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The AFHL Stanley Cup Chase Begins

March 20th, 2017

You won’t find any true bracket-busters in this year’s AFHL Stanley Cup playoffs.

There are eight teams in the hunt for the silver chalice, and from top to bottom every club can make a case that it can skate off with the AFHL’s biggest prize.

Going into the final week of the regular season, three teams were battling for the last playoff spot. The Comox Valley X-Men clinched that spot late Sunday night finishing the season with just a few more points than Deer Park and Boston.

“It’s been quite a year” said X-Men goaltender Robin Lehner. “We feel now that finally we got in, we can start over here hopefully and try to do something.”

Players from all eight teams talked to reporters after their morning practices today discussing everything from how excited their respective fan bases are to strategies against their opponents. 

“It’s nice to see our fans happy about us being in the playoffs,” said Laval Nomads forward Patrik Laine. “I noticed signs and well wishes for our team as I drove through the neighborhood to the arena today.”

Henrik Lundqvist was back at practice today for the Manhattan Supermen feeling “pretty close to 100%” and ready to respect the Nomads’ talents, but not prepared to bend a knee to a heavily-favored opponent.

“They’re fast, they’re good, but we know we can beat them,” Lundqvist said with a confident nod, practicing fully after leaving Monday’s session early for precautionary reasons. “It’s just going to be a very tough and challenging series.”

Washington coach Rick Charron cracked a wry smile when asked about playing against his good friend Keith Cancilla in the First Round and noted his Wolfpack is not getting much credit entering Game 1 of this first-round series Monday night in Port Hope.

“I don’t think a lot of people are picking us right now, which is fine and dandy,” the Washington coach said. “We’ll just go out, and we’ll play.”

Port Hope defenseman Kris Letang said he’s been skating but not practicing yet, although he had the familiar excitement and intensity in his eyes that come with his playing at this time of year.

“Every time you don’t feel 100%, obviously you don’t know exactly when you’re gonna feel great again, but today was good, a good skate for me,” Letang said. “Hopefully with another skate I will be ready.”

Pittsburgh Heroes forward Connor McDavid is excited for his first taste of the AFHL Playoffs. At a certain point during his presser though, he didn’t want to hear about how difficult it will be to beat the Toronto Red Devils.

“We know they’re good. We don’t need to think more than that,” McDavid said. “I think it’s important we focus on ourselves and what we need to do. It doesn’t matter what other people think.”

Toronto GM Jordan Carbone believes he has a decent shot this year to be the first in AFHL history to win two Stanley Cups.

“I’m definitely motivated to be the first to win two,” said Carbone after the Red Devils morning skate. “I’d love to get another one, no doubt, and I’ll do everything I can to try to do it.”

The number one seeded San Diego Gulls feel they are better prepared this year than in previous years to win it all.

“There are a few new guys who are going to come in here for the first time and be like, ‘Wow, this is crazy, I haven’t seen anything like this before,'” San Diego GM Lucas Main said. “But we have the same core of players so I think the difference will be experience. I think you soak it in through osmosis. It’s not the kind of stuff you can write down. It’s those feelings, it’s those rising to the occasions.”

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 Live Coverage of the

2017 AFHL Trade Deadline

February 9th, 2017

It’s a new year and a new trade deadline with a live-blog that will be your guide through this hectic and crazy day. What can you expect here? You can expect to find the latest news, rumors, breaking news and some analysis too.

It’s going to be a good time, keep refreshing every hour or so, and enjoy the coverage by Pierre LeBrun, Barry Melrose, and Bob McKenzie who is at TSN’s studios for Tradecentre.

 

9:30 am Bob McKenzie: Happy Deadline Day everybody! Welcome to our AFHL Trade Deadline live chat extravaganza! Big names are on the trading block today including Washington’s Jordan Eberle and Bobby Ryan, Port Hope’s Daniel Sedin, San Diego’s Kyle Turris and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

9:45 am Barry Melrose: It’s the calm before the storm…

9:57 am Pierre LeBrun: I’m predicting 12-15 trades today with 7 of them made by Washington GM Rick Charron. Will this be the year the Phantoms finally trade Sidney Crosby? I think it’s time for them to cash in…

10:10 am Barry Melrose: All quiet so far as we get things up and rolling. EJ Hradek on his way to Panthers practice. Pierre McGuire will be texting us from Buffalo where he is on Sidney Crosby watch. Mike Milbury is in Shawinigan, where rumours are running wild. We’ve also got Jeremey Roenick on deck from London. 

10:20 am Bob McKenzie: Can’t help but wonder what kind of splash Boston GM Mike Phelan makes before the deadline tonight.

10:25 am Pierre LeBrun: Text from EJ Hradek – Panthers GM Keith Cancilla is looking to package Daniel Sedin and Rick Nash for a multi-cat stud. 

10:27 am Bob McKenzie: Some talk around Westbury’s Michael Frolik and Dustin Brown. Both very good top six forwards.

10:31 am Barry Melrose: Fort Drum GM Steve Stryska is dangling one of the top scorers in the AHL – Brendan Leipsic – 38 points in 34 games. It is believed that Fort Drum is seeking a second starting goalie today.

