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    flowbish1 reacted to AlexanderRasputin in SEASON 7 GHL AWARDS   
    Congratulations to everyone on an epic Season 7! 
    As usual, discussions AND ADDITIONAL TROPHIES are welcome.
    You know the drill.
    Conn Smythe Trophy (Playoff MVP):

    ROGER MULLER (Red Tide) - 18 points - (17GP - 9G/9A/+8)
    Following his breakout regular season, Muller continued to be hot in the playoffs, centering the Tide's most effective line, and playing a key role on both the PP and the PK. He led the team with 11 TKA, and shared the lead with 2 PPG and most combined special teams time. 
    GHL East Champion: BIG DELTA STEALHEADS (Paul T)        *NEW GHL POINTS RECORD (176)
    GHL West Champion: PITTSBORO PLASTIC ATTACK (Makate Naekfor)
    Managers of the Year: 
    Makate Naekor (Plastic Attack) - West
    Paul T (Stealheads) - East

    ART ROSS TROPHY (Most League Points)
    ELOUAN SCOTT (Red Tide) - 97 points      *NEW GHL RECORD    *RETAINS TITLE
    OVECHKIN TROPHY (Top Goalscorer)
    RAPHAEL BOLDUC (Bad Apples) - 46 goals              
     GRETZKY TROPHY (Best Playmaker) 
    KIERON MONTGOMERY (Bad Apples) - 57 assists           
    VEZINA TROPHY (Best Goaltender)
    JEAN-FRANCOIS SHORE (Rage)               
    ORR TROPHY (Best Offensive Defenceman)
    ARTEM PSCHENICHNIKOV (Red Tide) - 88 points     *NEW GHL RECORD                       
    NORRIS TROPHY (Best Defensive Defenceman)
    PIERROT RIDDLE (Goldville Knights)       *RETAINS TITLE                
    ORR - Points leader among defencemen
    NORRIS - Calculated with the following formula among D-men [BKS - GVA + TKA], PER also taken into consideration, removing +/- for more fairness 
    SELKE TROPHY (Best Defensive Forward)
    ELOUAN SCOTT (Red Tide)                   
    Calculated with the following formula among F: [PTS + BKS - GVA + TKA] Hits and +/- also relevant.
    LADY BYNG TROPHY (Most Gentlemanly Player)
    LISAKKI JARVELA (Yale Men)               
    Calculated with the following formula [PTS - PIM]
     HART TROPHY (League MVP)
    CALDER TROPHY (Best Rookie)
    ARTEM PSCHENICHNIKOV (Red Tide) - 88 points           *NEW GHL RECORD
    GOOD SAMARITAN AWARD (Most Giveaways)
    AADEN BABIN (Ithaca Doom) - 32 GVA
    CECIL BRANCO (Shebandowan Natives/Bodmin Bangers)            *RETAINS TITLE
    (Most Hits + PIM + MP)
    JUBA DESSANE (Bodmin Bangers) - 93 points after never scoring above 63
    SEET ESKOLA (Eastern Outlaws)
    YAN SHARSHIN (Red Tide)
    JOAQUIM HARTER (Rome Trojans)
  2. Like
    flowbish1 reacted to AlexanderRasputin in From Hell: The rise of the Vermilion Black Devils   
    Season 10: GHL

