Notable Retire Season 5 - Manuel Wyss - Defenseman
A team is only as strong as its weakest link. The big contracts, the scoring titles, and stars of the game often go to the household name stars, but it's the players battling it out on the front lines lower on the depth chart that make or break a team's true success. Manuel Wyss was always in the trenches shoring up his teammates' weakest links. In only five short GHL seasons, he played on five different teams, often going unnoticed on each change in scenery, but always over performing above his expectations.
Beginning in Season 1, Wyss began with the Lake Viking Bulldogs. To say it was a tumultuous start to a new league and new team would be an understatement. At 30 years old and a rating of 83ovr, Wyss found himself in a top 4 roll with the Bulldogs. After an 8-12 start, the Bulldogs continued to juggling their lineup, going through 10 D-men on the roster during that first year. Wyss found himself a casualty of that slow start and was traded to Enigma Rage in a swap that included Mario Vuillermet and Rowan Talbot-Gervais (step-brother to Ricky Gervais). Wyss was able to solidify a roster spot, getting 19 pts (8-11) for the remaining 60 games of the season and a 7th place playoff spot. After netting a goal in a hard fought 3-2 series loss to the West Chicago Hawks, Rage's season was over and so would be Wyss's time with the team.
At the start of Season 2, after being waived unceremoniously by Rage, the Lightning Bolts picked him up for a two year stint as the team underwent the transition to the Miami Angels. Teaming up with the goalie George Mercredi, Wyss continued to show his ability to outshine some of his teammates as he scored 33 pts (15-18) in a strong depth role. However, once again Wyss found himself on the losing end of a first round playoff loss after going down three games to two in the five game series. The transition to Miami Angels for the team was not successful and Wyss only found himself starting 48 games and by far his worst year of his career.
Following Season 3, at the start of Season 4 perennial under performers Eldred Elite picked Wyss up on a no frills one-year, $1.5 million contract. It was a chance for Wyss to prove he belonged in the GHL and Elite to garner some defenseman depth. Starting the season in the AAHL, Wyss made the best use of his opportunity and had 34 pts (17-17) in 49 games before being called up to the top six of Elite and finished the season with 13 pts in 24 games and a 0 +/- rating and a Corsi of 51.7%, all which caught the attention of Elite management of his ability to be a clutch performer in a depth role. With Wyss in his role on the the 3rd line D corps, Elite crawled up the standings to finish strongly in fifth place. Unfortunately, both for Wyss and the Elite, the playoffs ended almost as quickly as they had started and were swept out by the eventual Western Conference champion Victoria Regals.
Now at the age of 35, Wyss resigned with Eldred Elite to try and continue both teams late season 4 success at a very paltry $1,147,000 for another year of service. Wyss continued to make the most of his time on the ice putting up a career tying 33 pts (12-21) in 80 games and a +8 with averaging only 14 mins a game, his lowest total ice time of his career. After a strong season both for Wyss and Elite, the storybook season came to an end during game five against the West Chicago Hawks in the conference semi-finals. Wyss played strong for the club putting up four points (1-3) in nine games in limited action as the #6 d-man.
Following the season, Wyss was offered another one-year contract by Elite and all indications were that he would return as a strong veteran to help transition the defensemen corps to the new guard that will lead the team over the next 5-10 seasons. Unfortunately, facing age 36 and the current health crisis facing the world, he decided he would now take some time to spend with his family and go out on a high note with his season with Elite. Some champions never get rings, but will always be remembered by the fans and fellow players for what they bring to the rink each and every day.
Manuel Wyss finished his career after five GHL seasons with 310 games, 50 goals, 75 assists, and a takeaway to giveaway ratio of 85/8.