Thursday, July 31, 2008
Thanks to Broncos Director of Player Personnell Jamie Porter for providing input on players coming in competing for spots.
For Bronco fans taking in some training camp sessions in the coming weeks here's an unofficial guide.
1993's - 15 year-olds
- D Reece Scarlett - The Broncos 1st round pick (12th overall) from this summer's WHL bantam draft. Considered a well-rounded player. Was a big part of Sherwood Park's Western Canadian "AAA" bantam title.
“We think Reece is a solid two-way defenseman. He’s the type of a guy that we see on the power play, while also having the ability to match up against the opposition’s top line” - Jamie Porter
- D Clayton Chingee - 2008 9th round bantam pick out of Prince George. Can play both forward and defense.
"Ultra competitive kid, physical and with a cannon of a shot." - Porter
- G Austin Smith - Broncos 2nd round choice in this summer bantam draft (34th overall). The Calgary goaltender is coming off a good season between the pipes.
"Typically it takes goaltenders longer to develop but we think he can be our goaltender of the future." - Porter
F - Josh Derko - 5th round '08 bantam pick. Another part of Sherwood Park's "AAA" bantam Western Canadian Championship.
D - Graeme Craig - 3rd round '08 bantam pick. Big bodied defenseman at 6'2 195 lbs. Red Deer product is the younger brother to Broncos prospect Rodger Graig.
"Has some grease in his game, he's not afraid to jump-up into the play." - Porter
F - Preston Amundon - 7th round '08 bantam pick. Speedy, smaller player from Edmonton.
"Fits the Broncos mold of our speed kills mentality" - Porter
F/D- Mike Lazo - 8th round '08 bantam pick. Out of Winnipeg, younger brother of Tri-City Americans Johnny Lazo. 5'6 skilled player who has played both forward and defense.
" A skilled player that moves real well. He's excited to be the first of his three brothers to get drafted into the WHL. There's no doubt a place for the smaller, skilled player in WHL again." - Porter
D -Nathan Zimbaluk - 6th round '08 bantam pick. 6'1, 175lbs
"defenseman out of Regina... good size and moves well" - Porter
F -Nicco Digiovannantonio - 6th round '08 bantam pick. A hockey broadcaster's nightmare with an eight syllable last name, the character kid captained his Clavet, SK bantam team last season. His family recently moved to Manitoba. Smaller player listed at 5'7, 145lbs.
F - Adam Lowry - 4th round 08' bantam pick. The son of former Calgary Flames and now current Calgary Hitmen Head Coach Dave Lowry.
"Character kid, solid two-way player, potential leader, understands the game well, does all the little things coaches really appreciate." - Porter
1992's - 16 year-olds
There's a real solid group of 16 year-olds coming into this year's camp. Since Dean Chynoweth took over as Broncos Head Coach / GM, the Broncos have traditionally kept at least two on the roster for the season. There's a good chance they will do the same this year.
Here's a rundown of what to watch for.
F- Christian Magnus - Broncos 1st round bantam pick in '07. Had a strong training camp and pre-season tournament in Edmonton last season. He played with the Broncos in the max five games allowed as a 15 year-old last season.
"Depending on how the 17 year-olds at camp perform, his roster spot may be out of his control. We will do whatever is best for his development. Either making the jump to the WHL or another year of "AAA" Midget." - Porter
F- Catlin Foley - Acquired from Prince George in the Jesse Dudas deal, Foley played in Notre Dame last season and is originally from Coronach, SK.
"Solid energy guy with good size (6'1 195lbs). Solidly built player." - Porter
F/D - Patrick Coady - 7th round '07 bantam pick. Played in the Midget 15 league in Airdrie last season. Had to play defense because a rash of injuries on his team.
"We think he's tough and has some good size (6'2, 185)" - Porter
F- Andrew Sullivan - 7th round '07 bantam pick. Played "AAA" Midget in Calgary and put up some good numbers, Won the bantam league scoring race in Calgary two years ago.
"Has some very good skills... he's a top end scorer" - Porter
F - Madison Diaz - Listed player. Has plans to play junior "A" in Victoria of the BCHL this year as they are hosting the RBC Cup.
