The Blue Line

Geneva Eagles game story

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Geneva Eagles game story

Postby lewis94 » Mon May 01, 2017 6:37 pm

I had been posting this story at fhockey for a while, so I figured if anyone is interested I'd continue it here. Before that I did a Minsk Wolves story where I got to 2099.

Similar to my last mod, I changed all the team names and relocated them all over the world. My team is the Geneva Eagles and our division rivals are the Zagreb Cannons, San Marino Stonecutters, Barcelona Bulls and Cardiff Cheetahs.

The challenge in this career is to build my team entirely through the draft, while only drafting players born in non-Big 7 countries (so players from Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Latvia, Ukraine, etc). The career began in 2011-12 and we are now in the 2030-31 season. My team was mired in the basement for years before gradually becoming a contender thanks to draft picks like Thile Linesch, Dietrich Rolnik, Otto Goermer and Maxim Koulikov. We've now made the playoffs five straight years, including two trips to the conference final. In the early years we were led by goalie Benjamin Conz (who retired last year) and Zemgus Girgensons (who's retiring this year).

Scoring level - 150

Roster:
LW Otto Goermer, age 28, 87/66
LW Alexei Dubkov, age 25, 76/69
LW Sergei Sobchak, age 33, 73/72
LW Akihito Moritani, age 32, 67/79

C Dietrich Rolnik, age 28, 82/72
C Maxim Koulikov, age 22, 82/76
C Zemgus Girgensons, age 37, 73/80
C Rudi Landler, age 36, 62/61 (declining fast)

RW Manfred Poestinger, age 31, 82/66
RW Adolf Grundmann, age 23, 81/72
RW Vyacheslav Pogonin, age 29, 60/85
RW Hans-Jurgen Scholde, age 24, 69/79

D Thile Linesch, age 24, 64/92
D Werner Eisler, age 24, 56/79
D Valeri Tysmainitsov, age 23, 60/78
D Hans-Ruedi Kirchmann, age 28, 42/80
D Fabian Volkmann, age 25, 57/76
D Werner Neezer, age 21, 61/73

G Boris Katko, age 29, 72 OA, 87 con
G Bernhard Keurorst, age 21, 71 OA, 78 con

Notable prospects (age):
C Norihiro Mizuguchi (19)
D Henrik Braun (23)
C Manuel Plouviez (21)
D Przybyslaw Szerkawski (21)
C Markus Meurer (19)
RW Werner Regel (19)
D Lazarz Kasperczak (20)
D Werner Kronenburg (20)

2030-31 season
We finished first overall for the second time with 54 wins and 121 points. A big reason was the play of starter Boris Katko, who posted a .910 save percentage and 2.01 GAA in 58 games.

Otto Goermer led the club in scoring with 68 points, followed by Dietrich Rolnik with 60 and Manfred Poestinger with 55. Poestinger's 27 goals led the team. Secondary scoring came from Alexei Dubkov (54 points), Maxim Koulikov (49), Zemgus Girgensons (45) and Adolf Grundmann (40). Thile Linesch was our top-scoring defenceman with 36 points.

The only rookie to spend the whole year with us was backup Bernhard Keurorst, who had a 2.32 GAA and .891 SP in 24 games. Farmhand Viktor Ganelin appeared in 27 games (six points), Norihiro Mizuguchi had one point in 11 games, and Henrik Braun and Pavel Janov each appeared in one game.

Our farm team, the Vaduz Alpines, tied for top spot in the AHL with 111 points. They were led by free agent signing Nikolai Novokov (41 goals, 87 points) and Mizuguchi (83 in just 54 games). Manuel Plouviez chipped in 52 in 62 games. Henrik Braun led their blueline with 35 points. He's been marinating on the farm for a few years and will compete for an NHL spot next fall. Sylvain Puglisi started 62 games for the Alpines, with a 2.28 GAA and .896 SP.

We kicked off the playoffs against the #8 seeded Shanghai Dragons and saw them off in six games. Next we faced the #4 seed Beirut Clash, but they were too much for us and we went down in six. A disappointing end to a great year. The Baghdad Persians defeated the Tahiti Navigators in six in the final.

Our only award winner this year was our head coach, Kristian Csiba.

These were our picks in the 2031 draft:

30. Florian Heideck, LW
60. Harald Westmann, D
90. Ewald Stickl, LW
120. Ulrich Kleiber, D

Heideck is the prize, shaping up as a solid two-way winger for the third line who can play higher in the lineup if needed. Westmann and Stickl could be injury callups, but no more. Kleiber is 21 and will be an offensive defenceman for Vaduz. This was quite a weak draft for other-country players, or OCPs.

Csiba decided to retire, so we made assistant coach Gerard "Turk" Gallant the second head coach in franchise history. And with Girgensons gone, we named veteran LW/C Sergei Sobchak our new captain.

We decided to move on from Rudi Landler, who is rapidly in decline, and brought back a familiar face in former first overall pick Ferdinand Tuegel (68/64). The 35-year-old got a one-year contract. Technically we aren't allowed to sign free agents, but Tuegel played here for a long time and he's going to see very little ice time.

The only real battle in training camp will be for the #6 defence spot. Henrik Braun and Werner Neezer have both had their bumps in the road - Neezer in the NHL and Braun in the AHL. Neezer was once a top prospect but his development has stagnated. Braun came up for our playoff run and played well.
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Re: Geneva Eagles game story

Postby lewis94 » Mon May 01, 2017 11:17 pm

Not surprisingly, Henrik Braun won the battle for the #6 spot on defence. He's hitting his stride now and will add some offence to the back end. Neezer would have to clear waivers to go to Vaduz, so we decided to trade him.

