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2018 Playoffs Preview

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AFHL Teams & Cities Preparing for Playoff Pandemonium

March 12th, 2018

The AFHL regular season ended last night and immediately the eight qualifying teams, hockey fans, business owners, and police began preparing for the playoff season.
Sports stores all around the United States and Canada started preparing for a rush of customers by ordering double the teams merchandise than usual.

“There’s a whole new batch of merchandise, everything from jerseys to tattoos to face paint and streamers, and stuff like this,” said Kelly Hodgson, manager of a Modell’s sporting goods store.

Nearby the San Diego Gulls home ice arena, fans are planning to watch the games in bars and restaurants on a street where celebrations turned chaotic last year after winning the AFHL Stanley Cup.

Pittsburgh police are also busy preparing for celebrations, and said it will cost between $50,000 and $60,000 per night to patrol the streets. After losing Game 7 in the Finals last year, they know what to expect.

“Experience is a good teacher, and we definitely know where we have to prepare and what we have to look at and those plans have been underway for some time,” Pittsburgh Deputy EPS Chief Brian Simpson said.

Most police squads won’t say exactly where their extra resources will be deployed, but they’re reminding fans they will be cracking down on public drinking and jaywalking during the playoffs.

Several years ago after the Buffalo Phantoms lost to the Hamilton Firestorm in the Finals, more than $4 million was spent on police resources and 900 people were arrested in the streets of Buffalo.

This time around, police are bringing in crowd control experts from the United Kingdom for insight on how to handle these situations.

Meanwhile, some of those not quite lucky enough to get a ticket to a playoff game at their team’s home ice arena will be watching the games from their local bars such as The Irish Tavern in Washington right next to the Wolfpack’s arena – where managers plan to bring in a DJ and extra staff on game nights.

Work is still underway in much of Atlantic City surrounding the Sharks arena – and the Sharks are working to find a way to engage with fans outside the arena.

“Obviously, like everything else in this industry, we’re very superstitious about jumping too far ahead until it’s locked down, but after the celebration from our playoff birth a couple weeks ago our whole organization is busy in meetings around the city today just finalizing plans,” Stew MacDonald with the Sharks Entertainment Group said.

Tickets for home playoff games mostly spoken for

At this point, all eight qualifying teams are guaranteed at least two playoff games at home this week, and the teams say tickets will be hard to get, as the majority have already been spoken for by season ticket holders.

Those season ticket holders were given the first chance to reserve playoff tickets, and it’s an opportunity most took.

“I can tell you the percentage is the highest we’ve ever seen, well over 90 percent,” a Laval Nomads spokesman said.

Some teams’ season ticket holders also have the option of entering a draw to buy more tickets next week – and whatever is left will go on sale the following day.

Manhattan officials say their number of tickets available at this point will be in the hundreds, not thousands, and they’re expected to be sold “within minutes”.

However, on game days, teams are expected to release more tickets and alert fans through email – services thousands of people have signed up for.

The Supermen wouldn’t say what tickets will cost; only confirming the price will be comparable to what season ticket holders are paying. Round 1 ranges from an average of $125 per seat in the upper bowl, to about $213 per seat in the lower bowl, plus more than $300 for club seats.

In addition, tickets will not be issued in a hard copy – only digital. Supermen officials said they decided to go digital to avoid ticket fraud.

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 Live Coverage of the

2018 AFHL Trade Deadline

February 6th, 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.


9:00 am Bob McKenzie: Happy Deadline Day everybody! Welcome to our AFHL Trade Deadline live chat extravaganza! 

9:15 am Barry Melrose: And so it begins… wonder which teams will be the first to make some noise… We’re ready.

9:29 am Pierre LeBrun: The day of AFHL reckoning is upon us. Tonight at 9pm EST, teams will have made their final moves in either their run for a shot at Lord Stanley’s Cup or in their admission that 2018 just won’t be their year. 

9:35 am Barry Melrose: No trades so far but rumors are flying.

9:40 am Bob McKenzie: Quiet overnight in Cape Breton specific to captain, Johnny Gaudreau. Teams have called with interest, but Crunch GM Liam Goyetche says nothing in the works.

