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Join date : 2008-09-13

PostSubject: WEEK 25 (FINAL)   Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:40 am

A longtime favorite of GM Collard, Alexander Ovechkin celebrates his team's hard-earned 2016-17 FHL championship, the Wild Ducks truly a dynasty having hoisted the FHL Cup a record eight times during their storied 24-year stay in the league.

It wasn't long ago that fans of the Wild Ducks were calling for GM Collard's head, the Ducks tagged with the moniker "Mild Ducks" after finishing next to last; the team narrowly escaping the Laughing Bag.

Three years later, order has been restored.

The Wild Ducks are once again the best team in the league, catching and passing the Ice Hogs in the final month of the season - the Ducks finishing with 1245.1 points; 25.6 points clear of the second place Hogs.

The blueprint for winning the FHL Cup was drawn on draft day. With the first overall pick the Wild Ducks selected Erik Karlsson. No one questioned the pick as Karlsson had a number of FHL Cups in his well-stocked trophy room. The 26-year-old defenseman would again prove to be the key to success, Karlsson, remarkably, having now won the Cup four consecutive years.

While Karlsson was no doubt the catalyst, Sergei Bobrovsky was arguably the team's MVP, the oft-injured netminder enjoying a healthy, 41 win season - the late 3rd round draft pick providing the Ducks with consistent points throughout the year.

Personnel-wise, the year was typical for Collard as he acquired, waived, and traded players like no other GM in the league. Of the 16 players Collard drafted in late September, only 5 were wearing a Wild Ducks jersey at the conclusion of the season.

Collard has never been reluctant to trade - and unlike most, if not all GM's - he isn't afraid the trade players when they are hot.

In Week 11 Collard traded the then on-fire Shea Weber, securing the services of Alexander Ovechkin. The cornerstone of many a Wild Ducks team, Ovechkin would prove to be a consistent producer while Weber, although good, would never reach the same heights. It's a trade not many GM's would have made.

Dumpster diving would also prove important as Collard found a lot of points in the FHL trash. The discarded Brian Elliott was one such find, the then-struggling goaltender providing vital points down the stretch - including a span in which Elliott won 11 consecutive games.

In the end, Collard and his Ducks were successful for reasons they were successful in the past: for not resting on the team that was drafted; for not being afraid to shuffle (and reshuffle) the deck; for being active throughout the year; for taking chances.

For finishing in first place the Wild Ducks will receive $500.00. Combined with the $100.00 earned for winning the H2H title, GM Collard departs the season with $600.00, and of course, the coveted championship trophy, the FHL Cup.

The Bout for the Money
On top of the league for much of the season, the Ice Hogs were forced to settle for second place; the two-time champion closing the season with $325.00. The five-time champion Bluliners finished in 3rd place. For his team's performance, GM Hamilton will receive $175.00.

The Scrap for the Laughing Bag
The Silicon Valley Slashers were the least successful team of 2016-17, the final week of the season - a near-record low 13.0 points - ultimately tagging GM Murphy with the Laughing Bag.

H2H Championship Match
Wild Ducks: 40.0
Ice Cats: 33.5
The Ice Cats were given every opportunity to win the H2H title (and it's $100.00 prize) as the Wild Ducks were banged-up, limping to the finish line with only 40.0 points. It wasn't to be as the Cats struggled down the stretch, GM Cutshall assigned $60.00 for finishing as the H2H runner-up.

H2H Consolation Match
Central Red Army: 56.5
Misconducts: 36.5
Unable to secure Top 3 money, the Central Red  Army commandeered some FHL loot, GM Buker earning $40.00 for winning the H2H consolation match. It will be a long summer for GM Smalley. In February, the Misconducts were in first place. They also had the best H2H regular season record. It all added up to naught as the veteran franchise failed to win a penny during the 2016-17 campaign.

LINK: Final Standings
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