• Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


hawkfan89 last won the day on February 26 2018

hawkfan89 had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

976 Starter

Recent Profile Visitors

5,862 profile views
  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. Yes, I forgot about Edmonton. This would probably be a close second.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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!
  10. Nothing unusual this year but there is a generational talent named Erik Camden eligible in 2008. It looks like KC will have a very good shot at him.
  11. 2006-07 Regular Season The PHL entered a new era as the 2006-07 season began. For the first time since the 1989-90 season the league had a new commissioner, Greg Nolan. The Nolan era began with a special tour in which the commissioner attended a home game in all thirty PHL cities over the first half of the season, addressing each fanbase and dropping a ceremonial puck. “We have a lot of work to do as a league” said Nolan in his first address in Toronto. “But I assure you the future of the PHL is bright.” Part of that bright future made his debut in Detroit. Rookie Nathan Sibley led the Mustangs in scoring with 91 points, claiming rookie-of-the year honours. The son of former LA Wizard Jason Sibley, Nathan proved to be more of a skilled player than his gritty father. He was placed on a line with veteran Dominik Musil and together they finally gave Detroit fans a reason to get excited for the first time in years despite a last-place finish in the east. The Eastern Conference was dominated by Atlantic Division teams, as Boston took the top spot thanks in part to the solid play of 39-year-old Jason Crowley. Crowley, who had all but confirmed he was playing in his final PHL season, had 22 goals and another 27 assists for 49 points, playing mostly in a second-line role alongside rookie Jordan Mclean, who was born during Crowley’s second season in Minnesota. On January 8, Boston visited Minnesota on what Crowley knew would be an emotional night. The longtime Lumberjacks captain skated out to a standing ovation at the Oval Center that lasted 12 minutes. Not surprisingly, the tears flowed from number 90. “I didn’t plan on having that reaction but I was okay with it” said Crowley. “This whole state means so much to me. Not every player gets to win championships in the same place they learned to skate. I’ll always be grateful to the Lumberjacks organization.” Crowley would establish himself as the almost undisputed greatest American player in league history, passing Vincent Ducharme and George Allen to reach fifth on the all-time scoring list with 1756 points. The Bulldogs also solidified their goaltending after a rocky start for Chad Cohen, sending defenseman Travis Tearney to Toronto in a big trade for former college star Mark Davis. 2006-07 was an important year for the Houston Roughnecks. In their second season in Texas, the franchise finally began to make some strides. Petr Kaleek finally enjoyed a career season, leading the league in shutouts and claiming the Whyte Trophy as the league’s top goalie as well as the Ridley Trophy for League MVP. Second-year forward Derek Ewin led the Roughnecks in scoring, but the team was mostly noted for a hard-working, tight defensive style introduced by second-year head coach Joe Fletcher. The team would go up by a goal or two, then clog up the middle of the ice, forcing teams to the boards. If other teams did manage to get into the Houston end, they were forced to shoot from the perimeter, as the slot would be inaccessible. Fans around the league complained that Houston games were incredibly boring to watch but Roughneck fans certainly weren’t complaining as their team clinched a playoff spot for the first time since the move. A string of wins at the end of the season helped the Roughnecks avoid a four-team scramble for the last playoff spot in the east. Quebec, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Miami all found themselves vying for the final spot with a couple of games remaining on the schedule. Miami was eliminated quickly after a loss to Carolina, while Cleveland defeated arch-rival Pittsburgh to claim the 8th spot. All the Cosmos needed was a Montreal win over Quebec to clinch. The Royale led near the end of the game but with only 12 seconds left Jake Wilson scored his second of the night to tie the game and send it to overtime. It would be a big night for the former Minnesota State Screaming Eagle, as he would score just 29 seconds into OT to complete the hat-trick and send Quebec to the playoffs. If fans thought the Eastern Conference playoff race was exciting, it had nothing on the battle out west. On the final night of the season, Portland faced Seattle, while Denver faced St. Louis. Of the four teams, only Seattle had been eliminated, after losing to LA two nights earlier. The winner of Denver/St. Louis would claim the final spot if Seattle could beat Portland. The Bulls and Spirits would trade leads all game long. Denver led entering the third period, just as the Grey Wolves and Cascades were entering the second tied in Portland. A goal early in the third period gave Denver a 5-4 lead as both teams tried hard not to think about the game on the West coast. Martin Barker had to make some big saves in the dying seconds but the Bulls held