10:35 am Bob McKenzie: First trade of the day! Montreal trades Travis Zajac and a 2018 third round pick to Washington for Jeremy Helvig (G), Troy Terry (C), Jyrki Jokipakka (D), and a 2017 second round pick.

10:39 am Barry Melrose: Montreal GM Jeff Carpenter doing a nice job with his rebuild.

10:40 am Pierre LeBrun: Pierre Lebrun is reporting that Manhattan GM Tony Furino is dangling bluechip defenseman Ryan Pulock today. He keeps reminding GMs he scored 63 points in 67 games in the WHL.

 10:50 am Pierre LeBrun: Hearing San Diego is getting aggressive right now trying to land a star forward today to help with their run for the Cup this year.

10:59 am Bob McKenzie: There is some back and forth going on between Laval and London right now.

11:05 am Bob McKenzie: Laval and London have made a deal. Laval trades Slater Koekkeok, Cliff Pu, and a 2017 second rounder to London in exchange for Richard Panik, Ondrej Kase, and a 2019 third rounder.

11:25 am Barry Melrose: No one missing from Westbury practice this morning. GM LeDrew has been getting offers for Frolik but nothing good.

11:35 am Bob McKenzie: Lots of tire kicking right now. 

11:45 am Barry Melrose: Panthers are close to landing Ryan Pulock.

11:50 am Pierre LeBrun: Confirmed – Manhattan has just traded Ryan Pulock and a 2017 Third Round Pick to the Port Hope Panthers in exchange for Devin Shore, 2017 Second Round Pick and 2018 First Round Pick.

12:35 pm Bob McKenzie: Killers GM Stryska and Vikings GM Svoboda are discussing some trade possibilities. Svoboda wants more offense.

1:15 pm Pierre LeBrun: Text from Pierre McGuire – Boston Giants still trying to make playoffs. GM Phelan appears to be making all non-core guys available. Shopping Parenteau, Moulson, McElhinney, Gaborik, Roussel.

2:17 pm Barry Melrose: The San Diego Gulls have acquired Erik Johnson and Rocco Grimaldi from Deer Park in exchange for Mike Green and a 2018 Second Round Pick.

2:39 pm Bob McKenzie: San Diego makes another trade. London sends Tobias Rieder to San Diego for Ville Husso and Michael Mersch.

3:20 pm Barry Melrose: Cape Breton not “shopping” Johnny Gaudreau but getting lots of calls.

3:51 pm Pierre LeBrun: Sportsnet is reporting the Crunch have just traded Dmitrj Jaskin to the X-Men for Jordan Martinook.

4:00 pm Bob McKenzie: GM Furino just shot down another offer from Washington GM Rick Charron. Rick offered Brian Gionta and two 3rd round picks for Jussi Jokinen and two 2nd round picks.

4:01 pm Barry Melrose: LOLWhy would Furino accept that offer? Jokinen is better than Gionta and two second round picks are better than two third round picks LOL. Doesn’t make sense.

4:02 pm Bob McKenzie: Rick is famous for making trade offers like that.

4:07 pm Barry Melrose: Hearing there is a big trade out of Boston.

4:10 pm Barry Melrose: Boston has just traded Carl Hagelin, Curtis McElhinney, Michal Nuevirth, and Matt Moulson to the Toronto Red Devils for Tyson Barrie and Jaden Schwartz.

4:15 pm Pierre LeBrun: That’s a big trade. Nice deal for both sides. Toronto was desperate for goaltending with Halak down in the minors.

4:22 pm Bob McKenzie: Sam Gagner to Deer Park. Alan Quine, Matt Benning, and Oscar Lindberg go to Cape Breton. Nice return on Gagner.

4:29 pm Barry Melrose: Text from Jeremy Roenick – “Lots of guys holding onto their chips until the final hour”

4:31 pm Bob McKenzie: There are still a lot of big names available. I think once a superstar gets traded the floodgates will open.

4:33 pm Bob McKenzie: There’s a hold up in the Boston/Toronto deal. That trade is not yet official.

4:34 pm Bob McKenzie: I repeat the Boston/Toronto trade is not yet official. 

4:35 pm Pierre LeBrun: Yea I’m hearing that deal is not yet official. The paperwork has not been done so we are treating it as a rumor. 

4:36 pm Bob McKenzie: A very credible insider announced that trade to me. I don’t know what the hold up is. There may be some form of salary retention in that deal. And there could even potentially be other pieces involved. 

4:38 pm Barry Melrose: Lots of buzz regarding that Boston-Toronto trade. I’m hearing GM Carbone pumped the brakes at the very last second but I’m also hearing it’s pending a physical. One of the players involved might have a medical issue. Waiting for Pierre McGuire to call me back.

4:45 pm Pierre LeBrun: Text from Cape Breton GM Liam Goyetche: “Gaudreau will not be traded.”

5:59 pm Bob McKenzie: From a source in Manhattan – The Supermen have a deal in place with the Gulls. GM Furino is just mulling it over.

6:07 pm Barry Melrose: Jimmy Vesey will not be in the lineup tonight for the Nomads. I’ve just been told he has been dealt to Shawinigan. Waiting for details.

6:11 pm Barry Melrose: Nomads have traded Jimmy Vesey and a 2019 Third Round Pick to the Vikings for Shayne Gotisbehere.

