It has been twelve years since the VHL opened its doors to the public. There have been so many important moments throughout VHL history that have shaped the league, it is hard to keep track. That is exactly what I'm going to be doing today. Take a seat and get ready for a trip down memory lane, as we go through the most important moments in the history of the VHL.
Robert Sharpe being taken first overall
Of course, how could we not add the first ever draft to the list? Who would have guessed that the league would have gone for 12 years and counting. What this draft is most famous for is the selection of goalie Robert Sharpe being taken first overall. He was believed to go in the second round, and the selection of Sharpe over Scotty Campbell was one of the biggest surprise selections in VHL history. Future hall of fame goaltenders Maxim Desny and Matt Pogge were also passed on in favor of Sharpe. Sharpe would (unfairly) be known as one of the biggest busts in VHL history, while Scotty Campbell would go onto become the greatest player ever. Honorable mention to Jeff Downey for being a huge bust as well.
Suspension of Robert Sharpe
The suspension of Robert Sharpe is one of the most controversial decisions in VHL history. Sharpe was found to be re-using graphics from other leagues, and he was given a one season ban from earning TPE. This is why he is known as one of the biggest busts in history. We will never know how Sharpe would have fared had he never been suspended. We almost lost Beketov for good after this, but Scotty, the acting commissioner, convinced him to stay.
Vasteras winning the championship
Heading into the playoffs, the Calgary Wranglers were the odds on favorite, having a 69-3 record during the season. While Vasteras certainly was not a bad team, they were not nearly as good as Calgary, similar to the Tampa/Columbus series, where Columbus was good but Tampa was just too good. Who could have guessed that Vasteras would take out the Wranglers in six games? This was absolute insanity, and remains one of the best upsets in the history of the VHL.
Scotty Campbell Trade
The biggest trade ever saw the "great one" Scotty Campbell force his way out of Vasteras, and brought future hall of famer Matt Defosse with him. Vasteras received Mike Szatkowski and Brannan Anthony, also future hall of famers. Seattle would go on to win back to back championships with Campbell at the helm, while Vasteras would enter a long drought of failure.
Scotty Campbell scores 190 points
Campbell is the greatest to ever play in the VHL, and it is very apparent when you go back and look at the stats. He had 190 points in S5, the most in a single season ever. He had 101 assists and 89 goals in the most dominant year the league has ever seen. He and the Bears would go on to win the Continental Cup that season.
Riga vs Davos Semi Finals, S11
In one of the most bitter rivalries the league has seen, the Dynamo and Reign faced off in an epic series that would go all the way to seven games. Davos traded for superstar Jonathan Mattias during the offseason, which brought Davos up to Riga's level. Game seven is where the madness happened. Down 4-1 in the third period, Davos scored three goals in fourteen seconds to tie the game. They ended up winning the game in overtime, 5-4, in one of the greatest games ever.
Lars Berger Cup Winning Goal
Game five of the cup final between Toronto and Davos was one for the ages. It went to a third overtime, with 128 total shots on goal. It was tied at three, and many of the top players had been ejected earlier in the game. With the Legion up 3-1 in the series, Lars Berger scored to end the game and the series, and the Legion won the cup. It is one of the craziest games ever, and maybe the craziest game ever.
Vasteras breaking the curse
This might be the greatest moment ever. Vasteras, a cursed franchise, had no success in the past twenty seasons, failing to to make it to the finals in over twenty seasons. They finally had built a contending team centered around Phil Gerrard. They defeated the Americans in five games, and won their second cup in franchise history, and first in 25 seasons.
Vasteras gets bullied out of existence
People hated this team for some reason. New players would refuse to play for Vasteras since all the other members hated them. They also were just a random city in Sweden that their inaugural GM picked. While many people still want Vasteras to return, everyone hated Vasteras so much they were removed from the league.
Seattle Bears win the cup in S43
This was one of the most unexpected runs ever. They had an inactive GM, but he got to keep his job when he returned and the team forced the commissioners to keep him around. Seattle was the third seed in the North American Conference, and proceeded to win it all in one of the most epic upset wins ever. It was magical, to say the least.
Calgary vs Quebec, S44
This was an incredibly heated rivalry. These two teams really disliked each other, and they faced off against each other in the S44 playoffs. Of course, when Calgary won in a decisive five games, there was an absolute meltdown from Quebec. See for yourself here.
This was the game of the VHL. Five people would get to play, and they would try to see if anyone can survive. This was largely done on the old forums, and them most legendary moment through all this is known as #jeffership. I looked around the current forums, and the only thing I could find was someone posting #jeffership with absolutely no context, so I'm not what exactly with this. What I do know is that people killed and ate @James.
Sandro and Greg Clegane faced off against each other in the S51 finals. It was pretty epic, and both goalies played very well throughout the series. While Sandro picked up the series win, both goalies played incredible. This was one of the most memorable moments in league history.
I'm sure everyone knows what happened with Boubabi. This is still a very important moment, despite how a lot of people say that he should be freed. After he went off on anyone who voted against him in the Brett Slobodzion trophy, he was banned for a day, and then banned permanently. It doesn't look like the ban will ever be lifted.
After making a player in S3, Anderson decided to make another account for some unknown reason. It is unknown how anyone ever found out about this. People didn't like Anderson before this because they say he was "annoying", but after this he was hated. Any new player would be immediately interrogated to see if they were Anderson. He has been caught with new players every once in a while and they have been banned.
How could this not be on the list? It truly is very influential to the modern day VHL. I have had many conversations with people on discord for long periods of time only talking about Doug. He truly is a legend, and he will never be forgotten as long as I am in this league. I was part of his claim to fame; he was the commissioner of an NHL 19 sim league. I picked Hischier up in the fourth round and jokingly said I would "bust a nut". Apparently he took it seriously and asked me if he could watch. I thought he was joking at first, but I guess not.
Other legendary moments that I don't have info on:
Red 5 standing by
Jardy vs Llama
Phil getting banned
Jericho hacking Kesler
Feel free to add in any other moments that have been left off the list, as I am sure I left off some things that are very obvious. Let the memories flow through you, and every day I wish I could go and look at the old forums to see how life was like in the beginning of the VHL.