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FHL Gazette: Team profiles: Bombers & Mustangs

Created by NorwegianOiler on 2013-03-19 14:47:11 (updated by NorwegianOiler on 2013-03-24 09:22:36)

FHL GAZETTE: League race as tight as ever

Despite having gone deep into the second FHL season the title race can simultaneously be claimed to be both tight and open. The Vikings have regained the top spot, if only for the time being, led by  solid overall performances. NorwegianOiler's outfit lead the FHL despite not having any skater nor goaltender in either category's top 20! Whether that is a testament to the Vikings' ability to pull together or simply the lack of leadership is debatable. What is certain, however, is that the ten points separating first and second can be chewed up within a day.

 

 

Team profile: The Bombers

The Bombers were founded by the demiurge of the FHL, known to most as Racki. The Bombers claim a heritage and history few other Foil Hockey League teams possess. The club, which originates from hockey classic Youngblood (1986), is the natural anatagonist to the Mustangs, presented below. Racki begun his management of the franchise with the selection of star center Anze Kopitar, since traded for illustrious bodies like Ryder, Bitz and Enroth. If not for the decidedly prudent selection of Mikhail Grigorenko with the 1st rounder received in that trade, one would possibly want to question the sanity of the Bombers GM. One cannot, however, argue with the team's results, which have been good. A fine seventh place capped a solid inaugural year for the Bombers, piloted by good seasons from a core of players including among others Rinne, Backes, Kopitar, Erhoff, Gagner and Clowe. It is perhaps strange, upon reflection, that Racki has since decided to part with a star FHLer in Backes, an all-star center in Kopitar, and an emerging producer in Gagner, but the team has achieved similar results thus far in the second year. Though in a three way 520 point tie with the Devils and Tigers, Racki's Bombers continue to make successful sorties into enemy territory.

The current Bombers is a defensively strong team. Their goaltending and defense post strong numbers, both in the top 7 range, whereas their offense score at a decent top 10 pace. Racki relies heavily upon superstar netminder Pekka Rinne, as backup JS Giguere is stuck behind Varlamov in the Avs net. Overall, the Bombers carry a balanced roster, with some interesting prospects for the future. Apt management, and a dose of the Bob McKenzie scouting reports, led Racki to pick up scorer Matt Read prior to last season. He also, very cleverly, picked up free agent Adam Henrique, who had a thoroughly impressive rookie year. In addition, he has added Russian talent Evgeny Kuznetzov, Mikhail Grigorenko, defensive prospect Derrick Pouliot and strong talent Mark Scheifele.

Racki has proven willing to make moves to satisfy both current and future needs, for example dealing top winger Ales Hemsky for draft picks, but his willingness to part with successful players leaves Bombers' fans baffled. With two first round picks in his 2013 arsenal, Racki is poised to continue a balanced approach to management.

 

 

 

Team profile: The Mustangs

While the Mustangs are the Youngblood protagonists, they have so far been deferred to the role as supporting cast in the FHL. Originally founded by honourable Oilers Message Board member and frequent Puttingonthefoil poster Mr.Majestyk, the Mustangs have since been transferred to the apt managerial talent dawgtoy's control. Mirroring his arch rival, dawgtoy too proved an adventurous GM when he moved the franchise's first ever draft pick Henrik Sedin in a blockbuster trade that brought superstar Sidney Crosby to the club. Incidentally, that trade re-united the Swede with his twin brother under the Gladiators' wings.

Apart from the astonishing feat of bringing in Sidney Crosby, dawgtoy has taken a quiet approach to his first months in management. He did move high-priced center Paul Stastny for some useful pieces, but has otherwise spent his time claiming since injured Nik Khabibulin.

The Mustangs are a fairly strong offensive side, scoring top ten figures in both goals and assists, but lack a certain gritty two-way quality in that they are in the bottom in plus/minus. The team's bravery may also be questioned, given that they are only infrequently playing the body and blocking shots. That may be in part blamed on a sub-par defense that cannot complement the solid offensive core available to dawgtoy. Basically, the Mustangs need to get tougher and meaner across the line.

Dawgtoy has so far exceeded his predecessor, if only slightly, by taking the Mustangs within 25 points of 10th place. Nonetheless, the franchise will probably need some time saddling up before dawgtoy can dig his spurs deep enough into the bloodred flanks of the Mustangs-beast for it to accelerate to its potential.



FHL Gazette: Title race rolls on

Created by NorwegianOiler on 2013-03-02 12:55:11 (updated by NorwegianOiler on 2013-03-19 14:47:55)

FHL season moves into week eight!

 

There is a new league leader, the reigning champions gain ground, the Chiefs skyrocket with new captures Backes and Neal, and the Devils move up under new GM tdizzy. In addition, the FHL headquarters are permeated by rumours that the market is flooded by floating waiver turds.

 

The newcomers aquaint themselves; veterans Zack and Trogdor go in opposite directions in the standings:Buckminster of the Spartans (formerly Panthers) still struggles with injuries and inconsistency and has yet to take his team out of the basement. Having traded star forward James Neal to the Chiefs, the Spartans won't have to fear the scorching criticism of Aristotle, but rather face a period of rebuilding in order to become more competitive. Neal's new side, the Chiefs, have taken off into orbit after also adding FHL star David Backes. GM Zack is reportedly delighted to see his team climb a healthy eight spots into seventh - clearly within a good chance of a top five finish.

Quinstone's Gladiators have been busy remaking their roster since entering the FHL early on in the season. The turnover has been nothing short of gladiatorial, but things appear to have cooled down at the Gladiators' offices, though their GM is still reportedly checking for news at nano-intervals.

