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6/08/2024 3:25 pm  #171


Re: Metropolitan Hockey League: 1931-32 Regular Season

1931 MHL Offseason: Off the Ice

After one year of no team movements at all, the MHL was back to its scheduled programming for that in the summer months. 

St. Louis Centurions to cease operations

The whole Peoria/St. Louis franchise has been… not great. After 5 years in Peoria, not including 1 year on hiatus, they moved to St. Louis in hopes of attracting more fans and getting the money to stay afloat. However, the move did not help, as after only 3 seasons in the Lou, the club announced that they simply did not have the finances to continue operating, and would fold effective immediately. The Foxes/Centurions went 144-306-6 in their 8 MHL seasons. Their biggest free agent will be Claude Brown, who led the MHL in points in 1930-31.

Indianapolis Chauffeurs to relocate

Thehealthiestscratch wrote:

Had a lot of catching up to do. Was a fan of Montreal for about 5 pages, but then they got rid of their pinstripes. I think I'll lend my support to the perpetual losers in Indianapolis. 

This is unfortunate timing. it was planned from the start of the year so I didn’t just decide to do it randomly lol

The Indianapolis Chauffeurs have not been as bad as some other MHL expansion teams. However, they’ve still struggled in their 6 years in the Indiana capital. This lack of success has led to smaller-than-average crowds, which means that they have to pack up. Their financial situation has let them try and survive in a new home, which ownership decided to be London, Ontario.  With a population of 70,000 and more hockey tradition, the club is taking its chance on this smaller market.

The team decided to go by the London Locomotives, named after the train found on the city’s coat of arms. The team logo is the train placed on the shield from the aforementioned coat of arms. The jersey is red, and features a simple white and blue stripe on the arms and hem.



MHL changes divisions with team movement

With the folding of St. Louis and relocation of Indy to London, the MHL now had an uneven conference balance, and a bit of a predicament. One team needed to move to the west, but the closest teams were the two in Montreal, or the 3 in the New York area. No team of these wanted to be the one to move, as they’d have to spend more on travel and would be away from their geographical rivals. Each team plead their case to commissioner James Burris, and in the end, he decided that Brooklyn would be the team to move, as their financial situation allowed for it, and also, they were the Westernmost of the 5 Montreal/New York teams. This gives each division 6 teams, allowing for more divisional-based scheduling. 

Chicago Wildcats update away jersey

The Chicago Wildcats made a change to their road look, going from their weird barberpole to a more simplified one. The jersey base is cream instead of white, and features a large red chest stripe, where the C logo rests. The arms and socks are filled to the bottom with red.

New York Blue Birds unveil redesigned jerseys

The New York Blue Birds unveiled a brand new uniform set in the offseason, replacing the look that they’d effectively worn since the MHL was created. This new look features 3 small striping within 2 larger ones, used as a chest stripe. The club's NY logo is still used on the arms. The home has thin white and thick orange stripes, while the away’s stripes are thin orange and thick blue.



 


 

6/08/2024 4:18 pm  #172


Re: Metropolitan Hockey League: 1931-32 Regular Season

OK, it's official: the London Locomotives are now my favourite team (sorry, Blue Birds). The logo looks great, and the jersey is simple, but it fits the team's ID really well.

 

6/08/2024 7:51 pm  #173


Re: Metropolitan Hockey League: 1931-32 Regular Season

Disappointed to see the Chauffers leave, but loving the Locomotives! Definitely a unique identity, still probably be my favorite in the league. Also, why not a Canadian and American division instead of an East vs West divisions since they’re seem to be 6 American (Boston, Brooklyn, Chicago, Detroit, Nassau & New York) and 6 Canadian (London, Montreal x2, Ottawa, Quebec and Toronto)?


 

6/09/2024 9:34 pm  #174


Re: Metropolitan Hockey League: 1931-32 Regular Season

1931 MHL Offseason: On the Ice

Going to try out a new format for the transaction portion of the offseason, let me know if it works, or if I should go back to how it was.

