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
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)
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.