on for a 6-4 win. After saluting their fans, the Bulls retreated to the dressing room where they nervously watched the third period of the Cascades/Wolves game, now tied 2-2. The 2006-07 season was a coming-of-age season for the Cascades, who had finally found a way to overcome injuries and off-ice drama to find themselves one goal away from their first-ever playoff berth. Seattle would jump to a 4-2 lead early in the third, but Portland didn’t panic. A goal from veteran Chris Cassidy brought the game within reach again for the Cascades. With three minutes left and nothing to lose, Portland pulled Daniel Boivre for the extra attacker. The move backfired, as Matt Pope scored with 43 seconds left to seal the win for the Grey Wolves. But the referee waved off the goal. The Wolves had six skaters on the ice. Seattle was penalized and the Cascades now had 6-on-4 powerplay with Boivre pulled. The Cascades peppered Dan Pilford with shots, and finally Kris Lukowich found the back of the net to tie the game with 8 seconds left. The Cascades were still alive. It looked like the game would go to overtime, but when Portland won the faceoff, Patrick Diaz took the puck down the wing and with less than four seconds on the clock, flipped it toward the Seattle goal. Pilford thought he had it between his pads, but it fell out behind him and rolled into the net as the buzzer went off. The play had to be reviewed to determine if time had run out. The referee discussed the play on the phone for what seemed like an eternity. Finally, he hung up the phone, turned and pointed to center ice. Indicating a goal. The Cascades poured off the bench like they had won the Lewis Cup. Portland would finally make its post-season debut. “It doesn’t get more dramatic than that” said head coach Rick Camford. Two players in the Western Conference reached important milestones in 2006-07. In November, 22-year-veteran Randy Fernandez became only the second defenseman in PHL history to reach 1000 points. Fernandez, playing in his second season with the Dallas Desperados was frequently asked about retirement throughout the year as he was set to become a UFA again in the summer. But the 40-year-old insisted that as long as someone was willing to sign him he had no intention of retiring. Meanwhile, in Edmonton, Kris Nazarenko got halfway to Fernandez in only less than a quarter of the time. Nazarenko scored his 500th career point on a goal in a 3-0 win over Oakland in late march. The Milwaukee Choppers once again led the charge out west with a 109-point season. Brad McNair won the Cleveland Cup with 106 points while his linemate, Adam Wyrzykowski, also finished in the top ten with 92. It looked like the Chops would have no issue coming out of the West for the third straight season. Milwaukee would face Portland in the first round and the Choppers were confident they would return to the finals for the third consecutive season. “I think we just keep getting better as a team” said McNair. “Every year we get more confident, we’re excited about the playoffs this year.”
  12. Thanks everybody for the kind words! I just realized I forgot to show the new all-star uniforms and the Holiday Classic uniforms. I love creating all-star uniforms because you can make them as ugly as you want. For the Holiday classic, it's the battle of New York on Long Island. Both teams go back to their best years for the uniforms, with the Concordes wearing their 1980s unis that they wore when they won the Lewis Cup in 1990, the Civics wear the 1950s-'60s "Skippy Era" uniforms. Season should be up by tomorrow.
  13. Hey guys, once again I'm not dead. My daughter was born last night to cap off a busy holiday season. Mother and baby are both doing well. As for the PHL, The 2006-07 regular season has been simulated, I was about halfway through the writeup so I'll finish that hopefully sometime later this week. As always thanks for your patience guys and happy 2019!
  14. If nothing else, Crowley in a Bulldogs jersey would fit in well in the "players in wrong uniform" thread. Seriously though Crowley proved in the playoffs for Dallas that he can still play a role and he came so cheap he could be just the veteran depth player the Bulldogs need. Camden could provide plenty of motivation for a few teams to blow it up in '07-08. The Stingrays' current lineup is unlikely to win a title so it would make sense for them to start a rebuild now. There is actually a chance that Carolina could return to Ottawa, as they have struggled financially since moving to Charlotte. There is also a chance Nolan will want to expand at some point, though probably not until the 2010s. It is probably just a matter of time for Ottawa, especially now that they have the new arena. Thanks guys! we're very excited about the baby. I hope to continue to produce the same quality work for you guys and I think the new format will actually help with that. That's actually another reason I want to simplify the narrative parts of the project, so I can focus more on graphics. There will be another big batch of alternate uniforms next season and soon after that teams will start to make changes to their home/away (there is a clause in the Duke contract that no team can make major changes for a minimum of two seasons). I also plan to update the blog when I have more time, especially the team info section and uniform section.
