Devise

VHL GM
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Devise last won the day on January 12

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About Devise

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  1. While figuring out where teams shake out in the standings for the next season and who is better can always be a fun game, the biggest question to be answered in Season 65, which goalie finally takes the helm? As a new generation of players, goalies included, emerged from the pool of a tough S50 era, offense began to explode. Until it peaked with Podrick Cast tying Scotty Campbells second place record for points, with 174 in Season 62. Season 63 and S64 saw individual breakout offense slow down to normal levels as the bulk of the VHL goalies started to catch up. But with an ungodly amount of TPE Brady Stopko was still the kingpin, and last season showed it. Now, with no older players and no names overshadowing them the VHL has a healthy crop of competitive netminders with all finally trying to find their footing and make their mark. TP wise this is how things shake out as of this posting. (Keep in mind we are still early in the off-season and a lot of members do tend to dump big end of season/off-season) Tristian Iseult - 758 (Vancouver) Roger Sterling - 691 (Seattle) Kallis Kriketers - 671 (Riga) Ismond Kingfisher - 655 (New York) Alexander Pepper - 647 (Helsinki) Brick Wahl - 435 (Calgary) Johnny Havenk Carison - 426 (FA) Finn Davison - 370 (Davos) JB Rift - 219 (Toronto) Looking at things right now, the only thing for certain is that most teams have a goalie position locked up, pending moves. But in terms of actual strength/who is the most likely? If we go based on pure TPE numbers it should be Vancouvers Iseult. However his lead really isn't that high on any of the five competing teams tenders. Realistically Sterling, Kriketers, Kingfisher and Pepper could all step up and take the mantle this season. It honestly seems like a five goalie race, with Wahl likely having a decent sv% due to the higher shot volume CGY may end up facing. You could throw Davison into that same mix. Interestingly enough all the goalies who are poised to take the mantle fall on competing teams. Otherwise the only other question mark I have is, will goalies as a whole finally have a dominant season? While individual stats were not as a high of a ceiling last season, more players still put up points. Goalie stats were far down both in save percentage and goals against so much so that Stopkos .930 wasn't just tops it was like "what someone finally got to .930 again?" All the goalies on this list will have to buckle down and start trying to make the narrative defined by saves/tight games and not explosive offense. It'll be tough with depth/star power still so high among many of the teams, even non competing ones, when it comes to forwards. Right now, I honestly don't know if S65 is going to be the season we someone step up to take that spot. I think goalies may have to wait one more season until we find out. As always though, I'd welcome a surprise.
  2. With the conclusion of the playoffs the Toronto Legion fanbase and team were treated to a celebration yes, but also the reality that Season 65 would be a season in which Sebastian Ironside, the teams Captain, would no longer be with the team. While the future could hold anything, according to league rules Ironside is forced to sign a one season team with any club not named the Toronto Legion, and he cannot be traded to the Legion in 65. His contract will be mandatory one season and he must test again in S66. While the team may lose Ironside, Toronto will also be without a player agency that hasn't just been apart of it, but defined it now for seasons. Of course the @DollarAndADream player agency that manages Ironside. As the former GM of the team a tenure that ran from Season 54 to 62, this will be the first time the Legion do not have a player on the roster from that agency in a good 11 seasons. As a GM now for the team it's honestly odd. Regardless of him just being GM, Dollar as a member has been associated with Toronto a lot. I recall his goalie Torstein Ironside playing for the team, and Zach Parechkin was the Captain of record when the club became the first and only franchise to Threepeat as Cup winners. So for me, Dollar and Toronto just seemed hand in hand. Going to be odd to have a season without the two associated together. But best wishes to Dollar in S65 wherever he winds up!
  3. Season 64 went into the books around the middle of the last week. It was a frankly, odd season which saw the Toronto Legion ride hot goalie Stopko and what seemed like an open faucet of team offense to a sweep of the Helsinki Titans in the Continental Cup final. Neither team was really expected to get that deep, as most saw Toronto and Helsinki petering out in the semi's, to the arguably two better teams on paper in Seattle and Riga. However both clubs and at times throughout much of the regular season the match ups, proved that Season 64 had a hidden amount of parity. It is rare to see legitimate Cup arguments made for 5 teams, especially in a 8 team league. With the VHL expanding in the off-season, adding the Moscow Menace, as well as the generation shift in the guard as the VHL begins to move on from the S50 era of players and the younger guard begins to really take over, S65 will take it's own tone, it's own theme. If we work under the theory that the theme of S64 was parity, then the theme of S65 from my view is going to see a very season where a handful of teams group in a tier, competing with each other, with another handful in one right below them. The strength of drafts and the overall player pool is what lead to expansion, as such a high majority of the VHL teams are not in rebuild. In fact most teams have star power players at multiple positions signed for what appears to be "deeper" runs as teams enter different compete windows. The shell of the parity that S64 brought is might still be alive and in tact, however because some teams have much more strength than others, and some are a bit younger/developing in other key areas, I think it'll be a parity filled season with competition happening inside each of these tiers. There is still plenty of off-season left of course as free agency isn't set to happen until the end of the week. So there are obviously plenty of teams that could attempt to move or shift. But given the options available, how some of the teams cores are built and what is likely to move/stay. This is how I see the tiers shaking out for Season 65. The Victory Cup/Contender Tier Riga Reign Helsinki Titans Vancouver Wolves The only three teams with much of their competing rosters in tact from last season. Helsinki is young, hungry and getting to the finals last season could be all the proof that club needs. They made a trade already for a shake up, and I imagine are going to be deep in the free agency hunt, especially for a particular name heading into 65. Riga could be a question mark team for this tier, but given the strength of their defense, forward core and goalie it's hard to think they won't be here. Vancouver I think ends up defaulting in regardless if they strengthen their team. They might seem like the outside team looking in but they've been competing for seasons now, younger players are entering more primes, which I think puts them in this tier above some of the younger clubs. The Wildcard/Question Mark Tier Seattle Bears Toronto Legion New York Americans HC Davos Dynamo Some might argue that Seattle seems odd on this list and not the contenders, but they could potentially lose a big part of their team this off-season. Given the sheer number of teams who are trying to field players, there is a chance Seattle could sell more pieces this off-season which is why I think they fit more as a question mark. They seem to be one of those in limbo clubs, who may get a more clear direction after free agency. I'd say of the teams on this list however they are the only ones with the capability to jump from this tier, up to the higher one. They simply have the best goalie of this tier, and if things do end up in a position where they are competing hard in 65, they will be a lock for the top 4 spot in standings. Which leaves us with the other three question mark teams. Toronto is fresh off the Cup, but their young goalie situation as well as depleted roster means even with additions, the best they can hope for is a Wildcard. New York and Davos are both question marks though. New York appears to be on the way out of rebuild, but a big free agency/off-season for the other two teams could turn the Wildcard situation into a real hot race, or even arguably have New York looking out. That said, if it's New York who winds up on the better side of the off-season they could very easily platform themselves up to lock down that 5th and final Wildcard spot. Much like we will see a battle for the Victory Cup though, I suspect we'll also see a battle for the wildcard this season as well. The Rebuilding/Clear Direction Tier Moscow Menace Calgary Wranglers I think Moscow is probably the most obvious team here. Expansion team, and while they were able to get a bit more assets than when we expanded last time thanks to a better structured expansion draft, it still wasn't what I'd call field a team over. Moscow is going to obviously build up assets and take a few seasons. It is easy to see them being the leagues worst team next season. Calgary is the more interesting puzzle. This is team that still has Canmore, but I see Bushio trading and retiring Canmore. The more interesting thing for Calgary to me, and why I think they are okay treating this as a rebuilding/growing season is the number of picks they have in this years draft. Three first round picks. Calgary already has a core ranging from S62-S64 and a very good goalie in Brick Wahl. While they could steal games against the three lower tiered teams in the Wildcard tier, I still suspect that they will find themselves on the outside of the playoffs this season. However I do think the clear direction for them will give them the assets and tools to really be scary in S66 and beyond. 1000+ words. Using for Rift for PT weeks Feb 11-17, and Feb 18-24.
  4. Devise

