FHM Ottawa Senators Historical Challenge, 1999 Stanley Cup Final

Is this the end?

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!

It’s time for the 1999 Stanley Cup Final!

It’s time. After three in-game years, we’ve managed to turn our second ever playoff appearance into a Cinderella run to the 1999 Stanley Cup Final.

It all comes down to this: Will our series end here, with us having achieved our goal? Or will the Detroit Red Wings rain on our parade, and send us back to the drawing board?

You folks clearly didn’t have much faith in us achieving our goal, and winning the challenge this time around. You favoured the vaunted Red Wings rather heavily, let’s see if you were right.

Game 1 goes in our favour! In what was a defensive battle, our stars came through, with Pavel Bure and Alexei Yashin powering us to a 2-1 win. Byron Dafoe continued his unbelievable performance, stopping 25 of 26 Detroit shots for the win.

Senators lead series 1-0

On the verge of a major upset, we find ourselves two games away from beating the challenge, and winning the Stanley Cup! Dafoe stole yet another win, with a 41-save performance, and goals came from Eric Daze, Rob Zamuner, and Bure, to take Game 2!

Senators lead series 2-0

In a statement win, the Red Wings gave us a painful reminder as to why they were the best in the league this year. Holding us to just 15 shots and a single John Madden goal, they peppered Dafoe with shots en route to a 5-1 win. Not great for the first Cup Final game in Ottawa since the late 1920’s.

Senators lead series 2-1

And just like that, our series lead evaporates. In what was a hard-fought Game 4, the Wings were one goal better to knot things up. Daze tallied our lone marker, and Dafoe was stellar, but Detroit gets the last laugh this night.

Series tied 2-2

One. Win. Away. In yet another close game, Dafoe stole the show once more, earning us a 3-2 win in a pivotal Game 5. Pavel Bure scored twice, and the captain Daniel Alfredsson scored the game-winner, to send us back to Ottawa with a chance to bring Lord Stanley’s hardware home.

IT’S OVER!!! In the most dramatic of fashions, the Ottawa Senators have won the Stanley Cup!!! Finally outshooting the Red Wings, Yashin erased a 1-0 deficit in the third period. With neither team willing to give an inch, knowing what was at stake, it was Miroslav Šatan scoring the goal of a lifetime. Though he had been having a relatively quiet postseason, he came through in the biggest moment, scoring the Stanley Cup-winning goal in overtime!

After 72 long years, the Ottawa Senators are Stanley Cup champions. What a way to cap off an amazing run.

Putting to bed any criticism about not performing in the playoffs, and tallying 15 goals and 16 assists through 23 playoff games, Alexei Yashin is your 1999 Conn Smythe Trophy winner.

Strangely, we went unrepresented among the NHL All-Star Team.

Congratulations, gang. You helped me craft an amazing team, and finish this challenge quicker than I ever have before, in any iteration of this game.

When we started this series on May 7th, I had no idea you would all enjoy it so much, and respond so well. It stemmed from me trying to help us all have some fun through a dark period, absent of any sports, but the response alone made it clear that it meant far more to me than all of you.

Thank you, sincerely, for enjoying our Franchise Hockey Manager playthrough. Perhaps in the future we can do something similar, but for now, we at Silver Seven have some amazing content lined up for you heading into the eventual start of the 2021 NHL regular season.

I’m so excited, and I hope you are too.

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