Monday, July 30, 2007
Just a few quick notes....
- Swift Current Indians host game three of their 1st round playoff series tonight at Mitchell Field. Last night the boys blew a 7-5 lead when Regina scored five runs in the 8th to even the series at 1-1. Regina is now 2-12 the last two seasons against the Indians - both of their wins have come in the playoffs.
I've been called into action to do Tuesday night's broadcast in Regina. Both Ryan Switzer and Chris Martens are unavailable so they are forced to go with the third stringer! I don't mind one bit, should be fun considering I did the games for two seasons before Broncos hockey came on the scene.
- Huge win for the Riders Saturday. I haven't even been to a game yet! That will change soon enough. I'm going to take in the Aug 18th rematch against the Eskies. Then the Labour Day Classic of course.
- Word is new Broncos Assistant Coach Tim Kehler is in the city this week. I hope to track him down at some point....
Have a good week,
Friday, July 27, 2007
Biggest media scrum ever in Stewart Valley
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Zack Smith will be a go-to guy this season as one of the leaders on the team.
Used predominately in a checking role, The 19 year-old from Maple Creek should see an increased role on the offensive side this season.
Smith had ok numbers last season (16-15-31), but a lot of people believe he can be a 30 goal man in this league.
He will wear a letter again and will get some great experience when he takes to the ice at Vancouver Canucks camp after securing a free agent tryout. He's working hard this summer and should come in ready to be an impact guy.
All things considered, Dale Wiese should shoulder much of the offensive load this season for the hockey club.
The 19 year old has the abilities to be a dominant power forward in the Western Hockey League.
Last year's numbers of 18-25-43 should be a mere shadow of what he could capably do in the months ahead.
Look for Dale to come in confident and ready to go. I hope he's worked hard this summer and realizes his potential.Geordie Wudrick
This is a big year for the 17 year-old forward. I sometimes forget he's only coming into his 17 year-old season just based on the predominate role he's been given.
After joining the Broncos as a 15 year-old for the tail end of the regular season and playoffs, Wudrick played in 67 games last season as a rookie collecting 13 goals and 11 assists.
Every time I see this guy he's getting bigger. I saw him down at the gym about a month ago and couldn't believe it.
It's his draft year and I just hope he doesn't put too much pressure on himself to perform.
Geordie Wudrick will be another great reason to get exited about Broncos Hockey.
The 17 year-old Dowling comes into this season as last year's top scorer in the "AAA" Alberta midget hockey league. He collected 23 goals and 38 assists for 61 points for the UFA Bisons. He also played in a trio of games with the Broncos collecting three assists.
Dowling's offensive potential is big, although we may have to wait some time as he adjusts into the WHL. He's definitely a big part of the future and anything he contributes this season will be a bonus.
I'm interested to see if he got any bigger since his last stint with the team, he'll need to add some weight if he wants to be a regular fixture in the league.
The 17 year old netminder comes into camp this season looking to compete for one of two goaltending spots. Right now, he's the favorite in my opinion to back-up Travis Yonkman.
He's the goaltender of the future along with Eric Ferber and possibly Andrew Breker.
After spending last season in Cowichan Valley of the B.C. junior league, Curtis should be ready to make the jump to the Western Hockey League when camp begins August 20th.
I've always liked his size and his athleticism in the crease. He's big (6'4 last year) and was the one player that stood out the most as a 15 year-old two years ago. I've compared him in the past to a Justin Pogge clone. Let's see if this is his year.
There you have it, 10 reasons to get excited about Broncos hockey. Who excites you this upcoming season? Feel free to leave a comment.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Everybody is talking about Stanley Cup Day in the southwest as Travis Moen brings the cup home to Stewart Valley today.
The Eagle 94.1 FM and CKSW 570 will live on location for this afternoon's festivities from noon-4pm.
Later tonight is when it really gets going... there's a function for family and friends at Kabos... that will be interesting to say the least.
See you out in the Valley this afternoon...
