Friday, June 27, 2008
Could the Broncos and Kelowna Rockets play "let's make a deal" as the season nears?
The Rockets are down to just one overage player after the trade that sent defenseman Colin Joe to Saskatoon. The Rockets have positioned themselves for a run this year and have a lot of talent to make some noise. The Rockets would love to compliment that talent by adding some impact 20 year-olds just like they did with Brady Leavold last year.
The Broncos just happen to have an abundance of 20's on the roster which includes Zack Smith, Dale Wiese, Keegan Dansereau, Jesse Dudas, Travis Yonkman and Spencer McAvoy. It's quality and quantity.
Once the pro tree shakes I'm expecting the Broncos to have probably five of the six on this list fall down to the roster this season. Of course, the Broncos can only carry three after the cut-down in early October.
Broncos GM/Head Coach Dean Chynoweth and Rockets GM Bruce Hamilton have a great relationship which has seen them hook up on trades before.
The only thing stalling a deal may be because Hamilton has time on his side. He can wait it out and enter the season with only one 20 year-old if he wants to. The Rockets have great depth and they could afford such luxury. He could wait to the trade deadline in January if he really wanted to although I'm not sure it will take that long.
Just something for Bronco fans to watch as the season nears....
Lots of good food and prizes and several former Broncos are all part of the event. For more info call Jerrod or Kevin at 778 - 4770.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
The 6'1 170lb 17 year-old Jokel plans to play in the WHL next season. Last year he represented Slovakia in the Under 17 Four Nations Cup.
Broncos Head Coach and General Manager Dean Chynoweth talked about Jokel earlier today.
"He's an explosive skater. He's a hard working kid that has a good scoring touch. He was a player who was considered for their U-18 team as an underage player. From all the reports there is some real good potential there."
"He'll be coming (to Swift Current), there's no doubt about that. First and foremost that's always a concern. In this situation we needed the guarantee that he would report and he's anxious about being a Bronco."
The Broncos have also parted ways with Czech David Steiler who would have been a so called "two-spotter" next season as an overage and an import. David is pursuing pro hockey in his native Czech Republic for next season.
I did talk to Broncos Head Coach / General Manager Dean Chynoweth this week about what type of player they will be going after. With a defenseman being a logical choice, he wasn't ruling out taking a forward with the pick.
Chynoweth has always lamented the fact the Import Draft's format really puts the WHL's "B" markets at a disadvantage to the likes of bigger centers like Calgary, Vancouver and Edmonton.
I'll get his comments on the pick later today.
FILATOV GOES #1
The Sudbury Wolves used the first overall pick in today's CHL Import Draft to select Russian left winger Nikita Filatov from CSKA Moscow.
Filatov was the top ranked European skater for the 2008 NHL Entry Draft and was selected sixth overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets last Friday in Ottawa.
The Canadian Hockey League holds its annual Import Draft today beginning at 9:00 a.m. with the first overall selection by the OHL's Sudbury Wolves.
The Drummondville Voltigeurs of the QMJHL select second followed by the Portland Winter Hawks of the WHL.
You can follow the selections live as they happen online here.
Each team in the CHL is permitted to carry two European Import players during the season. The draft order is rotated through each of the three leagues in the CHL with each team selecting in inverse order of their final regular season standings from 2007-08.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
It is with sadness the Swift Current Broncos announce the passing of former Broncos’ General Manager Doug Mosher.
Mosher was a member of the Broncos organization from 1991-1996.
Before joining the Broncos, he was a scout with the Tri-City Americans. He then took over a scouting role with the Broncos in 1991. The following season he became the Director of Player Personnel/Assistant GM, he held that role for 2 seasons and then was promoted to General Manager for the 94-95 season.
Doug was awarded the Eastern Conference Executive of the Year in '95-96.
After moving on from Swift Current, Doug was the General Manager for the Medicine Hat Tigers for 2 seasons and moved onto a NHL scouting career with the Minnesota Wild until this past season.
The funeral will take place on Thursday, June 26, 2008 at the Maple Creek Armoury at 11:00 a.m. Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Binkley’s Funeral Service, Maple Creek, SK, Phone (306) 662-2292.In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Maple Creek, Swift Current or Medicine Hat Palliative Care Society in your area.
The entire Broncos organization sends their condolences to Doug's wife Kathy and the entire Mosher family.