We shipped Neezer, former first round pick Markus Meurer and our 2032 first round pick to the Montevideo Rewinders for their first round pick. We're targeting a player who's very unlikely to fall to our pick, but might be available with the Rewinders' selection. Neezer still has top four potential so maybe a change of scenery will help.

In a minor league deal, we sent 24-year-old LW Peter Speker and a 2035 fourth rounder to the Jakarta Victors for 22-year-old LW Riku Sinisalo and a fifth in 2033. Sinisalo will upgrade the Alpines' second line.

Our roster for 2031-32:

Otto Goermer - Dietrich Rolnik - Manfred Poestinger
Alexei Dubkov - Maxim Koulikov - Adolf Grundmann
Sergei Sobchak - Norihiro Mizuguchi (70/68)* - Vyacheslav Pogonin
Akihito Moritani - Ferdinand Tuegel - Hans-Jurgen Scholde

Thile Linesch - Werner Eisler
Hans-Ruedi Kirchmann - Valeri Tysmainitsov
Henrik Braun (64/74)* - Fabian Volkmann

Boris Katko
Bernhard Keurorst

The two rookies will both be seeing time on the second power play unit.
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Re: Geneva Eagles game story

Postby lewis94 » Thu May 04, 2017 5:29 pm

We made another AHL deal in November, sending 21-year-old third pairing defenceman Milan Sebrle to the Abidjan Elephants in exchange for 27-year-old offensive D Sebastian Trudeau.

The biggest story in the first half was the play of Norihiro Mizuguchi. We didn't expect a lot of offence from him this year, but he's leading all rookies in scoring with 31 points in 41 games. He was named the December rookie of the month with 13 points in 14 games. Braun is also in the top 10 for rookies with 14 points.

Goermer and Rolnik both slumped early in the year, but have been red hot lately. Poestinger has been around the point-per-game mark all year. Going by winning percentage, we're fifth in the league at the moment. We've played way more games than anyone else.
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Re: Geneva Eagles game story

Postby lewis94 » Sat May 06, 2017 11:23 pm

2031-32 season:

This year was a step back in the standings but an individual step forward for many of our players. We finished sixth in the league with 49 wins and 102 points. That put us fourth in the West. Looks like losing Girgensons hurt us more than we expected.

Three of our players broke the existing franchise record for points in a season (77 by Rudiger Schwartstein). Manfred Poestinger led the club with 39 goals and 85 points. Otto Goermer was right behind with 34 goals and 84 points, while Dietrich Rolnik added 79 points, including 31 goals.

Norihiro Mizuguchi tied for first among rookies with 59 points, including 27 goals. Other secondary scoring came from Sergei Sobchak (55), Adolf Grundmann (49) and defenceman Thile Linesch (46). Braun finished third among rookie defencemen, and third on our blueline, with 27 points.

Boris Katko was among the best goalies in the league with a 2.72 GAA and .899 SP in 65 starts. Bernhard Keurorst played 17 games with a 3.12 GAA and .882 SP.

Manuel Plouviez was called up for six games (one goal), and Pavel Janov appeared in one game.

The Vaduz Alpines finished third in the AHL with 107 points. Plouviez led the team in scoring with 80 points in 68 games. Nikolai Novokov put up 37 goals and 79 points. Oleg Slepicka was the leading goal-scorer with 38, as well as 27 assists. Pavel Janov had a career-high 60 points. Sylvain Puglisi played in 66 games with a 1.97 GAA and .899 SP.

We faced the #5 seed Baghdad Persians in the first round. They finished 11 points behind us but won the Cup last year. We won the first three games, including a 7-0 whitewashing in Game 2, before proceeding to lose the next three. Early in Game 7, it looked like the choke was complete as we went down 3-0 midway through the game. However, Goermer scored late in the second, Linesch and Poestinger added their first goals of the playoffs in the third and Mizuguchi provided the heroics in overtime to win the series.

In the second round, we took on the #2 seeded Donetsk Tradesmen, who finished seven points ahead of us. We lost the first two on the road, then rebounded with a pair of home wins. However, Donetsk won the next two tilts, including Game 6 in overtime, to take the series. Plouviez replaced Tuegel in the last two games and posted a goal and an assist. Our goaltending was a mixed bag in the playoffs. Keurorst ended up playing eight games with a 2.19 GAA and .912 SP. Katko faltered with a 3.39 GAA and .872 SP in six playoff starts.

Donetsk made it to the final, where they took on the #6 Brisbane Coasters. The Tradesmen won in five to capture their second Stanley Cup.

Mizuguchi was named the Calder Trophy winner. He had a much better year than we expected. Katko won the Jennings.

2032 draft:

18. Albert Bulygin, C (from Montevideo)
55. Timo Ruff, LW
85. Kurt Armannperg, D
99. Hanno Krahmer, D (from Rio)
145. Dietmar Polster, RW

Bulygin is an elite number one centre in the making, but won't be very good in his own end. The rest are AHLers. Ruff should be a staple on Vaduz's #1 line for years and possibly an injury callup.

