Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Sakic Safe... Barely.

Is there any other way to describe Joe Sakic other than a living legend?

The long time NHL'er and former Swift Current Bronco has done so much for the game and this country (think of Salt Lake City vs the U.S.) and has the utmost respect in any hockey circle.

Joe was back in Swift the last few days visiting his in-laws. Although he keeps a very low profile when in town, I managed to run into him by accident at the Chinook Golf Course Friday morning.

It was General Manager John Gaudet that pointed him out on the first tee as he got ready to play with his kids and father in-law. I would have been none-the-wiser if not for Gaudet.

Having only ever spoken to Joe on the phone, I took the chance to quickly come over from the adjacent driving range and say hello.

He was interested to find out when Broncos camp opened and what their prospects for this season looked like. Of course, the big question surrounding Joe is whether he's going to play another season in the NHL.

The reporter instinct in me broke into that aspect. Safe to say he's going to likely give it another go. Why not? He's still near the top of his game.

"September 18th"

That was his response when I asked him when he had to report for Avalanche training camp. You don't think he's coming back? Sounds like a sure bet you'll see him for at least another season.

I let them get their round under way and went to finish off what was left of my small bucket before our tee-time just minutes after their departure.

As I stood over my last few balls - and with only a mesh fence separating the driving range and the first fairway, I thought to myself. "Don't yank one left and take out Joe ya dumb-dumb".

My heart rate immediately jumped thinking to myself "what if?" I peered to my left to see the group down the middle of the fairway about 190 yards and on the move.... and me with the often sprayed Nike Sasquatch in tow.

I let one buck... feeling my bottom hand turn over at impact... NO!

It was hard and ducking left!

"Get Down!" I yelled to my yellow Srixon range ball.

It spun wildly and on a collision course....like a heat seeking missile to it's target... I gulped and watched helplessly... eyes on the ball, the fence, the Sakic foursome....

I watched... as the ball just caught the top of the mesh fence and fell harmlessly to the ground.

What a relief.

My knees were weak from what might have been.

I took a step back... a breather if you will.

I returned back over my ball but this time turned almost 90 degrees and started hitting in the complete opposition direction.

I thought of TSN's James Duthie and his recent blog post about having a close encounter with Wayne and Walter Gretzky at Gretzky's charity golf event. He managed to almost take out the famous father-son duo on TWO separate occasions.

Joe made it down the first fairway unscathed. For that I was grateful.


Swift Current and Regina get set for another playoff series - this time on the ball diamond.

The local Indians ball club now has a date with the Red Sox in the 2nd round of playoffs. The Indians disposed of Yorkton in a three-game opening round sweep while Regina took out Melville in four.

The Tribe won all three regular season contests over the Red Sox. Game one is likely Thursday night at Mitchell Field. Game-time 7:05pm.


Another Saskatchewan moment Saturday night...

Camping this weekend, we were all pumped about watching the Riders game at the campsite.

We weren't alone. EVERYONE was watching / listening at Katepwa Lake and that was evident by the loud cheers resonating from the campground every time the Riders made a big play.

A roar came up when the Riders stuffed Joffrey Reynolds on that third and one late in the 4th quarter.

Rider cheers could be heard all over as the Green and White held on to the 22-20 win to run their record to 6 and 0.

This season has been so much fun.


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