9:58 am Pierre LeBrun: Heard there was a trade made late last night between Montreal and Washington. Yanni Gourde to the Wolfpack but it’s still not official. Anyone know what the hold up is?

10:00 am Barry Melrose: I thought maybe a problem with the paperwork but now I’m hearing it’s under review.

10:20 am Bob McKenzie: Fort Drum defenseman Jake Muzzin was just pulled off the ice during Killers morning skate. Wonder if he just got traded…

10:34 am Bob McKenzie: Update – Muzzin was not traded. He took a puck to the foot. He’s back on the ice.

10:40 am Pierre LeBrun: There’s been some rumblings that San Diego is looking to acquire Ryan Miller from Manhattan because John Gibson keeps getting hurt. But according to Pierre McGuire, it’s quiet on that front right now.

10:51 am Barry Melrose: Text from London GM Matt Plachta: “A lot of interest in Kale Clague and Nikolai Goldobin. They aren’t on the block but there are some offers that are making us think.”

10:52 am Barry Melrose: Plachta adds: “Looking towards next year. Willing to take on injured players from playoffs teams that just want healthy guys in lineup.”

10:59 am Bob McKenzie: Goldobin is an interesting player. He started out in the AHL this year on a tear with 12 points in 10 games. He has shown flashes of offensive skill but he’s still a young player learning to play the game.

11:02 am Pierre LeBrun: There’s a rumor out there saying Sidney Crosby wants to be traded. Since being drafted by the Buffalo Phantoms first overall in the AFHL Inaugural Draft eight years ago, he still has not won an AFHL Stanley Cup. Made it to the Finals several years ago but never won.

11:03 am Pierre LeBrun: Spoke to Buffalo GM Daryn Beckman about that rumor this morning. He said he would have to be blown away by an offer for Crosby.

11:09 am Barry Melrose: Beckman should really consider trading Crosby. He can get a nice haul for him.

11:13 am Pierre LeBrun: I agree. A Crosby trade would improve that team tremendously.

11:18 am Bob McKenzie: I’m hearing Atlantic City is in talks to acquire a superstar from the Canadian Conference. Nothing concrete yet but talks have intensified. 

11:20 am Barry Melrose: A little after 11am and still no trades today. Who will be the first domino to fall?

11:23 am Pierre LeBrun: Apparently a lot of GMs are holding onto their trade chips waiting to see if Toronto starts the rebuild. Lots of delicious players on that team including Nicklas Backstrom and Erik Karlsson.

11:34 am Bob McKenzie: The Red Devils are the most interesting team. Will they blow it up? Will they deal Backstrom? Karlsson? Carter?

12:30 pm Pierre LeBrun: First trade of the day. Hamilton trades Nick Foligno and Cal Clutterbuck to San Diego for JT Miller and Jean-Gabriel Pageau.

12:45 pm Barry Melrose: Nick Foligno on TSN right now. Sounds half asleep. Says he’s excited for a change of scenery.

12:53 pm Bob McKenzie: Twitter rumor says Ryan Suter was just removed from Firestorm practice. 

12:59 pm Barry Melrose: Speaking of practice. Business as usual at the Westbury Royals practice today. GM Stephen LeDrew had a brief media scrum and said there has been some mild interest in Patrik Berglund and Andrew Cogliano.

1:08 pm Pierre LeBrun: Port Hope Panthers rebuild is underway. After trading away Carey Price and Artemi Panarin last week, he is now looking to trade Evander Kane, Justin Schultz, and Derrick Brassard.

1:10 pm Bob McKenzie: Ryan Suter did in fact leave the Firestorm practice. The reason? A skate issue.

1:42 pm Barry Melrose: Lots of trades are brewing right now.

1:43 pm Bob McKenzie: Hearing Manhattan is working on not one, not two, but THREE blockbusters.

1:50 pm Bob McKenzie: Deer Park GM Mike Nellany says he’s still thinking “big picture” at the deadline.

1:57 pm Bob McKenzie: Source telling me Manhattan GM Tony Furino can’t pull the trigger on any of three blockbusters being discussed until he has commitments from all teams involved. Maybe too many moving parts to get it done.

2:01 pm Pierre LeBrun: TSN reporting the Washington/Montreal trade was just approved. Yanni Gourde is on the move to the Wolfpack. 