Tuegel is retiring in a year. Our lineup is pretty much set for next season. Plouviez might push for the fourth line centre spot, but he really needs another year in Vaduz to work on his defence.
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Re: Geneva Eagles game story

Postby Juddy2288 » Fri May 19, 2017 12:56 am

Not sure if your still active here but I had a question

Since not drafting guys from the "big 7" how far did you have to reach to get the best player available? Did you change the draftees coming in to get more non traditional countries involved?
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Re: Geneva Eagles game story

Postby lewis94 » Sun May 28, 2017 11:48 pm

IIRC I boosted the draft numbers slightly, but not too much. There's usually at least one in the top 30 (whether they're good is another story). But I've drafted guys ranked in the second or third round at first overall in the earlier years.
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Re: Geneva Eagles game story

Postby ryan callahan » Sun Jun 25, 2017 5:39 am

How did you get that good of players from stranger countries? In my game, all these countries only create guys with potential under 7 and even with the POT boost to 7, it pretty much takes him unreal ceilings to become a viable NHLer, and when he does, he usually is very unidimentionnal either offensively or defensively. A long time ago I did something a little bit like this and I never even sniffed the playoffs with the team I built entirely from players coming from unconventionnal countries. Literally being out of last place was a rare event.
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Re: Geneva Eagles game story

Postby lewis94 » Mon Jul 10, 2017 5:32 pm

The vast majority of these guys in the draft are terrible 5 or 6 pots, and some years I don't get a single NHLer, but sometimes I get lucky. My team was muddling along in last place for a long time before I found Linesch (64/91), Rolnik (82/72) and Goermer (87/66) in the draft. Linesch was the main difference maker since my defence was terrible, and is still a weakness.
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Re: Geneva Eagles game story

Postby lewis94 » Mon Jul 10, 2017 5:48 pm

My internet wasn't working and I forgot to save my report from the 2032-33 season, so this will have to do:

We finished second overall, three points behind Halifax, with a record of 52-19-4-7. Otto Goermer led the team in scoring with 26 goals and 71 points in 79 games. Dietrich Rolnik was right behind with 70, and Manfred Poestinger posted 67, including a team-leading 36 goals. Secondary scoring came from the likes of Maxim Koulikov (66 points), Norihiro Mizuguchi, who matched his rookie total of 59, and Alexei Dubkov (56). Our top scoring defenceman was Thile Linesch with 41 points.

We entered the playoffs as the top seed in the West and won our first two games against the San Marino Stonecutters, but then it began to crumble. We lost the next two and went on to be ousted in seven games. A massive choke job, which unfortunately isn't new with this team. One bright spot was the play of defence prospect Lazarz Kasperczak, who was called up for the playoffs and put up four points in the series despite being a stay-at-home type.

Vaduz finished second in the AHL. Manuel Plouviez was their top scorer with 35 goals and 81 points in 75 games. Nikolai Novokov had an off-year with 58 but was second in scoring. Starting goalie Sylvain Puglisi was named to the AHL first all-star team for the third straight year with a 1.91 GAA and .899 SP in 70 starts.

Vyacheslav Pogonin was nominated for the Selke but lost.

There was not a single NHL-calibre forward among the OCPs in the 2033 draft.

29. August Fingerlos, G
59. Ludwig Kallenberger, D
89. Nikolai Mishin, D
119. Hans-Jurgen Wachter, RW
129. Ludwig Badeni, C

Fingerlos should be a great AHL starter and could back up Keurorst in a few years when Katko retires. Kallenberger has the most upside of the bunch as a shutdown defender similar to Hans-Ruedi Kirchmann. Mishin could see some NHL time but will likely never be a regular for us.
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Re: Geneva Eagles game story

Postby lewis94 » Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:01 pm

2033-34

We finished second overall again with 114 points, this time two back of the Donetsk Tradesmen, putting us second in the West.

Otto Goermer led the club in scoring for the second straight year with 33 goals and 83 points. Manfred Poestinger broke his own franchise record for goals with 41 as part of a 72-point campaign. Dietrich Rolnik added 67 points.

Also chipping in were Maxim Koulikov (59 points), Alexei Dubkov (54) and Adolf Grundmann (49) among others. Norihiro Mizuguchi had an off-year with 48 points. Thile Linesch was again our top-scoring defender with 34, one ahead of Henrik Braun.

Manuel Plouviez finally made the jump this year, although on the fourth line he only managed 21 points. There's nowhere else for him to play right now.

Just after Christmas, we made a trade to make room for one of our D prospects to come up.

To Dubai: D Fabian Volkmann
To Geneva: D Otmar Krepela + 2035 4th rounder


We called up Elmar Shrapnel, a fast-developing 21-year-old shutdown guy who became an upgrade on Volkmann by the end of the season. He recorded 11 points in 49 games. Krepela will be the #7 D in Vaduz.

Getting callups this year were Christian Heuser (2-1-0-1), Werner Kronenberg (3-0-0-0) and Werner Regel (1-0-0-0). Regel also got into a playoff game.

As the second seed, we took on the Seoul Boomers in the first round. We took a 3-0 stranglehold on the series, only for them to storm all the way back and beat us 3-2 in Game 7. This is the absolute lowest moment for this franchise. We finish near the top every regular season, only to choke in the playoffs. With a few players nearing retirement, including Poestinger, we have to break that trend soon while we still have a chance to win. It gave us a little consolation when Seoul also upset Donetsk and Athens, the #1 and #4 seeds, to reach the final. They lost to the East's #5 seed, the Tahiti Navigators, in five games.