Personally, I'll miss Doug's presence in the scout room around the WHL rinks. He's been with the Minnesota Wild for a number of seasons now. He was always willing to chat and share a story from his time with the Broncos.
One night the Saskatoon Blades assistant trainer walked into the scout room to grab a coffee. Doug, who recognized the fellow went up to him and said "hey remember me, I hired you for our team years ago." He looked at Doug for a couple seconds and with a straight face replied "yeah, and you fired me too, remember that?"
You'll be missed Doug.
Here's the press release:
CALGARY, AB – Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League, announced on Tuesday the 40 players who have been invited to try out for the National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team at a camp at Calgary’s Father David Bauer Arena from August 1-6, 2008.
16 of the 40 players invited to the camp played in the Western Hockey League through the 2007-08 season.
CLICK HERE FOR CANADA’S SELECTION CAMP ROSTER
Hockey Canada will use the camp to finalize a roster of 22 players who will represent Canada at the 2008 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament, scheduled for August 12-16 in Piestany, Slovakia and Breclav, Czech Republic.
Canada has won gold at the tournament three of the past four years.Al Murray, Hockey Canada’s head scout for the National Men’s Team programs, selected the 40 players in consultation with coaching staff along with numerous CHL and NHL scouts and general managers. Bill Peters (Spokane, WHL) will be Canada’s head coach and will be joined on the bench by assistants Steve Spott (Kitchener, OHL) and André Tourigny (Rouyn-Noranda, QMJHL).
The Swift Current Broncos saw their best power forward on the team selected by the New York Rangers Saturday.
The Rangers had to trade up to get the pick so they could take Wiese.
They wasted no time in getting Dale to New York, he flew out the next day for a prospects camp and fitness testing.
I spoke to Rangers Chief Scout Jim Hammett on their 4th round pick. Here's some of his comments.
" We liked his improvement over last year. He figured out how to use that big frame and our hopes is that he turns into a power forward and keeps his snarl and ends up being a tough physical guy for us.
We're going to bring him into our development camp and assess him there. It will be up to him whether he goes back to the Swift Current Broncos our joins our organization next year.
As an organization we like him, and when you like a player you go after him and that's what we did (trading up in the 4th round)"
I got a hold of Dale Wiese in his New York hotel yesterday after a grueling day of fitness testing and two hour on-ice session. He was thrilled to be a part of it all.
" I talked to probably 15 teams and I didn't know the interest of the Rangers. I got the call thinking it was my agent to tell my not to worry that I would get my chance eventually here... as soon as I picked up the phone I saw my name come up... it was a shock.
(laughs) They called me 12:30 Saturday when I got drafted and told me I had to be on a plane the next morning at 7am. I flew from Winnipeg to St. Paul and then onto New York. I got picked up from the airport and went right to their training facility. It's unbelievable, probably the nicest facility in the NHL. We did some fitness testing in the morning, and then we skated for a two hours. We have the same schedule all week it looks like.
I would love to play in the American League this year but whatever the Rangers feel is best for me, if I go back to junior and play in Swift Current it would be another great opportunity, it's been the best three years of my life. Hopefully though I get a chance to play in the Rangers system and make the most of it."
Matt Tassone - 6th round, 176th overall, Dallas Stars
The last Bronco forward selected in the draft was Matt Tassone. "Taz" was more than excited to hear his name called. More with him in a second.
I chatted with Dallas Stars Western Scout Shane Churla on their selection:
"I think he has a lot of our qualities. We put a lot of value on gamesmanship. I think Matt he exuded a lot of that. Everytime we saw him he was a competitor.
He has to work on some things like his skating but he's got a big heart, a good level of skill and a good team player.
I liked him a lot, everytime I went in there (Swift Current) he seemed to stand out. In the big games he was able to raise the level of his play... he has a lot of Dallas Stars qualities.
Matt Tassone made it a goal of his to be drafted this summer. He was thrilled to get the phonecall Saturday.
"It was like sitting on needles... watching the draft. Clicking refresh over and over again. To finally see my name on there it was a great relief.
When they called me they said they liked my size and my physical aspect and that I fit good with their team. They think I could be a good prospect for them in the future."
Swift Current Broncos Head Coach and General Manager Dean Chynoweth was on hand to see four of his players drafted:
" Very excited, I couldn't' be happier for the guys first and foremost and as an organization we have said we think we're going in the right direction. We had a pretty good season and those four guys were real key guys in that. It was nice to see them rewarded.
