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FHL 2018-19 Mid-season survey: Stingers, Raiders

Created by NorwegianOiler on 2018-12-15 14:41:33

FHL 2018-19 Mid-season survey: Stingers, Raiders...

[CHUCKER'S STINGERS]

Where did you finish last season and what were the main reasons you ended up there?
Last year I finished 6th. It's been that way the last few seasons. I didn't have two solid goalies and made a few bad trades at forward that would have kept me in the top 3 but I'm not terribly worried based on how the team has weathered that and how the prospects are looking.

What have you changed about your team since the end of last season?
Not a whole lot. I cleared out a bunch of decent players that were .5-.6 types but I literally had about 7 of them. Open roster spots are more valuable for potential signings and prospects now. I did add Darcy Kuemper for a last 1st. Goaltending seems more solid now.


What is your goal for the season - what would you consider a successful campaign?

I want to stay top five. That will show me that my core is solid for many years and give me some comfort that by prospects will boost me to the next tier.


Where would you say your team is at currently - contenders, retoolers, rebuilder or do you belong in another category altogether? What would you be looking for in the trade market?

Not a whole lot. I've done a lot of changes the last three seasons. I'm open to good trades but bit actively seeking any.

Create a "12 forward, 6 defenseman, 2 goalie lineup" from your roster.

Laine-Kadri-Schenn
Simon-Dadanov-Tuch
Hornqvist-White-Bertuzzi
Hyman-Sissons-Ritchie
Sanford
Maroon
Cousins

Parayko-Green
Niskanen-Theodore
Pelech-Spurgeon
Kempny
Schlemko

Andersen
Ullmark

Kuemper

Do you have any players you expect to surprise people this season?
White and Sanford so far. Both rookies and doing very well. Ullmark will be the other.

Comment briefly on your team's history since our inaugural season - what stands out in your opinion?
What stands out is to me is how many terrible trades I have made but still have managed to have equally good trades. Lol

Some I'd love to have back but the results are still good so that's nice to see.
I've been in it from the start so I've have many years of changes. The last five have all been the most coherent in terms of contract depth and staggering. All in all, I am comfortable vwith where the team is headed.

Besides your own team, who would you like to see win the FHL in the future?
Anyone really. It's an arm's race 1-4 and mostly 1-3. I can't see any of those teams dropping any time soon. It would be nice to see some others who are close get one. Thunder deserve one IMO.

Do you have any messages to relay to the fellowship of the FHL?

Not really. Keep enjoying it. It's really the best league going and I hope GMs pay the small amount to keep them active and the league going. 

 

[STEVE-O'S RAIDERS]

 

Where did you finish last season and what were the main reasons you ended up there?
9th - same reasons as every year, I have a few too many high priced players, so the bottom end of my roster has to be affordable and I don't get good value from them.
Plus injuries just seem to kill me every year

What have you changed about your team since the end of last season?
No big trades the last few years, mainly just trying to pick up affordable FA and draft as well as I can.

What is your goal for the season - what would you consider a successful campaign?
Playoffs and make a run, same as every year

Where would you say your team is at currently - contenders, retoolers, rebuilder or do you belong in another category altogether? What would you be looking for in the trade market?
I sit in the middle, not really a contender, not rebuilding. I think I'm going to try and re-tool, but that's tough to do.

In trades, I'm willing to move anyone on the team, just make an offer. Can't really pick up any salary though, which makes me value the 2-4 mil guys a bit higher than normal.

Create a "12 forward, 6 defenseman, 2 goalie lineup" from your roster.
Stastny-Malkin-Stone
Smith x3
Debrusk-Gourde-Sorensen
Ryan-Spezza-Thomas/Spooner

Letang-Ellis
Edler-Schmidt
Demelo-Reilly

Allen
Campbell

Do you have any players you expect to surprise people this season?
I think Gourde might surprise people, but I've been pretty high on him for a couple years now.

Comment briefly on your team's history since our inaugural season - what stands out in your opinion?
My team has been pretty much the same spot every year. Not good enough to win, but too talented to fail. Goaltending has traditionally been strong.

Besides your own team, who would you like to see win the FHL in the future?
Bombers eventually, just cause then I'll know that all that extra code he put in to bump his points will have worked.

Do you have any messages to relay to the fellowship of the FHL?
Have fun, keep you head up and stick on the ice.



FHL 2018-19 Mid-season survey: Arcadians, Thunder, Devils

Created by NorwegianOiler on 2018-11-29 08:58:17

FHL 2018-19 Mid-season survey: Arcadians, Thunder, Devils

 

[MCSORLEY'S ARCADIANS]

Where did you finish last season and what were the main reasons you ended up there?
2nd in the regular season and lost in the final of the playoffs. My defense was a problem and the Vikings were too strong.

