Saturday, August 28, 2010

Monday Blog Dump

Good Morning!

Today's post is going to be a long one... and likely the only one for the week.

First up, I was at Bronco training camp for the first time yesterday.

It was good to see the guys...they are all back in good shape and have worked hard in the off-season. Broncos Head Coach/GM Mark Lamb told me he's very impressed with the fitness level and attitude the players have come back with.

I had a good chat with new Broncos "C" Cody Eakin. This guy is ready for prime-time now. He will have a dominating season in the WHL. The one thing he'll have to fight is the feeling or mindset that he's above this level.

He's not thinking that way, and that's good. The guy has already played on a championship winning AHL team, he was one of the top players at the World Junior Summer Development Camp earlier this month and is in great shape. I've seen players come back from World Juniors and just be done with the WHL. The experience, the fanfare and the attention from the WJ's can put players in a different mindset upon their return to their junior clubs.

I'm confident Cody will keep level-headed will lead the Broncos to a strong season ahead from start to finish. I hope to see him personally in Canada/Russia Super Series in November.


The Broncos have a good one in the works with Czech Import D Richard Nedomlel (KNEE-doe-mell) pictured below:

He's NHL draft eligible at 17 years-old and in my opinion will race up the Central Scouting Rankings in the coming months. The sky is the limit as to how much his draft stock will rise.

He possesses a lot of the tools required to play at the NHL level. I was VERY impressed with his skating, size, positional play, decision making.... he's a good one Bronco fans. He even has a little Euro-swagger which was evident after his pretty shoot-out goal to end the last scrimmage.

The Broncos have hit a home-run in Nedomlel.

I know, it's early but usually the import players just get better as they adjust to the lifestyle and the game in North America. His debut in my eyes was outstanding. He told me he likes the the North American style... and responded in broken English

"In Europe I have too much penalty...I am big and when I hit small guys... I go out (penalty box). In Europe I have two-thousand penalty minutes, It's too much. My agent tell me I try this.... best way to NHL draft."

He's one to watch very closely.

Since resigning my position with the radio stations in Swift Current I've had some extra holiday time to either use or lose.... so me and a couple buddies hit the road last week for a super sports get-a-way to the U.S. I have a few pics from our journey.

It started in Chicago last Saturday night for the Chicago Bears / Oakland Raiders NFL pre-season game.

Soldier Field an hour before kick-off

The Raiders scored on their opening possession (above). Raiders win 32-17. The next day it was over to the South side for the Cubs and Braves at Wrigley. As it turns out, the game was Lou Pinella's last as the Cubs Skipper. It was an emotional day in the ball park for Cubbie fans.

The Braves lead-off the game with a solo HR courtesy Omar Infante. The Braves blasted the Cubs... I don't even remember the score. There were seven HR's on the day but only one was thrown back from the bleachers.

Next stop, Toronto. The Jays and Yankees played a three game set at the Rogers Center. After game one we went down to chat with Sportnet's Sam Cosentino. Sam calls about 1/4 of the Jays games this year. He had a memorable game just a few weeks back when Brandon Morrow took a no-hitter to the final out in the 9th. I've met Sam a few times on the WHL circuit with his work for Sportsnet alongside Rob Faulds or Peter Loubardias.

Cabral Richards "Cabbie on the Street" from the Score Network stopped by to watch an inning of baseball with us. This is our "getting in Cabbie's grill" photo. Anyone familiar with his work on The Score would know what this is about. He was a good sport. Good guy.

Bronco fans should remember former Bronco Athletic Therapist Paul Ayotte. He now works with the Toronto Marlies of the AHL entering his 2nd season. We stopped in at the Marlies/Leafs practice facility.

I didn't take any pictures out of respect to Paully and the Leafs but let's just say the Leafs area of the facility is nothing short of spectacular. Their workout, medical and lounge areas are all first-class. But, what else would you expect.

Paully is doing great in TO. He's in his element and destined for big things. Thanks for the tour!


