Had a chance to talk with outgoing Broncos captain Myles Rumsey yesterday from his home in Winnipeg. As mentioned a couple days ago, the news on his knee injury has gone from bad to worse.
Even though he's looking at a lengthy recovery Rums was in good spirits yesterday. He says it's awful having to depend on everyone all the time but it's something he's trying to battle through.
Here's some highlights from our chat:
JK: I remember the injury quite well, watching you fall to the ice as the play moved up outside the Broncos territory... take me through it again if you can.
MR: I got the puck, just about the top of the circle and I got hit from the side and put a lot of pressure on my left leg and got hit from the front. I heard a loud pop and felt a louder pop. After that I thought I definetely broke my leg. It's not that bad, c'mon everyone can heal from injuries so it's just a little bit of adversity for me to go through.
JK: I know you have the latest doctor report with you... what's the latest.
MR: Yeah well, I got the M.R.I. report right here in front of me, I got a full thickness tear through the ACL, a significant grade two tear of the MCL. and microfrabicular fractures on the tibia and fibula where the ACL pulled off the bone... just little cracks. the ACL will require surgery. I go to see Dr. Peter Macdonald who is highly recommended on April 24th. Hopefully he'll give me good news and Ill hopefully be back five months after some serious rehab.
JK: It must have just been terrible to end your WHL career like that...
MR: It wasn't exactly the most ideal team sitting with ice bags around me and in pain listening to the overtime loss. You know what, I have nothing but great things to say about the fans in Swift Current, they helped me out so much, they've got me to where I am now.
JK: So when you do get healthy, what's your future in hockey, what route is next?
MR: I've been getting a lot of phone call from a lot of schools across Canada right now, but I mean if you're a hockey player your goal is to make it to the pro level and that's something I'm seriously still looking at right now. This injury has set me back a few months but I'll have to battle through some adversity...
JK: What's the summer going to be like, I don't imagine you'll be at the lake doing a lot of water-skiing....
MR: I'll be doing a lot of swimming I guess at pools (rehabbing it) and I'm sure I'll find time to go to the lake... no water skiing like you said... It's safe to say I won't be doing any back flips (laughs).
JK: Too bad you didn't get a chance to say goodbye to the fans like your fellow 20 year-olds Kyle Moir and Jeremy Schenderling at the end of game six.
MR: I didn't really get a chance to thank anyone... didn't really get a way to say thanks to all the fans after the game so these are my thank-yous and good-byes to all the fans and I really appreciate everything you've done. Keep supporting the organization, they're great, first class.
Former Broncos defenseman Aaron Rome was in the Anaheim line-up last night in just his 2nd ever NHL game. The Nesbitt, MB product is one of, if not the best defenseman to come through here in my time.
We'll see if he's a quick-fix call-up or if he sticks around for game five of the series back to Anaheim.
Levi Nelson remains with the Providence Bruins of the AHL. Word is he's moved into a stall in the Providence room and could be spending some time with them for the playoffs. I'll keep you updated. I guess he was pleased with his first game but just couldn't score. This is all valuable experience for Nelson who will return to the Broncos next year as a 19 year-old leader.
Russell and Gagnon will decide WHL Player of the Year.......here's the release.
Calgary - The Western Hockey League today announced the WHL Eastern and Western Conference finalists for the 2006-07 WHL Player of the Year. The two finalists for WHL Player of the Year were determined through voting by General Managers, coaches, broadcast and media representatives of all WHL Member Clubs.
In the WHL's Eastern Conference, which includes the East and Central Divisions, the Player of the Year Nominee is defenseman Kris Russell of the Medicine Hat Tigers.
Russell enjoyed a tremendous 2006-07 season with the Medicine Hat Tigers. The product of Caroline, AB, in his fourth WHL season with the Tigers, scored 32 goals and 37 assists for 69 points in 59 games, helping the Tigers record the best record in the Central Division and Eastern Conference for the fourth consecutive season.
Russell, the Tigers' captain, led all WHL defensemen in goals while ranking second in points, and was the only defenseman in the League to lead his team in scoring. In addition, Russell ranked third in the WHL with 22 power play goals, and also scored five game-winners. As a defenseman, Russell was held off the score sheet for two or more consecutive games on just two occasions this season.
The 5' 10", 177-pound rearguard was recently selected to the WHL Eastern Conference First All Star team for the second year in a row, and is the Eastern Conference nominee for WHL Defenseman of the Year - an award he won last season.
Russell, 19, was the Columbus Blue Jackets' 3rd round selection at the 2005 NHL Draft.
In the WHL's Western Conference, which includes the B.C. and U.S. Divisions, the Player of the Year Nominee is forward Aaron Gagnon of the Seattle Thunderbirds.
Gagnon, 20, had an outstanding 2006-07 season with the Seattle Thunderbirds. The native of Armstrong, B.C., in his fifth WHL season with the Thunderbirds, scored 42 goals and 38 assists for 80 points in only 59 games this season, leading the T-Birds to a 37-21-3-11 record and a third-place finish in the U.S. Division.
The 5' 11", 189-pound center finished second in the WHL in goals, and tied for 9th in the WHL with a +27 plus/minus rating. In addition, Gagnon led the Thunderbirds in goals, power play goals with 15, game-winning goals with six, and tied for second on the team in assists.
Gagnon's contributions to the Thunderbirds cannot be overstated. Seattle managed just a 3-9-0-1 record without Gagnon, while posting a 34-12-3-10 mark with their captain in the lineup.
Gagnon, who recently signed a professional contract with the Dallas Stars, was selected to the WHL Western Conference First All Star Team, and is the Western Conference nominee for the WHL Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year award.
The WHL also announced today the WHL Eastern and Western Conference finalists for the WHL Humanitarian of the Year award, the WHL Scholastic Players of the Year award, and the WHL Marketing and Communications award.
The WHL's Eastern Conference finalist for the WHL Humanitarian of the Year award is Kyle Moir of the Swift Current Broncos. The WHL's Western Conference finalist for the award is Ryan Bender of the Kamloops Blazers.
The WHL's Eastern Conference finalist for the WHL Scholastic Player of the Year is Keith Aulie of the Brandon Wheat Kings. The WHL's Western Conference finalist for the award is Damir Alic of the Everett Silvertips.
The WHL’s Eastern Conference finalist for the WHL Marketing and Communications award is Bruce Vance of the Prince Albert Raiders. The WHL’s Western Conference finalist for the award is Barry Douglas of the Chilliwack Bruins.
The recipients of all WHL individual awards will be announced at the WHL 2007 Awards Luncheon, which will be held in Calgary, Alberta, at the Round-Up Centre on Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007.
I'm still reeling about the offensive ineptitude of the Dallas Stars. I have my theories but I'll save them for now. Let's just say it looks like they're playing for the shootout - something they've been dominant in during the regular season. They've come so accustomed to winning games that way, it appears they can't shake that mentality in the post-season.