After a few strong years, the Alpines finally won the AHL title with 115 points, five ahead of Kampala. Much of that was due to trade acquisition Devan Hibner, who took Plouviez's place on the top line and finished fourth in the scoring race with 38 goals and 109 points. Nikolai Novokov put up 77 points in 70 games in his last year with the club due to age, while Riku Sinisalo broke out for 41 goals and 71 points after his promotion to the top line. Defenceman Sebastian Trudeau also took a big jump with 44 points and was named to the AHL's first all-star team..

Sylvain Puglisi had his best season ever in the net. He started a whopping 78 games, going 49-18-2-9 with a sparkling 1.57 GAA and .903 SP, earning his fourth straight first all-star team nod alongside Trudeau. He's been an absolute monster for Vaduz and will also be considered for the backup job in a few years.

We made two trades leading up to the draft. The first:

To Tripoli: C Devan Hibner
To Geneva: D Matt Baumgartner + 2034 4th rounder


Hibner had a phenomenal year, but he belongs in the NHL now and we won't hold him back. Baumgartner, 23, will be a top four guy for Vaduz.

On draft day, we made a deal with Abidjan to get the player we wanted and also clear the way for one of the K twins to jump to the NHL.

To Abidjan: D Hans-Ruedi Kirchmann, RW Felipe Pesle, 1st round pick (29th OA)
To Geneva: LW Gilles Samari + 1st round pick (19th OA)


Shrapnel, Kasperczak and Kronenberg all play a similar style to Kirchmann and all need NHL playing time to reach their full potential. Kirchmann, 31, played 922 games for Geneva, many on the top pairing. Samari is an AHL upgrade over Pesle. Abidjan made out quite well in this trade, plucking future superstar Valeri Turkovsky at 29th.

The K twins will battle in training camp for the vacant spot.

Our draft:

19. Wyszemir Demidowicz, LW
59. Albert Eler, RW
89. Eduard Anissin, D
91. Basile Calzaghe, C (pick acquired for Hibner)
115. Helmuth Sykora, D (acquired for Lubomir Broucek)
119. Heinz Herrmann, C
149. Viktor Shostakovich, D

Not often we have seven picks to play with. Demidowicz is worth losing Kirchmann. He's more or less another Poestinger. We're going to need top six wingers by the time he's NHL-ready. Eler is similar to Plouviez in that he's a good enough scorer to play in the NHL, but is bad defensively. Our other five picks will all be key players for Vaduz, which will help with our over-reliance on players not drafted by us.

Sergei Sobchak is going to retire in a year's time. He's still an effective top nine player, but Hans-Jurgen Scholde should be able to fill his role without any issues. No sign of retirement yet from Moritani or Poestinger, who are 35 and 34 respectively.

Two more trades:

To Indianapolis: D Sebastian Trudeau + LW Per-Olaf Bashe
To Geneva: 2035 5th round pick


Trudeau is 30 and Bashe has become surplus to requirements in Vaduz.

To Kuala Lumpur: C Ludwig Badeni
To Geneva: 2036 5th round pick


I misread Badeni's birthdate and signed him last year thinking he was going to turn 20 before the season. As a result, his potential took a dive thanks to his low con. Cutting our losses now.
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Re: Geneva Eagles game story

Postby lewis94 » Sun Jul 23, 2017 4:14 pm

2034-35

We finished in a four-way tie for second overall with 111 points, alongside Donetsk, Halifax and Athens. Tahiti had 114.

Otto Goermer broke the franchise points and assists records, with 86 and 53 respectively. Manfred Poestinger was second on the team with 75 points, including 36 goals. Linemate Dietrich Rolnik cooled off down the stretch and closed with 63 points, his lowest total in four years.

The second line struggled offensively this year, highlighted by Maxim Koulikov's drop to 49 points. Adolf Grudmann added 45. Third-line centre Norihiro Mizuguchi posted 41 in 66 games. Manuel Plouviez had a strong sophomore year with 37 points. On the blueline, Thile Linesch, Henrik Braun and Valeri Tysmainitsov all topped the 30-point mark, led by Linesch with 38.

Our only rookie was Lazarz Kasperczak, who had a solid campaign with 21 points. Several players got extended callups this year: Werner Regel (18-1-1-2, plus 8 playoff games), Florian Heideck (9-1-2-3, plus 2 playoff games), Albert Bulygin (4-1-3-4) and Werner Kronenberg (6-0-1-1).

Boris Katko took a stronger grasp on the starting job. In 53 games, he had a 2.22 GAA and .913 SP, leading the league in the latter category. In 30 games Bernhard Keurorst posted a 2.46 GAA and .897 SP.

We were slotted as the second seed in the West and faced the Barcelona Bulls in the first round. We exorcised our demons from the last two years, taking them out in five. Our next opponent was the #3 Beirut Clash, and we also disposed of them in five. In the Western final, we went up against the Athens Pioneers, who tied us in points this year. We split the first four games, with all being won on home ice, and then took Game 5. For the first time, we were one win away from the Cup final. But we didn't get it. The Pioneers took Game 6 and then defeated us 3-2 in Game 7.

This was a great playoff run for us, but it isn't enough. Our core is getting up there in age. Our window to win might be slowly closing.

Vaduz finished third in the AHL with 105 points. Top prospect Albert Bulygin had a spectacular rookie season with 27 goals and 85 points in 74 games to lead the team in scoring. Secondary scoring came from winger prospects Regel (50 points in 64 games) and Heideck (52 in 72 games), as well as Johannes Huporkorny (57). Matt Baumgartner led the blueline with 26 points.

