Thursday, April 29, 2010

Broncos Draft Re-Cap

News Release:

The annual WHL Bantam Draft took place in Edmonton Thursday. The Broncos made 8 selections: 4 forwards, 3 defensemen and 1 goalie. All players are born in 1995.

Rnd. Pick Name Hometown Pos Ht Wt Last Year’s Team

1 11 Dillon Heatherington Calgary, AB D 6’0 155 Calgary Bronks (AAA)
4 70 Josh Sinatynski Ft. Sask LW 5’11 145 Ft. Saskatchwan (AAA)
4 71 Zac Mackay Swift Current, SK C 5’9 155 Swift Current (AA)
4 78 Landon Bow St. Albert, AB G 6’2 151 St. Albert (AAA)
4 81 Bobby Zinken Calgary, AB D 5’9 154 Calgary Sabres (AAA)
6 121 Denis Bosc Dufresne, MB D 5’8 140 Seine River (AA)
8 155 Nathan Bandet Regina, SK C 5’10 170 Regina Senators (AAA)
8 165 Matthew Gelinas Calgary, AB LW 6’1 155 Calgary Royals (AAA)

Head Scout and Director of Player Personnel Jamie Porter is pleased with the selections: “Our philosophy is that we want to be a team that skates as well as possible. We see that in our players selected. The forwards selected are speedy and skilled and the defensemen are mobile and move the puck well. The goaltender we selected is a kid we’ve had an eye on all season long. We wanted to add depth at all positions and take the best players available, this group has a bit of grit as well.”

9th Round

The Broncos inform me they are done drafting for the day....there will not be a 9th round selection.

8th Round

The Broncos have two picks in the 8th round...

With their first pick, 155th overall (via Prince George), The Broncos selected C Nathan Bandet from Regina....


The Broncos then selected 165th overall taking former NHL'er Martin Gelinas' son F Mathew Gelinas from Calgary.

7th Round Update

The Broncos do not have a 7th round selection.

No other local selections....

6th Round Update

Broncos select LW Denny Bosc from Dufresne, MB 6th round, 121st overall


Heatherington Comments

Our newsroom spoke with Broncos 1st round selection Dillon Heatherington this morning in Calgary.

The Calgary "AAA" Bronks defenseman was taken 11th overall by the Broncos.

"It was an incredible feeling, I am so excited for the opportunity that now presents itself," said a glowing Heatherington an hour after learning the news he was a Bronco.

"I know it's a small town and everyone knows you, it should be lots of fun," he continued.

We asked him about what kind of player he is.

"I'm a fantastic skater, overall a great defenseman. I'll make plays in the d-zone but like to help to put the puck in the net."

5th Round Update

The Broncos don't have a 5th round pick, Red Deer owns it.


No other local action in round five...

Busy 4th Round / Broncos Take Local Zac Mackay

With the 70th pick overall (via Seattle) the Broncos select C Josh Sinatynski from Fort Saskatchewan "AAA"bantam. He's the younger brother of Brandon Wheat Kings F Jesse Sinatynski

With the 71st pick overall the Broncos (via Regina) C Zac Mackay from the Swift Current "AA" Kabos Raiders.

The Broncos got a shot at a good local player and jumped at the chance. Mackay captained the bantam "AA" Raiders. He got a glowing review from Coach Kent Woods a few posts below.

I'm assuming the Broncos didn't think Mackay would be there this late in the draft.


The Kootenay Ice select Shaunavon's Spencer Wand with the 75th overall pick. Wand is another member of the "AA" bantam Raiders.


The Broncos select with the 77th overall pick (via Red Deer), the Broncos select G Landon Bow from St. Albert, AB.

The Broncos take their first goaltender of the draft.


The Broncos select 81st overall (via Kootenay) D Bobby Zinken from the Calgary "AAA" North Stars


The Tri-City Americans take local D Josh Wik 85th overall from the bantam "AA" Raiders.


This concludes a busy 4th round with four Bronco picks and four local bantam "AA" Raiders selected.

Round Three Update / Spagrud Taken By Tri-City

Again, no pick for the Broncos in this round because of the acquisition of G Mark Friesen from the Chilliwack Bruins at mid-season.

The Tri-City Americans took the first local player. They selected Gull Lake, SK's Justin Spagrud in the third round, 63rd overall. Spagrud plays for the "AA" Raiders.

Round three is now complete. The Broncos are set for four 4th round selections.