Notable Retirements:

Denis Jones - G (PIT 1921-27, PEO/STL 1928-29)
One of the better goalies of the earliest MHL seasons, Jones backstopped Pittsburgh to 3 Abbott Cup Final appearances, Unfortunately, he was unable to win it all in any of them. He led the league in shutouts 4 times, and won 240 of his 444 career games.

Lewis Urban - C (NYB 1921-29, NAS 1930)
Urban was the best playmaker in the MHL for most of his career. While assists were hard to come by statistically, he still managed to rack up 154 in his 432 career games, currently the all-time leader in the statistic. Was a part of all 4 Blue Birds Abbott Cup squads, and played a key part in all of them.

Byron Francis - W (YRK/HAM 1921-24, COR 1925, OTT 1926-28, STL 1929-30)
With the most goals of this year’s retiree class, Francis was a journeyman, but a pretty darn good one. He was the goals and points leader in his lone season in Cornwall, and finished his career with 146 goals and 67 assists in 368 career games. Never played in a large and diehard market, so most of his career was out of the spotlight. Still a VERY good career.

George Morris - C (BNG 1921, BOS 1922-29)
Morris was an early prototype of a power forward. While not the outright biggest player on the ice, he played like it. Tons of hits, fights, and he could score points too. Never found too much success in Boston, but played his heart out for the Harpers, and is beloved in the city. 

Transactions:

Boston:

Outs:
Ben Richards - C (QUE)
Truman Annon - C (Released)
Albert Prince - C (Released)
Lewis Brown - W (Retired)
Robert Turner - W (Released)


Ins:
David Covington - C (from STL)
David Gagnon - C (from STL)


Boston made two big splashes in FA, acquiring young Centurions goalie David Gagnon, as well as center David Covington. Gagnon is relatively inexperienced and struggled in St. Louis, but still has tons of potential and is touted to be the replacement for Caleb Ross once he starts declining. Covington is a similar story. He hasn’t quite put it all together offensively, but is seen as having a very high ceiling. Boston is looking to take advantage of that. As for their departures, young centre Ben Richards is the biggest one, and he’s not a superstar. Definitely an improved roster for Boston this offseason.

Brooklyn:

Outs:
None, somehow

Ins: 
George Patchian - D (Rookie)

Brooklyn had the least movement of any team, with no departures, and only one signing. George Patchian is a promising young defenseman from Calgary, a hard hitter who can block shots. The reigning Western champs will look to repeat their surprise success from 1931, and hope Patchian can patch (ha) up some of their vulnerabilities that were exposed vs Ottawa.

Chicago:

Outs:
None

Ins:
Alex Klassen - D (STL)

Chicago had a quiet offseason, with their one move being the signing of Alex Klassen from St. Louis. A beast of a man at 6’5”. He’s shown great defensive capabilities, and well as physical dominance. Despite his large size, He’s active around the ice from start to finish, and is never afraid of anyone. His addition is the lift that Chicago hopes can get them over the hump and toward Abbott Cup glory.

Detroit:

Outs:
Donald Kendall - W (Retired)
Don Lisle - D (Released)
Clifford Allison - D (Traded to TOR)
Leon Campbell - G (Released)

Ins:
Albert Becker - C (STL)
Sylvain Ermengille - W (Traded from TOR)
Peter Diry - W (STL)
Myron Tabor - D (Rookie)

Detroit had lots of movement in the offseason. First, they resigned #1 centre Wolf Southward to a new deal, making sure to keep him on board. They signed two young players from St. Louis in Albert Becker and Peter Diry, and then made a groundbreaking trade with Toronto. They acquired Sylvain Ermengille, the league’s current all-time leader in games played and points, in exchange for young defenseman Clifford Allison. Detroit is hoping 34-year-old Ermengille still has gas in the tank, as he’s a game-changing player.