    1st place: 47-5-7-21 

    5th Consecutive GHL East Title 


    The massive, suffocating pressure with a golden tint hangs heavy over the Black Devils from the first minute on the ice. The players are seasoned, mentally strong, so outwardly there is little to no impact - but even to an untrained eye, it is visible that the skating is just a bit slower, the decisions less instinctive. Sticks are gripped harder, mouthguards chewed with less intensity. Less “you know”s pepper the interviews of Vermilion’s Canadian players. And it also shows in the standings. With 18 games played, the Devils are already at 6 losses - and trailing the conference leaders by 3 points. Among the highlights are a narrow 2-1 away loss to the archrival Hawks, the Vermilion top 6 coming out bland and frustrated in a tight defensive game. A willful 6-5 shootout victory over the Western rival Fighters, Hauk taking over the game and winning it in the shootout, puts some needed spice back into the current run, but it is clear - the pressure to win is doing the squad no favours, and not everyone on the team is handling it well. 
    Hit hardest is Calder-winning sophomore El Madkouri. After a few pointless games, he is demoted to the bottom 6 to try to find his game, Rasputin unhappy with his lack of offensive zone effort. Unhappy, El Madkouri pushes his luck, with an open practice confrontation with Rasputin. This proves to be the wrong decision. 
    “I don’t give a damn what you do OFF the ice as long as what you do ON the ice is at the standard I expect from this goddamn team!” bellows Rasputin as El Madkouri tries to insinuate his off-ice behaviour is the reason behind less ice-time. “Get out there and do some fucking WORK.”
    But El Madkouri’s attitude will not allow him to put his head down and work. Fan opinion is divided - a mercurial talent isn’t going to be a smooth ride. But with his outbursts, El Madkouri is taking the already hard-pressed team off-course, and taking the spotlight away from Hauk. With Sylvain gone, there is a leadership void in the squad that Hauk must fill quickly. After weeks of conversations with El Madkouri, then several closed-door conversations with Rasputin and Drougge, Hauk gives his verdict. 
    Rumours already swirl around interest from Blazers, Tigers, bottom of the table Indians - and Hazzard Blizzard, a top western rival containing two incredibly attractive assets in superstar defenceman Sven Keller and veteran sniper, Russian legend Yegor Siyankov. Blizzard scouts are seen at Devils games, and hot takes on a potential massive trade begin to fill the news. Rasputin refuses to be drawn into commentary. “El Mad is our player, a Devil, and the chance of him leaving is about as small as whatever you’re packing in those trousers.” He winks at the asking reporter, who also cracks a smile. 
    El Madkouri skates with the team, on the 2nd line, performance not improving, as shouts of a mega-deal with Tigers involving multiple players and a 1st began to get louder and louder. But when Rasputin inevitably stands before the press, the announcement surprises many. “The trade is one for one,” solemnly states Alexander. “El Madkouri to Indians for Yury Nizamutdinov.”
    Nizamutdinov was the #2 pick after Hauk two years ago, a now 20 year old superstar defenceman with elite skating and an aggressive physical presence. Nevertheless, he has a preference to play a Lidstrom-style finesse defensive game - and is extremely good at it, maintaining a positive Corsi on a consistently underperforming Indians team. Rasputin sees him as a foundational piece for the Russian core of the Devils dynasty. This addition makes the Vermilion defence elite, contending for the best rearguard in the league with Harrow and Warman. And they are not yet done.
    “Yury is a killer. You know the hockey myth of Scott Stevens-type defencemen who intimidate guys so much, they straight up avoid them on the ice? Yeah, Yury is a step above that. Watch.” Rasputin flicks on an LCD on the wall of the press room, and a highlights compilation of Nizamutdinov laying out players in the Russian juniors, then the SHL, then GHL begins to roll. The results are impressive. Massive, otherworldly hits sending players to the Shadow Realm, superb board presence - and a surprisingly even-keeled balance between committing to the hits and choosing defensive stickwork and positioning instead. A veteran mindset that most players don’t learn until their late 20s combined with the intensity and instinctive knowledge of when to change the course of the game with a big hit.
    “This is a player that will be a cornerstone of our defence for years to come - our own Konstantinov” finishes Rasputin.
    Nizamutdinov makes an immediate impact, leading the team with 17 hits and +8 in the next 8 games. But the Devils now hit their usual “mid-season blackout”, losing 6 out of 7. And Alexander knows that he has to do more now to shake the team out of its lethargy. Days after the Nizamutdinov trade, he has his opportunity. 
    On the market is one of the absolute superstars in the league, 26 year old former #1 draft pick D Sven Keller. Long known to be the best all-around defenceman in the GHL, Keller has had some success on the Blizzard, scoring 30 in a recent season, but a coaching change and this season’s midtable obscurity has made up the minds of both team and player. But the Blizzard are asking a franchise-level return for a franchise player - something not many teams in the league can afford. Opportunistic as always, Alexander readies a move. Interest by the Hawks, and a few failed lowball attempts aimed at Keller further increase the Devils’ interest. The Vermilion press is worried. It is clear that to push this deal through, core players on the Devils squad will have to leave, potentially disrupting the team’s chemistry, leadership structure, and on-ice flow. Any big trade at this point in a title challenge is incredibly risky. Equally risky is the proposition of running two elite offensive dmen, with Keller and Drougge comparable in performance, each leading the league in points at times. After passing the Hawks GM in the Hazzard offices after yet another failed Harrow attempt to get Keller at minimum value, Rasputin smirks and walks in. He does not reemerge for a full 24 hours - but when he does, the trade is complete. 

    For D Sven Keller, a top 5 player and consensus best dman in the GHL, the Black Devils give up star D Davin Coronado, and two young high-potential players. ex-high 1st round picks, thought to be part of the team’s future core - playmaking winger Andre Dugdale and defensive dman Walid Kyer, recently acquired for a 1st round pick. Aside from Coronado, replaced directly by Keller, no core assets were moved, and despite the steep value involved in mortgaging some of the team’s future to win now, the return is worth it. Rasputin is elated.
    “This is a coup. Keller and Nizamutdinov are a match made in hockey heaven. Sven has, now, a team that finally matches his ambition and talents - with no disrespect to Hazzard, who have a fantastic organization. We now have, no question, the league’s top D pairing. For us not to win now would be an affront to the hockey gods. All due respect to the players we shipped out - they are consummate professionals, they’ve moved our team forward, and they will move Blizzard forward.”
    “As for us,” he continues, “You all know what we’re aiming for this season.”
    With the new defensive arrivals, Rasputin makes adjustments to Vermilion’s offensive play. With so many lethal weapons and elite skaters at his disposal, Alexander and Bure move average starting positions of players further back in the zone, with the aim to have Keller, Hauk, or Koch carry the puck in rather than pick it up up ice from a lead pass. Aside from physical powerhouses Nizamutdinov on the 1at pairing, and mainstay Drozd on the 3rd, the defence is less aggressive and now more reliant on positioning and stick work to regain possession. This gives the team as a whole more agility, structure, and space for quick counterattacks by the offensive players, who have the freedom of the opposition ice to create their sorcery. 
    Midway through the season, rebuilding on the fly, the Black Devils sit in the usual 1st place spot, only 2 points up on a surprising new challenger - newly promoted Frost Giants, led by none other than ex-Devils captain, GHL legend Sylvain Monciau-Desormeaux. 