What have you changed about your team since the end of last season?
Not much, same bunch of guys going for it again.

What is your goal for the season - what would you consider a successful campaign?
My goal is to crawl back to the top again, but it is looking difficult at the moment

Where would you say your team is at currently - contenders, retoolers, rebuilder or do you belong in another category altogether? What would you be looking for in the trade market?
Contenders for now. It is going to be hard the next years. To many players going for big contracts in the upcoming offseason.
Arcadians are always open for business.

Create a "12 forward, 6 defenseman, 2 goalie lineup" from your roster.
Marchand – Granlund – Rantanen
Arvidsson – Backlund - Panarin
Lindblom – Schwartz – Skinner
Mantha – Strome – Buchnevich

Skjei - Weber
Lindell – Miller
Stecher – Zaitsev
Gibson
Bobrovsky

Do you have any players you expect to surprise people this season?
I had big expectations for Daniel Sprong and Ryan Donato. Both have had horrible starts, but still expect them to bounce back. Hopefully…..
Not to jinx him, but man Jeff Skinner has been good.


Comment briefly on your team's history since our inaugural season - what stands out in your opinion?
My first season (15/16) I ended 19th in the standings. The next season (16/17) I won the lot, both the NORAK Cup and the Playoffs. In 17/18 I finished 2nd in the league and lost to the Vikings in the Playoff final.
My team is not the same as the one I took over. A lot of trades and some luck in free agency made my team a contender.

Besides your own team, who would you like to see win the FHL in the future?
Someone else than the Vikings. Been too good for too long know.

Do you have any messages to relay to the fellowship of the FHL?
Great that everybody got together and “saved” the pool. It has been a pleasure being in this league the last years. Lets keep things going, and get some trades done.

 

[SAMSON'S THUNDER]

Where did you finish last season and what were the main reasons you ended up there?
3rd, and made it to the semifinals in the playoffs. Great seasons from Barzal, Hall, Perron, Dubnyk and a few others, but not enough to get past the Arcadians and Vikings.

What have you changed about your team since the end of last season?

no major changes, barely any minor ones.

What is your goal for the season - what would you consider a successful campaign?

my goal is to win, both regular season and playoffs, but anything top 3 would be a success.

Where would you say your team is at currently - contenders, retoolers, rebuilder or do you belong in another category altogether? What would you be looking for in the trade market?
Definite contenders, in win now mode. I could use a 2nd goalie, or another stud dman. All of my picks and prospects are available in trade to increase my chances to win this year.

Create a "12 forward, 6 defenseman, 2 goalie lineup" from your roster.

Hall-Barkov-Rakell
Perron-Draisaitl-Kane
Goldobin-Barzal-Hertl
Iafallo-Kempe-Aberg

Chabot-Dumba
Orlov-Trouba
Folin-Sanheim

Dubnyk
Lehner

Do you have any players you expect to surprise people this season?
a few are already surprising. Goldobin and Aberg are doing better than I expected, and Chabot is having an incredible season so far.

Comment briefly on your team's history since our inaugural season - what stands out in your opinion?

Started middle of the pack and decided after that first season that I didn't have the right mix to be a true contender so blew it up and went full rebuild. It was long and painful, but seems to finally be paying off.

Besides your own team, who would you like to see win the FHL in the future?

It would be good to see another original team that has yet to win take the championship.

Do you have any messages to relay to the fellowship of the FHL?
Can people stop losing trades to the Vikings, and lose them to me instead? It might be the only way I can get past him one of these years.

 

[TDIZZY'S DEVILS]

 

Where did you finish last season and what were the main reasons you ended up there?
Just finished out of the bottom five, finishing 17th. Lack of goal scoring. you can’t get anywhere in this league if you can’t score.

What have you changed about your team since the end of last season?
gutted lots of expired contracts. I believe 9 players were sent packing to free agency. Biggest change was shipping out original draft pick Patrick Kane as he presented some serious cap issues (thanks Connor)

What is your goal for the season - what would you consider a successful campaign?
Goal is to improve on my 17th place finish and contend for a playoff spot

Where would you say your team is at currently - contenders, retoolers, rebuilder or do you belong in another category altogether? What would you be looking for in the trade market?
Yet another rebuilding year it looks like, given the current state of this team. Goal scorers are what I’ll be looking at in the trade market that will fit under my cap.