The arguably most quiet new GM of the FHL made significant progress the past two weeks. Tdizzy's Devils have risen from 12th to 8th in the league, powering past the Militia, Stingers, Lakers and Burninators. The latter seems to have had his flame extinguished as key players like Couture, Pavelski, and Oshie have delivered atrocious results the past weeks. Trogdor must surely be looking to revive his season and a trade or two might be made in the near future.

 

Title chasing pack forms:The Bulldogs have assumed the alpha male role of the title chasers since February 20th, carried forward on the strength of a group of very active Flyers - Brayden Schenn, Wayne Simmonds, Jakub Voracek, and Danny Briere. Former champions Heatwave are also making ground, and Ktown may still come good on his promise to only allow others to "keep his throne warm for him". As the Heatwave pushes into the top three, the Rhinos and Raiders still hang on in a top five that has separated somewhat from the rest.



FHL Gazette: Trade activity pullulates!

Created by NorwegianOiler on 2013-02-13 13:08:30 (updated by NorwegianOiler on 2013-03-19 14:48:19)

 

The season continues with unrelenting pressure upon the FHL GMs to succeed. The fire rises as players and GMs move from their clubs. Canadian superstar Sidney Crosby packs his cheese and whine and goes to the Mustangs, while GM AlanNottsUK have resigned as leader of the Panthers. 

 

Trade flurry: The ice is always smoother in the other rinks, so the Gladiators appear better to the Bulldogs and the Bulldogs seem better to the Gladiators. More than eighteen players swapped sides in a series of monstrous deals between the 2nd placed Bulldogs and the Gladiators - now under the vivacious leadership of Quinstone. Meanwhile, anonymously polled GMs have been quoted saying that these two teams are a "detriment" to the league, polluting it with inflation and making a mockery of the players. Paul Stastny declined to comment on his third trade in less than a fortnight. He is now with the Stingers, but rumours are that he also declines to unpack his bags until further notice.

GM Change: The search for another willing and able managerial mind is on since AlanNottsUK was forced to quit his position with the Panthers. Injuries have hamstrung the team's chances early on, and the job to climb up the standings promises to be a challenging one.

The standings: Little has changed since the previous installment of the FHL Gazette, the Vikings and Bulldogs hold 1st and 2nd place, but quietly creeping up are teams like the Raiders and Rhinos. The Lakers are boiling too on the strength of winger Thomas Vanek who has single handedly taken them into the top 10. The Chiefs, under illustrious Zackman35's leadership, has enjoyed marvellous goaltending, but lack firepower up front to compete. Jamie Benn's return to NHL action sees the Tigers begin a steady climb out of the bottom eight. Hard competition also sees the Burninators and Milita drop in the standings, but neither are by any means detached from the title race.

Rumours: The Stingers and Vikings have talked a trade involving a top centreman and a pair of good value players, but the deal fell through. Blockbuster negotiations were ongoing with the Bombers, but one of the sides involved allegedly got cold feet and walked away. 

 



FHL Gazette: 2nd Season Underway!

Created by NorwegianOiler on 2013-02-05 15:50:13 (updated by NorwegianOiler on 2013-06-22 02:29:06)

Thanks to our propaganda ministry, the FHL is proud to present its own news blog, aptly coined (pun researched) the FHL Gazette. This date also marks the start of the fourth 'week' of action in the second season of the FHL. There has been a stir of activity on the GM front, trade front, and not least in the standings.

 

Big trades: Once the lockout ended, GMs hastily assembled their rosters and some found the need to overhaul what was available to them. Perhaps most notably, the trade between the Dragons and the Thunder which saw marquee forward Joe Thornton as well as defenseman Eric Brewer move to Beijing in exchange for the Dragons' 1st rounder (Chiefs) and 2nd rounder as well as hard-hitting blueliner Alexei Emelin. Clearly, the fear of being exposed as a wheeler dealer has not stifled Samson or Rtsen.

Moreover, The Raiders were active earlier on, moving a number of players to the Thunder and Bulldogs, receiving veterans Gonchar and Prospal in the process. Since acquiring Ales Hemsky last season, Raiders GM Steve-o has been suspiciously quiet, but rumours of his all eclipsing worship of Hemsky's jock strap may now be put to rest.

Another blockbuster was the January 24th deal between the Megasus and the Rebels, where top players E. Staal, Kreijci, Sharp and goaltending youngster Holtby changed clubs.

 

GM changes: The business of the FHL takes some time and for the GMs of the Devils, Flares and Mustangs that has meant a change in front office. Replacing mrgod2u at the Devils is tdizzy, whilst newcomer dawgtoy relieves Mr.Majestyk as head of the Mustangs. Finally, it appears that iCanada will be succeeded by Quinstone as manager of the Flares, pending final details.

League Standings: The shortened NHL season bodes well for those with a taste for close shavings and anxiety, as teams climb over each other for position in the standings. The Vikings currently, and naturally, lead the race, but after a deflating weekend the Bulldogs are coming ever closer to regaining the league lead. GM gr8one continues to pursue the Norack Cup by adding forwards Danny Briere and Paul Stastny early in the year. Sustaining their solid start, the Milita looks to improve their weak goaltending in a bid to further solidify a top 5 position. 

Slow starts have not stopped the Heatwave, Bombers and Stingers from gaining ground on the rest, whereas the injury riddled Panthers will have much to make up once their personnel heal up.

 

Standings season 1 (For reference)

 

- Vikings General Manager and your (not inbred) overlord, NorwegianOiler