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FHL 2017-18 Pre-season survey: Spartans, Arcadians, Vikings

Created by NorwegianOiler on 2017-10-03 08:17:05 (updated by NorwegianOiler on 2017-10-17 03:35:20)

SPARTANS (BUCKMINSTER)
 
Where did you finish last season and what were the main reasons you ended up there?
15th overall, and a first round playoff exit. Just part of my slow climb up the standings as my young team continues to mature.

What have you changed about your team since the end of last season?
Not much, dropped a few players. Biggest change was adding Jimmy Howard at the end of last season to hopefully improve my goaltending.

What is your goal for the season - what would you consider a successful campaign?
To continue my climb up the standings. My goal is to be in the top 10, but I would consider anything higher than 15th to be successful.

Create a "12 forward, 6 defenseman, 2 goalie lineup" from your roster.
Kessel, Drouin, Pasternak
Marner, Krejci, Perry
Point, Reinhardt, Strome
Ritchie, Comeau, Roussel

Jones, Petry
Davidson, Scandella
Heed, McCoshen

Luongo
Howard

Compare your team to a current NHL team based on its strengths and weaknesses. 
Not sure who to compare to, I've got lots of young very skilled forwards with a few solid vets to help, a decent top 3 D, and good, but old and inconsistent, goaltending. Maybe Winnipeg, though they have a better defense than I do, or maybe Toronto, those are the 2 teams you tend to think of with young skilled forwards.


Do you have any players you expect to surprise people this season?
Last year I said Marner, and was right, but the best surprise was Point. This year I'm hoping for Heed to break out, and maybe someone like De La Rose or McCoshen

Evaluate your draft history as a franchise so far – which players have become successful?
I've made a lot of draft picks since taking over this team in early 2013, including 2 picks in the top 4 of my first 3 years. In 2013 I selected Drouin and Jones 2nd and 3rd, and am very happy with those selections. That year I also traded up to select Rychel, who shows promise now and then, but seems likely to be a bust in the end. I also selected Jason Dickinson, Jacob De La Rose, and Justin Bailey in the 2nd round and Ian McCoshen, Jordan Subban and Phillipe Desrosiers in the 3rd. All but Desrosiers are still with the Spartans and continuing to progress. McCoshen and De La Rose look to have made their teams this fall. In 2014 I only made 7 selections, taking Reinhart and Ekblad 1st and 3rd. Sam took a while to get going, but seems to be doing well finally, and Ekblad was traded with Ovie for Luongo, and Perry before his 2nd contract made him too expensive. With the rest of my picks I selected Jared McCann, Pasternak, Brendan Lemieux, Alex Nedeljkovic, and Point. Pasternak and Point are among my best selections, and players that I targeted going into the draft, the rest are all progressing slowly. 2015 saw me only make 4 picks. Strome and Marner 3rd and 4th overall, and Jake Debrusk and Jacob Larsson in the 2nd round. Marner is a great pick, and there is still hope for Strome, though he is taking a while. Debrusk and Larsson were both traded in larger deals. 2016 saw me without a top 4 selection for the 1st time and having soured on the draft a bit in my impatience, I traded all my picks, and didn't make a single selection. I returned to the draft this year selecting Cale Maker 9th and P-O Joseph with the last pick. Joseph had a great camp with the Coyotes, but both are developing in college or Junior.

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

I go with last years top 5 of Arcadians, Viking, Militia, Thunder, and Chiefs

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

Here's to another fun Season!
 
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ARCADIANS (MCSORLEY)
 
Where did you finish last season and what were the main reasons you ended up there?
1st in both the NORACK Cup and the Playoff. My goaltending really came to life during the season and ended up ranking 1st in the leauge. A lot of guys had a breakthrough season and performed really well. Also got my secondary scoring going. The trade for Arvidsson may have been the greatest robbery of this century.

What have you changed about your team since the end of last season?
Not too much, couple of free agent signings.

