Joined: July/August 2007
Positions Held: Grader/Updater, Moderator, General Manager of Bern, VHLM Commissioner x4, Yukon Rush GM, Halifax Founder , GM of Davos , VHL commissioner, VHL Lottery Manager
This should be one of the easiest HOF articles I've written and likely my last (barring some oldie gets into the Hall of Fame in future seasons). I'm not entirely sure how active Smarch AKA Connor Low (not to mention a bunch of other notable players) is on the boards anymore, but what I can attest to is that he stands as one of the least heralded and most important members in the history of the league. If you go through the list of his players and accomplishments, you'll see that he's been on a lot of teams with me. The reason for that is that we're good real life friends, having known each other since high school. The other amazing thing is that we've both been involved in the VHL almost since we left high school. Indeed the VHL is older now than The LastOlympian was when he first joined. Almost no one else around these parts has been here as consistently in those 12 years than Smarch and he didn't get elected as a builder until recently.
In the early days of the VHL, Smarch was mostly known as a strong journeyman. He had a handful of worthwhile players that were generally active, but not spectacular. I often times convinced the GM of my team to pick him up via the draft or through free agency because I knew he was a dependable member. The likes of his first few players (Tommy Brown, Barron Von Jonsson, Max Weinstein) were steady, but not spectacular. He was well regarded in the early days as a dependable grader for many years and later on an updater in the olden days when updating was a very labour intensive task. His other notable accomplishment was in our long-lasting PTI podcast that spanned for a few years in the early days of the league. Smarch always would come and go, taking breaks sometimes during seasons in the careers of his players or taking a hiatus between players. Sometimes he'd make a player (Robin Big Snake lol) and flame out. He was never truly an elite member until Connor Low emerged.
If you want more information on the highlight reel career of Connor Low you can find it listed under the players section of the Hall of Fame. He truly was one of (and arguably the greatest) defensemen of all-time. During much of Connor Low's career, Smarch was a VHLM Commissioner - a role he played many times and over many seasons. He was one of the most consistent commissioners ever and he was held in high regard in this role. He parlayed this into stints as General Manager with Bern, Yukon and Halifax, as well as being a successful General Manager of Davos in the VHL. I'd argue Smarch is most well known though for his time as one of the VHLM Commissioners - an often unforgiving and challenging role in those days of the VHL It was a role he had to share with another member (and in his case several different other members) adding to the complicated nature of the position. Smarch was eventually promoted to a full-fledged VHL Commissioner around the time I left the VHL. He also became one of the shortest lived commissioners despite being one of the most productive ever.
A short Hall of Fame builder article can't encapsulate over 12 real life years of VHL lore. The unfortunate truth is a lot of Smarch's accomplishments have been forgotten as the league has evolved. At times he's been one of the most active members in the league, and at other times he's disappeared for seasons at a time. As you can see though, the breadth of his positions held in the VHL, and the success of his individual players tells us that he's been an integral part of the league since it's inception. I was always fortunate (for the most part) to share a lot of memories in the VHL with Smarch as our players almost always followed similar career timelines. I can say that he was also always one of the best teammates and hardest workers around the boards. One such example is when he offered to switch positions with Connor Low - a move that somewhat tarnished the player's legacy in terms of stats, but that's the kind of guy Smarch is. He's a good teammate and a large part of the fabric of what has made the VHL so successful for so many years.
So here's to you Smarch and your lousy weather! And finally, I would be remiss if I didn't personally thank you for your tireless and dedicated work for the league over the years.