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How did VHL teams do this season?


ShawnGlade
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Today I'm gonna take a look at each team and grade them based on their expectations this season, and whether or not they met those expectations.

 

:tor:Toronto Legion:tor:

Grade: B

While the Legion were definitely a force to be reckoned with in the regular season, they left much to be desired in the postseason. With the starpower on their roster, it's no doubt that they will have another strong season in S68. With Devise's hatred of draft picks, Toronto doesn't look like it'll be too busy this offseason, unless they were to make a big splash in free agency. Losing Veran Dragomir to retirement will definitely sting the legion offense, but they'll be fine. This past season, they dominated the whole league all season en route to a first place finish, but were ultimately knocked out of the playoffs by the eventual cup champions, the Vancouver Wolves.

 

:que:Vancouver Wolves:que:

Grade: A+

I mean, how could you win and NOT receive the best possible grade? The Wolves finally got over the hump and captured their first cup in the s60s led by the most deserving GM in the league, @Beaviss. After a fantastic regular season, the Wolves marched through North America, knocking off the top seeded Legion in 5 games, the fifth game saw Shawn Glade score the conference winning OT goal for the second consecutive season, which is a remarkable feat on it's own. The real question lies next season for the Wolves. With the retirement of star center Beau Louth, and rumored retirement of stud defenseman Shawn Glade, the Wolves have cause for panic heading into S68.

 

:cal:Calgary Wranglers:cal:

Grade: C

To be fair to the Wranglers, they had to played in a stacked NA conference with the Wolves and Legion, so it's not completely a failure, however you'd expect more out of a team that's fresh out of a rebuild. In the regular season, Calgary finished one point behind the Wolves, which isn't bad at all. However getting bounced in the first round by that same Wolves team is not a good look. That series was completely winnable for the Wranglers, and if they were on the other side of history, well that would be a different story, but the Wranglers are the first team on this list that I predict won't be a playoff team next season. It's a big bet but I don't see it in the cards.

 

:hel:Helsinki Titans:hel:

Grade: A-

It's hard to bet against the top team from the EU, as the conference always provides top tier competition. This season, that honor was in the hands of the Titans, and they made a solid run for it. Looking to repeat as champions, the Titans stormed through the EU en route to a S66 finals rematch. This time however, Helsinki was on the wrong end of it, losing to the Wolves in 6 games. Overall, not a terrible season. You'd like to see them finish with more points, but it's hard to argue against winning your conference, no matter how many points you have. Next season I think Helsinki may dip a bit, but still continue their dominance and finish 1/2 in the EU.

 

:mos:Moscow Menace:mos:

Grade: A-

For a team that got bounced in round 1, it may come as a shock that i have them at an A-. In their defence, an expansion team in year 3 making a nice run is always a treat, and Moscow is no exception. A nice little regular season unfortunately led to a swift playoff departure, however Moscow is on the up, and they have a nice future for themselves. They have pieces to build on and I think that next season we could see them jump to a top tier team in the league.

 

:rig:Riga Reign:rig:

Grade: B-

With an average at best regular season and a surprise playoff cup run, it's hard to place this team. They were expecting so much more during the course of the season, and they didn't get it. They have an amazing core of forwards, but their defense is less than ideal, and I can't see this team getting better without addressing their needs at hand. Overall though, they had a decent season and a solid cup run, but ultimately couldn't handle Helsinki. Next season they're gonna be around the same spot.

 

:dav:HC Davos Dynamo:dav:

Grade: F

Now we move into the 4 teams that missed the playoffs. Now, an F might be a bit harsh, but Davos had serious cup aspirations. Building off a great S66 cup run, the Dynamo were poised to become an EU powerhouse......then the GM blew up the team. Heading into the season with the best FA from last offseason, Davos had a weak opening night roster and the team suffered. They were projected to be cup contenders by now, but have seemingly entered an eternal rebuild, unless they can turn shit around. The defense would get burned by most VHLM teams, so that needs to be their first order of business. If they fix that need, maybe they won't be too bad, however the window is closing fast for Davos.

 

:sea:Seattle Bears:sea:

Grade: C-

This team is obviously rebuilding so expectations weren't high to begin with, however they had a strong offseason and i'm shocked they did as poorly as they did. They have a solid foundation of rookie talent that should've overtaken a team like the Dynamo, however they just couldn't figure it out. I can't say too much here because again, they were rebuilding, but I expected a bit more from this team. They have a great future though, and 2-3 season down the road could be a contender again.

 

:mal:Malmo Nighthawks:mal:

Grade: C

Can't bag on a team in their second season. However, they were off to a strong start and looked like a potential contender, but alas they fell apart and fell to the bottom of the standings. It's hard to gage this team, as it was clear they aren't a top tier team, but I'm surprised they haven't done better, given that their GM has made good moves and they've drafted well. I'm assuming they're rebuilding (or in this case just....building?) so it's safe to say next season is a write-off, but maybe Malmo surprises me and makes something of it.

 

:nya:New York Americans:nya:

Grade: D

I get it, NYA is clearly tanking and rebuilding, but it's surprising nonetheless to see the team work so poorly. I GET IT, rebuilding teams aren' designed to win, but I'm not sure who they even have. It seems like NYA has almost nothing to build on in these next few seasons. I mean, they may draft well, but I'm seriously thinking we're looking at a four year rebuild year for NY. Maybe I'm wrong, but I just don't see what their next move is.

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2-3 seasons down the road be a contender? If you thought we’d make more noise now, how will it be 2-3 more seasons? We were exactly where we thought we’d be.

 

We don’t plan to get good and then pull a Shawn and rebuild, I think it’ll be less than 2-3 seasons. Especially 3. 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Banackock said:

2-3 seasons down the road be a contender? If you thought we’d make more noise now, how will it be 2-3 more seasons? We were exactly where we thought we’d be.

 

We don’t plan to get good and then pull a Shawn and rebuild, I think it’ll be less than 2-3 seasons. Especially 3. 

 

 

 

Probably depends on what is meant by "contender" tbh. Making the playoffs, or easily top 1 in the conference?

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1 minute ago, flyersfan1453 said:

 

Probably depends on what is meant by "contender" tbh. Making the playoffs, or easily top 1 in the conference?

That is true. I don’t think it’ll take 2-3 seasons to be either of those - all depends on everyone else. We have the roster and solid depth. 

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