He doesn't expect to get Zack Smith and Dale Wiese back for next year.
"About the same chances of you hosting Hockey Night in Canada Jon (laughs) ... I don't expect to get either one of them back."
Monday, June 23, 2008
Geordie on being drafted in the 3rd round:
"Greatest feeling in my life. I've been through a lot this last year with my best friend passing away it was a bit of a low point in my life... but today is absolutely the greatest day of my life"
The jersey feels great, I'm loving the purple and silver (laughs). I could get use to this pretty easily.
But I have lots to prove. There were 87 players drafted before me. I want to go in July to L.A. and have a really good prospects camp and prove to them that they made a great pick."
I'll have a Dale Wiese and Matt Tassone piece hopefully later today....
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Saturday, June 21, 2008
It also made the event drag on a little... four hours for 30 picks isn't exactly a blazing pace. Rounds 2-7 today should take no time at all.
Nine Western Hockey League players were selected, trailing only the OHL in that category who had 11 players take to the stage.
Luke Schenn was a highly sought after defenseman. Toronto traded up to get him and General Manager Cliff Fletcher pointed out in the media scrum that they're were a lot of teams interested in Schenn and that getting the 5th pick overall was the only way they were going to land him.
It was a great day for the Kelowna Rockets, Lethbridge Hurricanes and Regina Pats. Each team had two players taken in the opening round. Kelowna had Luke Schenn (5th overall - Toronto), Tyler Myers (12th overall - Buffalo). Lethbridge had Zach Boychuk (14th overall - Carolina) and Luca Sbisa (19th overall - Philadelphia) and Regina saw Colten Teubert (13th overall - Los Angeles) plus Jordan Eberle (22nd - Edmonton).
We're expecting a handful of Broncos to be selected today led by Geordie Wudrick who could fall anywhere from round two to four.
Here's some pics from round one:
That famour wall mural near the Sens dressing room that got so much attention in the opening round of the NHL playoffs.
The Toronto media gathers around Cliff Fletcher after their opening pick. As you can see, it was a zoo.
Steven Stamkos was the center of attention
Pretty good crowd for the opening round.
It was quite the interesting day in the media risers. The wireless internet wasn't working making several of the accredited media useless for the event. Without access there was no live blogging, no story filing. It was a mess. Plenty of the national members were livid. You can bet several complaints will be launched to the NHL office Monday morning. A wireless signal becomes about as basic as drinking water at some of these events. I guess problems like this happen at every level - just not the Crushed Can in Moose Jaw.
Round two is about to begin... more later,
Friday, June 20, 2008
The sun finally came out today... just in time for opening round set for 7pm eastern time from Scotia Bank Place.
A lot of media generated fodder about trades and teams trying to move up in the draft to get a player they really like. I'm more of a spectator to all of that. I'm not here to get scoops on who the Senators are going to give up in order to get a better draft position. I'll just let the big boys fight it out.
I took in the Top Prospects Luncheon yesterday. Here's some pics:
Welcome to the Steven Stamkos circus. He will go #1 unless someone throws the world at Tampa Bay General Manager Jay Feaster before Tampa gets to the podium.
Lethbridge Hurricanes dynamic forward Zach Boychuk fields some questions. He could go top 10 tonight.
6'7 Kelowna Rockets d-man Tyler Myers is drawing some interest. The Q and A thing isn't really his thing but the big defenseman could also see himself in the top 10 in a very defenseman heavy draft.
Luke Schenn was probably the best at handling the questions. Comfortable, quotable. He's been great the last few days and will be a high pick. Toronto is rumoured to really like Schenn and is trying to trade up to get him. He's referred to as the most NHL ready of the bunch.
The entire Schenn family was there including younger brother Brayden of the Brandon Wheat Kings. I'm not sure if many of the media folk knew a top five pick for 2009 was sitting in the room behind all the lights and cameras. It has to be a great experience for him. He's seeing what the landscape will look like next year when he's the one taking center stage. The Schenn family is sure enjoying it. They will go through it all again next year.
I'll make my way over to Scotia Bank Place by about 4:30pm for the 7pm start. I have to test my equipment and make sure we're good to go for the action. I just want to get it started. The next two days will be actioned packed.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
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:
Monday, June 16, 2008
Moose Jaw City Council took the recommendations and made a decision on Monday night. They have voted in favour of a downtown multiplex which will include new facilities for hockey and curling. An indoor soccer facility will be part of the project but will be built at a different location. The soccer facility will go on Thatcher Drive in the Hamilton Flats area of the city.
