Thursday, June 28, 2007

Broncos Post $160k Budget Surplus

After three years of consecutive losses, the Broncos finally put a stop to the financial bleeding by posting a budget surplus of just over $160,000 from last season. The extra money also puts the operating fund back over the $1 million dollar mark for the first time in a few years.

I attended the Annual General Meeting with about 30 others last night to get the financial facts from this last season. The major reason for the big surplus was the $328,000 dollars the team received from the Western Hockey League. I'm told this is for things like Memorial Cup and World Junior revenue plus expansion fees from Chilliwack and Edmonton.

However, the extra money allowed the franchise to add $80,000 to the Education Fund - over and above the $78,000 in acquired liability.

The AGM consisted of Chairman of the Board of Directors Joe Arling with his annual report, The team's financial picture was also presented. Dean Chynoweth handled the hockey side and outlined some of the highlights from this last season. He fielded about six or seven questions from the floor before turning things over to Director of Business Operations Eldon Moberg. He gave a detailed report of the several revenue streams and ventures the team was involved with this season.

Afterwards Randy Rolufs presented a report on the Hockey Hounds and they're work from the 06/07 season. They do a great job each and every year and should be commended.

It was great to see the big surplus this season but the Broncos are no doubt benefiting from a huge chunk of change from the Western Hockey League - something we won't see again for awhile, at least not for that amount.

It was also pointed out the Broncos hope to add about 150k-200k in extra revenues through expansion. Namely the new luxury suites which by the way aren't all sold yet. The team is confident they will all be spoken for in the coming years.


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Frontier Days are here. It's Swift Current's annual fair over the July long weekend. Rides, rodeo, beer gardens, games, livestock shows... you name it. It will no doubt keep the radio station folks busy over the next four days. We've had a steady stream of guests on the Eagle morning show leading up the the festivities. This morning we had the "Crazy Cowgirls" in for a visit. A couple of young trick riders who will be entertaining the folks at the parade and the three rodeo performances....

Time to go dust off the Wranglers and cowboy hat...... see you at the fair, we'll be set up at our R.V. just inside the fairgrounds. Stop by for some prizes. The Ducks' Travis Moen will be hanging out with our crew Friday night as we giveaway six tickets to the Nickelback/ Daughtry / Puddle of Mudd show in Calgary.

I better start re-learning the rodeo lingo....I'll post again later.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Broncos Add Czech Forward

Here's the press release:

Broncos Make Selection in CHL Import Draft

The Swift Current Broncos used the 22nd pick in today’s CHL Import Draft to select 17 year old forward Jan Dalecky (da-LETCH-kee).

The 5’10 170 lbs. centre/winger is a native of Kladno in the Czech Republic. This past season he had 48 pts., including 29 goals, in 44 games with the Kladno U-18 team.

Dalecky, who comes from the same home town as current Broncos forward David Stieler, will join the club for Training Camp at the end of August.
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So the Broncos make one selection and the jury is still out on Daniel Rakos who is not only an import but an overager too. We'll see what the plans are for the three come training camp.

It looks like Head Coach and General Manager Dean Chynoweth decided to go with a young player with the hope he can develop.

I'd like to add more but it's off the Annual General Meeting where the Broncos will announce an operating profit for the 2006/07 season. Good news.

Jon

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Welcome Aboard Todd Holt and Danny Lambert!














The Swift Current Broncos inducted former greats Todd Holt and Danny Lambert into the Hall of Fame tonight at the Legion Hall.

Lambert (pictured above right) spent four full seasons with the Broncos from 1986-1990. A defenseman from St. Malo, MB, Lambert appeared in 244 games played as a Bronco where he recorded 75 goals and 244 assists. His 244 career assists are a franchise record that still stands today. Lambert helped the Broncos to their Memorial Cup victory in 1988/89 and was named the Western Hockey League’s top defenseman the following year in 1989/90.

Holt (pictured above left) spent five full seasons with the Broncos from 1989-1994. Hailing from Estevan, SK, Holt rewrote the Broncos record book during his time with the club. He currently sits 2nd all time in the Broncos record books with 321 games played. Holt is the teams all time leading goal scorer with 216 goals in his career and is also the points leader with 423. Holt played a key role in the Broncos 2nd trip to the Memorial Cup in 1992/93 with 10 goals and 12 assists in 16 playoff games.
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Both former greats barely got through their speeches as they choked back emotion looking back on the good times they had in the city and all the friends they met.

I thought both were excellent and did a great job. Holty did a great job setting the scene of the 1992-93 Championship game vs Portland. I thought he was very well spoken and managed to get through what I'm sure was a very tough speech to prepare and deliver.

Danny was excellent and well spoken. He stopped a few times to gather himself. His memories of how the team rallied together after the bus crash in 1986 to eventually win the Memorial Cup two seasons later was moving.

It was a capacity crowd filled with family, friends, former billets, fans, and Bronco alumni. This is what we do best. It's nights like these that set us apart from the rest of the Western Hockey League. This is the upside of playing in this community - the sense of family and pride.
Hats off to the organizing committee and congratulations Lambo and Holty!
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Postma and Molle Reaction / WWE Superstar Chris Benoit Found Dead

I'm not a wrestling fan but this is big news in the sporting world this morning.

Here's the disturbing story from tsn.ca:

FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. (AP-CP) - WWE wrestler Chris Benoit, his wife, and son were found dead Monday and police said they were investigating the deaths as a murder-suicide.


Detective Bo Turner told television station WAGA that the case was being treated as a murder-suicide, but said that couldn't be confirmed until evidence was examined by a crime lab.


The station said that investigators believe the 40-year-old Benoit killed his wife, Nancy, and seven-year-old son, Daniel, over the weekend, then himself on Monday. A neighbour called police, and the bodies were found in three rooms.


World Wrestling Entertainment said on its website it asked authorities to check on Benoit and his family after being alerted by friends who received "several curious text messages sent by Benoit early Sunday morning."


Lead investigator Lt. Tommy Pope, of the Fayette County Sheriff's Department, told The Associated Press the deaths were being investigated as homicide, and that the causes of death awaited autopsy results on Tuesday. Pope said the bodies were discovered about 2:30 p.m., but refused to release details.


The WWE cancelled its live "Raw" wrestling card Monday night in Corpus Christi, Texas. Canadian television network The Score aired a three-hour tribute to Benoit in place of the scheduled telecast.


Benoit, a five-foot-11, 220-pounder, was often described as a rabid wolverine in the ring. "The Canadian Crippler" had a chiselled physique and was known for his superior technical skills. The "Crippler Crossface" was one of his signature moves, along with a flying headbutt from the top rope and triple German suplex.


