last-place overall Montreal Royale received the best odds for the lottery, followed in order by Calgary, Kansas City, and New York. Because they each missed the playoffs in 2006 and 2007 as well as 2008, Minnesota, Miami, Washington, Pittsburgh, Winnipeg, and Denver were entered in that order as well. The lottery was conducted by mixing ping-pong balls in a drum. Teams with greater odds had more balls in the drum. In each round a ball was pulled form the drum and the first team to have on of their balls pulled ten times received the first pick, the next team to reach ten received the second and so on. With all the hype surrounding phenom Erik Camden, the league knew there would be a lot of interest in the lottery, so for the first time ever, the event was shown on national TV. Commissioner Greg Nolan revealed the order of selection beginning with picks 6-10: Next, the commissioner revealed the top five, starting with the fifth pick: Followed by the fourth: And the third: With two teams left for the number one pick, the show went to commercial... After the break, the panel discussed what kind of impact Camden might have on either of the two remaining franchises. When the network began receiving angry emails and calls from impatient viewers, Nolan finally revealed the number one pick in the 2008 PHL Entry Draft: The runner up would be who would receive an excellent player in either Eric Bennett or Zach Sturm.
  3. It's all good, I'll be setting up the drive as soon as I can and I look forward to seeing what people come up with!
  4. Hey guys, just wanted to address the issue of thread hijacking. I've created fictional sports leagues before, in fact I have a hockey league I've been playing on the EA NHL series since 2004, but I've pretty much only enjoyed those on my own or with a buddy or two. What has made this more fun than anything else I've done is having actual fans who not only follow the league as a project, but actually support favorite teams. For that reason I've always allowed the community to have input as fans. Posting about fan traditions, stories and memories, and of course participating in the Expansion committee (a great idea I got from @Veras and the AFA) are all ways that followers can interact to make it more fun. There is a line, however. @Crazy Rider, I really appreciate your enthusiasm for the league, but I will ask you to refrain from making comments about the teams themselves unless it has already been established as fact somewhere in the story. You can create stories about Shamrocks' fans and their memories of the '83 run for example, but although it hasn't been mentioned much, the team does already have a slogan in the locker room; "We Are Green" is based on a quote from Fred Garfield back in the '50s when the team refused to wear white jerseys. It may not have even been mentioned at all, but I have details like this filed away for future use. PHL followers can have a big impact on the league. There are team names, logos, and even franchises that exist because of PHL fans. Before I started the project I ran through the entire visual history (mainly just logos and uniforms) first to map out the timeline. I still have it and it looks drastically different from the PHL now. This is because of fan input. The league is a lot better than originally planned because people following this thread have had great ideas and for the most part, have been very respectful of my vision for the project. I just ask the same of anyone joining in now. If you ever have suggestions, feel free to PM me or you can ask on the boards and I'll try to get back to you as soon as possible. Thanks everyone!
  5. Hey guys, once again I'm still alive. A lot of things have come up in the last few weeks both good and bad (it's been an eventful year in general) and I became absolutely swamped with another project. The wait over, I finally have the 2007-08 season ready. As for PHL memories and stories, I think that could be fun but I'd like to do it somewhere away from these boards, just out of respect to other threads and the forum rules. The google drive idea is a good one, and maybe I could collect some stories and create a blog article or something. Banners and other concept art could go there as well. This is something we can look at over the spring and summer, but I'll set up the drive soon so people can start posting. For now though, here is the 2007-08 season, thank you all for your patience! 2007-08 Regular Season When Scott Drayton left Kansas City after nearly two decades as the face of the Twisters, most believed his best years were behind him. Entering his second season as a member of the Long Island Concordes, Drayton was largely viewed as a valuable veteran presence and a key mentor to young star defenseman Nathan Webb. Nobody expected the 37-year-old to have the most productive season of his career. Drayton led all defensemen in points in 2007-08 with 96, making him the first defenseman ever to lead the Concordes in scoring. Despite Drayton’s efforts, Long Island stumbled out of the gate, losing eight out of ten to start the year. In November, the team acquired two veterans who would both help turn things around. Tory Partridge came in a deal with Vancouver, while veteran goaltender Scott Morrison was acquired from Winnipeg to help first-year starter James Gurmett with the workload. Long Island strung together two ten-game winning streaks after Christmas and were easily the league’s best team in the second half, finishing first in the East and second overall. The Eastern Conference was dominated by the Atlantic Division, with Philadelphia and Boston rounding out the top three. It was the second year in a row that the Conference was led by the “Big Three”. Philadelphia enjoyed a strong year from their captain, Jared Baxter, as well as solid goaltending from the tandem of Luke Bowers and Pierre Noel. Meanwhile, the defending champions in Boston never lost a step, taking second place with Brendan Marlo claiming the Cleveland Cup with 113 points. The rivalry