The project's price tag is pegged at about $61,000,000.
City council is also approving a 9% increase to the municipal portion of property taxes. Owners of an average home in our city will see an increase of about $90 per year.
I'm fortunate to work for a company that is willing to send me out a few days early to get the lay of the land and take in all the events that go along with the annual NHL pick'em. Swift Current may be WHL small market but the way I'm treated by the radio station and the Broncos is top notch.
This will mark the 9th year Golden West Radio has had representation at the draft. It all started with Regan Bartel and myself heading to Calgary for the 2000 event. At the time, Regan was the WHL veteran broadcaster and I was the young understudy bright eyed and energised.
I was more pumped to meet some of the national members of the sports media than the actual draft itself. Just a year into my radio career, I felt like I was in hollywood. The center of the hockey and sports universe.
I wasn't shy either. I would walk up and introduce myself if the moment presented itself. I remember guys like The Score's Elliot Friedman (who now works for CBC) being so genuine and friendly. Almost more interested in who I was than me of him.
I had a chance to get some advice for Calgary Flames Radio voice Peter Maher. Bob Mckenzie was great. So many NHL GM's and former players just feet away mingling about. It was awesome.
Joe Kenward than represented the station at drafts in Florida, Toronto and Nashville.
After stops in North Caroilna, Ottawa, Vancouver, and Columbus.... here we are. Ottawa 2008.
I'm ok with going back there. It will be different in the sense it's at Scotia Bank Place as opposed to a hastily put together draft at the Westin Hotel in 2005.
Ottawa is a beautiful city but I still have that feeling of "been there, done that." Nonetheless, it will once again be where everyone in the hockey world will gather for the weekend.
It's always good to see the familiar faces that go with the draft. The scouts, the Red Line guys, the paper and internet reporters. Other WHL personnel, Kelly (Mr.) McCrimmon.....
The Broncos are sending GM Dean Chynoweth and Assistant GM Elden Moberg. Both attended the WHL scheduling meeting today in Calgary. There should be a tentative league schedule sent out in a matter of days.
Not sure if any of the other broadcasters in the league will be going. I've tried to convince Regan in Kelowna to set-up shop for a few days with Luke Schenn and Tyler Myers surefire 1st rounders. I don't think it's in the plans though.
Rod Pedersen in Regina has been there for several years but I'm told will not be headed there this year. Too bad, we had some fun last year.
I'm exited for this year's event because of all the WHL talent in the mix. The league could see 12-14 first rounders. Unlikely but possible. I'll have my "Go WHL" foam finger going in the thrall of media risers. Im also interested to see where Geordie Wudrick goes. Perhaps we will see Matt Tassone's name on the board. Dale Wiese, Zack Smith and Jan Dalecky may also get the nod. Eric Doyle is still in the mix after being passed over last year.
I'm not a hardcore draft junkie compared to some of the others attending the event. Some of the guys who work for the independent scouting services live and die with every pick as they try and predict and prognosticate who is going where and when. It's fun to watch. Some of the guys are really keyed in.
The last time I was in Ottawa my brother met me there. With security pretty lax at the Westin Hotel I got him into the media risers in my makeshift booth for a bit. He was my technician for the weekend... at least that's what I told NHL officials. He took a few pictures and acted more like a tourist. I can't blame him I guess.
That year the league was just coming off the lockout and was in a making friends kind of mood. They granted all access to most of the reporters. One-on-one interviews with any of the top picks. I had Sidney Crosby for three whole minutes just after he was drafted by the Penguins. Get in line TSN. Hell, Gary Bettman probably would have co-hosted my radio show had I asked. They were doing their best to be as accommodating as possible. It was a treat.
I plan to take the digital camera and post some pics from the event this year. It should be fun.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
The Swift Current Broncos have dealt prospect Scott Macaulay. Macaulay was very impressive at last year's training camp but decided to play junior "A" in Winnipeg to pursue the college route. Here's the the Tri City news release:
KENNEWICK, WA – Tri-City Americans General Manager Bob Tory announced today that the team has traded for 18-year-old defenseman Scott Macaulay from the Swift Current Broncos in exchange for a conditional 5th round pick in the 2009 Bantam Draft
The 5’9”, 175-pound defenseman from Winnipeg, Manitoba appeared in 55 games for the Winnipeg Saints of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League last season, registering 9 goals, 47 points and 118 penalty minutes.
