- Its the Broncos and the Giants tonight from the Credit Union I-plex. After 2300 fans took in the 9-3 win over Red Deer, I'm expecting a pretty big crowd for this match-up against the defending Memorial Cup Champions. I'm excited for this one... I think the city is too.
- How much does Vancouver have left? This is their 6th and last game of their east division swing. Last night they had a rough and tumble game in Moose Jaw. I'm betting it won't matter much. A team doesn't get to the top of the standings by mailing in the last game of a road trip. Expect Vancouver to look fairly fresh as they battle tonight.
- This could be a make or break game for the Giants who are 2-2-0-1 on their swing so far. A win would mean they would salvage the road trip, a loss and they would be pretty disappointed with it.
- This is the first game that Garret Hunt is eligible to return in. The veteran Giants sparkplug served his 7th and final game of a suspension for his hit on Seattle's Bud Holloway.
- The Broncos should have Keegan Dansereau back tonight. He sat out Wednesday's game due to injury.
- The Broncos haven't had much success against the Giants recently. Vancouver has won the last three contests including an 8-4 win two seasons ago - the last time the teams met at the I-plex. The Broncos last beat Vancouver November 3rd, 2004. That was a wild night. The Broncos tied it 4-4 thanks to back to back 3rd period PP goals from Alex Leavitt and Kyle Annesley. Luke Hunter then won it in overtime. The Broncos had 16 powerplays that night. I remember it well.....
So I recently picked up the Hockey News and it was their annual "Top 100 Power People of the NHL". It was a good article as it detailed, the players, GM's, owners, media personnel (at least 10 in the top 100), and TV executives deemed to be the Top 100 power holders of the league. By the way, Sidney Crosby edged out Gary Bettman for the #1 spot this year. Sid the Kid is getting more and more pull around the NHL and the article goes into it at depth.
I got to thinking... what about a WHL Top 50 Power People list? You could throw several names out there from owners, to GM's to League Executives.
A big difference between the NHL and the WHL is that the players don't hold that much clout in the WHL. Neither do members of the media. Sponsorship deals and TV rights don't dictate how the WHL does it business. It's controlled by the League Office, the Board of Governors, a handful of G.M.'s and notable people from across the league.
No brainers on such a list would include WHL Comissioner Ron Robison, Vice President of Hockey Operations Rick Doerksen. Ed Chynoweth carries a lot of weight at the league level and would crack one of the first couple spots. Owners like Ron Toigo, Bruce Hamilton, Brent Sutter, The Brodskys, etc., would also be no-doubters on the list. A select number of General Manager's would also crack the list like Kelly Macrimmon, Brent Parker, Russ Farwell, Dean Chynoweth, Kelly Kisio and others to name a few would also garner some attention. The odd Head Coach could also find their way on.
So I'm in no position to compile a list like this but I would challenge my counterpart in Kamloops Gregg Drinnan (Kamloops Daily News) to take a stab at it. He's been covering this league longer than I've been around. I think it would make for a great article. Have at'er Gregg. It would be a great read. And Gregg, feel free to slide your name in their somewhere....