Friday, July 30, 2010


Good luck to Bronco 17 year-olds Reece Scarlett and Adam Lowry who will attend Canada's National U-18 Selection Camp over the next few days in Calgary.

They are two of 38 players trying to land a roster spot. If they make the team they'll be off to Slovakia and the Czech Republic for the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament.

The stock of these two guys rose dramatically at the World U-17 Challenge in Timmins, ON last Christmas. They were both stand-out players for Team Pacific.

Hopefully they can give the decision makers at Hockey Canada something to think about.


We had Broncos 4th round bantam pick Zack Mackay on our Eagle 94.1 FM morning show yesterday. He's a member of the bantam "AA" Indians that won provincials and are now off to Westerns in Surrey, BC in a couple week.s

I was impressed with his maturity. He did a great job with us while promoting their fundraiser. He's 15 going on 20 already. Character was a big reason in the Broncos selection of Zack. Looks like a good pick.


There's some burning questions as we enter Broncos Training Camp in three weeks time. Here's the questions I'll be asking:

1) What's the status of F Justin Dowling?

It's safe to say a lot of the offensive prowess of this hockey club rests on his status of returning or going pro. It's safe to say Justin is looking to make the jump to pro this season. I would think he would consider a return to junior hockey as a disappointment.

He had a good Flyers Prospects camp and is set to return for their fall camp. I've also heard he's looked at pro opportunities in Europe.

Dowling and Cody Eakin would be the best one-two punch in the Eastern Conference at least. I would say Dowling's chances of being in a Bronco uniform are not favourable. We will see what plays out in the next couple months.

2) What's the goaltending situation like?

There's no room in the crease for two 20 year old goaltenders. Something has to give in the next while regarding Mark Friesen and Morgan Clark. I'm expecting something to happen sooner rather than later. Stay tuned.

3) What's the import situation look like?

The import situation for the Broncos in convoluted. With the team drafting both a 17 year-old defenseman out of Slovakia and an 18 year-old forward out of the Czecj Republic, some decisions will have to be made.

F Stepan Novotny is also eligible to return as a "two-spotter" as both an over-age and an import. Also, at some point we could see G Joni Ortio come over. He won't be at camp though. If he does come over it would be at some point in the season.

4) Who makes the cut on the blue line and who doesn't?

Not sure if you've noticed the amount of returning defenseman for next season. Travis Bobbee (20), Kyle Verdino (19), Joel Rogers (19), Jordan Evans (18), Brody Luhning (18), Reece Scarlett (17), Graeme Craig (17)

Throw in that mix import pick Richard Nedomlel (17), plus prospects Jeff Franczyk (17), Nathan Zimbaluk (17) and Ashton Mcleod (16).

You can always bank on a surprise or two at training camp as well.

Those are the biggest questions surrounding the hockey club as we get closer to training camp.

Alright, have a good long weekend, that's it for me.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Bronco Golf Classic Pics

The Broncos Wellington West Golf Classic went down Friday at the Elmwood. 150 golfers took in the event. Here's a few pics from the post-golf reception....

(The mid 90's crew, left to right Jeremy Rondeau, Andy Milne, Jeff Kirwan)

Bronco Trainer Jaime Leblanc, Head Coach / GM Mark Lamb, Office Manager Carol Byer (background)

Justin Dowling and Michael Stickland

Broncos All-time leading scorer Todd Holt (1989-94) and the radio guy. Wow, check out that golf glove tan! It looks like I'm wearing a white glove. That's a lot of rounds of golf


The tournament was great, it was good to see alumni back from the different generations of Bronco hockey. Lots of fans, volunteers and billets as well.

The event is used as a fund raiser for the Broncos education fund. A total amount should be known sometime later this week. Traditionally it's pretty big for the hockey club.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Hall of Fame Tributes

Here's the Hall of Fame features which will be shown tonight at the induction ceremony....

Todd McLellan

(thanks to Andy Milne, Brent Twordik, Chad Beagle, Brad McEwen, Kurt Drummond, Scott Henkelman, and Mike Babcock)

Jason Krywulak

(thanks to Scott Townsend, Andy Schneider, Evan Marble, Todd Johnson, Shane Zlyniak, and Trent McCleary)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Check It Out...

Broncos Head Coach / GM Mark Lamb was getting back to his roots on the weekend...

Click here for the story from


We're on the eve of the Broncos Hall of Fame Ceremony set for tomorrow night....

I spoke with one of this year's recipients Todd McLellan last week. He's been away from the organization for 10 years this summer after spending six with the organization. Since then, he's won an AHL Calder Cup with Houston. A Stanley Cup as an Assistant Coach with the Detroit Red Wings, has been nominated for the Jack Adams NHL Coach of the Year award with the San Jose Sharks.

Here's some of his transcribed thoughts:

On getting the news the Broncos wanted to induct him this year....

" It was certainly an exciting phone call to receive and one you don't expect. I cherish my time there. To be recognized by the organization and the community is an honour to receive."

