Archive for October 2011

Want a team? Apply within



In a quest to see activity in the WCHL increase, the league has released General Managers from the Florida Panthers and the Vancouver Canucks Tuesday evening, bring the total number of teams vacant to five.


“We want to see the league be as vibrant as possible,” said WCHL Commissioner Trent Allen. “It’s no fun for anyone if GM’s don’t participate and contribute to the league.”


Wanting what he called a “family atmosphere,” Allen stated he hopes to see positive thinking and enthusiastic GM’s manning the phone lines for these teams in the near future.


“We want people in place who aren’t just hockey fans, but fans of making the league better as well,” stated Allen. “We want GM’s who are ready to bring positive ideas and a positive attitude to the league. We will leave these teams open until that happens, and I don’t care how long that takes.”


Currently, the Canucks and Panthers are joined by the Anaheim Ducks, Washington Capitals and Columbus Blue Jackets as open teams, awaiting a new GM. Allen stated he has one GM lined up who would like to join in the off-season, and has said he will also take over a team at some point. That still leaves three teams which will need to be filled.


If anyone interested in applying to be a GM in the WCHL, or if anyone has someone to recommend as a possible GM candidate, they are asked to contact Commissioner Trent Allen at



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Western Conference risers

While in the Eastern Conference little looks like it will change on the playoff lanscape this season -albeit the Philadelphia Flyers are sitting outside the post-season at the moment- all is not quiet on the Western front.

The battle lines were drawn long ago and with just one-third of the regular season to go, four of the eight teams in the West currently in the playoff picture weren't there last year.

The Edmonton Oilers, St. Louis Blues, Chicago Blackhawks and Phoenix Coyotes all find themselves ready for the playoff berth one year after hitting the golf courses earlier than most teams.

"We've just kicked @$$ this season," said Oilers General Manager Keith Foster. The Oilers not only are in the playoff picture, but sit seemingly locked into home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs with a record of 35-17-4. "I expected big things, but not this big I'll admit."

While offense has been largely scoring by committee, and only forward jason Pominville seems likely to reach the 30 goal plateau, the Oilers have been stingy on defense, backed by MVP candidate Tomas Vokoun. In 53 games this season, Vokoun has been 34-14-2 with a .903 save percentage and a 2.42 goals againast average.

"Vokoun rocks," said Pominville. "I'm going to rename my first born after him in the off-season."

Maybe not as secure as the Oilers, the Blues also find themselves ready to post-season action for the first time in a while. A recent 1-7-2 skid has put a damper on those ambitions, but the Blues are still well in control of their own destiny.

"We need to be better no question," said Blues GM Jesse Funkster. "But we're excited with where we are at too."

If you thought the Oilers offense was a scoring by committee function, the Blues take it one step further. Sporting a line up with several former Oilers no less, only one player, Ales Hemsky, figures to reach 20 goals this season and no one looks likely to break the 60 point barrier. Netminder Niklas Backstrom, the long-time Philly Flyer, has been red-lights out this season, posting a .909 save percentage and a 2.43 goals against average. Backstrom is tied for the league lead for best save percentage with Colorado Avalanche's Ilya Bryzgalov.

"We need to score some goals here and help out Backy," said forward Ryan Smyth. "If we could score like Ron Jeremy, we'd be 82-0 this year."

For the Blackhawks, they are currently in the most enviable situation of the Blues, Blackhawks and Coyotes. Chicago has only played 50 games this year, well below some other teams and seven fewer than St. Louis, giving them plenty of room for error. Chicago's winning percentage of .590 is actually sixth best in the conference and if they get hot, could reach as high as fifth in the West.

"Honestly, I thought we'd suck like a Hoover vaccuum, or worse, like Jenna Jamieson," said Blackhawks GM Will Englesby. "Apparently one hooker per goal is a great motivational technique."

Comparing himself to the great Sam Pollack, Englesby stated he expects the tgeam to grow further as the season progresses.

"Hey, if I can squeeze 18 goals so far out of that plug Evgeni Artyukin, I can do anything," proclaimed Englesby.

While these three teams are a bit of a shock to be in the playoffs, the biggest shock of all has to be the Phoenix Coyotes. Fresh off the heels of drafting first overall in the 2009 WCHL Entry Draft, the Coyotes have used a mixture of muscle, mojo and magic to get themselves into a playoff berth at the moment.

"I don't know what happened actually," admitted GM Phin Liew. "I kind of went to bathroom before game one and got locked in there. I only got out three days ago, so obviously this is a great surprise to me."

Holding a used toliet paper roll which he had nicknamed 'Wilson,' Liew proclaimed his Coyotes would not fade down the stretch.

"Never," cried Liew, wrapping himself toga-style in a Coyotes flag. "If Alexander Frolov and Marc Savard ever extract their heads from their collective @$$e$, we'd be great."

These four teams are in at the expense of the Anaheim Ducks, Dallas Stars and Vancouver Cancuks, teams which have been contenders for years. Dallas managed to get within one game of another WCHL Cup finals appearance last year, but currently sits six points back of Phoenix for eighth. Anaheim, just like last year, is bouncing between eighth and ninth in the standings. The team hoping to repeat last years finish as well, when they were one of the hottest teams down the stretch before finally getting knocked out in the second round of the playoffs by Dallas.

The real shocker is Vancouver, who have been brutal this season after years in the playoff picture. Saddled with an 11-41-2 record, the Canucks have had almost everything possible go wrong for them this year, and sit 13 points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Minnesota Wild for worst record in the league.

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