Round Two Complete

The Broncos didn't have a pick in round two (Kootenay trade Stickland/Negrin deal).

No local players from the "AA" Kabos Raiders have been selected through two rounds.

Broncos on Heatherington

Just spoke with Broncos Director of Player Personnel Jamie Porter on D Dillon Heatherington....

"He's a guy we targeted for the last month in a half. We were a little worried that his play as of late especially in the Alberta Cup would elevate his status and we wouldn't get him in the 11th spot.

He's a solid, all-around guy. We like his offensive upside. We like the way he plays in his own zone. He's a very good skater and we think he's going to grow more, we think he might top out at 6'4."


I haven't had a chance to talk to the Broncos staff about their selection today... but here's some numbers on the Calgary Bronks defenseman.

Listed at 6'0, 155lbs.

He played 32 games this year with the "AAA" bantam Bronks collecting 8 goals and 16 assists to go along with 34 PIMS.

But as expected, the Broncos select a defenseman with their first pick. Barring a trade, they won't pick now until the 4th round.

Broncos Take D Dillon Heatherington

The Broncos have selected Calgary Broncs D Dillon Heatherington with their 11th overall selection.

Details coming......

Broncos staff led by GM/Head Coach Mark Lamb and Director of Player Personnel Jamie Porter

WHL Bantam Draft Underday

The WHL Bantam draft is underway... as expected Prince George took Waldheim SK, Alex Forsberg with the #1 pick.

He will join his brother Jesse Forsberg with the Cougars who was their 1st round pick, 11th overall two years ago.

The Broncos pick 11th in the opening round......more later...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Broncos Talk Bantam Draft

The Swift Current Broncos have the 11th overall pick in tomorrow's WHL Bantam Draft set for the Fantasy Land Hotel in Edmonton, AB. and get his thoughts entering the draft.

I had a chance to talk with Broncos Director of Player Personnel Jamie Porter:

On the type of players they are looking for....

"It will be the same ones that fit into our philosophy. We're looking for speed, some character guys and maybe a little bit more grit now. We will probably look to bolster our defensive side of the game too."

On what kind of player the Broncos can get with the 11th overall pick....

"We think we can get a fairly solid prospect there. We don't pick for awhile afterwards (until the 4th round). We need to identify a guy who can help our needs now and into the future."

On being without a 2nd and a 3rd round pick and then having four 4th round selections....

"It's probably not an ideal situation but we need to make the best of it. We've had a lot of success in the 4th round. We have pushed the theme on the scouts for the last few months that our draft really will be the 4th round so we have put an emphasis in identifying players in the 70th to 90th overall range."

On the prospects of picking some local players...

"It's certainly something we've discussed. There are a solid number of local prospects this year. We hope to get someone at some point. We have to decide where they all fit in (depth-wise)."

On what the Broncos will be looking to stalk the shelves with position-wise....

"We feel we have a lot of forwards coming up the next few years. We might be looking at more defenseman or goaltenders. We always say we will take the best player available with position being the 2nd criteria. We will have to see what we have a choice at."


I'm Edmonton now and will be taking in the draft live from the convention room at the Fantasy Land Hotel where all 22 teams will be under one roof.

I'm not sure on the availability of internet access so we will wait and see what kind of updates will be available on the blog.

Should be an interesting day tomorrow nonetheless. The drafting begins at 8:30am. There will be a short break for the team's media duties after the 1st round.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

"AA" Raiders Prepare for WHL Bantam Draft

As many as six "AA" bantam Kabos Raiders players could be selected in Thursday's WHL Bantam Draft set for Edmonton's Fantasy Land hotel in the West Edmonton Mall.

The "AA" Raiders had a strong season under Head Coach Kent Woods. Woods says it should be an exciting day for his team.

"It's a great opportunity...they're saying their could be six or seven guys drafted (from the Raiders) which is great for the program and Swift Current Minor Hockey," commented Woods.

Two players receiving the most attention could Zack Mackay and Justin Spagrud. The two could be taken as high as the 2nd round.

"They've gotten a lot of attention throughout the year," said Woods.

"It's all been well deserved. They have both been MVP's of tournaments and have received all-star selections. The attention has been rightfully deserved."

I also got the thoughts of Woods on some of the players being talked about leading up to the bantam draft.

Zack Mackay - "He's a character player. No matter what the situation is he's always bringing 100 percent. He skates as good as anyone in the province, speed-wise he's second to none. I think that's what makes him so effective. He's a pretty unstoppable force at times."

