Season 9 - February 15, 2008 to June 25, 2008
Early in Season 9, James announced he was leaving the league. Yes, James, as in 'The James'. The guy who started this league. The reason the league is called TJHL. The James Hockey League. With him stepping down because of baby & work related reasons. I, Jon, will be taking over. Not so much taking over, as much I am going to keep James' seat warm. I opted not to change the name of the league to The Jon Hockey League and my new term started like that.
I stepped down my post on the Board of Directors and Paul from Weston was voted in.
The big news this year was the beating Saskatoon gave the rest of the league. Saskatoon led the league in goals with 336 and allowed a league record low 42. That's an average of 42 8-1 games. Saskatoon also crushed the previous S2 Winnipeg Jets winning streak record of 19 and ended at 34. Javier Ross set a new league record in points by 18. Crushing the old mark set by Korey Nicol set two seasons ago. Aside from Saskatoon, North Bay got a new GM, David, and the record shows the immediate impact. Before the GM, North Bay was on cruise control and was 8-8. After David took over, the Devildogs lost one game and tied once. The rest of the games were wins. Other huge stories were the Toronto mid season emergence after a couple of blockbuster trades, and the playoff race that went down to the wire between Etobicoke and London. Toronto, after being average for most of the season, made huge trades to acquire Scott Hatin, Latrell Courchesne, Levi Giradot, and other goodies from Weston and Pembroke. Etobicoke, after starting the season 0-13, hired a new head coach and went .500 the rest of the season. However, in the end, London pulled out on top. By doing so, Rich made the playoffs for the first time in his GM career.
Playoffs were pretty much a no brainer. At least in the Caribou division. The Beaver division was a different story. Both Parry Sound and North Bay were swept in the first rounds. Yes. Shocking indeed. This marked the first time since S2 that neither Parry Sound or North Bay was in the Conference Finals. Toronto and London both made the 2nd round for the first time in their history.
Saskatoon swept Moose Jaw in 4. Pembroke and Mount Pearl battled to game 7. For the 3rd consecutive year. Pembroke pulled it off in game 7.
In the conference finals, Toronto and London battled really hard. In the end Toronto held the edge in checks, and puck possession to win the series 4-2. Saskatoon swept Pembroke 4-0, and started the playoffs 8-0. The second team to do that since, well... Saskatoon in S4.
In the Maple Cup Finals, Saskatoon swept Toronto. Toronto ended up trying different line combinations towards the end as the end result was evident. This marks the first time in league history a team has been perfect in the playoffs, going 12-0.
Coupled with their 34 game winning streak to end the regular season, the Specters went on a 46 game winning streak.
Javier Ross went on to win MVP, Kaden Salgado won his first MVG award, Marvin Thorsteinson won the MVD, Edgar Cajanek was the MVR, and Chaim Sipotz was the MVP of the Playoffs.
Jon (That's me...) won his third GM of the Year award. I don't feel I deserve the award this year so much as Jason from Etobicoke, Sean from Toronto, David in North Bay, and Rich in London. All are equally deserving, and none of their teams would be where they are now if it wasn't for their GMing.
Next season brings us two new expansion teams. The Stroud Lions and Montreal GoodFellas. Our first expansion since S4. We're keeping James extremely busy, (if he wasn't already so busy with his mini-James), with updates to the UHS interface. Can't wait...
Season 10 - June 25, 2008 to November 14, 2008
The season started with a bang as after rerates the league had 169 marquee players and goaltenders. The biggest off season move, was the Kaden Salgado trade from North Bay to Toronto. After winning MVG in S9, the move shocked many GMs. Especially, former North Bay GM and league founder (The) James who first acquired Kaden Salgado before the S4 draft.
Aside from that trade, Saskatoon traded many of their excess marquees, North Bay and Pembroke were regular dance partners, and Winnipeg acquired more marquee players. The quietest trade this off season was the Halifax trade to acquire Louis MacDougall. Without a doubt. No one took notice of the trade until the regular season when Halifax, with help from Louis MacDougall, became a powerhouse.
With 169 marquees, the Board of Directors passed a proposal to introduce Superstar players. Superstar players are players with 85% of a players possible maximum skill. 85 for skaters and 68 for goaltenders. After the proposal was passed, the league discovered they had 9 Superstar players (7 skaters and 2 goaltenders). Saskatoon had 4 and Parry Sound had 2. Toronto, Weston and Moose Jaw split the remaining 3.
The main story, however, was the complete domination of Saskatoon. After posting a 39-2-1 record in S9, the Specters continued where they left off going 48-0-2 in the regular season. It was carnage. The other main story, as mentioned before, was the re-emergence of Halifax as a powerhouse. They were the only team to earn a point off the overpowered Saskatoon team. (Mount Pearl was the other team to earn a point, but Saskatoon was trying to lose that game.) Halifax's Radek Gaul made 60 saves on 61 shots and showed the rest of the league what it took to partially stop the Specters.
In the Beaver division, Parry Sound, under the guidance of new GM Lisa, returned the team to the top of the division. North Bay came in second after GM David acquired many new faces, and shuffled lines throughout the season to find the right combinations. Etobicoke made the playoffs for the first time since S4 and London claimed the 4th seed. Toronto missed the playoffs despite finishing the season over .500. S11 will be really tough for these five teams as one of them will be on the outside looking in.
The Playoffs were predictable. At least in the first round. All the higher seeds won their first round matchups. Parry Sound met North Bay in the second round to renew their rivalry. Saskatoon met Halifax in their second round matchup. The first time these two teams met in the playoffs since S3. North Bay upset Parry Sound by sweeping them in 4, and Saskatoon did what was expected of them and swept Halifax.
In the Maple Cup Finals, the matchup of Saskatoon and North Bay was the first time two teams that had gone 8-0 in the first two rounds met each other. This was also the first meeting of these two teams since S5 when North Bay swept Saskatoon to win the Maple Cup. This time around, Saskatoon had revenge on their mind, and swept North Bay going 12-0 in the playoffs and winning the Maple Cup for the second year in a row. The first team to repeat championships.
Javier Ross, who recorded 108 points to be the first player to record over 100 points in a season, won his third straight MVP. Dakota Racicot, rookie goaltender of North Bay, won the MVG. I still feel Racicot doesn't deserve the honour as Radek Gaul did more to make Halifax the team they are now. Especially since North Bay won the division in S9. But that's how the league voted. Clark Lachance of Saskatoon won both MVD and MVR, being the first player to do that since Gilbert Foster did it back in S2. Clark Lachance toppled the rookie points record and defenseman points record to earn the honours. Javier Ross was also named the MVP of the Playoffs. Manny of Halifax, won the GM of the Year award. After missing the playoffs in S9, Manny didn't only just make the playoffs, he helped make his team the second best in the regular as they recorded the second most points after Saskatoon.
Can't wait till S11.
Season 11 - November 14, 2008 to ???
Season 21 - March 21 2013 - Jon decided to step away from Commissioner duties for the time being so I (James) stepped in to help out. That poor bastard was too busy running the league, working, meeting his then-to-be fiance and now-wife to update this. It's been TEN seasons since this was last updated and around FIVE YEARS. The TJHL has been going on nearly NINE YEARS (as of November) and we are embarking on our TWENTY-FIRST season. There has been a lot of ups and downs but the continued dedication by Jon, the Board of Directors and all of our General Managers have made this league something truly remarkable. While Jon is still the owner, I thought I'd pop in here and put in an update.
We had to, unfortunately, bid adieu to Sean Burke again due to inactivity... life keeps throwing him wrenches... but we'll always be his best buds for whenever he decides it's time to return.
We said hello to Keith Evans who will join the league as the GM for Moose Jaw.
Nick had stepped in previously as a Commissioner so had vacated his BoD spot and since I was stepping in as an Acting COM, my BoD spot was vacated as well. Term 4 was scheduled to finish around June 2013 so there was going to be a bit of time between now and then... I figured we should definitely fill those two BoD spots up right quick. Nick, Bobby, and Connor were our candidates. Nick was voted into the first vacant BoD spot and Bobby edged out Connor by a mere two points for the second vacant BoD spot.