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United Hockey Alliance (UHA) - Fictional History: 1940 Playoffs


Steelman

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United Hockey Alliance

A project by Steelman

 

Introduction

 

I’m going to be honest. I love simulated sports. I love fictional leagues and histories. I actually have created dozens of leagues. But even though I’m a media guy by trade, I suck at drawing/creating logos and have also been in a creative rut. So I’ve never really posted anything, minus the very short-lived Brenland Football League. I may have to use an ungodly amount of clipart in the beginning but I believe this will help me out of my funk.

 

I've always liked Hawkfan's work with the PHL and lately I’ve been inspired by JCR’s World Hockey League even though I’ve never been much of an avid hockey follower. I do like the game but was always too much of a football nerd to ever religiously follow hockey. Since diving into the WHL and having to research endless player stats to stay afloat, I’m officially amped about hockey.

 

So I’m going to give it a shot. A small, fledgling hockey league starting in 1940. This will be very loosely based on the NHL but not constrained by it. In addition to creating the initial teams and uniforms, tracking owners, coaches and players, and simulating fictional seasons, I’ve been developing a small simulation engine that tracks other factors. I’m calling it the “Franchise Five Score” or “FranScore” and it will track five categories that could impact a team’s success or failure on a yearly basis:

 

  • City Support

  • Team Morale

  • Fan Loyalty

  • Fan Excitement

  • Financial State

 

The last one is the biggest factor as technically every team in the league could fold in the process of progressing through seasons, but it’s weighted toward teams who win and go to championships. I’ll add more details on how it works later on. For now, every team starts on an equal playing field. Everything will be randomly generated though, except for the season standings, which I will create by taking each team's overall score and simulating with Xkoranate.

 

I won’t be tracking player stats per se, but there will be awards given at the end of the season based a variety of factors which will be added to each player’s career log. Players and coaches do, however, have a 1-10 rating which counts toward each team’s overall score.


Without further adieu, the United Hockey Alliance.

 

UHA%20Inaugural%20Season_zpsfvvwpbou.png

 

For the league logo, I really wanted something that was unique and could be vintage by the time it was phased out. The hexagon is probably an unusual choice but I thought it paired well with the sticks and center circle. I also added the date of establishment, although I'm so-so on having it.

 

UHA%20Inaugural%20Logos_zps1hbhjtdi.png

 

 

Thanks for checking this project out, I look forward to seeing this progress. I gladly welcome all C&C and suggestions for what is era-appropriate. I admit I'm not as much of a hockey nerd as I am football, but oddly I've found it easier to design logos and identities for hockey teams than football teams. Maybe because I know less about hockey history? I dunno. Any questions or suggestions about the league, people, and time period are also welcomed. If you have operational suggestions or comments though, please PM me, so as not to confuse the thread.

 

The league prologue and initial team introductions will be coming up next.

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Thanks all for the interest! This post is more informational than anything, but sets up the outline of the story setting behind the league and the owners of the first six teams.

 

Prologue - Early 1940

 

The year is 1940 and North America is more industrious than ever. Franklin D. Roosevelt is the U.S. president, Mackenzie King is the Canadian prime minister. Elsewhere the world is waging more war but in the Great Lakes and Northeast regions of North America, hockey is the favored sport and pastime. Teams and leagues have been formed and disbanded but there are a handful of nameless professional teams that have risen as the cream of the crop and are ripe for a league with purpose and passion. And mostly whomever has the money to do it. Bo Holcomb, a Cincinnati, Ohio native who loved hockey before he became an investment tycoon is one such man. The visionary Holcomb gathered his acquaintances with both money and hockey prowess and discussed the formation of a greater league that would consolidate the scattered teams and talent in the region into a focused force. Montreal native Graham Nelson already owned a semi-pro team called the Montreal Monarchs and Telly Wilson of Detroit owned a team named the Lancers that had been doing well on the semi-pro circuit in the Great Lakes area. It was decided these teams would be the foundation of the new league and four more teams would round out the initial offering. Jerry Valentine of New York was selected to own one of the four remaining teams and the league name of United Hockey Alliance was decided. A league draft would be held to give each team equal opportunity. A 40 game season would commence in early October and the top four teams would advance to a semi-finals to determine the entrants for a finals series for a league trophy. Since Graham Nelson committed the most money to the purchase of the large gold cup trophy it was named the Nelson Cup, but Wilson and Valentine complained that he grossly overbid the purchase just for his own vanity and his perceived notion that the Americans were adverse to more Canadian teams.

