Monday, September 17, 2007

Tick Tock...Four Days and Counting

The Broncos are expected to announce a small roster move today which was made late Mondday. Details later...

Four days.... and then finally all this chit-chat about predictions and prognostications can end, and the teams can start settling things on the ice.

Tonight I was on 800 CHAB's Warriors hockey talk show. I joined via telephone with voice of the Warriors James Gallo, colorman Darren Stein and Moose Jaw Times reporter Mathew Gourlie. We spent most of the time talking about how things will shake down in the east division when all is said and done.

It's funny, everyone always picks the other for tops in the division. It's simply the kiss of death to rate your team as a division favorite as a coach, G.M. or for that matter radio broadcaster. So, we simply don't.

A lot of other coaches and G.M.'s I've talked to may think they have the talent to win the division but they'll never come out and say it. In the words of Willy Desjardins of the Tigers..."walk softly and carry a big stick."

Regina remains the majority choice as the division favorite.... Regina doesn't think so, of course.

If there is one thing I've noticed is that Broncos stock is on the rise. Picked by many to be a 4th place east division team, many now have Swifty in the top 3, anywhere from 1st to 3rd.

This kind of talk is running rampant around the WHL. It's simply that time of year. Resistance is futile.


I have a new found respect for these young athletes... check that, elite athletes.

Chance and I, morning show co-hosts on the Eagle have recently taken on "The Breakfast Boys Boot Camp" at Swift Current's new Hockey Performance Center. It's a deal the radio station has come up with in an advertising campaign.

We went through an off-ice workout with instructor/trainer Regan Darby. Darby, a Swift Current native had WHL stops in Spokane, Tri-City, Red Deer and Prince Albert. He followed that with pro hockey in AHL, IHL, ECHL, and two seasons in Europe.

After our grueling, (and I mean grueling) legs, core and upperbody workout, it was off to the new "skate mill" for a few rounds. The skate-mill is a unique piece of equipment only found in Vancouver, Kelowna, Ontario, Zurich, Slovakia, and now Swift Current. You feel like you're skating on heavy ice as the treadmill sheet continues to churn away. Once you get the hang of it, you add a stick, pucks, shooting and passing.

Honestly, I was so gassed from Regan's workout I didn't have much left for the skating part of it. Chance looked like a 50 goal-man in the Sask Valley Senior League.

They video your skating and use it as a reference as to how to improve you're stride, balance and agility.

Do not kid yourself. Hockey players are in great shape and the best ones work extremely hard in the off-season to do what they do during the winter. Today's workout made me realize I don't work hard enough in the gym (even though I thought I did) and that it takes a lot of determination and effort to do what these guys do night in and night out.

The next workout at the Hockey Performance Center is set for Friday afternoon... sadly (I mean gratefully) I will be on the road to Moose Jaw. Chance, let me know how it goes. I'll stick to living vicariously through a bunch of 16 to 20 year olds.

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