Macaulay was named the Kal-Tire MJHL Defenseman of the Month in March and helped lead the Saints to the 2007-08 Addison Division title and the MJHL Finals. Scott is also the younger brother of current Americans forward Blair Macaulay
“Scott is a skilled d-man with very good skating ability,” explained Tory. “He has excelled offensively at all levels that he has played at.”
“Scott’s desire has always been to pursue an NCAA scholarship. We are hoping that with our connections to Winnipeg and with the positive experience his brother had with our organization that Scott will attend training camp and make a decision on our program at that time,” Tory continued.
Im a bit disapointed to see Macaulay change hands but the Broncos must feel confident he was never going to play here. We'll see if he's in a Tri-City jersey when they make their way to the Credit Union I-plex this winter.
Also, I tracked down Geordie Wudrick who is in Vancouver training. The NHL Draft is a week away. I'll get his thoughts heading into the big weekend. I'll post something over the weekend if I get around to it.
It finally stopped raining in Swift but not before over five inches was dumped on our fair city. It's been enough to cancel all outdoor sports and plenty of tee times I'm sure.
Have a good weekend,
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
TSN has learned that the San Jose Sharks will name Red Wings' assistant Todd McLellan as the team's new head coach at a press conference Thursday.
McLellan will replace the recently fired Ron Wilson who has landed on his feet in Toronto after signing a four-year contract on Tuesday.
"It's a very good feeling," McLellan said in a statement.
"From the first moment Doug called to the moment he offered the job, I felt comfortable. I think the Sharks have done a tremendous job. You don't get that close to 50 wins for a number of years in a row without a lot of talent. It's a matter of getting over the hump. There are some real parallels between the Wings and the Sharks."
The press conference to announce the signing will occur at 11 am Pacific at the HP Pavillion in San Jose.
"Todd McLellan has an excellent track record and has had success at every level of coaching in his career," Doug Wilson told the Canadian Press.
"He comes from one of the top organizations in all of sports and has been exposed to some of the brightest hockey minds in the game including Jim Devellano, Ken Holland, Scotty Bowman, Steve Yzerman and Mike Babcock, along with Jacques Lemaire, to name just a few. We feel that Todd is an excellent fit for our hockey team."
The Melville, Saskatchewan native just completed his third season as a Red Wings' assistant helping lead the team to the 11th Stanley Cup title in franchise history.
McLellan's main responsibility with the Wings has been the power play unit that fired at a 20.1% over the past three years.
The Detroit Free Press reported that McLellan cancelled a meeting set later in the week in Atlanta to discuss the Thrashers head coaching position.
Prior to joining the Red Wings, McLellan spent four seasons as head coach of the American Hockey League's Houston Aeros, leading the team to the 2003 Calder Cup championship.
Following the season he was named Minor Pro Coach of the Year by the Hockey News.
McLellan was selected in the 5th round of the 1986 NHL Entry draft by the New York Islanders. In give career games in the NHL, McLellan scored once and picked up one assist. He has also coached the Cleveland Lumberjacks of the International Hockey League and the Swift Current Broncos in the Western Hockey League. He also captured the WHL coach of the year award in 200 and Executive of the Year in 1997 while serving both as Broncos head coach and GM.
No doubt something was in the works when I talked to him earlier this week. Our interview is posted below. Congratulations Todd.
Now the Director of Player Development for the Columbus Blue Jackets, Wright spend four seasons with the Broncos from 1989-1993.
Hailing from Canora, SK, Wright was the highest Swift Current Bronco ever drafted into the NHL, 12th overall in the 1st Round of the 1991 NHL Entry Draft by the Edmonton Oilers. Wright accumulated 115 goals and 157 assists in 233 WHL career games. Wright also played a key role in the Broncos trip to the Memorial Cup in 1993 with 9 goals and 17 assists in 17 playoff games.
I recently contacted Tyler to get his thoughts on being inducted into the Broncos Hall of Fame and to share some memories.
JK: Tyler, you find yourself less than two weeks from being inducted into the Broncos Hall of Fame along with Andy. What does that mean to you?
Tyler: You know, it puts your career and your life in perspective on where you're at but very honored in the same breath. I hold the Swift Current Broncos in the highest regards. I give them a lot of credit to the development of me as a person and as a player. To go into the Hall of Fame along with Andy it's something very special for me and my family.
JK: That 92/93 WHL Championship Team was something special wasn't it...
Tyler: You know it really was, (laughs), I started in Edmonton that year, played with the Oilers till around Christmas. I went to the World Juniors. I came back and I was the 3rd line center on my junior team. That's how good we were, and that's the skill set that we had.
JK: You're the highest ever drafted player in Bronco history, 12th overall to the Oilers in 1991. Now, you see things on the other side in your current job with the Blue Jackets. Any past experience you can pass on?
Tyler: You know, when you're 18 years old and you're drafted in the first round you think life is going to be pretty easy and it's quite the contrary to that. There's a lot of ups and downs and a lot of learning an a lot of growing up and maturing. You're a pretty confident kid at the time and things get put in perspective pretty good and it depends on how you handle them.
JK: You were a guy who is a great story as you came up through the ranks. Tell me about your start with the Broncos.
Tyler: It was a dream come true. I was a 15 year-old who wasn't listed by anybody. My uncle was Ken Donaldson who lived in Swift Current. He went to the Broncos to tell them he had a nephew that's not too bad. It was kind of one of those scenarios where everybody has that nephew is pretty good they think. So I was behind the 8-ball my whole career. I was just very fortunate that Swift Current gave me the opportunity.
JK: Your travels with Columbus brought you back into Swift Current late in the season. There's kind of a funny story that goes with that too....
Tyler: I was in watching Jesse Dudas (Columbus draft pick), and it was great. They renovated the arena and the playoff push they had was excellent. I really got to know Dean Chynoweth this year. I can't say enough about him. He's not only a quality person but a great coach and hockey mind. The Swift Current Broncos are in good hands with him I really think he's a true genuine guy and I think that's really hard to find.
JK: What about the story of being introduced over the P.A. system in the rink against Calgary in the playoffs...
Tyler: (laughs) I was trying to sneak into the building. Jesse Dudas didn't know I was coming to that one and I'm trying to keep an eye on these kids and do reports. Their games obviously change a little when they know their NHL team is in the building to watch them. I guess word spread through that I made the trek into Swift Current and they introduced me (over the P.A) so my cover was blown! I don't think I actually watched much hockey after that because I spent the rest of the night talking with a bunch of old friends and fans.
JK: Less than two weeks 'till the Hall of Fame....
Tyler: Well I'm really excited to this Hall of Fame. I'm excited to bring my kids down there. I have a seven year old son that has no clue where I played junior hockey. He was born in the U.S. It's good to get them back there to show them where I started out and where I have such fond memories of.
It's going to be a pretty emotional night. I'm an emotional guy and always have been. This is an organization that takes a lot of pride in events like this. It's an organization that has been through a lot of hardships the last couple of decades. I'll be very honored to have my dad, my grand-father, my family, my kids and my wife's family to all be there. It's going to be an emotional time but something I'm extremely looking forward too.
It's been raining here almost non-stop for almost a week. It's something we need in the area so no one is really complaining. It's been tough on the local sportscene. I would venture to guess the next Indians game tomorrow night could be in jeopardy. The game is also on the Eagle 94.1 FM.
Here's a list of our broadcasts this season. Join Ryan Switzer and Chris Martens for the play-by-play all summer long.
June 7th in Regina 6:45 pre-game
June 12th home to Okotoks 6:50 start.
June 16th in Medicine Hat 6:45
June 20th in Saskatoon 6:45
June 21st in Moose Jaw 6:45
June 26th home to Lethbridge 6:50
July 11th in Moose Jaw 6:45
July 12th in Saskatoon 6:45
July 15th in Okotoks 6:45
July 24th in Lethbridge 6:45
July 26th Home to Okotoks 6:50
July 28th home to Sherwood Park 6:50
Monday, June 09, 2008
The rights to the familiar song have been purchased by rival network CTV, and it will be used for the NHL on TSN and hockey coverage during Vancouver 2010.
Bretton Stamler will attend the University of New Brunswick next season. Here's the news release:
The Swift Current Broncos are proud to announce that recent Bronco graduate Bretton Stamler has agreed to play for the University of New Brunswick Varsity Red’s Hockey club.