2:04 pm Barry Melrose: Pittsburgh GM Jason Henley said he’s going to have Washington GM Rick Charron handle his negotiations from now on. “How’d he get Gourde for a sack of dongs like that anyway?”

2:25 pm Bob McKenzie: Am told over 10 teams have inquired on Gaudreau in Cape Breton. 

2:32 pm Pierre LeBrun: Laval Nomads are listening to offers for Panik, Devan Dubnyk, Kadri, Dadonov, and Frolik.

2:43 pm Barry Melrose: Ondrej Pavelec to Montreal. Waiting for details…

2:47 pm Barry Melrose: Westbury trades Ondrej Pavelec and a 2019 Third Round Pick to Montreal for 2018 Second Round Pick.

3:13 pm Bob McKenzie: Text from Boston GM Mike Phelan: “It’s slow right now.”

3:15  Pierre LeBrun: Yeah, over the years we have seen it get slow around this time mid-day and then it picks up around dinner time. 

4:24 pm Barry Melrose: Moncton GM Alex Bork is annoyed by the low ball offers he keeps getting for Corey Crawford. He’s not looking to trade Crawford.

4:30 pm Bob McKenzie: I’m hearing a few trades were just made in the last several minutes that includes Johnny Gaudreau going to Atlantic City. 

4:32 pm Bob McKenzie: Fort Drum has traded Jake Muzzin to Pittsburgh for a couple goaltending prospects.

4:34 pm Bob McKenzie: Shea Weber is on his way to London along with Jason Spezza. Hamilton gets back Tomas Hertl, Nikolai Goldobin, Vitaly Abramov and a 2018 first rounder.

4:36 pm Bob McKenzie: Montreal has traded their 2018 second round pick for Andrew Cogliano and Hamilton’s 2018 second round pick.

4:45 pm  Pierre LeBrun: Twitter is blowing up over a potential Gaudreau trade. 

5:10 pm Barry Melrose: Gaudreau trade details: Cape Breton trades Johnny Gaudreau to Atlantic City for Anthony Duclair, Charles Hudon, Nick Bonino, 2018 First Round Pick, and 2020 Second Round Pick.

5:21 pm Bob McKenzie: Everyone is up in arms about that one. I’m hearing it’s currently under Trade Review.

5:38 pm Barry Melrose: Now joining us live via phone call in the TSN studios is Port Hope GM Keith Cancilla. Thanks for joining us, Keith. I know you don’t have much time but you are one of the current members of the AFHL Trade Review Committee. Very quickly, can you tell us what are your thoughts about this trade?

Voice of Port Hope Panthers GM Keith Cancilla

5:40 pm Barry Melrose: Alright thank you, Keith. We’ll know soon if this trade goes through.

6:30 pm  Pierre LeBrun: The Gaudreau trade was vetoed.

7:15 pm  Pierre LeBrun: Port Hope has just traded Brandon Dubinsky to Pittsburgh for a 2018 Second Round Pick.

7:49 pm Bob McKenzie: It’s the calm before the storm. Almost one hour til the deadline…

8:12 pm Barry Melrose: Talks starting to pick up with less than one hour to go!!

8:33 pm  Pierre LeBrun: Lots of chatter right now. You can feel the rush.

8:43 pm Bob McKenzie: Just hung up with a GM who commented on how busy it is now. He said, “I’m talking to 7, 8, 9 GMs at once. Madness. Absolutely insanity.”

8:44 pm Barry Melrose: Port Hope sends Evander Kane to San Diego for Tuevo Teravainen and Adam Fox.

9:00 pm Bob McKenzie: Flurry of deals to be announced in the final moments…

9:09 pm Barry Melrose: Too many trades to announce too late at night. See Fantrax for the last minute deals. 

9:11 pm  Pierre LeBrun: Busy day. Maybe not for fans expecting lots of trade action but chasing ghosts all day is hard work! Goodnight everybody!


