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Autograph: Around The VHL [1/2]


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Around The VHL



Welcome to my new column for the Autograph! This is very much a “news and notes” type column, where weekly I will go through the goings on inside the VHL, while also running through the rumour mill to share any interesting notes with you, the reader! It’s been a while since the League has run an issue of its magazine, and now we are back with a new editor and a new format, using the League’s web-portal to share our articles. So without further adieu, I present my first edition of ‘Around the VHL’!


It isn’t every day that a league revamps its entire structure the way the VHL has. With the announcement coming last Thursday (February 1st, 2018) that the league had big changes in store, it has created a wave we hope to ride into a strong Season 59 and a Season 60 Draft Class that will look to inject some new life into the league! Along with new TPE caps that allow members to earn 3 TPE per week more than they were able to, under the old system, there are new Point Tasks, and a new affiliation system. Indeed, rumours that the VHL planned to partner with two other leagues were confirmed on Thursday, when the announcement included an affiliated welfare program that allows users to claim a single Point Task across the three leagues known as the VHL, ESFL and SBA! Now, any user who is a member of multiple leagues can submit a Point Task in one league, and claim it for its same value in each of its two affiliates. This looks to be a beneficial partnership for all, as people who were unsure about another sport can now try out something different, while providing the three leagues with new members to add to their respective foundations!


Big announcements were not the only thing of note to occur last week, as the 58th Season culminated in a Riga Reign Championship repeat on Friday, downing the Seattle Bears by a score of 2-1 to take the series in 6 games. The Bears fought hard and pushed further than most expected of them, but were ultimately unable to surpass the mountain that has become the Riga organization. The Reign might still be celebrating, but it is looking like their path to a possible threepeat has become exponentially more difficult as their own roster faces its age, as well as a new, league-wide, re-scale, and other teams look to make acquisitions to topple the King.

1.       Indeed, looking at the Reign roster, they are being hit hard this season with much of their core being players entering their 7th or 8th seasons. On top of depreciation regressing their star players’ skills, they will need to battle the league-wide re-scale, which hits older players the hardest, with some seeing their attributes fall as far as 11 points (players with skills at 99 entering their 8th season saw those drop to 88 wit depreciation and re-scaling). Luckily, the Compensation Pay for any players in the league prior to these new rule changes, as well as a chance to re-distribute TPE, means players can revive some of their skills. Unfortunately, it also means that there will be sacrifices in other areas of their game, which, for Riga, will result in a diminished team this coming season.


2.       Sticking with the Reign, they are also currently without a goaltender for next season, as Markus King is an Unrestricted Free Agent and has yet to put ink to paper in order to return. Without an obvious landing spot among other contending teams, it seems destined that King will return, as he looks to reclaim his title as the league’s top Goaltender, following a sub-par regular season. Still, if another team manages to convince King to jump ship, the Reign will be dead in the water, without their star netminder.


3.       The Reign will also have to deal with other teams catching them in terms of roster development and player acquisitions. Already, the Toronto Legion have made a big splash, adding top defenceman Fabio Jokinen, while bolstering their forward core with Fook Yu and the recently converted Roman Sokolov. It will be interesting to see what they can do this season, as they were a third period collapse away from facing Riga in this past Final.


4.       Still, with the departure of Dexter Lane, and the conversion to forward for Roman Sokolov, the Legion are down to just two defenders on their VHL roster, and will need to look outside the organization for help. One name that has been whispered is that of Felix Savard. The top defenceman for HC Davos, the Dynamo could receive a King’s ransom for him, and may look to move the veteran defender as he enters the back half of his career while the Dynamo are still another season or two away from competing,


5.       Another name that has been bandied about is that of Mats Johnsson. The young defender is primed to take a leap forward and enter the stratosphere of the league’s top defencemen, while only just finishing his sophomore season in the VHL. Rumours out of Calgary are that he is looking to compete right away, and if the team can’t convince him that they are contenders, he may leave once his RFA status is completed


6.       One other team that looks to be suffering this off-season is the New York Americans. With five (5) players leaving due to retirement, including star forward Takashi Fujimoto, they are losing a lot of depth heading into Season 59. They are still one of the deeper teams in the league, and could make a play in either Free Agency or the Trade Market to shore up their roster, but given their youth, their window still looks to be Season 60 and beyond.


7.       Currently, the World Cup is wrapping up, with Scandinavia finishing tops in the round robin. The tournament has been a possible preview of things to come this VHL season, as Will has been using a newer version of the sim software. It is likely things will change, as what we’ve seen is a much tighter, lower scoring game, as well as fewer shot attempts. Closer games are always a good thing, but the lack of scoring might lead to displeasure among VHL players and their fans!


8.       Time for my final note, and graphic makers might want to look closer at this point. While looking at potential changes for the VHL, and whilst discussing updating the magazine, the Board of Governors briefly discussed a Graphic of the Week feature. The details behind it have been discussed, ranging from how much TPE would be paid out, how the winner would be decided, and even how the graphics would be chosen. The discussions were put on the back-burner for a while, but with the league making it’s Big Announcement last week, discussions have come back to how this would work. If not in this first edition, or even the second, I wouldn’t be surprised to see something announced about a Graphic of the Week feature in the Autograph.









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  • DollarAndADream changed the title to Autograph: Around The VHL [1/2]

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