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    flowbish1 got a reaction from AlexanderRasputin in My thoughts on endurance   
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    flowbish1 reacted to AlexanderRasputin in From Hell: The rise of the Vermilion Black Devils   
    SEASON 4:

    The Fourth Circle
    (59-2-4-15, 1st place)
    Part I 
    The now well-oiled Vermilion machine has won 3 straight league titles and countless hearts. The player Instagram accounts are flooding with fans and their pockets with cash. For the first time, the Black Devils are a profitable business. The Chasm, as Vermilion Park is now commonly known far and wide in Alberta, is a busy place. Hundreds of businesses have opened their doors within the arena and the Vermilion area, with the town quadrupling their population and infrastructure just barely catching up with the expansion. 
    Alexander Rasputin buys a tiger sanctuary and fills it with bears. Every morning he wrestles them to remind himself that life is precious, and that danger and uncertainty can be bent to man’s will. Rasputin is a man on a mission - and for the BHL, that mission is to get better players. The Vermilion staff understand that at the BHL and then the SHL level, they are entering elite territory, and the core of the team that will be able to compete in these leagues needs to be built now. 
    A new top-tier scouting team is formed, with focus on using advanced analytics on picking up the best players for the now well-known Black Devils style of play - fast, furious, and incredibly offensive, both in approach, and in the amount of Russian profanity accompanying every rush. Coach Pavel Bure, now with a 183-13-10-37 record behind the bench, continues to go out on the ice and destroy his defence at practices, but they can now stop him about half the time, rather than not at all. There is clear progress. 
    The Black Devils have drafted well, picking up gifted defensive defenceman Dmitry Yakovlev at 114th after shipping perimeter squad players to mediocre teams in the offseason for their draft picks. Yakovlev will immediately slot in on the team’s first pairing, and is one of the pieces that will form the team’s core for at least the next two seasons. The team has also signed flashy Canadian C Laith Sanford, who scored a record 57 goals the previous CHL season, playing for rival Wolverines. Goalie Dannie Dutil, known for his near-perfect positioning but not much else, has been slotted in as a starter to replace retired Zach Callan. Rasputin and his staff aren’t concerned - the goaltender isn’t going to be winning the team many points with the kind of offence the Black Devils are used to running. 
    After being blessed by the horned Orthodox-looking, incense-carrying priest, and under the watchful eye of Fedor, the scouting team locks themselves inside The Chasm’s offices for 13 days. Arena employees report chanting, flickering flames, and strange, inhuman sounds from behind the doors.

    On the 14th day, as the scouts file out, their sunken eyes filled with incomprehensible, eldritch truths, their leader hands Rasputin a torn scrap of paper. On it are three names:
    C Frank Weichert
    F Hasan Peloso
    F Ricky Danielsson

  5. Like
    flowbish1 reacted to AlexanderRasputin in From Hell: The rise of the Vermilion Black Devils   
    SEASON 3:

    The Third Circle
    (56-6-3-15, 1st place)

    Part I
    After two seasons of blistering success, albeit in the lower leagues, the Black Devils are beginning to be noticed by other clubs and the North American hockey scene. The vision of an enigmatic Russian bringing the club to an historic, meteoric rise is ⅖ complete. Vermilion as a town has grown dramatically over the past two years, with businesses finding a home in the shadow of Vermilion Park, and ticket sales surging. The stadium is still half-empty, but if the team keeps winning as is, filling it is a realistic proposition at the SHL level. And the Devils are not just winning, they are winning in style. Maxim Bogolyubov, in particular, has become a massive fan favourite, showing off all the predicted Russian silkiness and patterning his style of play after that of his coach, Bure. The “BOH” line (a play on the Russian word “bog” meaning “god”) of Bogolyubov, Ostrout, and Hachey has been remarkable so far, and the three players are indeed enjoying demigod status in Vermilion. 
    As is Rasputin. He, however, knows what is coming. CHL is no longer a sandbox league. There is some real structure and financial muscle behind the clubs here, and the Black Devil squad has to be rebuilt again, because the objective is nothing but victory. Nothing but 1st place. Rasputin dips once more into the Russian lower leagues to bring out veteran offensive defenceman Sergei Zhurov, shutdown defenceman Semyon Lobkov, and powerforward Anton Kopeykin, famous in Russian junior YouTube compilations for breaking stadium glass with his hits almost at will. In a long season against stronger teams, depth will be crucial. He also signs legendary CHL goalie Zach Callan, hoping the added veteran leadership in net will play a part.

    The solid beginning of the off-season is marred by conflict with IHL top defenceman and team captain Ove Ellingsen, who demands nearly double his salary in a contract extension and refuses to report to training until this is done. He makes disparaging comments to the media about his star status deserving compensation. Alexander and Pavel call a press conference. The message is clear. 
    “This ship is moving,” says Rasputin coldly. “You get on board, or we leave you behind. Victory is bigger than all of us.”

    The next day, Ellingsen is shipped off to North Haven for a depth player and a prospect. Ellingsen is a popular figure and some players are clearly unsettled by the manner of his exit. There are rumours of a shouting match between Rasputin and Ellingsen’s defensive partner Sampo Venalainen. “I don’t like fucking losing!” is heard through the office walls. Alexander pounds his fists on the table. “Do you?”

    The team uses the extra salary to add Canadian offensive defenceman Dereck Semple and signs their 1st round draft pick, two-way Slovakian forward Andrej Sloboda to play in the bottom six. Training has increased in intensity, and American football-style dummies on sledges with Ellingsen's jersey are hit hard every practice. It's a crude tactic, but reinforces the message - you are either with us, or against us. Rasputin knows that to succeed yet again, this is the only way forward.

