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S73 Dustin Funk Trophy 


FrostBeard
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S73 Dustin Funk Trophy 
Ray Sheilds story

 

It was an interesting and exciting season for Malmo Nighthawks. As a GM, I was well on my way of rebuilding the new Malmo Nighthawks, landing great S73 draftees like Grekkark Gyrfalcon, Marshall James Frostbeard and Tyler Walker. We also added a great future player in Ray Sheilds. Sheilds sadly had struggles in his first VHL season with Seattle Bears who were a strong and competitive team pushing for another Continental cup victory. Ray finished S72 with 19 points in 72 games and a strong showing of 12 goals scored. He instantly attracted my attention and I somehow felt that his role with my team in Malmo would significantly increase and with superstars like Condor Adrienne I was sure he could shine. 
Didn’t at first know how to approach creating lines for S73 but no matter what I changed and did to get our team wins, Ray Sheilds dominated. He was able to score left, right and centre, and managed to outplay his opponent. To me it was clear that Ray was out for blood and wanted to prove how much he has worked on his skills in the offseason and with his new trainer squad in Malmo. As a GM, I couldn’t even ask for a more determined player, ready to put himself on the line for our team. Ray was leader in the LR and on the ice. He managed to become a huge part of our team and at one point created a dynamic trio of Jungkok, Condor and Ray. 

His run in the regular season helped him lead our team in goals scored with amazing 41 goals and 44 assists, finished 3rd on our teams point leaderboard and was only beaten by HoFer Condor Adrienne and Lewis Dawson, who was our 1st line centre. Throughout line changes I understood that Ray works great with Chris Hylands and Jungkok, they just seemed to mesh together and create more options for our team on offence and helped hold the line on defence. 

Sadly, Ray and his partners got kicked out of the 1st round of the playoffs by Helsinki Titans after winning the wildcard round against Davos Dynamo 3-2. 

I believed that when it came to awards, out of all the players in the league, no one had a better story than Sheilds. He pushed through the odds and made himself a Malmo legend, he created a legacy and made sure that his award win is a memorable one. Three different players received awards from Malmo Nighthawks and Dustin Funk Trophy for me seemed the most clear cut. 
 

In the end, Ray Sheilds played 262 games with Malmo Nighthawks, was one of our driving players in S75 Continental cup win and managed to pass many Malmo legends on the all time point total list. Ray had 330 points with Malmo Nighthawks, Dustin Funk Trophy and a Continental cup to his name. Trading Ray was probably one of my hardest decisions to make as a GM and I have had plenty of those. There are only so many people that influence your path as a GM and I can proudly say that without Ray Sheilds, his charisma, activity and overall optimism Malmo Nighthawks wouldn’t have been a cup winning team.

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