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Claimed:Bentz HOF


sterling
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Joined: July 27, 2008

Member Number: 745

Positions Held: General Manager, VHLM Commissioner, Head Grader, Grader

 

 

Matt Bentz has long been chewed up and spit out in the grand scheme of the Victory Hockey League. Another one of the lost relics very few remember from the middling era of the VHL. In fact, when I mentioned Bentz as a candidate to be enshrined into the VHL Hall of Fame as a builder it came as a total ‘oh yeah’ moment for a lot of us. Some didn't know who he was and others immediately agreed with the induction. Matt Bentz is probably best known as the second (or third I suppose it should be in actuality) General Manager of the Calgary Wranglers. In his time, Bentz was also a writing grader and the VHLM Commish for a long period of time. During the second decade of the VHL, Bentz was one of the most important members. Few today remember who he is, but I’ll provide a little bit of insight into one of the names that is most synonymous with the Calgary Wranglers franchise.

 

Bentz took over the Wranglers around the time that my original player departed the team. I want to say it was around Season 10 when he took over the reins from Scott Boulet. Boulet had been one of the better General Managers in the early era of the VHL (three Continental Cups in 8 seasons at the helm). Bentz was one of the hotshot young guys the Wranglers were able to get in the second round of the Season 8 Entry Draft. He spent the entire Season 8 in the VHLM. A season in which we won the Continental Cup. I remember Bentz as being a very likable and hardworking guy. He was what we’d call a real diamond in the rough. He was curious to know more and willing to get involved right away  It wasn't long before the kid was VHLM Commish. Little did we know at the time this kid Bentz we drafted as a flyer would lead the Wranglers to their second generation of glory 10 seasons later.

 

In the excerpt from Bentz’s Hall of Fame article, the writer noted that “some players drafted before Bentz were flops, such as Calgary's 1st round selection David Knight or New York's Longfellow Deeds, others, such as 2nd overall Zacky Vengeance or the man drafted just before Bentz – Vladimir Kliment, became stars in the same time as Bentz himself. The Wranglers were in the midst of one of their greatest contending eras, having made savvy trades and signings leading up to S8 and becoming the league's top team. The price to pay was an overall lack of youth in the organization, something that Bentz could help.” Bentz helped the league more than he’d ever know.

 

Truly, the second decade of the VHL was a tough time for the Calgary Wranglers and for the league as a whole. We pulled the sucker back in from the brink a few times and we haven't looked back since. Some of that can be attributed to Mr. Bentz and his hard work at the helm of the VHLM and the Wranglers.

 

Although Bentz will likely be fondly remembered as the General Manager of the Calgary Wranglers, he had some terrible luck while in charge of the team. All in all, he was likely only an average General Manager at best as he struggled for the majority of his tenure to make competitive teams. As a General Manager, he captured the Season 18 and 19 Continental Cups before stepping down to let Jardy take over. Bentz found much more success through his two players, both of whom have been inducted into the VHL Hall of Fame. Matt Bentz and Mikka Virkunnen are both enshrined in the Hall, yo ushould read their articles to see how good they were.

 

Bentz will be remembered as one of our best VHLM Commissioners, a role he held from Season 8 until Season 14 (also one of, if not the longest tenured in this title). He worked alongside Scotty very well and the VHLM grew leaps and bounds during his tenure. I personally think he was one of the most important VHLM Commishioners to come through the system. He was the Head Grader and a long-time writing Grader as well. After his second Hall of Fame player in Virkunnen he eventually faded into the present day obscurity that most of you know him under.

 

Gone is that youthful exuberance that I got to see as a veteran member way back in Season 8. Bentz was an easily likable guy right from the start of his time here. I certainly wish he was still around in the league. He offered a lot more to the league than simply two great HOF forwards. Matt was a really loyal, dedicated and all-around cool guy to have on your team and in your community. Bentz may be long gone, but the legacy he built in the VHLM, in Calgary and in this community will live on for many more generations of the VHL. So here’s to you my old protégé, I hope life is still treating you well.

 

-sterling

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Great guy and brought a whole host of guys into the league: Arce, Lapham, Costello, even Ball I believe.

And two absolutely superb players, especially Virkkunen. Plus that great Calgary team. Pretty ashamed of myself that he slipped my mind in Builder considerations.

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Guest Svoboda_3

Content: 3/3

870 words. A great HOF article on our newest builder, Matt Bentz. He was a great member here and he brought a few cronies with him, but they never really stuck around. Bentz did a lot of great work here but his legacy will live on thanks to his induction.

Grammar: 2/2

VHLM. A = VHLM, A

away It = away. It

Virkunnen = Virkkunen (x2)

Hall, yo ushoud = Hall; you should

Commishionners = Commissioners


Appearance: 1/1

Meh, it's a HOF article, so nothing really expected here.

Overall: 6/6

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