There was a trip to the Hockey Hall of Fame as well. There was a pretty familiar face in the "hometown" mural in the Hall (below)

That's Broncos Head Coach / GM Mark Lamb in the middle of the wall mural at the HHOF. If you look closely you can see the signs that greet you as you enter Cadillac, SK.

I was gravitated towards the Broadcaster section of the HHOF. Above is a pic of all the recipients of the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award over the years. Past winners include Rod Phillips of the Edmonton Oilers and Peter Maher of the Calgary Flames.


Anyways enough vacation pics. I'm aware they are completely self-serving.

I want to throw a shout out to Regan Bartel in Kelowna. All of us in the broadcast fraternity should be inspired by this guy. He took a major legitimate shot at the Edmonton Oilers radio job this past month. He doesn't know anyone in the organization, he doesn't have an NHL bloodline or inside track, he just has a god-given talent on the airwaves.

That took him all the way into the final two or three in the selection process. Although he didn't get it in the end, he made the Oilers brass think long and hard about it. I'm proud of him. Those in the business should all be.

With Regan staying in Kelowna, I look forward to our nine head-to-head meetings in the season ahead.


Meanwhile the Eagle 94.1 FM is likely close to hiring the next Voice of the Broncos. There have been some outstanding candidates. I'd expect a decision in the next day or two. Whoever comes into the job will enjoy it immensely. They coming into a real solid situation moving forward. The team will be very welcoming. Swift Current is a great place to live and to flourish professionally.


Another shout-out.... this one to Broncos chiropractor and friend Kevyn Kristmanson. He helped me out in a pinch Saturday. I was installing a hitch on my Xterra. One of the steps is to lower the spare tire in the installation process. Most vehicles have a special tool or rod to lower the tire, however mine has gone missing.

Knowing that we drive the same vehicle, a quick call to Dr. Kevvy bailed me out. I borrowed his and got the job done. Thanks!


We are getting set for another year of WHL This Week - Radio Edition on behalf of the WHL.

The 32 episode season will begin prior to the opening weekend of the regular season. I'll be going over show content with the WHL's Director of Communications Cory Flett in the next week or so.

Thanks to the other 21 WHL broadcasters who help with content and ideas. Much appreciated fellas.


Finally I have to say thanks to the Kamloops Blazers and Radio NL. They have been more than welcoming since it was announced two weeks ago that I was off to the 'Loops.

Blazers General Manager Craig Bonner called me to send his best as did majority owner Tom Gaglardi and Athletic Therapist Colin "Toledo" Robinson. I wasn't expecting it. It was nice to hear from them. I look forwarding to getting started out there and beginning a working relationship with the Blazers on behalf of

Some of the staff of NL have called as well to introduce themselves. Both Operations Manager Jim Reynolds and Sports Director Rick "The Bear" Wile have been excellent to deal with the past few weeks. These guys have been first class all the way.


Thanks to everyone at the rink who wished me well yesterday. It's much appreciated. I'll be in the city for another week as I close off my stint with Golden West Radio and get packed up for the move west.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Update on Monday

Still in North Dakota as I update the blog...

It's the tail end of our MLB / NFL road trip,,,five games in five nights. Obviously I have a lot to do when I get back to Swift Current. On the " to do " list is to update the blog, post some pics and say good-bye to the Broncos and the city.

More on Monday. Until then, I appreciate all the well wishes I've received over the last week on my move to Kamloops. Thanks.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Camp Begins in a Week!

I've been off most of the month and haven't had a chance to update Training Camp.

Here's the info from the Broncos:

The Swift Current Broncos will kick off their 25th Anniversary Season with the Extreme Pita Training Camp on Thursday, August 26th at the Credit Union i-plex.
Over 80 players are expected at training camp and will be split up onto 4 teams: Team Sakic, Team Ruskowski, Team Trottier and Team Tiger. The players will be participating in dry land training, practice sessions and games. The round robin scrimmages will take place at 4:00PM and 6:00PM on each Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Fans are encouraged to check out all of the Extreme Pita Training Camp action free of charge.

