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Biggest Surprise Starts to AFHL Season

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Biggest surprise starts to the 2013-14 AFHL season

 

November 5th, 2013

We’re a month into the 2013-14 AFHL season. There have been plenty of big stories so far so let’s take a look at the three most shocking starts this year.

The biggest surprise is the Montreal Xtreme, but in all honesty it really wasn’t far out from happening. After successfully completing a three year rebuild by making some big splashes via trade in this past summer, Montreal has exploded to a 33-9-6 start this season which is the third best record in the league.

“When I took over three years ago, this was the absolute worst team in the league,” Montreal GM Keith Cancilla told a reporter after practice on Monday. “We were the league doormats. But I made a plan to rebuild this franchise and turn it into a powerhouse. I knew it wouldn’t happen over night so I had to be patient. Slowly but surely I executed my plan of mostly stockpiling draft picks and developing prospects. Then I cashed in my chips this past summer with some big trades for proven talent and now look at where we are.”

The excellent play of Montreal’s newly acquired superstars has made the difference. Players such as Bobby Ryan, Corey Perry,  Brad Richards, and Daniel Alfredsson have led the way on offense. In goal, Roberto Luongo has been playing lights out. By all means, on paper, this team is much stronger than the one that almost got into the playoffs last year.

“Being one of the more skilled and enjoyable teams to watch, I look forward to seeing the Xtreme making a strong playoff push,” said AFHL Commissioner Tony Furino. “I believe I witnessed a truly amazing and successful rebuild so now I’m very excited to see how Montreal ends this season. One thing is for sure, Keith Cancilla is the early favorite for this year’s Jack Adams.”

Another shocker this season is the Twin City Vikings. With the star power the Vikings have such as Kessel, Kane, MacKinnon, Yakupov, and Holtby, they should not be 16th in the standings with a 12-28-8 record.

Apparently, there was a “Fire Phil Svoboda” chant from their disgruntled crowd in the final minute of their 7-3 loss to Boston on Sunday night.

“It’s way to early in the season to hit panic button,” Vikings GM Phil Svoboda said on Tuesday morning. “The fact that we have a very young team with several rookies in the lineup has to be taken into consideration. We’ve got world class talent, we’ll adjust soon enough.”

Possibly the biggest surprise this season is the Washington Wolfpack boasting a 30-7-11 record which is good for second best in the league standings.

“The offense is on fire for Rick Charron’s squad,” said Hamilton GM Gates Imbeau. “Gotta give credit when credit is due. Charron is a guy who’s constantly beating on his craft, trying to improve his team every day. He’s always making roster moves, signing free agents, trading players. He’s constantly improving his team.”

Strong starts don’t dictate everything in a full AFHL season, but if the players can consistently perform at their best with a healthy Tukkaa Rask in net, then Charron and the Wolfpack could be making a return to the playoffs sooner than everyone thought.

 

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QUICK HITS: 

Montreal GM Keith Cancilla has recently been rumored to be starting a rivalry with Toronto GM Jordan Carbone. Apparently, Carbone has wanted several of Cancilla’s recent acquisitions.

Pittsburgh Heroes forward Patrick Dwyer is currently leading the league in “Press Clips to Points Ratio” with a dominating 74/1.

The Toronto Red Devils are currently leading the league in goals scored with 79 and in points with 190.

Gulls forward Jamie Benn has purchased a mansion right on the beach in San Diego and plans on playing his entire career for the Gulls.

Although the London Mustangs have gotten off to a slow start this year, there are still some bright spots. Mustangs forward Frans Nielsen is playing at a torrid pace right now. London GM Matt Plachta said he’s been impressed with the play of Nielsen as well as Vrbata and Shattenkirk. Plachta also said if the team doesn’t turn things around soon then he may look to make some trades.

Buffalo Phantoms forward Sidney Crosby currently leads the league in scoring with 23 points. Toronto Red Devils forward Steven Stamkos trails him by three points with 20.

The teams who are still undefeated are: the Lakehead Ice Holes, the Toronto Red Devils, and the Montreal Xtreme.

The teams who are still winless are: the Fort Drum Killers, the Philadelphia Crunch, the San Diego Gulls, and the Pittsburgh Heroes.

Categories : afhl

4 Comments

1

Philly and I play each other this week so hopefully I can pull out a dub.

Great work as usual Tony

2
Washington GM Rick Charron
November 5th, 2013 at 5:22 pm

excellent read Tony! this year is gonna be very competitive…Rask for vezina!

3
Toronto GM Jordan Carbone
November 7th, 2013 at 1:40 pm

Agree with rick.. on Rask for the vezina, it’s wont be competitive this year though, I’m taking it all this year boys.
Karlsson.. no Subban… no Pietrangelo for the norris… doesn’t matter they’re all on my team!

4
Comox Valley GM Pat McKenna
November 18th, 2013 at 12:33 am

Nice Article Tony. Well done. I think this year is off to a great start for 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.