After spending seasons 4-10 in the GHL, the Golden Flyers looked to switch things up. It was no longer considered a success to stay alive in the GHL and have quick playoff exits. After all, in those 7 seasons, they made 6 playoff appearances. 4 of those 6 they were bounced in the first round; the other 2 were 2nd round exits.
Looking to switch things up, the fearless and sometimes stupid manager Zac Zinn made many moves in the offseason between seasons 10 & 11. Every addition was meant for speed, as they switched offensive tactics to fit a speedy and skilled team. They drafted Erkki Kaila, a highly skilled sniper as well as bringing in Jan Kosir, a reliable 1/2c who could play sniper, playmaker, or two way game. Ugo Branson, a young talented playmaker, Elliot Page, a safe 3c, and Bradley Willman, a dangerous sniper center with great defensive side (although his addition would come closer to the trade deadline)
Not only would the team change their offensive tactic, they changed also their defence style to also fit a speedy game. To fit this, they brought in a few mid-range talent defensmen who could skate.
The manager expected a slow start to the season as it would take a while for the team to adjust, however when the team figured it out, they'd take the league by storm. Speaking in terms of offensive and defensive stats, using formulas, the Golden Flyers were ranked 6th in the Eastern Conference.
They nearly split their first 10 games going 4-6. This result was expected and acceptable. It was all going towards a greater good. They also went 4-6 in the next 10 games.
Even though the end game results were expected, the team only managed to score once in 7 of the first 20 games. The offence was gone. High profile scorer Jasmin Emond had vanished and Kaila was proving to have a slow start to his career. Starting goalie Rehor Istvan was doing what he could, but the goals weren't coming.
Then comes a 7 game losing streak, the team still isn't scoring. Manager reports show the team has gained strong familiarity with the new system, but the goals still aren't coming. By now, it's not just a lack of goals but too many goals being let in by the goalie tandem of Istvan and Deon Core were regularly blowing games. As it turned out, there was a locker room blowout between the two goalies as both thought they deserved the 1G position while neither played like it. One had to go.
Istvan was traded, posting a 7-7-1 record with a 3.42GAA and 885% with a 68 performance rating.
Core was relied very heavily on for a bulk of the games remaining.
Midway through the season, they picked up a little steam, winning 4 or more games in a row a few times. The team still wasn't performing as original expectations had lined up, but it was an improvement.
Even though there wasn't a strong need for another high talent goalie, the Golden Flyers found themselves in a position to grab Robin Guilmaine in a trade. Core had after all been cooling off and not playing too great. He was 37 years old after all.
What resulted was the biggest dumpster fire in net for the final stretch of games. They had come close to taking 9th in the East to avoid the relegation playoffs. They crawled towards 9th, making slow progress towards it. And then Guilmaine said "win? Over my dead body"
Guilmaine posted the following stats insuring the Golden Flyers for the first time ever would have to fight in a playoff series to stay up in the GHL: 4-8-3, 3.80GAA, 884% and a 67 performance rating. During the final stretch, Guilmaine was pulled in 4 straight matches.
They finished 10th and played the Rycroft Twisters in the relegation playoffs. After winning the first match 5-1, they allowed 22 goals in the next 4 games and lost in 5 games. Core played every game in the fear that Guilmaine would blow it, but in the end it was the cold hard fact that taught the manager that all goalies are bastards and stealers of dreams.
In conclusion, what the manager brought out of a massive failure of a season is that changing all tactics at the start of a season is impossible to do so with any success at the GHL level. Secondly, looking in depth at how a roster has weaknesses is extremely important. An in depth look at the Golden Flyers roster would show a lack of passing skill in the forwards, and a big lack of passing and pick handeling skill in the defencemen. With the exception of possible future hall of famer Vratislav Vaslik, the defensive lineup with a subtle mess with breakout passes and turnovers. And thirdly, lastly, the most important lesson learned from this garbage season is that all goalies are bastards.