Justin Spagrud - "He's a game-breaker. If you need a goal, you could almost give him a wink and for some reason or somehow he would find a way to score a goal. He has the ability to turn a game around with one shift and one shot."

Josh Wik - "Really big, physical. Being 6'3 or 6'4 he skates very well. He's still improving and will continue to improve before he makes the jump to the next level."

Chase Nelson - "Big, strong hardworking guy. He can very intimidating when he gets wound up. Then he will pull a move on you that most big guys don't have at 13 or 14 years-old. That's what makes him among the best of the bigger forwards in Saskatchewan."

Dalton Menke - "For us he was a defensive forward. He's has great vision. He sees the ice well."

Spencer Wand - "He's been one of our top players. He was one of the best defenseman at the Saskatoon tournament. Spencer's physical presence, the way he skates and shoots the puck and the ability to quarterback the powerplay made him very valuable to our team."

Coming up tomorrow, we will get a Swift Current Broncos draft preview from Director of Player Personnel Jaime Porter.


Sakic Honoured

The Western Hockey League and the WHL Alumni Association announced today the recipients of this year’s WHL Alumni Association Achievement Awards. In the professional hockey category the recipient of the Alumni Achievement Award is former Swift Current Bronco Joe Sakic while in the Academic Scholarship category the recipient is former Kelowna Rocket Gavin McLeod.

The WHL Alumni Achievement Award annually recognizes WHL graduates who pursued professional hockey and achieved a distinguished career in the NHL as well as an Alumnus who has obtained a post secondary education through the WHL Scholarship Program and has moved on to a highly successful business career. The recipients are selected annually by the WHL Alumni Association Executive Committee, which is headed by former WHL and NHL graduate Kelly Hrudey.

Professional Hockey Recipient – Joe Sakic

Joe Sakic, a native of Burnaby, British Columbia, appeared in three games during the 1985-86 Western Hockey League season with the Lethbridge Broncos before joining the Club when it relocated to Swift Current, where he played two full seasons in 1986-87 and 1987-88. In those two seasons with the Broncos, Sakic accumulated 138 goals, 155 assists for 293 points in 139 games. During the 1987-88 WHL season, Sakic led all WHL scorers with 78 goals and 82 assists for 160 points in 64 games played.

Sakic was a first round selection (15th overall) by the Quebec Nordiques in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft. Sakic went on to a NHL career that spanned 20 seasons and 1,378 games from 1988-2009. He played his entire NHL career with the Quebec Nordiques/Colorado Avalanche organization.

Sakic wore the ‘C’ as team captain for 16 consecutive seasons (17 seasons overall), making him the second-longest serving captain in NHL history. Sakic led the Avalanche to two Stanley Cup titles (1996, 2001) and captured the franchise’s first Hart Trophy as league MVP in 2001, won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP in 1996, earned the Lester B. Pearson Award (NHLPA MVP) and Lady Byng Trophy (sportsmanship) in 2001 and was named to the NHL’s First All-Star Team on three occasions (2001, 2002 and 2004).

Sakic, 40, retired in the summer of 2009 as the eighth-leading scorer in NHL history with 1,641 career points. He sits 14th all-time in goals (625) and 11th in assists (1,016). Only four players have ever recorded more points with a single franchise: Gordie Howe (1809) and Steve Yzerman (1755) with Detroit, Mario Lemieux with Pittsburgh (1723) and Wayne Gretzky with Edmonton (1669). Sakic ranks seventh all-time in both playoff goals (84) and playoff points (188-tied), and holds the NHL record with eight postseason overtime goals.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Monday Update....

Bronco prospect Shae Howorko has captured a National "AAA" midget championship with the Notre Dame Hounds.

Notre Dame won the Telus Cup in Levis, QC with a 3-2 win over Mississauga yesterday. I had a chance to speak to talk to him about the title. His thoughts are below:

"It's just a great feeling... I'm so pumped right now, " said the 15 year-old Howorko, a 2nd round pick of the Broncos in last summer's WHL bantam draft.

"I can barely sit down. All the guys are running around the hotel. We just a had a good meal and now we're probably going to head out and have some fun."

He gave his thoughts on the final few minutes with the Hounds protecting a 3-2 lead.

"Everyone was just shaking. We were hoping our goaltender Riley Parker would keep standing on his head. We finally saw the clock ticking down to three seconds... we hopped the bench, the buckets came off and we hopped on Riley (Parker) to celebrate."