    The siege of CHL is under way.
  6. Like
    flowbish1 reacted to AlexanderRasputin in From Hell: The rise of the Vermilion Black Devils   
    SEASON 2:

    The Second Circle
    (67-1-1-11, 1st place)
    Rasputin’s Black Devils project is at this point getting notoriety in his home country. Alexander flies back to Russia and visits with Moscow, gaining special exemption on signing Russian players below VHL level to the Black Devils organization. Russian media raises a furor over the team’s crowdfunded, floor-level campaign to get talented prospects who would ordinarily not play in their home country to sign for the Canadian club. One of these tournament-style tryout sessions yields a landslide winner with the talented and flashy 20-year old forward Maxim Bogolyubov. He signs a contract offer from the club and is the first piece of the Black Devils rebuild in an assault on the IHL. Rasputin also brings back two Russian centres, Starikov - a strong-as-a-bear-on-meth defensive player, and Votyakov, a skilled passer with high faceoff ability. Playing together since a very young age, they are slated to be the core down the middle for this new Black Devils team. From another social media job posting, offensive d-man Ove Ellingsen flies in from Norway to play on the team’s first pairing and PP. 
    In the off-season, the team drafts Albertan forward Allen Hachey, a fast and skilled, though physically frail teenager, who Bure describes as a “starving man’s Maxim Afinogenov”. Bogolyubov and Hachey will play on the 1st line with Canadian hotshot powerforward C Ziad Ostrout, acquired in the team’s first big trade with the Pettisville Steelers, in which previous captain and star player Bergland is moved out after a long closed-door discussion with Rasputin and Bure. 

    It is at this point that players and fans begin to realize the price of Rasputin’s Five Year Plan - no player is safe and player attachments and jerseys may not last beyond one season. Anticipating the discontent, Rasputin calls a press conference and reminds those present of the covenant they formed - without the Five-Year-Plan, the city of Vermilion holds no attractiveness to growth and no romance to new fans and players. Without continuous promotions, there is only stagnation and mediocrity. He acknowledges Bergland’s contribution to the team and unveils a display in his honour, forever part of the Black Devils lore. “Take your anger out on the opposing teams” is Rasputin’s message to his players. 

    And they do. Vermilion finishes the season with an astounding 67-1-1-11 record, wiping the floor with the competition and scoring 406 goals in the process. Ostrout leads the way with an historic performance, generating 52G/56A/111P, along with 229 hits. Bogolyubov follows with 104 points and Hachey with 95. No Black Devils player has a minus rating, with D-man Sampo Venalainen leading the league comfortably with a +91. 
    The small town has brought a massive impact to North American hockey. A second banner is rolled down from the Chasm rafters, and a second flame is lit under the demon statue. 
  7. Like
    flowbish1 reacted to Paul T in Injuries   
    It doesn't get much more even than that, so that is not the issue.  I've seen teams play 40% line 1 and 50% first pair D with no problems.  My splits are very similar to yours.  When players get tired I'll usually adjust special teams as needed.
  8. Like
    flowbish1 reacted to AlexanderRasputin in From Hell: The rise of the Vermilion Black Devils   
    When a convoy of toned black BMWs rolls into the quiet Alberta town of Vermilion on an early spring morning in 2019, the locals have every right to be surprised. No one recalls an official visit to the town since it was formally inaugurated in 1906, a century ago, let alone a convoy flying the Russian imperial eagle.
    As the door of the lead BMW opens and an enigmatic figure in a leather jacket, jeans, and aviators strolls out and walks straight for the town hall, flanked by two prototypical burly ex-prison ZEKs, the locals’ confusion turns to a sense of palpable danger. The town mechanic, who had seen Eastern Promises many times, swears that the Russians have KGB tattoos and someone needs to call Trudeau right away lest the country become overrun by Putin, starting from this sleepy mining town. Of course, no one does anything. But when 15 minutes later the Russian walks out, now flanked by only one of his bodyguards, gets into the driver’s seat of the 7-Series, and drives away without a word or ceremony, the convoy sending rising clouds of red clay dust well into the morning sun - the fear turns to curiosity.
    This curiosity turns to bewilderment, when the mayor calls a town hall meeting that very afternoon. Beside her stands 190 cm, 100 kg of Fedor - “just Fedor”, as he says firmly - in a leather jacket, the prototypical Russian mafia thug, and as he stares ahead, stone-faced, the mayor explains that a young Russian by the name of Rasputin, with authorization from the government of Canada, has just bought a $20 million stake in the town. Before the crowd has a chance to process this figure, she adds that Vermilion is now the home of a professional hockey team, the Black Devils, with a new 13,000 seat arena and associated businesses to begin construction imminently.