Fellow blogger Ryan Switzer tells me he used to watch Benoit wrestle in Swift Current at the Palliser Pavilion back in the mid-80's when he was part of Stampede Wrestling.

What is it with wrestlers and death at an early age? Let's see Brian Pillman, Eddie Guerrero, Mr. Perfect, Ravishing Rick Rude, Owen Hart, Davey Boy Smith, Miss Elizabeth.... ok maybe I'm more of a wrestling fan than I thought.

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I had a chance to talk with both drafted Broncos over the past couple days. Thanks to the radio station's Donovan Fehr for getting the Postma interview while I was in Columbus. Here's a sample.

Dono: Tell me your thoughts on being drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers:


Postma: It's unreal. I don't know a lot about the organization but I know they have a lot of skill and talent and I'm just really excited to go there.


Dono: So are you getting excited to go to training camp?


Postma: You bet! It's just another process and a stepping stone. I can't wait to work hard and put on some pounds this summer and hopefully have a good camp with them.


Dono: It took awhile for your name to be called at the draft, did you ever think it may not happen?


Postma: (laughing), you know what, it got frustrating at the end I'm not going to lie. I was a little frustrated and a little nervous and I kind of started losing hope but then right at the end my name came up and I got the call. I'm just really relieved and excited at the same time, it's just a great feeling.


Dono: Your teammate Ryan Molle was taken just two picks later....


Postma: It's unreal, I'm just so proud of Molls, he's a great guy, he really deserves it and just works incredibly hard. New Jersey did show some interest in him over the summer and there was that chance. Congratulations to Molls for sure.


Dono: How much interest did Atlanta show in you before the draft?


Postma: I had an interview, it went really well. It seemed they were pretty interested but I didn't know how interested. I guess, what they saw they liked enough to choose me, I'm pretty excited.



Ryan Molle:


JK: I know you were keeping an eye on the draft but not paying too much attention, apparently you were sleeping most of the day, tell me how you heard the news?


Molle: I didn't want to wake up at the crack of dawn to watch the draft because I would be waiting all day. I thought I would go in the later rounds - if at all. I woke up and it just happened to be in the 7th round. I was just walking around the house not waiting too anxiously and then all of a sudden my mom was like "Ryan Molle! Ryan Molle!" and I was like "Whoa, No Way!" It was a good surprise.


JK: I know there was some interest from New Jersey before the draft, tell me about your dealings with them leading up to the draft.


Molle: I think they first noticed me when I scored my playoff goal. They knew I didn't do a lot of that during the season but they were sure impressed. They watched my last game and were impressed the way I progressed through the season.


JK: There's no doubt this should give you some extra motivation for all those off-season workouts.


Molle: Absolutely. As soon as I was drafted I didn't know what to do with myself, I was jumping around so I went to the "Y" and just worked it off, it was definitely some extra motivation.


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It's the Swift Current Broncos Hall of Fame induction ceremony then some golf in the morning. It's going to be an interesting 24 hours in Swifty.


Jon

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Whirlwind Four Days Comes to a Close in Columbus

Well that was fun...
Sorry for the delay in posting, it's been a busy 24 hours of planes, trains and automobiles. I'm now back in Swifty after travelling most of the day.

Well, as most of you know, Broncos defenseman Paul Postma was a 7th round selection of the Atlanta Thrashers while fellow d-man Ryan Molle was taken two picks later by New Jersey. Congratulations guys! I had a chance to talk to Paul later in the day and he along with his family in Red Deer were quite excited after a pretty long wait.

Yes, I was surprised that Eric Doyle was not taken. The Broncos defenseman was my pick to be the first of our guys to go... I thought somewhere in rounds 4 to 6. However, it never happened. By no means is it the end of the world. Eric can now use that as motivation next season to prove everybody wrong. With his talents, I know he will.

Getting back to Postma, I asked Thrashers G.M. Don Waddell what they saw in Postma, he replied "His name was high on our list, much higher than that (7th round selection), the draft this year was interesting because everyone is going all over the place. Paul is a guy we had ranked in our top three rounds so obviously he was an easy choice when he was still available with our 7th pick. A big guy, that guys feel can skate, his upside is unknown at this time but they think he has good hockey sense, a young player we will be anxious to help his development along....good kid too.

So the Western Hockey League led the way in drafted players with 37 of the total 211 taken. Here's the breakdown:

WHL 37 (only 26 taken last year)
OHL 35
QMJHL: 25
USHL: 21
BCHL: 7
AJHL: 3
Several other programs to numerous to mention
The Breakdown by Nationality:
Born in Canada:103
Born in U.S.: 62
Born in Sweden: 17
Born in Russia:9
Born in Czech: 5
Born in Finland: 4
Born in Germany: 4
Born in Slovakia: 3
Born in Switzerland: 2
Born in Denmark: 1
Born in Nigeria : 1 (Akim Aliu)
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Here are some pics from the 2nd day of the draft:

Bryan Murray (left) and Brian Burke (right), talk it over. The Stanley Cup foes have always been very friendly with eachother. In the background, Gary Greene of the NHL Network interviews Calgary Flames Head Coach Mike Keenan.

Voice of the Pittsburgh Penguins, the famous Mike Lange. Mike was my broadcasting neighbour in the media area. He's better known for his catch phrases over the years that include, "Get in the fast lane grandma, bingo is about to begin." or "scratch my back with a hack-saw", or "he beat him like a rented mule".
What a nice guy he was. He told me some invaluable pieces of advice that I will try to incorporate from now on. Not about the business, just how to deal with people and conduct yourself. He's been doing NHL games an amazing 32 years!














Bryan Murray and Buffalo Sabres Head Coach Lindy Ruff have a chat. Remember the battles theses two had in the regular season and playoffs? Some intense stuff...however this was far from it.

The Columbus Blue Jackets broadcast team including play-by-play host George Mathews (left). Thanks for all your help this week. Hope you guys eventually got on the air. Every year the Columbus draft broadcast has some technical difficulties - this year was no exception. George was laughing saying, how is it that Swift Current's equipment is broadcasting with a strong signal when our NHL set-up in failing miserably? George is a maritimer who still spends his summers in PEI.
The bustling draft floor...
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What a final night in Columbus...Rod Pedersen, voice of the Pats and Roughriders made it in after the Riders broadcast Friday night.
Everyone had a good time I'm sure. The locals made everyone feel at home and welcome.
I was talking to Rod about the Columbus experience saying "you could blog about all the stories and things that happened down here but no one would believe you anyways." You'd have to see it to believe it.
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It's a big week for the Broncos organization. The Hall of Fame induction ceremony is Tuesday night when the team honours former greats Todd Holt and Danny Lambert. See you there.
Also, Wednesday night is the Annual General Meeting when the financial details of the season will be released. I'm hearing it's good news... we'll hear all about it Wednesday. The meeting is open to all Bronco shareholders.
More tomorrow,
Jon

Friday, June 22, 2007

Live from the Draft....

