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2014-15 Pre-season survey: Dawgtoy's Mustangs

Created by NorwegianOiler on 2014-10-16 02:17:11

Where did you finish last season and what are the main reasons you ended up there?

Second. Ugh. I hate second. I had a good season. My youth all took major strides. I have a nice mix of talent, depth, and goaltending.

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

I didn't change anything, but I may need to tweek it a little to make things work under the cap.

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

I'm not sure I can replicate last season. This will be a tougher year. The team is a little tight under the cap this year, and I may have to dress the team accordingly. Changes may need to be made, but next year will see a drastic increase in the cap, so I may just bide my time accordingly. Certainly ain't gonna see a fire sale.

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

Ladd, Crosby, Jagr
Steen, Bjugstad, Toffoli
Henrique, Anisimov, Stewart
Helm, Sheahan, Jarnkrok

Gio - PK
Braun - Demers
Gilbert - Boyle

Bishop / Pavelec

Which players do you expect to carry your team?

Easy to say Crosby, but I'd say my youth. Bjugstad, Toffoli, Henrique, Sheahan, Jarnkrok.

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

I think Stewart, and Pavelec should have bounce back years. Teravainen might be a very special hockey player.

What are your team's biggest strengths and weaknesses?

Team has no glaring weaknesses, but for salaries. The cap hit is really the biggest weakness for the Mustang.

Which teams do you predict as top five in the FHL this season?

I'd say the Glads, Vikes, Dogs, Heat and Rhinos fight it out for the top 5.

- Do you have a favorite to win it all?

As we saw last year, it's a long season. A lot can happen. I won't make a prediction at this time. To be honest I have no idea. I wouldn't have predicted the Vikes, but look what happened.

Which teams do you predict to be near the bottom come season's end?

Dragons look to have another tough season, but what do I know.

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

Have a good season. Thanks to Rack and Nor for all the hard work. Good luck one and all.



2014-15 Pre-season survey: Steve-o's Raiders

Created by NorwegianOiler on 2014-10-15 01:04:57

Where did you finish last season and what are the main reasons you ended up there?
11th - Injuries and down year from Bobby Ryan. Was in 5th heading into the final couple months and dropped bad from there.

What have you changed about your team since the end of last season?
I have shedded some contracts and salary, as well as shuffled a couple deck chairs (defensemen) in order to free up some more contract room for the end of this season. For the most part I am happy with my team, and while expensive feel this team is definitely top 5.

What is your goal for the season - what would you consider a successful campaign?
Top 5 finish, much like most years. I'm aiming to be a Detroit or San Jose, not necessarily winning every year but always making the playoffs. Then ideally I can make a push every few years.

Create a "12 forward, 6 defenseman, 2 goalie lineup" from your roster
Pominville-Dubinsky-Hemsky
Ruutu-Skinner-Ryan
Williams-Vermette-Stone
Smith cubed

Garrison-Hamhuis
Staal-Ericsson
Prout-Ellis

Rask-Allen

Of course, that's all disregarding injuries and the cap.


Which players do you expect to carry your team?
Rask + Ryan.

Do you have any players you expect to surprise people this season?
Ryan is going to have a monster year.

What are your team's biggest strengths and weaknesses?
Organizational depth is a weakness. I'm pricey and I have a hard time being able to cover for injuries.

A strength would be I have good steady players, and while a bit pricey, pretty much always deliver.

Which teams do you predict as top five in the FHL this season?
Heatwave, Vikings, Raiders, Rhinos and Rebels

- Do you have a favorite to win it all?
Ideally the Raiders

Which teams do you predict to be near the bottom come season's end?
Dragons - it's just too tough to turn a team around quickly.

Do you have any messages to relay to the fellowship of the FHL?
Have fun and lets hope for very few injuries (which is already bullshit!)



2014-15 Pre-season survey: Ktown's Heatwave

Created by NorwegianOiler on 2014-10-14 00:36:41 (updated by NorwegianOiler on 2014-10-14 00:36:55)

Where did you finish last season and what are the main reasons you ended up there?
The Heatwave finished 5th in the regular season, but made it to the conference finals in the playoffs.

Easily, the biggest factor in the Heatwave relinquishing their dominant position was the long-term injury to Steven Stamkos. By losing at least 100 offensive points, it was tough for the team to recover, and unfortunately, the offensive depth wasn’t there to compensate.

I think last season was interesting, because the exceptionally tight salary cap forced teams to sit star players. GMs that were running well under the 2013 cap should have done better last season, and we saw a few surprises. Truly, the 2014 season highlighted a team’s depth issues, and the Heatwave – being a cap team – certainly felt the burn.

What have you changed about your team since the end of last season?
There have been some changes to bolster the offence. To beat that horse to death, the offensive depth of the Heatwave was exposed last year, so stronger, cheaper depth guys were brought in. The little stroke of luck to have Brad Richards signed for $2M was huge.

As well, though the Heatwave have been very draft shy over the league’s three seasons, the prospect pool is strong. The team will be dressing 5 players that have developed and earned spots with their teams. Most notable among these will be Tanner Pearson and Nathan Beaulieu. Should they have any measure of NHL success, the Heatwave could look very strong.

