Positions Held: Head Grader, VHLM General Manager, VHLM Commissioner, VHL General Manager, VHL Commissioner, Member of BoG,
Since joining the VHL in Season 27, Jim Gow has been a model of consistency in both his players and contributions to the league. While Jim has never been one of the most vocal members of the league, when GMs draft a player from the Flyersfan agency they know they are selecting a dependable player. Additionally, Jim has guided the league with a steady hand during his stint as VHLM and VHL Commissioner, and continues to provide rational and measured arguments for proposed league changes in the Board of Governors.
Jim’s most notable player is Robin Gow, as he went on to become the Riga Reign’s fifth-highest point scorer of all time, netting 213 goals and 352 assists in 482 games played. Robin spent nearly his entire career with the Reign, with his culminating moment being his Season 40 Continental Cup Victory with longtime team captain Brennan McQueen. Gow went on to win another Continental Cup two seasons later, this time in a trade deadline sendoff to the Cologne Express to give him one last chance at a cup before retirement.
It is fitting that Jim’s best player comes from Riga, as he has spent the bulk of his VHL career leading the Reign to success in some capacity. After learning under the tutelage of longtime Riga GM Mike Mike Szatkowski, Jim took over as GM at the start of Season 40. Szatkowski and the rest of the league were impressed by Jim’s prior success at the minor league level, as he was among the most active VHLM GMs, leading the Ottawa Lynx to Founders Cups in Seasons 35 and 39, winning the Jack Reilly award for top GM both years. Coincidentally enough, Ottawa’s Season 35 championship roster laid the groundwork for the Riga’s future success, as it included many future Reign stalwarts in Robin Gow, Brennan McQueen, and Robert Gow III. Jim’s career as Riga’s GM started off hot, as he led the team to a Continental Cup victory in his inaugural year, largely with the same core that won him the S35 Founders Cup. The next season, the Reign narrowly lost to the New York Americans in the S41 Finals, prompting Jim to start a rebuild that would last until he stepped down as GM in S44. Lastly, after a long hiatus from GMing, Jim spent one season as the Oslo Storm GM in Season 57, picking up a best GM award and another Founders Cup in the process.
In addition to successfully managing multiple VHL and VHLM teams, Flyersfan has taken on a variety of essential roles to better the league. Members who have joined over the past 10 seasons do not remember the importance of point task graders, as they used to be graded much more harshly and require two grades before being redeemed for tpe. This made grading a key VHL role as active graders were needed for players to earn their tpe, and Flyersfan was up to the task as he reviewed many media spots over the years before eventually becoming head grader. After a long and successful period of thankless work as head grader, Jim dipped his hand into another area, running the VHLM as one of their two commissioners. Duties for this job have also changed over the years as there was much less automation, resulting in Flyersfan spending many hours posting game threads, running waivers, and promoting locker room activity. This was once again a thankless job for Jim, as he provided stability to a league that veteran members at the time often saw as nothing more than a tpe grab on the way to the big leagues.
After a largely successful stint as VHLM Commissioner, Flyersfan’s VHL career culminated in him becoming one of Victor’s replacements on the blue team, as he and Will were hired to bring in the next generation of leadership. Flyersfan played a key role in this relationship, as Will was an extremely active first generation player, and Jim provided him with veteran guidance from years of experience both as a member and VHLM Commissioner. After smoothly running the league for a little under a year, real life commitments caused Flyersfan to step down from his role.
While Flyersfan may not be contributing as heavily as his heyday, he remains a very productive member of VHL society. His current player, Smitty Werbenjagermanjensen, currently leads his draft class with 750 tpe, and has a shot at adding Flyersfan to the player side of the Hall of Fame as well. Additionally, Jim continues to provide his input to key league activities remaining a member of the blue team forum as well as continuing his service as a long-time Board of Governors member. As the VHL enters a new era, Flyersfan will continue to help guide the league, and we are all the better for it.