What a crazy day in Columbus! Nothing really earth shattering...no major moves or enormous surprises but no doubt interesting.

(Patrick Kane goes #1 -
photo from TSN.ca)
The biggest interest for Bronco fans was the Edmonton Oilers selection of Riley Nash 21st overall. Nash is a Bronco bantam draft pick and has chosen the college route - he will attend Cornell University next season.

No one had Nash that high but the Oilers really like him. In a media scrum following the first round, Oilers General Manager Kevin Lowe stated that he really interviewed and tested well with them and he has a "fire in his belly to play in the NHL". The Oilers weren't too confident he would be around with their next pick so they decided to scoop him up.


Sometimes NHL teams prefer their high end picks to get used to the NHL grind by playing in the Western Hockey League or the CHL in general. The question did come up in the scrum. Lowe says he's ok with the College route but would "pick him up himself and deliver him personally to the WHL if Nash ever considered it." He says you have to respect the players wishes and it's something they will look at in the near future.


I congratulated and interviewed Riley Nash after he was taken and there's no doubt he's looking forward to going to Cornell next season. He has the utmost respect for the Broncos and the organization but just really wants to play College hockey.

At this point, he's a longshot to ever play in Swifty but who knows. I'm not going to hold my breath. Good luck to him.

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I don't have any pictures from today's festivities...mostly because I left the camera's memory card in my hotel room. I'll have a ton tomorrow. I also have some pics with the Stanley Cup that was out making the rounds Thursday night with the staff of the Anaheim Ducks. For some reason I'm having trouble posting the photos here....I'm working on it.


The place was rocking when Columbus drafted 7th overall. There's nothing like being at ice level with 14,000 screaming fans. You get a small sense of what it must be like to play in that environment. It definetly gives you chills. It was incredible. The Jackets then selected Jakub Vorachek of the Halifax Moose Heads of the QMJHL.

It was a good first round for the WHL...drafted players included:



Thomas Hickey - Seattle Thunderbirds - 4th overall L.A. Kings
Karl Alzner - Calgary Hitmen - 5th overall Washington Capitals
Zach Hamill - Everett Silvertips - 8th overall Boston Bruins
Keaton Ellerby - Kamloops Blazers - 10th overall to Florida
Brandon Sutter - Red Deer Rebels - 11th overall to Carolina
Alex Plante - Calgary Hitmen - 15th overall to Edmonton
Colton Gillies - Saskatoon Blades - 16th overall to Minnesota
Jon Blum - Vancouver Giants - 23rd overall to Nashville
Nick Ross - Regina Pats - 30th overall to Phoenix



Everyone who I talked to thought Hickey went very high...not to say he isn't a great player (Kris Russell clone), but #4 overall?



Brandon Sutter was rumoured to be a few times 1st round wish list. Even though a lot of scouting services and high on him, the Carolina Hurricanes sure are.



I could go on and on about today's draft but I'm a little gassed so I'll shut it down from here.

It's going to be a fast-paced Saturday morning....should be fun!

One more thing...Congrats to Joe Carnahan from the Indians and his wife Loren. There wedding bash is tomorrow in Swifty and I will not be there. That promises to be a great time.

Jon

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

'07 Draft Festivities Begin

Here are some pics from Thursday....

Top prospect Angelo Esposito signs autographs outside Nationwide Arena

Esposito answers questions from the media throng

Calgary Hitmen defenseman Karl Alzner is ranked 5th by Central Scouting

Kyle Turris - ranked #1 by Central Scouting


The Conn Smythe Trophy...

Media gathers for the Top Prospects Luncheon

Preparing the draft floor




Just outside the rink



The view looking right from my hotel room
Looking left....

The massive Hyatt Regency Hotel
Round one of the draft is tonight beginning at 7pm eastern time. Rounds two through seven begin in the morning.
It seems everyone was out last night carousing. The Ducks staff even brought the cup out last night. I couldn't help myself. I'll post some pics next time.
Jon


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Welcome to the Buckeye State

Welcome to Columbus......

After 10 hours of driving to Regina, jumping on a plane to Minneapolis and then connecting to Columbus, I'm checked in and ready to roll.

The hotel here is also the media headquarters and as I look outside my 16th floor hotel window at 11:30pm local time, I can see Nationwide Arena just across the street - the place where it all shakes down Friday night and Saturday morning.

I haven't seen much of this city yet, but by all accounts it's a gem in the mid-west. I can't wait to check some things out tomorrow like Ohio State University, the Arena District (which I'm told is THE place) and the downtown core. I'll post some pics tomorrow before it gets busy and everyone shows up from around the league.

Even though this is my 5th draft, the novelty never really gets old and it's always fun checking out a new city. What other reason in my life would I have to visit Columbus?

A hot humid night greeted me as I stepped out of the airport and onto the street....it was 85F today....pretty manageable.

If there is one part of going to the draft I can live without its the travel and the layovers at airports. I took a small RJ200 from Regina to Minny... or as I call it the "boneshaker". The small 50 passenger jet makes you eagerly anticipating the feeling of descending.

Then there's the hundreds of people walking around aimlessly in the airport yakking on their cellphone with the wireless headset. All seemingly having animated conversations that just can't wait. I killed a couple hours in Minneapolis at a Chili's Bar and Grill while waiting for a connecting flight. Some guy pulled up next to me and had an hour long cell phone conversation that reminded me of that commercial for Cingular Wireless....you know the "keep talking" one.

I did share a drink with a guy from London in the U.K. while he awaited his flight home. It turns out he works for a radio company that markets mini radios that you take into sporting events to pick up the local broadcast of the game. He was at the College World Series of Baseball with his product trying to close some deals. He said he hates flying and just wanted to find a way to sleep all the way across the Atlantic.... the triple straight-up Vodka he was sporting in his left hand I'm sure helped his case. Good night. He told me a great soccer joke I can't wait to tell Subway Dave when I get back to Swifty. Dave's a diehard (annoying) Chelsea soccer fan.....I would share it here but it flirts with an 18A rating.

I shared a flight to Columbus withe Gene Principe of Sportsnet. He covers the Oilers for the Rogers media conglomerate and was a late addition to the Sportsnet team. I guess Ian Mendez couldn't make it or something...haha.

What a nice guy. I like his work out of Edmonton. He seems to have a little flavour and character with his stories and gets along well with the players and Oilers coaching staff. Gene will busy, the Oilers have three first round picks.






Former Minnesota North Star tough guy Shane Churla was also on the flight. Churla now works with the NHL's Central Scouting. Safe to say I was a big Churla fan along with Basil Mcrae growing up as a North Star fan. I've seen him in several WHL rinks over the years as he works to compile their rankings.