    [S64] Brett Slobodzian Trophy Voting

    Yeah I don't really see any biased grouping in terms of "buddies" voting here. Thompson's overall game I think overshadows Stopko. Led the league in points, goals, tons of hits. Stopkos lead in save percentage while impressive is all he really had stats wise. In general GAA was still up this season from what we have seen from outstanding goalie performances. I do think Stopko has far more of an argument for MVP but yeah this one will shake out weird because outside of maybe that recency bias mentioned, also are a few candidates you could argue for.
  5. Yes, it actually happened. Boom getting in on that GM game.
  6. I mean.... I'm excited to win a cup but holy hell after the tough series (especially goal scoring wise) against Seattle, no way in hell I thought this would go 4 games. Sorry Helsinki, great playoffs for you I thought recovering the 3-1 curse against Riga the defending champs who I was actually pretty certain would topple you guys in Game 7 the way 5/6 just were played y'know? I figured you'd have huge momentum coming out of that. But Stopko proved unbeatable in clutch games, and Toronto star power wouldn't be denied. We scored a hell of a lot more these playoffs across the board than I had initially thought. Anyway tough series, weird playoffs, underdog/sleeper win. On to the off-season, expansion and likely more crazy. Helsinki will for sure be back here, I'm going to have a lot of wrangling to do to sniff my way I suspect. Anyway to another season everybody.
  7. Devise

    Finals Game 2: Toronto vs Helsinki

    The hilarity that I would care enough to rig after such a storied GM career when all I have done is work for this league, never caring about pay I might add, is like borderline silly. Is Boubabi feeding a secret cult of dummies that I'm not aware of? Seriously, give your fucking head a shake. Ask @Will who was originally supposed to sim how I wound up simming these playoffs? He posted at the end of the season in Blue asking me to take over if I could. I'd like to point out as well that pretty much every simmer ever has simmed series in which not only they were members of teams competing, but also GM's. Will Higgins and Jardy all had those things. And while jokes were made, as is the case and I'm sure we will always entertain that, it wasn't ever really serious threats because the integrity of those members was never in question. So if your telling me you got a problem here, it's with me clearly. And I call bullshit on that. Unfounded, bullshit. I'm not even going to entertain it when I was happy to step in and help out these playoffs and I finally decided to give you whiners a steady sim schedule after a chaotic season. Seriously? Fuck you as members for even remotely thinking I'd care enough to rig this. Wow. Also fuck a third paragraph.
  8. Devise

    Finals Game 2: Toronto vs Helsinki

    Probably true. Or if Que G had played regular season maybe even.
  9. Devise

    Finals Game 2: Toronto vs Helsinki

    Stopko....... *bows*