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VSN Presents: The GM Carousel


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This graphic is courtesy of @kirbithan. 🔥




We haven't even reached the end of the season. Playoffs are in the early stages, but the VHL is preparing for one of the decade's most significant General Manager shakeups. The VHL has not put off making changes to the league's management until the off-season this time. Well… maybe it wasn't the VHL since one may say that one of the most expected moves is still stuck in the backlog. Yes, that's the one.


It is uncommon for General Managers to frequently leave VHL franchises since the turnover rate is typically low, and those chosen to manage a team often hold their position for an extended period. However, this season, several General Managers who want to stop their careers have caused a stir in the VHL. Eno Rama, Dylan Wallace, Kurt Janser, and Ron Dayne II have created chaos in the VHL, VHLE, and VHLM.


With two spots opening at the top and another two in Europe, it's inevitable that some changes will trickle down and affect the VHLM too. In reality, one favorite to land a position is a VHLM General Manager.


Up to ten candidates have applied for these two positions in the VHL. Let's get to know them.


Alexandre Leduc. Someone who's, in reality, a new name in the General Manager world but has still been making some noise around the league. His story started in Miami in season 84, where he took charge of the Marauders after a tumultuous season under the previous GM. Ironically, he steered them to safety by finishing the season with the worst record in the VHLM. During this path, he hoarded valuable assets, but none as precious as the 1st overall selection in the upcoming VHLM draft, which turned out to be new VHL star Rick Grimes - drafted by another GM… yes, it's true. After the season 84 effort, Leduc changed sceneries and moved North to lead the Philadelphia Reapers. This new chapter not only lasted longer but was far more successful. At the end of his first season at the helm of the Reapers, sneaking to the playoffs as the lowest seed, the Reapers won the Founder's Cup! During his second season, the Reapers were much better, Top 3 in the league... but fell in the conference finals. It was time for a change, and Leduc took it to the VHLE, taking the reigns of a flawed Vasteras team. The season went better than expected, with the Iron Eagles overachieving throughout the season but falling to a better Geneva squad in the wildcard round. The rumor mill has that Leduc is already looking for a change upward. Could it happen?


Baby Bob. Another one of the most experienced General Managers on this list. He started his journey in season 83 with the Rome Gladiators, who found the most success under GM Zach Gagnon, who left for the VHL after winning the Renaissance Cup and being considered the top GM in the VHLE season 82. Baby Bob had the most success during season 86, where the Gladiators finished 3rd in the league and fought for the Renaissance Cup in that season's VHLE Finals. Other than that, the Gladiators have been (and are) stuck on a boom and bust cycle, which is unfortunate for the team's development. Bob has been leading the Italian team for five seasons but is now actively searching for a new position that will promote him to the VHL level.


Cole H. Two GMs started their career in season 84, and Cole is the first one we are talking about. The Mexico City Kings needed new leadership after former GM Justin Lose gave up the spot. Since then, the Kings have been one of the most consistent teams in the league, clinching the playoffs every season until now. Not only have they found consistency in making the playoffs, but they've been one of the most proficient teams in the VHLM during this period. And although they have yet to be able to win the Founder's Cup, it seems that isn't out of grasp for this team's near future. Cole found success on and off the ice, winning the Frederik Elmebeck Trophy for his efforts around the league. Cole's considered one of the hottest GM prospects in the pipeline, so it's fitting he's part of this shortlist.


Jacob Carson. The second GM part of the season 84 class and arguably one of the most polarizing GM prospects around the league. Jacob's story is quite similar to Cole's, but the fact is… Jacob brought a title to San Diego. Something Zack Gagnon, Thadius Sales, Nathan Powers, and Frank Chadwick were all unable to do. Jacob was also honored with the Jack Reilly Trophy, awarded to the GM deemed the best in the VHLM. But Jacob's notoriety doesn't end there, as he's been a notorious candidate for the Elmebeck Trophy, which he won in season 84. Not only that, he's been an active part of off-season tournaments, such as the Junior Showcase Tournament, World Junior Championship, and World Cup of Hockey… further increasing the number on his winning column in some of them. All the stats and facts regarding Jacob Carson's career as a General Manager make him, without a doubt, one of the hottest GM prospects in the league at the moment.