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The Swift Current Broncos unveiled their tentative schedule for the 2007-08 season. The club will start the year with the first 8 games on the road including an 8 day trip to Lethbridge, Calgary, Kamloops, Prince George and Edmonton only days into the campaign. The season opener you ask? September 21st in Moose Jaw. Hello Hunch! Get ready for some high and hard fastballs from this reporter. Should be fun.

The Broncos home opener with the renovations hopefully complete will be October 12th against the expansion Edmonton Oil Kings.

The team also has a six game U.S. swing in December to close off the first half of the season.

A complete schedule is available at http://www.scbroncos.com/ .
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Regan Bartel is telling me and the rest of the world that Bruno Campese will be announced as the new head coach of the Prince Albert Raiders. Campese, a former assistant in Calgary with the Hitmen has most recently been the head coach of the Penticton Vees of the BCJHL.

Campese has already resigned from his position with the Vees.
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Had an interesting phone call earlier this week.

"Hello"

"Jon, It's Joe Sakic"

Now that doesn't happen every day. Turns out he got my message relayed through his in-laws in Swift Current about the Danny Lambert feature I'm working on for next week's Hall of Fame. Danny and Joe and great friends and I asked him to give me a couple quick stories and and bits for the piece. He was great. Surprisingly, with all the alumni I've contacted over the years, that was the first time I've ever spoken to the surefire NHL Hall of Famer.

He's planning a quick stop in Swifty later this summer. It doesn't matter where he goes. He's a rockstar. Everybody loves Joe.

More tomorrow including some pics.

Thanks for stopping by,
Jon

Monday, June 18, 2007

Moen Stops By

Anaheim Ducks forward Travis Moen stopped by the Eagle morning show today a few hours before the charity golf tournament he co-hosts with Patrick Marleau and Trent McCleary over at the Elmwood.

He was great and had some good stories from the last week of living like a rock star. We were on stand-by generator power this morning after an overnight windstorm knocked power out to parts of the city including the downtown core. So we chatted in the dark with only the glow of the computer screens aiding us.

Chance asked some good questions and I wish I knew how to upload audio on to blogger. If anyone knows please fill me in...

Chancey asked about the party in the dressing room after the game five win....to which Travis replied...

"It was unbelievable...partying with the cup is a dream come true. Being able to drink out of the cup, hoist it over your head... I think we went through about 50 or 60 bottles of champagne. It was all over the room and then it was just cases of beer being dumped in, and your drinking out of it and it's so hard to drink from, you're pouring it all over yourself...it was pretty amazing."

Sounds like a blast.

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Yes procrastination.... has me in the current situation I'm in. With a thousand things to do before leaving for the NHL Draft Wednesday afternoon, I'm up to my eyeballs with half done projects and a to-do list that is growing not shrinking.

I'm sure this is relatable with most everyone out there.... I just have to think further ahead to avoid these situations. Hopefully I'll get everything done before then. That probably means this is the last blog post until I arrive in Columbus.

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Spent the weekend at the Elmwood's Member/Guest tournament. Rain pounded the 66 teams on Sunday after a beautiful Saturday. The key is to find a good partner. Terry Pavely was 68 on his own Saturday before you figure in handicaps meaning I was a cheerleader most of the day as he helped us into the championship flight.

On Sunday, I contributed a little more.... we finished 4th overall but 3rd in the Calcutta after rounds of 62 /63.

Is there a better golfer locally than Reg Wilson? The steady player fired a 65 on his own (before handicaps) in a driving rain and gusty winds to help the Wilson brothers take the tournament.

Great job guys,

More later, time permitting,
Jon

Friday, June 15, 2007

Habscheid Fired!

This kind of took me by surprise this afternoon. Here's the news release from the Boston Bruins.

BOSTON, MA – Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today that the club has relieved Head Coach Dave Lewis and Associate Coach Marc Habscheid of their coaching duties, and will reassign them to other positions within the club.

“Since the season has ended I have completed a thorough review of the team and the coaching staff, and I have determined that Dave Lewis and Marc Habscheid are not the proper fit for the Bruins at this time,” said Chiarelli. “I have a short list of candidates in mind, and I hope to have a new Head Coach in place in the near future.

“I want to thank Dave and Marc for their hard work and dedication this past year, and I am certain that they will have success in their future endeavors.”

Lewis, who became the 27th head coach in Bruins history on June 29, 2006, finished the 2006-2007 season with a record of 35-41-6. Prior to joining the Bruins, Lewis served as the Head Coach of the Detroit Red Wings from 2002-2004, where he amassed a record of 96-41-21-6.

Habscheid was named to Dave Lewis’ staff on July 13, 2006 following two years as the Head Coach of Canada’s National Men’s team.

Doug Houda, the third member of the Bruins 2006-2007 coaching staff, will remain in his position.

I'm not sure what to make of this.... I'm sure Habscheid will be around for the Mccleary/Marleau/Moen golf tournament on Monday at the Elmwood. We'll see what's next for the local coaching product.

Regan Bartel voice of the Kelowna Rockets is speculating a return to Kelowna might be a good fit for Habby. We'll see.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Wudrick Cracks U-18 Selection Camp / More on Hunchak

This from the Western Hockey League website.....

"Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League (CHL), announced on Thursday the 40 players, born in 1990 or later, who have been invited to try out for the National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team in Calgary, from August 4-9 at Father David Bauer Olympic Arena.The players will be competing for one of 22 spots on Team Canada, which will compete at the U18 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka (formerly the Junior World Cup), from August 14-18 in the Czech Republic and Slovakia."

Wudrick made the roster, so did former Bronco prospect Jordan Mistelbacher. He was traded to Everett in the Dane Crowley / Eric Doyle deal at the deadline. What an impression he must have made at the Canada Winter Games.

I know Geordie was really setting his sights on making this team. Good luck in Calgary.



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I have to say, what timing by the Moose Jaw Warriors and their announcement to hire Dave Hunchak as their new head coach.

Thursday is also press day for the two local newspapers in Swift Current and both didn't get the big story in. By the time next week rolls around....well you get what I'm saying.

What a busy weekend in the city. It's a big motorsports Saturday with Drag Racing at the airport and then Speedy Creek stock cars in the evening. There's the annual Father's Day Soap Box derby and the big mid-summer slo-pitch tournament at the Patterson ball diamonds. Don't forget about the K of C marathon on Sunday either. I'll be playing in the Member/Guest tournament at the Elmwood Saturday/Sunday.


The Indians hit the road the road for three games through Alberta.... I'll try and have results or you can visit the league's website at http://www.wmbl.ca/ .