"We like his play... plays with reckless abandon." - Porter
F - Michael Hay - 4th round '07 bantam pick. Played with the Winnipeg "AAA" Thrashers who went all the way to the "AAA" Telus Cup final last season. Had a good Broncos camp last season that saw him make it to the Intersquad game.
"He's a quick, skilled guy and had a great experience with the Winnipeg Thrashers last season. He scores big goals." - Porter
D- Taylor Ernst - 2nd round '07 bantam pick. Played three games with the Broncos last season as a 15 year-old. Played the year with the Regina Pat Canadiens "AAA" midget. Broncos project him to be an offensive defenseman.
"We would like to see him come in and compete for a roster spot this season." - Porter
D - Allistair Chapman - 5th round '07 bantam pick. Played "AAA" midget in Calgary last season. He was one of several players who were hurt at last year's training camp.
"He's another who we would like to see come in and compete for a spot. He has decent puck skills, some grit and plays with a chip on his shoulder." - Porter
D- Jordan Evans - Listed player from training camp last season. Played "AAA" with the UFA Bisons last season.
"He's put himself into a position to compete for a spot. Good skater, calm and poised." - Porter
D- Brody Luhning - 8th round '07 bantam pick. Played this last season in Balgonie.
"He's a smaller solid defensman but has grown a little. Needs to work on his strength. He's good in hiw own zone and isn't afraid to jump up into the play." - Porter
D - Jonathan Lashyn - Listed player. Played last season with the Saskatoon Contacts "AAA".
"All around has some tools, great character guy, has some leadership attributes" - Porter
D- Zach Habscheid - 9th round '07 bantam pick. Big defenseman. Son of Marc Habscheid. Played with the "AAA" Legionnaires last season. Practiced several times with the Broncos last season.
" Game is making some strides, we think he could bring an element of toughness." - Porter
G- Reid Peters - Listed player. Out of Morden Manitoba.
"was a good little goaltender when we first saw him, now he's grown to 6'3. We will have to see where he's at come training camp. - Porter
1991's - 17 year olds
F- Taylor Vause - 6th round '06 bantam pick, Finished off the season with the Broncos and even saw action in the playoffs. Smart and speedy forward out of Calgary who has an inside track on landing a full time spot this season. Check out his youtube highlight reel here. Dynamic, offensive player.
F- Dillon Wagner - 6th round '06 bantam pick. Finished last year with Drayton Valley of the AJHL. Already signed with the Broncos. Can play in all situations, good penalty killer.
"Very solidly built two way player with some offensive skills and good hockey sense." - Porter
F- Rodger Craig - 4th round '06 bantam pick. 6'4 215 out of Red Deer and skates at a high level.
"Great skater, has some skill. Hasn't figured out what type of player hs is yet." - Porter
F- Blayze Bruyer - Listed player out of Edmonton. 6'4 195. Has battled some injury problems.
"Good skater for a guy his size. Needs to get a bit more aggressive." - Porter
F - Jordan Peddle - Listed player from the local "AAA" Legionnaires. One of the top Sask "AAA" players last season. Suffered a broken wrist in his very first SJHL game with the Notre Dame Hounds which all but ended his season.
"Plays with tons of energy. Pretty skilled player who was the best player on the Legionnaires last season." - Porter
F - Oliver Jokel - Broncos 1st round Import pick from Slovakia. Broncos this he's a potentially explosive skater that works hard. The Broncos will get their first look at Jokel at training camp.
D - James Martin - 2nd round '06 bantam pick who played last season with the "AAA" Winnipeg Wild. Has played three games with the Broncos over the last three years on a call-up basis.
"We think he's ready to take the next step. We will see how he performs at camp" - Porter
D- David Greyeyes - 5th round '06 bantam pick. Played last season with Beardy's of the Sask "AAA" midget league. Has seen action in eight Bronco games over the last two seasons. The general consensus is that fitness has always been an issue that has held him back.
"He's having a good summer of training. We think he has some offensive to him with a good shot. He will get a long look this season." - Porter
G- Chad Ketting - Listed out of training camp last season. Played "AAA" with the Vancouver NW Giants. Smaller bodied, athletic goaltender. Impressive at camp last season
Other 1991's include forwards Brad Hoban, Cody Eakin and defenseman Joel Rogers who were on the Broncos roster all of last season.