Create a "12 forward, 6 defenseman, 2 goalie lineup" from your roster.
Forwards:
Bonino - McDavid - Williams
Glendening - Domi - Fast
Richardson - Zajac - Brown
Helm - Yost - Sceviour

Defense:
Hainsey - Nutivaara
Martinez - Stralman
Brodin - Boychuk

Goalies:
Jones - Smith


Do you have any players you expect to surprise people this season?
Max Domi has been a pleasant surprise

Comment briefly on your team's history since our inaugural season - what stands out in your opinion?
Save for Connor’s 2nd year on the team where the Devils made the playoffs, every other year has been close to, or near the basement. Some poor Chiarelli-like management skills has not helped in the progress of this team.

Besides your own team, who would you like to see win the FHL in the future?
I’m gonna pick a dark horse and say the bombers. Only because Racki has put a lot of work into this thing and he should at least at some point get rewarded for it.

Do you have any messages to relay to the fellowship of the FHL?

Good luck to all. If you have a goal scorer that you’d like to move, DM me as I am very interested.



FHL 2018-19 Mid-season survey: Heatwave, Serpents, Rhinos

Created by NorwegianOiler on 2018-11-27 09:41:10 (updated by NorwegianOiler on 2018-11-29 08:53:21)

FHL 2018-19 Mid-season survey: Heatwave, Serpents, Rhinos

[KTOWN'S HEATWAVE]

 Where did you finish last season and what were the main reasons you ended up there?
The Heatwave finished 12th - outside of the top 10 for the first time in franchise history - largely due to high-priced forwards that didn't carry the mail, lack of cheap depth to fill holes, shoddy defense, and simply no goaltending (Cam Talbot's fall from grace was tragic).

Simply put, management put together a crap-tastic team, and they delivered exactly that.

What have you changed about your team since the end of last season?
A lot of contracts ended in 2018, so the Heatwave chopped a ton of dead wood. This left the team with 5 or 6 open roster spots to start the season, leaving free space for movement, and the chance to watch how the start of the season went before scrambling for free-agent pickups.

As well, with the high-cap hit players on the team, the choice was made to start plucking up some young, cheap depth with the hope of icing a full 23 person roster for the entire season. Basically, better cap management and spending.

The trade to move out pending UFA Van Riemsdyk to trade for a second decent goaltender in Varlamov was a tough choice that had to be made, and so far in the 2018-19 campaign, it looks to be working.

What is your goal for the season - what would you consider a successful campaign?
Honestly, expectations for this season were low. Basically, the goal was to start on a potential rebuild and get the team into a much better salary and youth position before assessing which way to move. The early results are encouraging, and there are a number of young players that have been gems, but many of them could be playing way above their talent (cough, cough, Chiasson, Dzingel, Coleman).

While it would be nice if the current pace continues, the Heatwave will consider this year a success just to stay in the top 10 and go deeper than the first round of the playoffs.

Where would you say your team is at currently - contenders, retoolers, rebuilder or do you belong in another category altogether? What would you be looking for in the trade market?
It would be so nice to confidently say contenders, but I think retoolers is a more apt description despite early results.

As for trades, I'd be more likely to look at deals for decent young players that scout well. I don't think I'm overly interested in "Hot Prospect A" for "Your entire roster" trades, but "Decent Junior Player B" for "depth guys and vets" would get my attention.

Create a "12 forward, 6 defenseman, 2 goalie lineup" from your roster.
Unlike previous years, there isn't a lot of expensive talent sitting, so the current active bunch is probably sufficient.

Stamkos, Giroux, Seguin
Hoffman, Ferland, Kerfoot
Bratt, Coleman, Dzingel
Pearson, Chiasson, Suomela

Barrie, Gardiner
Del Zotto, Klefbom
Jokiharju, Chychrun

Talbot, Varlamov

Do you have any players you expect to surprise people this season?
Too late - there are a bunch of players already shocking the hell outta me!

Chiasson is playing way out of his depth and is bound for reality soon, Dzingel seems to be taking on some responsibility in Ottawa but could be in for a hit as well, and Ferland is thriving in Carolina. All big shockers.

On the flip side, Stamkos is not Stamkos this season, Pearson seems to have been hit by a bus, and Abdelkader is looking more and more like a 3rd/4th liner on a crappy team.

Comment briefly on your team's history since our inaugural season - what stands out in your opinion?
The fantastic inaugural run, the slow fall from grace, and an entertaining early resurgence. A lot of players that have been and gone, and some interesting young finds.

Overall, a history not completely unlike any you could see in a number of actual NHL franchises.

Besides your own team, who would you like to see win the FHL in the future?
Despite the fact that I have a voodoo doll of Samson rotting away in a barrel of acid in my closet (still a little chafed about losing Kane on waivers when I wasn't paying attention to his injury status), I think he deserves one.