Have a great weekend,

Jon

So Long Hunch! **UPDATE** Wudrick Makes U-18 Selection Camp

Yes, it's true... Dave Hunchak, Swift Current Broncos Assistant Coach for the last three seasons is now the Head Coach of the Moose Jaw Warriors.



As I type this, the news conference is underway at the Heritage Inn. Hunch takes over from Interim coach Rene Lemaire who replaced Steve Young near the end of the regular season.



He'll do great with the Warriors and is excited to be getting the opportunity to be the man for a Western Hockey League team.



The hardest part of my job is holding onto a story at the request of the teams involved because it completely goes against your instincts as a reporter. I respected their wishes but it's awful tough to see other sources reporting the news earlier in the day. In fact, it drive me nuts!



We talked earlier about the move down the TransCanada Highway. Here's a rundown of that conversation:



JK: I know this was an opportunity you've been looking to do for awhile now.....



DH: I've said all along if the right opportunity came along and I felt it was right for myself and my family we would certainly look at it. It's a day of mixed emotions, I'm very proud of the direction we've been able to get the Broncos going in. I've been treated extremely well by Dean Chynoweth and by the Broncos organization and of course the people of Swift Current. So it's bittersweet in some senses but obviously very excited about the opportunity.



JK: When you look at Moose Jaw the team returns a good nucleus of players especially at the forward position, are you confident you can get that team to perform?



DH: I think number one, you have to evaluate what that team is. Until you get into camp, until you see exactly what every individual is capable of I think you kind of hold back on what type of systems you want to implement. I have certain way in my mind of what I want to do. Once we name our assistant/associate coach we'll have to sit down and figure out what exactly we have to do make the most success out of the group of players that are there.



JK: How tough is it to leave Swift Current?



DH: It's tough. Myself, and my wife and kids have created a lot of good friendships here, none greater than my relationship with Dean and the Broncos. Dean has treated me exceptionally well, he's a well respected man in and out of the hockey circles. He treats his people very well, he looks after them, a good example is the Hockey Canada aspect he's been able to get me involved in. The most important thing is that I consider him a very good friend.



JK: What about the players you leave behind here? You've worked very close with them over the years.



DH: Absolutely, it's a tremendous group of kids the Broncos have assembled here. They are a group that care and are passionate and love playing in Swift Current. They're eager to learn and that's taken a long time to get there looking back to August of 2004. I'm excited for the kids in Swift Current, for them to be able to progress forward in their careers. It'll be interesting to coach against them knowing their strengths and possibly what some of their weaknesses are, again it should be interesting.



JK: You'll be back here a lot as a division rival with Moose Jaw, that will be some interesting match-ups next season between the two clubs....



DH: It really hasn't crossed my mind but now that you mention it, yeah it's going to fun and interesting and something I'll look forward to and I'm sure Dean and the Broncos will look forward to. It'll be exciting, that's part of the entertainment part of the game that is very important. I'm sure the fans in both cities will look forward to those match-ups.



-----------



It's tough to see Hunch go but I was expecting this announcement ever since the season ended and it comes as no surprise to me. He was excellent to work with and always made sure everyone was taken care of on the road. We all had some good times together as a team and will always have some great stories to look back on over the three years. It'll be interesting interviewing him as the opposition coach.



He was always a fan favorite...some thought he may coach this team one day. While that doesn't look likely for the coming years, maybe down the road he will return. Bronco fans I want to hear from you... tell me what you think of today's news.



The first battle between the two sides won't take long to commence. We tee it up tomorrow morning at the Chinook in a game I've already billed as a Swifty versus Moose Jaw affair.



I fielded a ton of inquiries this morning regarding this and couldn't say a lot for obvious reasons. I talked to Dean Chynoweth earlier today. I'll have a post on that conversation later. I guess the search for a new assistant coach begins shortly.



So long Hunch, and thanks.



---------------------------------------

Broncos 17 year-old forward Geordie Wudrick is off to Calgary the first week in August to try and make Canada's Under 18 team. In total 20 players from the WHL were invited. Also making the cut was Jordan Mistelbacher who the Broncos traded to Everett to acquire Eric Doyle.

CANADA UNDER-18 SELECTION CAMP ROSTER

# Player S/C Ht Wt Birthdate Hometown/Country 2006 - 2007 Team

Goaltenders

Jeff BoschL/ 6'1 175 01/23/1990 Martensville, SK, CAN Saskatoon /SK MAAA
Peter Delmas L/ 6'1 165 02/16/1990 Bedford, NS, CAN Lewiston Maineiacs/QMJHL
Jacob DeSerres L/ 6'1 184 03/18/1990 Calgary, AB, CAN Seattle Thunderbirds/WHL
Kevin Poulin L/ 6'1 202 04/12/1990 Montreal, QC, CAN Victoriaville Tigres/QMJHL

Defence
Jared Cowen R/ 6'5 207 01/25/1991 Allan, SK, CAN Spokane Chiefs/WHL
Tyler Cuma L/ 6'1 175 01/19/1990 Bowmanville, ON, CAN Ottawa 67's/OHL
Michael D'Orazio R/ 6'0 199 08/16/1990 Richmond Hill, ON, CAN Owen Sound Attack/OHL Michael Del Zotto L/ 5'11 200 06/24/1990 Stouffville, ON, CAN Oshawa Generals/OHL
Shawn Lalonde L/ 6'1 175 03/10/1990 Orleans, ON, CAN Belleville Bulls/OHL
Alex Pietrangelo R/ 6'3 206 01/18/1990 King City, ON, CAN Mississauga Ice Dogs/OHL
Colby Robak L/ 6'2 185 04/24/1990 Gilbery Plains, MB, CAN Brandon Wheatkings/WHL
Yann Sauvé L/ 6'3 210 02/18/1990 Rigaud, QC, CAN Saint John Sea Dogs/QMJHL
Michael Stone R/ 6'2 189 06/07/1990 Winnipeg, MB, CAN Calgary Hitman/WHL
Blaine Tendler L/ 5'11 206 02/21/1990 Viceroy, SK, CAN Prince Albert Raiders/WHL
Colten Teubert R/ 6'3 181 03/08/1990 White Rock, BC, CAN Regina Pats/WHL
Teigan Zahn L/ 6'1 193 01/04/1990 Bethune, SK, CAN Saskatoon Blades/WHL

