OK, anyone reading this blog either watched or was at the gold medal game last night so I'm not going to go into any game details. I will however share some observations from behind the scenes.
- I didn't know too much about USA Head Coach Dean Blais before this tournament but he certainly grabbed my attention at the event.
He's a good coach, well spoken and got the job done all along while praising the Canadian style of hockey and implementing it into his team.
His show of emotion during the gold medal ceremony was genuine. Even through the emotion of the victory he was still coaching. Did you see him yell "hat's off" to his team when they were lined up on the blueline before the anthem? Always coaching, even with tears in his eyes.
And a shout out to Canadian Head Coach Will Desjardins. Will took some heat from some of the national media folks for not really "giving them anything" over the course of the week.
He didn't do one-on-one interviews and Hockey Canada's media reps kept him very close and kept the reporters at bay for the most part.
I put the word into one of the H.C. media reps I needed him for a couple minutes after Coaches podium news conference. He said it wasn't going to happen but they would pass the message on to him anyways.
Willy finished up with the hoard of national reporters and caught up with me behind the curtain. He granted me the one-on-one for the WHL This Week radio show.
Considering the circumstances, I wasn't expecting it. Thanks.
It's funny how these events bring the WHL media together. I saw a few of the guys from around the league and watched the gold medal game with the Warriors crew of James Gallo and Chad Kletzel. Safe to say there was some high-fives going on when Jordan Eberle tied it late. Go figure, a Regina Pat making rival broadcasters from Moose Jaw and Swift Current rejoice. Nice.
Sask Place / Credit Union Center has never seen that type of atmosphere and may never see it again. I would think only John Slaney's go-ahead goal in 1991 against the Russians would have rivaled the feeling in the rink.
I was at Sask Place for the 1993/94 league final with the Kamloops Blazers that went the distance. That was good, amazing actually. Norm Maracle was starring in the Blades crease in a relatively new building. But last night's atmosphere when Eberle scored back-to-back goals to tie it was off the charts.
Broncos Head Coach and General Manager Mark Lamb is in the middle of his first WHL trade deadline. I spoke with him about that and his trade deadline plans.
"We're making some calls but for the most part we've made our trades already this season. If something comes up to better our team we're going to do something.
What kind of calls are you getting?
"I've got a lot of interesting calls. When (other GM's) are calling they are looking for your best players and they're wondering what direction we're going to go. I like our team, I like a lot of things about our team...our youth. Our youth is the key to the future and we're aren't going to give up the future."
What kind of deadline around the league are you expecting?
"That's really hard to say. There's been a lot of big deals already like in Regina and Brandon. Saskatoon probably thinks they need to add something just because the others have. If you have a good team you have to keep your team together. It's hard to say. There's some teams from the West that are looking to compete with the Brandons of the world and they're looking to better their teams also."
What's your first trade deadline like? A bit of a learning experience?
"I'm enjoying it. This is the part for me that's really fun, I enjoy talking to these guys around the league. I'm not going to do anything too crazy. I've been fairly patient since I've got here. We've got a lot of good things going on here. If we can add, we will add but we're not going to change the whole make-up of our team."