On his coaching techniques of getting the respect of his players by showing respect....

"I treated the players the way I wanted or needed to be treated when I was a player. That was just being fair. Players need to know that you care, that you can help them and that you're there for them. With that said, you also have a responsibility to the organization and to the community to provide an entertaining product and to maintain some discipline and organization. Ultimately the players require that as well. They want to be pushed, it's very important in their career development."

On what you remember the most in your time here....

"I think of day one. When I was hired. Getting the opportunity to coach in the WHL at the age of 26. The late Doug Moser gave me an opportunity most 26 year-olds don't get. I was very determined to make good on it, to make sure he was happy with his decision. Also the development of players not just as players but as individuals.

Finally I remember the contact in the community. The people I met in Swift Current that have been there for myself through some good times and some bad times. Those memories will never be forgotten. I'm deeply grateful for the opportunity that I was given."

How much are you involved or do you follow the WHL now?

"I follow it immensely. My father still scouts in Medicine Hat with the Tigers. When we talk, inevitably the talk goes there and to the Swift Current Broncos. I still run into many people and players that have ties to the league."

What are some of the emotions yo may be feeling at (tomorrow's) induction ceremony?

"I think my mind will be racing back to a lot of different memories. I think a lot about the players and the experiences that we went through together. The people that supported me, the board members and fans. Both of our children were born there in Swift Current. There's a real emotional tie to that community and I think it will be that kind of night."


Along with Christian Moulding at Shaw TV, we've produced features on Todd and Jason Krywulak who will go in together tomorrow night.

They will both be posted on youtube and I'll post the links so everyone can check them out. They will also be shown at the ceremony tomorrow night.


Monday, July 19, 2010

Monday Update

I wasn't aware of it until someone pointed it out to me via a blog comment....

Broncos F Justin Dowling attend the Philadelphia Flyers Prospects camp last week in Voorhees, New Jersey.

He skated alongside former Bronco Jesse Dudas.

I hope to talk to Justin this week... and see how the experience was.


Meanwhile, Cody Eakin did nothing but impress as the Washington Capitals concluded their development camp.

Local product Dustin Stevenson from Gull Lake also did his part to catch the coaches eye.

Here's a story on that.

Here's an awesome blog post
from Chris Gordon along with photos of Cody's shootout goal in the final scrimmage.
Take a look.

Again, thanks to Emily Bennett for all her work in gathering up the info and passing it my way.


Back in the mix all week here in Swift Current. It's a busy week ahead with the Hall of Fame Ceremony Thursday night at the annual Bronco Golf Classic Friday at the Elmwood. More as we get closer to that event.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Former Broncos GM Promoted

Brad McEwen, who was an assistant coach, head coach and then General Manager with the Broncos through the mid up until 2004 has been promoted by the Medicine Hat Tigers as their General Manager.

He fills the vacancy left by Will Desjardins when he announced this week he was headed to the Dallas Stars.

“We are very pleased to be able to promote from within our organization,” stated Tigers’ president/governor Darrell Maser. “This allows us to maintain the same model and structure we now have in place. Brad has been the teams’ director of scouting for three years and has a very good understanding of our program and the league as a whole.”

The Tigers also announced Shawn Clousten has been promoted to Head Coach.

Former Bronco Darren Kruger will be his assistant.

Voice of the MJ Warriors Getting Married

I'm off to the James Gallo & Tiffany Tuplin wedding this weekend. It's tomorrow afternoon in the Friendly City. Should be a fun one.



Thursday, July 15, 2010

Eakin Clip

Thanks again to Emily Bennett who has been all over Washington Capitals Development Camp this week.

She sent me this clip of Cody scoring a nice one from his knees today.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Desjardins Story

Liam Nixon of CHAT TV Medicine Hat put together this story from the Tigers News Conference yesterday:

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Broncos Sign 1st Round Pick Heatherington

Press Release:

-The Swift Current Broncos’ Head Coach and General Manager Mark Lamb has announced the organization has signed 2010 1st round Bantam Pick Dillon Heatherington to a WHL contract.

The Broncos selected Heatherington, a Calgary native, 11th over-all at the WHL Bantam Draft in April. The 6’0” 155 pound defenseman had 8 goals and 16 assists for 24 points in 32 games for the Calgary Bronks of the Alberta Bantam AAA League last season.

Head Coach and General Manager Mark Lamb is pleased to have Heatherington signed.

“Dillon is a gifted hockey player; we see a bright future for him in Swift Current. We would like to welcome Dillon and his family to the Bronco organization.”


Yet another Cody Eakin update/article.

Check this out, it's a good read. It should get Bronco fans excited for the upcoming season:

Former Bron
co sniper Jeremy Williams is the newest member of the New York Rangers organization.

He signed on
yesterday. Here's a story on that from the Rangers website.

J-dub is one of my favorite Broncos to come through in my time. It just so happened that my first season of play-by-play in 03/04 was highlighted by his 52 goals playing alongside set-up man Tyler Redenbach.