Forwards
Kyle Beach R/ 6'3 182 01/13/1990 Kelowna, BC, CAN Everett Silvertips/WHL
Lance Bouma L/ 6'0 194 03/25/1990 Provost, AB, CAN Vancouver Giants/WHL
Jimmy Bubnick R/ 6'0 180 01/19/1991 Saskatoon, SK, CAN Saskatoon/SK MAAA
Jordan Caron L/ 6'2 194 11/02/1990 Sayabec, QC, CAN Rimouski Océanic/QMJHL
Joël Champagne L/ 6'3 205 01/24/1990 LaSalle, QC, CAN Chicoutimi Saguenéens/QMJHL
Joe Colborne L/ 6'3 175 01/30/1990 Calgary, AB, CAN Camrose Kodiaks/AJHL
Patrice Comier L/ 6'1 195 06/14/1990 Moncton, NB, CAN Rimouski Océanic/QMJHL
Phillipe Cornet L/ 5'11 175 03/28/1990 Val d'Or, QC, CAN Rimouski Océanic/QMJHL
Chris Doyle L/ 6'0 195 03/22/1990 Charlottetown, PE, CAN P.E.I Rocket
Gabriel Dumont R/ 5'9 160 10/06/1990 Dégélis, QC, CAN Rivière-du-Loup /MAAA
Jordan Eberle R/ 5'10 162 05/15/1990 Calgary, AB, CAN Regina Pats/WHL
Jordan Hickmott R/ 6'1 180 04/11/1990 Mission, BC, CAN Medicine Hat Tigers/WHL
Cody Hodgson R/ 5'11 182 02/18/1990 Markham, ON, CAN Brampton Battalion/OHL
Dale Hunt R/ 6'0 200 01/04/1990 Sanford, MB, CAN Prince George Cougars/WHL
Nazem Kadri L/ 5'11 164 10/06/1990 London, ON, CAN Kitchener Rangers/OHL
Kevin King L/ 6'0 198 01/14/1990 Calgary, AB, CAN Kootenay Ice/WHL
Brandon McMillan L/ 5'10 192 03/22/1990 Delta, BC, CAN Kelowna Rockets/WHL
Jordan Mistelbacher L/ 6'1 190 01/11/1990 Winnipeg, MB, CAN Winnipeg Saints/MJHL
Kyle St. Denis R/ 5'7 160 03/06/1990 Trail, BC, CAN Vernon Vipers/BCHL
Steven Stamkos R/ 6'0 178 02/07/1990 Unionville, ON, CAN Sarina Sting/OHL
Kelsey Tessier R/ 5'9 163 01/16/1990 Fredericton, NB, CAN Quebec Remparts/QMHL
David Toews R/ 5'11 185 06/07/1990 Winnipeg, MB, CAN Shattuck St. Mary's/USHS
James Wright L/ 6'2 174 03/24/1990 Saskatoon, SK, CAN Vancouver Giants/WHL
Geordie Wudrick L/ 6'2 198 04/09/1990 Abbotsford, BC,Swift CurrentBroncos/WHL

----------------------------------------------


WMBL FINES AND SUSPENSIONS ANNOUNCED:



The Commissioner of the WMBL is very disappointed to have to announce the following suspensions. The Commissioner feels that this type of action does not bode well for the entire league and hopes that there will be no further types of suspensions for the entire season. The league is coming down harshly on the players involved and hopes to let all the rest of the league know that this type of action will not be tolerated. These suspensions are the result of a league game on June 9th between the Regina Red Sox and the Saskatoon Yellowjackets.

Both teams have been fined $250 for their benches coming onto the field. The following players have been suspended for their actions either before or during the altercation between the teams: Nic Hansen and Ty Abshire of the Red Sox are both suspended for four(4) games. Joel Cardinal of the Yellowjackets is suspended for two(2) games and Cody Cotter is suspended for five(5) games. Both teams have been warned about any further activities and Commissioner Keith Jorgensen indicates that this incident will be put to rest.

The situation erupted when Cody Cotter after a warning threw another ball into the Regina Dugout during warm-up in the eighth inning. Cotter was quoted as saying to his third baseman after the warning, "Watch this one!". The Regina players reacted and came out onto the field where punches were thrown between the teams. Such action will not be tolerated in this league and it is hoped that with the severity of the suspensions and fines that others will realize that this will be dealt with severely.

It is regret that we have to deal with such issues in this league as this does nothing as far as promotion of good baseball is concerned. Our league should be setting higher standards than this and it is hoped that this will be the last action seen of this nature.

----------------------

Warriors to Announce New Bench Boss


According to http://www.mjwarriors.ca/, a press conference has been called for this afternoon. The Warriors will announce their new head coach at that time.

Check back this afternoon for the latest news.
------------------------------------------------------------
It was the "Mitchell Field Marathon" last night as the Swift Current Indians and Medicine Hat Mavericks went 14 large to break a 1-1 tie. It was a game they could have called a tie and I would have been ok with.

Finally, as the game approached 11pm, the Tribe scored the winning run on a bases loaded walk. The city bylaw says the lights have to be off by 11pm.... so would they have called the game due to darkness?

The Tribe improves to 7-3 on the season. They hit up Alberta for three games this weekend....

Jon

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Truitt Leaving the Rockets / Moen Doubles Up With Ducks


Kelowna Rockets Head Coach Jeff Truitt resigned this afternoon to pursue a pro hockey job which will be revealed sometime tomorrow.
Voice of the Rockets Regan Bartel (who's being tight lipped) has more on his blog. Check it out at www.reganbartel.blogspot.com .
The next question is who will be the next coach of the Rockets?
---------------------------------------
Anaheim Ducks forward Travis Moen is laughing all the way to the bank. Moen signed a two-year deal with the Ducks today worth $1.825 million dollars. He's set to make $900,000 next season and $925,000 the year after.
Quite a nice raise for Moen who was the bargain of the century this last season making just over the league minimum mark at $475,000.
If all works out, the clutch playoff performer will be our guest on the Eagle 94.1 FM morning show Friday. We'll keep you posted.
Jon

Monday, June 11, 2007

Oil Kings New Coach? / Moen Loving Life

Here's something out of the Edmonton Sun Newspaper today:

By DEREK VAN DIEST -- Sun Media

The Edmonton Oil Kings have found their bench boss. Steve Pleau, an assistant with the Spokane Chiefs last season, is expected to be announced as the Oil Kings head coach this week.

Sources tell Sun Media Pleau has signed a three-year contract with the club. "I think he'll work well with younger players," said Oil Kings general manager Bob Green last week following the WHL expansion draft, careful not to reveal the identity of his new coach.


"I think he'll be able to motivate the kids and get them to go hard every night." Green could not be reached for comment last night.

Pleau, the son of St. Louis Blues senior vice president and general manager Larry Pleau, left his position with the Chiefs last month. Spokane finished the year with a 36-28-4-4 record, good for fourth place in the U.S. Division. The Chiefs then fell 4-2 to the Everett Silvertips in the first round of the WHL playoffs.

"We expected when we hired Steve it would be short term," Chiefs general manager Tim Speltz told the Spokane Spokesman-Review. "Steve is a very qualified coach and we wish him the best in the future."