Ok, here it is, 10 reasons to get excited about the upcoming Broncos season. With training camp less than a month away, I thought I'd build some hype for what should be a fun season ahead. A good mix of veterans mixed in with some saucy new rookies should bring some flare to the ice this winter.
In no particular order here they are.....
Levi will be the Broncos offensive leader this season. His experience at the end of last year in the AHL with the Providence Bruins should bode well towards a strong start.
Levi has the flash to be an elite player in this league and started to really show signs in last year's playoffs. He should be a point a game guy for this team and has proven his durability.
Another Boston Bruins training camp should build even more confidence for the Calgary native.
Expect big things from Levi... I sure am.
The sky is the limit for this 2nd year Bronco d-man.
After being drafted by the New Jersey Devils in the 7th round back in June, Molle should come in a different player.
He showed signs of what he's capable of late in the season. His playoff goal against the Pats displayed his big shot from the back end. I like the way he competes, his skating and he's shown he can handle himself when the gloves come off.
Ryan Molle's upside is unknown. Here's hoping for a big season from Molls.
It will be fun watching Eakin develop this season into what the Broncos project - a skilled, speedy, responsible point producer.
The 1st round bantam pick from '06 had a cup of coffee with the team last year as a 15 year old and didn't look out of place.
He impressed at last year's training camp and is coming off a big season with the Winnipeg Wild "AAA" midget in which he collected 29 goals, 34 assists for 63 points in just 39 games - all as a first year midget player.
It will be a treat to watch Eakin as a Bronco the next four to five seasons.
Look for 16 year old Brad Hoban to turn some heads this season big time!
Last year with the Juan De Fuca Grizzlies "AAA" bantam, Hoban was a standout. He was one of the best B.C. bantam players last season and just kept getting better and better as the season progressed. He was named the Tournament MVP of the prestigiuos KIBIHT Cup (4-18-22) and lead the tourney in scoring.
He also played a couple games as a Bronco last season and impressed the coaching staff. Mark down Brad Hoban on your training camp roster and take a good look at the future.
This is a huge year for 18 year-old defenseman Eric Doyle.
After being passed over at the NHL draft, Doyle has received a free agent tryout with the Dallas Stars.
Doyle still reminds me of Aaron Rome at times and if he puts it all together this season offensively and defensively, Doyle will be a leader on the blueline.
I'm excited for Doyle to prove 30 NHL teams wrong who passed on him at the draft in Columbus.
Expect big things from #2.
Ok that's part one.... five more reasons later this week coming up in part two.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Out on Yawkey Way, mere steps from the entrance to Fenway Park, sits an outdoor studio constructed by the New England Sports Network. As part of their game-day coverage of almost every Red Sox game, NESN employs Jim Rice. The former Boston slugger appears easily accessible, so if you happen to have tickets, feel free to cozy up to quasi-greatness.
Personally, I’ll take a pass.
I tried to get an autograph from Jim Rice once. I don’t recall the year exactly, though I suspect it was 1982, which would have made me fifteen. In those days, I used to sit in the lobby of the Hotel Toronto, and wait for visiting ball-players to descend from the rooms. I was polite and well-mannered, and made a habit of offering a handshake and introduction before asking for a signature or free tickets. The odd time, a player would politely refuse, and I accepted the decision graciously.
Almost every player I ever met – from no-names like Jack O’Connor to future Hall-of-Famers like Cal Ripken Junior - were friendly and receptive. Almost every player.
Jim Rice wasn’t one of them.
The memory is as fresh as my first legal purchase at the beer store: “Mr. Rice. Would you mind signing a card for me?” His reply?
For all I know, Rice could have been having a bad day. Perhaps he’d just learned of the death of a friend. We never know when we’ve interrupted a person in the throws of sorrow or frustration.
But f--- off? I was fifteen.
I’ll never forget Jim Rice. No professional athlete had ever said anything like that to me before, and no one has since. In my role as a Blue Jays’ broadcaster, I see Rice when the team visits Boston. Though I wish him no ill-will, I’m glad he’s never been elected to the Hall of Fame and hope that day never arrives. I’m grateful to Bucky Dent. I’m happy the Red Sox never won the World Series while Rice played for them. And I have no interest in ever meeting him again.
