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2/23/2024 1:49 pm  #991


Re: Torland Hockey League: THL 2.0

Port Alrene looks great! Love the classic look for such a historic franchise.



 

3/01/2024 2:52 am  #992


Re: Torland Hockey League: THL 2.0

I appreciate all the feedback on Port Alrene! Next we head to Portarra for a double scoop.


Portarra Pioneers


About the Team: The Pioneers joined the league in 1972 as part of the THL's four-team expansion with an emphasis on adding even more hockey to the city of Portarra, making it the second city in THL to house two teams. The Pios were quickly contenders which helped establish their brand in Portarra and the league as hardworking upstarts. Runs to the Cup in '80 and '84 cemented their status even further. Building a fan base in a city occupied by the Whales has been tough business but the Pioneers fans are loyal and passionate and the team has done well on carefully pushing their own brand without stepping too much on the Whales' toes. Three seasons of Hall of Fame center Geno Pasternak brought the star power to the Northside even if the squad has been in a rebuild since then. The Pioneers play in the Willard Division.

Ownership and Management: The Pioneers are owned by Lewis Vail, a Galapetran businessman who grew up in Podangrad, Tamokeva before attending Gavas College in Portarra. He spearheaded funding the stadium project in Pohelem Landing to bring a second franchise to Portarra. He has been a steady owner with plenty of pull behind the scenes, often involved in the finances and investments of the league. Vail prefers to allow his GM to run the team autonomously, only adding input as necessary.

The Pioneers are managed by Scott Hauser, considered one of the elite GM's in the league, having won Best GM in 1973 and 1974. He helped push the expansion Pioneers into immediate contention, with Finals appearances in 1980 and 1984. The squad is coached by Burt Wentz, former THL goalie and brother to Hall of Famer Von Wentz. Burt was hired as assistant coach in 1978 by Hauser along with head coach Ted Gooden. When Gooden retired after the '90 season, Burt was promoted to interim head coach and veteran AC Carter Toledo was hired. Instead of a full instatement, Pioneers brass chose to keep Wentz on interim status for the '92 season while they decide on a new direction.

City and Arena: The Pioneers play at the Fort Tor Heritage Arena, typically shortened to Heritage Arena, located on the north shore of the Gavas River in Pohelem Landing in Portarra, Galapetra. The Heritage is a smaller but modern facility. The northside of Portarra, with its proximity to Gavas College, is known to have more money and status, so the Pios have embraced a working-class identity for a group of mostly middle-class fans that seems to have become ingrained in the culture, no small feat for a historic city like Portarra and the Whales as crosstown neighbors.


Previous Identity: 1989 Portarra Pioneers

Team Brand and Identity: The Pioneers decided to stick with the majority of their 1989 identity, with some simplifications to fit the new jersey system. The controversial wheel logo returns with a heavier outer stroke on the home and a curious double stroke on the away, as owner Lewis Vail didn't like how it looked on white, leading some to speculate a rebrand could come soon. The ghost yokes remain along with the upper sleeve blocks but the striping is simplified to a quad stripe of equal weights which is also added to the sleeve with the sleeve hem stripe being removed. The simple striping is added to the jersey hem, socks, and pants, which are in navy for both sets. Both sets feature orange collars. The original thick serif number style remains, still with single outlines on all numbers and letters. The Pios are one of a few teams sporting captains patches on the right side to fit an irregular logo shape.

Roster Breakdown

Top Three Players

Lance Miller, 23, goalie
Joe Colburn, 26, defenseman
Phil Pasternak, 18, forward (rookie)



Forwards: The forward group in Portarra is a work in progress but the current #7 overall pick is league royalty as Geno's eldest son Phil joins the team. Phil is a do-it-all forward that projects best as a second line center but he will be tasked to lead the team from a young age while the team rebuilds. Linemates Ryan Fitzroy and Zach Shorter are both capable wingers, who also project best on middle lines. Venerated veteran team captain Jonathan Walker, 35, heads a second line with the grizzled veteran Jake Makarski and young Gabe Paxton who is entering his first pro season. Veteran hometown center Terry Valentini pivots a tough third line with young bruiser Isaac Sterling and the forechecking winger Mike Elliott. On the fourth line, young Ken Vest centers between journeyman Malcolm Shamp and young thumper Hoyt Everhart.