The Extreme Pita Cup will be handed out to the winner of the annual Black-White intra-squad game which takes place Monday August 30th at 7:00PM. The cost of the game is $5 per person with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Canadian Cancer Society.


I spoke with Broncos Head Coach / GM Mark Lamb on Monday. We used the info for out sportscasts. I'll try and transcribe some of his thoughts Friday.

Unfortunately, I'll miss the first two days of camp because of a trip down to the States and up to Toronto for some MLB baseball and some NFL Football. Should be a good week but will be talking to the people back home to see how camp is going. I'll be back for the weekend action leading up to the Blue/White game Monday.

I also hope to put together a "10 Things to Get Excited About" post leading into the season ahead.

Hockey season is here.


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Indians 2010 WMBL Champs

The Swift Current Indians captured the 2010 WMBL title with a 7-2 win in Regina to win the shortened WMBL final series 2-0.

However, Okotoks has yet to relinquish the WMBL trophy.

The Indians will have their season wind up tomorrow night.

Congratulations to the Tribe! The Indians go 7-1 in the playoffs to claim the title.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Lowry to be NHL Test Subject

Broncos F Adam Lowry is one of six WHL prospects headed out to attend the NHL's Research, Development and Orientation Camp next week in Etibicoke, ON.

Here's a story from

The cream of the crop for the 2011 Entry Draft will get their first taste of life in the NHL when they report to the Toronto Maple Leafs' training facility in Etobicoke, Ont., to take part in the 2010 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp Fueled by G Series on Aug. 18-19.

The purpose of the camp is for team officials to get a look at possible rules changes -- with the extra benefit that 33 of the top 2011 Draft-eligible prospects will show off their skills while bringing those changes to life.

"This Camp has the bonus element of giving general managers and their staffs an early season look at many of the players whose names they will be calling out as their teams' top-round selections in the June 2011 Entry Draft in St. Paul," said E.J. McGuire, Director of the NHL Central Scouting. "These are some of the most talented players available to execute the unique skills and strategies which the camp is designed to test and evaluate."

"This will be a great learning experience and opportunity for these players," said NHL Vice President Hockey and Business Brendan Shanahan. "Team personnel get an up-close look at these 2011 Entry Draft prospects while we hope to provide the players with a fun and informative two days."

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Getting Closer.....

(photo taken from Broncos facebook page)

The rink crew puts in the Broncos 25th anniversary logo at the Credit Union i-plex


It all begins tomorrow night at Mitchell Field.

The Swift Current Indians will host the Regina Red Sox in game one of the championship series. Regina advanced with a winner-take-all 11-1 win over Moose Jaw.

The Indians will host games one and two tomorrow and Thursday at Mitchell Field before the series shifts to Regina.

The Indians won three of four in the regular season against the Red Sox. Many are dubbing it a pitching vs hitting match-up with the Indians having a deep, solid staff while the Red Sox feature a potent offensive line-up.


I think everyone was expecting a move in the Broncos crease leading up to training camp. Yesterday, they moved G Morgan Clark to Prince George for a 7th round bantam pick.

I'll go on the record to say Clark was a huge reason the Broncos got into the playoffs last season. He was one of the best goaltenders in the league after the trade deadline. He got on a roll and was brilliant for the team.

If he can pick up where he left off in Prince George the Cougars will get some solid 'tending.

The Broncos have a goaltender pipeline to PG. A few years back they dealt G Ian Curtis to the Cougars. in 2003/04 they sent G Todd Ford to the Cougars for F Tyler Redenbach.


The Broncos are down to four 20 year-olds on the roster with G Mark Friesen, F Justin Dowling, F Stepan Novotny and D Travis Bobbee.

One thing former Bronco Head Coach / GM Dean Chynoweth taught me is that the 20 year-old situation has a way of figuring itself out. Likely, the Broncos won't be forced into a decision as pro hockey has a way of influencing the situation.

Heading into the 2008/09 season the Broncos had a formidable task of knocking down their 20's to three with the likes of Zack Smith, Dale Weise, Levi Nelson, Keegan Dansereau, Spencer McAvoy, David Steiler, Travis Yonkman and Jesse Dudas.