Alpines goalie Sylvain Puglisi had another stellar year, with a 1.83 GAA and .903 SP in 78 starts. He's been a workhorse the last few years and is riding a streak of five straight first all-star team nods.

Boris Katko has said he wants to test the market when his contract runs out in a year, so Puglisi may get his chance. He deserves it.

We made a deal on draft day to move up four spots:

To Nairobi: D Kurt Armannperg, 2035 1st rounder (#26), 2035 4th rounder
To Geneva: 2035 1st rounder (#22)


22. Fabian Bieler, RW
56. Alexei Guznishchev, D
86. Aleksander Polyansky, D
137. Vitaly Leschev, RW
146. Thomas Postinger, LW

Bieler projects as an Otto Goermer lite type of player - an elite playmaker and shooter, but weak in his own end. A sure-fire first liner. Guznishchev is a boom or bust pick but could be a solid NHL defender. The others are AHL fodder.

Sergei Sobchak retired after an illustrious career with Geneva spanning over 1100 games. He was a key cog in the top six earlier in his career before evolving into more of a versatile role player. Werner Regel and Florian Heideck will battle for his spot in camp. Bulygin needs to work on his defence for another year.

Meanwhile, the new captain will be Thile Linesch. He also signed a six-year, $48 mil extension this summer, so he's been cemented as the face of the franchise.
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Re: Geneva Eagles game story

Postby lewis94 » Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:28 am

Our lines for 2035-36:

Goermer (88/66) - Koulikov (82/76) - Poestinger (82/66)
Dubkov (76/69) - Rolnik (82/71) - Grundmann (80/72)
Scholde (69/79) - Mizuguchi (71/79) - Pogonin (60/85)
Moritani (62/75) - Plouviez (74/61) - Regel* (64/72)

Linesch (64/91) - Tysmainitsov (62/78)
Braun (70/74) - Eisler (56/79)
Shrapnel (56/77) - Kasperczak (41/77)

Keurorst (73 OA)
Katko (72 OA)

Prospects to watch on the farm include C Bulygin, LW Heideck, D Kronenberg, D Ludwig Kallenberger, D Nikolai Mishin, G August Fingerlos.

Fingerlos began his pro career with a roaring start. In his first eight games for Vaduz, he posted a 0.98 GAA and .948 SP. I guess Puglisi won't be starting 70+ games again this year.

The Eagles finished in a tie for second overall with 51 wins and 113 points, nine behind Athens, who had their best year ever.

Otto Goermer once again led the team in scoring with 38 goals and 80 points in 79 games. Manfred Poestinger recorded 31 goals and 71 points. Maxim Koulikov had one of his best years after the promotion to the top line, with 64 points.

Norihiro Mizuguchi out-produced the entire second line, with 56 points in a bounce-back year. Dietrich Rolnik had his worst offensive season in six years with just 53 points on the second line. Other secondary scoring came from Adolf Grundmann (50), Alexei Dubkov (49), and Hans-Jurgen Scholde, who put up a career-best 46, including 24 goals.

Valeri Tysmainitsov also had his best campaign to date, leading the back end with 36 points. Thile Linesch and Henrik Braun also topped 30.

Rookie winger Werner Regel made a smooth transition to the bigs, posting 11 goals and 33 points, which was surprisingly enough to get him a Calder nomination. Then again, he already had 28 NHL games under his belt. Getting callups were Florian Heideck (3-0-2-2) and Werner Kronenberg (5-0-0-0).

Boris Katko played 56 games in his final season in Geneva, posting a 2.33 GAA and .901 SP. Bernhard Keurorst struggled in 30 starts with a 2.90 GAA and career-worst .881 SP. That's not encouraging heading into next year.

We faced the #7 Yaroslavl Turbines in the opening round of the playoffs. After losing the first game, we won the next four to knock them out. Meanwhile, Athens was shockingly sent home in six games by Beirut, who finished 34 points behind. Good news for us.

That put us against Beirut. We won the first two games, only to lose each of the next three, including a crucial Game 5 at home in overtime. We went with Keurorst in Game 6 and won 3-1 on Dubkov's first two goals of the post-season. Moritani missed what could have been the last game of his career with a minor injury, but came back to score the first goal in Game 7. We took a 2-1 lead after two, only for Beirut to tie it early in the third. Linesch picked a great time to score his first two goals of the playoffs, giving us a 4-2 win.

In our second straight trip to the conference final, our opponent was the #5 Seoul Boomers, who ousted us in the first round a couple years ago before making it to the final. We were terrible to start the series, losing the first two games on home ice. Then we lost in South Korea, putting the nail in the coffin. Our embarrassment was complete in Game 4 with a pathetic 7-0 loss. We were outscored 19-7 and swept by a team 16 points behind us. This catastrophe surprised many around the league who thought this might be Geneva's year to win it all. I don't know what the problem is, but we just can't get there.

The final was Tahiti against Seoul, a rematch of two years ago. And the outcome was the same, as the Navigators did to Seoul what they did to us in a sweep.

Regel somehow won the Calder despite being third in rookie scoring. Quite a start to his career for a guy who projects as a shutdown forward.

Vaduz tied for second in the AHL with 107 points, a distant 15 behind the Accra Accordions. Albert Bulygin exploded in his second pro season, leading the AHL in scoring with 125 points, including 86 assists. Florian Heideck was fifth in the league with 100, including 56 goals. Linemate Johannes Huporkorny had a career year with 44 goals and 85 points. Bulygin and Heideck were named to the AHL first all-star team and Huporkorny was named to the second.