It wasn't an easy road for the Hounds. They struggled in the "AAA" Saskatchewan playoffs, falling behind the Saskatoon Contacts 2-0 before storming back to win three straight and the Saskatchewan "AAA" title.

I asked Shae about trying to make the Broncos as a 16 year-old next season.

"That would be great, to come back to my hometown. Meet some new guys and play on a good team next season."

Howorko is teammates with Moose Jaw Warriors 1st round pick Morgan Reilly. Howorko says the two friends have often thought about the battles that lie ahead between the two of them.

"Yeah for sure. We've had our little beak sessions back and forth. We talk about what we'd do to each other when and if we face each we'd rough each other up (laughs)."

I found this pic below. I believe it's a Swift Current Atom "AA" Broncos league championship pic from a few years back featuring Howorko and Kelowna Rockets 2nd round selection Colton


I'm all set for Edmonton later this week. I'll be taking in the WHL's bantam draft and Awards Luncheon Wednesday and Thursday from the Fantasy Land Hotel at the West Ed Mall.

Hopefully I'll have a chance to blog or take some pics.

I'm looking forward to the Awards Luncheon as Bronco rookie F Adam Lowry is up for the WHL's Scholastic Player of the Year.

He informs me he will be at the luncheon along with his family.

It will be interesting to see all 22 teams under one roof for the bantam draft. Each team gets a table for eight. It will be hosted out of one of the conference rooms at West Ed Mall.

Being there should also provide some good segments for WHL This Week - Radio Edition, which is coming to an end for another season.

Broncos Director of Player Personnel Jaime Porter will talk about the draft. Hopefully I'll have a chance to share some thoughts.

I hear Gregg Drinnan is also attending. That should make for some interesting and thorough coverage.

Oil Kings broadcaster A.J. Jakubec will also be around. Sounds like a trip to "100" will be in order.

Should be an interesting few days.


I spoke with Swift Current bantam "AA" Raiders head coach Kent Woods this weekend. He gave me a good preview of what he expects. The Raiders could have six players taken in the draft.

He gave me his thoughts. I'll have them on here tomorrow or Wednesday.

It's going to be a great draft for local southwest Saskatchewan players.


Two former Broncos have helped Fort St. John with the Allan Cup. The host team defeated the Bentley Generals 4-1 in Saturday's final.

Former Bronco D Donny Lloyd and former F Kimbi Daniels were part of the Fort St. John Flyers.

Have a good week....


Friday, April 23, 2010


A couple things today...

First, check out the Elmwood Golf Club's Tommy Skelton's local junior golf blog at . I've added the link over on the right. Also check out

The guys over at the Elmwood do a great job for junior golfers in the city. If you want more info just click the links.


I could get used to this pace. There's not much going on lately with the hockey club from my perspective. Broncos Head Coach / GM Mark Lamb is in Leduc, AB at the Alberta Cup bantam tournament which runs through to Sunday.

Broncos Media Relations Coordinator Keegan Goodrich is in Las Vegas and Assistant Coach Tim Kehler and I are making our daily visits to the Chinook Golf Club. Tim's 68 the other day has set the pace.

Next week I'm planning on being in Edmonton for the WHL Awards Luncheon and the bantam draft next Wednesday/Thursday. They will be hosted out of the Fantasy Land Hotel at the West Edmonton Mall.

It'll be an opportunity to get some pieces together for WHL This Week - Radio Edition and take in the bantam draft to see how that all works.


A few members of the Swift Current bantam "AA" Raiders will be taken in Thursday's bantam draft. Zack Mackay, Justin Spagrud, Josh Wik, Chase Nelson, Spencer Wand and Dalton Menke are the names I'm hearing - maybe in that order.

I'm going to track down the Raiders Head Coach Kent Woods next week for a radio piece. This year's bantam draft could nearly rival the 2003 draft where eight Raiders were drafted. That team included Zack Smith and Andrew Bailey. Both were taken in the 3rd round.

That's it for today... have a great weekend!


Monday, April 19, 2010

NHL Ad Spoofs

Someone is doing a pretty good job with these NHL spoof ads of the "History will be made" campaign...

Here's a couple.... there are about 20 of them on youtube.

And then on a take on last night's Shark/Avs wild ending...


Friday, April 16, 2010


Happy birthday to Broncos F Dillon Wagner today...he's 19.

I'm not sure where he is with his knee injury sustained late in the regular season. Everyone is just hoping he can be good to go for training camp in the fall.