What is your goal for the season - what would you consider a successful campaign?
I am all in this year as well, going for two in a row :)

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

Marchand-O'Reilly-Panarin
Skinner-Granlund-Arvidsson
Mantha-Schwartz-Rantanen
Steen-Lindberg-Strome

Gardiner-Weber
Skjei-Zaitsev
Lindell-Goligoski

Bobrovsky
Gibson


Compare your team to a current NHL team based on its strengths and weaknesses?
Dificult to say, maybe the Capitals. Hard hitting offense and goalkeeping. A bit weaker on the defense..

Do you have any players you expect to surprise people this season?
Think Mantha, Rantanen, Buchnevich and Lekhonen can build on last season and get even better. Lindblom, Sprong and Hobbs are wildcards.

Evaluate your draft history as a franchise so far – which players have become successful?
My fist pick was Rantanen, I think I can call him a sucsess. Sprong and Bracco are stil to make the big clubs so we would have to wait and see. I traded last years 3oa Puljujarvi in the hopes of going for the cup. The rest are still undecided


Which teams do you predict as top five in the FHL this season?
Pretty much the same as last year, but things can happen quickly just look at the Arcadians

Do you have any messages to relay to the fellowship of the FHL?
The cup stays in Norway boys. Better luck next year
 
 
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VIKINGS (NORWEGIANOILER)
 
Where did you finish last season and what were the main reasons you ended up there?
Second. First of the losers, but a loser nonetheless. I was convinced up until the last few weeks that the Vikings would come through on merit of their depth and goaltending, but it was not to be. Sub par performances from key players that previously carried their load and more was certainly part of the failure. Schneider didn't produce as he should, the same goes for key players like Duchene and Gallagher. It was not all down to player performances, however, as the brazen conduct of the team's general manager must be factored in as well. Damn that guy. The trade with the Arcadians of Marchand (to ARC) for Shattenkirk (to VIK) prior to the season meant a net loss of points that went in favor of the eventual FHL champion Arcadians. Another crucially poor decision was made in letting forward Jonathan Marchessault go to free agency in favor of prospect Joseph Blandisi. Had these two decisions reversed the Vikings could have enjoyed a fourth straight year of success, but we were bested and that we must grudgingly accept. But not again. Not again.
 
Also: A certain someone (and I know who you are...) made sure to put the Arcadians over the top by gifting them Artemi Panarin who was on a violent tear just as I was closing the gap to 1st before the deadline. Many thanks, you thug
.
What have you changed about your team since the end of last season?
A few changes has been made, but they have been cosmetic at best. There have been attempts to make a few big deals to improve the structure and future of the team, but none have come to fruition despite lengthy negotiations.

The Vikings have released Brian Gionta, who accompanied Roman Josi to the club as a cap dump in a massive deal two years ago. Joseph Blandisi also left, but not much else has changed.


What is your goal for the season - what would you consider a successful campaign?
Flawless, unconditional victory in both the regular season and the playoffs. No more Greco-Norwegian usurpation, no more Heatwavian unrest. Only the sweet sweet dominance of the Vikings on all fronts will suffice. The team should be built for it.


Create a "12 forward, 6 defenseman, 2 goalie lineup" from your roster.
Wheeler - Bergeron - Radulov
Ehlers - Duchene - Gallagher
Guentzel - Hayes - Boeser
Hartman - Eriksson Ek - Fischer

Hedman - Shattenkirk
Forbort - Josi
Seidenberg - DeAngelo

Holtby
Schneider

Compare your team to a current NHL team based on its strengths and weaknesses. 
It's hard to say. The forward group is strong, without having many clear cut "stars" and the defense is carried by a glorious top three and a steady bottom three. The goaltending is supreme if on their game. Sounds a bit like Nashville with better goaltending perhaps.

Do you have any players you expect to surprise people this season?
The Vikings have a few youngsters on the verge of breaking out. A total surprise is not an apt description, but I suspect Brock Boeser will do some damage. I had similar hopes for Timo Meier a year ago, but his development has been slower than expected. Christian Fischer of the Coyotes has been a solid player in the AHL and showed some good things last season and in camp this year. Maybe, just maybe he can find some goals at NHL level too. Chytil has been a revelation in camp and will get some NHL time to start the year. With some luck he can stay up and make the Vikings proud.