Pleau coached under Bill Peters in Spokane who was recently given an extension by the Chiefs. "Steve proved to be a great asset for our organization," Peters told the Spokesman-Review. "His experience from pro-hockey allowed us to look at things in a different light and allowed us to take a step forward as a team."

Prior to coaching with the Chiefs, Pleau was the associate head coach of the Peoria Rivermen of the American Hockey League. In his one season in Peoria, Pleau helped the Rivermen to a 46-26-3-5 regular record before losing in the first round of the playoffs. Before that Pleau had been an assistant coach with the Worcester IceCats since 1998.

Worcester moved to Peoria prior to the 2005-2006 season. Born in Seabrook, New Hampshire, Pleau played four years for the University of New Hampshire before an injury ended his playing career. Pleau began his coaching career as an assistant with UNH. The Oil Kings, who are the WHL's latest expansion franchise, open their inaugural Western Hockey League season in September.
----------------------------

Travis Moen is having the time of his life. I finally caught up with him just hours after he stepped off a 90 foot yacht in Southern California after yet another team party with Lord Stanley.

He says he'll be back in Swift Current by the end of the week. He's also featured in the Mccleary / Marleau / Moen charity golf tournament set for the Elmwood on Monday.

He's been having a great time....as expected as a Stanley Cup champ.


Obviously, he heard about all the "farm boy from Saskatchewan" angle that every media outlet was going with. He doesn't mind, he says it's a true representation of who he is.

I asked him what it was like to be a part of the final seconds at the end of game five and what was going through his mind... "it was pretty crazy, there was some guys on the team that knew it was there's before the 3:00 minute mark but for me I didn't want to give in until then. We were up 6-2 and I knew we'd won it. When the buzzer went everyone just piled on the ice and it was one of those moments you'll never forget."

As for the cup coming to Stewart Valley and Swifty, he's not sure exactly. It all depends on when Scott Niedermeyer takes it and then it will make it's way east from there. He's thinking late July or early August. He doesn't know how long he'll have it depending on travel arrangements. Whenever it is, he plans to make the most of it.

-------------------------------

What's up with the Indians? After a hot start to the season winning the first five games, the Tribe has now lost three of their last four... they host Medicine Hat Wednesday night.

------------------

Maple Creek native Kirk Bacsu was the only Saskatchewan born player to be drafted in the MLB draft last week.

The catcher, who plays for the Division I Evansville Purple Aces, was taken in the 32nd round, 862nd overall.

Word is he was playing some slo-pitch out in Maple Creek over the weekend displaying his world class arm as he threw out base runners at home plate from the warning track....nice.

He's a defensive-minded catcher and is excited to be drafted saying "it's something he's waited for all his life." He told me his family was overcome with joy about the phonecall from the Phillies organization.

He's a former Medicine Hat Maverick in the WMBL and is now ready to be assigned within the Phillies organization to Williamsport, PA to play for the Cross Cutters. He signed with the Phillies yesterday.
--------------

Back to work,
Jon

Friday, June 08, 2007

Bulldogs Claim AHL Calder Cup / WHL Hurricanes Making News


This isn't big news for the common WHL fan but in the broadcast world it's definitely turning some heads...

It appears the broadcast rights for the Lethbridge Hurricanes have changed hands. Clear Sky Radio - the newest kid on the block in the Lethbridge radio market will take over Hurricanes hockey next season. You can read more about it at http://www.milkmanunlimited.com/tunedin.htm .


The broadcast rights were moved to B93 FM from Country 95.5 within the Pattison radio group a couple of seasons ago. This is a brand new radio company making a big splash in the world of WHL radio. The story talks about how they will hold "auditions" for a new play-by-play voice which will be announced in July. I wonder what this means for 3rd year Hurricanes broadcaster Marlon Martens?


I'm thinking this play-by-play position will garner plenty of attention from some of my colleagues around the league. Lethbridge is a beautiful city and the Hurricanes are on their up-cycle. Lethbridge was the first team I ever called a WHL game for. The folks at Shaw TV in Lethbridge gave me the opportunity when I was in my first year of college taking broadcast journalism.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Carey Price has led the Hamilton Bulldogs to an American Hockey League Championship. Price, who played this past season with the Tri-City Americans, was named the AHL Playoff MVP.



Hamilton beat Hershey 2-1 last night to climb the title. Does Carey Price have a chance to make the Montreal Canadiens next season? You have to think he'll get a pretty good look. You never want to rush a goaltender and throw them into the first at a young age but Price's pro hockey debut has been nothing short of spectacular.



I still remember the night his Ams came to the Civic Center this season. Price, fresh off a World Junior Gold medal was sensational making 44 saves in the win.



Former Swift Current Bronco forward Duncan Milroy also plays with the Bulldogs. Milroy had a successful stint for two plus seasons as a Bronco. He along with Layne Ulmer were a force together in the 2000-2001 season that saw the team reach the Eastern Conference Final only to lose to Red Deer six games. Red Deer went on to win the Memorial Cup in Regina.

-------------------------


I had the chance to talk to Swift Current Broncos defenseman Paul Postma yesterday. The Red Deer defenseman is eagerly anticpating the upcoming NHL draft in Columbus.

Postma is the highest ranked Bronco among North American skaters according to the NHL's Central Scouting. He's ranked 66th, while fellow Bronco defensemen Eric Doyle is ranked 69th and Derek Claffey ranked 146th.

Postma said the NHL Combine was one of the toughest things he's ever had to do. He says the tests you are put through are both physically and mentally taxing.

He enjoyed his time in Toronto while at the Combine. He and some friends took in a Jays game and had a great time hanging out in the T-dot. I'll post a small transcript of our chat next week.


Can you believe the NHL draft is now only two weeks away from tonight? That was quick. We will have draft reports from Columbus on the Eagle 94.1 FM June 21-23.

The Chicago Blackhawks hold the #1 pick and no doubt have a big decision to make.
----------------------------------------------

The Swift Current Indians took their first loss of the season. The Tribe split a double-header with the St. Albert Prospects last night. The Indians took game one 5-2 but lost the 2nd half 4-1.


They remain on top of the Central division with a record of 5-1. They host the 3-1 Yorkton Cardinals tonight @ 7:05pm from Mitchell Field.
----------------------------
Dear Travis Moen,

Do you need an agent? There's no doubt there's a big endorsement market out there for the Stewart Valley native who just helped the Ducks capture the Stanley Cup.

With all the play the "farm kid who still gets up in the morning to do his chores" received from every network out there, Moen would be the perfect spokesman for anything agriculture related don't you think?

He could endorse everything from John Deere tractors to the latest chemical applications to treat field peas. He could make a killing! I received two seperate phone calls yesterday from people in the Ag Industry wanting to know how to get a hold of him. I said I would pass the message along......