A few seasons ago, the Thunder were the Atlanta Thrashers of the league. Now, they're very much the Jets - a contender that deserves a championship. He's done some good work there.

Do you have any messages to relay to the fellowship of the FHL?
I was really happy to see the response to the State of the Union. We've got a great group here. Except chucker. and Metal&Oil. and samson. and... ;D :P XD

 

 

[MG10'S SERPENTS]

Where did you finish last season and what were the main reasons you ended up there?
I finished in the deepest, darkest dungeon of the league. Whoo don't remind me, horrible scoring, goalies couldn't stop a beach ball, and a strong season from my first ever entry draft pick, Morgan Rielly, couldn't save me from the utter blackness of the abyss.

What have you changed about your team since the end of last season?
Well, I won the first overall pick and Rasmus Dahlin. That was a start. Moreover, it was an unfamiliar but nice feeling to only have to place one player on my passive roster this year. So, the biggest change is the strong crop of rookies on my team this year, which includes the aforementioned Rasmus Dahlin, Miro Heiskanen and Brett Howden

What is your goal for the season - what would you consider a successful campaign?
While I would like to see how far this fast start goes, my prospect shelf my farm system is getting shallow again with only one notable player in the system. It would be nice to make the playoffs again after two seasons on the outside and hopefully make a score at the next draft and start restocking the shelves.

Where would you say your team is at currently - contenders, retoolers, rebuilder or do you belong in another category altogether? What would you be looking for in the trade market?
Retooler would be most accurate. Picks and prospects, mainly.

Create a "12 forward, 6 defenseman, 2 goalie lineup" from your roster.
Kyle Okposo - Nicklas Backstrom - Tomas Tatar
Mikkel Boedker - Pierre-Luc Dubois - Jakub Silfverberg
Jakub Vrana - Phillip Danault - Joonas Donskoi
Andre Burakovsky - Brett Howden - Michael Frolik

Morgan Rielly - Ryan McDonagh
Rasmus Dahlin - Duncan Keith
Miro Heiskanen - Noah Juulsen

Carey Price
Scott Darling

Do you have any players you expect to surprise people this season?
One is Miro Heiskanen. He has a chance to steal some Calder votes this year from Pettersson, Dahlin and others with John Klingberg on the shelf for a little while. He should get some more opportunities to pad his stats with Dallas' star players. The other is Brett Howden. He's had a fine start to his rookie season and was an excellent piece for the Rangers in the McDonagh deal last season.

Comment briefly on your team's history since our inaugural season - what stands out in your opinion?
Approximately one-third of my current roster is made up of original picks in the inaugural draft that happened before the 2011-12 season, including my first three picks, Nicklas Backstrom, Duncan Keith and Carey Price. So I got a top centre, a top defenseman and a top goaltender, all the things you need to win, so they say. These three have made up the core of my team and they have have been my most valuable players year after year. My drafting has been so-so and kind of top-heavy. My drafting in the second rounds has been disappointing for the most part.

Besides your own team, who would you like to see win the FHL in the future?
It would be nice to see some of the league's original teams that haven't made it deep before win some of these, like the Bombers, Tigers, Stingers, Mustangs, Lakers, Chiefs, etc.

Do you have any messages to relay to the fellowship of the FHL?
Godspeed to the team that finishes 16th this season. We're all pulling for you.

 

 

[METAL&OIL'S RHINOS]

Where did you finish last season and what were the main reasons you ended up there?
13th.
Main reason for this finish was a mediocre team in all 3 phases. No glaring weakness but also had no department that stood out.

What have you changed about your team since the end of last season?


What is your goal for the season - what would you consider a successful campaign?
Climb the ladder and make noise in the playoffs.

Where would you say your team is at currently - contenders, retoolers, rebuilder or do you belong in another category altogether? What would you be looking for in the trade market? Retooling


Create a "12 forward, 6 defenseman, 2 goalie lineup" from your roster.
Palat-Little-Marchessault
Killorn-Cirelli-Joseph
Martinook-Faksa-Pitlik
Rust-Peca-Rattie

Sutter-Krug
Larsson-Russell
Gustafsson-Girardi

Do you have any players you expect to surprise people this season?
Martinook and DeSmith

Comment briefly on your team's history since our inaugural season - what stands out in your opinion?
A contender that has lost its way recently.


Besides your own team, who would you like to see win the FHL in the future?
Chucker


Do you have any messages to relay to the fellowship of the FHL?

Looking for draft picks mostly.