between the two teams was also renewed in late 2007. On December 16, the teams met in Philadelphia where Redshirts’ agitator Sean Nowakowski delivered a vicious elbow to Jordan McLean. Several scrums ensued but little beyond that. Nowakowski was suspended five games and would return to the ice on January 2, the rematch in Boston. The sold out Globebank Arena booed Nowakowski mercilessly. In the second period, enforcer Brayden McPherson grabbed Nowakowski and the two went toe-to-toe by the Bulldogs’ bench. Several other fights broke out before the game was over in the stands as well as on the ice. “It was a gong show, an embarrassment” said Redshirts’ coach Clint Allen. “What a ridiculous thing to say” responded Bulldogs’ coach Maxime St-Beaudoin. “His goon started the whole thing back in December with that elbow.” The teams played one last game in April, where things took a dark turn. Nowakowski fought Boston enforcer Chris Woods and beat him decisively, humiliating him. Towards the end of the game, Woods retaliated with a horrific slash to the face of Nowakowski, leaving the 25-year-old with a concussion and a shattered jaw. Woods was suspended 40 games for the incident, the longest suspension in PHL history. The Chris Woods incident was a black mark on the league and the game, but it failed to take attention away from the intense playoff race between Detroit and Houston. The sophomore curse never affected Nathan Sibley, who scored 43 goals for the Mustangs as they looked to return to the post-season. Meanwhile, Houston had struggled all season with Petr Kaleek out with a knee injury. Kaleek returned just in time for the Roughnecks to make a push. A win over Washington, as well as a Cleveland loss to Toronto gave the Generals an opportunity to get into the playoffs on the season’s final weekend. Washington beat Carolina, putting them in the final playoff spot. But Detroit beat Toronto the following night to clinch the final spot. It was a disappointing end for the Roughnecks, who had hoped to make some progress. For Detroit, making the playoffs was an important step for a young team. Sibley. Dominik Musil, and rookie defenseman Jordan Billings had taken Motor City by storm and now they had a chance to make a run for the Lewis Cup. The Western Conference was dominated once again by the Milwaukee Choppers. The Chops took first overall for the third straight season and first in the West for the fourth straight season with Brad McNair finishing second in league scoring. The Oakland Nuggets won the Pacific for the first time in a decade thanks to a big 92-point year from Justin Ramsey, while goaltender Travis Sweet took home the Whyte Trophy as the league’s top goaltender for the second time in his three-year career. In Edmonton, the Northern Lights overcame a tough season for Kris Nazarenko to finish fourth in the West with Brendan Carnes scoring 44 points in what would be his final PHL season. In St. Louis, the Spirits, led by a 46-goal effort from Tobias Grunberg, finally returned to the post-season for the first time in ten years. The Calgary Wranglers played the 2007-08 season surrounded by uncertainty. The team’s home arena, the Calgary Exhibition, had failed multiple inspections and was slated to be demolished at season’s end. The club was to move into the smaller but newer Beltline Arena for ’08-09, but the 10,000-seat venue would not cut it for much longer than that. Speculation about the Wranglers’ future swirled while the distracted team plummeted to last place in the Western Conference. In December, things hit a new low when head coach Ron Nichols quit in the middle of a game. Assistant coach and former Wrangler Gary Fox took over and the following day the team made him the new head coach. Things went from bad to worse by season’s end, when the City of Calgary decided through a vote that it could not use taxpayer money to pay for a new building, a private investor would need to step up for at least half. As the season finale and final game at the Exhibition against Edmonton wound down, the crowd began to loudly chant “Save our Wranglers!” In the crowd that night was rodeo legend Rick “Rippin’ Ricky” Adkins. Adkins was a world champion bull rider from Texas who had settled in Calgary after his retirement to pursue various business ventures. Adkins played a key role in the Calgary Stampede, held every year at the Exhibition. Now organizers of the event were scrambling to secure a new home, just like the Wranglers. Two weeks after the end of the regular season, Adkins was joined by former Wranglers stars Don Taylor and Shannon Michaels both successful businessmen since their playing days, to announce that the “Cowtown Three” as they were nicknamed were going to make an attempt to buy the franchise and help fund a new arena. It seemed like a longshot, the group needed to find more money. Altogether, the trio was worth about $800 Million, not near enough to buy even the Wranglers, the PHL’s lowest valued franchise. Other investors soon jumped on board and the hope was that the big names spearheading the campaign would draw a big lead investor over the summer. A city of desperate hockey fans held their breath. One big name that the Wranglers organization hoped to bring aboard, along with every other team in the league, was 18-year-old Erik Camden. Camden spent 2007-08 tearing up the Ontario Junior League, scoring an unbelievable 124 goals in 64 games for the Guelph Royals, who lost just six times all season. Camden wasn’t even being compared to past PHL greats, he was projected to be better than all of them. Montreal was the front-runner for the new-look draft lottery, with Calgary and Kansas City not far behind. In the end, ten teams qualified for the lottery, with the winner to be revealed just prior to the playoffs. “This could be one of the most significant moments in league history” said one columnist of the lottery. “The future of possibly the greatest prospect in this league’s history is about to be determined.” On March 29th, 2008, the Chicago