  15. Hey guys, I apologize for another long wait. It is becoming clear to me that I cannot continue the PHL project as it is as my life continues to get busier. Work is very busy and my wife and I are expecting our second baby in January. What I've decided to do is scale it back quite a bit, specifically the off-season posts and the playoffs, which take the longest. This will be the last off-season post in the current format. The new format will be in paragraph form with only the most important details included. Hopefully this will mean shorter wait times between seasons. Playoffs will be similar, with the most dramatic series getting the attention. Thank you all for your patience! Here's the summer of '06: 2006 Off-Season 2006 Entry Draft The Detroit Mustang’s rebuild continued at the 2006 draft, with the selection of high-scoring winger Nathan Sibley. The son of former LA Wizard Jason Sibley, Nathan was the first of several players with PHL bloodlines drafted in 2006. After Calgary took 6’7” behemoth defenseman Jordan Foster second, Swede Mats Ossler was the first goaltender selected, taken by Vancouver at number three. Bryce Hawkins, son of former Milwaukee Chopper Terry Hawkins, was selected sixth by the Washington Generals, while Devan Chadwick, son of former Nuggets captain Alan Chadwick, was picked next by the Portland Cascades. To cap off an interesting first round, two identical twins were selected, Stingers’ pick Josh McBride at number four, and his brother Dan, who went to Carolina at number 20.”It should be interesting when we play the Raiders” said Stingers GM Craig Perry. “I hope we can tell them apart.” 1. DET – Nathan Sibley, F, CAN 2. CGY – Jordan Foster, D, CAN 3. VAN – Mats Ossler, G, SWE 4. PIT – Josh McBride, F, CAN 5. HOU – Ari Aaltonen, D, FIN 6. WSH – Bryce Hawkins, D, USA 7. POR – Devan Chadwick, D, USA 8. MIA – Gavin Day, D, CAN 9. MTL – Jakub Cermak, D, CZE 10. DEN – Evgeni Egorov, F, RUS 11. QUE – Mario Jacques, D, CAN 12. STL – Garret Cain, F, USA 13. WPG – Elias Edlund, F, SWE 14. BOS(From MIN) – Taylor Gibbs, D, CAN 15. ATL – Igor Vasiliev, F, RUS 16. OAK – Cedric Fournier, F, CAN 17. CHI – Antero Honka, F, FIN 18. NYC – James Duckett, D, USA 19. DET(From KC) – Aaron Bowman, F, CAN 20. CAR – Dan McBride, F, CAN 21. LA – Evan Cross, F, CAN 22. DAL – Bryce Waters, F, USA 23. BOS – Anders Sparre, F, SWE 24. CLE – Darren Robertson, D, CAN 25. TOR – Jordan McLean, D, CAN 26. EDM – Radek Simek, F, CZE 27. PHI – Luke Bowers, G, CAN 28. LI – Bryan Yates, F, USA 29. SEA – Ville Peltola, G, FIN 30. MIL – Vaclav Kubik, D, SVK Phenom Alert: He won’t be eligible for the draft until 2008, but already Erik Camden is already considered a lock for the 1st overall pick. After a record-breaking 2004-05 season in the Ontario Midget league, Already 6’3”, 212 pounds, Camden was allowed to play major junior a year early at 15, where he scored 60 goals playing for the Guelph Royals. “He’s already miles ahead of the rest of the 1990 draft class, he could play next season if he was allowed” said one scout. Notable Retirements: Pavel Vana, F, MIN, 1990-2006 Pavel Vana first arrived on the hockey scene when he wowed everyone as a 17-year-old at the 1988 World Hockey Challenge. Just over a year later, Vana was finally allowed to leave his native Czechoslovakia and join the Minnesota Lumberjacks, a team on the rise. In only his first few months with the team, he helped them all the way to the Lewis Cup Finals, where they ultimately lost to Long Island. The deep run was a sign of things to come for Vana and the Lumberjacks, as Minnesota would win two championships in 1996 and 1998 with Vana capping off a playoff MVP performance with the Cup-clinching OT goal in ’98. Despite offers from other PHL teams, Vana decided to return to the Czech Republic to finish his playing career. Rob Wentzel, F, WSH, SEA, 1988-2006 Drafted eighth overall by the Generals, Rob Wentzel came with big expectations after leading the BCHL’s Chilliwack Night Flyers to a national major junior championship in 1988. The Generals sent Wentzel back to junior early in the 1988-89 season, where he led Chilliwack to a second consecutive title. In 1989-90 Wentzel finally joined Washington for good. Though he was not the flashiest player of his time, Wentzel’s leadership, grit, and expert two-way play led the Generals to two Lewis Cup Finals appearances in 1998 and 2000. In the hopes of finally winning a championship, Wentzel left the rebuilding Generals for the Seattle Grey Wolves in 2003. Unfortunately, that opportunity never came for Wentzel, who admits that missing out on the Lewis Cup is his biggest career regret. Christian Grayson, G, MIN, CGY, 1990-2006 At the conclusion of his first season as a number one goaltender, newly crowned Lewis Cup Champion Christian Grayson received perhaps the highest honour any goaltender could hope for, Bobby Sorel, regarded as the greatest netminder in PHL history, said that Grayson’s performance in the 1996 playoffs was “the greatest goaltending I have ever seen”. Grayson’s cool head and quick glove helped the Lumberjacks to a second title two years later, while Grayson took home the Whyte Trophy as the league’s top goaltender. In 2004, Grayson signed with Calgary, where he played his final two seasons. Notable Trades Seattle trades F Randy McAllen to Long Island in exchange for F Patrick Murphy. Two underachieving forwards are swapped in the hopes that new scenery could motivate them. Winnipeg trades F Dan Crow to Cleveland in exchange for F Tyler Petrie. The Pioneers trade their captain to a Cosmos team that hopes to contend again. 