A cloudy day filled with rain showers greeted my arrival in Ottawa around 4pm local time. That type of weather is expected to stick around for the next few days - a far cry from 2005 in the nations capital where hot and muggy conditions surrounded the draft and ít's festivities.
I'm stationed at the Marriott media headquarters hotel downtown on Kent Street. Not many media types kicking around but I did run into Boomer and Rob Kerr from Calgary Flames Radio the Fan 960 in the lobby. The majority of reporters will file in tomorrow.
Meanwhile, most of the real action is about four blocks over at the Westin Hotel. Like in '05, most of the media looking for scoops and something to fill the pages will camp out on the comfy chairs in the Westin's lobby waiting for some of the NHL Top Prospects and General Managers to make an appearance. I just saw a TSN report. Sure enough, the background of the story was the familiar Westin. It makes for a nice setting. The Parliament buildings are virtually across the street and reporters can run out and do their stand-up in front of the cliché "look were in Ottawa" background.
I'll take in the Top Prospects luncheon tomorrow at noon which will be about seven floors underneath my hotel room. The top 20 or so prospects will be introduced while the media types pound food and fill our pockets. "Could I get this to go?"... will be something I'll hear at least a couple times tomorrow. We really can be unrefined at times. I blame the print and internet/blog reporters. Just kidding. There's a media reception down in the byward district tomorrow night. The poster made sure to mention "free food" and "free beer". It looks like they know the buttons to push. In five years of covering the draft I've made one of them. It was in Raleigh, North Carolina and it was just...ok.
I've been asked by Rod Pedersen of the Pats to grab a couple interviews for him and e-mail them over considering he won't be attending this year. He feeds me Rider clips all of the time and it's the least I can do to return the favour. Us WHL broadcasters have to look out for each other now and then. Both Colton Tuebert and Jordan Eberle of the Pats are projected to be 1st rounders Friday night.
I'll be busy with GWR and our station affiliates. Most of the stations want a local feel to there reports or voicers. I'll try my best to shape one for them. A lot of our rural Manitoba stations don't count Brandon or Winnipeg as "local", so that makes the job a bit tougher.
Broncos Release Tentative Schedule
The Broncos will open the season with a home and home set with the Moose Jaw Warriors September 19th/20th.
They will head to B.C. this year for an eight day, six game road trip just before the Christmas break in December.
The defending WHL and Memorial Cup Champion Spokane Chiefs make a visit to the Credit Union I-plex Saturday, November 22nd.
Of the division rivals, the Broncos play Regina and Brandon eight times. They play Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, and Prince Albert six times. They will also lock it up with Medicine Hat on four occasions.
I'll be celebrating my 30th birthday in the Pengrowth Saddledome when the Broncos take on the Calgary Hitmen Friday, November 28th. There isn't a place I would rather be.
Here's a look at the complete schedule: