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10/02/2020 7:48 pm  #661

Re: Torland Hockey League: A History - 1985 Offseason

Go Bucks.

That's it. That's the post.

10/02/2020 11:00 pm  #662

Re: Torland Hockey League: A History - 1985 Offseason

MyTeamIsDr.Pepper wrote:

As for the new playoff tree, I’d swap the Heralds v Neptunes game with the Herons v Killers game, that way you know how we ended up with the semifinal matchups.
Great work though, the new tree is a big upgrade over the last one.

Thanks! I probably shouldn't call it a playoff tree, as I go by seeding instead of brackets. That's why I went straight across 1-4 for the semi-finals, it just looks weird because there were so many upsets.

Stickman wrote:

As for the playoff graphics, I agree with Pepper that setting it up so that your eye can naturally follow who will face who in the following round would be a good idea.  I also think I'd put the finals matchup a row underneath the semifinals, so that your eye doesn't automatically get directed to the finals matchup and spoil how the semis went before reading them.   For me, when I read these, I like to slowly scroll down to take in each round, (I'd imagine some other readers do this too...... you guys do that too, right?....right?)   Other than that, huge improvement on the playoff tree!

Yeah that's harder to do when doing seeding vs a bracket style playoffs. I really appreciate your feedback. I do like the old style of series-by-series but it's super time consuming to do every season. But I'll take that into consideration. (will also update that #7 seed issue, good eye!)

Dan O'Mac wrote:

I feel that the graphics are great, but the presentation could use a bit more spacing out. So the image for the Wild Card round, followed by the recaps you have. Then the image for the Quarterfinals, followed by the recaps. Then the image for the Semifinals and the recap, and then the finals preview. By spreading them out, it makes it easier to read and still be surprised by the outcomes through the finals.

Thanks, Dan. I see what you mean. I condensed everything because it was so time consuming to do individual series graphics even with a template, but perhaps I can separate the rounds out a bit more. Appreciate the feedback!

Creator of the Torland Hockey League
     Thread Starter

10/18/2020 11:46 pm  #663

Re: Torland Hockey League: A History - 1985 Offseason

1982 Marcotte Cup Championship Finals

4 Chasonne Heralds vs 6 Abrieden Bucks

The upstart Bucks meet a team looking to make more playoff history, this time with a three-peat. Abrieden has an inexperienced team on a hot streak led by goalie Vassily Wuopio and forwards David Suvak and Ric Rundstrom while Chasonne carries over their two-time champion roster with lethal weapons everywhere led by Gian Guiliano.

Game 1: ABR 3 @ CHA 4 (OT) – The first game got off to a blistering start with both teams trading big moments and big goals to head into overtime. It was a gloveside ripper from Robert Bertucci that won it for the Heralds.

Game 2: ABR 2 @ CHA 3 (OT) – The second game was a continuation of the first. Zaal and Guiliano scored early. The Bucks roared back in the third with goals from Schultz and Suvak to tie it up for overtime. Again, midway through the extra period it was Bertucci who found a home on a rebound to go up 2-0.

Game 3: CHA 3 @ ABR 4 (OT) – In Abrieden the action continued hot and heavy. Frankie Albertelli scored first for Chasonne, followed by two from the Bucks from Suvak. The game found itself tied again after three and headed into a third straight OT game. This time Ric Rundstrom scored the winner.

Game 4: CHA 0 @ ABR 1 – Vassily Wuopio played his best game, racking up saves like candy as he was a stone wall in the net. Veteran Freddy Hoffmeyer scored the goal to win it as Abrieden evened the series.

Game 5: ABR 1 @ CHA 3 – Back in Chasonne, the Heralds were playing inspired and racked up two early goals. The Bucks fought back with one by Schultz but Bertucci answered back right away.

Game 6: CHA 3 @ ABR 0 – With the Bucks on the ropes, the Heralds found their stride as Hymore had one of his best playoff games in the net and Guiliano scored twice keep Abrieden at bay. A late goal from Bertucci secured the series and gave him Series MVP as the Chasonne Heralds won their third straight Cup and a league-leading record of six total.

1982 Marcotte Cup Champions: Chasonne Heralds (6)

Up next: 1983 offseason, expansion

Creator of the Torland Hockey League
     Thread Starter

10/19/2020 9:09 am  #664

Re: Torland Hockey League: A History - 1985 Offseason

Oh an expansion. Congrats to the Heralds on a 3 peat. Hopefully someone new can win next year

10/19/2020 7:28 pm  #665

Re: Torland Hockey League: A History - 1985 Offseason

Congrats to the Heralds! The Bucks put up a good fight, but Chasonne is just too good. Surprised by the expansion given the recent "expansion" of the 4 UHA teams, maybe the south will start to see hockey?
Check out the RIBF here and the KLH here!

10/19/2020 10:12 pm  #666

Re: Torland Hockey League: A History - 1985 Offseason

That was quite the series! Well fought by both teams but the Heralds blossoming dynasty was just too much for the Bucks.

Also, expansion? Colored me excited! 


10/21/2020 7:00 am  #667

Re: Torland Hockey League: A History - 1985 Offseason

Awesome threepeat Heralds!  Whenever you have time Steel, would it be possible to get an updated sig with all the championships?

As far as expansion news, very interesting!  The THL is growing about as rapidly as the NHL did during this timeframe, always exciting to see the new teams!

10/22/2020 2:30 am  #668

Re: Torland Hockey League: A History - 1985 Offseason


League News

The league office in Trowburgh was abuzz as soon as the season ended with the owners in deep, sometimes heated discussions about how the league was progressing and their future plans. Commissioner Hatch was adamant about wanting to expand the league while the owners were hesitant to expand again so soon after the merger. Among the loudest dissenters was longtime Whales owner Seymour Duval and things got so heated that several owners no longer wanted to work with Duval. The Commissioner jumped at this opportunity and set the table to force Duval into retirement and give full control of the team over to his son, Steve Duval, who had already been running some of the operations with GM Don O'Donnell since 1981. After more heated discussions, Seymour officially stepped down and Steve took his place. This brought a younger, more progressive voice to the table.

The early success of the Blazers, Killers, and Swans combined with the recent success of the Bucks was the main argument for Hatch in favor of another quick expansion to take advantage of new markets. The league, however, even with a huge cash influx from the recent playoffs, was still operating in the red after such big acquisitions and the majority of the owners were against the idea. Hatch was unrelenting in his pursuit of the idea and recruiting a major bargaining chip to persuade the owners: Soon to be Hall of Famer Gary Wisniewski.

Hatch wanted the massive Alko market. The UHA only had middling success there with the Wildcats but attendance was good and Alko is the biggest city in Torland. Hatch believed that a THL team in the market would be at a better advantage than their former rivals. Gary Wiz played for the Wildcats for four years and his legend only continued there before his final year in Vensessor. Hatch sold him on the idea of being part of an ownership package of an expansion team in Alko where he could also run the team. The power and draw of the Gary Wiz name alone would be worth the price of admission. Wisniewski loved the idea but they had to find an investor to carry the price tag and weight of the cost of an expansion team. Hatch found a businessman named Eric Barclay who owed him some favors and formed an ownership group with Gary Wiz to get the expansion bid.

With Gary Wiz on board, the owners were still split but Hatch had forced their hand because Wisniewski was heading into the Hall of Fame amid huge fanfare and it would have been a PR nightmare if word leaked they'd turned down such a beloved nationwide legend. With Barclay and Wisniewski booked, attention turned to adding a second team to keep the numbers even. Again the owners were split on the idea and Hatch's swing vote carried the day with placing a team in the growing city of Sina. The owners in Fort Bevin, Portarra and Yubay were none too pleased at the decision but Fort Bevin native Fred Winkler was chosen to lead the new team. News pundits, while excited about Gary Wiz “owning” a team, panned the league harshly for the “afterthought” in Sina and they weren't wrong. The league meetings ended on a sour note and tensions between the owners and commissioner were at an all-time high.

League Expansion

1983 Alko Wizards

Eric Barclay is the money man in Alko but Gary Wiz will be face of it and run the team. Alko is the biggest city in Torland. The Wizards will practice at the former home of the Wildcats, the Rosa Nence Arena, but a newer facility called the Misty Center will be ready for the regular season.

The nickname Wizards was chosen as a play on Alko's nickname of Misty City and it being a mystical place and home to many spiritual centers. And of course, an homage to the man himself, Gary Wiz. Some fans say all the fame has gone to Gary's head. Some classic Alko colors of claret and light blue were chosen. The logo is an A with a wizard's hat in the negative space. Alko also has a unique wordmark. The uniforms feature a full-length yoke, diagonal sleeve stripes, double-outlined numbers, and oversized NOB's.

1983 Sina Serpents

Despite his franchise being treated like the extra step-child, Fred Winkler was very excited about the opportunity to build a new brand and team in a growing city like Sina. (Prounounced "see-nuh", like John Cena) The city has ballooned with suburbanites and a surging downtown area. Sina draws very similar comparisons to Las Vegas in the States, along with Atlantic City and New Orleans. A vibrant entertainment and gambling scene on the iconic Red Boulevard where it intersects with Snake Street near the Landing on the shore of Lake Furben is a hotspot for celebrities. The population of Sina has risen past other THL cities like Vensessor, Lecayne and Abrieden but hasn't been considered a viable hockey market due to it's close proximity to Fort Bevin in particular. Winkler decided to throw caution to the wind and build a unique brand beginning with the name Serpents. A retrofitted an old arena into a professional hockey capacity which was named the EverStar Center.

The logo is a snake in the shape of an S in the team colors of red, green and white. The tail is wrapped like a hockey blade. The uniforms are primary red with green pants. A classic block font with two outlines is used for the numbers and paired with double striping. Winkler wanted something that looked modern while still classic to put his new team on the map.

League Realignment

With the addition of two new expansion teams, the divisions were adjusted for geographical relevance. The Wizards were added to the Hatch Division. The Killers were moved to the Rankin Division to join their west coast mates and the Serpents were put in their place in the Willard Division.


Creator of the Torland Hockey League
     Thread Starter

10/22/2020 2:51 am  #669

Re: Torland Hockey League: A History - 1985 Offseason


Notable Retirements

Lauri Rikhard, an international signing from Finland in 1961 by the Captains, retired after a 22-year THL career. A League MVP in 1977, Rikhard also won Best Defenseman 3 times and was a 15x All-Star while helping lead Kirkenport to three Marcotte Cups, including a Finals MVP in 1975. The offensive-minded defenseman was known for his fast skating and scoring, two-way acumen and quiet leadership. His #18 sweater will certainly be retired on the Isle of Kirk.

Hall of Fame Class of 1983

Five inductees were included in the Class of '83, including the great Gary Wiz.

Gary Wisniewski (F)
Paul Kauffman (D)
Shane Galbraith (D)
Don Easterling (Coach)
Rudolph Nichols (Coach)

Coaching Carousel

The Glaciers finally got fed up with all the underachieving and surprisingly gave Craig McMurray his walking papers despite winning a Cup in 1977. The new Sina Serpents jumped at the opportunity to hire a top-level coach and brought in McMurry along with his assistant Rich Grubbs. Former Herons coach Bill Chavis was hired to GM the team. The Kings decided to go in a different direction and did not renew Wade Rhodes' contract. Rhodes was instead hired by the Glaciers. The Kings hired Kirk Oliver to helm the team with Glen Stewart as his assistant. The great Gary Wisniewski, part-owner of the new Wizards, installed himself as GM and hired Donnie Thomas and Joe Kellogg to coach the team. Gary Wiz will oversee a larger role as a owner/manager.

Expansion Draft

For the expansion draft, teams were given 7 exemptions to place on players to protect from the draft. Players with 3 or fewer years of accrued pro service were exempt. Each team can only lose 1 player, giving each expansion team a total of 10 players. Since Sina won the overall draft lottery, Alko was given first choice. They chose former Heralds team captain F Robert Bertucci. The Serpents chose former Herons and Falcons F Adam Oreskovich with their first pick. Sina also chose Killers F Adam Bogdanov, Rockets D Ollie McClellan, and Herons D Gene Schlattman among others in a defensive heavy draft. The Wizards grabbed Kodiaks F Marc Truong, Electrics F Paul Careno and Kings goalie Fred Teal as part of their offering.

Player Trades and Signings

In a new era of player freedom, the premier free agent was most definitely F Dimitri Ranko, formerly with the Anchors. The 30-year-old Serbian is still an elite player and was looking for a team primed for a deep playoff run. Ranko had many suitors, including the champions in Chasonne, along with the Rockets, Glaciers, Falcons, Neptunes, Bucks, Barbarians, and the Pioneers. But it was the Trowburgh Herons who landed the big coup due nearly solely on fellow Serb D Vanja Zoric, with whom Ranko was familiar. With Ranko on board on a 3-year deal, the Herons were able to come to terms with G Brendon Ruske on a fat 3-year deal to keep him in the net.

The Blazers signed D Jan Mikulec to a large 7-year contract.

The Whales traded veteran goalie Scott Kemper to the Falcons for prospects G Eddie Montague and D Peter Rizvic. Yubay signed Kemper to a 3-year deal. The Falcons also came to terms with F Vince Van Swedden on a 1-year deal, keeping the roster mostly intact for what will assuredly be Geno Pasternak's final season.

1983 Amateur Player Draft

The bottom two finishers from the 1982 season were put into a lottery with the two expansion teams. The Serpents landed the top pick, followed by Port Alrene and Quebel, while the new Wizards will have to wait until fourth. The rest of the order follows their regular season finish. A handful of international prospects headline the talent pool.

1 – SIN – F Konrad Kedzierski (Poland)
The Polish forward is far and away the best prospect in the draft and Sina is able to immediately find a centerman to build their new team around, alongside veterans Oreskovich and Bogdanov.

