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The End of an Era in Malmo?


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The End of an Era in Malmo?

After a heartbreaking loss in the play-in round against rival Moscow Menace where Malmo was ahead 2-1 in the series and then lost the next two games in overtime, the Nighthawks could be reaching the end of an era. The Nighthawks have reached the playoffs in each of the last six seasons, the longest streak in the franchise's history. Only three players have been on the team for the entire streak: goaltender Artem Tretiak @Molholt and wingers Brendan Telker @Telkster and Druss Deathwalker @animal74. Telker and Deathwalker joined the team in S77 after both being selected in the first round of the S77 Entry Draft. With Tretiak, a backup during the Nighthawks’ first Cup win in S75 and the newly minted starter after Malmo traded Grekkark Gyrfalcon @Sharkstrong to Prague during S76, they helped usher in the most successful period in Malmo's short history. Along with six consecutive trips to the postseason, they captured the franchise's second Continental Cup in S79 after producing one of the greatest offensive seasons in league history. That success also brought individual awards for Telker (Brooks Trophy - Goals Leader) and Tretiak's (Shaw Trophy - Best Goaltender) regular season brilliance. And while Deathwalker has not garnered any league awards yet, he has led the league in hits and penalty minutes a few times as well as game-winning goals in S81.


The trio have also set numerous team records during their time. Tretiak is the franchise's all-time leader amongst goalies for games played, wins, and losses in the regular season and the playoffs while Telker has become the team's all-time leader in goals, shots, and game-winning goals in the regular season and playoffs and Deathwalker is the all-time leader in hits and plus/minus in the regular season and playoff hits and penalty minutes as well as serving as the team’s captain for the last five seasons. With Tretiak's retirement imminent at the conclusion of S82, only Telker and Deathwalker remain. Telker is signed for his last two seasons while Deathwalker has a mutual option for next season and has expressed interest in staying with the only club he has ever played for.



Druss Deathwalker and Brendan Telker celebrate a Malmo goal.


But without a starting goalie in the wings and all four of the team's defensemen either retiring or entering free agency (not to mention the retirement of center Steve Eso @Eso), the winds of change might hit the Nighthawks hard. GM @Dom has to decide whether to retool his entire back-end or become a seller in the off-season and look to the future. Neither of those options seem appealing but due to a lack of quality goalies on the market, the GM's hand may be forced.


The Nighthawks have seen significant changes in each of the last six seasons with Tretiak, Telker, and Deathwalker as the constant. With Tretiak gone, that constant is shaken and their run of playoff appearances is in danger. With only a couple of more seasons remaining for the two S77 draftees, whether Telker and Deathwalker stay as career Nighthawks and continue to build their legacy in Malmo or if their legacy will be what futures can be acquired from trading them, the only thing that is certain is that the end of an era is close at hand for the team but how close remains to be seen.

Edited by animal74
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5 hours ago, Molholt said:

I'd stick around if they'd let me


3 hours ago, animal74 said:

Recreate as Artem Tretiak II.

I mean, the league does need goalies! 

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