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2017 AFHL Awards

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2017 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…


Victor Hedman, Comox Valley Hitmen

Brent Burns, Toronto Red Devils

Erik Karlsson, Toronto Red Devils


And the winner is…


Erik Karlsson, Toronto Red Devils



Calder Trophy

Awarded to the best rookie


The nominees are…

Auston Matthews, F, Boston Giants

Patrik Laine, F, Laval Nomads

Zach Werenski, D, Hamilton Firestorm


And the winner is…


Auston Matthews, F, Boston Giants



Trash Talker Trophy

Awarded to the best trash talking GM


The nominees are…

Deer Park GM Mike Nellany

Pittsburgh GM Jason Henley

Atlantic City GM Mike Toporek


And the winner is…


Pittsburgh GM Jason Henley



Vezina Trophy

Awarded to the best goaltender


The nominees are…

Braden Holtby, Pittsburgh Heroes

Sergei obrovsky, Boston Giants

Carey Price, Port Hope Panthers


And the winner is…


Braden Holtby, Pittsburgh Heroes



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…

Comox Valley GM Pat McKenna

Deer Park GM Mike Nellany

Pittsburgh GM Jason Henley


And the winner is…


Pittsburgh GM Jason Henley



Hart Trophy (MVP)

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


The nominees are…

Nicklas Backstrom, F, Toronto Red Devils

Connor McDavid, F, Pittsburgh Heroes

Nikita Kucherov, F, San Diego Gulls

Sergei Bobrovsky, G, Boston Giants



And the winner is…


Connor McDavid, F, Pittsburgh Heroes




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…

Laval Nomads GM Alex Chau

Pittsburgh Heroes GM Jason Henley

San Diego Gulls GM Lucas Main


And the winner is…


San Diego Gulls GM Lucas Main




Stanley Cup

League Championship / Winner of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

Winner: San Diego Gulls



Pittsburgh – 4

San Diego – 2

Toronto – 1

Boston – 1



Pittsburgh Heroes – 15

Toronto Red Devils – 14

Deer Park Chiefs – 13

Port Hope Panthers – 9

Buffalo Phantoms – 8

Atlantic City Sharks – 7

San Diego Gulls – 6

Washington Wolfpack – 6

Lakehead Ice Holes – 6

Hamilton Firestorm – 5

Boston Giants – 3

London Mustangs – 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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Jon Litterine Hired as New GM of Atlantic City

sharks logo

July 18th, 2017

The Atlantic City Sharks have been tagged with the label of last year’s biggest underachievers, so when it came time to find a new coach and GM, the AFHL Commissioner wanted to hire a proven winner.

So it should come as no surprise the Commish tapped Jon Litterine as the team’s new bench boss.

“We are very, very pleased to have a guy who fits in this league for now and into the future,” Commissioner Anthony Furino said at a press conference Tuesday morning in Atlantic City. “He understands the expectations, he welcomes the expectations.”

Litterine replaces Mike Toporek as new coach and GM of the Sharks. Furino met with Litterine several weeks ago, shortly before the start of the Entry Draft.

“This is a very special opportunity,” Litterine said. “There are only 20 of these positions in the world and I feel very fortunate to be involved with one of the top organizations in the Amazing Fantasy Hockey League.”

Litterine takes over a team that is loaded with star power, including forwards Patrick Kane and Phil Kessel, defenseman John Klingberg, and goaltender Ben Bishop.

Litterine said his job is to get the most out of the talent.

“It’s my job as a coach to push this team, push them hard, push them outside of their comfort zone,” Litterine said. “But while I’m doing that, (it’s my job) to make sure they’re enjoying the process.”

After making it to the playoffs for seven straight years, the Sharks were considered one of the top Stanley Cup contenders going into last season, but they failed to make the playoffs.

Litterine said it’s natural for a team to stumble a little bit before making a breakthrough.

“I use the analogy of a marathon. A lot of people try to run it the first time and don’t quite make it. You have to go back and start again,” he said. “Without running Mile 1, Mile 13 and Mile 20, you never get to Mile 26.”

The AFHL Commissioner said participation level was a big factor in his decision to let go of former GM Toporek.

“The participation level is probably the biggest thing I look at,” said Furino. “Aside from participation, I also saw an underachieving team and a season get away from them.”

“Obviously, I try and support every GM in this league all the way up until the last second,” said Furino. “This was based more on a gut feeling that there was a different direction we could go with someone new who is committed to participating much more, someone who would post comments on the message board more often, and someone that could poke and prod and get a young core to meet their potential.”