Nelson signed with the Boston Bruins at the end of the season. Weise and Smith were drafted and signed by New York and Ottawa. David Steiler was going to play hockey in the Czech Republic, Jesse Dudas blew out his knee at Oilers training camp and just like that the Broncos were down to Dansereau, McAvoy and Yonkman. Voila! 20 year-old situation solved.

Dudas returned just before the trade deadline but was promptly shipped to the Regina Pats for a 4th round bantam pick.


I'll be off the next few days. There likely won't be any updates from this corner of the internet until the weekend.

Have a good week..........


Monday, August 09, 2010

Broncos Trade G Morgan Clark to PG

The Swift Current Broncos have solved a log-jam of 20 year-olds in their crease by shipping 20 year-old goaltender Morgan Clark to the Prince George Cougars in exchange for a 7th round 2011 bantam pick.

Clark was traded to the Broncos at the 08/09 trade deadline from Red Deer.

The move leaves the Broncos with 20 year-old G Mark Friesen as the only returning goaltender to camp.

Clark, the native of Dallas Texas was a 7th round pick of the Vancouver Canucks but was never signed.

News release from the Broncos will follow.


Swift Current, SK---The Swift Current Broncos’ Head Coach and General Manager Mark Lamb has announced the club has traded over-age goaltender Morgan Clark to the Prince George Cougars in exchange for a 7th round WHL Bantam Draft pick in 2011.

Clark was acquired by the Broncos at the trade deadline in 2009 from the Red Deer Rebels for a 5th round Bantam Draft pick. Last season Clark posted a 24-14-1-2 record and had a 2.92 Goals Against Average while splitting time with Mark Friesen between the pipes.

Head Coach and General Manager Mark Lamb had to free up some room in a busy crease. “With two 20 year old goaltenders, we have to move one of them. We hope Morgan gets an opportunity to be a number one goalie in Prince George.”

With the move, the Broncos now have four 20 year olds on the roster including: Justin Dowling, Stepan Novotny, Travis Bobbee and Mark Friesen.


Indians Advance to WMBL Championship

If there was any discrepancy as to who the WMBL Champions were heading into the season, hopefully all doubt will be erased this year.

The Indians finished off a spent Okotoks Dawgs team with a convincing 12-4 win last night in to take out their nemesis three-games-to-one in the best of five.

The Dawgs, some would say "the boardroom champions of 2009", were awarded the league title after a ruling from the league when the WMBL ran out of time to complete last year's championship.

They were tied 1-1 with Melville at the time.The Dawgs were later named champions after a board room decision. Melville apparently had one illegal player on their roster.

Okotoks claimed players had to get back to their U.S. colleges and they couldn't play a game three. They reportedly wanted no part of a game three showdown, rather they would settle for co-champions.

However (pic below), they still all had time to go home and throw a party which the players all attended complete with their championship t-shirts.

(I thought you guys had a plane to catch?)

This year, the boardroom will be left out of it as the Indians advance to play the winner of the Regina/Moose Jaw series which will feature a fifth and deciding game tonight.

Regina and Moose Jaw have played an entertaining series. The Indians will likely host the winner Wednesday night in game one of the WMBL Championship series. Personally I'm pulling for Moose Jaw. It would be good to see two old SMBL teams battle it out.


For more details on Cody Eakin's superb World Junior Development camp, check out TSN's World Junior site. A couple of videos on the right hand side with some clips of Cody.


Saturday, August 07, 2010

Eakin Finishes Strong

Saw this on TSN this evening.

Looks like a step towards solidifying himself on this year's WJ team.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Harvey-Habscheid Charity Tourney Today

Former LPGA Tour member Nancy Harvey and Chilliwack Bruins Head Coach / General Manager Marc Habscheid host their annual Battle of the Sports Charity Golf Tournament.

Nancy Harvey will be inducted into the Saskatchewan Golf Hall of Fame this afternoon at the event. It's a 1pm shot gun start.


