FHM Ottawa Senators Historical Challenge, November 1998: Getting Rolling

The new seasons rolls on.

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 kick roll into November 1998!

Joe Thornton goes to the minors, Sami Salo comes up.

Eldur00 requested a look at the expansion Nashville Predators, so here it is.

The month kicks off qith a big 5-1 over the high-flying Philadelphia squad. Alexei Yashin scored twice, along with Markus Naslund, Glen Wesley, and Robert Lang. Our duo of Russian superstars combined for eight points, but Yashin is day-to-day with some abdominal soreness, though he should continue to play.

Bure earned some kudos for his performance.

We failed to sweep the Pennsylvania teams, however, losing a hard-fought matchup to the Penguins. Dan Boyle, Jeff Friesen, Lang, and Yashin found the back of the net, but the Pens were one better.

A bounce-back effort was found against the Washington Capitals. Yashin scored another two, to go go with markers from Naslund and Bure to earn a 4-1 victory.

Not that his performance was suffering, but Yashin is fully recovered.

The new season’s first meeting with the Buffalo Sabres ended in back-to-back wins, with two Naslund goals leading the way to a 2-1 win. Patrick Lalime stopped 18 of 19 to earn his third victory in four tries.

Make it three straight, finding a 3-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers on home ice. Bret Hedican, Naslund, and Yashin had the goals, while Byron Dafoe found another win.

We beat Toronto for the second time this year, this time by a score of 4-0. Naslund continued his red-hot stretch, with another two goals, while Boyle and Miroslav Šatan also lit the lamp. Lalime earns his first career shutout.

Nik Sundstrom injured his ankle in the contest, but should still be good to go.

The winning streak extends to five in Chivago, by way of a 2-1 overtime win over the Blackhawks. Bure tied the game in the third, and who else but Naslund won it in the extra frame.

Another win over Washington, this time by a score of 2-1. Daniel Alfredsson and Martin St. Louis scored the goals.

A back-to-back spells the end of our six-game winning streak though, falling to the Calgary Flames, 3-1. Šatan had the only goal, but meanwhile, Lang is day-to-day with a bruised hand. Joe Thornton was recalled to play in his place, for the time being.

The latest effort against the Vancouver Canucks ends in a 4-4 tie. Goals came from Naslund, Yashin, Wesley and Boyle.

Another one that didn’t quite go in our favour. Bryan McCabe and Rob Zamuner both scored their firsts of the year, but there was a far worse result than the one on the scoreboard.

I’m gonna lose it. I’m seriously gonna lose it.

So far so good, anyway. Bure, Šatan, and Chris Phillips scored the goals, while Byron Dafoe earned a 3-2 win over the Leafs.

We made a successful waiver claim on Esa Tikkanen, just to add a little bit of depth to an oft-injured lineup.

Okay, that does it for November’s games, so it’s question time:

We could use some depth at centre, now that we’ve lost Yashin until damn near playoff time. So far, we have Jozef Stumpel (3 stars), John Madden (3 stars), Robert Lang (2.5 stars), and Joe Thornton (1 star). Thornton is developing nicely, but for a team of our calibre, it may be worthwhile to grab a short-term placeholder option.

The Capitals are willing to part with Anson Carter, who has one year left on his deal. He’s underperforming on a bad Washington team, but will likely flourish with our forward core.

The price would be Michael Nylander (2 stars), a 6th, a 7th, and a 9th. The picks are more than expendable, as we’ve well established, and Nylander has spent this year in the minors, a victim of depth and young talent on the wings. Options outside of him are all 1.5 stars, but the difference is minor.

What say you?

For Anson Carter...

Offer the trade53
Don’t offer the trade15

At the end of November, the Sens finish 8-3-1 (11-7-2 overall), good enough for 24 points, 2nd in the Northeast, 5th in the East, and 10th overall.

Top Performers: Alexei Yashin (10GP 7G 8A 15P), Pavel Bure (12GP 3G 11A 14P), Markus Naslund (10GP 9G 4A 13P), Jozef Stumpel (12GP 0G 11A 11P), Patrick Lalime (5GP 4-1-0 1SO 1.20GAA .956SV%)

Farm Report:

Make sure to vote on the poll, and check back next week for December 1998!

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