Some pics from Phoenix, AZ native and Bronco D Kyle Verdino. He took in "The Whiteout" in Phoenix Wednesday night. Phoenix edged Detroit 3-2 in the series opener.


We have a team set for the Herbert Hawks NHL Auction draft tomorrow night at the i-plex. The great hockey minds of Tim Tisdale, Tim Kehler, Dr. K (Kevyn Kristmanson) and myself will combine to put together the winning formula.

I like the way they're doing it. They give you $1000 and then auctioning off the players. So spend wisely and don't blow your wad or over-pay for anybody.


Who is Jordan Eberle picking to win the WHL Championship?

We spoke yesterday for a segment for WHL This Week after he was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Year. He's picking a team out of the Eastern Conference final... and leaned towards the explosive Brandon Wheat Kings.

I didn't see Craig Cunningham (Western Conference Player of the Year) from Vancouver this season but the numbers don't lie for Eberle to be named the WHL Player of the Year at the end of the month.

50 goals, 56 assists in just 57 games played. Not to mention another strong World Junior tournament in Saskatoon.

He's my pick anyways.


Broncos Assistant Coach Tim Kehler is a machine. Saturday we are going to play 18 holes of golf (we walk) . Later, he's going to run 18 miles as part of his marathon training.



NHL playoffs have been pretty exciting so far. People always say the first round is the best. I would agree with that. It's also the time of the playoffs where EVERYONE still believes they can win their playoff pool.

I think that helps.


Go Blackhawks.

Brouwer, Byfuglien, Fraser, Ladd, Versteeg, Keith, Seabrook, Sopel.

That's pretty good WHL representation.


Another player from Lanigan, SK in the NHL?

They list the birthplace of Blackhawks D Jordan Hendry as Lanigan, SK but there's no doubt that Nokomis - about 40km down the road, is his hometown.

Born in Lanigan, raised in Nokomis.


Alright... that's it for me today. Have yourself a great weekend.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Back in the Day....

First up....

More on yesterday's post about the Broncos change in start times for next season.

"The Broncos have been doing a f
an survey and most of the responses we got back were positive to the 7pm start," commented Broncos Media Relations Coordinator Keegan Goodrich.

"We wanted to make it more friendly for families especially during the week. A 7pm start across the board makes it consistent so fans know exactly when games are starting."


Thanks to local Bronco fan Arlene Yee...she recently sent me a note and dropped off some incredible Bronco/Legionnaires literature...

She writes....

"My husband Ed and I have been season ticket holders since the beginning of S.C. Hockey. But didn't renew our season tickets this past season because I was on chemo and just couldn't attend the games.

We listened to all the broadcast games and enjoyed your play-by-play very much. Our seats were right under your broadcast booth, the same row as Hilda S. sits.

I hope we will be able to attend next seasons Bronco games, if not I will we will be listening to the games.

A True Bronco Fan,

Arlene Lee"

She dropped off an old 1980-81 Bronco program from their SJHL days. It was the team current Broncos Head Coach / GM Mark Lamb played for after playing his "AAA" midget with the Legionnaires.

That team included familiar names like Lane Lambert and Dallas Gaume - both current or former coaches in the WHL.

The team was captained by Gull Lake native Terry Stevenson. He's the father of Dusty Stevenson who just signed a pro-contract with the Washington Capitals.

I also noticed locals Dan Kerslake and Craig Hennig in the program. Kerslake I believe is an elementary school principal in the city and Hennig is a local restaurant/bar owner.

Thanks to Arlene for the package. We hope to see you back in the rink this upcoming season.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Broncos Roll Back the Clock

The Broncos are moving their usual start time for home games from 7:30pm to 7pm for next season.

In what seems like a flip-flop every two or three seasons, the Broncos will move the start ahead 30 minutes. The concern for the 7pm time in the past has come from the rural fans.

Around the league, 7pm is the norm except for a few venues...


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Smith in Sens' Playoff Line-up

Former Bronco Captain Zack Smith is likely to be in the Ottawa Senators playoff line-up tomorrow night when they open up the post-season in Pittsburgh.

A couple of injuries in the Sens forward group should see Smith in action.


Monday, April 12, 2010

Shop Talk / BCHL Final

It's been fun to listen to a little WHL playoff radio...

Kudos to Les Lazaruk and Dave Thomas last night on 92.9 The Bull in Saskatoon.

I listened to the Blades broadcast last night and thought it was as entertaining of game I've heard in awhile. Lots of energy and enthusiasm. It was a treat to listen to.