6:45 pm Pierre LeBrun: Washington GM Rick Charron continues to pound the phones. He’s working on acquiring a top six forward right now.

6:59 pm Bob McKenzie: Text from GM Furino: “Talks are really starting to pick up”

7:15 pm Pierre LeBrun: Talks broke down between Toronto and Boston. Toronto just made a trade with Shawinigan instead.

7:15 pm Pierre LeBrun: Toronto has traded Jaden Schwartz to Shawinigan for Calvin Pickard and a 2017 Third Round Pick.

7:56 pm Barry Melrose: Westbury forward Michal Frolik said to be emotionally drained from this process. Probably a fair bit of frustration as well.

9:03 pm Bob McKenzie: Lots of chatter going on with less than an hour to go… You can feel the rush.

10:15 pm Pierre LeBrun: What a wild finish to another historic Trade Deadline Day in the AFHL. There were about 7 buzzer beaters in the final minute. We are wiped from a long day will try to post a recap tomorrow. Goodnight everybody!!

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2017 AFHL All-Star Game Eligible Players Announced;

Draft begins this Friday @ 8am EST

January 19th, 2017

The AFHL will showcase it’s best and brightest on Sunday, January 29th as the Canadien Conference (1-5) will try to win their second straight All Star Game against the American Conference (5-1) in the sixth annual AFHL All-Star Game.

The new format from last year’s festivities will continue this year –  A fantasy draft, conducted by all GMs from each conference, will determine the rosters for each team.

The All-Star Fantasy Draft will begin on Friday, January 20th. The 2017 AFHL All-Star Game will be played on Sunday, January 29th and it will be hosted for the first time by the Boston Giants.

The Draft Order is based on the current League Standings and the players eligible to be drafted are based on the players eligible for the NHL All-Star Game.

The top GM in each conference (All-Star Team Head Coaches) will be allowed to pick for the GMs who run out of time when they are OTC. Representing the Canadian Conference will be Laval GM Alex Chau and the American Conference will be San Diego GM Lucas Main. More rules and details will be posted on the Yuku Message Board.

 

Draft Order:

ROUND ONE

R1P1: Canadian Conference – Laval GM Alex Chau >> F

R1P2: American Conference – San Diego GM Lucas Main >> F

R1P3: Canadian Conference – Port Hope GM Keith Cancilla >> D

R1P4: American Conference – Deer Park GM Mike Nellany >> D

R1P5: Canadian Conference – Hamilton GM Adam Zadorozny >> G

R1P6: American Conference – Pittsburgh GM Jason Henley >> G

R1P7: Canadian Conference – Toronto GM Jordan Carbone >> F

R1P8: American Conference – Manhattan GM Tony Furino >> F

R1P9: Canadian Conference – Comox Valley GM Pat McKenna >> D

R1P10: American Conference – Washington GM Rick Charron >> D

R1P11: Canadian Conference – Cape Breton GM Liam Goyetche >> G

R1P12: American Conference – Boston GM Mike Phelan >> G

R1P13: Canadian Conference – Shawinigan GM Phil Svoboda >> F

R1P14: American Conference – Atlantic City GM Mike Toporek >> F

R1P15: Canadian Conference – London GM Matt Plachta >> D

R1P16: American Conference – Westbury GM Stephen LeDrew >> D

R1P17: Canadian Conference – Montreal GM Jeff Carpenter >> F

R1P18: American Conference – Buffalo GM Daryn Beckman >> F

R1P19: Canadian Conference – Moncton GM Alex Bork >> D

R1P20: American Conference – Fort Drum GM Steve Stryska >> D

ROUND 2

R2P1: Canadian Conference – Laval GM Alex Chau >> F

R2P2: American Conference – San Diego GM Lucas Main >> F

R2P3: Canadian Conference – Port Hope GM Keith Cancilla >> D

R2P4: American Conference – Deer Park GM Mike Nellany >> D

R2P5: Canadian Conference – Hamilton GM Adam Zadorozny >> F

R2P6: American Conference – Pittsburgh GM Jason Henley >> F

R2P7: Canadian Conference – Toronto GM Jordan Carbone >> D

R2P8: American Conference – Manhattan GM Tony Furino >> D

R2P9: Canadian Conference – Comox Valley GM Pat McKenna >> F

R2P10: American Conference – Washington GM Rick Charron >> F

R2P11: Canadian Conference – Cape Breton GM Liam Goyetche >> F

R2P12: American Conference – Boston GM Mike Phelan >> F

R2P13: Canadian Conference – Shawinigan GM Phil Svoboda >> F

R2P14: American Conference – Atlantic City GM Mike Toporek >> F

R2P15: Canadian Conference – London GM Matt Plachta >> I

R2P16: American Conference – Westbury GM Stephen LeDrew >> I

R2P17: Canadian Conference – Montreal GM Jeff Carpenter >> I

R2P18: American Conference – Buffalo GM Daryn Beckman >> I

R2P19: Canadian Conference – Moncton GM Alex Bork >> I

R2P20: American Conference – Fort Drum GM Steve Stryska >> I

 

 

Players Eligible to be Drafted:

FORWARDS:

Nikita Kucherov

Brad Marchand

Auston Matthews

Frans Nielsen

Kyle Okposo

Vincent Trocheck

Sidney Crosby

Taylor Hall

Evgeni Malkin

Alex Ovechkin

Wayne Simmonds

John Tavares

Patrick Kane

Patrik Laine

Nathan Mackinnon

Tyler Seguin

Vladimir Tarasenko

Jonathan Toews

Connor McDavid

Jeff Carter

Johnny Gaudreau

Bo Horvat

Ryan Kesler

Joe Pavelski

 

DEFENSEMEN:

Victor Hedman

Erik Karlsson

Shea Weber

Justin Faulk

Seth Jones

Ryan McDonagh

PK Subban

Duncan Keith

Ryan Suter

 

GOALTENDERS:

Corey Crawford

Devan Dubnyk

Sergei Bobrovsky

Braden Holtby

Carey Price

Tuukka Rask

 

 

ROSTER POSITIONS:

12 F – Forwards (any positions)

6 D – Defensemen

2 G – Goaltenders

 2 I – Injury Replacement players

 

STAT CATEGORIES:

(Same as regular season matchup)

Offense/Defense: G, A, P, Hits, PPP, SHP, GWG

Goaltending: W, GAA, SV%, SVs, SO

 

OTHER NOTES:

- Scoring will be based on the 2017 NHL All-Star Game.

- Head coaches were selected based on season standings (top team in each conference).

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Jan
05

Westbury hires new GM

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days
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Until the 2017 AFHL Trade Deadline

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Stephen LeDrew Announced as

New GM of the Westbury franchise

 

 

January 5th, 2017

The AFHL announced today that Stephen LeDrew has been named the new GM/coach of the Westbury Royals.

LeDrew has a decade of experience in fantasy hockey. In one of his leagues, he made it to the Finals six years in a row.

AFHL commissioner Anthony Furino met with LeDrew for lunch yesterday and LeDrew said he gasped when Furino asked him if he was interested in joining the league.

“I was a bit taken back,” LeDrew said in a news conference on Thursday afternoon. “I wasn’t speechless, because my first words were: ‘Absolutely, I want to do that.’ But it was a bit shocking. After that I got my game face on and we discussed details.”

Furino opted for LeDrew over other candidates because of LeDrew’s accomplishments and availability for full time duty. He has plenty of time to put into rebuilding this team.

“I hired him because I believe he will be extremely active and has good knowledge of prospects in hockey,” the commissioner said. “He also has a good personality and most importantly, he has a great GM skillset. He’s the kind of guy who won’t be pushed over.”

Although he’s a little intimidated by the fact that he is the sixth GM in Westbury’s franchise history, LeDrew believes he has inherited a well balanced team with the potential to get into the playoffs as soon as next year.

“A couple of changes need to be made but overall I think we have a young group of players and a good mix of veterans,” said LeDrew. “The focus right now will be making sure there is a good foundation in place and then moving into the right direction.”

When asked about how he thinks he will get along with the other GMs in the AFHL, LeDrew said he thinks he’ll get along just fine.

“Commissioner gave me some good advice,” LeDrew said. “He told me to just be myself and not worry about what other guys think. So I’m just going to have fun and do my thing.”

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Commissioner Lures Former GM Keith Cancilla Out of Retirement;

Winston Bambrick and Justin Walter to Co-Manage Westbury Franchise
 
press_conference_at_the_gavi_alliance_pledging_event_5828884368
 
October 26th, 2016
 
“Never in a million years.”
 
That was Keith Cancilla’s recent response about what he thought the likelihood was of him returning to the AFHL after resigning two years ago.
 
But circumstances change.
 
After the GMs of Westbury and Williams Lake (formerly Victoria) stepped down last week, it was announced today that Keith Cancilla will return to the AFHL as the new GM of the Williams Lake Timberwolves. The team will be re-named to the Port Hope Panthers.
 
panthers-logo
 
Cancilla, who took over the worst team in the league several years ago, was the mastermind who rebuilt the Montreal Xtreme franchise and led them to their first playoff berth in franchise history a couple seasons ago.
 
When the Timberwolves’ position opened following the resignation of Justin Walter, it caught his attention.
 
“There’s probably less than a handful of really enticing coaching jobs in the AFHL that I would’ve come back to, and Williams Lake was one of those,” Cancilla said.
 
Cancilla discussed the situation with his family.
 
“I said, ‘There’s still something I need to cross off my bucket list'” Cancilla said. “I worked hard for many many years to capture the AFHL Stanley Cup and I believe I have a good chance of finally doing that with this franchise.”
 
The decision was straightforward for AFHL Commissioner Anthony Furino, who quickly thought of Cancilla when GM Walter stepped down. The franchise had 15 applicants and many more expressed interest.
 
“Keith just checked all the boxes,” Furino said. “His reputation, his experience and success — he’s one of the best GMs in AFHL history. If he wins a Cup he will cement his entry into the AFHL Hall-of-Fame. He’s also a great model for the younger coaches we have in the league for the future. He is such a fine GM I have no doubt he’ll be able to come in here and hit the ground running.”
 
*
 
 
In a bizarre turn of events – just days after stepping down – GM Winston Bambrick and GM Justin Walter formally requested to return to the AFHL on Wednesday morning shortly after the hire of Keith Cancilla. 
 
