FHM Ottawa Senators Historical Challenge January 1998: Black and Blue

The injury bug continues to feast on the Sens.

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 begin a new year, with January 1998!

You voted. Rhodes gets shipped off, Lalime gets called up.

When shopping Rhodes, this was the best offer to be found. Boynton’s two-star potential projects him rounding out as a nice depth option in the future.

Off to a good start, with a 4-1 win in Boston. Glen Wesley scored twice, and Alexandre Daigle and Miroslav Šatan also chipped in to down the Bruins.

Despite badly outshooting the Flyers, this one ended in a 2-2 deadlock. Chris Druty scored his first NHL goal, and Robert Lang added one of his own, but we were one short this night.

A win, a tie, a loss to begin the month. Patrick Lalime gave up four in his first appearance (give him time), and markers from Alexei Yashin, Daniel Alfredsson, and Jeff Friesen weren’t enough to get the W in Carolina.

Make it back-to-back losses, as the Sens were smacked around by the Dallas Stars, losing by a score of 5-2. Alfie scored twice.

To make matters worse, Jeff Friesen was suspended for four games.

Another tie, this one against the Colorado Avalnche. It was a great performance from Tugnutt again, with goals coming from Daigle and Yashin.

Struggling to find a win, the high-flying(?!) Phoenix Coyotes managed to squeak by us for a 3-2 overtime win. A much better outing from Lalime this time around, with Ruslan Salei and Niklas Sundstrom finding the back of the net in the effort.

We finally get back in the win column, with a 4-3 road win over the Washington Capitals. Tugnutt gets another victory, on the back of goals from Sundstrom, Eric Weinrich, Michael Nylander, and Alfredsson.

Our division rivals, the Pittsburgh Penguins, even the season series at 1-1, beating us 3-2. Goals from Yashin and Bryan McCabe saw the Sens fall just short. This marked the final game of Friesen’s suspension.

A form of retribution over the Hurricanes was found on home ice. Šatan, Sundstrom, Wade Redden, and Alfredsson combined for four (ha) goals, and Tugnutt stopped all but one, for a 4-1 victory.

The ping-ponging of wins and losses continues.

Oh man. This is a catastrophic blow to the team, as Alexei Yashin is lost for the season with a ruptured disc. Joe Thornton gets his first call-up.

The effects weren’t immediately felt, at least. Weinrich scored the only goal in a 1-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

It’s consecutive shut-outs, this time over the Bruins. Goals came from six different scorers,  with Šatan, Friesen, Wesley, Lang, Rob Zamuner, and Nylander all lighting the lamp for a     6-0 drubbing of the B’s.

Maybe we’re better off without Yashin? It wasn’t a shutout, but Ron Tugnutt turned in his third straight stellar performance, in a 5-1 win over the New York Rangers. Šatan scored twice, along with tallies from John Madden, Friesen, and Lang.

On a more negative note, Markus Naslund suffered an achilles strain and will be out for 1-2 weeks. Daniel Cleary and Jarkko Ruuttu were recalled.

Welp. Not the best way to end a month. Only goal came from Daigle.

Okay, question time. Let’s talk about Daigle.

His value is low, and with the loss of Yashin, we need some help at centre.

I made an offer to the Bruins for Jozef Stumpel. They’ve accepted, but it’s up to you whether or not we push it through.

Stumpel’s point totals are comparable to Daigle’s, after what was a great 1997 season for him, but he’ll likely improve on a better team. To me, this is a no-brainer.

For Stumpel...

Complete the trade61
Reject the trade11
Discuss for different assets (specify in comments)0

Other than that, here’s a look at the depth chart. Let me know below what else you think needs to be addressed. Keep in mind Yashin and St. Louis are out long-term, while Naslund is out short-term.

All told, January ends with the Sens posting a record of 6-6-1, 26-19-9 overall, and 61 points. This leaves us second in the Northeast, fifth in the East, and ninth overall.

Top Performers: Glen Wesley (13GP 3G 8A 11P), Daniel Alfredsson (13GP 5G 5A 10P), Miroslav Šatan (13GP 5G 5A 10P) Michael Nylander (13GP 2G 6A 8P)

Worst Performers: Rob Zamuner (13GP 1G 2A 3P)

Who to Watch: Eric Weinrich (13GP 2G 5A), Robert Lang (13GP 3G 3A 6P), Niklas Sundstrom (13GP 3G 2A 5P), Jeff Friesen (9GP 3G 0A 3P)

Farm Report:

Make sure you have your say, and check out February next week!

Not everyone can afford to pay for sports coverage right now, and that is why we will keep as much of the site's content free for as long as we can.

But if you are able to, please consider subscribing to help keep our articles free (and get a few extra perks).

Erik Condra
  • Ability to comment and participate in our community
  • Twice monthly newsletter available only to subscribers
  • Ad-free reading
  • Our undying love and appreciation
Brady Tkachuk
  • Everything from the Erik Condra tier
  • 10% discount on all merch
  • Access to any future paywalled content
  • A personal thank-you from the Silver Seven staff
Daniel Alfredsson
  • Everything from the Brady Tkachuk tier
  • Inner peace knowing you are supporting quality, independent coverage of your favourite sports team