    Autumn 2019, in the hero-city of Volgograd, Russia. It’s cold, unglamorous, and foreboding. Alexander Rasputin stands before a throng of international journalists, his customary aviators down. ITAR-TASS is here, as well as TSN. His goal is simple. “I want to conquer North American hockey. We start from the bottom. We take no prisoners. We give no room for “BUT”. We start from the lowest league, LIHL, we win every year. We move to the top. And then we win there. A war, to prove our strength. A true challenge, like the Summit series. My challenge to North American hockey”, he grins. To get to the GHL is one Five-Year Plan. To win in the GHL is the other.
    There are laughs that slowly die down, then shocked silence among the media. No team has ever accomplished the trek from the LIHL to the GHL in 5 seasons. The logistics behind such a feat are...improbable at best, a vodka-fueled daydream. No team in the billion-dollar NA professional sports has ever done this. The skill gap between the levels is massive. The roster turnover will be crippling. The financial weight, more so. The competition from established teams and the brutal 80-game season with a minimum time to build chemistry and team identity, thrice that.
    But Alexander comes from Volgograd, where the siege held in 1942, and carries with him the shadowy weight of the Rasputin name. Rumours fly that Alexander has a connection to the same wild sorcery that powered Grigory, the same sorcery that set in motion events that toppled an empire. Certainly, his reputation in the elite circles is not good. He is volatile, uncouth. He listens to Scandinavian metal. He wears jeans, leather jackets, and long hair like he is some kind of Peter Steele wannabe. He drinks too much, even for a Russian, and isn’t respectful of Orthodox beliefs. There are whispers of cults, women, and pagan rituals. Most write him off as one of a thousand spoiled degenerates living out opium dreams on the money of previous generations. But this opinion will change.

    A month later, Alexander again stands in front of nearly all of the 4,000 strong population of the town of Vermilion. “We are here to win at all costs” is his clear and slightly ominous message. Like most small Canadian towns, Vermilion is also a hockey town with a solid junior program, but this is on an entirely different level. There are misgivings. Alexander’s involvement is not trusted. Someone demands to know why he chose their community, of all places. 
     “During the war, my great-grandfather stood shoulder to shoulder with a Canadian soldier,” begins Rasputin. “This man had come to the Eastern Front to deliver supplies, and stayed to deliver the invaders from our land. Him and my great-grandfather survived Stalingrad together.” He pauses for emphasis, looks over the crowd. “And for that I owe him - and your town, his birthplace, much gratitude.” There is silence, then scattered applause which eventually overtakes the entire crowd. For the time being, at least, Alexander is one of them. 
    On the financial front, the new Russian owner delivers. Vermilion Black Devils are officially inaugurated as a professional hockey club in late 2019. A modern arena is built, the design strangely gothic, what some might claim as occult symbols decorating its hallways and a massive 10-metre basalt and crimson steel statue of a grinning, winged demon decorating its front gates. Colloquially known as “The Chasm”, Vermilion Park quickly fills with the sounds of skates hitting the ice and pucks hitting the net. Gold and black jerseys are paraded on hundreds of citizens, and despite the town’s name, these two colours are dominant on every storefront. Rallies take place on the streets, and a brand-new hockey academy is receiving hundreds of talented young prospects from around the province. The city, at least for now, has bought into Alexander’s vision. 
    But there is much work to be done. Alexander assumes the GM role, and Fedor the meaningful title of “Personnel Manager”. As a foundation for the team, the Black Devils franchise co-opts a struggling amateur regional hockey club. At practices, they are barely able to elevate the puck, and their skating is abysmal. Alexander spits, slams doors and spends a lot of his time growling at his iPhone, occasionally taking the ice himself. Fedor menacingly points at the underperforming players and cracks his knuckles. The season is a few short weeks away, and the team cannot decide if they are hockey players or sunflower seed farmers. The lone bright spot is the first Vermilion team captain, a Swedish teenager named Fritiof Bergland. His linemate, German prospect Nico Habib, also shows potential.

    After the first week of practices yield few results, Alexander flies to Russia, returning in 3 days with a familiar figure at his side, whose presence only seems to reinforce his backdoor connections. NHL legend Pavel Bure steps out of the black 7-Series, his mouth a hard line as he sees the backwater Canadian town with a shiny new arena and so far, nothing to show for it. But he looks at Alexander, who waits expectantly, and nods. That evening, Bure is announced as the club’s head coach and ambassador of its direct, Soviet-school offensive playstyle.

