You ever ride one of those rollercoaster that go up and down and up and down and then up again? Yep, only to come back down. Welcome to the Seattle Bears franchise currently. When taking over the reigns from an amazingly inactive and slow moving Mike 7 or so years back, Bears GM Blake Campbell knew tough stakes were at hand. He had the talent and the commitment of the guys, so he ran for it. Unfortunately, due to the overly high competition in the North American conference (and potentially some inexperience in the role as each league differs - especially VHL), the Bears couldn't find the success to make playoffs. Thus, players started falling off the roster like 10 cent cans of Tuna at Wal-Mart. Enter rebuild #1.
After a season of shit, then mediocrity, the team was ready to go for a second round at the holy grail. During their first season of real competition, the won the regular season but fell short in the second round to New York due to a bunch of reasons (maybe the Holik curse??). The following year, they found strength but were hit hard by a lot of bull shit when one of their players had a mental break down and decided to fuck over the team and retired from the league. That season, the Bears shit the bed in playoffs once again to the Americans (fucking curse, @Beketov ) and it was pretty much inevitable that what they had going for the team was coming to a halt much faster than what any of them had expected.
It was really, really unfortunate. Losing Odinsson was hard enough, but when Podarok decided to do that to the team, it left a real sour taste in my mouth. Despite my anger, I kept it behind the Bears doors as we know how certain people like to make ant hills into Mount Everest. What sucked more was not winning a cup with these guys. Especially Holik, Petenis, Kyanon and Hamilton. Even Parechkin and Maximoff. These guys were an amazing group of guys. The Locker room was the place to be and they definitely made Seattle the bets it could be in its final season of being relevant to winning and coming close to being something more than what we are now.
I owe a lot of thanks to those who came in, changed the direction, or allowed us to live a little longer. From the free agents to the trades, we were grateful that they gave Seattle a chance. It was a fun ride - one I won't forget and one I hope to have again with another good group of guys.
BAM! Seattle is in a new rebuild and they're looking to do things differently this time around. Before, they had a lot of pieces to work with and this time, it's a different story. With no depth on the team or talent other than Aleksei Federov, it seems as though this rebuild isn't going to be as fast paced as the last one (that's likely a good thing, maybe). The team had it's first draft a short while ago and managed to pick up a couple good prospects and even managed a steal in @Wikiplaysgames. In the up coming draft, the Bears hold a potentially valuable pick in a lotto winner. Question remains, what's next for the Bears?
I love the group of guys were starting out with. @NUCK and myself have a lot of history going back a couple years in the SHL. He's an amazing guy and despite never fully being into the VHL, I know he's going to be a kick ass goalie whose going to teach VVA a lesson. @Laflamme and I have a strange bromance going on and when he came back into the league, I knew he was going to turn lights on. He's a great guy in chat and the locker room and I really think he's going to be a guy that pushes Seattle forward and I really hope he is. He'll thrive well under that kind of thing. Then, of course, we got myself with Mattias Forsberg (centre) and Aleksei Federov (D). Forsberg is going to be a strong piece - Centers can be tough to come by at times and they're a huge part to a organization. Federov, he's flexible. I don't want to waste another career so we'll see what happens for him. He's pretty much a 400 the defender with his entire career ahead of him. On top of that, he's willing to extend with specific teams if they trade for him (some likely longer than others). Lastly, @Wikiplaysgames seems to be a cool dude. Busy life - just got a new job, but I hope he sticks around. He's sweet to have in the locker room and has the potential to be a good player and the biggest steal EASILY of the draft.
Time will tell where the Bears go. Right now, we gotta focus on just ahead and take it season by season.
DOUBLE FOR FORSBERG +12