All in all the Vikings consist of much steady and known material though.

Evaluate your draft history as a franchise so far – which players have become successful? 
The Vikings have always aimed to draft a few players each year and allow these to grow and supplement the core crop of players. Filtering through earliest were Girgenssons (20th overall in 2012, the only pick that year) and Hartman (33rd overall in 2013). We picked dud M-O Roy in 2013 (late second round) and Nick Baptiste who is still trying to break into the NHL. In 2014 we traded up to take Nick Ehlers (#8OA) who has become a mainstay on the team. A similar trade to take Timo Meier was made in 2015 (#9OA), a draft which also saw Brock Boeser (#23OA) join the clan. The 2016 class included Dante Fabbro (#18OA), Adam Mascherin (#32OA) and Janne Kuokkanen as the FHL's last draftee that year. All still look like decent prospects, but are at least a year away from making an impact on the NHL. The 2017 draft saw the Vikings pick up Klim Kostin at #21 OA and aforementioned Filip Chytil at #28 OA. Both look to get NHL games as soon as this season, without making any further conclusions. Kole Lind was also drafted, but his eventual NHL career is some years away.

Which teams do you predict as top five in the FHL this season?
Still the Vikings, sorry for you all, but also the Arcadians, Chiefs, Thunder, and Milita. Perhaps even the Stingers or Heatwave are ready to break into the top five. To be fair, the Chiefs look quite strong, having picked up a few decent cheap youngsters in Björk and Kase to add to the solid core of stars. If there's a new winner of the FHL (which the Vikings won't allow), it could well be the Chiefs.

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

There is more to come with the FHL in the future. There are plans to expand to 24 teams as soon as next season and thus allow a matchup based competition as has been suggested.

Good luck to you all! May we enjoy another exciting season of hockey through our FHL goggles! Thank you for your participation and dedication to our keeper league! 

 



2016-17 FHL playoffs FINAL Matchup

Created by NorwegianOiler on 2017-03-27 11:00:08 (updated by NorwegianOiler on 2017-04-10 00:46:32)

This post will be reserved for the daily update of the playoff matchups - though somewhat later than the automatic update on the standings page.

The finalists in this year's playoffs are the Arcadians and Thunder! Whatever the outcome, a new FHL playoff champion will be crowned after these final two weeks of action. 

 

 

 

UPDATED: WE HAVE A NEW FHL PLAYOFF CHAMPION - The ARCADIANS! 

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE ARCADIANS ON THEIR DOUBLE TRIUMPH - WINNING BOTH THE NORACK CUP AND PLAYOFFS FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE FRANCHISE'S HISTORY! MORE TO COME ON THE SEASON LATER THIS EASTER!

 versus 

(140.45)                 -                (103.88)

 

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2016-17 FHL playoffs: SEMI FINAL Matchups

Created by NorwegianOiler on 2017-03-20 00:13:37 (updated by NorwegianOiler on 2017-03-28 09:17:10)

 

This post will be reserved for the daily update of the playoff matchups - though somewhat later than the automatic update on the standings page.

The semi final matchups are as follows:

 

 versus Gladiators Logo

(69.40)                 -                (54.55)

 

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versus Megasus Logo

(63.18)                 -                (48.72)

 

 



2016-17 FHL playoffs: ROUND 2 Matchups

Created by NorwegianOiler on 2017-03-13 00:58:46 (updated by NorwegianOiler on 2017-03-20 00:11:39)

 

This post will be reserved for the daily update of the playoff matchups - though somewhat later than the automatic update on the standings page.

The second round matchups are as follows:

 

Vikings Logo versus Gladiators Logo

(66.63                -                (69.43)

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 versus Bulldogs Logo

(77.23)               -              (59.93)

 

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Militia Logoversus Megasus Logo

(57.88                -                (64.03)

 

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 versus Heatwave Logo

(69.63)                 -                (67.53)

 



2016-17 FHL playoffs: ROUND 1 Matchups

Created by NorwegianOiler on 2017-03-06 08:33:09 (updated by NorwegianOiler on 2017-03-13 00:57:25)

It is here again. Playoff time!