    Responding to the local reporters’ questions of whether the team’s goals can be achieved, he says laconically - “We will see.”
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    flowbish1 reacted to Wick Schozen in Warman Aussies (Buzzer)   
    Aussies Training Camp Day 1 Report
    Season 3 for the Warman Aussies official commenced on day 4. In the Aussies first game of training camp they skated away to a 4-1 win against Valleyview Big Ducks. This was their fans first look at the new franchise. Sporting a roster that has only one player, Ricky Danielsson a prospect at the time, remaining after Wick Schozen acquired the team. 
    “We are happy with how todays game went.” Schozen told reporters after the game. “These three days in camp will allow us to find the right combinations around our line up. This is where the players start to build chemistry and find their footing on the team. For the kids this game was the first time they’ve had to compete against men. This season will be a good introduction to the professional game for them before they start playing on some more meaningful ice."
    Nine of the thirteen prospects taken in the season 2 draft made their debut in an Aussies uniform against the Big Ducks. Goaltender Robin Guilmaine was stellar in his camp debut, stopping 33 of 34 shots. How much he is leaned on this season will be of particular interest for fans. Veteran goalie Lennard Fransson, 39 years old, is speculated to be retiring after this season. Guilmaine will have this season to try and develop into a GHL caliber starter or else someone will be brought in above him on the depth chart to mind the net. 
    Leading the way for the Aussies today was the formation of the MBZ line. Centered by Nael Broadhurst with Aaron Mallard and Gotfrids Ziemelis on the wings. The MBZ line combined for 8 shots on net, over 20% of the Aussies shots on goal. Leading to Mallard scoring the game winner assisted by Broadhurst. 
    “Keep pushing that 'MBZ' tag. We’ve got that all trademarked and will be releasing merchandise soon. The SHL is going to be a bit of a financial sink hole for us. Right now the only thing keeping us afloat is the revenue from my bar. This line of 18 year olds together is poised to torch the SHL this season. It’s not out of the question that they could all find themselves in the leagues top 20 scorers, maybe even one of them setting pace for the SHL." 
    This first game also provided a showcase of the Aussies foursome of 18 year olds that will hold down the teams top 4 of their defensive core. Listing three defenseman taken inside the top 20 picks in the GHL first round with Adolfo Kapp taken high in the second round. Together this group is an imposing foundation for the Aussies to establish their blue line upon. 
    With majority of the Aussies core listed on entry level deals, GM Wick Schozen was able to surround his young core with big ticket free agents. Under $3M is allocated to their abundance of high octane rookies. With the remaining cap space, Schozen was able to fill out the Aussies forward depth with elite veterans. While some come at a price higher than market rate, the cap space allowed Schozen to sign everyone to one year deals, so not to infringe on later roster construction. 
    “Look some of these guys were chasing their final big ticket pay day. But we’re dangling a championship in front of them. For a lot of them it was pretty simple, get $4.5M over three years and play in the minors for a GHL team or take $2M for one season and travel into every away game like Germany arriving in Poland in the 1940s. And for those that took those GHL deals just know that if you have a child that breaks into professional hockey I’m going to ruin them. I’ll trade for extra picks, draft their rights and destroy their career trajectory. Those we can’t draft we’ll wait until they’re signed longterm, trade for them and they can enjoy the remainder of their contract in the press box. I’m talking to you Mark Dallaire, put little Bobby in soccer because he has no future in this sport outside of the Ukrainian league."
    Day 1 of training camp concluded with the announcement that 19 year old defenseman Theo Carruth and 21 year old forward Market Mc-Phail were told to leave their gear and report down the hall to the Big Ducks dressing room. They had been traded to acquire the rights to Iisakki Mäntylä who Schozen said he intends to sign to an entry level deal by the end of the day. 
    “We hopped for a one for one swap. Similar players, just trying to sure up the left handed dominance in our defensive core. Big Ducks decided to push their chest a bit so they squeezed us for a prospect. I don’t like getting big dicked in my own arena, I’ll remember this. But we’re happy to get Mäntylä. He’s going to need some time in the minors but ideally he’ll be with us late in the season.”
    The Aussies face the Big Ducks again on day 6 for their final day of camp. This evening they’ll be taking on the Stockton Vortex to finish off day 2.  
  10. Like
    flowbish1 reacted to Wick Schozen in Warman Aussies (Buzzer)   
    When the league headquarters announced the sale of the Altona Dragons to an unnamed bar owner in the small town of Warman most around the league didn’t bat an eye. That was until it was leaked who had made the purchase.
    “Wasn’t he banned from the league from his days in Howitzer?” One anonymous executive sent via text message “Heard he called the commissioner's wife a sex worker after being suspended for putting a fresh coat of lead paint in the visitors dressing room before every home game."
    It was day 54 of season 2 that Wick Schozen returned to the business of professional hockey. Successfully finding a loophole in the bylaws of Buzzer, Schozen is now the owner, general manager and coach of the Warman Aussies. A mere eight days after the announcement Schozen has stripped any remnants of the teams Altona past and left no confusion in the direction the Aussies are headed in. 
    “I’m not in the business of telling grown men to divorce their wives. I sleep better at night with a team of 20 year olds who have no idea they just signed their life to me in the fine print of their contracts.” Schozen said at his first press conference in front of the media. "To do that we’re on our way down to the SHL, anyone too undesirable to other teams to be traded will have their contract voided at the end of the season and their stink of mediocrity out of my locker room.”
    This team of 20 year olds is already well into actualization. Through seven trades in as many days the Aussies have almost more draft picks for the season 2 draft as players on the active roster. As forecast, everyone over the age of 20 is going to see their one-way clause release them from the team. 
    “We’re building this program from the ground up. To do that I need kids I can mold into competence. It’s the Nike sweatshop model. Children are employed to make shoes before they can wipe their ass. The ones that survive into adulthood are mercenaries on a sewing machine. Look how well Nike is doing as a company, the same model is coming to the Aussies. If these boys can tuck goals at half the efficiency that a nine year old can churn out sweatpants we’re going to have one hell of a hockey team in Warman.”
    It was his ruthlessness as a general manager that led the Newcastle Fighters to a GHL Championship back Howitzer. But the seasons that followed were tainted by the Fighters failing to live up to expectations. Schozen’s reputation around the league worsening as his antics continued to get more elaborate in search of success. Without notice Schozen was out of the spotlight and Newcastle bought out and relocated. “I thought the guy was dead.” Another anonymous exec said to me, “honestly I preferred believing that than to know he’s back in the league.”
    What Schozen manages to do at this seasons draft is going to be crucial for the long term success of the new franchise. With 11 draft picks in the bank he can afford to miss on a few, but Schozen is adamant that isn’t an option.
    “I took my entire scouting staff with me when I left Newcastle. They’ve been following this draft class since they were 12 years old and have been accruing a bar tab with me the entire time. If any of these picks don’t turn out I’m making the scout that backed the player pay back everything they owe on their tab. With that amount of debt I’ll own not only their children but their children’s children. They know what’s at stake.” 
  11. Like
    flowbish1 reacted to Paul T in My thoughts on endurance   
    Once again, I think the beauty of this game is that managers can all have a completely different perspective of what is happening, which gives managers a unique experience.  I'm not sure there's any "wrong" opinions to what everyone is saying.  There are probably elements of truth to all of it, some just believe in certain things deeper than others.  At this point, no one is going to change anyone's opinion.  What's funny to me is that two managers who have completely different ideas about what is important in building a team are both highly successful.  It sounds like flowbish is crushing it in Buzzer and I can vouch for both Alex and rainsilent in Cage.  Alex has a team that I can't seem to beat unless his starting goalie sleeps in and misses the game and rainsilent has had more success with less roster talent than any manager I've seen, which dates back to Biscuit.
    Keep debating if you must... who the hell am I to tell anyone what to do, but I think at this point, the opinions have been made... and if you are all anything like me, you are stubborn and not going to change what you already believe 🤘😝🤘
  12. Like
    flowbish1 got a reaction from AlexanderRasputin in My thoughts on endurance   
    Yeah, a rebound year dropping off from the SHL (almost like a 3rd BHL year in a row!) and outright dominating as it should have been, no other team in your conference was even close to yours. I'd like to get one of those years to confirm my taughts too.  And yet, i had a better BHL season than yours, while i was coming in from the CHL.
  13. Like
    flowbish1 reacted to Paul T in Assistants report   
    I don't pay much attention to the wording on the reports.
    For example:

    Exactly this.
  14. Like
    flowbish1 reacted to AlexanderRasputin in My thoughts on endurance   
    I appreciate your legitimately decent analysis of my game. And I am fully aware that trades and resulting players with lower confidence can influence games - it is clearly happening with me, which is why I usually make these kinds of blockbuster trades at the beginning of the season to give players time to settle. But this discussion isn't about my team. 

    That does not in any way invalidate my point that it isn't due to Team Confidence, but rather, something else, that newly promoted teams tend to be very successful in the first half of the season.

    If Anders categorically says there is no boost or momentum boost, then so be it. I have not seen this so I will withhold my opinion for now. 

    Your breakdown is correct on the player side, but the fact that my (stronger) team's confidence is Perfect and Indians' (weaker) team's confidence was Uncomfortable, and yet they not only beat me, but also beat two other Top 5 teams in their last 10 (Wintersville and Medicine Hat) suggests to me that Team Confidence is NOT as key of a driver to these first-half streaks as you seem to think. 

    Let me give you another clear example. Current Buzzer GHL East:

    1. Warman Fighters - Confidence: PERFECT
    2. Highland Blazers - Confidence: UNCOMFORTABLE
    3. Metairie Buccaneers (newly promoted) - Confidence: OK
    4. Hazard Blizzard - Confidence: GOOD
    5. Riversdale Heroes (newly promoted) - Confidence: OK
    6. Medicine Hat Cougars - Confidence: OK
    7. Wyoming Lynx - Confidence: PERFECT
    8. Nottingham Foresters - Confidence: GOOD

    Interesting picture this paints, does it not? 33 games in, did the newly promoted teams that are in high positions (point spread is within 5 points of the lead) gain confidence faster than the other GHL teams - as per your assertion?

    No, they did not. 

    And all the other teams there with them in the top 8 are top-tier. Wyoming took the league many times and Foresters have won the cup. Whereas you've seen the lineup that Riversdale has, as an example. It cannot be compared to those teams - and, at least according to in-game data, is not boosted by higher confidence. 
    So, either Riversdale team-building IS, in fact, extremely effective - which you deny, and which I do not think allows for THIS kind of success at this point, OR there is something going on behind the scenes that is not Confidence-related. 
    And, as a parting example, when I was in the BHL and in the middle of about a 20-game win streak, my team's confidence was Uncomfortable. I even remember laughing about it somewhere on the forums. So I would take any Confidence indicators with a monumental grain of salt. 

