FHM Ottawa Senators Historical Challenge, Offseason-October 1998: New Faces
The Sens make some new additions.
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 off the 1998-1999 season!
You voted to make Byron Dafoe an Ottawa Senator, and so we shall.
Dafoe is a sight for sore eyes on a now Tugnutt-less team.
He will act as a nice placeholder until such time as Patrick Lalime is fully developed.
The 1998 NHL Entry Draft yielded only D Dimitri Kalinin and G Jason LaBarbera, having only a second and a third round pick. Not gamebreakers by any means, but guys who could be valuable depth pieces.
Got some big extensions done too.
And continue to build our stacked blue line through free agency.
We also picked up another solid depth piece in Jason Blake.
Just in time for the new season, our superstar centre Alexei Yashin has completed his nearly seven-month recovery from a ruptured disc.
Here’s how the depth chart looks to open the new season. Let’s get this baby underway.
We’re being looked at by the league as a dark horse contender.
Doesn’t look like it to open the season, but the defending champs on the road is always a tough test. Jeff Friesen and Daniel Alfredsson had the goals.
The next night had a better result in store, with Patrick Lalime earning us our first win of the new season. Friesen scored again, along with markers from Miroslav Šatan and Eric Weinrich, before Bret Hedican scored a powerplay goal with ONE SECOND LEFT to down the Phoenix Coyotes.
The 1998-1999 home opener saw us beat up on the expansion team. Dafoe earned his first win as a Senator, Pavel Bure had a two goals and two assists, while Alexei Yashin got back on the board, along with Alfredsson and Jozef Stumpel to beat the Nashville Predators by a final score of 5-1.
Dafoe didn’t have a strong follow-up game, and it resulted in a 7-4 loss to the Montreal Canadiens, despite hevaily outshooting them. Yashin scored twice, and so did Dan Boyle, with the first being a milestone marker, obviously.
The next night saw us back at home, battling the St. Louis Blues to a 4-4 tie, despite dominating the SOG totals once again. Bure scored another two, while Yashin and Robert Lang also chipped in.
We finally got the good fortune we deserved, in a 4-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. Yashin, Weinrich, Alfredsson, and Magnus Arvedsson combined for the goals.
We weren’t able to keep it going, though, falling 6-4 to the red-hot Philadelphia Flyers. Šatan scored twice, along with Lang and Yashin, but it wasn’t enough to get the win.
And the month ends on a somewhat sour note. Despite dominating the Canadiens once again, we fell 3-2 in overtime. Markus Naslund and Wade Redden each tallied their first of the season.
All told, the month actually went pretty well. The result wasn’t flattering, but we lost a few games that we deserved to win, and I have no doubt a breakthrough is coming.
That said, question time:
At least one of these fine young players needs to spend more time in the AHL, purely because of roster space issues. While Thornton is younger his potential is much higher, this is around the time he broke out at the NHL level.
But, have it out in the comments, and I’ll leave it up to you.
Who goes down?
At the end of October, the Sens are 3-4-1, with seven points, and sitting 4th in the Northeast division, 11th in the East, and 18th overall.
Top Performers: Alexei Yashin (8GP 6G 6A 12P), Pavel Bure (8GP 4G 6A 10P), Robert Land (8GP 2G 6A 8P), Markus Naslund (6GP 1G 4A 5P)
We’ll hold off on other categories for now. It’s early.
Make sure you vote on the poll, and check back next week for the November 1998 edition!