There was a huge dropoff in offence after that. The top line scored 54% of the team's goals. Secondary scoring came from Christian Heuser (35 points), Gilles Samari (35) and Ewald Stickl (29). Matt Baumgartner led the back end with 30 points.

Both goalies shone in the Vaduz net. Workhorse starter Sylvain Puglisi was reduced to 44 starts this year due to the emergence of rookie August Fingerlos. Puglisi had a 1.89 GAA and .894 SP, while Fingerlos posted a 1.69 GAA and .909 SP in 38 starts.

Here are our 2036 draft picks:

28. Marius Lueger, LW
58. Dmitri Gritsenko, D
88. Max Rieser, D
118. Marlo Wichsberger, C
148. Erek Kubicki, RW

Lueger adds to our large group of blue chip forward prospects. He can replace Goermer on the top line eventually and is better defensively. Gritsenko and Rieser are long shots but both have some NHL upside. Wichsberger is an elite shooter and playmaker but needs to work on his defence to reach the NHL.

We made two minor league deals:

To Baghdad: RW Johannes Huporkorny + D Viktor Shostakovich
To Geneva: RW Vit Vrbata


Huporkorny has turned 30 and Vrbata will be his replacement on the top line. Shostakovich will be a good AHL defender but we have a logjam on the back end.

To Beirut: LW Viktor Ganelin + D Aleksander Polyansky
To Geneva: LW Jean-Francois Forest + 2037 5th rounder


Forest will replace Heideck on the top line after he jumps to the NHL. Polyansky has some promise, but is far down our depth chart. Ganelin, 27, leaves the Alpines after more than 500 games.

Bulygin's defence has improved very little from where it was two years ago and that's a major concern. Fully developed, he should be average in his own end but that part of his game is still at an ECHL level.

Akihito Moritani's NHL career came to an end after a whopping 1244 games with the Eagles. He was a great penalty killer and fourth liner with career bests of 16 goals and 37 points.

Meanwhile, we got some inevitable but sad news: Manfred Poestinger is hanging them up in a year. With a decent season he should hit 450 goals. No sign of retirement yet from Pogonin (34).
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Re: Geneva Eagles game story

Postby lewis94 » Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:11 am

Florian Heideck will make the jump to Geneva this year, as well as a new backup goalie and, finally, Werner Kronenberg. He's been NHL ready for two years. We don't have a regular spot for him but we'll carry seven defencemen. He'll spell off Shrapnel or Kasperczak for a few games here and there.

We made another deal to clear space in Vaduz:

To Havana: D Eduard Anissin + RW Andrej Kuzmin
To Geneva: 2037 3rd rounder

Anissin and Kuzmin were both recent third round picks (Kuzmin acquired by trade).

We claimed defenceman Sami Pekkala (49/74) in the waiver draft and signed goalie Maxime Miron (61 OA) to back up in Vaduz. Sylvain Puglisi will start as the NHL backup; he's more than earned a shot. That allows Fingerlos to dominate the AHL while starting almost every game. If Puglisi struggles, we might switch.

Our 2036-37 lineup:

Goermer (88/66) - Rolnik (82/71) - Poestinger (82/64)
Koulikov (82/76) - Mizuguchi (71/79) - Grundmann (80/71)
Dubkov (76/69) - Plouviez (76/61) - Pogonin (60/85)
Heideck* (71/68) - Regel (64/75) - Scholde (69/79)

Linesch (64/90) - Tysmainitsov (62/77)
Braun (70/74) - Eisler (56/79)
Shrapnel (56/77) - Kasperczak (41/80)
Kronenberg* (54/73)

Keurorst (74 OA)
Puglisi (69 OA)

We moved Mizuguchi to the second line for a few reasons: Koulikov is terrible on faceoffs, Dubkov sucks period and it allows Plouviez to play more.

Puglisi's long-awaited NHL debut came in a 4-1 win over the Halifax Bluenosers. The 28-year-old Italian turned aside 17 of 18 shots. In his second start he saved 26 of 27 in a 6-1 thumping over Cardiff.

Despite a good start, Puglisi began to struggle in November and December. By Christmas his save percentage had dropped to a dreadful .852 in 14 starts. So we sent him down and recalled Fingerlos, who was tearing it up in Vaduz with a 1.89 GAA and .903 SP. He stopped 20 of 22 shots in his NHL debut, a 6-2 win over Kuala Lumpur, but got blown out of the rink in his next two starts.

Werner Eisler was suspended for seven games in January, giving Werner Kronenberg some extra ice time.

The same month, Florian Heideck suffered an injury that would keep him out till March. We recalled Albert Bulygin, who has finally been showing major improvement on his defensive game. After Heideck's return, we decided to keep Bulygin up for good, booting Alexei Dubkov from the lineup. He had an awful year.

The Eagles finished third in the league with 106 points. Otto Goermer broke his own franchise record for points with 87 in 80 games, including 39 goals. Dietrich Rolnik was second on the team with 77 points and linemate Manfred Poestinger chipped in 66 in his last year in the league.

Other offensive contributors were Maxim Koulikov (52 points), Norihiro Mizuguchi (47) and Adolf Grundmann (45). Thile Linesch had a comeback year with 45 points, while D partner Valeri Tysmainitsov had 34.

Rookie winger Florian Heideck posted 27 points in 57 games. After a mid-season callup when Heideck was injured, Albert Bulygin stayed up and played 41 games, recording seven goals and 16 points. Werner Kronenberg managed to get into 60 games, registering 12 points.