Shamrocks set a mark unlikely to ever be matched when they clinched a playoff spot for the 40th consecutive season. The last time Chicago missed the playoffs, Lyndon Johnson was president, the Vietnam War was at its peak, and Neil Armstrong had yet to set foot on the moon. Even more impressive, the Shamrocks had yet to miss the playoffs in the PHL’s post-merger era, and not one player on the team’s roster was alive yet the last time their team enjoyed an early spring. Jonathan Wheatley won league MVP honours for the first time in his career. Wheatley was third in league scoring but finished first in team scoring with 104 points, 46 more than runner-up Vladimir Kozakov. Corey Clark finished second in Cooper Award voting for the league’s top defenseman, and Kari Nurminen enjoyed a stellar season in net. The Shamrocks entered the playoffs as a serious threat to claim the Lewis Cup, just as their owner, 82-year-old Fred Garfield Jr. was handing the reins over to his son, Richard. Richard Garfield was just thirteen years old when the Shamrocks’ incredible streak began. Now he was tasked with running the most successful sports franchise in history, and it would all begin with an opening round date with one of hockey’s newest franchises, the hard-hitting Portland Cascades.
  6. Hey guys, sorry for my long absence, @Crazy Rider I appreciate your interest in the league and your artwork. I'm not sure what the forum rules are on this but I'm going to ask that if you do have multiple concepts to show that you would create a separate thread. I just want to keep this one as simple and easy to follow as possible, especially for newcomers. I have no problem with PHL fan art however, in fact it's really cool to see others interested in the league (and welcome aboard by the way!) If you ever need any help with a PHL-related concept let me know, I can give you pretty much any resources you need like team and player info, etc. Once again I am sorry for the delay everyone, the 2007-08 season has taken longer than expected but the simulation is just about done. With the write-up and artwork I hope to have the new season up sometime later this week.
  7. Welcome aboard! Chris Dempsey is an interesting player, the ultimate "late bloomer". Since being drafted by Washington out of high school he has put on weight and has become one of the best power forwards in college hockey. given his physical and mental maturity at 21, he may be the most PHL-ready prospect in this draft. If anything they could play a handful of games in Ottawa but it's doubtful the city would want to risk losing the team by allowing that. The Beltline Center is barely big enough to temporarily host a major-league team but it can be done. minor renovations will bring the capacity up to almost 11,000 while some more private boxes will be added as well. Buffalo could be considered, though they currently need an arena as well. There is interest in an expansion franchise, however. If they can get a building, they will be one of the top contenders in the next round of expansion along with Ottawa. Calgary is certainly a strong possibility to move, though the league really does not want this to happen. Greg Nolan would likely want to see a team in his hometown at some point, but he's also a business man who would love to get a sizable expansion fee from the city. He knows the Wranglers' survival would be in the league's best interest so they will do what they can to get them into a new home in Calgary. Carolina is a little healthier than Calgary, though there are attendance issues. Meanwhile, Ottawa is a prime city for expansion. Brand new, downtown arena, passionate fan base, and several potential owners vying to bring the franchise to the city. The more competition to land a franchise, the higher Nolan can set the expansion fee. He will get considerably more interest in Ottawa than other markets who've shown interest, such as Nashville or Norfolk. I changed the whole off-season post to paragraph form so it would read more like a story, keeping it consistent with the season posts. It also creates less work for me and streamlines everything for you guys as I no longer need to list draft picks who may never make the league or free agent signings that will have little impact on the story. I just thought I would try it and see how everyone likes it. And to be honest I completely forgot about Eric Bennett! He is now on the list for the '08 draft as a 19-year-old ranked for the first round. The live season is still my goal when we reach present day, which should be the 2020-21 season at this point. As far as how I'll do it, I still have to figure that out. My dream is for EA to make a logo uploader for their NHL series so I can actually play the games and post highlights etc. If not, I may use franchise hockey manager or I may come up with my own way of simulating each game. I do have to see what life looks like by then too, as I now have two kids and am looking at a possible career change. It's possible I may have to take a break for a few years, then maybe do a catch-up series. As for doing another sport, I would love to but it would need to be significantly simpler than the PHL, especially the story aspect. I think if I were to do it I would try Basketball. I'm not a huge basketball fan but I think the overlap with the PHL (same arenas, some of the same owners, etc.) could be a lot of fun. We'll see what happens in the next 2 years or so. And thank you for the kind words, I'm glad you've been enjoying the project! I still love doing it, even if it's getting harder to find the time. As for the Bulldogs, I would say they're at their peak mainly thanks to the salary cap, but that peak should last a while. Brendan Marlo is 29 but in great shape and should be effective well into his 30s, and they're also loaded with young talent like Jeffery Simkins and Brayden McPherson, not to mention their star goalie Mark Davis, who is already one of the league's best at only 21. The future is bright in Boston. Thanks for the comments everyone!