“Winston and Justin will team up to co-manage the Westbury Royals franchise,” said the AFHL Commissioner. “The Westbury franchise is a very young franchise that needs extra special care to become a contender in this league. Two minds can work better than one. Both Winston and Justin are very smart and have a lot of knowledge for prospects in this league so I look forward to seeing what these guys can do together.”
 
“This is a great move for our organization,” said GM Bambrick. “With the high level of competition in this league, you can never have too much information. If we put our two minds together and combine the best information we can find we should be able to make the most informed and best decisions in the AFHL. My brother Justin will be integral to this team’s success.”
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Oct
12

2016 AFHL Awards

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2016 AFHL Awards

 

Norris Trophy

Awarded to the top defenseman who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-around ability in the position (consider offensive stats, plus/minus, and contribution to team success).

 

The nominees are…

 

 
Erik Karlsson, Toronto Red Devils

Brent Burns, Toronto Red Devils

Oliver Ekman-Larsson, San Diego Gulls

 

And the winner is…

 

Erik Karlsson, Toronto Red Devils

 

 

Calder Trophy

Awarded to the best rookie

 

The nominees are…

Shayne Gotisbehere, D, Westbury Royals

Connor McDavid, F, Pittsburgh Heroes

Matt Murray, G, Westbury Royals

Artemi Panarin, F, Pittsburgh Heroes

 

And the winner is…

 

Artemi Panarin, F, Pittsburgh Heroes

 

 

Trash Talker Trophy

Awarded to the best trash talking GM

 

The nominees are…

Toronto GM Jordan Carbone

Westbury GM Winston Bambrick

Deer Park GM Mike Nellany

Pittsburgh GM Jason Henley

Atlantic City GM Mike Toporek

 

And the winner is…

 

Atlantic City GM Mike Toporek

 

 

Vezina Trophy

Awarded to the best goaltender

 

The nominees are…

Braden Holtby, Pittsburgh Heroes

Jonathan Quick, Deer Park Chiefs

Ben Bishop, Atlantic City Sharks

 

And the winner is…

 

Jonathan Quick, Deer Park Chiefs

 

 

Laugh Out Loud Trophy

Awarded to the GM judged to be the best at making fun of anyone and/or anything. The funny GM says things that are completely unexpected and different from the norm to surprise people. Basic categories of humor include absurdity, exaggeration, mockery/ridicule, verbal humor. A funny GM is at his best when he forgets himself. He says the first thing that comes into his head and doesn’t even try to be funny. He throws himself into an unknown future and doesn’t even think about limits or boundaries. He’s relaxed and loose and bold. He’ll just go for it. He’ll go off on some crazy tangent. A funny GM lives in the moment and sometimes he just doesn’t give a fuck.

 

The nominees are…

Westbury GM Winston Bambrick

Comox Valley GM Pat McKenna 

Toronto GM Jordan Carbone

Deer Park GM Mike Nellany

Pittsburgh GM Jason Henley

 

And the winner is…

 

Comox Valley GM Pat McKenna

 

 

Hart Trophy (MVP)

Awarded to the player judged most valuable to his team in the regular season.

 

The nominees are…

Sidney Crosby, F, Buffalo Phantoms

Patrick Kane, Atlantic City Shark

Braden Holtby, G, Pittsburgh Heroes

Jonathan Quick, G, Deer Park Chiefs

 

 

And the winner is…

 

Jonathan Quick, Deer Park Chiefs

 

 

 

Jack Adams Award

Awarded to the “Best” Coach / GM of the Year.

Important skills to be considered: winning, trading, brewing rivalries, posting on message boards, being active on a regular basis, and having fun.

 

The nominees are…

Toronto GM Jordan Carbone

Victoria GM Chris Hartley

Westbury GM Winston Bambrick

Deer Park GM Mike Nellany

 

And the winner is…

 

Deer Park GM Mike Nellany

 

 

 

Stanley Cup

League Championship / Winner of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

Winner: Deer Park Chiefs

 

TONIGHT’S TROPHY TOTALS PER TEAM:

Deer Park – 4

Comox Valley – 1

Atlantic City – 1

Pittsburgh – 1

Toronto – 1

 

ALL-TIME TROPHY TOTALS PER TEAM:

Toronto Red Devils – 13

Deer Park Chiefs – 13

Pittsburgh Heroes – 11

Victoria Vipers – 9

Buffalo Phantoms – 8

Atlantic City Sharks – 7

Washington Wolfpack – 6

Lakehead Ice Holes – 6

Hamilton Firestorm – 5

San Diego Gulls – 4

London Mustangs – 2

Boston Giants – 2

Manhattan Supermen – 2

Philadelphia Crunch – 2

Montreal Xtreme -1

Oshawa City Leafs – 1

Twin City Vikings – 1

Comox Valley X-Men – 1

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Deer Park celebrates Stanley Cup

Win with Parade and Rally

April 25th, 2016

Jonathan Quick kissed and hoisted the Stanley Cup as he was introduced toward the end of the latest raucous rally honoring the Deer Park Chiefs. Then the goaltender headed toward the back of the stage. The roaring crowd wanted more and, as usual, he delivered.

“We all know this is amazing to be able to hoist this thing,” a hoarse Quick said. “But to share this with you guys, the best fans in the world — it doesn’t get any better than this.”