Joe DiMaggio once said he played all-out every day - in spring games and meaningless late season blowouts - because you never knew who was watching for the first time. Nothing lasts quite like a first impression.
I wonder if Jim Rice knows that.
Friday, July 20, 2007
The Swift Current Broncos have hired Tim Kehler as their new assistant coach.
Kehler was most recently the Head Coach and General Manager of the Trail Smoke Eaters of the BCJHL.
Here's his info off http://www.trailsmokeeaters.com/
"Tim Kehler joined the Trail Smoke Eaters on October 8th 2004, becoming the 8th Head Coach in the Clubs BCHL History.
In 2002-2003, Tim was the Head Coach and Director of Player Personnel for the North Delta Flyers in the PIJHL, having advanced through the Minor Hockey ranks in the Lower Mainland by winning the Bantam 'A' Provincial Championship in 1999-2000, and winning the PCAHA Coach of the Year Award in 2001.
Tim has also had extensive involvement in the BCAHA Hi-Performance Program. He has participated as a Group Leader at Provincial Camp in 2004, and as an Instructor since 2002. Tim was the Head Coach of Team Fraser Valley in the Best Ever U-17 Program that won the BC Cup at Cominco Arena in 2001. Having coached at both the U-16 and U-17 levels, Tim now serves as a Coach Mentor for the Program. In 2006, Tim was chosen to serve as Assistant Coach on Team Pacific for the World Under-17 Championships held in Regina. Most recently, Tim was selected as Assistant Coach of Team Canada West at the upcoming 2007 World Junior A Challenge to be held in Trail in November.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
The event is open to the public - everyone is invited. You can get pictures taken with the cup for only $2 with proceeds going to the Stewart Valley Rec Board. There will be hamburgers and pop so make sure to come out and make a day of it. Bring the family and make a day of it.
The Moen family plans to have their own celebration later on in the evening back in Swift Current.
The cup is coming in from Regina once Chris Kunitz and Ryan Getzlaf have their way with it the day before.
Safe to say I'm excited for Travis and Stewart Valley. It's great that he can share the famous trophy with the entire southwest.
I've already had my "turn" with the cup last month in Columbus. The Ducks staff had it out on the town the Thursday before the draft. Here's the proof...
The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed forward Jeremy Williams to a two-year contract.
Williams, 23, spent time last season with the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League (AHL).
He has the distinction of being the only player in NHL history to play in just two games and score in both. The Glenavon, SK native played 23 games for the Marlies, recording 15 points (six goals, nine assists) with 27 penalty minutes. Williams was Toronto's fifth choice, 220th overall, in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.
Still no confirmation on who the new Assistant Coach is for the Broncos. It appears to be the worst kept secret around the league but no announcement has been made. I'm expecting something today. For more info see below.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
UPDATE** - Fellow WHL blogger Andy Kemper www.afterthewhistle.blogspot.com informs me that the Griffins have hired Mike Strothers for the position. Thanks for the update Andy. We'll see what this leads to for Desjardins.
Swift Current Broncos graduated forward Jeremy Schenderling has signed a pro contract with the Augusta Lynx of the East Coast Hockey League.
This just happened today and is hot off the presses. Schendo was a five year WHL veteran who reached the 300 games played plateau this season.
He'll will give pro hockey a try this upcoming season and make a decision on his future from there.
Good job Jeremy and good luck!
There's a hot story going around that Tim Kehler is the new Assistant Coach of the Swift Current Broncos. He has resigned from the Trail Smoke Eaters of the BCJHL. There's a couple sources reporting that his destination is here but the Broncos hockey club has yet to confirm it. The blog will have all the details once it's confirmed.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Cranbrook, BC -- Jeff Chynoweth, General Manager of the Kootenay ICE Hockey Club, today announced Head Coach Cory Clouston has resigned his position. Clouston has been with the ICE organization since June 1999 and was promoted to Head Coach in July 2002.