  15. Like
    flowbish1 reacted to rainsilent in My thoughts on endurance   
    No. You couldn't say the same about my view regarding your side of the argument. In the past Anders said that there was no boost to newly promoted teams. I'm inclined to believe him since he did put the code of the game together as well as had no beneficial reason to lie about it. Your view also has no supporting evidence in game either. It is based strictly off of assumption. My argument actually has some in game evidence backing it no matter if you give it any credibility or not. Some in game evidence is more substantial than an assumption that there is a hidden buff in the code for specific teams.
    You are trying to make the question team confidence when it isn't about team confidence. It was about confidence on the whole. Both team and individual confidence matters. You are trying to force an argument that isn't true by redirecting the discussion. Don't try to force words in my mouth either.
    He only played 3 players with low confidence. Now look at the players in question, where they played and how they played. Jason, 1st line in a defensive Dman role, likely on a stay at home line and had a good game with a 75 rating but not an impact player in the game and was a +0 for the game. Low team and player confidence doesn't eliminate the possibility that a player can have a good game. Sutter, 3rd line winger playing as a sniper and likely not playing on an offensively focused line. Possibly a poor role choice and had a bad game. The other winger on the line also had a bad game but the center on the line had a great game. The line, on the whole, had little impact on the game though. Dupej, 4th line winger in a power forward role. Had an ok game and his line didn't have much of an impact either. Of his players that didn't have built up confidence only one had a good game. Just like you. The difference is you went 1 out of 4 with a few of those players that didn't play well playing in key positions in the lineup. He went 1 of 3 playing well with the 1 being in a key position in the lineup.
    You were playing with greater risk with more players in key roles still building confidence than he was. The lack of built up confidence either way means a greater chance for a bad game. Either confidence not being built up doesn't guarantee a bad game nor does it eliminate the chance of a good game. It simply opens up the possibility of results to a wider spectrum. Hence how low confidence takes the randomness that you already get and makes it go wild with results earlier in the season. What happened in your game was a proverbial perfect storm. You opened the door enough for the possibility of that happening with risky decision making and you got bit for it. Had you not made such risky decision making in terms of your lineup set up or even not made the trades at all you would have likely trounced the team like you did in the first game the two teams played.
    Do you really not realize that your team's 3-0-0-5 record since you made the first trade is, in large part, due to those trades and the resulting impact of having players with low confidence in key positions in the lineup despite your team on the whole having rather high confidence? Your teams performance has been very up and down with Haulk, in a key position in the lineup, struggling with consistency since the trade for him when the player you had before and traded for Haulk was doing very well. I don't doubt that Haulk will eventually settle in but until then his lack of built up confidence is going to be a negative impact to your team.
    Let us also not overlook the fact that that is actually a solid GHL team skills wise that beat you. No, not great by any stretch but still solid. There are teams above that team in the standings doing more with less talent. The manager is going a good job in general. They just aren't doing as good a job optimizing the lineup and utilizing the players that they have as they could be.
    Finally, may I introduce Occam's razor. When two theories exist trying to explain the same thing the one that is more likely accurate is the one with the fewest assumptions. My theory is based on the fact that a lack of built up confidence, either team or player, has an observable negative impact and a significant one early in the season when no teams have any built up confidence. This can be reliably and repeatedly tested in game easily. Your theory is the assumption that there is a hidden code in the game that provides a boost to new teams in the GHL. This is an assumption that cannot be reliably proven in game.
  16. Like
    flowbish1 reacted to Paul T in My thoughts on endurance   
    That Big Delta team is lookin' solid!
  17. Like
    flowbish1 reacted to Paul T in My thoughts on endurance   
    The promotion boost.
    I think "something exists", but I'm not sure exactly what I would call it or how much it helps... and there are other factors at play.  I have kind of viewed it as a momentum carryover.  We all know that teams and players can be streaky so it's possible that some teams who have recently promoted are still riding that hot streak.  We saw it last season in Cage where an SHL level team was top of the league after the first 15-20 games, then fell back to Earth and was relegated.  But like I said, there are other factors here.  I have also seen recently promoted teams maintain a solid level of play throughout the season because they built a good enough team that works within their tactics.  And we have also seen recently promoted teams who do nothing in the offseason and win <10 games, so the momentum doesn't necessarily help everyone.
    Who knows what is really happening.  I think part of the beauty if this game is that every manager forms their own opinions based on observations, but none of us really know for sure what is happening behind the scenes.  It gives everyone a unique experience.
  18. Like
    flowbish1 got a reaction from AlexanderRasputin in My thoughts on endurance   
    Also, in the West last year, only 59 points separated 1st and 13th place. Thats a very competitive environment.
  19. Like
    flowbish1 reacted to AlexanderRasputin in My thoughts on endurance   
    I wouldn’t be so cocky about the boost thing, both of you, my friends.
    Not taking anything away from the Riverdale results - they are impressive. But Superb missed out on any good free agents and have close to an SHL-level team, as do Natashquan and the other promoted team in the East. That is why they are bad, no boost will help them.
    In the West, you are conveniently overlooking the fact that Metairie, another promoted team, has more points than Riverdale, and a CONSIDERABLY better defensive record, 2nd best in the conference, in fact. And they have a slightly better squad, but not that much better. Certainly not one built on some particular strategy, just the best they could get at the moment. 
    So let’s wait and see. From my observations, the boost, if it exists, drops off around mid season, so very soon we will find out who is making the correct arguments. I am looking forward to it. 
  20. Like
    flowbish1 got a reaction from AlexanderRasputin in Season 8 Chat   
    Here it goes! First GHL season for me, Good Luck to Everyone!
  21. Like
    flowbish1 reacted to GamePlanHockey in v2.2.2   
    Bug fixes and improvements
    Fix bug where scouting reports could not be created Fix bug where saving draft preferences did not work or could not be sorted properly
  22. Like
    flowbish1 got a reaction from jdonutken in [SOLVED] Draft Preference   
    I sent a PM to Anders, he said he was going to look at it/ fix it. That was 5 days ago...... Getting pissed every time i see that it still doesn't work properly
  23. Like
    flowbish1 got a reaction from Wick Schozen in [NA] Player Not Reporting   
    The player was signed after the trade deadline. He will only report to your team next season.
  24. Like
    flowbish1 got a reaction from jdonutken in [SOLVED] Draft Preference   
    There as been a problem with the Draft Preference tool. Whenever i try to move players up and down, they move 2 spaces at a time. Also, i cannot save my Draft Preference. I always get an error report. This as been going on since the last update or so. Please fix this up, since it happens on both my PC laptop and a Mac.
  25. Like
    flowbish1 got a reaction from Tyrod Gibson in Advanced stats help   
    Wrong topic, please delete the above post. Sorry