Bronco fans will all be familiar with the trio. A broken leg while playing roller hockey this summer could keep Hoban out of action until October.
Cody Eakin is set to attend Canada's U-18 camp in Calgary with hopes of landing a spot on the National U-18 team.
JoelRogers will see an increased role with the team this season with the departure of Michael Wilson and Bretton Stamler and potentially Jesse Dudas and/or Spencer McAvoy depending on the 20 year-old situation.
Next week I'll take a closer look at the returning 18, 19 and 20 year-olds.
Enjoy the long weekend!
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Tisdale Joins Broncos Hockey on the Eagle 94.1 FM
The Eagle 94.1 FM Swift Current, a division of Golden West Broadcasting, is pleased to announce Tim Tisdale is coming aboard as the Swift Current Broncos Game Analyst for the upcoming 08/09 season.
Tisdale will take over for Ryan Switzer who is departing after five seasons.
"Professionally, the timing is right to step aside", commented Switzer.
"The Bronco organization was a pleasure to deal with over the last five years. I hope to maintain a strong working relationship with the team outside of the broadcast booth. As a Bronco fan, I couldn't be more excited about hearing Jon Keen and Tim Tisdale together this year."
Tisdale is a former Bronco from 1986-1989. He captained the Memorial Cup Championship team in his final year.
Tisdale played seven years of professional hockey before turning to the coaching ranks. He coached the Regina Pats for two seasons from 1998-2000
Tisdale may be the only person ever to capture an Air Canada Cup (Notre Dame 1986), Memorial Cup (Swift Current 1989) and an Allan Cup (Powell River 1997),
"I am very excited to be involved in this level of hockey and especially with an organization so close to my heart,” commented Tisdale.
"Ryan's quick wit and passion was obvious to all listeners. He left some large shoes but I hope Jon and I can develop the same chemistry".
The former Bronco will join Play-by-Play host Jon Keen in the booth this season.
"I would like to thank Ryan for his hard work and dedication the last five seasons. His wit and character made the broadcast a lot of fun," commented Keen.
"There's no one that knows the game like Tizzy. I've learned a lot just working with him in a handful of games. He will add a new dynamic to the broadcast. I'm excited to have him along for what will be another exciting season."
Broncos Assistant General Manager Elden Moberg released a statement on the changes.
"As a hockey club we are pleased at the announcement of Tim Tisdale's addition to the Eagle's Broadcast of Broncos Hockey. He will do an outstanding job, he is a very knowledgeable hockey person and it doesn't hurt that he scored the most important goal in Swift Current Broncos' History. We have to thank Ryan Switzer for his excellent work as color commentator. Tim will continue the excellent work on a strong broadcast with Jon Keen"
To more radio news...
Our radio station company Golden West Radio is saying goodbye to one of it's on-air icons.
Rob Carnie of CHAB Moose Jaw and former voice of the Moose Jaw Warriors is leaving for another career opportunity.
Carns is a beauty, and will be missed.
I always tell him this (and he probably hates it) but I grew up listening to Carns call Warriors games when I was a kid.
His unique flair and style was a major factor and influence on my career. He could be the biggest reason on why I chose to get involved in sports broadcasting.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Another big win for the Green and White yesterday over Toronto pushes them to 5-0.... their best start in over 60 yeas.
I was happy to see Rider fans pay tribute to former QB Kerry Joseph in the pre-game introductions. Now a member of the opposition, Joseph did some great things both on and off the field in his time on our side. I'm a KJ fan!
Getting back to the Broncos....
Bronco rookie camp opens three weeks from today at the Credit Union I-plex. The organization is starting to get excited.
I had an extensive chat with Broncos Director of Player Personnel Jamie Porter last week. We talked about camp and some of the prospects looking to land a roster spot.
It's promising to be a competitive camp with some new faces expected to make a strong push to land a spot.
Later this week we will go through the 15's,16's and 17's and who to watch for. A must read for those die-hard Bronco fans!
