First off thanks to @lBl2llNlK for doing his write up. These are not an attempt to step on his toes. I had already started these so I wanted to finish them. Also let me start off by agreeing with brink by saying "userpic is an expletive" just because why not. If I'm going to keep tsibbs spirit alive I might as well start off my first ever written western conference write up by mentioning him first right? jokes. ok here it goes. Division Overview- Here we are. We are finally onto the meat and potatoes conference of the AHL. This division features multiple good teams with quality depth and star power. Some people have already penciled in the wolves as the Calder Champs this season. One of the most exciting story lines for this division is the heavy weights duking it out. Manitoba and Chicago are poised to take the division, but Iowa, Grand Rapids and Milwaukee are not going to let them claim it without a fight. Rockford also might surprise a lot of players who don't pay attention to roster transactions they quietly built a good roster in this division any team who sleeps on them might end up regretting it. Further we examine the potential outcomes of Cleveland and the ramifications of losing its management so early in the season. ————————————————— STANDINGS: 1. Chicago Wolves 2. Manitoba Moose 3. Milwaukee Admirals 4. Grand Rapids Griffins 5. Rockford Icehogs 6. Iowa Wild 7. Colorado Eagles 8. Cleveland Monsters ————————————————— Chicago Wolves Forwards: A- @Meestah Don and @Bobby_Goggles12 really put together something magical here with this team. Not only that but they're built down the middle with both of them as centers with no cap hits. The top two lines are going to be set up for success. They probably could've even put together a better forward lineup but opted to sign defenseman and goalies with their expansion blackmail. @PaulyChunks is coming with a price tag of 7mil but with his supporting cast should easily live up to that contract. @xJakenBake59x should work out nicely for him and has produced at the nhl level I think he was a good signing and will succeed with either of their top lines. jake, @JIGGABOO_JONESY , and @Jimbo1616 both have histories of success and these 3 rw's come in at a combined cap hit of 2.5 mil. Nicely Done Management. The questions I have here and players too watch are @Soapy412 and @jiggaboo. Soapy seems like an odd choice at that cap hit and there might be a chemistry or player history here that makes him attractive to management. I cant see any stats for @jigaboo and I wouldn't be surprised if this is another sly yet questionable meestah don having his lesser known friends sign up and getting them cheap in bidding to try and get a leg up on the league. I may be wrong but at first look that's what comes to mind. also @GOLDENxTOUCH looks to post a winning season in the ahl for the first time since season 3. Defense: A This defense has a lot going for it and is arguably one of the strongest top 4 in the league. @phillysmvp surely will be looking to make a push to finally win d man of the year. It is well within reason that he can accomplish this with the forwards in front of I'm and a wealth of talent on defense beside him, and moose in net his numbers will probably be the best they have ever been. The only issue he might have is teams sending out top lines to take them on. I have zero doubt this team is up to that challenge though. @Koriegh , @GoodBurger_L65l and @bobbatta will fill out the rest of this impressive unit. Goalies: B+ @moosapotamus33 moose moose moose moose moose moose moose. I would make this ranking higher but unproven back up goalie. enough said here. Players to Watch: The whole team and @jiggaboo why isn't his name censored? Manitoba Moose Forwards: A+ Say what you want about @LoBo_DaNgLeS_12 but he highlights this forward unit. Sure @jackD00P is the better player but here is why lobo is the highlight. Some People say the way he was acquired is questionable and unfair to the rest of the league. Others say he scrub hunts. Neither can really be proven. However, What can't be denied is he produces at a rate that most of you wish you could and he will guarantee this team a playoff spot with the wins he will rack up with @nazzy2face . The forward depth behind these guys is formidable enough to be top liners on some of the teams in the ahl. @BryanAdoresLiz is an underrated player and likely is because of his gamertag. jokes. this guy is going to put up numbers this season. @Jmm420 and @sessman are both proven players as well. This forward group is the most accomplished in the league goalies and defenses watch out. I can see them taking back to back titles and possibly taking the division from Chicago. Defense: B This defensive unit is lacking but that's why they were able to put together such an offensive power house. I see this unit being a