19-year-old Petrie hopes to turn pro with Winnipeg after spending 2005-06 with the Cosmos’ farm team in Columbus. Long Island trades F Nikolai Nazakov to Los Angeles in exchange for F Owen Betts. The Concordes deal Nazakov to get under the salary cap, while also adding some toughness. LA gets more skilled up front as they continue to transition from rebuilder to contender. Key Free Agents RFAs: F Kris Lukowich signs new deal with Portland worth $8 Million/year. D Thomas Sandberg signs new deal with Pittsburgh worth $8 Million/year. D Noah Brewer signs new deal with Cleveland worth $6 Million/year. F Evan Long signs new deal with Quebec worth $6 Million/year. F Ilya Zhinovjev signs new deal with Oakland worth $5 Million/year. G Jussi Miettinen signs new deal with St. Louis worth $4 Million/year. F Jordan Goode signs new deal with Calgary worth $3 Million/year. UFA Signings: F Dominik Musil (CGY) signs 6-year deal with Detroit worth $10 Million/year. Detroit’s new management sends a message to their fans that they’re serious about winning, signing the Czech star to a huge, $80 Million deal after bonuses and incentives. F Darren Reid signs new 10-year deal with Toronto worth $8 Million/year. Reid earned big money after helping deliver another cup to TO, but there are now concerns about signing franchise player Murdock in 2007. D Scott Drayton (KC) signs 3-year deal with Long Island worth $5 Million/year. Though Drayton is well past his prime, he is seasoned and has a ring. He will bring valuable experience to an already solid Concorde blueline. F Jason Crowley (DAL) signs 1-year deal with Boston worth $1 Million/year. After considering retirement, the future hall-of-famer was convinced by former teammate and Boston captain Brendan Marlo to give it one more shot at a third title. News It didn’t take long for the first coaching change of 2006 to come about. Just days after losing the Western Conference Finals, the Dallas Desperados fired head coach Willy Rowe. In June, the Desperados replaced Rowe with former St. Louis enforcer Ryan McCarthy. McCarthy had retired as a player in 2002 and invested in a major junior franchise along with Grant Millen and Shannon Michaels, the Brampton Rink Rats. Known as a popular player’s coach, McCarthy coached the Rats to a Dominion Cup appearance in only their second season in 2004. Rowe found a new job by summer’s end with Seattle, after the retirement of Wolves’ coach Bruce Dickenson. Big news came out of Toronto in July, as the Racers announced plans for a new arena, set to open in time for the 2009-10 season. The team had played in the Queen Elizabeth Arena since 1956 and the building was considered a Canadian landmark. In other news, Ottawa was named host of the 2008 World Hockey Challenge. The city will be the first non-PHL city in North America to host the tournament and was selected largely due to the brand new arena. After a year of speculation and suspicion, the hockey world seemed to be forgetting about the FBI investigation of commissioner Darryl Byrd and his involvement with mobster Eddie Garofalo amidst an exciting 2005-06 season followed by a flurry of off-season moves. On July 29, PHL fans everywhere woke up to stunning news, Byrd had been arrested after the interrogation of one of Garofalo’s associates. The man named Byrd as one of several business lawyers Garofalo had paid off while orchestrating a variety of white-collar crimes through the ‘80s and ‘90s. Byrd would stand trial in 2007 but the league could not wait for a verdict. In an emergency meeting of the PHL owners, Byrd was removed as PHL commissioner on July 31, 2006. After being cleared of any involvement in the mess, deputy commissioner Neil McCormick was named interim commissioner. But the 76-year-old’s tenure would not be a long one. On August 25, the league presented its new commissioner, Greg Nolan. A native of Ottawa, Nolan was a former junior hockey star and was even drafted by the LA Wizards in 1982. After failing to stick with the Wizards, Nolan quit hockey to study law at Dalhousie University in Halifax. At 42, Nolan became the youngest man ever to lead the PHL, and he faced a multitude of challenges. Between the Byrd scandal, the recent New Orleans situation, and a once-again broken economy, the league’s image was in tatters. Just two decades after failing to make the PHL as a player, Greg Nolan was now tasked with saving the league as its new commissioner.