Defensemen: The blue line has some solid pieces in Joe Colburn and Victor Noyola, both mid-20's stout defenders with high hockey intelligence, and a couple of young guys like Roger Bridges and Denny Van Horn who have potential to be league starters. Some older vets in Josh Beckes, 36, and Rusty Connellson, 31, bring experience and heavy play style. Colburn and Bridges figure to be the primary starters but the Pios like to mix and match their defensive pairings.

Goaltenders: Lance Miller is the Pioneers best goalie and also their best player. Miller has shown starter capability and All-Star potential in a rapid ascent from a late draft pick into a franchise cornerstone. Rookie first-round draft pick Alwin Teunissen projects as their backup goalie of the futue, and possible co-starter, but he's caught up in visa issues with his home country of Holland so career minor-leaguer Mel Harlow is promoted to the big squad to handle back up duties for the season. The Pios have a couple of low level minor league starters in the system with Donnie Cantrelle and Danny Luffman.

Three Key Storylines: 


  • Who will be coaching the team longterm? Burt Wentz has been given another interim tag in a surprisingly noncommittal move by the brass which doesn't bode well for leadership in the locker room. Wentz for his part has been more than gracious but the team needs to find a permanent solution.
  • How will Hauser complete the rebuild? Beyond coaching staff, GM Scott Hauser has a tall task to continue rebuilding the team and add elite talent. It remains to be seen how quickly or efficiently he can do that, even with his stellar reputation as a manager.
  • Can young guys like Pasternak earn their spot? The Pios have invested quite a few draft picks into solid prospects but the team needs them to pan out for any hope of the rebuild working. Phil Pasternak has the family name but can he turn into a reliable player, or better yet, a star player for the Pioneers?

Future Projection: The Pioneers are fully in rebuild mode as aging veterans are phased out and young prospects are added in for development. There's no reason to doubt Scott Hauser in crafting a team but it remains to be seen how quickly he can add elite level talent. In the meantime, the Pios seem destined for the basement and focused on further developing young guys while contending for a lottery pick.

Marquee Series Sig:



C&C much appreciated! I'd love to hear your thoughts on the new presentation, detailed write-up, new logo and uniforms, anything. Also always happy to answer any questions about teams or Torland!

>>> Don't forget! In a related Torland matter, visit this thread to see what's happening with the 2024 Torland Presidential Elections and learn how to add your vote! Still a close race. Only a few days left to vote!



AHS Admin. Creator of the THLPUCHWHA: Redux and Retroliga.
     Thread Starter
 

3/01/2024 6:21 am  #993


Re: Torland Hockey League: THL 2.0

Steelman wrote:

I appreciate all the feedback on Port Alrene! Next we head to Portarra for a double scoop.


Portarra Pioneers


About the Team: The Pioneers joined the league in 1972 as part of the THL's four-team expansion with an emphasis on adding even more hockey to the city of Portarra, making it the second city in THL to house two teams. The Pios were quickly contenders which helped establish their brand in Portarra and the league as hardworking upstarts. Runs to the Cup in '80 and '84 cemented their status even further. Building a fan base in a city occupied by the Whales has been tough business but the Pioneers fans are loyal and passionate and the team has done well on carefully pushing their own brand without stepping too much on the Whales' toes. Three seasons of Hall of Fame center Geno Pasternak brought the star power to the Northside even if the squad has been in a rebuild since then. The Pioneers play in the Willard Division.

Ownership and Management: The Pioneers are owned by Lewis Vail, a Galapetran businessman who grew up in Podangrad, Tamokeva before attending Gavas College in Portarra. He spearheaded funding the stadium project in Pohelem Landing to bring a second franchise to Portarra. He has been a steady owner with plenty of pull behind the scenes, often involved in the finances and investments of the league. Vail prefers to allow his GM to run the team autonomously, only adding input as necessary.