Bernhard Keurorst took over the starter's job, playing 48 games with a 2.34 GAA and .903 SP. In 22 games, rookie August Fingerlos registered a 2.78 GAA and .881 SP. Unfortunately, standout AHL netminder Sylvain Puglisi struggled greatly in his 14 starts with a 3.39 GAA and .852 SP.

As the #2 seed in the West, we took on the Baghdad Persians in the first round. It was a tougher series than anticipated. The first six games were all won by the home team. In Game 7, we released all the tension by hammering them 6-1.

In the second round, we played the #3 Tbilisi Mountaineers. This time, we also split the first four games before losing in overtime in Game 5. We lost by the same 3-2 score in Game 6.

Every year we're among the best teams in the league and we can't get it done in the post-season. It's getting frustrating for us and even more so for our fans.

Vaduz finished fourth in the AHL with 101 points. It was a quiet year offensively, especially after Bulygin was called up. New addition Jean-Francois Forest led the club with 64 points in 74 games. Fellow trade pickup Vit Vrbata had 56 points, as did top prospect Wyszemir Demidowicz, who potted 38 goals. Bulygin had 44 points in his 33 games.

August Fingerlos began the year as the Alpines' starter and put up a 1.89 GAA and .903 SP in 38 games. Puglisi came down and played 37 games, with a sparkling 1.64 GAA and .898 SP. Free agent backup Maxime Miron started just seven games with a 2.29 GAA and .876 SP.

Manfred Poestinger, one of the greatest forwards ever to play for Geneva, retired from the game after the season. He played 1,235 NHL games, racking up 443 goals and 873 points. Best goal scorer in franchise history. He owns career bests of 41 goals and 85 points.

To replace him, we're going to run a line of our three best remaining forwards: Koulikov will play right wing alongside Goermer and Rolnik. This gives Bulygin a promotion to the second line with Mizuguchi and Grundmann. Besides, Koulikov is bad on faceoffs. If it doesn't work we'll try Grundmann on the top unit.

On draft day, we made a deal with Athens to move up five spots.

To Athens: 1st rounder (#28), 3rd rounder (#88), LW Petr Zednik
To Geneva: 1st rounder (#23)

Zednik is a winger in Vaduz with some upside.

Our picks:

23. Stefan Surilla, G
58. Burkhard Janz, D
63. Marc Sico, LW
118. Gerd Leibenguth, D
135. Theodor Gebauer, LW
148. Nikolai Sheptekitin, RW

Surilla is a goaltending prospect with similar upside to Fingerlos: i.e. probably a backup. A bit more consistent though. We'll need a new goalie in Vaduz anyway since Puglisi is nearing 30, unless he takes the Eagles' backup job from Fingerlos. Janz is a good shutdown defender with very little offence. He might be a third-pairing guy eventually, but maybe not with us. Leibenguth projects as a similar shutdown guy to Laz Kasperczak, but with significantly more offence. He could be a steal. The forwards will play a few years in Vaduz.
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Re: Geneva Eagles game story

Postby lewis94 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:07 am

2037-38

Vyacheslav Pogonin told us he would retire in a year's time. He's been a constant presence defensively and on the PK for the last 10 years. He's been nominated for the Selke twice. It's a good thing we have a steady supply of good forward prospects in the AHL right now.

We made a significant trade during the pre-season:

To Rio: D Henrik Braun, C Christian Heuser, LW Thomas Postinger, D Per-Axel Osterberg
To Geneva: 2039 2nd rounder, 2038 5th rounder


It's time for Kronenberg to have a full-time role on our blueline and Braun has regressed a bit. Between Linesch, Tysmainitsov and the others chipping in, we should be OK offensively. We needed to clear a couple spots on the Vaduz roster as well.

We had too many guys to protect in the waiver draft and lost Riku Sinisalo to Osaka. That will be a big loss to Vaduz. However, between Wyszemir Demidowicz and Jean-Francois Forest, they'll be fine on the left side.

For the first time ever, one of our players was named as one of the best in the league. Thile Linesch finally cracked the defencemen list at #10, ironically just as he shows the first signs of decline. He's been a rock for years and in our opinion a top five guy in the league.

Here's our lineup for 2037-38:

Goermer (88/66) - Rolnik (82/71) - Koulikov (82/76)
Bulygin* (77/72) - Mizuguchi (71/79) - Grundmann (80/71)
Dubkov (76/69) - Plouviez (76/61) - Pogonin (60/85)
Heideck (72/70) - Regel (64/76) - Scholde (69/79)

Linesch (64/89) - Tysmainitsov (62/77)
Eisler (56/78) - Kasparczak (41/80)
Shrapnel (56/77) - Kronenberg (55/75)

Keurorst (74 OA)
Fingerlos (68 OA)

Fun fact: there are only six Werners in the file and we have three of them (Regel, Eisler, Kronenberg) and a fourth was drafted by us (Neezer).

Bulygin was injured in the pre-season and will miss the first two weeks of the season. We called up Wyszemir Demidowicz for his first dose of NHL action and he scored in his first game.

I don't know what Florian Heideck did in the off-season, but it led to a blazing fast start for the sophomore winger, who put up eight goals and 22 points in his first 23 games. Also, Werner Regel was fifth in team scoring with 17 points.