He thanked the crowd and added: “Maybe the only way it does get better is if we win another.”

Tens of thousands of fans turned out on a sunny, warm Monday to cheer their beloved Chiefs as they celebrated their first AFHL Stanley Cup championship with a downtown parade and a rally in Deer Park.

Forward Mats Zuccarello told the fans “you guys made this unbelievable.”

The Chiefs captured the 2016 Stanley Cup with a 6-5 victory over the Victoria Vipers. It was the first time Deer Park has won the Cup in the seven years of AFHL existence and the Chiefs haven’t stopped celebrating since.

Players, coaches and team executives rode to the rally in double-decker buses, passing screaming fans of all ages decked out in blue and black. “Let’s go Chiefs!” chants rang throughout downtown.

The crowd roared a few minutes into the rally when Chiefs GM Mike Nellany leaned in to the microphone, asked “What’s up, Deer Park?” and invited out Jonathan Quick, who walked onto the stage holding the Cup above his arms.

He had them cheering moments later, when he said: “Today as we celebrate the first Stanley Cup in seven seasons, and I wanted to reiterate that our goal will always be to reward your allegiance to the Deer Park Chiefs.”

The Chiefs let Quick speak, too. His comments were PG-rated compared to the colorful speech the usually goaltender gave at rallys in the past, although he did start this one with a word not fit for print or the airwaves.

Toward the end of the festivities, Chris Kreider and Tanner Pearson grabbed the microphone and started singing the lyrics to Macklemore’s “And We Danced.” They asked the crowd to sing and dance along with the team as confetti fell.

It was quite a celebration.

 

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Deer Park Chiefs win the

2016 AFHL Stanley Cup!!

April 12th, 2016

The Deer Park Chiefs defeated the Victoria Vipers by a final score of 6.5 – 5.5 to capture their first Stanley Cup in 7 years of competition.

There was a moment in the pause before the Stanley Cup arrived on the ice when Deer Park Chiefs Coach Mike Nellany looked up to the roaring, raucous crowd, and started applauding.

Cameras followed him, showing him on the scoreboard.

“Unbelievable,” Nellany said with his arms raised, hands clapping. “Unbelievable.”

The 22,424 standing, hugging, cheering, selfie-taking, blue-clad and relieved fans applauded back at their coach, loudly. Nellany smiled and pumped his fists.

“I was just trying to absorb every moment, and I’m still trying to do it,” Nellany said on the ice, long after he lifted the Stanley Cup for the first time in seven seasons. “It doesn’t feel real. Even in the dying minutes, I can’t really remember anything that happened to be honest with you. It was a dream, start to finish.

“This is pretty awesome.”

This year’s Stanley Cup Finals was a thrilling affair with little separating the two teams. It came down to a Game 7 as the Chiefs and Vipers combined for one of the most tightly-contested championship series the AFHL’s seen in a long time.

Perhaps that’s why it took a special performance from a special player to decide it.

Jonathan Quick, the Conn Smythe winner as playoff MVP, was outstanding during the entire playoffs. In the Finals, he stopped 68 shots and posted a 2.27 GAA.

“It was by far our hardest series,” Quick said. “You saw how close the games were every time. A few nights obviously could have gone both ways, especially the final game it was so intense.”

It appeared that nobody who entered the building with a coveted and expensive ticket on Sunday sat down for the final 5:14.

There was no more tension, not with a lead. There was only a celebration with chants of “We want the Cup”.

The fans sang along, “You gotta fight, for your right, to party” as the D.J. played the Beastie Boys’ classic. The shots were 32-19 in favor of the Chiefs at this time. The score was 6.5 – 5.5. Masterful.

“Everybody was standing up,” forward Brad Marchand said. “What a moment.”

They were hugging each other, holding each other arm in arm.

Finally, once the clock bled down to 10 seconds, the countdown was on. Nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one … The DJ played “Chelsea Dagger”. Bedlam. Insanity.

Fans sitting in the last row below the press box were high-fiving the Chiefs commentators. They were standing on seats. They were taking pictures of the ice, of themselves, of the crowd, the scoreboard, of anything.

They went bonkers when Jonathan Quick was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy. The party was on.

“I don’t think there’s going to be much sleeping tonight,” Marchand said.

In the middle of the sea of people on the ice, players with family members, credentialed media with cameras and microphones and recorders and notebooks, Chiefs GM Mike Nellany found Mats Zuccarello, the best of Deer Park’s second-generation core, and embraced him.

“I gave a hug and I said, ‘This is the first of many, we’re going to win a lot together,'” Nellany said. “He gave me a big hug and said, ‘Let’s go.’

“I don’t think he would want to leave after this scene here.”

Nobody did. Nobody wanted to miss a moment.

“Incredible,” Zuccarello said. “Incredible.”

Deer Park is one of the AFHL’s “Original Seven” franchises (along with Toronto, Manhattan, Fort Drum, Boston, Buffalo, Oshawa City) and this is the first time they have won the AFHL Stanley Cup.

Next up for the Chiefs is their victory parade in Deer Park next week. Stay tuned.

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Fans Around the World Prepare for AFHL Playoff Festivities

March 21st, 2016

During the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs, fans around the world are preparing to participate in several activities to kick off the postseason.

