I was down at practice yesterday and I noticed one guy just flying out there... I quickly realized it was Michael Stickland who is back healthy and looks good.
Stickland suffered an ankle injury just before he was to report to training camp last month.
A point-a-game guy since being acquired at the trade deadline, Stickland hopes to continue that pace this season.
"Absolutely, I'd like to continue producing like that...if I can do that I think our team has a good chance of winning."
Stickland returns with some added responsibility. He's the oldest forward on the active roster and knows he will have to help in different ways this season.
"Some things feel the same some things feel different. You realize you're the oldest player out here. You feel the responsibility to lead the younger guys in their first training camp or first season. For sure you have some extra responsibility."
Stickland will play in his first pre-season action this weekend as the Broncos meet the Tigers in a home-and-home set. It's something he's been anticipating.
"I'm excited to get back. I'm sick of tired of being the only practice player who hasn't suited up so far. It will be good to get back up to game speed and remember what it feels like to actually play."
- Ran into Geordie Wudrick as well. Geordie never did make it to L.A. Kings camp after coming down with appendicitis the night before he was to head south. He had his appendix removed earlier this week and is back at the rink. The recovery time on these things vary but he should be back skating by the weekend or early next week. He wants to be ready for the season opener a week from today against the Moose Jaw Warriors.
- The three young goalies looked good at practice yesterday. Alex Sirard, Chad Ketting and Austin Smith were under the guidance of Goaltending Consultant Kevin Swanson who is spending the week with the team.
Apparently there's a lot of talk amongst WHL General Managers right now. Teams are looking to fill holes in their roster and in the same breath try and find a destination for players who might not fit into their plans this season.
Not sure how active the Broncos are at this point but it would be safe to say they are involved in some discussion.
The Saskatoon Blades will apparently soon have three imports on their roster with the Edmonton Oilers set to re-assign Milan Kytnar. You can only carry two imports so obviously the Blades will be trying to move one - likely 18 year-old Swedish newcomer Hampus Gustafsson.
Don't expect a deal though between these two teams. Although trade partners in the past, I don't think the Blades would be a fan of trading a supposed skilled forward to a team they will play eight times this season. I could be wrong, but I think the Blades will find another dance partner in this one.
As for tonight's game. There is no broadcast tonight on the Eagle 94.1 FM. We will be on the air a week from tonight when the Broncos host the Moose Jaw Warriors in the season opener.
Alan Caldwell had a roster breakdown over on his blog (link on the right). Another detailed and lengthy procedure I'm sure. It's worth a look. Some of the numbers are a bit skewed with teams carrying more younger players before a final roster cut-down. I would really like to see the numbers a week into the regular season.
Have a good weekend....