Good crowd at the ball park last night as the Swift Current Indians defeated the Okotoks Dawgs 9-5 in game one of the West Final. Coach Joe Carnahan has his guys in the right mindset. Level-headed and business-like. They're a good ball club and Carnahan is the best coach in the WMBL.

The same can't be said for their opponents. Every "bleeder" single sends half the team out of the dugout and out on the first base line. It was nice to see the Indians' bats send them back into their dug-out.

The rivalry between the teams goes back to the days of the Calgary Dawgs and a mind-set from the organization they are untouchable.

One of my friends and fellow bloggers was even threatened with legal action after pointing out some of the things that makes them the villains of the WMBL.


By the way, you can catch Indians broadcasts over at Ryan does a great job with the call. Tonight's game is set for 7:05pm.

Go get'em Joe!


Tomorrow is the final day of the World Junior Summer Evaluation Camp in St. Johns, NFLD. I haven't heard much out of there the last few days. I'll catch up with Cody Eakin next week to see how it went.

Bronco fans should get excited about the prospects of cheering on Cody at the WJ's this year in Buffalo, NY.


The ice is nearly complete at the Credit Union i-plex..... I've been told it looks great.

Have a good weekend,


Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Wheat Kings AC Takes a Fall

Some awful news out of Brandon today... get well soon.

Details are here.

Eakin At WJ Summer Camp

Swift Current Broncos F Cody Eakin is amongst 44 players in St. Johns, NFLD for Canada's World Junior Summer Evaluation Camp.

There will be off-ice testing later today with on-ice activity later today.

Here's a look at the Team Red and White rosters

Eakin is rooming with D Dylan Olsen, a 1st round pick of the Chicago Blackhawks.

Eakin was the last cut back in December out of Selection Camp. I fully expect him to be amongst the leaders the next few days He's only had a short time off and says he's in good shape.

This is purely an evaluation/orientation camp. No decisions will be made at this point.


Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Scarlett, Lowry Left Off U-18 Roster

A disappointing result for the two young Broncos.

A look at the final U-18 roster can be found here.

Training Camp Schedule Set

The Swift Current Broncos’ will kick off their 25th Anniversary Season with the Extreme Pita Training Camp on Thursday August 26th at the Credit Union i-plex.

Over 80 players are expected at training camp and will be split up onto 4 teams: Team Sakic, Team Ruskowski, Team Trottier and Team Tiger. The players will be participating in dry land training, practice sessions and games. The round robin scrimmages will take place at 4:00PM and 6:00PM on each Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Fans are encouraged to check out all of the Extreme Pita Training Camp action free of charge.

The Extreme Pita Cup will be handed out to the winner of the annual Black-White inter-squad game which takes place Monday August 30th at 7:00PM. The cost of the game is $5 per person with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Canadian Cancer Society.

Tuesday Update

It's a nervous day for a couple of young Broncos.

F Adam Lowry and D Reece Scarlett will find out later today if they cracked Canada's U-18 team. The four-day camp wraps up in Calgary. They are two of 38 hoping to represent Canada at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Good luck fellas.


Congrats to Broncos Director of Ticketing/Merchandise Brenda Wall. She aced the par 3 #7th at the Chinook Sunday morning. She was a couple holes in front of us. Her husband Bud broke the news to us as we passed on our walk to #8 as they played the 11th.

Good shootin' !


Former Bronco Assistant Coach Tim Kehler left town over the weekend for good. He's bound for Salmon Arm, BC. He's assumed Head Coach / GM duties for the BCHL's Silverbacks.

Good luck.


Former Bronco G Travis Yonkman is heading to the pro ranks. After only one season at the Unversity of Alberta, Yonkman has signed on with the Alaska Aces of the ECHL. The team plays out of Anchorage.


Training camp opens in three weeks. It's going to be interesting to see who was hungry in the off-season and who enjoyed their summer to the fullest.

Believe me, the entire hockey staff pays close attention to fitness levels and testing at the beginning of camp. It shows the players commitment level and where their head is at moving forward.

It could be the deal breaker for a player looking to hold onto their roster spot or not.

That's all for today, enjoy the short week.