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Story Lines Around the AFHL :: The Amazing Fantasy Hockey League

Story Lines Around the AFHL


Story Lines Around the AFHL

Cody Hodgson (above)  of the Comox Valley Hitmen is poised to prove his worth after a strong first half of the season.

February 6th, 2012

Buyers to separate themselves from sellers

The All-Star game is behind us, the trade deadline is less than a month away — Midnight EST Feb. 28 — and GMs are making decisions on whether to buy or sell and deciding which players can make the biggest difference or hold the greatest value. Several GMs would say that the AFHL’s trade deadline is a great way to spark new life into their clubs. Some of the league’s brightest stars have been part of blockbuster deadline deals in the last two years.

Rick Charron, GM of the Washington Power, is still looking for help on offense (who’s not?) leading up to the trade deadline. Hockey analyst Darren Pang reports injured forward Martin Havlat and veteran defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom are being used as trade bait but there is nothing imminent though as there are currently a lot more buyers than sellers with so many teams still in the playoff race.

The Oshawa City Leafs could be sellers at the deadline and veteran forward Shane Doan has said he would like to remain a Leaf but admits his future with the club seems uncertain. GM Earl McNeill has stated he would entertain offers for any of his players with the exception of budding superstar John Tavares.

The Comox Valley Hitmen will most likely deal one of their seven AFHL caliber defensemen by or before the trade deadline for a skilled winger to compliment rising star Cody Hodgson on offense. Comox Valley GM Pat McKenna has said Dennis Wideman is the likeliest  candidate to bemoved.

Hodgson joining the Calder Trophy race?

Comox Valley’s Cody Hodgson was named the league’s best rookie in the month of January after capping off a six-goal, 10-point campaign by scoring a goal in Week 16’s  7-4 win against the Goldsboro Rebels. Hodgson’s 14 goals on the season rank him two goals behind London MustangsMatt Read among rookie goal-scoring leaders, while his 30 points (in 50 games) rank fourth. One of 12 first-year players invited to participate in the All-Star SuperSkills Competition, he played in the shot accuracy contest.

Hodgson recently spoke to theafhl.com about how his game has developed this season.

“I think it’s a big benefactor of the way the team’s been playing,” Hodgson said.  “We’re winning games and pretty successful as a team, so the individual stuff comes as a result of that.”

Biggest win of the year

Winners of three in a row with only two losses of the 16 matchups played this season, the surging Lakehead Thunderwolves beat the first place North Bay Warriors last week to continue their impressive fight for a top spot in the scorched-earth battleground that is the Playoffs.

“It could be a reminder that we can beat any team in this league,” star forward Steven Stamkos said.

It could be and it makes for a dramatic surge in a league that is constantly shuffling its standings.

Deer Park’s depth leads to consistent winning

There’s so much to like about the Deer Park Chiefs. The very charismatic and often hilarious GM, Mike Nellany, beefed up the team with a ton of depth players and it has paid off nicely when the Chiefs are without their star players due to injury. Tyler Ennis and Alex Tanguay were on the shelf for large portion of the season but the depth on offense allowed the Chiefs to continue hovering around the top of the standings. Mike Smith’s emergence  along with Henrik Lundqvist’s career season means the Chiefs have a legitimate shot at winning it all this year. Scott Hartnell has been outstanding and Erik Cole has found another gear.

“They’re shooting the puck in the net for sure,” GM Nellany said of Cole and Hartnell. “We have a real good 1-2-3 punch as far as offensive guys on three lines now. Hartnell has had the reputation for being more of a matchup guy who made it hard on you, but now he’s scoring. That’s just the growth of a good player.”

Furino’s Blood Boiling Again

Frustration has mounted in Manhattan, New York, where five speakers held court in front of several hundred displeased, sign-carrying fans outside the home ice arena of the Manhattan Supermen on Friday afternoon. The protest, while assembled “not of anger, but of love for this team,” according to one, also contained acute grievances about the direction of the club under GM Tony Furino.

After the conclusion of last week’s 10-1 drubbing at the hands of the Victoria Vipers, GM Furino released a statement to try and relieve some of the frustration that has been heaped upon a fraught fanbase.

“Right now, I have to tell you, it’s a very emotional time and we’re not going to make any comments on what we plan to do at the trade deadline,” said Furino who looked very upset after the loss to Victoria. “But we launched a rebuild in December 2010 and knew this could be a lost season. We ask our passionate fans to continue being patient with a team that is soon to be bursting with a young core of talent sprinkled with the right mix of veterans.”

Categories : afhl


  1. Hamilton GM Gates Imbeau says:

    Great stuff as always Tony. Awesome headlines this week.

  2. London GM Matt Plachta says:

    Another great article. Time to put my goons …er “trainers” on this whole Hodgson issue,

  3. Detroit GM Kurt Ritchie says:

    very nice article.

  4. Lakehead GM Jason Briggs says:

    Well done Tony!

  5. Washington GM Rick Charron says:

    good writing tony…yes those 2 are available as a couple more guys…lookimng forward to the deadline…should be intense

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