He is the all-time winningest coach in franchise history (209 wins) and has a career regular season winning percentage of .638 (209-110-41). In five years as bench boss, his teams recorded three 40 plus win seasons and two 100 point campaigns.
Cory was the Head Coach of Canada's Under 18 team which won gold in August 2006 and was the WHL Coach of the Year in two of the past three seasons (2004-2005, 2006-2007).
The Swift Current Broncos should have a new Assistant Coach in place by the end of the week. The team is set to announce Dave Hunchak's replacement after he accepted the head coaching job of the Moose Jaw Warriors.
I'll keep you updated on the latest there....
Monday, July 16, 2007
It started Friday with the Swift Current Broncos Wellington West Golf Classic. It was great to see plenty of alumni come back for the tournament. Dave "Tiger" Williams was a surprise golfer. No one knew he was playing but he made the trip in from his cabin at Beaver Flats to have some fun on the course.
Some of the players since I've been calling games were also back to have some fun including Benny Ondrus (Toronto AHL/NHL), Nathan Smith (just signed with Pittsburgh), Ian White (Toronto), James Hiebert (Laredeo - CHL) and Tyler Redenbach (AHL).
I had a chance to talk with Memorial Cup champ Bob Wilkie. Bob helped me out back in December with a great interview on the 20th anniversary of the Broncos bus crash. His audio was among the most gripping in the two-part feature piece I put together. The former Bronco was wearing his 1989 Memorial Cup ring with pride. Just looking at it gives me chills. It is some piece of hardware.
Wilkie is now writing a book about his life after the 1986 bus crash that claimed the lives of four of his teammates. He tells me it will be about the triumphs with the team and the community after the crash. The fact they won the Memorial Cup just two seasons later is a testimonial to that. He also realizes the negativity the community and its people get on a national level from it's troubled past - he wants to change that. He wants to talk about all the things right about junior hockey in Speedy Creek.
We also share the same distaste for one "Gare Joyce". Wilkie was pretty p.o'ed when I mentioned the name of the ESPN.com reporter who came under false pretenses and ripped the team and the city. Wilkie couldn't believe the article when he read it and says it was motivation for him to tell his story. I will be picking up a copy of his book and will encourage others to do the same. It's due out hopefully by the end of the year. Good on ya Bob!
The tournament was another great time for everyone involved and thanks again to the staff at Wellington West Capital for putting it all together.
Sunday was my favorite day of the summer... Some morning golf at the Elmwood with some good friends (who has the belt now Hunch?) and an afternoon at the lake filled with water-skiing, tubing (my all time favorite), and a bbq. With the temp hitting 36C in the city, the lake was the only place for some relief. It was a great Saskatchewan summer day...
Rod P. (http://www.rodpedersen.com/) gave me a little plug on his blog today. It was about WHL bloggers and their outstanding coverage of off-season league news. He made me feel a little guilty being that I haven't updated the blog on a regular basis. Summer has gotten in the way a little bit. I promise once Broncos training camp begins, it's back to blogging full force. By the way, we're only 36 days away from that happening, unbelievable.
So, not to disappoint,I have something juicy..... Marc Habscheid is spending the week in Kelowna. I called him today to get an interview on his upcoming charity golf tournament and he informed me he was in K-town. I made a statement like "oh that's interesting...." to which he replied "don't get too excited, my son is involved in a hockey camp and I'm taking the time to visit some friends. "
Could one of those friends be Kelowna Rockets General Manager Bruce Hamilton?? Hey, it's a valid question considering the Rockets head coaching position is vacant and he's currently unemployed in the coaching ranks.
Marc has made comments to me in the past like he would like to settle down a bit and quit moving his family from venue to venue. We'll see what next year holds for the Wymark, SK native.
By the way, there are still some spots open in the Habscheid/Harvey Subway Charity Golf Classic. Last year, the tournament was awesome and I would encourage anyone looking for a good time and great prizes to sign-up. You can call Paul at 773-0616 for more info or to register.
have a great week in the sweltering summer heat,
Thursday, July 12, 2007
The Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League have called a news conference for Thursday and sources suggest team owner Brent Sutter will announce that he's stepping down as general manager and head coach.