A native of Edmonton, Alberta, Stamler split his 20-year-old season between the Broncos and the Edmonton Oil Kings after being acquired at the January 10th trade deadline. The defenseman previously played 4 seasons for the Seattle Thunderbirds, totalling 363 regular season and playoff games during his junior career.
Stamler will receive 5 years of tuition, fees, and books for his post secondary pursuits courtesy of the WHL Scholarship program, an initiative that encourages WHL graduates to continue their hockey careers at Canadian universities. This past season, the Broncos had 21 players who took advantage of the program.
The Broncos are proud of their continued commitment to the WHL Scholarship program, and wish Bretton continued success with his hockey career and the best of luck with his educational pursuits.
For more information about the WHL Scholarship program, please visit www.whl.ca/education.
Hey Stams, can you bring me back a golf shirt? Then I would have two.
Saturday, June 07, 2008
Warriors Restructure Hockey Operation Staff
General Manager Chad Lang is proud to announce the appointment of Kevin Higo as the Assistant Coach of the Moose Jaw Warriors.
“We are excited about having the opportunity to add Kevin to our coaching staff and feel he will be an asset to our overall team success.”
Higo has been the General Manager and Head Coach with the Brooks Bandits of the Alberta Junior Hockey League since the 2004-05 season. During that time Higo was named the AJHL South Prospects Head Coach 2006-07, AJHL South All-Star Head Coach 2005-06, and was named AJHL Coach of the Year 2004-05.
Prior to joining the Brooks Bandits Kevin spent time in Crowsnest Pass and Fort McMurray as the General Manager and Head Coach. Kevin also spent one year as the Assistant Coach of the Fort McMurray Oil Barons, during which time he helped the team win the AJHL Championship, Doyle Cup Championship and the Royal Bank Cup Championship game in 1999-2000.
The Warriors would like to welcome Kevin and family to the organization. Kevin will begin his duties with the Warriors at the upcoming WHL scheduling meeting taking place in Calgary AB. Monday June 16th, 2008.
In addition to the hiring of Kevin, the Moose Jaw Warriors are pleased to announce that Rene Lemire has accepted the position of Director of Junior Development. Lemire has been the Warriors Assistant Coach since December of 2004, however due to personal reasons was unable to commit to the position of full-time Associate Coach.
“Rene has been and will continue to be a valuable asset to the organization, and we are proud to have Rene back as a member of our hockey staff for the upcoming season”, commented General Manager Chad Lang
Friday, June 06, 2008
The Detroit Red Wings Assistant Coach is ready to take the next step in his coaching career. I went one-on-one with him this morning. It's safe to say he's looking to take the next step in his coaching career....
JK: First of all congratulations. Secondly, take me through that final minute behind the bench in game six protecting the one goal lead... pretty tense I would imagine.
Todd: It certainly was. There was a lot of excitement. You always say to yourself you will be calm and cool and collected. For the most part we were but our hearts were beating really fast and what that final buzzer went it was...oh boy, a lot of relief and a lot of excitement.
JK: (Head Coach) Mike Babcock sported a Spokane Chiefs hat a news conference a couple weeks ago with the Chiefs in the Memorial Cup final. How often do you think of the Swift Current Broncos and your time in the WHL?
Todd: I often think about. I know when I looked at my phone after the game there was a number of my old friends and people that I worked with in Swift Current that sent great greetings to me. Swift Current holds a very dear spot in my heart in my career so far and I think about it a lot. I hope in the near future I'll have the opportunity to wear a Bronco hat when they're in the Memorial Cup as well as us being in the Stanley Cup Finals again.
JK: One thing that has come up lately is your name being thrown around when talking about potential head coaching jobs around the NHL. That has to be a feather in the cap...
Todd: Well, it is. I think that happens when you're involved in successful organizations. Again we talked earlier about my opportunity in Swift Current and it was a successful organization. We had some real good teams and that allowed me to advance to the pro level and now I'm in Detroit where success has followed this team around. I hope to parlay that into a head coaching position and I know I'm going to get the opportunity to speak to a few General Managers in the next two weeks. I'd like to think I will get the chance and make good on it.
JK: Take me through the last 24 to 48 hours since winning the Cup. What have they been about?
Todd: Well it hasn't been about sleep I can tell you that much (laughs). After the game in Pittsburgh the families were all there so we had a chance to celebrate in the building... mostly on the ice surface because the building is so old and small. We took some charter flights home and landed in Detroit. In one of the airport hangars there was a huge party till... well, the sun was coming up when I got home. Then yesterday, Mr and Mrs. Ilitch our great team owners here in Detroit had all the players and their families over to their place for a nice reception and dinner.