What is your goal for the season - what would you consider a successful campaign?
After not even finishing top 3 in the regular season, and not contending for the Norack Cup, the Heatwave need to be mindful of overconfidence going into 2015. That said, the Heatwave have set their sights firmly on re-taking the trophy. Anything less than being in the final matchup come playoff time would be considered a failure of the management staff to address glaring issues.

Losing control of the Championship to the pomposity of the Vikings was certainly distasteful, and has unleashed the scourge of the NorBot upon the league. The Heatwave would like to apologize to the FHL GMs for not being up to the task, and would like to provide our assurances that we will be working very hard this season to avoid the same mistake in 2015.

Create a "12 forward, 6 defenseman, 2 goalie lineup" from your roster
Forwards:
1. Seguin, Stamkos, Van Riemsdyk
2. Stepan, Richards, Fisher
3. Wingels, Weiss, Burrows
4. Chiasson, Korpikoski, Pearson

Defence:
1. Suter, Fowler
2. Barrie, Orpik
3. Beaulieu, Schenn

Goal:
1. Niemi
2. Howard

Which players do you expect to carry your team?
Hopefully, Stamkos will stay healthy and be the tip of the spear for the Heatwave. That said, the team is looking for strong campaigns from Seguin and JVR on the front, Suter, Barrie, and Fowler on the back.

Further than the star power, the team is hopeful that young players like Pearson and Beaulieu can have strong rookie NHL campaigns to really ignite the team.

Do you have any players you expect to surprise people this season?
Expectations are high after last year, but there certainly are a few gems that could produce in 2015. As well as the aforementioned rookie talent, the Heatwave will look to Alex Burrows to return to his standard career numbers after an exceptionally disastrous season. The same goes for Stephen Weiss.

Aside from that, it is hoped that depth guys like Foligno, Chiasson, McGinn and Bouma can eclipse their roles and perform well.

What are your team's biggest strengths and weaknesses?
While depth has been addressed, another injury to the top players could prove disastrous. Derek Stepan’s pre-season injury is certainly going to hurt, but there are players that should be able to produce in his place. Unfortunately, it could be very hard to replace the points that guys like Stamkos, Seguin, Barrie and Suter can bring to the table.

Which teams do you predict as top five in the FHL this season?
The Heatwave. I won’t speculate further (also, because I didn’t go as in-depth with my sheets yet)

Which teams do you predict to be near the bottom come season's end?
No comment, other than to say it would please me to see a couple of teams take a trip to the basement.

Do you have any messages to relay to the fellowship of the FHL?
Don’t count out the Heatwave. Despite the season’s challenges, we challenged in the playoffs. A healthy Heatwave is a contender to be sure…

And to the most esteemed Norbot: please don’t get too comfortable in my seat. I’ll be taking that back shortly.



2014-15 Pre-season survey: Quinstone's Gladiators

Created by NorwegianOiler on 2014-10-12 04:18:05

 

Where did you finish last season and what are the main reasons you ended up there?
We finished in 3rd throughout the season, just a smidge from 2nd. During the FHL playoffs we lost to the Vikings in the finals. You can thank us for knocking out the Heatwave :p

Defense and Goaltending were huge strengths for our team last year. Being ranked 1st in both categories for the season was a big factor in any of the success we experienced.

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

With Goaltending and Defense being a strength for us last year, it showed me a chink in my lineup on offence. My forwards were not producing to the capacity of the Defense and Goaltending which could have been due to age. I decided to make some big changes and brought in a number of young forwards and a few vets who bring more intangibles to their game besides goals and assists. I moved out Matt Niskanen and Mike Green to hopefully make the forward group more effective.

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

I will temper my expectations a bit here and say a top 3 finish. I have a lot of younger players still reaching their potential and it will be interesting to see where they end up.

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

Line 1: Eriksson/Nielsen/Perry
Line 2: Brown/Zibanejad/Yakupov
Line 3: Gaudreau/Colborne/Kassian
Line 4: Killorn/Lazar/Raymond
D1: Pietrangelo/Dillon
D2: Seidenberg/Gelinas
D3: Gudas/Diaz
Goalies: Luongo and Varlamov

Which players do you expect to carry your team?

I definately expect Corey Perry to carry a lot of the load once again up front. Pietrangelo is definately a workhorse for me on defence but Varlamov and Luongo I expect to carry me near the top of the goaltending ranks once again this year.

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

I think Joe Colborne and Eric Gelinas will have big years. Kassian and Zibanejad also look ready to break out also but they may be more expected then the other 2.

What are your team's biggest strengths and weaknesses?

Looking at it before any games are played makes this question difficult but I see goaltending as my biggest strength. I see the youth as somewhat of a weakness because its all unproven at this point, it leaves too much to the unknown.

Which teams do you predict as top five in the FHL this season?

Tough one. In no particular order:
Gladiators, Vikings, Heatwave, Chiefs, Megasus.
- Do you have a favorite to win it all?


Which teams do you predict to be near the bottom come season's end?