NHL sources tell TSN that Sutter is stepping down from his junior club to pursue a head coaching job in the NHL and that Sutter is the odds-on favourite to be named the next head coach of the New Jersey Devils.
"I really can't comment," Sutter said. "We will have an announcement regarding the Rebels tomorrow. That's all there is to say at this point."
Brent's brother Brian is reportedly taking over the Rebels. Brent Sutter is scheduled to coach Team Canada in the Canada-Russia Super Series, an eight game junior-aged series to honor the 35th anniversary of the 1972 Summit Series.
The Devils, meanwhile, are in the market for a new head coach since GM Lou Lamoriello fired Claude Julien late in the regular season. Lamoriello took over and finished out the playoffs as head coach but made it clear he would be hiring a new bench boss to start this season.
Sources say Sutter is Lamoriello's first choice and Thursday's announcement in Red Deer will be the first step towards making that happen.
RED DEER, AB – The Red Deer Rebels Hockey Club announced July 12th, a major restructuring of the organization.Effective immediately, Brent Sutter is stepping down as Governor/General Manager/Head Coach of the hockey club. He has held these positions since purchasing the franchise in May 1999. It should be noted that Sutter is not selling the team.
Effective immediately, Brian Sutter has been named the new Head Coach. Sutter has coached 13 years in the National Hockey League with the St. Louis Blues (1988-92), Boston Bruins (1992-95), Calgary Flames (1997-2000), and the Chicago Blackhawks (2001-04). He won the Jack Adams Award as the National Hockey League’s top coach in 1991 with the St. Louis Blues. Most recently, Brian Sutter coached the Bentley Generals of the Chinook Hockey League (Senior AAA) to a B.C./Alberta Championship and participated in the 2007 Allan Cup.
As a player, Brian Sutter spent 12 seasons in the NHL all with St. Louis starting in 1976 and ending in 1988. He accumulated 636 points in 779 games during those 12 years along with 1786 minutes in penalties. Along with the hiring of Brian Sutter as Head Coach, there have been other changes within the Rebels organization.
Jesse Wallin is now the team’s Associate Coach, after two seasons as an Assistant, and has accepted a contract extension.
Jerry Van Someren has been named Governor/Vice President of Business Operations. Van Someren has been the team’s Vice President of Business Operations for the last two seasons.
Randy Peterson has been named Vice President of Hockey Operations. Peterson has held the post of Director of Scouting/Player Development since 2003.
Dale McMullin has been named Senior Scout. McMullin has been involved in the Red Deer Rebels scouting staff since 2002.
Ralph Schmidt, former Moose Jaw Warriors General Manager and Calgary Flames scout, has been added to the scouting staff.
Craig Kinney has been named the team’s new Video Consultant. Dallas Gaume, Dave ‘Radar’ Horning, and Terence Robertson have all accepted contract extensions.
Part two tomorrow....live from Jersey.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
I'm looking forward to the event - it's always a blast. It's going to be hot, 35C is what I'm hearing.
It'll be great to see some of the former guys who plan to make it back.
Speaking of former Broncos....below is a pick from one of my favorite former players with Lord Stanley.... Nesbitt Manitoba's Aaron Rome was able to join in the Stanley Cup celebrations despite only seeing limited action during the season and playoffs. This pic was e-mailed to me from a friend....thanks Kim!
Monday, July 09, 2007
Is their room on the bandwagon?
I was in a campground during the game at seemingly everyone had the game on the radio from site to site - it truly was a nice Saskatchewan moment.
Good for the Riders... can they do it again Friday night when they host the B.C. Lions?
People around town always ask me for the latest Bronco news. The info they want these days? Who's the new Assistant Coach going to be? Great question.... and I have no idea. I don't even know the names of potential candidates.
Head Coach and G.M. Dean Chynoweth has been away but is due back this week. I assume he will concentrate on that a bit more once returning. It will be very interesting to see who it is. Especially for us at the radio station - he will be the focal point of our post-game Coaches Show over the next season....