FHL 2018-19 Mid-season survey: Bombers, Iron Knights, Spartans

Created by NorwegianOiler on 2018-11-25 00:40:49 (updated by NorwegianOiler on 2018-11-25 02:09:40)

FHL 2018-19 Mid-season survey: Bombers, Iron Knights, Spartans

 

[RACKI'S BOMBERS]
Where did you finish last season and what were the main reasons you ended up there?
Mismanagement, for sure. I shed some salary last year. My blueline performed quite well, but other areas fell pretty flat.

What have you changed about your team since the end of last season?
Luckily, this year, I've filled up some of that salary in a way that should hinder me well into the future!

What is your goal for the season - what would you consider a successful campaign?
The way things are going, a successful campaign is probably going to be winning a lotto pick. Definitely not intentionally tanking, which is a sad statement on my management skills.

Where would you say your team is at currently - contenders, retoolers, rebuilder or do you belong in another category altogether? What would you be looking for in the trade market?
I think I would describe it as "on-life-supporters". I should probably consider a pretty full on rebuild, but I'm not sure how well that works in the FHL.

Create a "12 forward, 6 defenseman, 2 goalie lineup" from your roster.
Pacioretty-Scheifele-Atkinson
Carter-Bjugstad-Krejci
Dvorak-Soderberg-Tierny
Nolan-Berglund-Bjorkstrand

Provorov-Ekblad
Slavin-Severson
Cholowski-Valimaki

Crawford
Grubauer


Do you have any players you expect to surprise people this season?
Chris Tierny.. wtf...? I actually expected a bit better player when I signed him several years ago, but he's an assist machine right now.

Comment briefly on your team's history since our inaugural season - what stands out in your opinion?
Steadily down hill as I am not very active on the trade front, and not the swiftest on signings anymore either. So my great players decline as they age, and I don't have a lot replacing them. Then a couple year span where I sold some players too soon in a panic to fix my team now.

Besides your own team, who would you like to see win the FHL in the future?
Hmm... let's go with one of the new GMs, Aceman or Deadlyhammer. I don't despise them yet. haha

Do you have any messages to relay to the fellowship of the FHL?
Still working hard on a big changes for the keeper. Only Steve-o has details on it, and really not much. Progress has been great. Might even be partially implemented in 2018.  
 
 
 
 
[DEADLYHAMMER'S IRON KNIGHTS]
 
Where did you finish last season and what were the main reasons you ended up there?
not applicable

What have you changed about your team since the end of last season?
not applicable

What is your goal for the season - what would you consider a successful campaign?
Getting a top 5 draft pick! Beyond that, I'd like to see growth from some of my young players and possibly see some trade returns on older producing players on expiring contracts.

Where would you say your team is at currently - contenders, retoolers, rebuilder or do you belong in another category altogether? What would you be looking for in the trade market?
Expansion team, so rebuilding I guess? Or maybe just building?

Create a "12 forward, 6 defenseman, 2 goalie lineup" from your roster.
That's pretty much all I've got, so what you see is what you get. I do have some nice young goalies though...

Do you have any players you expect to surprise people this season?
Not particularly, though I have been pleasantly surprised by Pominville and Filppula.

Comment briefly on your team's history since our inaugural season - what stands out in your opinion?
This is my inaugural season, but what has stood out to me so far is the depth of hockey knowledge the other GMs have. I am consistently surprised by who is being picked up or who is already owned.

Besides your own team, who would you like to see win the FHL in the future?
No idea yet.

Do you have any messages to relay to the fellowship of the FHL? 
 
 
 
[BUCKMINSTER'S SPARTANS]
 
Where did you finish last season and what were the main reasons you ended up there?
Finished 16th last year. My main issues the last few years have been waiting for all my prospects to make it, and goaltending. The last few seasons I compounded both problems by badly losing a few trades to try to improve my goaltending.

What have you changed about your team since the end of last season?
Biggest changes this offseason were finally giving up on Dylan Strome and trading for John Carlson and Dustin Brown.

What is your goal for the season - what would you consider a successful campaign?
My goal is a top ten finish and to win a playoff round. I would consider anything higher than 15th (my previous best) to be a moderate success.

Where would you say your team is at currently - contenders, retoolers, rebuilder or do you belong in another category altogether? What would you be looking for in the trade market?
Not quite contenders, but hopefully past being a rebuilding team. My defense is solid, but my forwards and Goalies aren't there yet. Hopefully the Spartans are just on the verge of being a true contender.