Spartans, Thunder, Dragons. Its a big draft coming up, I doubt any of these 3 miss out on it.

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

Hockey is Back!



2014-15 Pre-season survey: Chucker's Stingers

Created by NorwegianOiler on 2014-10-11 09:08:15

 

Where did you finish last season and what are the main reasons you ended up there?
The Stingers entered last year with high hopes and the expectation that internal growth would continue. Unfortunately it was the year of the sophomore slump and several players that saw development years and partial seasons. Finishing eight was still a good result.

Due to a lengthy injury in goal and several key injuries on defense, it just wasn't meant to be for the Stingers. Clearly roster changes were necessary.

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

The focus of the Stingers was to bolster the blue line so that it would be the anchor for the team. Additions of Niskanen, Greene and Spurgeon seem to look good on paper. Hopefully they can carry the mail and support our fowards.

Having a few disappointing performances up front last year coupled with very little flexibility, the focus was to get younger up front and add a multitude of players who are emerging in the NHL. Scoring by committee will be the theme but the addition of Claude Giroux was also key.

Since we had two goaltenders we felt would be able to work as a good tandem, the strategy was to trade a quality net minder in Corey Crawford for a quality centre in Giroux. The emergence of our farm depth seems to have paid off and we have many players who can sub in at forward should the challenge prove too much for some players.

What is your goal for the season - what would you consider a successful campaign?
The goal for the season is to win of course. Since we had basically the same style of roster in the last two campaigns that saw us finish 6th and 8th repectively, we felt that adjustment was the way to go and have a more balanced team. Certainly finishing outside of the top ten would be considered a season that was not successful.

Create a "12 forward, 6 defenseman, 2 goalie lineup" from your roster
Maroon-Giroux-Kane
DSP-Schenn-Spaling
Bourque-Jurco-Eakin
Brown-Kulemin/Letestu-Stempniak

Niskanen-Greene
Wisniewski-Spurgeon
Franson-Gryba

Andersen
Ramo

Which players do you expect to carry your team?

Claude Giroux should be looking to have a bounce back year and we fully expect him to be in the conversation for the Art Ross trophy should health allow.


Do you have any players you expect to surprise people this season?
Kari Ramo is definitely the guy the Stingers have gambled on and have high expectations for. We feel he will beat Jonas Hiller in the battle for the Flames starting position.

We're also looking for bounce back seasons from Devin Setoguchi and look forward to Bourque finally playing with some skill players as well as Spaling looking poised to have a big year flanking Syndey Crosby.

What are your team's biggest strengths and weaknesses?
Our biggest strenths are definitely two way play, physicality and strong D. Goal is yet to be proven and this could be a concern but we feel it will prove to be better than many may think it looks.

Which teams do you predict as top five in the FHL this season?
The Stinger scouts have been actively watching the moves of other GMs and feel that although many players have moved during the off-season, the teams to beat have not changed a lot.

Out top five teams to beat (other than ourselves) are The Vikings. Champions are champions. The Heatwave as they look to rebound and capture another NoRack cup. The Mustangs look poised to have another stellar season. The Bulldogs have always been in the mix. We expect this year to be no different. We also like the work that the Gladiators did and look for them to be competitive once again at the top end of the league.

- Do you have a favorite to win it all?
It's going to be hard to compete with the Vikings sheer force of offense. They look to be the team to beat to us.


Which teams do you predict to be near the bottom come season's end?
We expect the Dragons to be near or at the bottom of the league. Clearly it was a roster fraught with challenges due to inconsistent ownership. Building through the draft would appear to be a good strategy for them.

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

The Stingers wish everyone a fun and competitive season. It's the best league around. Have fun!



2014-15 Pre-season survey: rhbdken

Created by NorwegianOiler on 2014-10-10 10:00:48 (updated by NorwegianOiler on 2014-10-10 10:01:23)

 

Where did you finish last season and what are the main reasons you ended up there?

I finished 20th and the main reasons was improvement in GM decision making during the late season to push from last to 20th.


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

The dynamic make up is different with a better core to the team


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

I would love to get 1st overall but i want to improve this club to be a playoff squeaker. We are getting closer


Create a "12 forward, 6 defenseman, 2 goalie lineup" from your roster:
Forwards: (Phil Kessel, Eric Staal, Jordan Staal, Paul Stastny, Travis Zajac, Derek Roy, Brian Boyle, Leo Komarov, Dominic Moore, Jason Akeson, Blake Comeau, Jason Chimera)
Defense: (Zach Bogosian, Johnny Boychuck, Karl Alzner, Matt Greene, Oscar Klefbom, Shea Theodore)
Goaltending: Ben Scrivens, Anders Lindback


Which players do you expect to carry your team?

Phil Kessel


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

I think Klefbom could make the jump and be a quality player for this team


What are your team's biggest strengths and weaknesses?

Offensive 3rd line depth and puck moving defenseman


Which teams do you predict as top five in the FHL this season?

Gladiators, Heatwave, Rhinos, Bombers and Vikings


- Do you have a favorite to win it all?

Heatwave


Which teams do you predict to be near the bottom come season's end?

Dragons


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

Nope