Monday, March 26, 2007

A Treat To Talk With

I'll take a quick break from the first round playoff battle between the Broncos and the Pats. I'll have a series update later today.

I thought I would take time to recognize some WHL Head Coaches who have been a treat to talk to over the years. For the most part, WHL bench bosses are great with media, especially the radio broadcast crews that travel with the team. I thought I would point out a few noteworthy men who make my job easier over the course of a season.

Pete Anholt - Prince Albert Raiders
He is terrific. No interview is the same. He always puts a lot of thought into his answers and you can tell he knows the game. He's done thousands of the pre-game chit-chats and he has it down to a science. Even in the midst of a losing skid, he always has a smile and time for you. Pete is approaching 1000 career games coached in the 'dub. He turned me to assistant coach Kris Knoblauch once this season in an attempt to change something up. The Broncos had won all six previous meetings and he was being a bit superstitious that day. He did it with a smile and a laugh. It didn't work. The Broncos went on to the 7-3 win.

Kevin Constantine - Everett Silvertips.
Say what you want about his antics behind the bench, but behind the mic
he's golden. I always leave the interview a bit smarter. He left me with one quote this season I remember. I asked him if he thinks he has the team can win it all this season. To which he replied "You know it's funny. (Basketball Coach) Bobby Knight said one time you always see the other team's greatness, yet see your own team's limitations." I think he hit the nail on the head there. Constantine also did some work for TSN between coaching jobs and understands the role the media plays. Our first meeting didn't go so well back in 2003. It was the first time the 'Tips played the Broncos in their history. They featured five former Broncos and I was looking for a pre-game interview with Mitch Love and Jeff Harvey. He abruptly refused. Saying they wouldn't be available. He eventually recanted.

Jeff Truitt - Kelowna Rockets
A good guy from Rosetown Sask. Always has a positive outlook. We only see the Rockets once in awhile but he is always a pleasure to talk to. Truitt is a student of the game and is always sporting a smile. After talking to him, you can't help but hope good things for him. Regan Bartel in Kelowna (play-by-play broadcaster) must be happy to have this guy around all season long.

Dean Chynoweth - Swift Current Broncos
Ok, he's one of ours but he deserves some credit. Deano is media savvy. He gets it. He also doesn't allow anything he sees, reads, or hears to rattle him. He doesn't allow outside distractions to waste his time. Sure he likes to answer the odd question with a question right back at you, and yes he gives me a hard time for making statements rather than asking questions but he usually has the local or out of town media at his command most days.

Don Hay - Vancouver Giants
I'm big time impressed with Don Hay. He genuinely is interested in what you have to say and soaks up everything. It seems he values your opinion and is one of those coaches you learn from too. He just commands your attention when he speaks. It's easy to see why he's had success over the years and has coached at the NHL level.

Kelly Mcrimmon - Brandon Wheat Kings
I always have a good time with Kelly Mcrimmon in the Coaches Show. He is an intense individual but has some quick wit to him which he brings out now and then. I sometimes throw him a curveball just to see his reaction. He routinely smacks it out of the park. A day before the WHL trade deadline our interview was delayed about a half hour because he was on the phone. I asked "Kelly, you were sure working the phone before our chat. Are you working on that big blockbuster deal?" To which he replied "no Jon, I was on the phone with my wife, she wants me to pick up some milk, bread and some eggs on the way home." He says it with a straight face and pulls it off well. He also said hi to my mom one night saying "I hope she's not your only listener out there". Kelly is great.

That's just a handful of some of the great individuals out there. Steve Young in Moose Jaw was always very courteous and great to interview. He's a favorite out there amongst the media throngs purely on how nice he is.

Broncos and Pats . . . more to come.



ernie said...

I think you hit the nail on the head with all of these coaches Keener. That's EXACTLY what I thought of each one of them. Credit them, I know it's hard for you to do an interview with some other guys in this league. Some are jokes, of course, but sometimes man, I swear I can feel the tension between announcer and coach. (EXAMPLE: former P.G. coach, Mike Vandekamp) OOOHH!

I had a chance to listen to 620 CKRM Regina SPORTSLINE tonight at 6:00. (Since I now get off work at 5:00...WOW! It's awesome! LOL) Anyway, I heard you on there....sounded great.

I'm sure excited for tomorrow night's game. The important thing, is ticket sales. The Broncos need to have a full house to take advantage of home ice. Anyway, should be awesome! I'm sure the guys will do fine if they bring effort and emotion. LET'S GO SWIFTY!!!

Big Ern

Bob Orr said...

Its funny you never mentioned Curtis Hunt, i dont blame you though , he only was an assistant coach at the WORLD Juniors in Sweden a few months ago, and oh, he won a gold medal, so, he cant be that good of a coach. Good selection Mr keen, and of course, Dean Chynoweth was listed, what a banner year he had, .479 winning percentage! Wowza, i can see ya pickin Deano before Mr Hunt. Quick question, are ya gonna put a banner up in the rafters for the past great season?

Jon Keen said...


This wasn't based on results, it was based on what coaches are an absolute pleasure to talk with. Wins and losses aside. Please re-read the headline if you're confused.

Fact is this is only a sample of what's out there. There are several more I could have mentioned but I didn't want to confuse you further.

And if we're going to compare resumes, Dean Chynoweth was also an Assistant at the World Juniors in Sweden.

ointhecreek said...

Come on Bob, read the headline. I know its hard for you to read with your pat glasses on, but it explains everything. How many recent banners are hanging in the Brat center?