Friday, July 25, 2008
The play-by-play voice of the Chilliwack Bruins found himself on the outside looking in when a new radio station company in Chilliwack acquired the radio rights to the Bruins.
The new station then "blind boxed" an online ad looking for a new play-by-play broadcaster. What's a blind box ad?
Here's what it looked like:
This is your opportunity to be “The Voice” of a WHL Franchise and Sports Director in a mid-sized western Canadian Market.
Minimum qualifications must include:
-5 years Sports Directory experience;
-3 years hockey “Play by Play” experience;
-Diploma/Degree in Broadcast from a recognized institution would be an asset.
Please forward your resume and references.
The play-by-play broadcasters in the WHL are a pretty tight group. Something like this definitely sounded some alarm bells. It a few of us looking over our shoulders a little. An e-mail went through the group looking for any info or news. No one knew anything.
Turns out the the ad was for Chilliwack hosted by the new radio station company.
The technique is actually commonplace in the radio industry.
But good on the friendly Dave Sheldon. He was announced yesterday as the new play-by-play broadcaster and Director of Media Relations for the Vancouver Giants and should make a seamless transition to the rival of the Bruins.
Sheldon is from the Vancouver area and like Bob Ridley in Medicine Hat, also can be seen behind the wheel of the team's bus now and then.
He's also quietly cutting a swath through the Western Conference with stops in Everett, the Whack and now Vancouver.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Here's the transcript:
JK: There's been a lot of talk about the Regina Pats job, where are things at?
Marc: I went and talked to Brent, sat in his office for a couple hours Monday morning and had a good chat. Where it is at I'm not sure. I think it was a fact finding discussion a little bit for both. He's trying to do what's best for his team and I'm trying to do what's best for mine, meaning my family.
There's a lot of things involved. I've always talked about a proper fit. Maybe this is, maybe it's not, that's yet to be determine. There's nothing wrong going to talk and trying to figure out exactly where he's at and where his team's at he's figuring out where I'm at.
JK: You've been a coach in this league. There's a lot of talk that you want to do more. Head Coach, General Manager maybe an ownership package....
Marc: I don't know. I'm a coach first and foremost and I understand that. The biggest thing for me is that my family has moved around a lot. Before you know it they're gone. I have son 16 and a daughter 13... my son has moved 10 times in 15 years. That's tough on a family.
People have said you have to get back in the game... and I do, I want to get back in. I've talked to a lot of teams the last two years and if it's the right fit I'll go but it hasn't been the right fit yet personally and professionally. I have no intentions of taking a job just to take a job.
In terms of ownership, or G.M. or coach... there's been rumours I want spend one year in major junior and go back to the NHL. That's not necessarily the case. I enjoy coaching, I probably enjoy coaching junior kids more than professional players to be quite honest. Maybe junior is where I need to be right now. I've had some success and most of all I enjoy working with the kids and helping them as people more than hockey players. You miss that. I think major junior is a good place. We will see where the winding road takes us.
JK: There's a time frame on the Regina job by the end of the week, what do you know about that?
Marc: I don't know. In this business time tables are tough. Brent is going to hire his coach whenever he wants, it's his timetable. I've talked to him and like I said we'll see where it goes. If it doesn't go where both of us think it needs to go that's fine. I have a hay crop to cut and get bailed here so life goes on.
JK: This is all a public matter. If I apply for a job or anybody applies it's not public knowledge but this coaching thing is sure strange. Everything is fair game. Does that bother you?
Marc: It's the nature of the business. Coaching candidates and things get out along with speculation and it's part of the business. You have to understand if you want to be involved it's a public affair. When you're doing things like farming there's not much interest from the outside but as soon as your in a public industry like entertainment or sports it's fair game. People want to know and are interested in it... you just have to deal with it.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Dale Derkatch and Marc Habscheid.
Both outstanding choices, with one hitting a lot closer to home for Swift Current hockey fans and myself.
Marc Habscheid would be a great choice and a very interesting one in the same breath. The local product who makes his off-season home split between Swift Current and Lac Pelletier was in the running for the Broncos coaching opening before the 2004/05 season.
