FHM Ottawa Senators Historical Challenge, December 1998: Back and Forth

All over the place.

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 installment 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!

Let’s continue into December 1998!

You voted to trade for Anson Carter, and so we shall. More on that later.

Not the best start to the month. Markus Naslund, Miroslav Šatan, and Pavel Bure scored, but we were doubled up by the Nashville Predators.

We got back on track against the Los Angeles Kings, as Byron Dafoe stymied his old team. Naslund, Bryan McCabe, and Martin St. Louis had the markers to beat the Kings 3-1.

The trade is complete. It ended up being Ruslan Fedotenko going to Washington rather than Michael Nylander, but the latter is further along in his development anyway and better suited to our purposes.

Here’s a peek at the new and improved lineup.

The benefits were felt immediately, as we got some revenge for last year’s playoff loss. Bure scored his 250th career goal, along with Magnus Arvedson, Rob Zamuner, and Glen Wesley to down the New York Rangers by a score of 4-1. Another great performance from Dafoe.

Make it three in a row, with a win over our expansion sister team in the Tampa Bay Lightning. Anson Carter scored his first as a Senator, while Zamuner, Bure, and Jozef Stumpel also found the back of the net for another 4-1 victory.

Back-to-back nights in Florida, back-to-back wins. Patrick Lalime stopped 31 of 32, and got run support from Bure with two goals, and Zamuner with one, to beat the Panthers 3-1.

The good fortune ended there, though. Alfredsson will miss the next few games with an injury.

And without the captain, so begins a losing streak:

Naslund the only goal.

Naslund and Zamuner.

Bure, McCabe.


Alfie’s finally back, and we get back in the win column. Arvedson, Naslund, and Chris Phillips powered us to a 3-2 victory over the hated Montreal Canadiens.

Clearly Alfredsson is the key, as it’s another divisional win, this time 4-2 over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Šatan scored twice, along with Naslund and Phillips, to double up the score for Dafoe.

Bure scored twice, but it wasn’t enough for a third straight victory, as we fell 4-2 to the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.

We ended on a high note, however, with a 3-2 win in Buffalo. Naslund, Phillips, and Eric Weinrich tallied the three goals needed to down the Sabres by one.

In other news, Pavel Bure was voted best skater, and fastest player by his peers.

That’s December, and 1998 with it, so it’s question time.

Sami Salo is now 24, and just hasn’t been able to beat out guys like Wade Redden and Dan Boyle for playing time. His potential remains high, but he may be better served as a trade chip for a team eyeing a playoff run. We don’t have to make any trades now, but he could be a valuable asset at deadline time.

So, what’s your opinion?

On Salo...

Hang on to him24
See what you can get34

All told, we finished December with a record of 7-6-0 (18-13-2) overall. This leaves us second in the Northeast, 6th in the East, and 11th overall.

Top Performers: Pavel Bure (13GP 9G 8A 17P), Markus Naslund (11GP 7G 4A 11P)

Make sure you vote on the poll, and check out January 1999 next week!

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