Create a "12 forward, 6 defenseman, 2 goalie lineup" from your roster.
Drouin, Point, Kessel
Brown, Hayes, Reinhart
Shore, Eller, Heinen
Watson, McCann, De La Rose

Carlson, Jones
Vlasic, Petry
Davidson, Vatanen

Howard
Schneider

Do you have any players you expect to surprise people this season?
I always have some hope one of my younger guys steps up. Drouin finally has this year, but the only surprise was that it took this long. I still have hope for guys like De La Rose, Lemieux, Hayden, McCann, Heed, Honka, and McCoshen.

Comment briefly on your team's history since our inaugural season - what stands out in your opinion?
I took over the team near the end of the 2012-2013 season and came in either 20th or 22nd for 4 seasons, before finally cracking the top 16 the last 2 years. Things that stand out to me include blowing up my entire roster and trading everyone away that I started with (though I have gotten a couple back). The brutal trades I've made trying to get some goaltending, and all the draft picks I've made (some Great, some not so much).

Besides your own team, who would you like to see win the FHL in the future?
Anyone who hasn't won yet is fine by me, even the Thunder, though it pains me to say it.

Do you have any messages to relay to the fellowship of the FHL?


FHL Gazette: Eighth FHL season underway

Created by NorwegianOiler on 2018-11-17 09:10:00 (updated by NorwegianOiler on 2018-11-17 09:54:03)

FHL Gazette: Eighth FHL season underway

 Visit to discuss this piece and more: http://forum.puttingonthefoil.com/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=1132 

Dear readers, we are well into our eighth campaign and the FHL train now counts 24 railcars for the first time ever. The expansion teams Aces and Iron Knights add to a storied group of franchises, most of which still hail from the inaugural season. So far familiar sides inhabit the top three - the powerhouses of recent years Vikings (all hail!), Arcadians (all hurl), and Thunder have established firm positions atop the league already.

1) The Vikings are still humming along on the strength of more FHL victories than we can be bothered counting. More than ever they have been carried by individuals - impressive starts from stars like Bergeron, Pastrnak, Wheeler, and Marner see them rest well ahead of the competition so far.

2) 2016-17 champions Arcadians are no easy match, however, and mcsorley's men have begun admirably even in the face of some injuries and slack goaltending. Sly managerial talent and raw stats browsing defines mcsorley, who has taken a good franchise (previously Rebels led by Mlab90) into greatness. 

3) Third place Thunder are still well within striking distance of their first possible FHL title. Sporting perhaps the most interesting forward lineups of the league - boasting talent like Hall, Draisaitl, Barzal, Barkov, Hertl, Kane, and Rakell - they are certainly realistic candidates for Norack Cup!

4) Two time FHL champion Heatwave are apparently rebounding after a mediocre 2017-18 season. Ktown has arguably assembled a rather unassuming team, but we cannot underestimate his efficiency as a GM. Should he enjoy some goaltending from Talbot and Varlamov, this might be his best season since grabbing the title in season two!

5) The Bulldogs are building on another solid year, despite their first round exit at the hands of the Militia in last season's playoffs. Though gr8one has just lost his two starting netminders to injury (Vasilevski and Raanta) he might be the only FHL team that can adequately replace two starters - having Saaros and Halak on board too! Having finished top 5 an impressive five out of seven seasons already, the Bulldogs are models of consistency. 

6) Currently in sixth place, Chodu's Megasus team unpredictably wanders the standings from year to year. After a disappointing 19th place in 2017-18, they look to be much improved this year. Running a white hot John Tavares and Calder candidate Brady Tkachuk is certainly helping out! Can the Megasus top their personal best 9th place finish this season?

7) On a positive note, one of the most recent additions to our league, Swede maxb, has taken his Puffins (former Burninators) well into the top 10 early on - a good position for a team that finished third last a mere six months ago. A team built on young talented players on decent salaries is one to be taken seriously in the coming years. Recent draft pick Kotkaniemi has settled in nicely already!

8) Another GM seeking some redemption is MG10, who has steered his snaky Serpents into eighth place so far. A ray of sunshine, surely, for a franchise deprived of such in seasons past. Getting some of their draftees into the NHL is part of the reason for the surge so far - in addition to their supremely productive defensive corps.

9) The Spartans are similarly trying to climb into the upper echelon, but have come some way further in establishing improvement upon their miserable years three years ago and more. Not since they were the Panthers (run by AlanNottsUK) have they finished within the top 10 - there is some pressure to improve, surely. Their blueline too appears particularly strong both in veterans and youngsters alike.

10) There was a time when the Stingers seemed more lost than early day Moses, but Chucker has somehow turned his second rounders into a competitive side. He does have some eye for talent too, relying on astute pickups like Andersen, Parayko, and Kadri. As he balances on the edge of genius and delusion, Chucker keeps entertaining us.