London:

Outs:
Charles Seymour (Released)

Ins:
John Reynolds (STL)
Antoine Tessier (STL)
Calvin Benn (Rookie)

London made some big moves in their first offseason. First, they signed John Reynolds from St. Louis, acquiring a solid secondary scorer to boost their high-ceiling offense. They also re-signed Leonard Triplett, who was a key offensive player for them. On defense, they signed rookie Calvin Benn out of Vancouver, a physical blueliner. London is a work in progress, but there’s lots of good young talent here.

Montreal Barons:

Outs:
Francois Gauthier (OTT)
Ernest Haslem (Released)

Ins:
Michael Rourke (STL)
Ronald Jack (STL)

Montreal mainly had lower-end moves this offseason. The loss of Francois Gauthier will sting a little, but he wasn’t a key component to the team. Instead, they get two young guns from St. Louis, Michael Rourke and Ronald Jack. Both players have limited MHL action, but are absolutely MHL-calibre players looking to take that next step. Both players are workhorses on all sides of the puck, and will do whatever they can to cement their place on the Barons.

Montreal Greys:

Outs: a lot
Robert Clement - C (Released)
Jim Clarkson - W (Released)
Jacob Dick - W (Retired)
Keith Whitlow - W (Retired)
Paul Houle - D (Released)

Ins:
None

The Greys did a lot of trimming around the edges in the offseason. They made no signings, and released players who are either aging (like Clarkson), or declining in general (Clement, Houle). It’s an interesting strategy from them, as many expected them to make a big move to keep their aging core in Abbott Cup contention. 

Nassau:

Outs:
Joseph Kimmins - C (Released)
Louis Little - W (Retired)
Buck Mahoney - D (Released)
Marc Friesen - G (QUE)

Ins:
Claude Brown - W (STL)
Don Howard - W (STL)
Henry McDonald - W (Rookie)
Gerald Martin - D (STL)

Nassau improved their already-strong roster, acquiring reigning league points leader Claude Brown from St. Louis. Brown is a great talent who was overlooked for being on St. Louis, but now he hopes to show the league his talent on a better team. The additions of Don Howard and Gerald Martin increase Nassau’s depth, and Henry McDonald could be a diamond in the rough as a rookie. He wasn’t the most-watched, but has lots of talent.

New York:

Outs:
Rodney Tebow - C (Released)
Eric Boisvert - C (Released)
Vince Ryan - W (Released)
Andrew Moehring - D (Released)
Brian Hehn - D (Released)

Ins:
Philip Brown - W (STL)
Adrian Lang - D (STL)
Walter Martin - D (Rookie)

New York bid farewell to legend in the offseason, as Andrew Moehring was released. Moehring currently leads the Blue Birds in Games Played, Goals, and Points, and was a key part in all 4 of their Abbott Cup victories. It won’t be easy without him in the lineup, but the additions of Adrian Lang and Walter Martin on the blueline give them good depth. As well, the re-signing of W George Green and addition of Philip Brown improve their offense. It’s been a rough few years for New York and these additions look like they’ll do well to help them make another playoff push.

Ottawa:

Outs:
Andre Tremblay - D (Released)

Ins:
Francois Gauthier - C (MTB)

The reigning champs didn’t make a lot of noise in free agency, with their lone addition being Francois Gauthier from Montreal. He’s a playmaker, and one that should fit in nicely in the nation’s capital. Ottawa’s big move was the re-signing of defenseman Derrick Dorvilus. He’s focused more on defense than offense the past couple of seasons, and it has paid off, obviously being a big part of Ottawa’s recent Abbott Cup triumph.

Quebec:

Outs:
George Jack - W (Released)
Donald Kendall - W (Released)
Philip Emilus - G (TOR)
Thaddeus Baldwin - G (Released)

Ins:
Ben Richards - C (BOS)
Marc Friesen - G (NAS)

Quebec was left early on in FA without a goalie, which isn’t generally a good thing. Without too many experienced options, they settled on Marc Friesen, the former Newark and Nassau goalie. He doesn’t have the best stats, but Quebec still rathered to have MHL experience over nothing. Their other move was signing Ben Richards from Boston. Les Bleus have good center depth already, and this addition will make it even stronger. It will be a battle for ice time between their four main options, so it should be fun to see who ends up on top once the season rolls around.

