Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Goods on Stamler; So Long R.J. **Updated**

Broncos Head Coach / G.M. Dean Chynoweth weighs in on the pair of deals made yesterday.

JK: Talk about Bretton Stamler and why you went out and acquired him.

Dean: I think he will be able to bring that stability that we're looking for to our back-end. His leadership qualities are definitely a plus and will help in our dressing room. Just that overall experience, I think he's played around 20 playoff games, experience to held solidify our backend.

I had him at 15 and 16. He's a very committed young man. he's a guy who's playing for a contract or tryout. He's a guy that was drafted and now knows time is running out. He's a very competitive individual and in tremendous shape and competes very hard.

JK: You have some familiarity with him from your time in Seattle....

Dean: The one thing I said about him when he came into the league even at 16 is there were times he would bite off more than he could chew just because he was so competitive. Now that's he's 20 years old and schooled in this league he's a very a effective players.

JK: What about R.J. Larochelle? What led to his departure to Vancouver?

Dean: The biggest thing with RJ was his health and not knowing the foreseeable future. I just wasn't comfortable as our group wasn't in taking that chance and potentially being down to six defenseman a month in or in the playoffs. I hope I'm wrong on that, hopefully RJ can stay healthy but we weren't prepared to take that risk.

I've had numerous conversations with RJ, discussion about concussions about what I went through that forced my retirement. He has to look at it long term and the affects that may happen, how long he could potentially play hockey or not play hockey and he took the Christmas break to make a decision. The one thing that came out of it is that he still wanted to give it a go and I had made it clear to him there was the potential we may have to make a decision if we're not comfortable with where it's at.

We've had a number of talks the last few days and it's never easy. I commend RJ for what he's done for our organization. Hopefully he can stay healthy for Vancouver.

Some sound clips will be on the sports tomorrow on our three local radio stations about today's pair of deals.

Here's my take on Bretton Stamler in what I've seen in the four head-to-head meetings against the Oil Kings.

- He's a competitor. He will give you his all every night and is a reliable guy to have on the ice.

- He's not afraid to drop the gloves and will provide that if need be.

- He's a WHL veteran of over 300 games and has playoff experience with his time in Seattle. Dean coached him for a pair of years and has a lot of familiarity with him.

- Detroit obviously saw some upside. They drafted him in the 7th round back in 2005. We all know Detroit is one of the top drafting teams in the NHL.

- He's durable. Twice in his WHL career he's played the maximum 72 games.


The downside is all of this is the departure of R.J. Larochelle to the Vancouver Giants. R.J. will make his debut with them Friday in Regina as the G-men begin their east division roadswing. The Giants make their last stop of the trip in Swifty Saturday, January 19th.

Best of luck to R.J. He was popular amongst his teammates and provided the Broncos with some gritty service since being acquired at the deadline back in January of 2005 in the Tyler Redenbach deal.


Are the Broncos done? I'm sure Dean will continue to be busy right up until 4pm tomorrow but word is the asking price for players remains very high. We will keep a close eye on the action.

There's word Moose Jaw and Regina continue to squabble over a big name player in the Western Conference. I won't get into specifics but it appears both teams aren't done just yet.

Robin Figren has kyboshed a move to Regina. He will more than likely finish out his WHL career in Edmonton.


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