11) The Gladiators are just behind rivals Stingers in the standings as of November 16th. Quinstone's two third place finishes (2013-14 and 2015-16) are some way off at the moment. While he runs a team with decent depth, he perhaps lacks that superstar forward (or two) that would propel the Gladiators into the top five again. 

12) Jfrizzio's Militia have taken a step back since their glory years between 2014 and 2017 (Two second places and a third) and now find themselves middle of the pack in mid-November of 2018. Still shaken with the retirement of hockey darling Rick Nash, Jfrizzio pieces together a nice, but expensive roster (sound familiar?). The pre-cap Rangers or Leafs had a better sense of sports economics, but the talent is there throughout the lineup. Rask, Ghostisbere, Karlsson, Voracek, and Tarasenko are all supreme players still.  

13) The Steve-o Hemskies/Raiders chug along in mid-table (still, they are about 10 FHL points ahead of their arch rivals Bombers in the all time standings!) The Raiders are a strange mix of young, old, talent, plugs, and Ales Hemsky, who encompasses all these traits but youth by now. There's work to be done to be a contender, but some hope resides in the likes of Debrusk, Gourde, and Hart. 

14) The Chiefs are an up and down team. They've bombed out at 18th and 16th a few years ago, but finished top five three times too. This year seems neither here nor there so far. Zackman commands some amazing forwards such as Kucherov, Mackinnon, and Kuznetsov - but desperately lacks depth forwards who produces. His blueline is good and the addition of Maxime Lajoie was an inspired move. Nonetheless, the Chiefs seem some way off another really strong season. Can they turn it around yet?

15) Kellgore has had his work cut out for him since taking control over the volatile Dragons franchise in 2014. The franchise was previously known as the Tanners and was ed by BostonOiler, who I believe now is a sort-of-known pundit in the blogosphere - though by no means due to his performance here in the FHL. It goes to show that there's always a "career" in speculation if you cannot cut it here. Later dubbed the "Dragons", a name kept through two subsequent managerial changes (rtsen, who originally drafted the first Rhinos roster before Metal&Oil took over; and tso). Though it has been tough, Kellgore has one 9th place finish to boast, a far better finish than either of his predecessors could ever muster. The future looks better now, however, with the likes of Eichel, Petterson, Zadina, Girard, and quite a few others to lead the way - in addition to inaugural first overall of the FHL, Sidney Crosby, of course. 

16) The Mustangs are wild again. Originally tamed by Mr.Majestyk, the team was taken over by current manager dawgtoy in 2013, and he promptly took them to their best ever finish (2nd!) in 2013-14. Since then, however, the franchise has stalled. Most visibly, they lack proper goaltending. They do have some solid young players in Gaudreau, Keller, and Fowler - among others - but look to be placed sixteen by virtue of talent, not unfortunate circumstance. Some trades might be in the works as dawgtoy attempts to salvage the season?

17) At seventeenth on November 16th, the Bombers are lodged in mediocrity. Racki's team is 10th all time in FHL points and has finished between 6th and 14th every season. It is unclear whether the Bombers are rebuilders or contenders, for Racki is capable of making a brilliant trade one moment and signing a has-been the next. Once he manages to surround Scheifele, Atkinson, and Krejci with someone else than Berglund, Brouwer, and Gagner, the Bombers might explode up the standings. If only it was five years ago! 

18) Tdizzy finds his Devils in eighteenth place so far. Since taking over the Devils franchise from mrgod2u in 2013, tdizzy has rebuilt and led the team to a franchise best 6th place in 2016-17, but dropped back into 17th last year. It seems like this year is going in the same direction, unfortunately, though his roster has the makings of better things. Connor McDavid's ELC is over though, and getting cheaper talent around him could prove difficult. 

19) Crott is one of those GMs whose history dates back to the Edmonton Oilers forums years ago - known then for his aptitude for prospect evaluation, he hasn't renewed the Rattleheads the way one could expect. They still employ solid veterans like Getzlaf, Brassard, and Zuccarello, but Crott's roster is thin as he keeps his powder dry for possible signings to come. 

20) Expansion GM deadlyhammer assembled a team of reliable veterans like Boyle, Pominville, Johansson, Steen, and Shaw. It is tough to live off of others' scraps, but he has added some vibrance in the likes of Svechnikov, Kahun, and Forsbacka-Karlsson. It takes time to build a winner, so an early bottom 5 position is no surprise. Time will tell if deadlyhammer has the eye for talent needed to bring the Knights into the modern warfare of the FHL. 