  8. 2007 Off-Season Retirements Jason Crowley, MIN, DAL, BOS, 1986-2007 Almost undisputedly the greatest American player of all time, Jason Crowley actually went undrafted as an 18-year-old in 1985, but a big year at Boston College put the Rochester, MIN native at third in the pre-draft rankings and he was ultimately taken second overall by the team he cheered for as a boy, the Minnesota Lumberjacks. Crowley’s impact on the ‘Jacks was immediate, as he led Minnesota back to the playoffs in his rookie season. In his fourth season, Crowley took the Lumberjacks all the way to the Lewis Cup Finals. The team lost to Long Island but it was a sign of things to come, as they would win two titles in three years in 1996 and 1998. After some near-misses in the early 2000s, The Lumberjacks decided to rebuild, sending Crowley to the Dallas Desperados. His stint in Texas would be brief and he would eventually sign for one more season with Boston, where he would team up with former teammate Brendan Marlo to help the Bulldogs to the Lewis Cup, the last one of Crowley’s brilliant career. Kevin Hoyle, CAL/OAK, NYC, 1986-2007 Kevin Hoyle earned an unusual distinction the moment he stepped on the ice in 1986, as the first-ever PHL player born in Hawaii. Hoyle’s father was a marine serving in Vietnam and Hoyle was born in 1968 while his parents were on a break in Honolulu. Hoyle’s true hometown was Boston and he grew up idolizing Bulldogs’ legend Johnny Bedford. Hoyle slipped in the 1986 draft, selected sixth after being ranked fourth. For the following 15 years, Hoyle was the face of a very mediocre California Nuggets franchise. Despite his team’s lack of success, Hoyle was determined to make things work in the Bay area. He impressed people with his community spirit when the Loma Prieta earthquake hit the area in 1989 and again after signing with the New York Civics in 2001, when he started a program to help first responders after the 9/11 attacks. Unfortunately, Hoyle never even reached the Lewis Cup Finals, retiring as quite possibly the greatest player to never win the title. Scott Lindsay, PIT, SEA, 1988-2007 In the post-Danny Stevenson era, Scott Lindsay was charged with giving a rebuilding Pittsburgh Stingers club a new identity during the 1990s. Lindsay was one of the few bright spots and quickly became a fan-favorite on a struggling team. In 2002, Lindsay left Pittsburgh for the defending champion Seattle Grey Wolves in hopes of winning a ring, but it would be too late, as the Wolves never did reach the finals again and like Hoyle, Lindsay would retire as one of the better players to never with a Lewis Cup. 2007 Entry Draft Still a year away from what hockey people had already labelled the “Camden Draft”, there was less hype surrounding the 2007 selection. The highest ranked prospect was speedy winger Jeffery Faulk, but it was considered a wash between him and defenseman Jordan Billings. Detroit won the lottery and the right to pick first for the second straight year and took Billings, leaving Faulk for the Kansas City Twisters and number two. The Minnesota Lumberjacks took big center Mackenzie Hicks third, while Washington took the first goaltender, Bryce Gordon with the fourth pick. The highlight of the first round was a big trade between Pittsburgh and Winnipeg, with Pittsburgh sending contract holdout and budding star Roman Novatny to the Pioneers for defenseman Evgeni Babkin and the fifth overall pick. The Stingers used the pick to select small but quick center Tyler Bass. Late in the first round, Long Island selected the oldest player ever drafted in the first round, 21-year-old Chris Dempsey from the University of Maine. 21 is the age limit for the PHL draft, but previously nobody older than 20 had ever been selected in the first round. Dempsey was previously drafted in the third round by Washingotn in 2004 but went unsigned. A huge 2006-07 campaign with Maine was convincing enough for the Concordes to take the power forward early. In the later rounds, there were a few more trades. Toronto sent Igor Kharitonov and the 82nd pick and the 130th pick to Houston in exchange for Josh McKenzie, a 27-year-old winger unlikely to ever make the PHL. It was really a cap move, with the picks an incentive for the Roughnecks to take on the aging Kharitonov’s $7 Million cap hit. In terms of late picks, Washington addressed their goaltending need with the selection of Brayden Hughes from the Maritime League’s Truro Totems, while LA legend Stuart Holly’s son Garret was selected in the third round by Pittsburgh. Transactions After Losing defenseman JP Laporte to retirement and winger Patrice Goulet to Houston via free agency, the Milwaukee Choppers were a busy team in the summer of ’07. Milwaukee acquired veteran defenceman Oleg Popov from Pittsburgh in exchange for center Alyn Marleau and a second round pick, but the big move came July 1, when the Choppers signed Vancouver star Andrei Yegorov to a six-year deal worth $7 Million. Milwaukee had to clear cap space to get under the new $53 Million cap, so they sent Brendan Bittner to Carolina in a three-way deal that also send rising star Dan McBride to Chicago and big Judy Weircoch to the Chops, who needed to replace Bittner’s size at a lower cost. Oakland was also busy over the summer, resigning their franchise defenseman, Jordan Rifkin, to a ten-year, $8 Million/year contract. The Nuggets then added star winger Kyle Clark as Dallas lacked the cap space to resign him. Many expected 40-year-old defenseman Randy Fernandez to retire, but once again Fernandez surprised everybody when he signed a one-year extension with Dallas for $2 Million. The biggest free agent on the market