 

Newly named Commissioner Holcomb, in an effort to appease Graham’s status, instituted that a second Canadian city must be included among the four remaining teams, despite many of the U.S. cities being much larger. Wilson and Valentine grudgingly agreed, though Wilson had his own reservations since the Canadian city would most likely be Toronto which was close in proximity to Detroit. This became known as the beginning of a bitter feud between Graham Nelson and Telly Wilson. Commissioner Holcomb, to his credit, was for the most part able to keep the emotions at bay and move forward toward the inaugural season of the new league.

 

Martin Calhoun, a manufacturing magnate, was selected to head up the Philadelphia club which he named the Owls. In New York, Jerry Valentine stuck with Knights, as that was the name of the original city league team. Rounding out the teams, Bernie MacLean of Chicago was chosen to head up a club which he named the Zephyrs.

 

Team Name / Owner:

  •     Chicago Zephyrs - Bernie MacLean
  •     Detroit Lancers - Telly Wilson
  •     Montreal Monarchs - Graham Nelson
  •     New York Knights - Jerry Valentine
  •     Philadelphia Owls - Martin Calhoun
  •     Toronto Falcons - Stephen Blevins

 

United%20Hockey%20Alliance_zps8d2tfxqn.p

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Disclaimer: I've had a difficult time locating a true vintage hockey uniform template, so I've resorted to using Scott Springer's round collar template since most teams were wearing something similar in the 40's. I'll probably transition to his lace collar template in a few seasons. However, if anyone has a more vintage template I'd love to see it.

 

 

I'd like to note that all of these initial color schemes were randomly generated to give me something to start with and grow through the seasons. I created a generator to generate Primary, Second, and Third colors. Since Detroit's generation said Navy and Gray, this is what I came up with. I left the helmets (even though they're modern) on the template, but blank, because this league will introduce them much earlier than the NHL did. I've personally had multiple major concussions and thus my leagues will have safety implementation.

 

DETROIT LANCERS (1940):

 

Detroit%20Lancers%201940_zpsxmcch4r7.png

 

Detroit%20Lancers%201940%20Uniforms_zpsg

 

The Lancers feature a very simplistic style, thick single stripes on the sleeves, across base of the jersey, down the pants and a single band on the socks. The AWAY jersey is a direct inversion, keeping a navy collar. The gray AWAY doesn't figure to last long but Telly Wilson doesn't care much for pizzazz in uniforms, only the on-ice performance.

 

TEAM BRIEF: Detroit Lancers

 

Owner: Telly Wilson (57) - Hometown: Johnstown, PA - Occupation: Entrepreneur

Coaches: Head Coach: Nicholas Howard; Assistant Coach: Roy Wilkins

Best Player: G Craig McCrone (#37)

Key Players: F Tony Minsi (#12), F Ora Polak (#6), F Don Berth (#20), D Morgan Koppen (#4), G Phil Razin (#33)

 

The Detroit Lancers squad is headlined by its fiery owner, Telly Wilson, a Greek-Irish entrepreneur originally from an immigrant family in Pennsylvania. He bounced around cities until he landed in Detroit when the city was first blossoming and established himself as a cunning, if slightly shady, money man with a big mouth and willingness to try new things. His successful traveling hockey team by the same name was one of the main reasons for the formation of the UHA.

 

The squad is managed by coach Nicholas Howard, a 65-year-old hockey legend and genius of the game, and is considered a premier hockey coach and manager. 26-year-old goaltender Craig McCrone is also considered one of the best talents in the new league, and along with capable Phil Razin backing him up, the net figures to be a position of strength which should offset the light defensive lines, with Morgan Koppen being the lone standout there. Tony Minsi is a very talented forward and with veterans Polak and Berth, the Lancers expect to be able to score frequently. Overall, the Lancers feel they have talented and experienced roster and expect to contend immediately.

