Hello from Red Deer. Above the Broncos work out the bus legs with a pre-game skate at the Centrium.
It's -8 here but it feels like 15 above with the recent weather back home. Last night when we arrived it was brisk too. I think the crew has finally thawed after walking a few blocks for a pint last night.
There's a lot of trade deadline talk going around the WHL these days. Phone calls are being made, offers are going back and forth and there has been a lot of watching and waiting.
The Broncos may have their hands in a few deals but don't expect a blockbuster like we've seen in the past. If anything there will be some minor tweaking.
Head Coach / GM Mark Lamb will be pretty cautious through his first deadline. I would expect the team will likely make a move, two if the stars all align. That's not based on inside knowledge, that's just the nature of trade deadline weekend.
Rumours of the Broncos moving a Justin Dowling or a Cody Eakin are ludicrous at best. I've been asked by some people about them... I don't know where these things start. I'm assuming message boards and other blogs.
The guys read everything unfortunately. A mere mention of there name somewhere in the online world can send their world upside down. Some handle it better than others while some let it take over their thoughts. After all, they are 16 to 20 year-old.
But, this is what makes this time of year exciting for fans and for media alike.
"Struggling as a team near the trade deadline is like going shopping for groceries when you're starving."
I like that. That's what Lamber said earlier in the day as we talked before today's skate. A team panicking right now can make some big mistakes around deadline time. Thankfully the Broncos have been playing some of their best hockey lately. But some teams/GM out there might not be so fortunate.
So avoid the box of cookies or the 4L pail of ice cream...put the tostitos back on the shelf...
I spent some of the morning hanging out with Rebels broadcaster Cam Moon. I've said it before...but he's one of my favorites on the trail. The Rebels wrap up a homestand tonight and then get set to be road warriors for awhile through B.C.
Had a good chat with Rebels assistant coach Dallas Gaume as well. He spent some time in Swift in his playing days. He's always been good to talk to when the teams meet.
Safe to say this is the biggest game of the season for the Broncos tonight in Red Deer. Both teams are in the playoff hunt and points are going to be crucial down the stretch.
This is also a big one for three hometown boys. Derek Claffey, Michael Stickland and Graeme Craig all call Red Deer home. For Claffey and Stick playing at home isn't a big deal anymore. For Craig it'll be his first time back. He will be on our pre-game show. Graeme is pretty calm and cool guy. He should be just fine tonight despite the many friends, family and curious on-lookers in the stands.
Broncos Director of Player Personnel Jaime Porter is on the trip no doubt lending some support for Mark with the trade deadline Sunday.
I have family in Central Alberta so I'll be seeing some of them over the next couple days. It may cut in to the blogging time. But, if the Broncos do make a move. It'll be on here in no time.