wasn’t available for long, as Joe Murdock signed a new 10-year deal with the Racers worth $10 Million/year. The deal meant Murdock would likely finish his career in Toronto. News The 2007 off-season felt tame after the tumoultous summer before it. In July, commissioner Greg Nolan gave his state of the league address at the conclusion of the annual GM meetings. Despite rumours of rule changes, such as the addition of the shootout, Nolan said the league would first need to navigate CBA negotiations and a potential work stoppage in 2008. The other issue of interest to the fans was that of expansion. As soon as Nolan, an Ottawa native, was appointed as commissioner, speculation began immediately that the city might return to the league. Nolan was quick to dismiss that speculation. “Our focus right now is on the health of our current markets” said Nolan. “We need a new CBA, and we have an expiring US television deal to look after. Ottawa is a good market and we will certainly consider it when the time comes.” Nolan also addressed possible rule changes, most notably the shootout, stating that the league would look into it potentially in time for the 2009-10 season, after the CBA is settled. One rule change that will come into effect for 2008 is a change to the draft lottery system. The current system takes the bottom two teams from each conference and puts them in a lottery with more weight given to the last place team. Beginning in 2008, the lottery will take teams’ performance from the previous three seasons into account. The bottom two in each conference will still be entered into the lottery with the teams given increasing odds in reverse order of finish, but now any team that finished in the bottom two of their conference three years in a row would receive the best odds whether or not they ever finished in last place. The league hopes the new system will help out teams that were truly bad, decreasing the chances of a good team having a bad year and getting a phenom. It should also help discourage tanking, as it is unlikely a team would want to tank for three consecutive seasons. Ground was finally broken for the Toronto Racers’ new downtown arena in June, while the Washington Generals also announced plans for a new arena set to open in 2011. In Calgary, the Wranglers scrambled to secure a new home after multiple problems were discovered in the 46-year-old Calgary Exhibition. An assessment from the city and the PHL found that the building was no longer suitable for professional hockey. The Wranglers will continue to play at the Exhibition in 2007-08 until arrangements can be made to move the team into the 10,000-seat Beltline Center until a new arena can be built. Immediately, concerns were raised about the community-owned Wranglers’ survival in the city. “We will do whatever we can to keep the team in Alberta” said Greg Nolan. Another anonymous league official was less encouraging; “It doesn’t look good, this is as bad a situation as we’ve seen.” Speculation began immediately about the Wranglers’ future. The news of the failed inspection came just days after Nolan’s expansion comments and many predicted that the Wranglers could move across the country to Ottawa. Calgary’s status as a the league’s only community-owned franchise meant the team’s fate could be at the mercy of the municipal government, unless a buyer showed up with interest in keeping the team in the city. Realistically, a new arena would need to be secured within a year if the team was to remain in Calgary.
  9. Yes, I forgot about Edmonton. This would probably be a close second.
  10. Though the Choppers' arrival is officially recorded as a relocation, the Metros identity was left in Dallas. According to the Choppers' team page their history begins in 1985 (though their stint in Dallas is recorded under their arena history) and the Desperados actually considered reviving the Metros brand when they entered the league. I see this as a similar situation to having the Wild wear North Stars jerseys. It might look odd, especially if they played the Stars, but I think the fans in Minnnesota would appreciate it more than the fans in Dallas. To be honest I was just dying to bring the Metros jerseys back in some way haha.
  11. New Alternate Uniforms Unveiled Six more teams unveiled new third jerseys in 2007, with more teams alluding to history. Long Island will bring back their popular throwback jersey worn in the 2006 Holiday Classic, while Calgary will wear a jersey that combines the 1966-78 jersey with the '78-93 look and brings back the team's classic color scheme of orange and black. Portland's new uniform is a nod to the Portland Grizzlies form the old Global Hockey League, the only other professional team to call the city home. Three teams introduced all-new designs as well. Dallas will wear gold for the first time, while Minnesota's new third features a vintage design. Cleveland has perhaps the most radical alternate design in the league. The black jersey features striping meant to appear like a rocket with a new logo on the front. In addition to new third jerseys, two retro jerseys will meet for the first time on Christmas Day at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin. The Choppers will host the Dallas Desperados wearing their inaugural uniforms originally worn from 1985-1994. Meanwhile, Dallas will wear the uniforms Milwaukee wore when they were known as the Dallas Metros. Metros jerseys and memorabilia have long been popular retro items and now the classic "dallas skyline" jerseys will finally return to the ice. The team will wear it's secondary logo on the pants to maintain a connection to the present franchise.