Right now we are in downtown Detroit, we are having breakfast as a team at the Hockeytown Cafe. People are gathering for the parade and we're expecting over a million people for that. It really hit me of what we really accomplished... this morning when I was driving down here. We had a bus going down the streets and seeing the people lined up already. It's just phenomenal to see the people and the passion they have.
JK: I'm sure you won't mind the short off-season. What are your plans? What's the months ahead hold for you?
Todd: The one thing I hope happens is the opportunity to become a head coach. If that happens there is going to be a lot of busy days as far as getting family organized. If not, then we will certainly enjoy our time in Detroit. We're thinking of getting back to Saskatchewan perhaps... Swift Current. Just spending family time too. The season goes by so quick but only for the players and coaches. But for the families back alone at home it's a long one. I'm going to spend a lot of time with the kids and my wife.
Thursday, June 05, 2008
Just some randoms today...
- I got up this morning and realized the Broncos Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is less than three weeks away. The evening goes Tuesday June 24th and tickets are still available by calling the Broncos office.
Andy Schneider and Tyler Wright will go in as the 12th and 13th members. Look for a blog story/interview with each of them in the coming days.
Tyler Wright and myself have been playing phone tag lately. He's in the middle of a busy time as he prepares for the NHL Entry Draft as the Development Coach for the Columbus Blue Jackets. I last spoke with him just before he was headed to the NHL Draft Combine in Toronto.
- Speaking of the NHL Draft, It's an event looked upon with anticipation. Broncos top prospect Geordie Wudrick attended the combine and interviewed with 24 teams. By all accounts, it went well. There are some teams hot and cold on Geordie. Look for the L.A. Kings to scoop him up possibly in the 2nd round. We'll wait and see. The Wudrick family will be attending the events in Ottawa.
There are several Bronco storylines heading into the draft. Where will Matt Tassone fall? Will a team take a shot at player who had a break-out season as an 18 year-old now in his draft year? What about the two highly touted 19 year-olds in Zack Smith and Dale Wiese?
This draft for me personally could be the busiest. I don't think I'll be crossing my fingers like I did last time in Ottawa (2005) where I had to wait to the 7th and final round (#221st overall) when the Calgary Flames selected Myles Rumsey with their final pick. Or how about last summer in Columbus where both Ryan Molle and Paul Postma were 7th and final round selections. Or 2004 in North Carolina when David Schulz was taken in the 8th round by Vancouver. Kyle Moir was a 5th round pick of Nashville
Fact is, the Broncos have a player drafted every season since coming back to Swift Current from Lethbridge for the 1986-87 season. A total of 50 players.
If you want a closer look at some of the WHL prospects visit my buddy Michael Remmerde's blog at www.nhldraftnotes.blogspot.com
- Can you believe Broncos Rookie Camp is just over 10 weeks away? Crazy. Camp opens up August 18th for orientation.
- Congratulations to former Broncos Head Coach Todd McLellan on a Stanley Cup with the Detroit Red Wings. McLellan was a bit before my time in the broadcast booth and would fall under the Regan Bartel era. By all accounts, he's held in high regard amongst the Broncos including Assistant General Manager Elden Moberg who worked closely with him over the years. I plan on tracking him down for a radio piece and a blog story. The Red Wings Assistant Coach will be tough to get a hold of now. Going through the Wings will be virtually impossible now.
- Seven of us had a fun four days near Whitefish, MT as Broncos Head Coach/GM Dean Chynoweth hosted a staff get-together at his palatial cabin. I'll spare you the details just for the sake of ... "betcha we see that on the blog next week" or "put that on the blog!" Whatever, it comes with the territory as a blogger.
There are several beauty golf courses down there as you would expect. Eagle Bend is a Nicklaus course and was the best I've seen. Gorgeous layout, challenging holes, great scenery and affordable.
It was funny, you travel seven hours for golf and end up following a Swift Current foursome for the entire round. It was weird running into the Prairie Post's George Bowditch and company on the 15th hole at Eagle Bend. It was like we were playing a round at the Chinook here in the city.
Dean is a great host, and as just "the radio guy" who works for the radio station, I feel fortunate to be included.
Hopefully another update will be coming sooner rather than later...