Another broadcast I enjoyed last week was Regan Bartel's broadcast of game seven between the Kelowna Rockets and Everett Silvertips. There's nothing like a game seven and Regan and Gord were pretty jacked up in a wild third period.

Sounding great.

Another player with local ties has won a Junior championship.

18 year-old G Blake Voth from Herbert helped the Vernon Vipers to a BCHL Championship last night over the Powell River Kings.

The Vipers won last night's game seven 3-1 and now advance to play Fort McMurray in the Doyle Cup for the right to advance to the Royal Bank Cup.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Monday Update....

Here's what's going around in my world these the Bronco season comes to end, the blog becomes more of a personal diary than a Bronco info source. So be fore-warned...

I'm a little disappointed that former Bronco Dale Weise never did see any NHL action with his call-up to the NY Rangers with four games to play in the regular season.

#32 Weise was again scratched yesterday as the Rangers met Philly in a one-game showdown to decide who gets into the playoffs in the East. The Flyers took it in a four-round shootout ending the Rangers season and the chances of Dale getting into a game.

As the saying goes...there's always next year....


"Hollywood" Travis Bobbee?

It was recently brought to my attention that Bronco D Travis Bobbee played a role in the CBC Don Cherry movie "Keep Your Head Up Kid"

Bobbee, while playing with the Portland Winterhawks was an extra. He played the role of a teammate to Don Cherry in the 1st part of the two part series. There's a real distinctive shot of Bobbee while seated in the dressing room.

"Ricky" Bobbee says he was seen in another part of the show as well. Bronco Assistant Coach Tim Kehler PVR'd it. I'll have to take another look.

Great story....

That reminds me of My colorman Tim Tisdale's movie role back in the 1995 Jean Claude Van Damm action thriller "Sudden Death".

The movie, filmed in Pittsburgh actually features some pretty good action involving Tiz.

We were talking about it again Friday night. Here's a quick refresher.

Movie producers needed to simulate a hockey game between the Penguins and L.A. Kings. So they recruited the two closest professional teams to play the roles.

Tisdale was playing with Wheeling of the ECHL at the time. They played the role of the L.A. Kings with Tizzy donning a "Bernie Nichols" jersey. The Johnstown Chiefs played the role of the Penguins.

The producers wanted the teams to play hard so they offered up an extra $5000 to the winning team.

So they played a game and the movie crew shot it and just took the parts they wanted out of it. Tizzy "Bernie Nichols" went on to score a couple goals in the game which made the final product. He also helped Wheeling win the game and collect the reward cake.

He tells me there was about 4000 fans in the Igloo in Pittsburgh, the rest was cardboard cutouts in the rest of the 13,000 seats. Unreal.


Got a text last night from Andrew Walker - he was hosting game six for the Fan 960 between Calgary and Medicine Hat. "Keener, if the game goes to double OT can you be our intermission guest?"

I had forgotten about the game and then realized it was on Shaw.... I replied "sure, just don't ask me anything about the game...I haven't seen any of it."

Former Bronco Kris Foucault scored late in the 1st OT to give the Hitmen the win and the series victory.

I was off the hook. Next time Walks....


Regan Bartel is Kelowna is reporting on his blog that former Bronco G Mark Guggenberger has been called up to the AHL's Manitoba Moose.

I'm assuming it's an free-agent try-out agreement.


Here's what's on the radar the next little while. WHL Bantam Draft April 29th in Edmonton... Memorial Cup in Brandon May 14-23rd, NHL Entry Draft in Los Angeles June 24-25.

I would love to get to two of three of these if possible. Just have to get a plan in place....


Broncos Media Relations Coordinator Keegan Goodrich also has a a Vegas stag party planned later this month with his wedding coming in June.

That WILL be a good time.

Unfortunately it looks like I'll have to take a pass.

That has "The Hangover" movie written all over it though....


Former Bronco Head Coach/GM Dean Chynoweth had the best seat in the house for the Sidney Crosby show yesterday. Now an assistant coach with the NY Islanders, Deano watched Crosby score his 50th and 51st in his five-point game against the Isles.

The season is over for the Islanders. I wonder how long it will take Deano to head to his cabin in Whitefish, MT. I wouldn't wait too long if I was him...


Golfing yesterday at the Chinook. It was so chilly the last few holes I actually hit the command start on my truck walking up the last fairway.