Now Litterine is in charge and he’s committed to a high participation level just as much as he’s committed to getting the Sharks on the winning track.

“I’ve been writing for Rotowire since 2005 and playing fantasy hockey for over 20 years so I guess you can say I know players and I know how to get the most out of them,” Litterine said at the press conference.

Litterine plans no major changes right away, but expects a high battle level in training camp. He believes the Sharks have the talent to be a championship team, “but the buy-in has to be immediate.”

“Because of my love for all levels of hockey, including juniors, I’ve had great success in working with young and talented guys and getting them to play,” Litterine said. “I think there’s potential with a lot of guys to be top players here.”

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Over 300,000 People Attend

San Diego Gulls Stanley Cup Parade


April 20th, 2017

Tens of thousands of blue-and-orange clad San Diego Gulls fans lined the streets of downtown San Diego this past Friday to cheer their team’s first Stanley Cup win. The team won the AFHL championship last Sunday, defeating the Pittsburgh Heroes via tiebreaker in an overtime nailbiter.

Players shaved off their beards, boarded a double decker buses and hoisted the gleaming 35-pound Stanley Cup for the screaming and elated fans who lined the streets near their home ice arena to see them.

Blue and orange confetti rained on fans and the team as the Stanley Cup was held up by Gulls players. 

“It’s huge,” said Gulls fan Jennifer Rogers, 33, of San Diego, before the start of the parade. “We won the Stanley Cup! We’ve finally arrived on the sports scene.”

San Diego Police Department officials declined to estimate the number of spectators but Jeff Moeller, a spokesman for the San Diego Gulls, said they estimated that as many as 300,000 people attended the parade and about 18,000 people attended the rally afterwards at their home ice arena.

Signs held up along the route displayed San Diego’s passion and gratitude for the team. “Gutted X-Men. Killed Supermen. Heroes Fall,” read one. Fans began to line the parade route hours before the start and cheered with all their might as their heroes passed. Some admitted to calling in sick or leaving work early to celebrate with their team.

“I’m on vacation to watch this,” said Eduardo Renteria, 15, of Lincoln, Nebraska. “I was born in this city and I love this team.”

Dave Carpenter, 40, of Santa Clarita, held his daughter on his shoulders as the parade got underway. He said he’s been a fan since the late since Lucas Main took over the franchise, when it was a bottom five team in the league.

“I love everything about them — their resilience.” Carpenter said of the team. “They have an ability to come back no matter what. … What they’ve accomplished in the last three years is simply amazing.”

The parade was held along several streets in San Diego. A heavy police presence could be seen around their home ice arena.

Despite the intense mid-day heat, Pam Noonan, 50, of Bell Canyon was thrilled to attend the victory parade with a large group of family and friends.

Noonan said they had watched Sunday night’s “very dramatic” game — the longest in the team’s history — on television with “bated breath” until the perfect, winning goal by Drake Caggiula was scored.

“Hopefully, they’ll do it again next year,” Noonan said. “They’ve got a great coach, a great team. Couldn’t ask for anything better but we’d love if they did more.”

Noonan’s nephew Chris Kuchinka, 19, of Moorpark, was standing next to her in the crowd cheering “Go Gulls Go!” at the top of his lungs.

Kuchinka, “a huge fan” of Gulls’ goalie John Gibson who wore a T-shirt that bore the player’s name, is a goalie himself for the Van Nuys-based California Condors, a special needs ice hockey team.

“This is an awesome experience,” Kuchinka said.

Clean-shaven team members said this time’s Stanley Cup win proved to be an uphill, yet satisfying challenge.

“It’s emotional, it was an exhaustive ride for us to come on top,” said Gulls forward Claude Giroux.

Goalie John Gibson had a brief answer for what he liked most about winning the Stanley Cup.

“Celebrating. The People,” he said.

San Diego Police Department spokeswoman Rosario Herrera said no problems or arrests had been reported.

“The crowd was spirited, well-behaved,” said Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey. “We’re aware of no significant injuries or illnesses among the large crowd.”

The celebrations concluded inside San Diego home ice arena with a rally for fans.

GM Lucas Main was among those riding on a bus with the Gulls players. His speech almost outshined the grand parade, when he dropped the “F” bomb.