John Frostbeard. The most experienced candidate is looking for his second opportunity in the VHL. After starting his career in Houston in season 66, Frostbeard led the Bulls to the Founders' Cup in season 68 and took the Jack Reilly home that season too. He stayed at the helm of the Texan team until the VHL came calling for the first time in season 71. He was now leading the Malmo Nighthawks, and he did so until season 76 when he had to take a leave of absence. Although he left the VHL, he didn't do it without winning the Continental Cup in season 75. After a few seasons outside the carousel, a new opportunity appeared for the European General Manager. A new league was being developed, and he accepted the challenge to lead the newly formed Bratislava Watchmen. In season 80, he assumed control of the team, and in season 83 achieved the trifecta of cups, a feat no other General Manager has accomplished yet. He left Bratislava at the end of season 86 and is now looking for another go in the VHL after being the Assistant General Manager of the Los Angeles Stars during this season.


Mickey Dickson. You probably weren't expecting to see their name here. Even so, Mickey's arguably a favorite to land a position in the VHL. Mostly known for one of the most memorable trades in the history of the VHL, when the Geneva Rush and Halifax 21st traded General Managers, Mickey is also loved by every player that's ever been on one of their teams. During their time in Halifax, Mickey was honored with the Jack Reilly Trophy in season 80. More so, Dickson has been serving as Assistant General Manager to Frank Funk in Helsinki. A fascinating spot where Dickson has been fulfilling General Manager duties for far too long, giving them the tools and visibility to be part of this shortlist.


Nathan Powers. The closest one to Frostbeard's winning record. After two seasons in the VHLM, at the helm of the San Diego Marlins, Powers found his home in Europe and has been one of the best General Managers in the VHLE. Commanding the Oslo Storm, Powers has taken the Nordish team to the top of the league, winning the Renaissance Cup for a record-breaking two times… in a row! Nathan Powers created a dynasty in less than four years and could be on his way to adding another cup to his trophy room. Not only has he created a successful team on the ice, but he has also been honored as the top General Manager in the VHLE. With this kind of impact in the league, how could Nathan be overlooked for one of these positions?


Nathaniel Minion. What can you say? Once again, Nathaniel is looking to be on the move. After three short stints as General Manager, first in season 81 with Halifax, then in season 82 with Geneva, and now starting this season with Bratislava… it just seems like the pieces are never in place for Nathaniel to succeed. It's still early in their career, so only time will tell. But there will be no position other than Bratislava for Nathaniel this season.


Yun Chiang. The first half of our season 85 class is the General Manager of the Miami Marauders. Chiang was a hot GM prospect since he was the Assistant in Miami and took over most duties from General Manager Linus Zetterstrom. After that situation, Chiang took a step back and enjoyed a sabbatical year away from the noise around the VHL. But his time was coming, and in season 85, when Leduc made the switch, Chiang was instantly the favorite to take the job in Miami, and so he did. During his time as the GM of the Marauders, they've been up and down, but season 87 proved to be their best yet, with the Miami team claiming first place in the Eastern Conference. Unfortunately, they haven't been able to replicate their regular season success in the postseason. Again, they couldn't get past the first round after losing to the season 86 champions, San Diego Marlins. Chiang could be open to moving up, but is it in the cards?


Zef Goncalves. Last but not least, and since we're speaking of postseason woes, Zef Goncalves. The Portuguese General Manager took the helm of the Cologne Express in season 85 after serving as the AGM to John Frostbeard in Bratislava. Before he took the job in western Germany, Zef had already attained quite the experience, winning both the JST and WJC. Known to be one to lead by example, Zef has already been lauded as an up-and-comer, being part of the few who have one the Frederik Elmebeck Memorial Trophy - this list has 4 of the 17 winners. His time in Cologne has been quite good, as the GM was able to turn things around as soon as he arrived, turning the Express into a contender in season 85, but still lost in the Renaissance Cup Finals. Season 86 came, and Goncalves' Express was a record-breaking team, reaching new heights in the regular season but faltering in the playoffs. This off-season, Zef led Western Europe in the World Cup and brought the title back to a place that hadn't won it in over 40 seasons and seamlessly managed to retain the contender status for the third season in a row, with the Express leading the VHLE and fighting for the Renaissance cup in the VHLE Finals. Zef's record stands tall, but is he a winner?


Now, it's time for the decision. This can be a challenging and stressful event, as it often involves a high level of responsibility and accountability. These GM prospects have had varying degrees of success in their careers but are all looking to take their careers to the next level. The commissioners will consider that factor when making their decision which will, ultimately, determine the path the franchises will take.


So, let's take it to the VSN pundits. Who are the most likely candidates to get the opportunity to lead a VHL franchise? Unsurprisingly, VHL Assistants John Frostbeard and Mickey Dickson are two of the five favorites we selected from the shortlist. The VHLM, the second league under discussion, has two top contenders, Cole and Jacob Carson, who likely could be promoted to the VHL. Finally, we have Nathan Powers, the most accomplished GM in the VHLE.