21) Aceman's Aces could use a spade or a club to find somewhere that diamond that they need to improve. After a promising start they have fallen into the bottom of the standings - perhaps due several trades with the Vikings. With an ostensibly different strategy from the Iron Knights, the Aces looked for younger, perhaps unproven, players in the expansion. Subsequently they have added even more such players in the mould of Anderson-Dolan, Appleton, and Ejdsell - players that have yet to show anything at NHL level. The early success of Comtois was abruptly ended by injury, and Aceman added veterans Athanasiou, Shattenkirk, and Parise through trade. Maybe he'll win the Norack Cup in 2015, then. Despite his top 10 offense, the Aces are a defensive wreck so far.

22) Haboiler's Lakers keep struggling. Defensively, they are alright, but goaltending and offense is a problem both due to injury and depth issues. There is young talent there, led by Matthews, Connor, and Fiala; some veterans like Staal and Eberle surround them, but altogether it hasn't been enough. The Lakers have made the FHL playoffs five out of seven seasons, but have never finished in the top end of the standings. Maybe that has been part of the problem?

23) Since starting the FHL with two straight 5th place finishes, the Tigers have had some trouble consistently finding form throughout full campaigns. They've had some solid playoff runs, but have not managed to make a dent in the powerhouses of the league quite yet. Though Saevel assembled a solid original roster, he has perhaps stuck with it too stubbornly, living now with a squad of over the hill players? There's star players in every positiion, from Benn to Doughty to Lundqvist, but is the supporting talent good enough? Is this the year for the fire sale?

24) In a cruel twist of fate, this review is made at the first time the Rhinos occupy the very bottom of the league. Metal&Oil's team actually have the third most FHL points ever - behind only the Heatwave and Vikings. Sporting two second overall finishes, another three top seven finishes, they have fallen from grace in recent years. Partly to blame must be injury to key players (like goaltender Quick), but there's also a distinct lack of high octane scorers too. The Tampa Bay Rhinos (owning a whooping eight players from the Lightning system) must find a way to replenish their star power in order to get back into the best of the FHL. 

 

 I apologize for the abhorrent quality. Just know that the Vikings are in the lead. 

 

 



FHL Gazette: Expansion draft completed!

Created by NorwegianOiler on 2018-05-06 07:57:42

Historic expansion draft completed

The most recent additions to the FHL, the Aces (GM Aceman) and the Iron Knights (GM deadlyhammer) have completed the expansion draft. Prior to the expansion draft, the two teams drew lots over who would draft 2nd (NHL lottery winning previous 11th overall held by the Hurricanes) and subsequently draft 3rd, 4th, and 5th overall in the expansion draft. This lottery was won by the Iron Knights, which meant the Aces would draft 1st and 2nd overall in the expansion, but will have to wait until 12th overall to select someone in the 2018 FHL entry draft. After the 5th pick in the expansion, the teams selected every other player. 

In summary, the Aces began by taking Ryan O'Reilly and Erik Johnson 1st and 2nd, while the Iron Knights countered by taking Jordan Oesterle, Justin Schultz, and James Reimer. It appears that the two teams operated with slightly different strategies. Whereas the Aces focused heavily on goaltending (taking four netminders in 22 picks), the Iron Knights went for a more balanced approach. The two newcomers now ponder the next move, which will be looking for draft steals and free agent bargains to supplement their rosters before the upcoming 2018-19 campaign. 

This lifts the temporary player movement freeze, allowing all teams to trade, sign, or release players within the ordinary rules. Please submit your free agent lists before July 1st (as per usual) on the forum. Cheers!

 

Drafted from… ACES IRON KNIGHTS
Vikings Erik Johnson Scott Mayfield
Arcadians Ryan O'Reilly Alexander Steen
Thunder Mikko Koivu Anton Khudobin
Chiefs Josh Leivo Justin Schultz
Bulldogs Connor Carrick Scottie Upshall
Stingers Adam McQuaid Michal Neuvirth
Tigers Ryan Miller Emerson Etem
Mustangs Artem Anisimov Brian Boyle
Gladiators Aaron Dell James Reimer
Raiders Joonas Korpisalo Jason Pominville
Heatwave Luke Schenn Andrew Shaw
Militia Bryan Little Marcus Johansson
Rhinos Tanner Kero Devante Smith-Pelley
Bombers Cal Clutterbuck Jordan Oesterle
Lakers Alex Stalock Mark Letestu
Spartans Frans Nielsen Marco Scandella
Devils Clayton Stoner (dropped) Andy Greene
Rattleheads Tyler Motte Joel Ward
Megasus Daniel Carr Ilya Kovalchuk
Puffins Joffrey Lupul (dropped) Chris Wideman
Dragons Rocco Grimaldi Kevin Connauton
Serpents Dmitrij Jaskin Brandon Sutter