The FHL deadline wasn't a flurry of activity, but a noteworthy deal between the Arcadians and Mustangs promoted the marriage of "win now" and "win later". Mcsorley's acquisition of Artemi Panarin should boost his chances to land either the Norack Cup, the playoff trophy, or both; whereas the Mustangs bolstered their rebuild with a top prospect in Puljujärvi and a 1st rounder.  We're coming into our fourth official playoff campaign. After two consecutive Norack Cups and playoff trophies the Vikings were ousted in the first round last season by the surging Dragons. The Milita went on to win the playoffs, bringing the total unique FHL playoff winners to three, alongside the Heatwave and Vikings. Perhaps we will see another team added to that list this spring?

Good luck, everyone.

This post will be reserved for the daily update of the playoff matchups - though somewhat later than the automatic update on the standings page. The first round matchups are as follows: 

 

FIRST ROUND COMPLETE. WINNERS' SCORES IN BOLD.

 

Vikings Logo versus 

(59.38                -                (36.20)

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 versus 

(67.48)                 -               (47.80)

 

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Militia Logoversus Rhinos Logo

(71.20)                 -                (36.45)

 

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 versus Gladiators Logo

(37.00)                -                (51.87)

 

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 versusBulldogs Logo 

(50.45)                 -                (57.88)

 

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 versus Bombers Logo

(56.29                -                (55.98)

 

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 versus Megasus Logo

(42.95)                 -                (60.35)

 

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  Heatwave Logoversus 

 (60.72                -                (53.43)

 

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FHL News: Playoff cutoff date (and playoff schedule)

Created by NorwegianOiler on 2017-02-26 12:40:28

Playoff cutoff date for the 2016-17 FHL plaoyffs will be Sunday March 5th.

The first round of the FHL playoffs will be held between March 6th and March 12th. 

The second round of the FHL playoffs will be held between March 13th and March 19th. 

The semi finals of the FHL playoffs will be held between March 20th and March 26th. 

The FHL playoff final will be fought out in the final two weeks of the NHL regular season, from March 27th to April 9th. 

 

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The FHL Gazette: A portion of the same old and a dose of the unfamiliar. 

The FHL season has come into its final few months with the Vikings and Milita (somewhat) predictably holding their own in the top. Though only having allowed the Milita to own top spot for two days (one of which happened to be GM jfrizzio's birthday) in the past three months, the Vikings have yet to fully pull away in the title race. The Milita are poised to make a run for their first ever Norack Cup partly on the strength of their Blue Jacket contingent who are really firing this year. The top two are accompanied, however, by dark horse Arcadians. They finished a lowly 19th in GM mcsorley's first season in charge, but through some Lazarus-like ascension they've put themselves in position to fight for the title already! No matter how the season ends for them, the Arcadians have enjoyed a successful campaign, and their GM a clear candidate for GM of the year, too.

Following behind the top three are other climbers like the Devils and Stingers, both having solid seasons so far, as well as the quietly improving Chiefs, Thunder and Raiders. Former powerhouse Heatwave keep on falling and whilst Ktown withers away his rivals rejoice at the silence following in the wake of the sinking franchise. Where are you, Ktown? Former top five sides like the Gladiators and Bulldogs have taken similar falls.

The Rhinos and Bombers are also doing somewhat worse than last season, goaltending being a problem area for both of these original FHL franchises.

The Spartans, Serpents and Lakers are taking a step out of the absolute bottom, building slowly to bring about a sustainable change in the standings' scenery for them. But, as the Arcadians have shown, change can come about quickly for teams in their position as well! Dropping in place of these slow risers are teams like the Burninators and Mustangs, both having seasons to forget.

After a greatly impressive improvement year, the Dragons have regressed and currently reside in the bottom two, together with the Rattleheads, who have slumped into the very bottom for the first time ever. 

The FHL is clearly dynamic, as new teams rise and others step back, but through all the change one fact remains; the Viking Age has yet to end!