Our first prediction could be more than a rumor since the incumbent General Manager of the London United was promoting this move. Simultaneously, this has the potential to be an unforeseen maneuver, but in truth, it would be highly warranted. Taking the place of General Manager of the London United from the San Diego Marlins, Jacob Carson.


That fills one of the two positions available in the VHL, leaving four contenders for the position in DC. The VSN crew sees this position going to one of the following General Managers... John Frostbeard or Cole H. John Frostbeard is the favorite to get this position for some due to his experience. Others seem to value Cole's margin of progression so highly that they think he will jump to the VHL right now.


Usually, any changes in VHL management have a trickle-down effect in the other leagues. This season the same should happen. By our estimates, there could be one or two openings in the VHLM, but who could take charge of the Marlins and the Kings should their General Managers be selected to lead a franchise in the VHL?


Let's not bore you with all possible candidates, but instead, let's make our projections. Should Jacob leave sunny San Diego for London, there's a candidate with close ties with the team who would be the favorite to get the position. This particular candidate has amassed valuable experience not only in off-season tournaments but also in the VHLE. We are talking about none other than the Express' AGM, Vincent Laroche-Gagnier. With his connections to San Diego and the experience he already has, he's our favorite candidate to take the job.


What about if Cole vacates the Mexico City Kings GM role? Do we have a favorite to take the job? This one is a bit more farfetched, but there seems to be another AGM poised to make the jump and find a GM position for himself. Leonard S. Kinnard may not have ties to Mexico City, but don't doubt that Kinnard is a worthy candidate to be mentioned and have the opportunity to start his GM career. We'll closely watch this season's JST to see him lead the Steel.


Amazingly, with our projections, the VHLE management positions won't suffer more than from losing Janser and Dayne II. We all know the VHLE is a different league with a particular set of players, and the GMs have to be able to cover that specific question. You'll have up-and-coming superstars who look at the VHLE as a one-season stop and veterans who'll slowly grow until they're ready to try their feet in the VHL waters. GMs have to balance these out to get the best from their players, which requires some experience or expertise.


There aren't many experienced General Managers looking for a position in the VHLE, but there are a few. And from these few, we have two favorites for the GM positions in Stockholm and Istanbul. The former GM of the Halifax 21st and Los Angeles Stars, Jeffrey Pines, has expressed interest in joining the Swedish side. That makes him the favorite to get the position since his experience could be convenient in Europe's newest league.


Another former GM has expressed interest in a particular team, in this case, the Istanbul Red Wolves. Former Philadelphia Reapers GM Mason Jones left Philly at the end of season 84, but with a great future ahead of them since the team went on to win the Founder's Cup in season 85. Although Mason doesn't have the experience of the usual "experienced" GM, there's no question about their ability to create and manage a team. In the end, that's what Istanbul needs.


This has turned out to be a longer article than expected, but somehow it feels like something is missing. Of course, we don't know how the chips may fall, but there's another thing we must remark on in the VHL. Another GM, who we haven't highlighted any further in the article than in the shortlist. Mickey Dickson! Mickey Dickson deserves a... what's it called? When we have a position, but then you're moved to a position above that? Yeah, well... Mickey Dickson deserves whatever that is.




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1 minute ago, samx said:

I didnt know finals was early stages xD.


Beyond that I have my own theories at least for vhl jobs but we will see who is right. 


Hey, hey, hey! Hear me out smart ass... it's a really long article that took longer than expected to write. Just accept the curiosity that it adds to the story.


But... what are your theories? 👀

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1 hour ago, leandrofg said:

claiming first place in the Eastern Conference.

2nd with the tiebreaker. Also I wouldn't really say we have been up and down. I think our team has been the same level every season it's just whether or not more or less teams are competing heavily

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2 hours ago, UnknownMinion said:

@leandrofgI actually want to spend more time in the M over the VHL and get better there, the E has been a pain in my heel. So I hope to move down which would be better for me overall!

Tbf over the 3 season I spent as Cologne AGM this one was very dead and even in the 3 E Locker room I’m in it was the same thing. Maybe things will turn around for you this season we’ll see but I hope it will 

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14 hours ago, vincentlg2007 said:

Tbf over the 3 season I spent as Cologne AGM this one was very dead and even in the 3 E Locker room I’m in it was the same thing. Maybe things will turn around for you this season we’ll see but I hope it will 

Nah, I have no picks again, I’m trying to work some magic but chances are I’m just going to have a lot of inactives 

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