Toronto:

Outs:
Greg Mullins - C (Released)
Sylvain Ermengille - W (Traded to DET)
Jean-Claude Tardif - W (Released)

Ins:
John Mitchell - C (Rookie)
Noble Dixon - C (Rookie)
Patrick Stone - D (Rookie)
Clifford Allison - D (Traded from DET)
Philip Emilus - G (QUE)

Toronto had a very busy offseason. Their first big move was re-signing C John Young, a key part of their offense for some time now. They released longtime center Greg Mullins in a bittersweet move, and then signed 3 rookies. Toronto is hoping to build a great young core, and these three are looking to be a big part of that. Patrick Stone is the most promising of the 3, with one scout calling him the “smartest son-of-a-gun he’s ever seen”. Their biggest move came right at the end of the offseason, as they traded fan-favourite and aging superstar Sylvain Ermengille to Detroit in exchange for young defenseman Clifford Allison. Ermengille was THE guy for Toronto’s run of success, and many assumed he would end his career a Laker. However, management had other plans, as they are extremely high on Allison. He’s played one season, and had only 3 points in 58 games. Not exactly what fans want to hear, but this is a long-term trade from the Lakers’ perspective, as Allison is almost guaranteed to be in Toronto longer than Ermengille is in Detroit.

Top 10 Free Agent Signings:



1931-32 MHL Preseason

MitchSwanson94 wrote:

Also, why not a Canadian and American division instead of an East vs West divisions since they’re seem to be 6 American (Boston, Brooklyn, Chicago, Detroit, Nassau & New York) and 6 Canadian (London, Montreal x2, Ottawa, Quebec and Toronto)?

I never thought about this, and it works perfectly, so let's do it!

The MHL continued its tradition of changing the number of games in a year, going down from 64 to 62, presumably due to the contraction of St. Louis. The schedule will go back to being heavily divisional-based, in the new American and Canadian divisions. The playoffs will remain in the same format, the top 2 teams in each division facing off in a best-of-3, then a best-of-5 Abbott Cup final.


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6/09/2024 11:46 pm  #175


Re: Metropolitan Hockey League: 1931-32 Regular Season

Glad you liked my suggestion of Canadian and American divisions instead of East-West!


 

6/14/2024 7:33 pm  #176


Re: Metropolitan Hockey League: 1931-32 Regular Season

1931-32 MHL Season: First Half

The 1931-32 season was a forward’s nightmare. The league had noticed that scoring was decreasing as the years were going by, but it had reached a point where it was starting to hurt the game. 90% of games were either 1-0 or 2-1 victories, and while they were always tight, fans weren’t too keen about so many defensive affairs. The league would take their time deciding the right path forward for future seasons.

The American Division had the better of the Canadian Division in the first half, resulting in some unbalanced standings. There may be an unhappy team in the American Division at the end of the year, should they finish with more points than a Canadian team in the playoffs.

Leading the all-new American Division was a big surprise, the Boston Harpers. They were projected to be better than previous years, but not THIS good. This is mainly thanks to G Caleb Ross, who is tied for first in goals against average, and outright first in save percentage. He’s been lights out. Offensively, they’ve been more average, but the play of centres Jack Roy and David Covington have been noticed league-wide. Boston sits at 19-9-1, as they look to make the playoffs for the first time in 4 years. 

In 2nd are holding the last playoff spot are the Nassau Scouts. It’s their third straight year being a very good team, but not the best in their division. However, the first half of their season has seen them play almost double the amount of road games compared to home games, so they should be improving in the second half. Kenneth Paquette has once again been their best player, doing well on both ends of the ice. They made waves by trading newly-signed reigning points leader Claude Brown to Toronto for Stephen Keenan, a move that so far isn’t working out for them. Nassau sits at 19-13.