We got some terrible news just before Christmas. After putting up 16 points in 22 games, Bulygin suffered a head injury in a game against Tbilisi. It would keep him out four months, or the rest of the regular season. He was emerging as a star, getting better every day. This will be a lost season for him.

After an intense four-way race for the top of the West and the league, we finished second with 113 points, four behind division rival Zagreb, meaning we got the #4 seed (that has always been such a silliness format).

Otto Goermer broke his franchise record again with 88 points, including 34 goals. The second-place finisher was not one of the usual suspects, but Adolf Grundmann. The 30-year-old winger finally broke out, shattering his career bests with 31 goals and 72 points. Hopefully he can build on that because he'll be on the top line soon out of necessity.

Dietrich Rolnik was third on the club with 67 points, while new linemate Maxim Koulikov posted 65, including 34 goals. Also chipping in were Norihiro Mizuguchi (54), Florian Heideck (49) and Manuel Plouviez (44), the latter two setting new career highs. Thile Linesch was our top-scoring blueliner with 42 points and Valeri Tysmainitsov tied his career high with 36.

When Bulygin went down for the rest of the regular season, we chose not to call up Demidowicz or Fabian Bieler for that length of time because both had a lot of work to do on their defensive game. Instead, we went with the rarely seen career AHLer option. Jan Bartos, 27, has been a strong checking centre for Vaduz for years, so we decided to reward the 55/63 rated Slovene. He played 32 games on the fourth line and managed four goals and five assists. Then we brought up rookie centre Basile Calzaghe (63/54) for nine games, bearing a goal and an assist.

In March, we finally gave Demidowicz his second callup of the year and he tore it up with 10 points in 10 games, for a season total of 13 in 19 games. He'll be promoted for good next year. Rearguard Ludwig Kallenberger also made his NHL debut (2-0-0-0).

But perhaps the biggest story of the year was in net. When both Bernhard Keurorst and August Fingerlos were struggling badly in November, we gave Sylvain Puglisi another shot to establish himself in the NHL. And establish himself he did. He was dominant in his first 10-15 games and finished the year with 34 starts and 23 wins. His 2.45 GAA and .888 SP matched Keurorst exactly; the latter played 45 games. Fingerlos' line: six games, 3.51 GAA, .840 SP. And his numbers in Vaduz were a far cry from his stellar play the last two seasons.

Thanks to the division leaders nonsense, we had to play Athens to start the playoffs. Teams with 113 and 111 points facing off in the first round is lunacy (hello, Columbus). I figured it'd be yet another first round loss, but we came through and took care of them in just five games. Bulygin returned to the lineup in Game 3 and would score the series-clinching goal.

It didn't get easier in the second round as we faced the defending Stanley Cup champs, the Seoul Boomers. They were one point behind us with 112 but got the second seed. Otto Goermer was injured in a series-opening 2-1 loss and also missed Game 2, a 3-2 defeat. And his return in Game 3 didn't make a darn bit of difference, as we lost by a goal for the third straight game. We did manage to take the fourth game but our season ended two days later.

Some fans questioned our choice of goaltending in the Seoul series, but Keurorst wasn't the problem. He had a 2.22 GAA and .906 SP in the playoffs. Seoul has the best goalie in the league in Igor Samsurov and we averaged two goals a game on him. Our only decent performers in the series were Linesch, Koulikov and Tysmainitsov.

The Boomers went on to win their second straight Cup, defeating Tripoli in five games. Seoul can boom themselves right out of this league as far as I'm concerned. Sick of losing to them in the playoffs.

It feels like this team is never going to win a Cup or even reach a final. Up front, we've already lost Poestinger, Sobchak and Moritani, are about to lose Pogonin, and will soon lose Goermer and Rolnik. The incoming generation (Bulygin, Demidowicz, Bieler, Lueger, Heideck etc) will have big shoes to fill.

In Vaduz, rookie centre Fabian Bieler made an immediate impact. The 20-year-old finished second in AHL scoring with 52 goals and 121 points. Despite that, he'll spend at least another half a year there working on his defensive game. Linemate Vit Vrbata was fifth in the league wth 91 points, including 34 goals. Demidowicz racked up 41 goals and 18 assists in his 63 AHL games. He looks to be quite a sniper.

August Fingerlos finished the year with a 2.35 GAA and .882 SP in 41 starts. Before being called up, Puglisi had a 2.12 GAA and .883 SP in 21 games. In fact, Maxime Miron was arguably the best of the three with a 2.24 GAA and .892 SP in 20 appearances. Despite the goaltending merry-go-round, the Alpines finished third in the league.

The 2038 draft was extremely weak for OCPs.

29. Etienne Grun, RW
59. Christian Pajonk, D
89. Jozef Sregzinski, C
119. Jan Vanska, D
140. Andrei Ukaniev, RW
149. Viktor Vyrubov, D

Grun and Pajonk would each need a double pot boost to even be role players in the NHL. If Grun gets it, he'd be similar to Hans-Jurgen Scholde. Pajonk would be a #7 D for us even with the double jump.

Pogonin retired after a career that saw him play 1,235 games for Geneva, with 179 goals and 452 points. He was a hitting, blocking and takeaway machine who will be missed.

Eagles head coach Gerard Gallant also decided to call it a career. In our search for a replacement, we found out former Vaduz forward Yaroslav Babrashenko is now coaching, and he was among the best younger guys (age 35) available. So we hired him. We also hired Manfred Poestinger (!!) as a scout. Great to be able to keep him in the organization.

Fortunately for us, Goermer and Rolnik have no intention of retiring yet.
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