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FHM Ottawa Senators Historical Challenge March 1997: Blockbuster Deadline Deal

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Huge deal steals the show.

Franchise Hockey Manager 6 is a text-based hockey management simulation game by Out of the Park Developments. It’s a lot of fun, and I find it super realistic. I recommend checking it out if you’re looking for a good way to kill time while social distancing.

In the game, you take over as GM and/or head coach of pretty much any hockey team on the planet, and make roster moves to bring your team a championship. The CPU plays the games for you, but you craft the team.

One of the coolest game modes is the Historical Challenges, wherein you take over as GM of a team at a particular point in their NHL existence, and attempt to relive or rewrite history. For the purposes of this play-through, we’ll be taking over the Ottawa Senators in the Fall of 1996, and attempting to win a Stanley Cup no later than the spring of 2007.

For the purposes of this little exercise, I’m going to play through this mode, trying to win a Cup for the Sens, with help from you - yes you - the readers! At the end of every edition, I’ll ask you questions about key roster moves, and make it based on how you respond!

We’re going to take this on a month-by-month basis, with a new instalment coming out every week, so make sure you let me know in the comments what you want to see, and any suggestions you have to achieve this goal! I want to make this as interactive an experience as possible, so I really want to hear from you!

Here goes Month 5!


You voted, we’re doing it.

Definitely agree with you here.

sigh. Fine.

What better way to kick off the month than with a 7-3 loss to the Buffalo Sabres? Another rough outing for Ron Tugnutt, with goals coming from Michael Nylander, and Alexei Yashin with two.

Tugnutt, and the team bounced back four nights later, though. Daniel Alfredsson, Alexandre Daigle, Yashin, and Andreas Dackell lit the lamp en route to a 4-2 win over the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. Sergei Zholtok also had himself a nice game.

Speaking of Daigle, you asked for it, you got it. He’s signed to a three-year extension.

A back-to-back in San Jose finds the Senators back in the loss column, however, with a 4-3 defeat at the hands fins of the Sharks. Goals from Yashin, Chris Phillips, and Daniel Alfredsson kept it close, but Miikka Kiprussoff outdueled Damian Rhodes, who faced the brunt of the shots.

But again, Ron Tugnutt steals one. Stopping 44 of 45, and supported by markers from Yashin and Bryan McCabe, he snags his squad a 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings.

The good fortune did not continue two nights later in the desert. Yashin lit the lamp extending his goal streak to seven games, but the Phoenix Coyotes put up four of their own to secure the win.

Ah, there’s the familiar losing streak beginning. Nylander scoring twice was not nearly enough to overcome the vaunted New York Rangers, who beat us for the second time this season by a score of 6-2.

extremely Gary Bettman voice: We have a trade to announce.

It’s deadline day in the NHL, and we only made one move, but it is a DOOZY. We sent Sergei Zholtok, and two meaningless picks to the Vancouver Canucks, in exchange for superstar forward Markus Naslund. Zholtok is a nice player, but with a wealth of centre depth, and more likely to come through the draft, he’s an expendable asset with his potential capping out around three stars.

Naslund, however, immediately becomes one of the team’s top players, and his potential has him tracking to reach near-Yashin levels of ability.

At age 23, he fits right in to a young core of Alfredsson, Yashin, Dackell, Martin St. Louis, Miroslav Šatan, Robert Lang, Niklas Sundstrom, John Madden, and Chris Drury.

The effects were...not immediate.

Close to ending the losing streak, but no cigar on a Saturday night in Boston. Goals came from Wade Redden, Šatan, and Yashin, but the Bruins were able to pull this one out in overtime, despite a solid performance from Tugnutt.

The bleeding finally stops three nights later, with a 5-2 win in Tampa Bay. With goals from Yashin, McCabe, Šatan, Sundstrom, and St. Louis, the Sens leave their expansion sister team thunderstruck.

The defending Eastern Conference champion Florida Panthers continue to be a feisty foe, however. Though we were able to deny them a win for the first time this season, this one ended in a tie, thanks to a great night from Damian Rhodes, two goals from Eric Weinrich, one from Šatan, and Naslund’s first as a Senator.

The month of March concludes with another loss to the Montreal Canadiens, with us getting swept in the season series. St. Louis, Šatan, and Redden hit the scoreboard, but our rivals outgun us once more. Their day is coming, mark my words.

Okay gang, question time.

Let’s talk about the prospects, namely Chris Drury, Sami Salo, and Patrick Lalime. They’ve worked hard in the minors, and with only seven games left in the regular season, it might be worthwhile to throw them a bone, and get some games in Ottawa. The playoffs are a non-factor for them in the minors, so I’ll allow you to make each individual decision. Keep in mind that for Salo and Lalime especially, their skill levels are low, and they stand a good chance of getting caved in if called up:

Poll

???

This poll is closed

  • 43%
    Call him up
    (111 votes)
  • 56%
    Keep him down
    (144 votes)
255 votes total Vote Now

Poll

???

This poll is closed

  • 43%
    Call him up
    (111 votes)
  • 56%
    Keep him down
    (144 votes)
255 votes total Vote Now

Poll

???

This poll is closed

  • 43%
    Call him up
    (111 votes)
  • 56%
    Keep him down
    (144 votes)
255 votes total Vote Now

The growing pains continue in March, with the Ottawa Senators finishing 3-8-1. 5th in the Northeast, 12th in the East, and 25th overall.

Top Performers: Alexei Yashin (12GP 8G 12A), Miroslav Šatan (12GP 4G 4A), Daniel Alfredsson (12GP 2G 5A) Michael Nylander (12GP 3G 4A)

Worst Performers: John Madden (12GP 0G 0A), Robert Lang (12GP 0G 3A), Niklas Sundstrom (12GP 1G 1A)

Who to Watch: Martin St. Louis (12GP 2G 3A), Wade Redden (12GP 3G 1A), Markus Naslund (5GP 1G 4A0