  12. In this universe, the Nuggets are basically the first team to really try to "own" a colour in the playoffs. I forgot to mention it in the narrative but the Oakland fans all wore gold throughout the post-season. I am going to adjust the shade before 2007-08 as it really is supposed to be more of a vegas gold but I think the colour is getting muted in translation. The team may eventually use gold as the primary colour but it will likely be an all-new jersey, not the current alternate. Sure thing, just send me a PM with the details you want. Crowley is pretty much undisputed as the greatest American in PHL history, he's certainly in the conversation as greatest player ever. He is 5th all-time in scoring behind only Appleby, Cleveland, Vlady Gaganov, and Stuart Holly. Points aside, you could also note that Crowley has more rings than Cleveland and Gaganov and as many as Holly. He was also known as a better 2-way player than anyone on that list so you could definitely make at least a top-3 case for Crowley. Appleby's 2000+ points and 5 rings are difficult to argue with for number one though.
  13. 2007 Lewis Cup Finals Jason Crowley turned 40 years old on May 30, 2007. To celebrate, he played in game one of the Lewis Cup Finals for the fourth time in his career. Everyone knew the matchup between Boston and Oakland would be tight and game one proved as much, with the Bulldogs edging out the Nuggets 2-1. In game two, Travis Sweet was in top form for the Nuggets, stopping 38 shots for a shutout while Jordan Rifkin scored the game’s only goal in a 1-0 Nuggets win that tied the series. The game was controversial, however, as Boston appeared to tie the game late, but the goal was disallowed due to goaltender interference. The replay showed that Jeffery Simpkins was clearly pushed into Sweet by Oakland defenseman Evan Butler, but the call stood, leaving Bulldogs’ coach Maxime St-Beaudoin in a rage. “You play your best and this is how it ends? What a (expletive) joke!” an Irate St-Beaudoin told the media afterwards. As the series shifted to Oakland, local fans were annoyed that the media was focused more on the ‘Dogs disallowed goal and less on the stellar play of Travis Sweet. Game three was chippy, with several post-whistle scrums as the tension grew between the two clubs. Rifkin scored for the Nuggets in the second period, followed by Teppo Saari early in the third. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs once again could not solve Sweet. With seven minutes to go in the game, Ryan Lockhart and Jordan Rifkin each took a penalty for the Nuggets, giving Boston a 5-on-3 powerplay. Boston pummeled Sweet with shots and Sweet turned away every one, leading Bulldogs’ captain Brendan Marlo to smash his stick at the bench. Sweet was clearly in Boston’s heads as the 20-year-old held on for his second straight shutout. Oakland now led the series 2-1. St-Beaudoin made some lineup changes in game four, putting his two best forwards, Marlo and Mikael Larsson, together on the top line. The strategy worked, as Marlo found Larsson in the slot and Larsson scored to break the drought just two minutes into the game. While most of the attention all series was on Sweet, it was the other young goalie wearing red and black that stepped up big in game four. Just a year removed from winning the cup as Jussi Sykko’s backup in Toronto, Mark Davis was now making the most of his opportunity as a starter. Davis stopped 33 shots in game four while Crowley scored late to give Boston a narrow 2-1 win and a tied series. The Boston Bulldogs headed home for gave five with their confidence restored. Just as Travis Sweet had been in the Bulldogs’ heads early in the series, now Marlo and Larsson were clearly in Sweet’s head. The duo combined for three goals on five shots early in game five. When Simpkins scored to make in 4-0, Sweet was pulled in favour of former Bulldog Kevin Washer. Washer had been a rookie when he backstopped Boston to their last Lewis Cup in 1993 and now in his final season, he received a standing ovation from the usually hostile Boston crowd as he skated to the net. Washer played well and the Nuggets managed to score twice, but it was too little too late, as Boston ultimately won 5-2 to sit just one win away from a title. In game six, Oakland coach Ken Gilbert decided to stick with Travis Sweet in net. Sweet and Davis put on one of the greatest goaltender exhibitions in Lewis Cup Final history. Sweet stopped 42 shots while Davis stopped 39. The Nuggets scored early on a point shot from Pierre Dubois and the lead held right into the third period. A game seven in Boston seemed inevitable, until Mikael Larsson scored with just under a minute left. Everyone prepared for overtime but right off the faceoff Jason Crowley slapped it towards the goal and beat Sweet to put Boston up 2-1. The building went silent. In a matter of seconds the Nuggets had gone from nursing a lead to force a game seven to now desperately needing a goal to stay alive. Oakland pressed hard for the final 38 seconds but Davis stood tall. As the seconds ticked away the Bulldogs began pouring off the bench and mobbing Davis. For the second straight year the MVP was a goaltender, but this time it would be the losing goaltender as Travis Sweet took home the honour. Greg Nolan came out to present the Lewis Cup for the first time as commissioner. “This is my favorite part of the job so far” he announced before handing it to Brendan Marlo. After skating with the cup, Marlo then handed it to his former Minnesota teammate, Jason Crowley. It was Crowley’s third championship and the first where he had scored the winning goal, the perfect ending to a magnificent career.