Beard-A-Thon®

Teams are encouraging their fans to participate in one of hockey’s most visible traditions – the playoff beard. The AFHL Beard-a-thon® is an opportunity for fans to grow their own beard while raising money for charity.

Fans may elect to grow a beard themselves or make a financial donation in support of a player or a fan who has elected to grow a playoff beard.

Confirmed beard-growers include Manhattan coach Tony Furino, Deer Park goaltender Jonathan Quick, Victoria forward Alex Ovechkin, Toronto defenseman Brent Burns, Atlantic City forward Patrick Kane, and Hamilton forward Steven Stamkos.

Download the official app to enroll in the 2016 AFHL Beard-a-thon®. The app allows growers and supporters to sign up, create a profile, post beard picture updates, view their donation leaderboard and promote their cause on social media. All donations for the AFHL Beard-A-Thon are tax deductible.

A prize will be awarded each round for the leader, and the overall leader will receive a team signed jersey.

Official Team Viewing Parties

Fans are encouraged to attend their favorite team’s viewing parties during each game of the playoffs. Go to your team’s website to find out official locations. Most parties are expected to offer fans opportunities to win autographed prizes.

School Playoff Pep Rallies

Teams such as the Atlantic City Sharks will host pep rallies at local schools during each round of the playoffs while school is in session. Principals, teachers and students are encouraged to get their schools involved by making signs, posters and videos to show their team spirit.

Students in Atlantic City will have the opportunity to play in a street hockey scrimmage, participate in an accuracy shot station, take a photo with mascot Sharky, engage in goalie shootout with their teacher and take part in a stickhandling station. All participants will leave the Pep Rally with a Sharks playoff T-shirt.

Rock the Team Color

Fans attending lives games during the playoffs have been encouraged to wear the color of their favorite team to the game.

The Toronto Red Devils have asked their fans participate in “Rock the Red” where every home game the arena will fill up with fans wearing the color red. Alternatively, the San Diego Gulls will ask their fans to participate in a “Whiteout” during one of their playoff games in the opening round versus the Vipers.

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The Deadline has passed.

 

 Live Coverage of the 2016 AFHL Trade Deadline

February 11th, 2016

It’s a new year and a new trade deadline with a live-blog that will be your guide through this hectic and crazy day. What can you expect here? You can expect to find the latest news, rumors, breaking news and some analysis too.

It’s going to be a good time, keep refreshing every hour or so, and enjoy the coverage by Pierre LeBrun, Barry Melrose, and Bob McKenzie who is at TSN’s studios for Tradecentre.

 

8:30 am Bob McKenzie: Hey everybody! Welcome to our AFHL Trade Deadline live chat extravaganza!

8:45 am Barry Melrose: Greetings all from the War Room :) Should be a fun day.

8:50 am Pierre LeBrun: Hey everyone!! Drinking a beer this year instead of the usual coffee haha. Ready to go here in the War Room!

8:52 am Bob McKenzie: What will happen today? Lots of star players are expected to have new homes by the end of today including Westbury’s Filip Forsberg, Victoria’s Carey Price, Hamilton’s Henrik Sedin and recently announced Toronto’s Steven Stamkos!!

9:00 am Barry Melrose: Well here we go boys – First trade of the day is made by Comox Valley GM Pat McKenna and Westbury GM Winston Bambrick… Comox deals Noah Hanifin and Haydn Fleury for Elvis Merzlikins, Anton Forsberg, Reto Berra, Oskar Dansk, and Joonas Korpisalo.

9:15 am Pierre LeBrun: Winston is at it again!! Trades Filip Forsberg, Shea Theodore, Brad Richards, Kasperi Kapanen, and a 2017 first rounder to San Diego for Johnny Gaudreau and Brandon Pirri!!

9:20 am Bob McKenzie: That guy Winston has the itchiest trigger finger I have ever seen in my 7 years of covering this league.

9:35 am Barry Melrose: Spoke with a couple of GMs this morning. They say it’s been pretty quiet but it’s still early.

9:44 am Barry Melrose: Text from Fort Drum GM Steve Stryska: “I’m not rushing to make moves.”

9:52 am Pierre LeBrun: Former Washington GM Rick Charron just called into our studios and chatted with us for a while. He said Deadline Day was his favorite day of the year. Sounded like he really misses the league.

9:44 am Barry Melrose: Who wouldn’t? Like Winston said yesterday – this is the best league out there. Best format. You get a Stanley Cup trophy if you win.

9:59 am Bob McKenzie: London GM Matt Plachta just told me he’s fielding multiple offers from teams trying to make that playoff push as well as some rebuilding teams trying to get younger.

10:00 am Barry Melrose: Source is telling me Manhattan is ‘pretty close’ to a trade.

10:12 am Pierre LeBrun: Text from Vikings GM Phil Svoboda: “Lots of potential movers in Shawinigan… in talks for mackinnon, loungo, malkin, ryan, phanueuf, wennberg, teravainen… could be a busy day!!!!

10:20 am Bob McKenzie: There’s a rumor that London is listening to offers for their 2016 first round pick – expected to be a top 3 pick.