Have a great week,
Friday, July 06, 2007
It's the term when some people just can't get enough of getting their name, their kid's name and what they're up to on the radio. Calling to inform us of even the smallest detail or the latest info of a project or event they just participated in. All in the hopes of having it broadcast to the masses.
It starts innocent enough. Maybe this person has a child who just won the Soap Box Derby or won a medal in a soccer tournament - great stuff actually and noteworthy. But when it doesn't stop, it can become scary. It's as if people need their "radio crack" fix to get them by.
The first time it's a rush. People on the street come up to you and say "hey I heard you on the radio talking about this or that" or "I hear your son had a great track and field meet". The gratitude and attention they receive puts a smile on their face.... they feel good about their accomplishments.
Don't get me wrong, I love getting information sent to me but I've been burned before. For example, there was a proud parent who called in some results for their daughter who played on a prestigious Provincial soccer team. Great stuff. The dad proceeded to tell me about all the goals she scored and how the team did. I assumed that she was the only local player on this Provincial soccer team and I went with the info on a sports story the next day. Did my phone ever start ringing! Turns out, four Swift Current girls played on this team and the question was why did I not talk about them too?? It turned into a parent pissing match about who's kid was better and who contributed more to the team. I felt used.
But, as time goes on, so does the attention and the spotlight. For some it's tough to handle. They will do anything to get back into the spotlight again. Whether it be next year's event or the next hockey tournament on the schedule, they want to have that sense of "accomplishment" again.
So the phone rings, the message manager gets another hit.... they stop by the radio station. All in an effort to get their "radio crack". It really becomes overbearing and weird.
You have to cut it off at some point. Much to their displeasure. Withdrawl symptoms take over and sometimes extreme measures are taken in response. The NEED they're hit.... it's scary stuff.
I know this seems strange, but believe me it's true.
The other term we use is S.D.S. - or "Spotlight Deficiency Syndrome".
This one applies to us, the workers of the media industry. This ensues when someone leaves the business to take up another profession.
After years of being in the public spotlight and being a recognizable name in the community, suddenly it's all taken away. You become just John Q. Citizen again and for some the transition is tough.
Pro athletes often suffer from this in my opinion, so do washed-up movie or T.V stars but to a much greater extent. Being a recognizable name or figure and getting accolades for it can be as addicting as a drug. For some who fade back into the scenery it's unbearable. We've all seen people unravel with drugs, alcohol and other issues once their time in the spotlight is over. If you don't believe me watch the reaility show the "Surreal Life".
I've seen it even in small-town radio. It's a hard pill to swallow. I would love to hear if other bloggers in the industry like Ryan, Regan and Roddy have seen similar stories.
Oh, I have to go....someone just showed up in the newsroom waiting to be interviewed....here we go again.
Monday, July 02, 2007
Here it is.... a fellow Foley Crescent Crusher is on the move....
Jackets sign free-agent defenceman
July 02, 2007
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) --
The Columbus Blue Jackets agreed to a one-year contract Monday with defenceman Sheldon Brookbank.The 26-year-old Brookbank, selected as the American Hockey League's top defenceman last season, scored a career-best 15 goals and had 38 assists in 78 games with the Milwaukee Admirals.
He played three games with the Nashville Predators last year, picking up his only NHL point with an assist against Pittsburgh on Feb. 6.
Hopefully Sheldon can stick with Columbus. Nashville was just a tough situation for him to break in on a full-time basis. This should provide him a better opportunity.
I'm not going to list all the big signings in the NHL. A quick trip to any of the major sports networks will outline in detail who is going where.
Enjoy the last day of the long weekend,
Sunday, July 01, 2007
What a wind storm that came through! Gusts over 100 k/mh knocked over trees, damaged houses and property all over the city. It also knocked down 27 power poles in the southwest cutting power to several rural areas.
I ran into Marc Habscheid in the city Friday at lunch. It'll be interesting to see where he lands - if he wants to move again. I'll have more on that later once things slowdown and I get my cpu figured out.
Oh, and good job Riders! Great way to start the season... 18-0 right Roddy?