  14. 2007 Playoffs Round One Eastern Conference Boston (1) vs Quebec (8) Quebec makes history in the worst way, becoming the first team in PHL history to go an entire best-of-seven series without scoring a goal, while Boston’s Mark Davis is the first goaltender to earn four straight shutouts to sweep a series. Philadelphia (2) vs Houston (7) Philadelphia starts the series strong with a 3-1 win, but Petr Kaleek comes up big in game two, earning a shutout as Houston ties the series. The Redshirts cannot solve Kaleek in another 2-0 loss as Houston takes the lead. Jared Baxter scores twice in game four, but it’s not enough as The Roughnecks score three times in the last seven minutes to win the game and take a 3-1 series lead. Baxter scores again in a game five Redshirts win, but Derek Ewin’s two-goal performance in game six gives the Roughnecks the upset win. After the loss, Baxter, who had scored another goal in game six, expressed his frustration. “I can carry us but I can’t win the (bleeping) game by myself every time!” For the Roughnecks, it was a big moment for a franchise that hadn’t won a playoff round since 1989 when it was still playing in Halifax. Long Island (3) vs Carolina (6) Despite playing well throughout the series, the Raiders’ inability to win on the road catches up to them. Chris McNally is solid in net, Ilya Rusakivich and Ryan Shelton each have five points as the Concordes win in six games. Toronto (4) vs Atlanta (5) The Racers never get into the series as the scrappy Copperheads stifle Toronto’s firepower. In addition to scoring three goals in the series, Jason Ferland gets in Joe Murdock’s face all series. The 8-0 loss in game five was one of the most embarrassing moments in team history. Head coach Rex Hull blasted his team after the loss, telling the media the effort was “completely unacceptable”. Atlanta completes the upset and advances. Western Conference Milwaukee (1) vs Portland (8) The Cascades’ playoff debut was predictably brief. Despite a surprising win in game one, the Choppers just proved to be just too much, winning the next two. A Kris Lukowich overtime goal in game four tied the series, but Milwaukee responded with a 4-0 shutout win in game five, then took the series in game six two nights later. Dallas (2) vs Los Angeles (7) For the second year in a row, the Wizards and Desperados meet in the first round and for the second year in a row, the series reaches a deciding game in Dallas. The Desperados had a chance to win in game six, but an overtime goal from Oleg Gusarov forced it to game seven. The Wizards come out strong in game seven and never let up, pulling off the upset with a 4-1 win. Edmonton (3) vs Vancouver (6) Both teams come out hitting right from the opening faceoff, as the Bighorns take a 3-1 series lead after the first four games. Edmonton needed a boost from their young superstar and they get it in game five. After putting up only one point in the first four games, Kris Nazarenko proves to be the overtime hero, beating Philippe Gagnon to save the Northern Lights’ season. Nazarenko scores early in game six and then assists on a goal from Brandon Kelso that holds up to be the winner. Tempers flare at the end, as a few fights break out, including a big one between tough veterans Tory Partridge and Brendan Carnes. Edmonton comes out strong in game seven, earning a 1-0 lead early. The lead holds until the final moments of the third period, when the Bighorns pull Gagnon. The Bighorns push hard but a penalty to Devan Wolf means means a 5-on-5 even with an extra Vancouver skater. Bruce Evans has the empty netter for the Northern Lights. Edmonton moves on to round two but at a price, as Kris Nazarenko sustained a shoulder injury in the second period and did not return. Chicago (4) vs Oakland (5) The Nuggets get off to a bad start as goaltender Travis Sweet suffers from food poisoning just prior to game one. The Nuggets still manage to split the first two games after winning game one. Sweet returns when the series heads to Oakland and his performance is phenomenal, as he allows only one goal in the next three games. Oakland upsets Chicago and moves on to round two. Round Two Boston vs Houston The home team wins each game early on as the teams split the first four 2-2. Jason Crowley misses the first four games to rest a sore back but returns for game five and proves to be the hero, scoring the overtime winner. Game six also goes to OT, and this time its captain Brendan Marlo that scores to send the ‘Dogs to the Eastern Conference Finals. Milwaukee vs Los Angeles The heavily favoured Choppers start off their second-round matchup looking good, taking game one 2-0. However, the wheels come off in game two, as a 1-0 lead evaporates in the third period as the Wizards score three quick goals to take the game 3-1. Game three in LA goes horribly for the Choppers as Matt Darwin is pulled after allowing four goals in the first ten minutes. Milwaukee scored