The Pioneers are managed by Scott Hauser, considered one of the elite GM's in the league, having won Best GM in 1973. He helped push the expansion Pioneers into immediate contention, with Finals appearances in 1980 and 1984. The squad is coached by Burt Wentz, former THL goalie and brother to Hall of Famer Von Wentz. Burt was hired as assistant coach in 1978 by Hauser along with head coach Ted Gooden. When Gooden retired after the '90 season, Burt was promoted to interim head coach and veteran AC Carter Toledo was hired. Instead of a full instatement, Pioneers brass chose to keep Wentz on interim status for the '92 season while they decide on a new direction.

City and Arena: The Pioneers play at the Fort Tor Heritage Arena, typically shortened to Heritage Arena, located on the north shore of the Gavas River in Pohelem Landing in Portarra, Galapetra. The Heritage is a smaller but modern facility. The northside of Portarra, with its proximity to Gavas College, is known to have more money and status, so the Pios have embraced a working-class identity for a group of mostly middle-class fans that seems to have become ingrained in the culture, no small feat for a historic city like Portarra and the Whales as crosstown neighbors.


Previous Identity: 1989 Portarra Pioneers

Team Brand and Identity: The Pioneers decided to stick with the majority of their 1989 identity, with some simplifications to fit the new jersey system. The controversial wheel logo returns with a heavier outer stroke on the home and a curious double stroke on the away, as owner Lewis Vail didn't like how it looked on white, leading some to speculate a rebrand could come soon. The ghost yokes remain along with the upper sleeve blocks but the striping is simplified to a quad stripe of equal weights which is also added to the sleeve with the sleeve hem stripe being removed. The simple striping is added to the jersey hem, socks, and pants, which are in navy for both sets. Both sets feature orange collars. The original thick serif number style remains, still with single outlines on all numbers and letters. The Pios are one of a few teams sporting captains patches on the right side to fit an irregular logo shape.

Roster Breakdown

Top Three Players

Lance Miller, 23, goalie
Joe Colburn, 26, defenseman
Phil Pasternak, 18, forward (rookie)



Forwards: The forward group in Portarra is a work in progress but the current #7 overall pick is league royalty as Geno's eldest son Phil joins the team. Phil is a do-it-all forward that projects best as a second line center but he will be tasked to lead the team from a young age while the team rebuilds. Linemates Ryan Fitzroy and Zach Shorter are both capable wingers, who also project best on middle lines. Venerated veteran team captain Jonathan Walker, 35, heads a second line with the grizzled veteran Jake Makarski and young Gabe Paxton who is entering his first pro season. Veteran hometown center Terry Valentini pivots a tough third line with young bruiser Isaac Sterling and the forechecking winger Mike Elliott. On the fourth line, young Ken Vest centers between journeyman Malcolm Shamp and young thumper Hoyt Everhart.

Defensemen: The blue line has some solid pieces in Joe Colburn and Victor Noyola, both mid-20's stout defenders with high hockey intelligence, and a couple of young guys like Roger Bridges and Denny Van Horn who have potential to be league starters. Some older vets in Josh Beckes, 36, and Rusty Connellson, 31, bring experience and heavy play style. Colburn and Bridges figure to be the primary starters but the Pios like to mix and match their defensive pairings.

Goaltenders: Lance Miller is the Pioneers best goalie and also their best player. Miller has shown starter capability and All-Star potential in a rapid ascent from a late draft pick into a franchise cornerstone. Rookie first-round draft pick Alwin Teunissen projects as their backup goalie of the futue, and possible co-starter, but he's caught up in visa issues with his home country of Holland so career minor-leaguer Mel Harlow is promoted to the big squad to handle back up duties for the season. The Pios have a couple of low level minor league starters in the system with Donnie Cantrelle and Danny Luffman.

Three Key Storylines: 


  • Who will be coaching the team longterm? Burt Wentz has been given another interim tag in a surprisingly noncommittal move by the brass which doesn't bode well for leadership in the locker room. Wentz for his part has been more than gracious but the team needs to find a permanent solution.
  • How will Hauser complete the rebuild? Beyond coaching staff, GM Scott Hauser has a tall task to continue rebuilding the team and add elite talent. It remains to be seen how quickly or efficiently he can do that, even with his stellar reputation as a manager.
  • Can young guys like Pasternak earn their spot? The Pios have invested quite a few draft picks into solid prospects but the team needs them to pan out for any hope of the rebuild working. Phil Pasternak has the family name but can he turn into a reliable player, or better yet, a star player for the Pioneers?