Have a good weekend
Jon

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Ducks Win!





What a great effort by the Anaheim Ducks...fully deserving of the Stanley Cup, no questions asked. They were simply superb. 6-2 was the final in last night's game five to win the Cup on home-ice.


What more can you say about Stewart Valley's Travis Moen? Two more goals last night - he was credited with the first one after dumping the puck in and letting Ottawa defenseman Chris Phillips do the rest. Yikes, it must be tough to be Chris Phillips today.



Scott Niedermeyer was awarded the Conn Smythe as playoff MVP. I can live with that. j.S. Giguere was the favorite for the award with Travis Moen having an outside shot - probably 4th or 5th on the list. I guess CBC colorman Greg Millen said on-air that Moen was his pick for the award.

Great playoffs for him, 7 goals (3 game-winners), 5 assists. All while playing the shutdown role.

His mother, brother and sister were on hand last night in Anaheim for the series clinching game. I'm going to see if I can get my hands on some pics in the coming days.

I thought Travis did a great job in his post-game interview on CBC too...he kept it "G" rated, unlike Ryan Getzlaf...haha.

Can't wait for the cup to come to Swifty...I'll be sure to post lots of pictures.

-----------------------------

Kelowna Rockets play-by-play broadcaster Regan Bartel has pretty good coverage of the Brayden Schenn scenario. The 1st round bantam pick of Brandon says he's not reporting to the Wheat Kings. For the complete story check out Regan's blog on the link located on the right hand side of this page.

----------------------------

Jon

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

***UPDATE**** Clayton Cumiskey Edmonton Bound / Radio Rockets Suffer Defeat

Sorry for the delay, I got caught up on the golf course tonight...........

- The Swift Current Broncos have parted ways with 17 year-old forward Clayton Cumiskey in todays Edmonton Oil Kings expansion draft. Cumiskey, 5'10, 165 - played this last season in Williams Lake in the BCJHL and put up decent numbers.

He was a 6th round bantam selection in the 2005 bantam draft. He actually was teammates with Geordie Wudrick and goaltender Ian Curtis in "AAA" bantam in Abbotsford. He was a prospect I liked but the Broncos just have too many at that age (1990 born) coming into camp or on the team from last season.

From what I gather he really wanted to be a Bronco next season and was gearing up for training camp. His brother Kyle Cumiskey was a standout with the Kelowna Rockets. I spoke with Head Coach and G.M. Dean Chynoweth tonight and will post a transcript of our chat tomorrow.

Not a lot of big surprises in today's expansion draft. Former Bronco defenseman Micheal Hengen is packing his suitcase again. Hengen was scooped up by Edmonton. The Oil Kings become an unprecedented 6th team for Hengen in his WHL career. That's almost impossible one would think. I have to ask the question, what's the record for most teams played for career in the WHL? Six has to get some consideration.

A complete list of drafted players is available at www.whl.ca .

---------------------------------



- Expect an announcement from possibly two WHL teams this week regarding their vacant Head Coaching positions. We'll see who goes where and have reaction once the news is released.



- The Swift Current Radio Rockets dropped a fun one to Team Kidsport last night under the lights of Mitchell Field. Tied 6-6 through seven innings, Kidsport batted around in the 8th to score 8 en-route to the 14-8 win. What a great night for ball.... a team photo is below.



- Swift Current Indians open up a five game homestand tonight when they take on Lethbridge at Mitchell Field @ 7:05pm. Catch this one on the Eagle 94.1 FM beginning at 6:4pm, Ryan Switzer has the call in this rematch of last summer's league championship series.

Safe to say these two teams don't like each other. Lethbridge is great at talking. They've used the Lethbridge Herald to motivate the Indians the last two times they've met in the post-season. The Indians love it, Lethbridge yaks and then the Indians go on to make quick work of them in the playoffs.


The Bulls are coached by Todd Hubka who was suspended last season for bumping an umpire during a disputed call. It's gonna be a fun one, see you there.......




The 2007 Radio Rockets


Saturday, June 02, 2007

WHL Players Sign NHL Deals / Tribe Rolling Early

Yesterday was the deadline for NHL clubs so sign their CHL drafted players from the 2005 draft in Ottawa.

There was a handful of signings to report. Here's a quick rundown of those who signed a pro deal:


- The Montreal Canadiens traded a 7th round draft pick to the New York Rangers for Kootenay Ice forward Ryan Russell. The Canadiens then signed him to an entry level contract.
- The Florida Panthers sign Vancouver Giants forward Kendall McArdle and Brandon Wheat Kings goaltender Tyler Plante to entry level contracts.
- The New York Islanders sign Brandon Wheat Kings defenseman Dustin Kohn to an entry level contract.
- The Atlanta Thrashers sign Regina Pats forward Myles Stoesz to an entry level contract.
- The Vancouver Canucks sign Vancouver Giants forward Mario Bliznak to an entry level contract.

I think there are a couple more. I'll try and find out more details.

-----------------------

- The Swift Current Indians are rolling. The Tribe has picked up back-to-back wins to start the season. 2-1 over Saskatoon Thursday night at Mitchell Field to start the season and then 12-5 in Moose Jaw last night. Joe Carnahan had a solo and a three-run homer to lead the way offensively. Shawn Cooley picked up the win on the mound. The Indians host Moose Jaw tonight, 7:05pm at Mitchell Field.

- Word is the Prince Albert Raiders, Moose Jaw Warriors and Edmonton Oil Kings are getting closer to naming their new head coaches. I expect an announcement from at least one team next week, either Moose Jaw or Prince Albert, or both.

- The Edmonton Oil Kings expansion draft is set for Tuesday. The Broncos will submit their protected list that morning. I haven't talked to Dean about their plans but one would think they will choose to keep their returning overagers (20's) unprotected so they can use the extra spot for their young talent. In other words, RJ Larochelle, Brady Leavold, Daniel Rakos and Mike Wilson will be thrown to the expansion wolves. The Broncos also don't have enough room to protect all of their returning 19 year-olds. One out of that group may also be headed north to the City of Champions. Check back Tuesday...

- I've been asked through SaskTel Max Local on Demand to host the Saskatchewan Amateur Boxing Provincials this evening in Swift Current. For those of you out of province, SaskTel Max is a cable provider. I'm a subscriber and I think it's a pretty good deal.

Great, two things I'm not familiar with, T.V. and amateur boxing. I was willing to give it a shot though, it's always good to broaden your skills...and get some money back from the multi-million dollar Saskatchewan Crown Corporation, haha. The show will air on SaskTel Max in the coming weeks. They are looking for some interviews plus some play-by-play of the action. Hopefully my colorman Barry Metevier (a local boxing club member) can carry the broadcast!

Jon