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s13 - ROUTE 26 SUMMER ROAD TRIP! (®)

2019-07-26

AP - Parts Unknown, VHL-Land

It's the summer and the off-season is well underway in the VHL.  Some GMs have been hard at work improving their teams while some have been taking it easy.  The summer is the perfect time for some R&R and what better way to do so than to take a little drive on Route 26?  The route though, while scenic, can be treacherous if one doesn't heed the signs!  So with that in mind, let's take a look at some of the signs we might come across on our journey through VHL-Land...

 


Boston: GM Steve "I'm obsessed with Dan Palmer" Tindall went all-in in spectacular fashion at last year's trade deadline.  The result?  The Tindall equivalent of winning the Stanley Cup; a tainted 1st round victory over the Ottawa Senators.  Unfortunately, that is as far as the Bruins would get after being eliminated in the 2nd round by the Sabres.  Now the Bruins are left with one of the oldest forward groups in the league with not much in the pipeline.  Unless Simon Gagne can single-handedly replace the likes of Tikkanen, Stevens, Nieuwendyke, Gagne, Hawerchuk on his own, it's pretty much all down-hill from here.

 


Buffalo: We should all feel very grateful; a championship team in Buffalo is about as rare as a real Sasquatch sighting and we've witnessed it!  Is it weird that the only video of the Sabres historic run is on grainy VHS tapes though?

 


Calgary: When GM Dan Palmer arrived in Calgary, the Flames sat comfortably at the bottom of the Pacific Division.  Now, after acquiring elite forwards Keith Tkachuk and Teemu Selanne, as well as revamping the defense, the hope is that the climb, while steep, will be a quick one.

 


Chicago: No matter what GM Kirby does, the Blackhawks are denied entry to the post-season year-after-year.  On paper, there have been some very solid rosters put together by Kirby but they haven't translated to results.  With the loss of Doug Gilmour to retirement the road ahead will not get easier.

 


Detroit: At this year's Entry Draft, GM Greg Forget will have to sit by helplessly as the LA Kings reap the benefits of holding the Red Wing's 1st overall pick.  Forget inherited a team in rough shape when he came to Detroit and it will be a slow build to respectability... hopefully that Y15 1st holds some of the same magic as the Y13 one.

 


Edmonton: Being in the rain shadow of the Rockies with the resulting wonky weather, Edmonton sometimes gets snow in July.  That's about all GM Chris Baker has to worry about as his Pacific-leading team is pretty much ready for another run.

 


Hartford: A perennial contender for the President's Trophy, the Whalers have started to show signs of vulnerability.  The loss of top talents such as Doug Gilmour, Jyki Lumme and Darcy Tucker over the last couple of years are being felt.  While GM Dustin Funk has been deftly maneuvering around the fallen rocks, one has to wonder if this is the year his team takes a real step back.

 


Kansas City:  With their Native American theming, perhaps it's fitting that the Scouts are essentially the new Blackhawks.  This is a team with no standout veterans, but what a stable of prospects!  Lundqvist, Kronwall, Hainsey, Spezza, and Plekanec will form an excellent core for future success... IF GM Matt George has the patience and focus to stay on the road.

 


Los Angeles:  The winds of change are blowing through LA.  After several years of success, GM Jeff Shirley has begun the process of swapping out some older veterans for youth.  This isn't a rebuild, but it will ensure there is plenty of talent in line to support and then replace the current 30-year old stars.

 


Milwaukee:  The Admirals are an interesting case. On one hand, the team boasts a very nice trio of 32-year-old forwards in Dionne, Zhamnov and Brind'amour. On the other hand, the supporting cast is mostly either very old or not very good.  To make matters even more precarious, there really isn't anything coming down the pipeline in terms of youth. Whether GM Jeff Deres decides to make a run or rebuild, he'll have to proceed with caution or risk having to endure prolonged hard times.  Luckily, the beer flows freely in Milwaukee so that should help ease the stress!

 


Minnesota:  When you come so close to winning the Stanley Cup it can be tough to digest. Perhaps that's why so many teams underachieve after losing in the Cup Finals; LA, BOS (of course), VAN... the list goes on and on (probably, I didn't look further).  The challenge for GM Charlie Kurta will be to buck the trend.  We might see the Wild drop, but Kurta is a much better GM than say... Steve Tindall, so we might just see the Wild lifting the Cup next.

 


Montreal:  Times have been tough for Les Glorieux.  Despite making major acquisitions such as Mario Lemieux, Kirk Muller and Tomas Sandstrom the team has missed the playoffs four of the last five seasons; nothing short of a disaster.  Enough was enough for GM Ryan Torrie and he showed it last trade deadline.  His underachieving group of veterans was swapped out for youth... lots of youth. He'll also be drafting three times in the first round of the upcoming Entry Draft.  The only thing left to see is how long it will take for the clean-up to be complete.

 


New Jersey:  The Devils welcomed Vince Villa back to the fold as GM last season.  The they promptly thanked him by delivery a sub-par season and missing the playoffs.  While they can always count on Scott Niedermeyer to be elite, other would-be stars such as Alexandre Mogilny and Marty Brodeur have been just ordinary.  While the acquisitions of Ozolinsh and McLaren will help and young Richards, O'Neil and Deadmarsh are intriguing, Villa still has much more work to do to make this team relevant again.

Alright, we are half-way through our trip!  Time to pull into a rest area for some questionable diner food and to use the less-than-clean facilities.  I just hope I don't run into Steve Tindall doing his best Sea Bass impression again.  If all goes well, we'll hit the road for the rest of our journey shortly.

A.P. Hoar




Steve Tindall

Great concept. Good work

s13 - ROUTE 26 SUMMER ROAD TRIP! (®)
(Part 1)

• 0 teams Like this  2 years
Mike Hopkins A compliment!? What's your angle Tindall?
2 years  0 teams Like this
Aaron Wynia

Greg Aldrich is my alias. ;]

s13 - ROUTE 26 SUMMER ROAD TRIP! (®)
(Part 1)

• 0 teams Like this  2 years
Mike Hopkins hehe, sorry man.
2 years  0 teams Like this
David Zammit

Great work! couple things... Greg FORGET :) and who is this Rod "the bod" Birnd'amour? Any relation to Rcher?

s13 - ROUTE 26 SUMMER ROAD TRIP! (®)
(Part 1)

• 0 teams Like this  2 years
David Zammit THAT'S IT! THE FIX IS IN!
2 years  0 teams Like this
Matt Schroor

*cough cough. Canucks set a franchise record for points.

s13 - ROUTE 26 SUMMER ROAD TRIP! (®)
(Part 1)

• 0 teams Like this  2 years
Matt Schroor #madesecondround
2 years  0 teams Like this