In 3rd and outside the playoffs are the New York Blue Birds. While they’re currently bouncing back from their worst season yet, they’re still not quite a true playoff contender. They’re mainly being carried by Bouse Rogers and Victor Gosselin up front, and by Moses Addison in goal. Rogers and Gosselin are both top 3 in goals, while Addison is once again near the top of the league in all goalie categories. New York is definitely still able to make the playoffs, but they could also fall off as the season progresses. They sit at 18-15.

In 4th are the Brooklyn Kings, who may be showing that their past season was a fluke. They shocked the league by finishing atop the East and making it to the Abbott Cup Final last year, but now they’re hovering at 0.500. To their credit, they did start off well, but never really looked legitimate, and have faltered into their current position. Their defense has been quite good, but the offense, which was 2nd overall last season, has fallen off hard and has cost them. Brooklyn sits at 15-14-1, and will look to bounce back in the second half.

The bottom 2 teams in the American Division feature one surprise and one obvious expected team. In 5th are the Chicago Wildcats, who had the #1 regular season record last year. While they’re below 0.500, they’ve been playing better than the record shows, and should certainly be better than this once the season is all said and done. Meanwhile, Detroit rounds out the division, but they’re starting to show signs of good to come. Jack Walker is near the top of the league in assists, and 22-year-old Guy Topolinski is in the top half of the league in GAA and SV%, something no Detroit goalie has been able to do yet. Chicago sits at 14-16, while Detroit is at 11-19-1.

In the East, it’s the Montreal Barons on top. They were also in this position last year before falling out of the playoffs completely. However, this year things look different. Jean Fortin, who broke out statistically last year, is atop the league in points, and 2nd in assists. His play has been a major part of their success. On the other end is Frank Pangos, now considered the #1 player in the league. He has started nearly every game, and has a mind-boggling 1.43 GAA, to go along with a 0.913 SV%. He’s single-handedly won games when the rest of the team has had off-nights. Montreal sits at 22-9, hoping they don’t collapse again.

In second are the reigning champs, the Ottawa Lumberjacks. Despite being in a playoff position once again, it’s clear that the team doesn’t have the same oomph as last season. John Gilchrist has gone from elite to middling in net, and the rest of the defense has taken a step back. On offense, some players have also taken steps back, but Sam Cruciani has continued to be Ottawa’s difference maker up front. He’s tied for the league lead in goals, and is 3rd in points. He’s way ahead statistically of any other Lumberjack, so he’s the reason they’re doing as well as they are. They sit at 15-15, which wouldn’t be a playoff spot in the American Division.

In third are the Montreal Greys. To show the disbalance in the standings, Montreal would be 6th in the American Division. Instead, they’re somehow still in the playoff race. Like Nassau, they’ve played a lot more away from home, so they should see some improvement. However, the fact that they’re 10th defensively and have a -13 point differential should not have them still in contention for the postseason. That’s how it goes sometimes. They sit at 14-18.

In fourth are the Toronto Lakers, on pace to finish below 0.500 for the first time in their MHL history. It’s been disappointing, but also inevitable for one of the league’s first great teams. Their old core is aging, retiring, and leaving for other teams. They did make a nice move in acquiring reigning points leader Claude Brown from Nassau, but he’s not going to single-handedly turn things around. Toronto will need to decide whether to retool or rebuild, as their Abbott Cup window is closing, if not already fully closed. Toronto sits at 13-17-1.

In fifth and sixth are exactly who you’d expect: Les Quebecois, and the London Locomotives. Quebec still hasn’t taken that next step, and is still having major defensive struggles in their fourth season. Unlike Detroit, they don’t have any offensive stars, though they do have young talent that could become stars in the future. As for London, the move across the border has them struggling. In particular, star centre Simon Peters isn’t adjusting well, and is having a down year so far. The defense has been league-worst, averaging almost 2.18 (gasp) goals against per game. Two struggling teams will look to become two resurging teams as the season moves along. Quebec sits at 13-18, while London sits at 11-32.



1931-32 Season Leaders (So Far)


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