FHM Ottawa Senators Historical Challenge, February 1999:

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!

Let’s continue with February 1999!

With the trade deadline coming up in March, we have an idea of what we should target for improvement.

Anson Carter had the only goal in this one. We fell 2-1 to the Canucks in Vancouver.

We found a bit better luck on the back end of the Western road trip. Dan Boyle and Markus Naslund gave Byron Dafoe all the run support he needed, and this one ends in a 2-1 victory.

Perhaps closer than it should have been, but Alberta remains kind to us. Boyle, Carter, and Miroslav Šatan notched regulation markers, and Pavel Bure scored the game-winner in overtime to down the Calgary Flames 4-3.

Make it three in a row, this time against the Buffalo Sabres. Bure and McCabe had the goals.

The winning streak ends, but points are points. Robert Lang, Bure, and Jozef Stumpel combined for a 3-3 tie against the Florida Panthers.

A win, a loss, a tie. Jeff Friesen and Michael Nylander hit the back of the goal, but the Washington Capitals were one better this night,

Another tie, this one against the Chicago Blackhawks. Friesen and Boyle on the markers.

Back on track against the division-leading Boston Bruins. Lang scored twice, while Sundstrom, Wesley, and Daniel Alfredsson combined for six goals.

The good times keep rolling against the Flyers. John Madden scored two, and Naslund and McCabe added two more.

The Bruins get one back, handing us a 3-2 loss. If you want any hint as to why, check out our injury report. Bure and Rob Zamuner got the goals, but the B’s were one better.

On the bright side, things are looking up. Plus Yashin should be back in 2-3 weeks.

Well, that’s the month of games in the books so it’s question time:

We’re looking at making some additions at the trade deadline, and we could probably stand to improve the left wing and blue line. The question, though, is what we’re willing to give up. We have a first and a second in this year’s draft, as well as a first, a second, and a third in the next. You can find the 1999 draft list here, and the 2000 one here. Look for the best players taken, no matter what round they were taken in. Hindsight is 2020 in this game, so those are the ones that will be snapped up in the first round.

I don’t know if we’re a true powerhouse squad yet, so those picks may be worth hanging on to, but if you think we can make a run, let me know.

What do we do with our firsts?

Keep both 29
Keep this year’s4
Keep next year’s7
Trade either of them3

We finish February 5-4-2 (29-20-2 overall), which leaves us tied with Boston for first in the Northeast, sixth in the East, and ninth overall.

Make sure you vote on the poll, and check back in two weeks for March, 1999. We’re going to have a ton of draft coming your way next week, so FHM will be taking a one-week pause.

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