So, it's been a few days but I'd thought I'd chime in my two cents on a few things....
- How 'bout the set-up scrap to kick-off game two of the WHL Championship between Vancouver and Medicine Hat? Here's how it went down. Derek Dorsett and Kendall McArdle started jawing in the face-off circle before puck drop. The two come to an agreement to drop the mits as soon as play starts. McArdle sheds his gloves and then big Jordan Bendfeld comes off the Tigers blueline to deal with McArdle for a little punch in the face contest. Bendfeld got the early advantage then McArdle sort of held on from there - he did ok. But, the set-play by the Tigers is getting a lot of attention from the media and the coaches both Don Hay and Will Desjardins.
Here's the quotes from the Vancouver Province in a story from Steve Ewen. Don Hay saw it this way:
"I'd be embarrassed if I was the Medicine Hat TIgers with that start. "That was all set up at the start. I'd be embarrassed if I was the coaching staff and the organization and you pull off a stunt like that."
"Dorsett was good enough to fight last night -- all of the sudden he's not good enough to fight? Be a man, stand up for yourself. They want Bendfeld to start, be a man and start him up there on right wing. Be up front about it. Don't back away."
Will Desjardins responded:
"Don can be whatever he wants. It's my job to win. I coach and I play to win. I respect Don Hay for the things he does. He's a great coach, he's got a great hockey team.
"It's me coaching my team to win. That's all it is. It's me coaching to win. I can't control what Don does or says. I coach my team and that's the team I worry about it."
This is getting interesting... The series heads back to Vancouver for the next three games.
Y'er welcome Bill Wilms (Shaw TV Colorman). I noticed right off the top of the broadcast Billy used my little tidbit on Dorsett begging his coach to play in game six of the MH/Cal series because of a bad shoulder. It was posted here just a few days ago.
I think the Shaw games have been great. The broadcast team (Russell/Wilms) is doing a good job. The camera work is great. But, it looks like Shaw is just begging for the intermissions to be over. Where have all the intermission features gone? How 'bout some league news from some of the other Shaw affiliates. Maybe a bantam draft story or something from the Awards Luncheon out of Calgary? Mooner is doing a good job as the WHL Insider when he's on. Atta boy Mooner. The only one of the team broadcasters who actually played in the league. He's one of my favorites on the circuit.
I talked with Broncos 1st round bantam selection Christian Magnus Thursday. I'll post the transcript of our chat later this week. He's excited to be a Bronco - so is his mom who shuttered at the thought of him heading way out West, miles and miles away. "Oh Thank-god, thank god" is what Christian told me his mom said when she saw his name next to Swift Current on the WHL website.
The most interesting pick the Broncos made came in the 9th round when they selected Zach Habscheid in 9th round. I've heard Zach is super-excited to be heading to the Broncos. Safe to say when the Broncos made that pick late in the draft, there was definitely some eyebrows raised and some quiet chuckles inside the convention room from the other 21 teams. I'll leave it at that. I'm not going to stir the pot on this one.
My counterparts blog in Kelowna "Regan's Rant" received some publicity courtesy the Drew Remenda Sports Show in Saskatoon/Regina. Regan reported that CBC broadcaster Jim Hughson wanted to work with Harry Neale in round two - something he plucked from the Toronto Star newspaper. Remenda took exception to that statement on-air as they called out Regan on the show.
Personally, I think it's was just a big misunderstanding. Regan wasn't trying to slag on Remenda, he was just commenting on how much pull Hughson has with the CBC network. I've met Drew a couple times. He's a very nice guy who approached me and introduced himself - this is when he was with the Saskatoon Blades if I remember correctly. I rarely catch the show but when I do it's informative and entertaining.
I don't think any harm was intended. Regan's latest blog post explains it from his side. It just shows you another example of how powerful the internet and this blog phenomena can be. I know for a fact, everyone I've mentioned in this post will (with probably the exception of Hughson) will read this in the coming days. It's something I wasn't aware of when I started Keen's Korner but it's the reality.
While were on the subject, Jim Hughson and Chis Cuthbert (TSN/NBC) sit a top the play-by-play mountain. Not only are they the best at what they do they are both very nice people which has no doubt aided in their rise to the top. At two different NHL games a few years back I introduced myself to the them and told them what I do and who I work for. To my shock and amazement they both invited me into their booth to watch the game for a period or two. No doubt both experiences would be very close to the highlight of my career. So for every "Grrreat save Luongo" from Jim Hughson or a "Did you see that!?" from Chris Cuthbert these two professionals created a memory for me that will last a lifetime.
Well, maybe it's time to hit a few balls at the range on this nice Sunday afternoon in Swifty. If anyone is interested I have a driver for sale. I'm all over the map, huge slice in one breath, duck hook the next. Embarrassing. It's staying in the trunk for awhile. If anybody wants it, they can have it. I have a feeling everytime I reach into the bag for the #1 both Hunchak and Ayotte are quietly fist-pumping.