Many stories have been told as to what exactly happened. I've heard it from both sides. While I won't get into specifics let's just say the storyline between Habscheid and the Broncos Board of Directors unfolds like a soap opera - depending on who you're listening to.
Have fences been mended? On the outside it appears so. I don't know the whole story and quite frankly don't ask. But up until last year a group of Bronco fans couldn't finish the sentence with the words Dean Chynoweth unless they added Marc Habscheid to it. Some still haven't let go.
Marc remains a big part of the community and was spotted attending many Bronco practices last season. His son Zach, a member of the local "AAA" midget Legionnaires attended a handful of Bronco practices in which Marc took in for a closer look.
He is on the verge of co-hosting the 3rd annual Harvey / Habscheid Charity golf tournament Friday at the Elmwood.
Taking nothing away from Dale Derkatch, Habscheid's resume speaks for itself. The only way he's not getting the gig is if Regina Pat's General Manager Brent Parker feels Habscheid's demands are too great.
There was a report of Habscheid asking for the rights of first refusal if/when the Pats came up for sale by the Parkers. I'm expecting that is a big issue.
Tomorrow morning Marc Habscheid and Nancy Harvey join us on the Eagle 94.1 FM morning show to promote their annual golf event. Forgive me if I slide in some questions regarding the Pats and the vacant head coaching position.
I'll post Marc's thoughts here sometime tomorrow morning.
One sure sign the hockey season is nearing? The ice is already in at the I-plex. I was there yesterday and got a 1980's feel when gazing upon the ultra-white surface. No ice sponsors in yet, no board signs... the way it used to look.
The Broncos will open up rookie camp August 18th at the I-plex after staging it last fall in at the Fairview Arena because of renovations.
Monday, July 21, 2008
I made the 360 kilometre trek back to Lanigan for the weekend for a friend's wedding. It's a good time to be from this province right now.
Oil, crop prices, potash and yes, even the Riders are all peaking at the same time allowing for an economic boom everywhere you look.
I rolled into town around 10:30pm Friday and it didn't take too long to find the action. A quick stop out to the Gunther farm a mile out of town had a strong gathering around the firepit.
It's here where I get my local farming update. Canola, canola, canola seems to be name of the game this season.
With prices around $15 a bushel it's a virtual sea of yellow across the province.
Yes input costs are rising but at $15 a bushel there's a hefty profit to be made. You can sense a quiet confidence with area farmers up there providing the " big white combine" stays away.
Another thing you'll notice, moreso than in recent memory are Rider flags all over the countryside.
If there is a flagpole on the horizon, chances are it's a big Rider /=S=/. So many farmyards from here to there have adopted a Riders flag in their yard. One farm near Imperial along the highway had three flagpoles at full mast: Saskatchewan flag on the left, Riders flag in the center and the Maple Leaf to the right.
There's a lot of pride in all three of those emblems right now.
You go back home and you can tell the economy is bussling. New trucks everywhere, your friends have all the toys - quad runners, boats, Sea Doos. If there is summer fun to be had they're all over it.
There's a big potash mine a few miles out of town that usually dictates the town's economy. At times there's almost too much money than a person knows to do with, especially the younger work force. Case in point as one of the 23 year-old mine supervisors thought it was a good idea Saturday night during the wedding dance to jump in his brand new truck and go for a latenight drunken spin. He didn't get too far. A quick right at the town hall up main street, into a light standard, the curb, a tree and a date with the RCMP red and blues.
And it's been a busy summer there. Last weekend was the annual Brookbank Charity Golf tournament hosted by local NHL brothers Wade and Sheldon. The weekend before was the town's 100 year birthday party.
I got a chance Sunday morning to play the "old course". The Lanigan Golf and Country Club nine hole gem.
The greens were in good shape - and that's all you can ask for. A lot of rain in the area meant the water hazards were twice the size as normal, which tends to be the case in July.
I even managed to throw my tee shot on the 3rd hole over the railway tracks and out of bounds - just like I've done a 100 times before. This time though I wasn't too concerned. Just another reminder of my hometown.
Following the round you pop into the clubhouse to see your old High School golf coach lounging inside.
"How'd it go?" he asked.