 

 

C&C appreciated! (also, see disclaimer, despite the lack of vintage template, I'd specifically like feedback on era-appropriate style)

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Thanks for the support guys! Up next we have the Montreal Monarchs. A black, yellow, and white scheme was randomly generated and I breathed a sigh of relief because I'd already had something similar in mind for them.

 

Montreal Monarchs (1940):

 

Montreal%20Monarchs%201940_zpsdzl435x9.p

 

 

Montreal%20Monarchs%201940%20Uniforms_zp

 

Montreal's HOME set features matching yellow-white-yellow striping on the sleeves and across the band on a black jersey with the stylized M-Crown logo. The pants also feature the same striping on both sets. The socks have an extended northwestern striping pattern. The AWAY jersey is yellow with black-white-black striping and just the single black M over white socks.

 

 

TEAM BRIEF: Montreal Monarchs

 

Owner: Graham Nelson (64) - Hometown: Montreal, QC - Occupation: Banker, Investment Advisor

Coaches: HC George Butler, AC Al Gifford

Best Player: F Mitch Barber (#14)

Key Players: G Leeroy Mackley (#34), D Durwood Harrison (#5), F Ned Lovey (#78), F Barney Grant (#26), D Levi Cayward (#9)

 

The Montreal Monarchs are owned by Graham Nelson, one of Canada's richest and most respected bankers and investment advisors. Nelson pioneered the financial success of most of the city of Montreal and is something of a Godfather of the area. Nelson is famous for his twitchy nervousness and generally suspicious disposition, always fearful of a knife in the back. Though finicky and a meddler, he's known to always have a method to his madness.

 

The roster is managed by coaches George Butler and Al Gifford, a pairing that Nelson created as a co-coaching situation that he feels will pay dividends. Leading the charge on offense and team leadership is veteran forward Mitch Barber, who has starred in several semi-pro leagues over his career. The team is stocked with veteran talent at every position, with grizzled vet Ned Lovey and a rising Barney Grant alongside Barber at forward, and a ferocious duo of Durwood Harrison and Levi Cayward leading the defensive lines. The prize of the team, however, is 19-year-old rookie phenom goaltender Leeroy Mackley. Coach Butler discovered him before the inaugural draft and sneaked him on the roster in the later rounds, much to the dismay of the other teams. Mackley is still very inexperienced but immensely talented and the Monarchs hope he can adapt quickly, especially with another young and green goalie, backup Samual Stroman, also in the fold.

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21 hours ago, Steelman said:

Disclaimer: I've had a difficult time locating a true vintage hockey uniform template, so I've resorted to using Scott Springer's round collar template since most teams were wearing something similar in the 40's. I'll probably transition to his lace collar template in a few seasons. However, if anyone has a more vintage template I'd love to see it.

 

 

I'd like to note that all of these initial color schemes were randomly generated to give me something to start with and grow through the seasons. I created a generator to generate Primary, Second, and Third colors. Since Detroit's generation said Navy and Gray, this is what I came up with. I left the helmets (even though they're modern) on the template, but blank, because this league will introduce them much earlier than the NHL did. I've personally had multiple major concussions and thus my leagues will have safety implementation.

 

DETROIT LANCERS (1940):

 

Detroit%20Lancers%201940_zpsxmcch4r7.png

 

Detroit%20Lancers%201940%20Uniforms_zpsg

 

The Lancers feature a very simplistic style, thick single stripes on the sleeves, across base of the jersey, down the pants and a single band on the socks. The AWAY jersey is a direct inversion, keeping a navy collar. The gray AWAY doesn't figure to last long but Telly Wilson doesn't care much for pizzazz in uniforms, only the on-ice performance.

 

TEAM BRIEF: Detroit Lancers

 

Owner: Telly Wilson (57) - Hometown: Johnstown, PA - Occupation: Entrepreneur

Coaches: Head Coach: Nicholas Howard; Assistant Coach: Roy Wilkins

Best Player: G Craig McCrone (#37)

Key Players: F Tony Minsi (#12), F Ora Polak (#6), F Don Berth (#20), D Morgan Koppen (#4), G Phil Razin (#33)

 

The Detroit Lancers squad is headlined by its fiery owner, Telly Wilson, a Greek-Irish entrepreneur originally from an immigrant family in Pennsylvania. He bounced around cities until he landed in Detroit when the city was first blossoming and established himself as a cunning, if slightly shady, money man with a big mouth and willingness to try new things. His successful traveling hockey team by the same name was one of the main reasons for the formation of the UHA.