twice in the second and third periods but it’s too little too late, as the Wizards take a 2-1 series lead. Darwin is given another chance in game four, which goes to overtime. Seconds into overtime, Isaac Hart scores, giving the Wizards a commanding 3-1 series lead. Milwaukee recovers in game five, winning a high-scoring affair 4-3. In game six, the Choppers hope to force a deciding game back home, and get off to a solid start, nursing a 2-1 lead entering the third. Hart scores to tie it about halfway through the third period, then Luca Schober scores to give the Wizards the lead. Milwaukee makes a strong push at the end, but the Wizards hang on for the biggest upset of the playoffs. Long Island vs Atlanta The Copperheads’ magical run continues, as veteran goalie Ben Kerrigan becomes the first goalie ever to open a series with consecutive road shutouts. The Concordes bounce back with a win in game three, but lose a heartbreaker in overtime in game four. Back home for game five, the Concordes once again struggle to solve Kerrigan and Atlanta moves on with a 3-2 win. Edmonton vs Oakland Kris Nazarenko misses the first two games of the series with a dislocated shoulder. Edmonton is forced to settle for the split heading to Oakland. In game three, Nazarenko attempts to play but leaves after two shifts. The Nuggets win 4-1. Nazarenko is out for game four and veteran Teppo Saari scores two points in a 2-0 Oakland win. With his team in trouble, Nazarenko returns once again to the Edmonton lineup and scores twice in a 3-1 win. Game six would be one of the best performances of Travis Sweet’s young career, as Sweet stops 51 shots in a 3-0 win to send Oakland to the Western Conference Final. Conference Finals Boston vs Atlanta Boston comes out strong early with a 2-0 win, but Atlanta bounces back with a 3-2 win in game two. In Atlanta, Boston regains the series lead, then a hat-trick from Jason Ferland leads to a 5-3 win for the Copperheads. Now a best-of-three, the series shifts back to Boston where Bulldogs are determined not to blow the series, knowing a loss at home could be disastrous. Mark Davis comes up big and Mikael Larsson scores a late third-period goal to give the Bulldogs the win and a chance to wrap up the series in Atlanta. In game six, Ben Kerrigan is spectacular once again in the Copperheads’ net, while Ferland continues his strong play with two points. The Copperheads win 3-1 and force game seven in Boston. After a playoff year full of big upsets, the Bulldogs held their ground in game seven. Mark Davis stops 40 shots for his seventh shutout of the playoffs while Brendan Marlo scores twice and Boston returns to the Lewis Cup Finals. Oakland vs Los Angeles In the 2007 Western Conference Finals, the “Battle of California” would decide who goes to the Lewis Cup. Oakland and LA battled hard in game one with the Nuggets jumping ahead in the final moments of the game before sealing it with an empty-netter. A 32-save shutout from Travis Sweet gives Oakland a 2-0 lead heading to LA. The Wizards find their way into the series with a 3-1 win at home in game 3, then almost tie the series in game 4 when leading the game with 50 seconds left. With Sweet pulled, Justin Ramsey scores to tie the game and send it to overtime. Two overtime periods would solve nothing, but early in the third extra frame, Jordan Rifkin beats LA goaltender Matt Stover to give Oakland a 3-1 series lead. The loss would be devastating for the Wizards, who would lose game five 4-1. Oakland wins the series and advances to the Lewis Cup Final for the first time since 1980.
  15. There is a draft lottery, the bottom four teams in the league are entered into the lottery with the lowest team getting the highest odds. The lottery is one thing though that Nolan wants to change, probably taking success of teams over the past few years into consideration. Professional Baseball Coalition (PBC), It's four regional leagues that came together in the 1940s. Like the real-life MLB, the leagues are still separate leagues. The PBC is an umbrella organization. There is intraleague play and the winner of each league goes into a 4-team playoff. (In the past I think I may have called it the PBL, that is the basketball league). There is also the Professional Football League, with a similar history to the PHL. The PFL was made up of several amateur teams that came together to turn professional. In this universe, Soccer is much bigger in North America. The American Soccer League has been around since 1920 and now runs with 30 clubs in the USA and two in Canada. The Lumberjacks hardly had any decent prospects in the system and eventually the team just aged out. It could be a long rebuild in Minnesota. A big part of the Shamrocks' success has been strong late picks which has led to successful turnover of players. The playoffs have been simulated, just need to do the writeup, should be finished later this weekend or by Monday. Lots of upsets this year!