success by committee. There isn't a name that truly sticks out too me, but they will figure it out together. moving on. Goalies: A- @II-Dreamyy-II is going to establish himself this season as a legit top goalie in this league. He has the individual skill and the team in front of him. Its likely that he could finish as a goalie of the year finalist. I see @Archmagus9 being the backup which isn't to imply he couldn't be a starter elsewhere. Both goalies here will have good years and success. Players to Watch: @dreamy @the entire offense. @The entire DP TC they have. I purposefully left them out of the position break downs. Until they finalize the roster I am not sure who is going to end up here or in Winnipeg. I hope @irep has success and stays in the ahl. I don't want to see him follow in legendary greens steps in winipeg from last season. They have 3 goalies on tc and I cant see either of them making this roster unless winni steals someone. Milwaukee Admirals Forwards: B I was torn between this team and the griffins for the 3rd spot in the standings. Ultimately I'm giving the benefit of the doubt to @SilKyy_96 and his sleepers. The kid has knowledge of the chl and with the size of their TC I don't see a reason to doubt them. @Dirtydeeds1212 might end up catching a ban for staying up past his bed time, but if he does the team will be left in good hands. @WolfxI29I joins his buddy silky and I expect them to produce at this level. If they front load the first line with deeds down the middle I can see him making a push to produce near the level he did last season. I am leaving this ranking at B until they prove it for themselves, and if their sleepers produce at the level they're expecting them too. I came back here to add in how badly deeds wanted management and shout out to @Zubov_x_21 for giving the kid a chance. Also I think he only wanted me to write this up too talk about him and his team so this is for you deeds I'm adding more to your paragraph. As depth players on the roster they have @Mchew89 who has decent stats in all leagues but looks to remain in the ahl as he has bounced around the leagues the past couple seasons. @Marner93 managed to put up good numbers in a small sample size at this level and at his low contract I think he provides considerable depth for this squad. Defense: C+ This defense isn't set in stone yet. In these rankings I only rank the players who are rostered at the time and not on TC. Currently @dannyheck is the leading dman earning a hefty pay day after an almost flawless season in the CHL at forward. My player too watch here is @Scooby since he was a mid level draft pick and judging by the roster as is I think management is expecting some of these DPs to contribute in a big way. Goalies: B+ @realdemonX and @REDwings134013 are going to be a great tandem for this team on very cap friendly contracts. The make or break factor for these two goalies will be how does the defense in front of them shape up when the rosters are set in stone. Players to Watch: @Scooby @silky @dirty Grandrapid Griffins Forwards: B Im going to use part of @lBl2llNlK write up for insider knowledge and to save myself some time. For forwards they have "seasoned CHL player in @PhewPhewCam " who most of the league would probably agree he deserves his spot. The griffins are looking at a couple of xbox transfers @xMeesta and @Hilly to carry this forward lineup. Along with the veteran presence and cup winning experience of brink mark this squad as more then competent and in any other division would likely take top spot. But where is the fun in that? I think these guys are looking forward to the challenge of this division. This rank will likely be higher than predicted if these xbox transfers perform at the level management is expecting them too. Defense: B+ I like to give kudos to any management team that puts together a legitimate top 4 d core without overpaying. That is exactly what these guys have done here. @Markz_51 and @Nine2Fiver are established as competent players in this league. My player to watch here is @VulgarGentleman . I met him in random drop in either nhl 16 or 15 days and I think hes very under rated. This guy can be a shut down d man and at 500k I think hes one of the best steals in this league. If paired with @Gumba l11l they could form a top pairing that could be interchanged with markz and niner against tough opponents. I've never seen gumba play defense, but in my experience of this game, the very skilled players can play any position effectively and hes my other player to watch on this team. Honorable mention to @doyers as well. Goalies: B+ The leader of woke people and FNP CHAMPION! @Payner will be starter here and will lead this team to a playoff berth. @JBrodeur435 will be a more than competent backup goalie to ensure them enough points for that playoff push. Players to