 

The squad is managed by coach Nicholas Howard, a 65-year-old hockey legend and genius of the game, and is considered a premier hockey coach and manager. 26-year-old goaltender Craig McCrone is also considered one of the best talents in the new league, and along with capable Phil Razin backing him up, the net figures to be a position of strength which should offset the light defensive lines, with Morgan Koppen being the lone standout there. Tony Minsi is a very talented forward and with veterans Polak and Berth, the Lancers expect to be able to score frequently. Overall, the Lancers feel they have talented and experienced roster and expect to contend immediately.

 

 

C&C appreciated! (also, see disclaimer, despite the lack of vintage template, I'd specifically like feedback on era-appropriate style)

I can get behind this team for sure.

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5 hours ago, chcarlson23 said:

So you have a Detroit team in basically Leafs colors, and a Montreal team in Bruins colors... Interesting...:D

 

Tell it to the random generator! Haha. But yeah, that was the reason I used a randomized set is because of our preset notions of cities and colors. After awhile, it just feels natural that the Lancers rock navy and the Mons rock black and yellow.

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Up next is the New York Knights!

 

New%20York%20Knights%201940_zpsjeupszmj.

 

New%20York%20Knights%201940%20Uniforms_z

 

The Knights feature a stylized NY logo. They had a kind of hand-drawn-looking knight on a horse logo before joining the league but dropped it in favor of the NY stick. It'll probably make a return before too long. The Brown and Orange-Peach colors were a bit of a bear to tackle but I think they look vintage and the team will probably go through several color evolutions. There is another team that features brown so New York stuck to the orange as much as possible and it will most likely become the primary color in the future. The Knights have one of the more simple uniforms in the league, plain brown jersey with an orange full yoke and logos/numbers. The AWAY is a reverse with a Bruins half stripe across the bottom of the yoke area and brown outline on the logo and numbers. A simple thick brown stripe adorns the orange pants for both. The brown home socks feature a double stripe, the away socks are white with a brown-orange-brown striping.

 

TEAM BRIEF: New York Knights

 

Owner: Jerry Valentine (56) - Hometown: Manhattan, NY - Occupation: Department store chain owner

Coaches: HC Anderson Penny, AC Albert Zimmerman

Best Player: D Erwin West (#16)

Key Players: F Tim Dahl (#41), G Neal Dahlheimer (#32), F Paul Price (#31), F William Caldwell (#6), G Albert Troy (#28)

 

Jerry Valentine's New York Knights were originally a city league team that he'd founded as both an excuse to play hockey, which he'd loved since a young kid, and also a way to help advertise for his chain of department stores that were popping up all over New York. He'd discovered that sports were an easy way to generate headlines and so hockey became his medium. Valentine is known to be judicious and affable, firm in his belief and loyalties, but especially affectionate toward his city and its people.

 

The new Knights roster is managed by a bright young mind in Anderson Penny and former collegiate assistant coach Albert Zimmerman. Their standout player is decidedly the defensive prowess of 24-year-old Erwin West, an unusual defenseman that plays a calculated finesse game instead of being a bruising banger. Somehow the team also ended up with a Dahl and a Dahlheimer. Tim Dahl leads the forward lines, along with veterans Paul Price and William Caldwell, and has a knack for scoring despite his lack of length or athleticism. Neal Dahlheimer leads the net duties along with aging former star Albert Troy. The Knights are a bit of a question mark heading into the first UHA season. The lack of experience in the coaching department is pause for concern but the Jerry Valentine believes that the roster experience will make up for it and is excited about their chances.

 

 

C&C is much appreciated on all of the concepts! The backstory and detail is just how I like to do things and I think it helps set up the world of the new league. It also may help in deciding which team you want to root for if you're so inclined. Hope you like them!

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