“There are two rules in management,” Main said gleefully, with a bottle of beer in his hand. “Never be pictured with a drink in your hand, and never swear but this is a big fucking day!!!”

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San Diego Wins the 2017 AFHL Stanley Cup


April 10th, 2017

While the San Diego Gulls beelined across the ice to mob their goaltender at the buzzer, hockey analyst Pierre McGuire ran up to Gulls coach Lucas Main and asked him how it felt to be the AFHL’s best.

“This is an incredible feeling, it’s hard to really put it into words,” said Lucas, his eyes moist with emotion. “It’s a special moment right now. We’re so deserving of what has happened here. This is not a fluke. This is something we earned.”

The hero was trade deadline acquisition Drake Caggiula who scored the GWG to tie the game 5-5. The Gulls then defeated the Pittsburgh Heroes via tiebreaker (best record) to win their first Stanley Cup in AFHL history.

“Credit must go to Lucas,” Caggiula said after he slapped in the winning goal to help the Gulls capture the Stanley Cup in a thrilling Game 7 on Sunday Night. “He made critical transactions throughout the season and kept us on course despite the criticism and the adversity, and there’s no denying that he made all the right moves to shape this Cup-winning roster.”

Gulls defenseman Drew Doughty might have best encapsulated what it meant for this team that rebuilt itself through trades and drafts to emerge as AFHL Champion.

“There’s no other feeling like it. It’s what you have work for every day,” said Doughty. “To raise that over my head is the best thing that ever happened. The guys start from day one in training camp. We create that bond. We’re with each other so much throughout the day, and in the week. We’re a hard-working group, guys that you love. It wasn’t easy. We won some matchups which appeared to look easy, but it wasn’t. All those teams gave us a great battle.”

Winning is addictive.

“I’ve already won one, and now I want to know another one,” Doughty said smiling.

Drake Caggiula’s game winning goal sent the San Diego home ice crowd into a frenzy that lasted until Claude Giroux hoisted the Cup and paraded it around the ice. Giroux handed off to goaltender John Gibson who posted a sparkling 2.22 GAA this year.

“I got to compete for that silver thing. That means a lot,” said an emotional Gibson. “We battled so much stuff over the years… we’re a great team and we started to play to our capabilities.”

Then it went to Ryan Kesler who almost dropped it.

“It’s really heavy,” Kesler said of the Cup, “but I managed to pull through. It’s special because it’s a great group of guys. We’ve had our struggles. We were down at the bottom… It’s hard to believe.”

Eventually it went Nikita Kucherov, who passed it to Gulls GM Lucas Main.

“It’s great,” said Kucherov. “It’s what we work all our life for. It’s unbelievable.”

Pittsburgh Heroes coach Jason Henley took the high road following the game.

“Tonight is about San Diego and letting them celebrate,” said Henley. “Obviously we’re devastated as a team. We worked all year to get to this point. To fall short like this is a tough one to take… but we’re a good team, and we’ll be back.”


The San Diego Gulls are set to celebrate their first AFHL Stanley Cup with a parade through the streets of San Diego on Friday, which will begin at 11:30 a.m. local time at Balboa Park.

The parade route will start in front of Balboa Park and proceed southwest until taking a right onto Main Street and ending at the Union Street intersection, where a stage will be set up for the players and coaches to make comments and address the crowd.

The city of San Diego is focused on safety for the event:

“In the interest of safety, the parade route will be restricted to designated parade participants only. Members of the media (with the exception of the single designated photographers and videographers) and members of the public will not be permitted inside the parade route.”

Television coverage of the event will be provided by WPXI beginning at 12 p.m. EST and running through the entire event. You can also stream the parade live on the Gulls’ website.

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2017 AFHL Stanley Cup Finals

Best Quotes from Media Day

April 3rd, 2017

Friends become foes when the puck drops on the Stanley Cup finals between the Pittsburgh Heroes and San Diego Gulls, Monday at 7 p.m. EST.

Monday was the annual media day on the eve of the finals. Management, coaches and players spewed comments about respecting their opponents and how much they value their contributions to the game of hockey.

Blah, blah blah.

When Game 1 gets under way, all those flowery comments go out the window because hockey’s ultimate goal is at stake. Over the next week, the Heroes and Gulls will battle, claw and chew their way for the opportunity to hoist the Stanley Cup in victory.