Speaking of former Broncos, Benny Ondrus has moved on and signed with the Edmonton Oilers last week. This after spending his first seven years of pro with the Maple Leafs organization.

I recently had a chance to catch-up with former Bronco Athletic Therapist Paul Ayotte who is entering his 2nd season with the Toronto Marlies.

Paul had nothing but sparkling things to say about their captain. I think the Leafs will miss Benny as a guy who showed the way in their farm system to the young up and coming prospects.

Maybe that was the problem though. He was too good at that job. You don't want to be a career AHL guy and after seven seasons of pro, Benny has played in just 52 NHL games.

I believe he will be back next week for the Broncos Golf Classic.


It seems the Broncos are stock-piling 17 year-old (1993) defensemen. Yesterday's swap of prospects with the Moose Jaw Warriors landed the Broncos 17 year-old d-man Jeff Francyzk.

So, add Francyzk to the list of Reece Scarlett and Graeme Craig who were full time d-men with the club last season. Nathan Zimbaluk who was called up to play a handful of games and also newly drafted import d-man Richard Nedomlel of the Czech Republic.

It's a group that has it all. Size, skill and poise. They can't all play with the big club though.

In a lesser form (for now), it's reminding me of the group of 17 year-old d-men the Broncos entered the 06-07 season with. Derek Claffey, Paul Postma, Eric Doyle and Ryan Molle.

In their 18 year-old year something had to give. Postma was packaged up in a deal with Kyle Bortis and sent to the Calgary Hitmen for Keegan Dansereau and Eric Felde via Brett Plouffe.


While we're on the topic of former Broncos, you have to like the chances of Dale Weise finally cracking the New York Rangers this year.

The Rangers shipped out two forwards including Aaron Voros and Ryan Hillier to Anaheim for D Steve Eminger.

Voros played a role with the Rangers similar to what Dale will be asked to play. A gritty two-way, bang and crash big-bodied forward.

I'm sure Dale may have secretly smiled when he heard Voros was on the way out of the Rangers organization.

I sure hope Dale is putting in the work this summer. I know this latest move will be a big motivating factor to go out and grab that roster spot with the big club.


Hard to believe but Broncos training camp opens in only six weeks......


Monday, July 12, 2010

Monday Update / Minor Trade

Broncos F Cody Eakin is at Washington Capitals Prospects camp this week. Here's what Capitals beat-writer Tarik El-Bashir from the Washington Post twittered following day one:

"Coaching staff impressed with Cody Eakin, who was "by far" the most impressive prospect on Day 1."

Things look good for Cody early on....

Thanks to Emily Bennett for tracking this down and forwarding it on.


The Broncos made a minor trade today. They swapped prospects with the Moose Jaw Warriors sending F Preston Amundson to the Warriors in exchange for '93 born defensman Matt Franczyk.

Amundson was originally a 7th round pick of the Broncos. Franczyk was a 5th round pick of the Warriors. Both were '08 bantam picks.


The Broncos Hall of Fame weekend continues to near. Next Thursday night, former Head Coach / GM Todd MacLellan goes in along with former Bronco sniper Jason Krywulak.

I've been composing an audio feature which will play that night. It's been interesting hearing some of the stories from former teammates and friends for these too.

I believe some tickets are still available. You can call the Broncos office to inquire at 773 - 1509.

The Bronco Wellington West Golf Classic is the next day at the Elmwood.


Is Will Desjardins on the move? If you follow the WHL news sources you would see a potential move to the Dallas Stars by the Medicine Hat Tigers Head Coach / GM is causing quite the stir.

Desjardins is expected to be part of Zack Smith's charity golf tournament in Maple Creek next weekend of the 17th. Will something be official by then?

Will was rumoured to be headed to the AHL two seasons ago but declared he wasn't going anywhere.

We will see what this leads to....

That's all for today.....

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Zack Smith Golf Tourney

Here's the details on Zack Smith's charity golf event set for Maple Creek July 17th... click here for the poster.


Friday, July 02, 2010

Broncos Name Porter Assistant GM

This makes it official this morning....

Swift Current Broncos General Manager and Head Coach Mark Lamb has announced the organization has promoted Jamie Porter to the team’s Assistant General Manager and Director of Player Personnel.

Porter is replacing Sheldon Ferguson who is returning to a career in the NHL as a scout with the Carolina Hurricanes.

Porter has been with the Broncos since 2003, starting as a regional scout. He has been the Head Scout and Director of Player Personnel since 2006. He will continue to oversee the scouting department but adds more responsibility within the Hockey Operations department.

“Jamie has shown his dedication to the organization,” says Head Coach and General Manager Mark Lamb.

“Jamie has proven he is a valuable asset and has a keen eye for hockey talent.”

Lamb adds his gratitude to Sheldon Ferguson, “Sheldon is a great hockey mind. We are thankful of his time with the Broncos and wish him the best in his future plans in the NHL.”