Future Projection: The Pioneers are fully in rebuild mode as aging veterans are phased out and young prospects are added in for development. There's no reason to doubt Scott Hauser in crafting a team but it remains to be seen how quickly he can add elite level talent. In the meantime, the Pios seem destined for the basement and focused on further developing young guys while contending for a lottery pick.

Marquee Series Sig:



C&C much appreciated! I'd love to hear your thoughts on the new presentation, detailed write-up, new logo and uniforms, anything. Also always happy to answer any questions about teams or Torland!

>>> Don't forget! In a related Torland matter, visit this thread to see what's happening with the 2024 Torland Presidential Elections and learn how to add your vote! Still a close race. Only a few days left to vote!

The striping on this one also sells it, and with the logo it makes a perfect jersey, very nice indeed.

Last edited by GoosetavoMan (3/01/2024 6:23 am)


Fictional sports league and country fanatic.
If cows were made of grass, would they feed on grass?
 

3/01/2024 11:01 pm  #994


Re: Torland Hockey League: THL 2.0

We continue with a second helping of Portarra and the OG's in the Whales.



Portarra Whales

About the Team: The Whales are a founding member of the Torland Hockey League, formed in 1960 under the leadership of Seymour Duval. The Duval family is hockey and Portarra royalty, with Seymour being instrumental in the explosive growth of Portarra after WWII along with promotion of professional and youth hockey. Seymour was a key figure in helping Rey Marcotte establish the THL. The Whales hockey club has existed in various forms since pre-WWII, always with a strong sports and familial rivalry with Port Alrene. The Whales won the first inaugural Marcotte Cup in 1960 and have been the premier institution of hockey in Torland ever since. They were big Cup contenders in the 60's, saw sustained success in the 70's with no championships to show for it, and then saw a huge boost in the 80's with three Cups after drafting Bill Bronkowski. The success of Bronko has begun to sour, however, with quite a few teammates preferring to go elsewhere rather than deal with Bronko and GM O'Donnell who have developed reputations of being difficult personalities. The Whales have a handful of hall of fame players over the course of their five Marcotte Cup titles (1960, 1963, 1987, 1988, 1989) and four other Cup appearances. The Whales play in the Willard Division.

Ownership and Management: The franchise is owned by Steve Duval, eldest son of Seymour, now 64 years old, who took over team operations in 1981 and full ownership of the team in 1983. Steve's ownership style has been decidedly more hands-off than his father but he's still been on the forefront of turning the Whales brand into a financial strength and leveraging marketing and TV contracts to spur even more growth for the most iconic team in Torland. 

The Whales are managed by venerated manager Don O'Donnell, sometimes called “D.O.D.” or “The Dodfather”, who is now 70 years old, having been hired in 1973. He's known as a crusty and abrasive personality but there's no denying his GM skills, seen with a Best GM in 1984 and three championships. The head coach is Sid Snyder, 60, who was hired in 1984 to helm the young team along with former Saints head coach Scott Baumann who was added to assist. Snyder is considered a good coach but some feel he's a product of the greatness of Bill Bronkowski even if he's shown an excellent aptitude for managing big egos and personalities.

City and Arena: The Whales play at the revered Market Marina Center, considered the iconic bastion of hockey in Torland. Built by Seymour Duval in the 1950's, the MMC is oversized and palatial which has helped it more easily transition into modern eras of hockey. The stadium received a significant overhaul in 1981-1982 as Steve was taking over operations to bring better fan experience and improve facilities for players and media. The arena is showing its age but the style of construction and space on the marina give it plenty of room to continue being the pinnacle of hockey in Torland. The city of Portarra is one of the oldest in the country and Whales fans are born into their fandom which often runs thicker than blood. The city itself is only the ninth-largest in Torland but the Whales' fanbase is the largest in the league.