Here are some of the most interesting quotes from media day:

There’s so much love for the Heroes’ Marian Hossa. The veteran forward has returned to the Stanley Cup finals for the second time in 8 seasons during his AFHL career. His first trip was with the Buffalo Phantoms and resulted in a loss. This second trip is something most thought would never happen again because of his laid-back attitude and stage of his career. Many believe Hossa is still one of the best players in the world; he has been outstanding for the majority of the season and his teammates are feeding off his energy and production (maybe it’s the beard). But Hossa is ready to do whatever it takes to accomplish hockey’s greatest goal.

“Here we go,” he said. “Let’s do this. It was [worth the wait]. It would have been nice back in 2010, but you definitely appreciate it now this late in your career. You realize how hard you’ve got to work to get to this point and I’m happy to be here.”

During his career, there has been this stigma that he didn’t care enough about the game. That’s not the case and here’s why:

“If you know me, it doesn’t affect me,” he said. “I know I’m a great player. I know we’ve had some great teams, [they] just didn’t mix. It does take 30+ guys and that’s just the reality of it. I know this year’s team, one, two, three guys isn’t going to make us get here and to win it. So, it takes all 30+ guys and I realize that.”


The Gulls’ Dustin Brown has won a Stanley Cup before. He was young at the time but understands this opportunity doesn’t come around too often and when it does, you must seize it with your very best effort without leaving anything in the gas tank.

“It’s easy to be proud of yourself for doing what we’ve done, but we can’t afford to sit back, pat ourselves on the back and take a breath,” he said. “We’ve got a long summer ahead of you after this series, and you’re on the doorstep, and this is what we’ve worked our whole lives for and it’s an opportunity you can’t let slip by without putting your very best hockey out there. You can’t always control the result, but if each guy is worried about bringing his individual best game, we’re in good shape. But it’s one of those things you can’t just stop and take a look around because it’s gone in an instant, and the series is over. You’ve got to bring your best from the beginning of it, stay focused on your job and bring your best game.”

Gulls defenseman Drew Doughty on what it’s going to take to stop the Heroes’ Connor McDavid: “McDavid does everything well. In the first two rounds, put all their top players together and that would be McDavid. It’s going to be a lot harder but a lot more fun.”

Gulls forward Drake Caggiula doesn’t say much, but when you ask him about playing on the same team as McDavid, safe to say you’ll get an honest answer.

“I’m fortunate to have grown up playing with one of the best players in the world,” Caggiula said. “It’s fun to see him in practice and that’s something people may not think about. He’s a real grinder, always out there trying to get better. He skates extremely hard in practice. He’s a real competitor.”

No matter which Gulls player you asked about No. 97, work ethic was a major topic of discussion.

“That’s the reason he is the best player, just the way he grinds,” Doughty added. “Every shift, every practice. He’s got the hands and hockey sense not many players have. The reason he is where he is right now is because of how he grinds every day and probably all summer as well.”

Heroes’ captain Connor McDavid didn’t shy away from the questions about the leadership core and all the changes, ebbs and flows during recent seasons. Now, that the team is ready for the Stanley Cup finals, everything has fallen into place nicely for the Heroes. They are only one win shy of hoisting the Cup, but the captain is quick to slow things down.

“There’s a lot left to accomplish,” he said. “Especially for the guys who were here during the rebuilding years, you never want to have to go through something like that to get to where you are now, but that’s what this team has done. You don’t stop. Just stay with it. There are some guys who had a chance to stay together and, whether it was going to happen or not, stuck together and stayed with it and the team this year has really come together and played well, so we’re here now, so we’ll try to stay focused here for the next week.”

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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:


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


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:


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



Victor Hedman

Erik Karlsson

Shea Weber

Justin Faulk

Seth Jones

Ryan McDonagh

PK Subban

Duncan Keith

Ryan Suter



Corey Crawford

Devan Dubnyk

Sergei Bobrovsky

Braden Holtby

Carey Price

Tuukka Rask




12 F – Forwards (any positions)

6 D – Defensemen

2 G – Goaltenders

 2 I – Injury Replacement players



(Same as regular season matchup)

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

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



– 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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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.