"I left a lot out there today," I replied.
"So nothing has changed then?"
My old golf coach, now a retired teacher, operates the local tow truck in town. Somewhere along the line the night before he hooked up to that aforementioned new truck on main street and took it to the local autobody (owned by good friend's family).
The wedding Saturday night had a very unique Saskatchewan moment.
During the reception the emcee kept a close eye on the Rider score while keeping to his regular duties of introducing the speakers and cracking a few jokes we've all heard before.
The early part of the dance saw the patrons file out into the parking lot around a big van the wedding party was using to get around.
On the radio, the Riders game of course. There must have been at least 30 of us listening to Rod Pedersen's call on 620 CKRM. We all listened as Lance Frazier made the big interception leading to the go-ahead touchdown and the ensuing fumbled kick-return sealing the Riders victory.
They're 4-0 for the first time in 38 years.
It's a good time to be from Saskatchewan!
Friends, family former teammates and coaches gathered in Maple Creek last night.
Broncos captain of this last year Zack Smith has honoured by his hometown for his accomplishments in hockey so far in his career.
Smith, who was a third round draft choice of the Ottawa Senators was humbled by the support.
"I hope they realize how much it meant for me to grow up here and how much it helped me out. I will always be grateful for what Maple Creek has given to me. I'm glad they showed their support tonight. I never expected it but it was nice they did it."
Smith, 19, will be attending Senators camp in the fall. A contract between the two sides is said to be close.
Thanks to Ryan Switzer who made the trip and did an interview with Zack so I could have it for the morning sports run today.
The Elmwood Golf Club will host the annual Nancy Harvey / Marc Habscheid Charity Golf tournament Friday.
It will be year three of the event. Nancy and Marc will be on the Eagle 94.1 FM morning show Thursday to promote it.
Talk about two people with hometown spirit. It must be pretty cool for Nancy to hang a right of Hillcrest drive on to Nancy Harvey Drive leading up to the golf course.
For Marc, there's a lot of talk about him being a candidate for the vacant head coaching job of the Regina Pats.
The LP's Rob Vanstone is reporting Habscheid formally interviewed for the job yesterday.
I'll ask him about that in the morning and post his thoughts on the blog later that day.
That's about it for today, thanks for reading.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Broncos’ Season Ticket Holders Get First Chance at World Junior Tickets
Monday, July 14, 2008
How about a little fun.... here's a pic of some of the guys before heading out together to the Calgary Stampede.... (see below)
(left to right Travis Yonkman, Spencer McAvoy, Ryan Molle, Derek Claffey)
Meanwhile back in Swift, the Broncos had their annual Wellington West Swift Current Broncos Golf Classic under less than ideal conditions at the Elmwood. 150 golfers fought high winds, rain and even hail.
My team consisted of Carol and Brenda from the Broncos office along with new P.R. guy Keegan Goodrich and Jordan Wall from the Marketing Dept. We did pretty well, and even won some cool stuff. It was a good time.
The McCleary / Holt group were the eventual winners of the first flight I think they checked in somewhere around -14.
In the coming weeks I'll start to take a closer look at the season ahead. With several changes to this year's team it should make for an exciting year once again. I will take a look at some of the prospects to watch out for and will post another edition of "10 Reasons to get Excited for Broncos Hockey".
Also.... stay tuned for something pretty cool later this week. More later.
Friday, July 11, 2008
- Curtis Hunt is leaving the Regina Pats for the Ottawa Senators. He will join head coach Craig Hartsburg as an assistant. Hunt has coached the Pats for the last four seasons. His relationship with Hartsburg goes back to the World Junior Championships. It's a great move for Curtis.
Now the replacement names are flying around. Former Pat Dale Derkatch who now runs the Notre Dame Hockey Academy and local product Marc Habscheid are getting the most ink. Both would be great choices. Not too sure if the potential sale of the franchise and a new ownership group would make a candidate shy away from the job or not. Habscheid has talked in the past about finding a great fit and good situation... would this be the one? I'm not so sure. I guess I could always ask.
