Last night, I, Boheem Bismarck, Bolivian defenseman, arrived in Halifax, to meet up with the GM of the team, so he could give me a full rundown of the roster. I wanted to know what kind of role I would be playing with my new team, and how everything would be working in Halifax. Aran Thranduil, the Halifax GM, took me through the roster one player at a time and showed me exactly how things would be going down this season. We met up at a restaurant about half a block from the Scotiabank Centre, which is the arena that the Halifax 21st play in, and he proceeded to list off the players.
"First on the list we have Acyd Burn. He signed a contract this season as a filler in our roster, but has developed into much more than that. He currently holds the second line left wing position, and is very versatile. Burn is a very young player with tremendous potential and is a great presence in the locker-room. He already has one of the better shots on the team and spends plenty of time on the powerplay. Look for him to be a very effective force on the ice this season. I'm sure you'll love getting to know him.
AJ Axelson is our first ling right winger. He spent about 40 games with the team last season in a minor role, but is one of the assistant captains this year. He's quieter in the locker-room than many other players, but he's a huge presence on the ice. He's easily the best playmaker on the roster and this season he won our fastest skater competition. His possession and penalty killing skills are almost unmatched in the VHLM league. Axelson currently leads the team in points and assists. Keep an eye on him up front.
Now Anton Edvin is the veteran of the team. Now in his 4th season in the VHLM, 3rd with the 21st, he has managed to average 80 points in the past 2 seasons. His shot is probably the best of anyone on the roster, but he's a good penalty killer too. Naturally he is a right winger, but has spent most of his time in Halifax as a centerman. He is from Estonia and his English isn't very good, so he rarely hangs out with the team off the ice, but he's heading into his last VHLM season, and he wants to be remembered, so expect good things from him this season.
Blake Gaudette is our captain and first line left wing. He is often the one being set up by Axelson, and can score with ease. Gaudette is one of the more experienced members, having spent the entirety of last season with the team. He has worked on his shot all summer, and now is producing close to a goal per game. He's quik, skilled, and unselfish. Gaudette managed 10 goals and 30 points last season, but you can be sure he will shatter all of those records in no time.
This one is Dick Rash. He has mostly played a filler role for us, while we search for better options, but provides good depth and penalty killing ability. He is the toughest guy on the team, and if anyone is going to fight this season, you can be sure it will be Rash. He showed good potential when he first joined the team, about 2 seasons ago, and did manage 20 points his first year, but slowed down tremendously last season, to the point where we had to cut him from the roster altogether. He has turned in around considerably this season, which has earned him a look at the second line, but don't get too used to having him around.
Fudge Popsicle is a guy we're still not sure about. He has improved a little bit after spending most of last season with the team. We actually put him on waivers last season after 48 games, but he worked on his game in the off-season, and we decided to bring him back. So far this season, he hasn't done much, but I'm still hopeful for the guy. He currently sits in a third line right winger role, but doesn't see a lot of minutes.
Hugh Chan you'll be seeing a lot of this season. He signed with us just before the season began and currently jumps between our first and second defensive pairs. You'll spend time playing with him this season for sure. He isn't as physical as you are from what I can tell, but his 2-way play is superior to yours. Chan can probably teach you some things about defense this season and I look forward to seeing you two become friends.
Next up, Jad Clapperton. Clapperton is a veteran on the team, after spending two half seasons here, but generally doesn't see a lot of ice-time. You will probably push him off of the depth charts altogether and take his spot on the 2nd pair. He generally doesn't get to play more than 30 games in a season, and we really only have him here as another filler, until we find another gem, such as yourself. Don't worry, he won't be mad about you taking his spot. He seems more interested in basketball either way.
Kenji Hachimura is a good, young kid from Japan, who we picked up in the draft. He seems talented and has good potential, but just needs to find his game. I see a lot of good things in Kenji's game. He really knows how to lay a hit when he wants to, and can skate quite fast. He currently plays on the third line with Edvin and Popsicle and is slowly improving. I think, by the end of next season, Hachimura will be among the best, but he just needs to work on his game.
The man who has been alternating top pair duties with Hugh Chan is Max Coffey. Defensively, Coffey is our best option, and is good on the penalty kill. However, he has no offensive upside. Coffey has played 2 full seasons with us, for a total of 144 games, in which he managed 26 points. Don't expect great things from him, but you will probably get a chance to play with him this season.
Nacho is our first line center this season. He is very well rounded and can play in a lot of different situations. Defensively, he is our best player, and we often play him on the penalty kill, but he also provides a lot of offensive upside, though not as much as Axelson or Gaudette. Nacho is a real team player and is an assistant captain for us. He spent the entirety of last season switching between 2nd and 3rd line center roles. Nacho is good at everything, and whether they are a forward or a defenseman, I tell everyone to strive to be like him.
Our top defender this season is a big guy from Nashville, by the name of Papa Gage. Like Nacho, Gage is very well rounded and I think you should strive to be like him as much as possible. He can lay the body, play defense, and chip in offensively. He spent last season with the team as well, and is a great locker-room presence. Look forward to playing with Gage in the future.
Trevor Van Lagen is an outstanding young centerman, we picked up with our last pick of the draft. He is big-bodied, crazy skilled, and has a shot that makes Bobby Hull tremble. He currently plays in a second line role with Burn and Rash, and has had no problem adjusting to the VHLM. He is averaging over a point per game and is fourth in team scoring, behind each of our first liners. Van Lagen has great potential, and you really have to watch it in practice, or else he might make you look bad. He's quieter in the locker-room, but makes up for it with his on-ice play.
Michael Johnson is one of our two great goalies. We initially signed him to be a backup, but he has earned a larger role than that and is currently splitting starts down the middle. He's competitive in nature, and is always competing with our other goalie. Recently, he hasn't been playing very well, but I'm sure that will change once he gets used to the league. Johnson is another guy that is quieter in the locker-room, but is a leader on the ice.
Last but not least, Thorvald Gunnarsson is our other goalie. He is one of the funniest and most chill guys on the team. He is a real team player and had no problem with Johnson threatening his role as a starter, and has even become good friends with him. Thorvald is maybe not as competitive as his counterpart, but is a bigger presence in the locker-room and is more experienced in net.
Hopefully that gives you an idea of what we have to work with, and good luck on the ice today!"
As Thranduil finished talking, I felt this sudden feeling that I was right where I belonged. I immediately felt excited for the following game, and still can not wait to hit the ice with my new teammates.
1,554 words, claiming for May 6-12, 13-19, 20-26