Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Broncos Announce Captains

Press Release:

Swift Current Broncos Head Coach and General Manager Dean Chynoweth announced the players wearing captain letters this season. The Broncos are taking a new approach to the leadership of the hockey club this season. Chynoweth will be using the rotating system with captains and assistant captains for more players to fill a leadership role with the hockey club.

Chynoweth says: “We graduated a number of players from last year (Zack Smith, Dale Weise and Levi Nelson) that helped our group take the next step in developing back into a competitive team in the WHL. With the group we have now, there are a number of individuals that fit the same mold as that previous group and will wear letters for our hockey club. We are going to take a page of the Minnesota Wild’s leadership book and rotate our captain each month. This will give each player the opportunity to wear the letter. We will name a permanent Captain sometime in the second half of the season.”

For the month of October, 19 year old Derek Claffey will wear the Captain “C”.

Chynoweth says: “Derek has been one of the guys for us from the second half of last season that took on a greater leadership responsibility and continued to improve his play. He has come in this season and continued to provide steady play, along with a strong work ethic and has the respect of his teammates.” Claffey, from Red Deer Alberta, is in his third season on defense with the Broncos. He was drafted by Swift Current in the 2004 bantam draft in the third round. Derek has 3 assists in 4 games this season and has 1 goal and 24 assists in 126 career WHL games.

On home ice, the assistant captains are: Matt Tassone, Cody Eakin and Eric Doyle.

Tassone, from St. Albert, Alberta is a Dallas Stars’ draft pick and in his third season with the Broncos. Matt, a 19 year old, was selected in the 2004 bantam draft by the Broncos in the 8th round.

Eakin, 17 years old from Winnipeg is in his second season with the Broncos. Cody is coming off a strong rookie campaign and a summer where he helped Team Canada capture gold at the World Under-18 Championships. Eakin was the Broncos 1st round selection in the 2006 bantam draft.

Doyle, in his third WHL season, and second full season with the Broncos was acquired in a deal with the Everett Silvertips. Eric, 19 years old, from Calgary is an offensive defenseman and has put up 4 points in 4 games this season.

On the road, assistant captains are: Keegan Dansereau, Geordie Wudrick and Jan Dalecky.

Dansereau, a 20 year old, is the Broncos most experienced player. Keegan has played over 300 games in the regular season and playoffs and continues to be one of the WHL’s most gifted offensive players. Dansereau hails from Saskatoon and was acquired from Calgary at the beginning of last season.

Wudrick, 18 years old, is in his 3rd season in Swift Current. He is the highest Broncos’ player selected in the bantam draft going 2nd overall in 2005. Geordie was selected by Los Angeles in the 3rd round of this past spring’s NHL entry draft.

Dalecky, from Kladno in the Czech Republic, was selected by Swift Current in the 2007 import draft. Last season Jan had 15 points in his first season in North America.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


I've already had enough of the Riders for today... offensive futility starring Michael Bishop and friends.

Here's a quick Sunday blog - some general news and notes regarding the Broncos and their 4-0 start to the season.

- 4-0 is the best start since the 2000/01 season. That year the Broncos won their first four games before tying their 5th outing of the season. A win Wednesday against the energetic and upstart Red Deer Rebels would match their best start since 98/99.

- Keegan Dansereau (3-4-7) and Matt Tassone (1-4-5) have at least a point in each of the Broncos first four games.

- Why has the team 4-0 at this point? You could site a few reasons. For me, it's been the emergence of a bonafide third line. Taylor Vause centering Dillon Wagner and Jordan Peddle have provided the Broncos with a solid third group which seems to be holding their own and then some. Last night's 3rd goal finished off by Wagner was a thing of beauty. D to D in their own zone, left wing feed to Jordan Peddle then to a streaking Wagner up the middle for a nifty back-hand finish upstairs on Braden Holtby.

- Travis Yonkman will be re-evaluated Monday after a suspected shoulder or upper-body injury sustained early in the first period last night. He left the game and did not return. Tim Kehler commented in the post-game coaches show that hopefully a day off and some rest may get Travis back within a couple days.

- Mark Guggenberger came in cold and played well. He was the 3rd star in his 53 minutes of action. He's now 5-0 career against the Blades.

- In the pre-game show, I made the comment to Broncos Head Coach/GM about the luxury of having two top end goaltenders on the same team. I did ask him if there was enough pucks to go around for the both of them. They both have provided some solid starts going back to last season. Here was Dean's response:

"I think you're being awfully generous to a guy who's totally unproven in our league in Mark Guggenberger. He played a number of games last year - 12 to be exact - where a number of those were against Saskatoon but they were one of the poorest teams in the league. With saying that I do not doubt his ability and capabilities but with Travis Yonkman and the way he played in playoffs, he's the #1 guy and Mark's in a back-up role. Mark is anxious to prove his worth and obviously wants to compete for the #1 spot and that will play out over time."

- A bit of caution on the Broncos start. Although deservedly winning the first four games, they've only played two teams and have yet to face a so-called WHL powerhouse in the early stages. We will see how they fair in the coming weeks as their schedule gets a little tougher.

- I'm cringing already about this upcoming week's CHL Top 10 rankings.

- Who's my pick for WHL player of the week? How about Joel Broda in Moose Jaw. His return from pro camp has netted the Warriors three straight wins since the opening weekend. He's collected five goals and an assist in three straight Warrior wins.

- Where's Marc Habscheid? The local coaching product can be found on the ice this season helping out the Swift Current "AA" midget Hurricanes. His friend Rod Grose is the Head Coach. He's been on the ice the past while.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Bus Bloggin'

This blog post comes somewhere between Tessier, SK and parts unknown about an hour away from the drop off bay at the Credit Union Center in Saskatoon…

The team has played well in the first three games of the season with the occasional hicc-up which is to be expected from time to time.

One of those miscues may have been last night after the team built a 3-1 third period lead thanks to a pair of goals from defenseman Spencer McAvoy.

The game seem to open up just as the Broncos wanted it to settle down. After not giving up an odd man rush all game long, the Broncos found themselves guilty of some mistakes which gave the Blades a real good chance to force overtime.

A later delay of game call on the Broncos Jan Dalecky made things a bit tenuous but the Broncos held on for the 3-2 thanks to a strong performance from goaltender Mark Guggenberger down the stretch.

The Broncos are now out to their best start since the 2000-01 season having won their first three games.


- Jordan Peddle has maybe been the Broncos most consistent player in the first three games. The former “AAA” Legionnaire continues to have strong shift after strong shift.

- The Broncos have yet to trail in a game this season.

- Backfire stat of last night? “The Broncos have yet to give up an even strength goal in the short season…” It was five seconds later when Curtis Hamilton whacked home a loose puck at even strength to tie the game 1-1.

- Here’s another number destined to backfire… The Broncos haven’t been shutout in the last 82 regular season games dating back to late in the 06/07 season. It’s the longest current streak by any team in the WHL.

- It’s nice to have the two of the best goaltenders in the Eastern Conference in the fold. Travis Yonkman and Mark Guggenberger are a formidable tandem. But, is there enough pucks to go around for the both of them? At 19 and 20 years of age, you would think both would want to log 60 games this season. I would feel comfortable with either of them playing that many games. Time will tell.

- It’s a treat listening to Tim and Tim in the post-game Junction Square Bingo Coaches Show. Color Analyst Tim Tisdale and Assistant Coach Tim Kehler have a real good knack in explaining the intricacies of the game. Maybe I should just get out of their way.

- 3-0 is nice… but one year Tim Tisdale led the Kimberley Dynamiters to an amazing 27-0 start to the season in the Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League. Talk about jumping out of the blocks.

- Former Broncos captain Zack Smith remains with the Ottawa Senators and very well could start the season with the big club. The team has one last round of cuts to go before they start the regular season in Sweden against Pittsburgh. Last night Smith was involved in a scrap with Montreal’s P.K. Subban. The Senators will look to carry 24 players on their roster to start the season.

- There’s another WHL blog worth checking out. Pat Siedlecki in Lethbridge is now offering “Hurricane Watch” at
www.canesbroadcaster.blogspot.com . Also, check out Bruce Luebke’s take on the Brandon Wheat Kings and West Man sports in general at www.luberslounge.blogspot.com .

- By my count 16 of the 22 WHL teams are now represented by a blogger who covers the team on a regular basis. Either the broadcaster or a member of the print media. I love it!

- I can see the CUC…. We’re on the air at 6:30pm with the pre-game show. Play-by-play at 7:05pm.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Having Fun With Keegan Dansereau

Ok, so we're getting some pretty good mileage out of this "Old Man" Dansereau bit we've been on for awhile now.

Keegan is the oldest player in the league this season with his January 1st, 1988 birthday. In fact that would group him amongst the oldest ever.

Keegan helped us out on our Breakfast Boys morning show on the Eagle 94.1 FM. Myself and Chance came up with a list entitled "Six Things You Didn't Know about the Oldest Player in the WHL"

Listen Here

Thanks Keegan!


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Surprised to Say the Least....

The Swift Current Broncos are in the CHL's Mosiak Mastercard Top 10 for the first time in years after a pair of season opening wins against Moose Jaw. They check in at #7

This is a bit surprising... and I did chuckle when I saw the news release today. Ok, we'll take it.... but seriously... thanks for the love. It would be the first time since the 2003/04 season the Broncos have cracked the CHL Top 10

Here's a complete list:

CHL Mosaik MasterCard Top-10 Rankings – Week 2

1. Windsor Spitfires (2-0-0-0)

2. Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (5-0-0-0)

3. Brandon Wheat Kings (2-0-0-0)

4. Belleville Bulls (1-0-0-0)

5. London Knights (2-1-0-0)

6. Moncton Wildcats (4-0-0-0)

7. Swift Current Broncos (2-0-0-0)

8. Prince George Cougars (2-0-0-0)

9. Spokane Chiefs (1-1-0-0)

10. Drummondville Voltigeurs (4-0-0-0)

Ok well, granted the Broncos did have a solid opening weekend but the only thing they've proved so far is that they are a better club than the Moose Jaw Warriors at this stage.... and that's it.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Wudrick Returned / "Old Man" Dansereau

Press Release:

Wudrick Returns From Los Angeles

Swift Current Broncos’ forward Geordie Wudrick returns to Swift Current after attending training camp with the Los Angeles Kings.

Wudrick attended his first NHL training camp after being selected by Los Angeles in the 3rd round of the 2008 NHL entry draft. The Broncos face off against Saskatoon in a home and home this weekend starting Friday on home ice at the Credit Union i-plex at 7:30pm.


It's official.... Broncos forward Keegan Dansereau is the oldest player in the WHL. Born January 1st, 1988, Dansereau is the league's most elder statesmen.

"I guess I am... when I was young I looked up to the 20's as being old... I guess I'm "that" guy now," said Dansereau before practice yesterday.

Dansereau scored the game winner against the Warriors Saturday night but admits he got caught on the ice a little long.

"It was a pretty long shift, I think Deano was probably mad at me (laughing) ... Tassone just threw it out front, I didn't get all of it but it hit the post and went in."

Keegan was at his dazzling best with his stick work Friday night in Moose Jaw. He pulled out a few moves around Warrior players that made me chuckle a bit in the broadcast booth... I can't even explain them to be honest.

"You practice them (puck control moves), you learn on the outdoor rink when you're young and once in awhile you can throw one out in a game an worked that time...."

Keegan came to the Broncos a year ago Sunday in that blockbuster deal with the Calgary Hitmen. He says it's been a fun time

"It's been awesome, I love the team and the organization. The community is unreal.... it's been really good."


Monday, September 22, 2008

Update Tomorrow...Weise Keeps it Up

The Broncos announced a last season budget surplus of nearly $90,000 tonight at their Annual General Meeting. More on that tomorrow...

Dale Weise played for the Rangers tonight in an exhibition game at MSG against the Ottawa Senators. Zack Smith did not play for the Sens in this one.

Weise was on the ice for the Rangers winning goal sporting #83. By all accounts he played a physical game and threw some big hits while playing on the 4th line.

This is from the newyorkrangers.com...

"Another youngster up front, 20 year-old Dale Weise, also made an impression by throwing several big hits in all three zones of the ice. Weise finished with six hits in 12:12 worth of ice time, second only to Girardi, who was credited with nine hits."

The Rangers dressed a veteran line-up with players like Markus Nasland, Petr Nedved, Scott Gomez and Wade Redden.

More tomorrow including an interview with the oldest player in the WHL... any ideas?

Have a good night,


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Broncos Impressive in Season Opener

I'm not going to get into a lengthy recap tonight but it was a pretty solid outing by the Broncos who breezed to a 6-1 over Moose Jaw to kick off the new season.

The Broncos played pretty well while Moose Jaw didn't play up to their capability. It seemed the Broncos were a bit more versed in a team game and system play than their opponents.

Here's a few notes on tonight's contest.

- Cody Eakin is seemingly fine with being the team's new poster boy. Eakin was a force netting the hat-trick and adding an assist for the biggest point outing of his short career.

- Bronco young forwards looked good in their debut. Jordan Peddle scored his first ever WHL goal to get the scoring started 3:46 into the first period.

- Bronco fans are going to like the hard-working farm kid from Duffield, AB named Dillon Wagner. He's a good one, and he's a full fledged cowboy when he's not playing hockey. Wagner and the Broncos are match made in heaven!

- The Broncos chased Warriors starting goaltender Todd Mathews midway thru the 2nd period with their fifth goal. Deven Dubyk came in and played well in relief. Who starts Saturday night in Swift for the Warriors?

- Is their life after Joey Perricone in the Warriors crease? I posed the question to a Warriors Head Coach Dave Hunchak in our pre-game interview. He likened the situation to when Kyle Moir graduated from the Broncos and the uncertainty following the next season. Travis Yonkman stepped up. The Warriors will need someone to come forward.

- Travis Yonkman made 19 saves for the win in goal.

- Hunch was looking good pre-game. Slim, trim, maybe a haircut... working out??

- Spencer McAvoy blocked a shot with his left leg and left the game in the 2nd period. He returned for third period earning him our post-game show's "Tough Guy of the Game" award.

- Three Bronco rookies played well on the Broncos blueline tonight led by 18 year-old Andrew Hewett. Fans are going to like this guy too. James Martin didn't look out of place and 16 year-old Jordan Evans did his job while seeing a handful of shifts.

- Is it possible Keegan Dansereau's hands are even better than last year? He pulled out some dangles around Warriors that made me chuckle on-air a couple times. He finished the night with a pair of assists.

- The Warriors will be better tomorrow night. The Broncos will face a much tougher team.

That's it for tonight.... the Broncos host the Warriors in the home opener tomorrow night at 7:30pm. Don't forget about the pre-game festivities beginning two hours before face-off.

Good night,


Friday, September 19, 2008

More on Wiese...

One of the reporters who covers the NY Rangers for the Blueshirt Bulletin thinks Wiese could be coming back to the Broncos after all.

Here's Jess Rubenstein's take. http://theprospectpark.blogspot.com/

Although a glimmer of hope for Bronco fans, I think Jess may be forgetting that yes Dale may be a 1st year drafted player, but he isn't 18 like most of the 2008 crop, he's an over-ager.

Worth a read...


What 20 year old Problem?

What looked to be a major dilemma heading into this season has fizzled into nothing.

And Broncos Head Coach and G-M Dean Chynoweth called it.

Asked numerous times in training camp about resovling the 20 year-old situation, Chynoweth wasn't too worked up

"Im not going to lose any sleep over it, usually these things have a way of sorting themselves out so we will wait and see who comes back before we make any decisions." - Chynoweth at the start of training camp.

With nine potential over-age players at the end of last season, the Broncos now find themselves with three for the time being - Travis Yonkman, Keegan Dansereau and Spencer McAvoy.

Either through releases, injuries or pro contracts the number has dwindled to the allowed maximum.

With Dale Wiese agreeing to terms with the New York Rangers and Jesse Dudas suffering a knee injury (could be out for a month) at Oilers camp, the 20 year-old trio is set for the time being.

The Broncos don't have to make a final decision until October 15th which is the WHL's 20 year-old deadline.


Be sure to check out the Prairie Post's Broncos season preview which is out now. The PP did a great job in compiling stories around the team and the league. Who's on the cover? It's the Broncos new poster boy Cody Eakin.

A copy of each Prairie Post Broncos preview will be plastered on every seat tomorrow night at the Credit Union I-plex.


Check out our new Shaw TV Show "The Inside Edge". It will air every Tuesday night's at 6:30pm and on Sunday's. It will also air locally before a Shaw TV WHL broadcast.

Christian has been busy editing and producing the last week... he's a pro.


We're on the air tonight at 6:30pm from the Moose Jaw Civic Center... talk at you then!


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Wiese Comes to Terms With Rangers

It's official...

Broncos 20 year-old forward Dale Wiese has agreed in principal with the New York Rangers on an entry level contract.

This means Wiese will not be returning to the Broncos for his 20 year-old season.

Congratulations to Dale and best of luck with the Rangers.


Dansereau Back

The Broncos have just announced that Keegan Dansereau has been returned from the Columbus Blue Jackets training camp.

That leaves Geordie Wudrick, Ryan Molle, Jesse Dudas and Dale Wiese still away...


Broncos Get Players Back From NHL Camps

Tassone and Doyle Return from NHL Camps

Swift Current Broncos’ veterans Matt Tassone and Eric Doyle will return to the Broncos in advance of Friday’s season opener in Moose Jaw, both players were away at NHL training camps.

Tassone was at Dallas' prospects camp in Traverse City where the Stars won the tournament. Doyle was also in Traverse City in Minnesota’s prospect camp.

The Broncos most likely will be without: Geordie Wudrick who is in Los Angeles Kings’ camp, Keegan Dansereau in Columbus, Ryan Molle in New Jersey and Jesse Dudas in Edmonton.

The Broncos home opener is this Saturday at 7:30pm. Phone the Broncos office at 773-1509 to get your tickets. Fans are encouraged to be in their seats by 7:15pm for the player introduction ceremony at the Credit Union i-plex. Before the game the Broncos have a special pre-game tail gate party beginning at 5:00pm from Kiwanis Ball Diamond, there will be live entertainment and great food and beverage specials.


WHL This Week - Radio Edition is now available online at www.whl.ca. Have a listen to our new production.


Season Kicks Off Tonight / Moose Jaw Thoughts

The 43rd Western Hockey League season begins tonight in Cranbrook as the Kootenay Ice host the defending Memorial and Ed Chynoweth Cup champion Spokane Chiefs.

Nice touch by the WHL dedicating the season ahead to Ed Chynoweth. All players and officials will wear the initials E-C on their helmets this season.

There is a special pre-game ceremony before tonight's game from the Cranbrook Rec Plex.

The game will be broadcast on Shaw TV as well... let's get the season started!

Is there a team we have heard less about this pre-season than the Moose Jaw Warriors? I mean they're right down the highway and not a peep out of the "Friendly City" going into the weekend.

I guess the biggest news (literally) is that Ryley Grantham is back in the Warriors fold after a shorter than expected stay at Calgary Flames camp. Grantham has come a long ways in his development ever since leaving Brooks of the AJHL. Definetely the most improved Warrior over the last couple seasons.

Their games will also now be carried on Country 100.7 FM in Moose Jaw rather than the low power FM signal they have been using the last few years.

Other than that though.... all is quiet.

Their roster consists of nine rookies who all come in really under the radar except for 16 year-old first overall bantam pick from 2007 Quinton Howden. He will be tough to miss, especially in his Quebec Major Junior style #92. Not to mention his size and skating which we caught a brief glimpse of in Swift Current last season.

A quick text message to Warriors Head Coach Dave Hunchak never netted a return... is it playoff mode already in MJ?? "Jon Keen meet Kevin Higo. He will be handling your pre-game coaches interview this evening as Dave is busy preparing for tonight's hockey contest."

Yes, it's the Broncos against the Lock Jaw Warriors to begin the new WHL season. I feel like I'm standing over a two foot putt for double bogey... c'mon somebody say something! A simple "pick it up" would suffice.

Something big always happens in the season opener in MJ... I'm not sure what it will be as of yet, but
something will happen. It always does. Like last year when the Broncos tied it on Zack Smith's goal with 1.3 seconds to play to set up Matt Tassone's OT winner in a wild opening night.

Another thought. It will be strange not seeing Joey Perricone between the Warriors' pipes for tomorrow night's contest. Looks like 2nd year 'tender Todd Mathews will draw the starting role.

And happy birthday to Warriors broadcaster James Gallo who will celebrate Saturday night when the Warriors play in Swift Current. Stay the night Jimmy, the good folks in Swifty will take care of you...


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Latest....

It didn't take long for the Western Hockey League to dole out a significant suspension. Saskatoon Blades over-ager Mike Reich was handed an 8-gamer for an eye-gouging incident involving Regina Pat defenseman Victor Bartley.

It means Reich will miss the home-and-home series against the Broncos in the 2nd week of the regular season.

More on Reich in a second...

Local paper reporter George Bowditch approached me the other day at the rink and had a good idea. He thinks I should write a book on a Broncos season. From training camp to playoffs and everything that goes on behind the scenes - an inside look for Bronco fans.

Had that been the case from this past season, I would've had one doozy of a chapter on an incident following game five of the Pats/Broncos opening round series... Mike Reich was one of the main characters among others... one day I will get into it.


Dale Wiese had a goal and an assist as the New York Rangers downed the Tampa Bay Lightning prospects 5-3 in Traverse City, MI.

It my mind it further seals the deal that Wiese will be turning pro this season instead of coming back to the Broncos.

Interesting note in this contest, Kelowna Rocket teammates of last year Tysen Dowzek and Brady Leavold were involved in a 2nd period scrap.

Next up for the Rangers is a home and home exhibition set against Zack Smith and the Ottawa Senators.

Speaking of those two, they will both join me on the phone prior to face-off in the Broncos season opener in Moose Jaw Friday night.


Homegrown Heroes is back for another season during the 2nd intermission of Bronco games. It's our chance to talk to Bronco parents as they reminisce of their sons growing up with the game and coming to Swift Current to chase their hockey dreams.

Find out which Bronco always had to wear his hockey helmet at the dinner table, or which Bronco made his mom get up early in the morning to play goalie for her son before school or which Bronco designed a make-shift zamboni so they could get some fresh ice on the creek they were skating on.... Homegrown Heroes, a presentation of Olynick Agro.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Wiese Likely Staying Down South

For Bronco fans it's not the best of news but for Dale Wiese it's a big step in his hockey future.

Reports out of New York and Traverse City, MI have Wiese more than likely signing a contract and staying in the Rangers system.

Earlier, it appeared the Rangers didn't have enough contract room to sign the Broncos power forward but Dale's play is leaving them no option.

Wiese and the Rangers prospects take on Tampa Bay today at the Prospects Tournament in Traverse City.

We will keep you posted.

If Wiese signs, it cuts the Broncos down to four remaining 20 year-olds elgible to return including Spencer McAvoy, Keegan Dansereau, Jesse Dudas and Travis Yonkman.

We Have Spoken!

The WHL broadcasters poll results are out.

Each year the WHL asks for our take on how the standings will shake-down at the end of the regular season.

Les Lazaruk compiles the numbers and has passed on the information. Here's how it looks:

Western Conference: 1. Spokane; 2. Kelowna; 3. Tri-Cities; 4. Vancouver; 5. Seattle; 6. Kamloops; 7. Chilliwack; 8. Everett; 9. Prince George; 10. Portland;

Eastern Conference: 1. Lethbridge; 2. Brandon; 3. Medicine Hat; 4. Regina; 5. Swift Current; 6. Calgary; 7. Kootenay; 8. Saskatoon; 9. Moose Jaw; 10. Prince Albert; 11. Edmonton; 12. Red Deer

According to the WHL broadcasters, the Broncos and Pats are destined for a third straight playoff battle. A note on this, last year we correctly predicted 15 of the 16 playoff teams.

Thanks Les!

Now let's drop the puck.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Broncos Making an Impression at NHL Camps.

(photo courtesy newyorkrangers.com)

The New York Rangers rookies didn't score any goals in a 4-0 loss to Atlanta but that didn't stop Broncos forward Dale Wiese in making an impression.
The story is here.

I couldn't help but notice Broncos forward Zack Smith on the TSN highlights last night.

Smith, in a penalty killing role, blew away from a Leafs defender to put the puck into an empty net to seal the win in a 7-5 Senators victory. The goal came 6-on-3.

Word is Smith has played a physical prospects tournament and has been full value so far.


The Swift Current Broncos present version looked pretty good Saturday night in a 9-3 win over Prince Albert to wrap-up the exhibition season.

With so many players away, young players and rookies were thrust into key situations. 2nd year import Jan Dalecky looked really good and looks to have taken the next step in his development. His goal and four assists led the way.

Cody Eakin was chosen as the game's first star for his goal and two helpers. He was every where on the ice. Bronco fans should be excited about this 2nd year player.

"AAA" Legionnaire Jordan Peddle is doing his best to make an impression. Peddle scored twice and set-up another and worked hard all over the ice.

On the back-end, I liked the play of Joel Rogers and newcome Andrew Hewitt. Hewitt, a bigger bodied d-man, showed some puck moving ability. He will be a solid addition into the Broncos top six defenseman.

Derek Claffey may be adding an offensive element to his game from his defense first mentality. Claff didn't have a goal all of last year but had a goal in each of his last three pre-season games. He will be the first to smile about it knowing it's not his game... but he's making a case to see more powerplay time this season.


I was happy with how our first broadcast of the season went Saturday night. Colorman Tim Tisdale stepped right in like it was mid-season and was solid.

His work beside the Bronco bench in the 2nd period was stellar despite the obstacles of it being extremely noisy at times. I think we will keep him there for the time being.

We have some things on the technical side to workout for the week ahead. I'm sure everything will be good to go come Saturday's home opener.

Friday night we're on the air at 6:30pm from Moose Jaw for the pre-game show.


Saturday, September 13, 2008

Game Night

We're on the air tonight for the first time this season as the Broncos wrap up the exhibition schedule by hosting the Prince Albert Raiders.

We're on the air at 7pm with our pre-game show. Guests include WHL Commissioner Ron Robison, plus both Head Coach/GM's in Dean Chynoweth and Bruno Campese. We will also catch up to a player or two before face-off at 7:30pm

Voice of the Blades Les Lazaruk will join us in the 1st intermission on the phone to break down the east division.

New colorman Tim Tisdale will spend the 2nd period "between the benches" for a different perspective on tonight's game. It should be fun.

Last night the Broncos fell 4-3 in a shootout up in P.A. The Broncos trailed 2-0 in the third until three quick goals from Cody Eakin, Derek Claffey and Taylor Vause. The Raiders Ryan McDonald tied the contest 3-3 with a goal with just under five minutes to play.

Overtime didn't result in a winner. The Raiders scored twice in the shootout while the Broncos (Taylor Vause) scored once.

Talk to you tonight.....


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Rookies Lead Broncos Into Weekend,,,,

Expect a really young Broncos line-up for the final pre-season weekend as the Broncos battle the Prince Albert Raiders in a home and home series.

With nine players away at NHL camps, the Broncos will be hard pressed to ice a full line-up Friday and Saturday night.

For Broncos fans it really will be a good look at the future of the hockey club. As for the Raiders, only goaltender Steven Sanford will be unavailable due to attending an NHL camp.

We're on the air Saturday night!

That's Tim Tisdale and myself in the broadcast booth. It's the picture which will be used in our Prairie Post promo in the edition leading up to the regular season as we outline this year's broadcast and it's features.
I'm guessing there will be some kinks and some technical problems but we will get that all out of the way in the pre-season rather than opening weekend.
With Nevan "The Champ" Champion back at Eagle control as our game operator we will be in good hands.

A handful of trades in the WHL today as teams try to bolster some deficiencies in the line-up and fill some holes. Nothing on the Broncos front, but something is likely to happen. Dean Chynoweth has made several major moves early in the season since his arrival five years ago.

Here's a refresher of early season moves:

2004/05 - Alex Leavitt/Kyle Annesley to Everett for Barry Horman/Marc Desloges
2005/06 - Jerrid Sauer to Medicine Hat for Dale Wiese/Spencer McAvoy
2007/08 - Paul Postma/Kyle Bortis to Calgary for Keegan Dansereau / Brett Plouffe
2007/08 - Brett Plouffe to Tri-City for Erik Felde
2007/08 - Brady Leavold to Kelowna for conditional draft pick

The Broncos won't make a move to simply just make a move. But, they still have five twenty year-olds likely to return which forces their hand a little.

The First CHL Top 10 rankings were released today. The top WHL contenders are all included (Spokane, Kelowna, Brandon) with the exception of the Lethbridge Hurricanes. To me, the ' Canes are the class of the Eastern Conference heading into the season. However there is still some uncertainty surrounding 20 year-old Mitch Fadden. They will also start the season without Zach Boychuk due to injury.

The Swift Current Broncos are a couple players away from being a legitimate contender but on paper look pretty good.

With Mark Guggenberger and Travis Yonkman in goal, the Broncos presently have the best one-two goaltending punch in the league.

On defense, three of their top four defenseman will have attended NHL camps with the steady Derek Claffey being the lone d-man staying home.

Up front, depending on who stays and who goes, the club should be pretty deep. Their top six forwards are above average (Wiese* / Dansereau* / Tassone/ Eakin/ Wudrick/ Dowling - star denotes over-age player)

They should have a good young energy line centered by Taylor Vause or Dillon Wagner. Throw in hard working European spark plug Jan Dalecky, former 1st round bantam pick Christian Magnus, the thick presence of Mike Brown, veteran 19 year-old Grant Toulmin, new Slovakian import Oliver Jokel, former "AAA" Legionnaire top scorer Jordan Peddle and the return of Brad Hoban (leg) next month.... and they will be fine.

But, if history has shown us anything... don't get too comfortable with the Broncos pre-season line-up...


CHL/WHL Rule Changes / Top 10 Released

Press Release:

CHL and WHL adopt rule changes for upcoming season

The Canadian Hockey League today announced that it has adopted the following two NHL rules for the 2008-09 playing season:


When players are penalized at a stoppage of play so as to result in penalties being placed on the penalty time clock to one team, the ensuing face-off shall be conducted at one of the two face-off spots in the offending team’s end zone. There are only four exceptions to this application:

(i) when a penalty is assessed after the scoring of a goal (face-off at center ice)

(ii) when a penalty is assessed at the end (or start) of a period – face-off at center ice

(iii) when the defending team is about to be penalized and the attacking players enter the attacking zone beyond the outer edge of the end zone face-off circle – face-off in the neutral zone (see paragraph 11 of this section)

(iv) when the team not being penalized ices the puck – face-off in the neutral zone outside the blue line of the team icing the puck

Puck out of bounds

When the puck hits the goal frame, goal post or crossbar and goes out of play, regardless as to which team shot the puck, the ensuing face-off shall take place at one of the end zone face-off spots in the zone where the puck went out of play


The First CHL MasterCard Top 10 has been released. No surprises from the highly touted WHL teams:

1. Windsor Spitfires
2. Spokane Chiefs
3. London Knights
4. Rimouski Oceanic
5. Belleville Bulls
6. Cape Breton Screaming Eagles
7. Kelowna Rockets
8. Brandon Wheat Kings
9.Chicoutimi Sagueneens
10. Shawinigan Cataractes


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

WHL Sending 115 Players to NHL Camps

Press Release:

The Western Hockey League is proud to announce that 115 players will attend National Hockey League training camps in September 2008.

Of the 115 players set to attend NHL camp, 90 were selected in the NHL draft. Additionally, 25 players have been invited to NHL camps as free agent.

32 of the 115 WHL players heading to NHL training camps are already signed to NHL contracts.

All 22 WHL Clubs will see at least one of their players attend an NHL training camp in September. The Calgary Hitmen will see 12 eligible returning players head off to NHL camps, which is the most of any WHL Club.

The Kelowna Rockets and Swift Current Broncos will each see nine players head off to NHL camps while the Moose Jaw Warriors, Vancouver Giants and the defending WHL and Memorial Cup champion Spokane Chiefs will each send eight players to NHL camps.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Tick, Tick, Tick.... Season 10 Days Away.

WHL Clubs will open up the regular season in a short 10 days but many teams are wondering what exactly the roster will look like for opening weekend.

With NHL training camps starting about a week later than usual, some teams (including the Broncos) will be short staffed to start the 72 game schedule. The Broncos have nine players off to NHL camps and are expecting maybe half of them back for opening weekend.

One the one equalizing factor is that all the WHL clubs are in the same predicament here. The Broncos weekend opponent, the Moose Jaw Warriors, could also be short some key personnel.


I thought I would get an update from Broncos Head Coach and General Manager Dean Chynoweth on how things are coming together.

On likely being short a handful of players to start the season....

"Everybody in the league is going through that with the camps going later... there's not much we can do about it and we are going to keep the extra bodies around because of it."

On some of the rookies who have impressed during the pre-season.....

"I think Taylor Vause has shown last year when he came in for playoffs and taking in that experience - he's been able to translate it into some minor successes so far. Dillon Wagner who played junior "A" last year is ahead of some of the other guys from that experience. Jordan Peddle has had a pretty strong camp and has gotten better each week and Christian Magnus has shown at times why he was our top pick in the 2007 bantam draft. "

On making a deal with trade talks in the league seemingly heating up.....

"There's nothing really going on (with us). These tournaments are good because you get to see the other teams and evaluate some of their players and also talk to their coaches and managers. But right now we're kind of stuck in limbo to see just what players we will get back (from NHL camps). You have to sort through that before you look to go ahead and make a move."

On the signing of 18 year-old defenseman Andrew Hewitt....

"He's another guy who played junior "A" in Winnipeg last year that we had recruited fairly heavily. With the addition of him it fills an age bracket on the back-end we don't have. He's a steady stay-at-home guy that is strong. As he gets comfortable I think he's a player who will eventually be in that top five group (on the Broncos blueline)."


- I stopped in at the Broncos office yesterday and had to wait around as the girls filled more season ticket orders for some new fans. The season ticket number is approaching 1600 and the team feels they will be well above that number...maybe even approaching 1700 once opening weekend arrives. If I recall correctly, last year they sold just under 1500 season tickets.

- The WHL Broadcasters have been asked for our annual regular season predictions. Saskatoon Blades voice Les Lazaruk coordinates the survey every year for the WHL. Last year, b
roadcasters correctly predicted 7 of the 8 playoff teams in the Eastern Conference. Brandon was the lone exception to crack the top 8 after we predicted a 10th place finish.

I'm having a hard time this year in the Eastern Conference. After favorites Lethbridge and Brandon, I had a tough time picking the teams from #3 through #10. To me there is three tiers in the East: Brandon and Lethbridge in the first tier, Red Deer and Edmonton (in the midst of building from their youth up) in the last and everybody else in between. It's still way to tough to call until you actually see what players return from NHL camps and which ones stick at the pro level.

- I'll be working on a new project this season for the Western Hockey League. I'll be hosting and producing WHL This Week for the league and it's 22 radio partners. I won't be doing it alone, most of the broadcasters around the league have told me they are willing to chip in and track down interviews and stories in their markets... that will be a huge help. I think if we cooperate, we can put a nice piece together.

The first show will be available just before opening weekend. We hope to put together a nice professional weekly production to show off the quality of the WHL and it's personnel . Opening weekend guests will include WHL Commissioner Ron Robison, WHL General Managers Doug Soetart (Everett), Bruce Hamilton (Kelowna), and Kelly McCrimmon (Brandon) as they break down their respective Memorial Cup bids. Take a listen, tell me what you think....

A reminder, we are on the air Saturday night for pre-season hockey as the Broncos host the Prince Albert Raiders. Pre-game show on the Eagle 94.1 FM begins at 7pm.


Monday, September 08, 2008

Broncos Split the Weekend in S'toon

After a 4-2 loss to Moose Jaw Saturday, the Broncos scored four times on the powerplay to defeat Medicine Hat 5-3.

Taylor Vause scored a pair of goals to lead the way while Spencer McAvoy, Jordan Peddle and Derek Claffey added singles. Travis Yonkman went the distance in the Broncos' goal to pick up the win.

The Broncos are now 2-2 in the pre-season with two games left to go. They take on Prince Albert in a home and home set this coming weekend - Friday in Prince Albert, then Saturday at the Credit Union I-plex. Game-time 7:30pm.


Here at the station we are working hard to get everything in place to broadcast Saturday's home game against Prince Albert. This is always a busy week leading up to our first broadcast so the blog updates will be spotty at best.

We do plan to be on the air Saturday night a 7pm for the Broncos pre-game show, 7:30pm play-by-play on the Eagle 94.1 FM.

Today is sure to be busy... interviews with the WHL Commissioner Ron Robison and the new Head Coach of the Spokane Chiefs Hardy Sauter. Sauter, a good Saskatchewan guy was a colorful player in his days. He would be a young coach I'm sure his players would love playing for. He has big shoes to fill in Spokane though with the departure of Bill Peters to the AHL.

Then this afternoon, myself and Tim Tisdale will meet a photographer from the Prairie Post for some shots they will be using in the annual Broncos season preview edition. I haven't seen Tizzy in over a week... last I heard he was playing nine rounds of golf in eight days in Calgary, and technically it was still considered "work".

For me, I think golf season officially came to a close on the weekend. We managed 36 holes in some early morning chilly weather over at the Chinook. That's it, that's all... now Broncos hockey becomes the focus pretty much every day until the Christmas break.

Everyone in Saskatchewan will be happy today following an improbable comeback win against the rival Winnipeg Blue Bombers yesterday. I was watching the game thinking I'm really only familiar with maybe half of the current Riders roster. Who are these guys??

Doesn't matter, they keep winning. And Rider Nation is ok with that, no matter who is catching the ball deep inside Bombers territory.


Thursday, September 04, 2008

Broncos Sign Three

Press Release:

Swift Current Broncos’ Head Coach and General Manager Dean Chynoweth announced that Andrew Hewett, Austin Smith and Allistair Chapman have agreed to terms with the Broncos.

Andrew Hewett, from Winnipeg, is 18 years old and played last season in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. Hewett picked up 3 goals and 18 points with 114 penalty minutes in 39 games for the Winnipeg South Blues. He is a 6’1” 200 pound defenseman originally chosen by the Brandon Wheat Kings in the 2005 Bantam Draft and listed by the Broncos in 2006.

Goaltender Austin Smith was picked in the 2008 Bantam draft, chosen in the second round 34th over-all. Smith, a native of Calgary played for the Calgary Royals last season going 10-6-1 with a .916 save percentage and a 2.68 GAA in 20 games in the AMBHL. Smith, 15 years old, is 5’11” and 178 pounds.

Allistair Chapman, from Calgary, is 16 years old and suited up for the Calgary Flames of the AMHL. The 6’0” 165 pound defenseman picked up 7 goals and 11 points with 30 penalty minutes in 37 games last season. He was selected in the 5th round of the 2007 Bantam Draft 96th over-all.


With Hewett, the Broncos get an 18 year-old defenseman who can step in immediately and play in the top six. He will add an element of toughness as well.

In Chapman they get some of their future locked up... same with Austin Smith who impressed as a 15 year-old at training camp.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Taking it Up a Notch / Small World

News Release:

Swift Current Broncos’ Head Coach and General Manager Dean Chynoweth announced the re-assignment of 5 players.

Goaltenders: Austin Smith (15) and Chad Ketting (16), defensemen Allistair Chapman (16), Michael Hay (16) and David Greyeyes(17) have all been re-assigned by the club.

The roster now stands at 27 players as the team prepares for exhibition games this weekend in Saskatoon against Moose Jaw on Saturday and Medicine Hat on Sunday.


The end of the Labour Day long weekend means it's down to business for many of the broadcasters around the

For myself it means really getting after our broadcast sponsorships, getting our game sequence and imaging together plus testing the equipment down at the rink to prepare for our first broadcast.

Our first broadcast is being tentatively set for Sept 13
th when the Broncos host the Prince Albert Raiders in the final exhibition contest.

Over the weekend the Broncos played in a pair of exhibition games. Recaps are available at www.scbroncos.com . The Broncos practice this week and watch as several players depart for NHL camps.

This weekend is the Saskatoon Blades
pre-season event. The Broncos are scheduled meet Moose Jaw and Medicine Hat.

I'm not even sure where the roster stands at presently.... players coming and going, potential signings, and a handful of other things. I think it stands at 30 but hopefully there will be some sort of clarification today.

Expect some sort of media release regarding a signing or two in the coming days too.


Like every Labour Day over the past several years, we all headed into Regina for my friend's Labour Day bash.

This year we implemented a golf tournament on the Saturday with proceeds going to the Regina General Hospital
neo-natal unit.

Nearly 50 of us teed it up at Aspen Links (formerly Emerald Park). I ended up in a foursome with three hometown friends and Brent Bender - the dad of former
Kamloops Blazer and Regina Pats defenseman Ryan Bender.

Brent works with my friend's wife at FCC. We had a great time talking hockey and reliving the hard-fought first round playoff series between the Broncos and Pats. He was donning his Pats Hockey hat while I had on the new Bronco black mesh-back lid which is a pretty popular buy down at the "The Stable".

A good guy, and it was great to hear Brent's perspective on things. His son Ryan played five years in the league and will attend the University of Regina and play for the Cougars.

We then all headed back to our hosts backyard on the east side of Regina for our annual Saturday get-together.

Talk about a small world. Along with many
Lanigan friends, the guests included Rod Pedersen (Voice of the Pats and Riders), Lee Jones (CTV Sports), and Angel Blair (CTV Regina) - all friends of friends from the Queen City. I felt like I was in the media room at the Brandt Center about an hour before face-off.

Lee and I even teamed up for the
Friz-knock challenge but bowed-out unsuccessful in the opening round.

The football game Sunday was unspectacular but a Riders win is still a Riders win - and bragging rights over Winnipeg native and Broncos trainer Paul
Ayotte for another year.

Stay tuned for more news this week....