Watch: @vulgar @gumba @Hilly Iowa Wild Forwards: B- This offense is coming into the season strong. @Servnspike @kyle03des @Malkinsidconx871 @Rollerpig647 are all solid players. Unfortunately, the drop off after them is significant. Iowa has been contenders for as long as I've been in this league, but I think this is the season they fall out of the race. The rest of this division has improved so much while Iowa on paper has diminished. I have zero doubt that Minnesota Management helped in scouting and bidding here if not taking over entirely. That is not a negative though because there could be some hidden talent here that surprises me and the rest of the league. Minny Management knows players in this game. They ought to with how much some of them play it. Defense: C- This defense is interesting, but lackluster. I cant say I know many of them from playing or scouting, but I am not going to doubt the management in this organization. @Spkstr69 had an atrocious season in s5 we will see if he bounces back. Considering the other names on this roster and just by looking at records and stats I cant see them enjoying this season without a miracle or sleeper. Goalies: B- @Crease-Fire will be their starter and they are going to need him to absolutely stand on his head if this defense cant get the puck to their forwards. as will @Rickstoneman11 . I don't know who to consider the starter out of the two. That might be the only interesting thing to watch on this team is which one requests a trade first. Players to Watch: @spkstr @Creasefire @rickstoneman Colorado Eagles Forwards: B- I really wanted to rank this team higher in the standings especially over the iowa wild. However, I am not sure this management squad has what it takes to get pass the experience and track record of success Iowa and the Minny organization has under its belt. I mean this with all due respect to the organization and its management as well hopefully these guys don't take it personally. I'm adding this disclosure since i'm part of the organization. This team has potential to steal a playoff spot but its going to take some good management in terms of lineups, matchups, and luck. This forward group has a few established players. @Koojo187 is gm here and he starts us off. He has shown he can produce at this level. I believe they are looking to slot in @Tommyallidoiswin as top line C. Tommy is solid at C and he is one of my players too watch. . I think he can prosper at this spot as long as he pays more attention to the details and defense. His stats show he can produce points but that loss record next to the points is troubling. @TOROK15 is a s5 chl player looking too make the jump too the ahl he has impressive stats and in my opinion could take on top line responsibilities. @PushForKush is my other player too watch here coming in off a successful season in the chl hes looking to take his game too the next level and at a 5 mil cap hit he should be able to do it. Outside of the top line the forward depth drops off into more players looking to establish themselves in the ahl from the chl. Defense: C This defense is more of the same as the forwards. S5 chl guys looking to make it in the ahl and make a name for themselves. The veteran presence here is @x4HxPESTILENCEx pest hes mostly played forward and goalie in lg, but at 500k he could be a steal. @threet38 was a solid draft pick by the Colorado organization and after a few games with him in club its clear why they wanted him. He shows innate talent and skill that imo the best defenseman in this league have. It might take him till next season to really establish himself, but I think this is a name people should remember. @ABIGFNJINX and @Xx_Haag_xX will probably fill out this unit eating up big minutes for this team but with no big names like their divisional rivals I cant give this team higher than a C until they prove it. Goalies: B- @Mooner2014 is the goalie too watch in the blue paint for this team. He may have too stand on his head at times if this team experiences growing pains in the ahl. This is especially true if one of their powerhouse division rivals decide to throw out a top line against them early in the season. I have faith this team can adjust in time though. On paper this team might end up surprising the division. If they work out the kinks and find the chemistry I think they can push for a wildcard spot. Team morale is high here and I think they are eager too get this season started to make their case. Players to Watch: @mooner @threet @push for kush Rockford IceHogs Forwards: B+ I probably should have ranked these guys a lot higher than I did, and as I research their roster I'm liking them more and more. This team has some very skilled forwards and if they load up on a first line I can see a couple of these forwards ending up in the top scoring list. They are led by @turbo166887 aka the infamous streetsmurf if you don't know who he is you will by the end of the season if he lasts the entire season. @Kash-kormier is a proven winner and scorer in this lead. as is agm @t-jenks15 . They also have an infusion of chlers looking to make a name for themselves with @Tychi91 coming off an incredible season in the chl he is a player too watch as he tries to take that success and build off it in this league. I really like this group that they put together quietly. I don't think enough people are talking about them, and as of right now I'm considering them the number one team likely to make this ranking look ridiculous. Defense: B After being on this team for multiple consecutive seasons I have every reason to believe their GM @Six96969 is ready to put his roster on the ice to make a point too this league. He did an incredible job at assembling this roster. After reviewing their forwards I was expecting to find their defense as a gaping hole, but I like this squad too. Their GM is going to finally have a winning record this season and I say that confidently. On paper the rest of this defense unit has solid records and stats while all coming in at cap friendly hits. These friendly contracts should make it a lot easier for him to make a move during the season if a mid-course change is necessary. He gave himself a lot of flexibility here. Other players too watch on defense here are @Brewskies247 plus chl infusion looking to make the jump with @dmac7719 Goalies: B- I thought for sure yet again I would find trash here but was pleasantly surprised. @primetimephresh figures to be the starter and has enjoyed moderate success in his lg career in previous seasons. With the team in front of him I think Rockford might actually enjoy some serious success this season. Their playoff berth may depend on how many points can their back up @Dragonskull69 accomplish this season. Ultimately I have high hopes for this team and am moving them up in my standings predictions before posting. Players to Watch: @primetimephresh @turbo166887 Cleveland Monsters Forwards: C- This team has enjoyed success for so long, and its nhl associate reached the highest level of success with a Stanley Cup this past season. Columbus will likely enjoy the same success, but I cant imagine the same happening for Cleveland. They may not finish last here, but this team started off horribly. After some internal struggles they lost their management, and now there is finally management in place for this team, but its not @BigFreeze064 this time. The only players that stick out too me is @Bartlett--91 and @Philliesgreat08 , but they can only do so much for this team without a supporting cast. They have multiple chlers looking too make the jump too the ahl, but here is the kicker of why I placed them where I did. Without veteran leadership and despite the Stanley cup to look at this group has no one to lean on for advise when the chlers ultimately experience growing pains. Its possible they avoid this if the nhl guys decide to be nice but realistically I doubt it. This is especially unlikely when you consider that Nick already jumped in and tried to intervene with this group which was followed by the management quitting. This isn't the best first impression for these s5 chl players and likely wont be the last issue here if they don't get in line. This is pure speculation obviously. The players too watch if they can get it together and adjust to the ahl playstyle are @Killerfill99 @BadAss777Qc and @Ch1ps_Ah0y_59 Defense: C+ Here is where that veteran leadership comes in @LeBlondl77l might be the player who can lead by example here. He has 5 lgnhl seasons under his belt. This guy at 500k could prove to be invaluable to this team. Good job on management making a move to get him. @PattyIce14 is another solid d man who can help fill out the top 4 on this team but I'm not convinced its going to be enough. The chl infusion here that interests me is @Do87oA his name sticks out to me and I think ive come across him somewhere. Regardless only time will tell with this team. Goalies: C @optimus_rhyme34 deserves a lot of recognition for taking management of this team after what happened here. Throughout his lg career he has experienced average success. His seasons have been highs or lows and this one looks to be a low one. The back up here @quick_scope_14 is not going to steal them many points with this roster either. Players to Watch: @Bartlett @optimus ————————————————— That's my write up for the Western Central division. I hope I'm wrong and some of the infusion players moving up from the chl make big names for themselves. These are simply my predictions and are never meant to discourage anyone. At the end of the day I really want to see all of you succeed. If you're offended or disagree flame me in the comments . Later taters.