Team Brand and Identity: The famous “Square Whale” logo returns in full force with an updated color palette of a darker navy blue, which is a bit richer in hue than its predecessor, paired with the same white and red as previous. The 1984 set is largely unchanged, featuring the contrasting yokes with flat number and letter systems and the unique angled sleeve hem stripes. Similar horizontal striping appears on the jersey hem and socks while the pants are the only change with just simple white stripes. Both sets feature red collars. The Whales have been famously against making many changes, the Square Whale being a notable exception, and with three Cups in these threads, they don't figure to be making many changes anytime soon.

Roster Breakdown

Top Three Players

Bill Bronkowski, 26, center
Eli Priestley, 31, defenseman
Herb Hass, 27, defenseman



Forwards: “Bronko” is 26 years old and already considered the best player in the league and in the conversation for best of all time. He's been that good. Bronkowski was drafted in 1984 with the #3 overall pick by the Whales (infamously passed over for fellow Pole Jeremi Jogoda by the Alko Wizards due to lack of gametape for Bronko) and immediately dragged the rebuilding team into the playoffs. The two-time League MVP then helped the Whales win three straight Cups. His elite linemates have left for greener pastures under controversial circumstances, so he's now centering a top line with the aging Jack Koeneman and tough veteran winger Rod Longo. The drop-off in talent after Bronko is quite severe. The versatile Shaun Park centers a second line that would likely be a third or fourth line on most teams with grizzled vet Red Czekanski and speedy winger Maynard Lancaster. First-year pro Daniel Hughes is promoted to the big squad to pivot a third line with veteran bruiser Danny Dawkins and young Bosnian sniper Ilya Kovacevic. A young fourth line of prospects in Foster Brinson at center with Arthur Bailey and rookie Harris Amador is as green as they come but show potential of future solid league starters.

Defensemen: The core of this team is in the blue line with the star offensive power of Eli Priestley from the point on a top pair with the hugely underrated defense of Herb Hass, 27. Priestley is a two-time Best Defenseman and earned Finals MVP honors in 1989. Experienced veteran Eric Andrus forms a second pair with rookie Mitch Crenshaw. A solid third pairing with championship experience in Keith Iaconetti and Ray Royce are versatile and highly effective on the penalty kill and shutting down top players.

Goaltenders: The goaltending unit for Portarra has historically been a weak point, even during championship runs with the likes of veteran Brian Mahaffey, who was not given a new contract and signed with Fort Bevin in a controversial decision. The Whales decided to promote Jeff Alexander, 25, from the minor leagues, where he'd been a capable starter for 7 seasons. Longtime backup Zeke Frand, 30, returns as a potential co-starter with Alexander. The Whales have a young guy in Vince Holmes in the pipeline who shows future starter potential. 

Three Key Storylines: 


  • What will happen with Bill Bronkowski? The scuttlebutt about Bronko's difficult personality has proved to be true as players like Parrino and Caparros have chosen to leave a championship contender rather than deal with him. With only a year-plus left on Bronko's contract, the Whales are figuring out how to keep him in Portarra longterm and build a roster to keep him happy.
  • How much longer will “The Dodfather” be in the GM seat? The follow-up to the Bronko situation is another difficult personality in Don O'Donnell and what he brings to the table at 70 years old and how he might be able to navigate tricky roster situations while deciding his own future.
  • Can the Whales still contend for another Cup? The roster has changed a lot but still features elite players like Bronkowski and Priestley which still makes them contenders, even if with reduced firepower. 

Future Projection: It would be a bad idea to count out the Whales, even if the team dynamic has changed significantly. Elite talent usually wins out and the Whales know how to win. If Sid Snyder can harness all of it into a focused season, they could go all the way again. Their longterm projection is tough to predict but the current squad is still capable of winning a lot of games.

Marquee Series Sig:



C&C much appreciated! I'd love to hear your thoughts on the new presentation, detailed write-up, new logo and uniforms, anything. Also always happy to answer any questions about teams or Torland!

>>> Don't forget! In a related Torland matter, visit this thread to see what's happening with the 2024 Torland Presidential Elections and learn how to add your vote! Still a close race. Only a few days left to vote!



AHS Admin. Creator of the THLPUCHWHA: Redux and Retroliga.
     Thread Starter
 

3/02/2024 1:32 pm  #995


Re: Torland Hockey League: THL 2.0

Whales are looking sharp!


 

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