10:21 am Barry Melrose: We have Hamilton GM Adam Zadorozny on the phone right now. He says by the end of the day today, we will see where Hamilton stands going into the playoffs. With several quality, yet aging vets, it might be time to start a rebuild, or go all in for the playoffs. It will all depend on what is available on the trade front.

10:45 am Bob McKenzie: Third trade of the day has been made. Zack Smith goes from Cape Breton to Hamilton in exchange for goaltender Ben Scrivens.

10:49 am Pierre LeBrun: Small trade for Cape Breton GM Liam Goyetche. He told me earlier he has been taking calls on certain players but the offers are not what he is looking for right now. Expecting it to heat up as we get closer to the deadline.

11:59 am Barry Melrose: The Mustangs and Vikings just hooked up for a pretty big trade. Teravainen and Wennberg to London for Thomas Hertl and a 2016 third round pick.

12:35 pm Pierre LeBrun: We have Pittsburgh GM Jason Henley on the line and he’s telling us the Heroes are doing their best to kick start a playoff run for next season. Henley is looking to deal all his current veterans for draft picks and all third tier prospects for new veterans.

12:40 pm Barry Melrose: Sources are telling me Toronto has just traded Stamkos.

12:45 pm Bob McKenzie: Stamkos’ agent: ‘A misunderstanding took place. Stamkos is still a Red Devil and I don’t know anything about any done deals involving him’

1:26 pm Barry Melrose: Text from Vikings forward Evgeni Malkin: “I’m thinking about the Vikings. Not trade talks.”

1:30 pm Pierre LeBrun: Victoria GM Chris Hartley will be calling in shortly to discuss this year’s deadline and the status of his team.

1:31 pm Bob McKenzie: Should be interesting to see what he does today. Not long ago he took a leave of absence to clear his mind – needed a break from the league. That guy is one of the best we have ever seen at wheeling and dealing. Several years of experience in this league so he knows how to handle a day like today.

1:40 pm Pierre LeBrun: Victoria GM Hartley: “I’m happy with where our team is at. We’re as prepared to trade as we are to stay put. We have a great group of guys that we have full confidence in.”

1:42 pm Pierre LeBrun: He added that he wants to be the first to win two Stanley Cups in the AFHL and he hopes to accomplish that this year. He is uncertain about his future with the Vipers franchise after this year but he has vowed not to change his tactics and will continue to do what is best for the franchise long-term.

1:47 pm Barry Melrose: Westbury just traded Johnny Gaudreau, Torey Krug, and a 2016 first round pick to Cape Breton for Max Domi, Rasmus Ristolainen, and Aaron Ekblad.

2:43 pm Pierre LeBrun: I’m hearing Hamilton and Manhattan just agreed to a trade.

2:43 pm Pierre LeBrun: Confirmed. Manhattan trades goaltender Chad Johnson to Hamilton for a 2016 Second Round Pick and a 2017 Third Round Pick.

3:05 pm Barry Melrose: Manhattan with another trade. Deals forward Joakim Nordstrom to Montreal for defenseman Kevin Miller.

3:30 pm Bob McKenzie: Teravainen and Sam Reinhart go from London to Westbury in exchange for Max Domi and a 2016 first round pick.

3:50 pm Pierre LeBrun: A deal has been made between Fort Drum and Toronto – Thomas Greiss to the Red Devils… Martin Hanzal and Jordan Subban to the Killers.

6:22 pm Barry Melrose: Slowed down a bit over the last couple of hours. Just spoke to Pierre McGuire and he said don’t be surprised if there’s not much activity until the final hour at this point. Every year it slows down like this and then there’s a huge rush in the final hour.

8:06 pm Bob McKenzie: Talks are starting to heat up again…

8:07 pm Barry Melrose: Yeah and I just heard from Pittsburgh GM Jason Henley that prices are high for draft picks. He said he hopes they come down in the offseason or he’ll have to roster a bunch of guys of shaving age haha.

9:01 pm Bob McKenzie: Blockbusters are in the works right now.

9:10 pm Bob McKenzie: Close source telling me Stamkos has finally been traded.

9:11 pm Bob McKenzie: Confirmed. Toronto trades Stamkos and Bozak to Hamilton for Pekka Rinne, Leo Komarov, and Melkker Karlsson.

9:15 pm Barry Melrose: The X-Men have just acquired Nathan MacKinnon from the Vikings in exchange for Jake Allen.

9:17 pm Pierre LeBrun: Feel the rush!!!

9:20 pm Pierre LeBrun: Hamilton trades Claude Giroux to the Vikings for Roberto Luongo, Cam Atkinson, and a 1st round pick.

10:19 pm Barry Melrose: Sorry for the delay everybody. In the final half hour our phones and computers blew up with all of the activity and we were unable to report the final trades. Too many trades to report.

10:21 pm Bob McKenzie: It was by far the most action-packed final hour the AFHL has ever seen. We have never seen so many trades come down to the wire. There must have been at least 5 trades in the final minute including a blockbuster between the Vipers and Vikings. We will try to recap the missing trades tomorrow morning. Goodnight all!!

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The Amazing Fantasy Hockey League (AFHL) is a lifetime keeper fantasy hockey league that consists of 20 franchised teams, of which 10 are located in Canada, and 10 are located in the United States. The AFHL is in no way shape or form affiliated with the NHL or the NHLPA and all teams logos and players names are their property.