- It's being reported that Broncos graduated defenseman Michael Wilson will get an NHL free agent try-out with the San Jose Sharks. That's great news if it's true. Mike is a pretty slick offensive defenseman who did a great job with the Broncos in his short time here. Good find Harley Love! (Broncos BC Scout). I've been told that Mike's intentions are to attend UBC next season. There is also some interest coming from Europe too.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
It is improving though. Yesterday's forecast was calling for rain, wind and a high of 13C while today's outlook is now calling for a mix of sun and cloud, windy and 16C.
A handful of alumni are coming in for the tournament. As always it should be fun.
Monday, July 07, 2008
- Great news for our province as it appears the joint bid from Saskatoon / Regina has won the right to host the 2010 World Junior Hockey Championships. Not since 1991 has Saskatchewan hosted the event. That year the likes of Eric Lindros, Trevor Kidd and Mike Craig led Canada to a gold medal with a thrilling win over the Russians. That was an awesome event.
Kudos to the bid committee which featured several high profile figures including Swift Current native and Premier of Saskatchewan Brad Wall. I'm gonna try and track him down later today for his thoughts. It's a bit of a local connection to the event. Here's hoping Broncos forward Cody Eakin can continue up the Hockey Canada ladder rungs and play a prominent role on the 2010 team.
- The Eagle 94.1 FM played the role of hosts to the biggest rock concert to come through these parts in quite awhile. Last night at the Credit Union I-plex, Default (pictured left) with special guests Mobile and One Bad Son played to a decent Swift Current crowd.
On the floor, I was impressed with the acoustics of the old barn. It sounded surprisingly good. The bands were great, we met the guys from Mobile just minutes before they took the stage.
I have to say my my morning partner Chance on the Eagle 94.1 FM did a great job on stage introducing the bands. He's the rock guy of the Breakfast Boys and was definitely in his element up there. Kudos to him, although he needs a pick-me-up this morning. The dude is worn out living that rockstar lifestyle.
- Quick thoughts on the Riders game from Friday night. I'm more of a critic sometimes when things go bad but I was big-time impressed with how they played in the 2nd half of the game in B.C. They played to their strengths and played mistake free football in the 26-16 win.
Without starting QB Marcus Crandell in the mix because of a hamstring pull and an ineffective Marcus Jyles, cue 3rd stringer Darian Durant. The young QB kept it simple with the offense based around running back Wes Cates. No forced passes, plus he protected the football under some big pressure from the Lions front seven.
The Riders played to their strength which was defense and special teams. That Dressler can scoot. He bailed the Riders out of some bad field position with a couple of key returns. That was big.
It was my first chance to evaluate new Head Coach Ken Miller when faced with a tough situation and with the odds stacked against. He prevailed and impressed me with his decision making. It appears the Riders are in good hands once again.
Wasn't much of a fan of the TSN broadcast though.
Dear TSN, can we get Chris Cuthbert for all Rider games please. He's the best in the game, bar none. Chris has the bar set pretty high, anyone else just appears bad in comparison I guess. Cuthbert called the first game of the night out east in Montreal between the Als and the Bombers. He rarely makes a mistake and in my mind is the best we have in sports broadcasting in this country. Young broadcasters should all aspire to be Chris Cuthbert. Love-in over.
Not much on the Broncos plate these days. Many of the staff are on holidays before training camp opens in, gulp... six weeks.
I ran into Zack Smith last night. The Broncos captain of last year is fresh off a prospects camp in Ottawa. He doesn't know what next season will bring or where he'll be but I'm already ruling him out as a Bronco for next season. I'm expecting he will sign and go on to play in the AHL
His hometown of Maple Creek has a "Zack Smith Night" planned to celebrate his season which culminated in being drafted by the Sens. The night is planned for Monday, July 21st and I'm told it will be a used as a fundraiser. The quiet Smith is a bit overwhelmed by the local support but told me he's game if the night is used to raise some money.
Congratulations to Broncos Athletic Therapist Paul Ayotte and his new wife Tenille. They got married over the weekend in Canmore, AB.
Finally, I posted a couple months ago about getting on the golf course a little bit more this summer and I'm happy to report that's happening. I'm approaching 30 rounds already. UPDATE: I'm still awful.
Call me if you wanna go a round...