2 – PA – F JoJo Gorka (Poland)
The Anchors have needs everywhere but losing Ranko hurts a little less by bringing in the undersized but feisty Gorka. The Polish forward fits their style.

3 – QUE – D Viktor Nurmi (Iceland)
The Crusaders are trending the wrong direction and Bram Vandergert has been disappointing thus far, prompting Quebel to lock onto Nurmi who can do a little of everything on the blue line.

4 – ALK – D Howie Shaw
The new Wizards are going for ceiling in the superbly talented Shaw. He can play right away but if given time to develop he could be a cornerstone in the league.

5 – BAN – G Manu Harmaajarvi (Finland)
The Kings had their eye on Shaw but are still excited to land the big Finnish goaltender Harmaajarvi who can help solidify the net with Randy Wiseman.

6 – POR – D Herb Hass
The Whales surprise with a bit of a reach for Hass in a draft light on top defensive talent. 

7 – KAV – F Denis Lemieux
Opinions vary on Lemieux's skillset but he fits the fast-paced style of the Electrics.

8 – LEC – F Chris Cambo
Despite much greater need on the blue line, the Saints fell in love with Cambo who will slot into the second line.

9 – PTP – F Ryan Fitzroy
Fitzroy is a Swiss Army knife of a forward, he can fit anywhere and does everything, which will be a perfect addition for the Pioneers.

10 – KUR – F Hans Rohr
The Killers are building a lethal offensive group and Rohr has the talent and ceiling to fit.

11 – KIR – G Bruce Kuegler
12 – KRK – F Tom Ellenbecker
13 – YBG – F Steven Jessup
14 – VEN – F Buddy Cates
15 – GLD – G Mike Robello
16 – PRE – D Fred Karrick
17 – CHA – D Johnie Shipley
18 – ABR – F Stan Saucier
19 – NAR – G Collin Hawks
20 – FTB – D Donovan Templeton
21 – TRO – D Silas Sparkman
22 – YUB – F Daron Swan

Team Identity Changes

1983 Fort Bevin Rockets

Previous Identity: 1972-1982 Fort Bevin Rockets

The Rockets changed their uniforms for the first time since coming into the league in 1972, dropping yellow completely and adding shoulder yokes and drop shadowed numbers. Yellow was also removed from the logo.

1983 Trowburgh Herons (Special Uniform)

The Herons introduced a special third uniform to be worn at select home games, featuring black as the primary color with yellow bumped up to secondary and white removed. Yellow pants are paired with the sweater and the numbers are solid yellow.

New Script-Style Sigs

I wanted to do a new style of sig, so I hope y'all like it, feel free to use them. I added stars for each championship a team has won.

C&C always very much appreciated!

Creator of the Torland Hockey League
     Thread Starter

10/22/2020 6:11 am  #670

Re: Torland Hockey League: A History - 1985 Offseason

Quite the offseason!

Expansion:  Loving the drama and in-fighting over if expansion should have happened or not!  Both sides of the argument certainly had their points, so it was nice to see both sides fleshed out!

Alko Wizards:  I was wondering if you'd jump on the claret and blue bandwagon that seemingly everyone else on the site has been on, lol!  I will say this teams looks really cool, nice logo as well, (only thing is that the A in the backspace of the logo doesn't look much like an A, although to be fair it's pretty obvious what it's supposed to be).  Very nice job on this one!

Gary Wisniewski: Very nice to see the legend be back in the storyline, this time as owner/general management/guy who got his team named after him!  I'm guessing he's going to make waves during this time-frame, although maybe not for the good of the Wizards.  Superstar athletes don't usually turn out to be the best of owners and general managers, (see Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson for two recent examples) and I suspect Gary Wiz will prove a bit too controlling and could cost the team a lot of progress.  Just a guess though!

Sina Serpents: I really love that logo!  Very simple and effective, although it does sorta look like the poor snake has developed chicken pox!  The jerseys are interesting.  I'll admit I've never been fond of red and green for team colors myself, but I think you did pretty good here.  I do see that the home set clearly has a red focused feel to it, while the away jerseys seems to imply green is the main color for the Serpents.  It'll be fun watching if this team decides what color that want to be or if they have it both ways.

Fort Bevin Rockets Redesign: As much as red, navy, and white are severely overused in North American sports, it never ceases to amaze me how few fictional teams utilize the color scheme, (probably because the authors are tired of seeing that color scheme in real life, lol).   I think this was the right place to take the Rockets design, as I always thought the yellow on top of the red, white, and blue was a bit too much.  This simplified approach looks much better to me!  

Sigs:  Digging the autographed style a lot!  Very creative!

Great job as always!

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