Surprisingly, the course was very busy yesterday. There's something about watching The Masters that gets everyone in the mood.
There could be some snow headed our way this season on hold.


This is just awesome...

I love how the NHL schedule worked out that saw Dallas play their final game of the regular season in Minnesota.

Mike Modano makes one last stop in the city where it all started and here's what happened during the game....

Later he returned as the game's first star wearing the old style #9 Minnesota North Stars jersey.

Awesome moment.

What will I remember most about him? Has to be that trademark jersey flap on the back when he really winds it up.


A pic of me and my good friend Vassy Kapelos taken two weeks ago in Saskatoon....

The transplanted Torontoian and former Swift Current TV reporter is on her way.

She worked her final days this weekend at Global Saskatoon and is off to Global Edmonton. This is a great move for her.

No doubt she will do a great job...



Speaking of Edmonton, I must have pocket-dialed Oil Kings play-by-play broadcaster A.J. Jacubec 10 times in the last week. My BB has been on the fritz and it randomly calls the first name in my contacts. The button that looks like a green telephone is stuck.

He's been a good sport about it...even on the 2am calls.

That's it for Monday... have a great week.

Friday, April 09, 2010

End of an Era

Those who know me know who my favorite hockey player was growing up. Here's some dramatic stuff last night in Dallas.

Mike Modano scored the game-tying goal late in the third period which set up the shootout winner in what sure looked like his last game in Dallas. This is what sports is about.

Love the call from the Stars TV crew...

Thursday, April 08, 2010


For the local folks, Craig Stein did an interview with Gull Lake's Dustin Stevenson on his signing with the Washington Capitals.

Here's the link to here what Dusty had to say.

By the way, Steiner is all over the SJHL Championship series between Yorkton and La Ronge. Last night Yorkton posted a 7-2 win to even up the best-of-seven 2-2.


The Broncos will soon announce their Hall of Fame Inductees for this summer's ceremony. I'm excited for the pair going in. It should be a fun weekend. We will await the Broncos official announcement. It'll be on here once they release the details...


A little Blackberry 101 yesterday.

Voice of the Rockets Regan Bartel recently upgraded to one. I spent some time yesterday giving him a little BBM tutorial. In no time he will be addicted. Uploading, downloading, sending voice notes, pics and blogging all with his phone.


As you've probably guessed by the recent updates, I've kept in contact with Dale Weise the last few days. Despite being scratched in both opportunities, Weise is enjoying the glamor of being up with the big club.

He has some great stories to tell from his three days so far. I won't go into much detail, but it's interesting to hear some of the behind the scenes stuff.

Sadly, I think the only way Dale is going to get a shot is if the Rangers officially get eliminated from the post-season. They have to win their last three games to make it.

Keep'er down the middle.......


Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Weise Watch

Another night in the press box for Dale Weise in NYC. Despite taking warm-up for the 2nd straight night, Weise was scratched.

Apparently Weise spent the night in the Rangers suite and sat beside Glen Anderson - a former Ranger and longtime Edmonton Oiler.

He is expected to stick with the team in preparation for a crucial two game set with the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Rangers have to win out if they want to make the playoffs....

Dowling Cracks Central Scouting Rankings

Bronco F Justin Dowling is ranked #167th in the final Central Scouting rankings for this summer's NHL Entry Draft in L.A.

A complete look at the rankings is available here.

My gut feeling on this? Dowling is drafted somewhere in rounds four to six and is eventually signed by that team before training camp. Similar to Dale Weise and Zack Smith who were also drafted at 19, he won't see his final season in junior hockey.

My two cents...


Weise is Waiting

Former Bronco Dale Weise watched last night from high above in the press box as the New York Rangers fell 5-2 to the Buffalo Sabres.

He did take warm-up but was scratched.

Sounds like the same plan tonight at Madison Square Gardens where the Rangers host the Toronto Maple Leafs. Look for a similar game-time decision status tonight.

And yes... the 24 hour around-the-clock Weise watch


Got the first golf round of the year in yesterday... up at Sask Landing. It was a touch breezy at times but still better than most days.

For those looking to scratch that golf itch, it's worth checking out...


More later....

Monday, April 05, 2010

Local Product Stevenson Signs With 'Caps

Just got off the phone with Gull Lake, SK native and former "AAA" Legionnaire Dusty Stevenson. He signed this morning with the Washington Capitals.

He's in the middle of the SJHL Championship series with his La Ronge Ice Wolves. They are currently tied with Yorkton 1-1 in the best-of-seven final.

I'll blog some of his thoughts tomorrow.

No doubt quite the accomplishment for the hulking 6'5" defenseman who was also named the SJHL Player of the Year. Congratulations to him.

Weise Joins the Breakfast Boys...

Former Bronco Dale Weise will join us "The Breakfast Boys" tomorrow morning just after 7am on the Eagle 94.1 FM

Dale may make his NHL debut tomorrow night and we will talk to him from Buffalo. The Rangers may be getting an injured body back for the game meaning Dale might be watching. Let's hope he's in.

You can listen online at and clicking The Eagle 94.1 FM Listen Live link.


Monday Mornin'

That's a pic from game one of the Blades/Wheat Kings series in Saskatoon Friday night.

The Wheat Kings pulled out a 6-5 win in a game that wasn't exactly a goaltender's duel.

I said to myself after the game "looks like Andrew Hayes will see his first playoff action for the Wheat Kings tomorrow night". Sure enough, he gets the call in game two over Jacob De Serres in the Brandon crease.

Saskatoon on the other hand, they have no choice but to ride Steven Stanford in goal because of a practice mishap. A Jyri Neimi slapshot rattled off the mask of Adam Morrison which has given Morrison a concussion. They had a local Junior "B" goaltender backing up Friday night.

Again Brandon looked good. They just find ways to win. You score five, we'll score six.

Good crowd though in Saskatoon... A paid attendance of 6600 I believe.


A row up from me was Brayden Schenn's dad. Most of the Schenn clan from Saskatoon was nearby. I had a brief chat with him. In my opinion Schenn makes the jump full-time next season to the L.A. Kings at 19.


Cody Eakin has his 2nd professional goal. He scored last night in a 3-2 Hershey Bears win. Admittedly he didn't play his best but still did enough to pick up the 2nd star in the home game.

The Bears are rolling... a top the AHL. Cody is fitting in just fine.


Bronco fans may get a chance to check out Dale Weise on TSN Wednesday. Provided he plays, TSN has the game as the New York Rangers battle the Maple Leafs.


Speaking of former Broncos.... I ran into three of them Friday night in Saskatoon. The trio included former captains Jay Langager and Brent Twordik along with Dan Hulak.

Twordik recently was named the MVP for the LLHL Senior Hockey League with my hometown Lanigan Pirates. A 4th degree shoulder separation ended his playoff and provincial run.


Got a tip the out-of-town TV cameras/crews are headed to Swift Current to get an angle on the Graham James pardon. Folks around here don't exactly like talking about the guy. But, since there's a new development I'm sure the same old stuff will be brought up once again... it's again in the national spotlight.


More later... I will attempt to post some Dale Weise comments after his first call-up....

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Weise Gets the Call...

Former Bronco forward Dale Weise will likely make his NHL debut Tuesday night after being called up by the New York Rangers.

The Rangers play the Buffalo Sabres Tuesday night. Weise has played in 147 games in the AHL over the last two seasons. This year he's scored 28 goals and added 21 assists along with 114 penalty minutes.

We will be watching...

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Lamb Looks Back on Season

Broncos Head Coach/GM Mark Lamb recently reflected on this past season and his first year with the organization. Here is some of his thoughts...

On the season...

"I think we finished probably right where we should have been. Is it where you want to be? No. That's not wear our bar is. We want to be like a Brandon. When you go around the city and you talk about it and everyone was fairly positive about losing in the first round which I wasn't. We played hard but playing hard and losing in four straight is no consolation for me."

On the way they played....

"We were a very consistent team all year. We didn't have any long winning streaks but we didn't have any long losing skids either.

The first stretch of the season we didn't play a style I thought we could win with. We were wide-open. Some games were 7-6... pretty exciting to watch but I didn't like the way we played defense. As we started going through the season I thought we really turned into a better defensive team. I thought we played a lot better as a team. I think it really showed in the last month of the season when we went through some injuries and we had to fight with teams to make the playoffs. That's when I was really proud of our team. I knew we were learning and going in the right direction."

On his personal experience with his 1st year on the job...

"The experience was exactly what I thought it would be...probably a little more with the managing part. I don't think anyone really knows the amount of work you have to put into this job. You don't know until you get right into it. It was very enjoyable for myself."

On the team's financial footing moving forward....

"I think the foundation of the organization is very strong right now. I can see that everyone really cares about the Broncos. Nobody wants to see this team leave. The sponsorship, the fans, the's all been really, really good."