Monday, January 31, 2011

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Something to Sink Your Teeth Into

More on that headline later....

The Blazers are back home after going one for three on their BC division swing. A 5-1 win in Chilliwack provided the team an enjoyable trip home after two divisional losses in Prince George and Vancouver.

The Blazers finish the month 5-9-1 after playing 15 games in 29 nights. The Blazers host the Everett Silvertips Wednesday at ISC.


Back to the game in Chilliwack. Blazers Head Coach Guy Charron was very candid during "After the Buzzer" in our Radio NL's post-game show.

After another game with Chilliwack deteriorated late with some fights and scrums, the Blazers went to the referees about an alleged biting incident involving a Chilliwack player and Blazer D Brady Gaudet late in the third period.

Charron had a less than glowing review for coaching counterpart Marc Habscheid behind the Chilliwack bench as well. You can hear the comments below. Charron eludes to the incident about midway through the post-game interview.

I'm not sure what quite to make of this of all. I do think this sets up a pretty interesting home series between the teams next weekend doesn't it?

During the scrum, referee Andy Thiessen man-handled Bruins F Blair Wentworth. He wasn't about to let Wentworth engage Blazer F Colin Smith. It was the probably the most memorable moment of the night.


No word on who if anyone will be available for Wednesday's game against the Silvertips. Forwards Dalibor Bortnak, Chase Schaber and Jordan DePape remain out.


What a fun couple of nights for intermission guests. In Vancouver, one of the WHL's founding fathers saddled up for "Hockey Talk" as Ernie "Punch" Mclean joined the broadcast. Perhaps the most intriguing of his stories was his recollection of the events that led to his disappearance in the Northern BC bush for five days back in August of '09.

Tonight, former NHL goaltender Billy Ranford stopped in. The 13 year NHL'er is working with the Blazers on a part-time basis as a goaltending consultant and continues in his fifth year with the LA Kings in that current role.

So what's the connection between these two? Punch coached Ranford in New Westminster back in the early 80's.


Friday, January 28, 2011

Blazers Viral Video Reaches Further

the National Hockey League contacted the Blazers today regarding their celebration video which seems to be pretty popular south of the border.

They've now posted a story here

Blazers Celebration Goes Viral

Apparently over the last day, ESPN and ESPN radio has been talking about the Blazers end of game celebration (that we haven't seen too much lately).

The video has gone viral on youtube today... the video linked here , has now been viewed over 70,000 times - the majority of that in the last 24 hours.



Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Charron Addresses Woes

After another lopsided loss last night and the eighth defeat in the last nine games, Blazers Head Coach Guy Charron expressed some frustration this afternoon as the team did an off-ice workout at Chilliwack's Prospera Center.

"My approach has always been to treat people in a fair way. I'm kind of asking myself it's the right approach for junior players, for kids. I hear a lot of things about other coaches who are hard on their players and getting the right response or effort. I realize more and more I may be too soft on these guys in respect to what I demand."

He continued about the plan moving forward with a day off today...

"I would have liked to probably take them on the ice and skate them hard for an hour and half until they as we say in the old days, get sick...old time hockey. But we don't have that available, it's been a tough schedule. We try to do the right things, we will have a video session tonight (after supper). A picture is worth a 1000 words and if they can see the way they're playing and don't respond to it, then they're the wrong people to have on your team."

Charron doesn't feel some players aren't doing themselves any favours moving forward.

"There is certain players on this team I would never think of exchanging or trading but there are players right now that are putting themselves in a predicament that at the end of the season when he assess our team, maybe a change will be needed for us not to go through what we've gone through this year."


The way the team has played has not been to the level that's acceptable for the coaching staff, even if some key players are out. I think the challenge has been issues. At this point, the team can't afford to continue to go backwards in the final 6-7 weeks of the regular season


Here's an event next weekend with the Blazers hosting the Chilliwack Bruins, proceeds to Big Brothers and Big Sisters.

Blazers Arrive in PG

Outside the CN Center. F Ryan Hanes helps clean the windows after the six hour drive

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Blazers vs Blazers?

It's gonna be an odd one tonight in Kamloops. A "wardrobe malfunction" by the visiting Vancouver Giants to say the least...

The Giants forgot their sweaters. They will wear a set of Blazer practice jerseys complete with the Blazers "B" logo.

Stay tuned....


The Blazers will look to get a weekend split against BC division teams as they host the Vancouver Giants tonight. The Giants lead the pack in the division and are coming off a 3-0 home ice win over Prince George.

Last night, the Blazers broke a 1-1 tie with 8:11 to play vs Chilliwack. The Bruins tied the game with just under four minutes to play when Curt Gogol found a floating puck, knocked it down and then put it home.

F Dylan Willick was called for a last minute penalty, a questionable hooking call that drew the ire of the fans at ISC with 46 seconds left. The Bruins took the PP to overtime where D Brandon Manning put the game away on a one-timer 4-on-3 just 21 seconds into extra time.

The Blazers pick up a point, but were in a great position to get two.

For me, Bruins Head Coach Marc Habscheid has to get some credit for the two points. He had the ear of referee Pat Smith for over a minute as he disputed a non-call in the 2nd period. The conversation was one-sided, Habscheid talked, Smith took it. I felt at the time the conversation definitely changed the way the game was being called.

The "reminder" by the Bruins coach got them the next and last three PP's of the game including one with 6 minutes to play in the third period in a one-goal game and the eventual PP that led to the winning goal in overtime.

Call it good coaching or a veteran move, it produced the desired effect.

It was a fun game though. A real back-and-forth chess match in the third period after a wide open 2nd period that saw both goaltenders Lucas Gore and Jeff Bosch shine.


- D Josh Caron left the game in the 2nd and didn't return. He was checked over for some pain in his shoulder/collarbone area but should be ok to play tonight vs the Giants.

- Bruins F Curt Gogol got into it on the bench with Blazers back-up goaltender Cam Lanigan. The two exchanged some pokes at the benches. Lanigan sprayed Gogol with a water bottle to earn a bench minor. Gogol was served with a 10 minute misconduct.

- F Thomas Frazee worked hard to get back into the line-up for the Blazers after spraining his knee just six days prior. He was a surprise addition to the line-up.

- F Matt Needham could conceivably join the Blazer full time in a month. His season of games would be over at the Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy. He's played nine games already with the Blazers collecting three goals and four assists as a 15 year-old call-up.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Blazers Host Bruins

It's the fourth meeting of the season between the Blazers and Bruins tonight. Chilliwack won the first two but the Blazers won the last contest earlier this month at ISC 5-1.

It was a game in which the Bruins called one of their worst efforts of the season. We will see how they respond tonight.

As for the Blazers, the injury situation is still holding this club hostage. They've recalled Matt Needham. That could give them nine forwards for the game. F Bernhard Keil may be available (today's also Keil's birthday) Jordan DePape, Chase Schaber, Dalibor Bortnak and Thomas Frazee likely all won't.

There's never a "good time" for injuries but they come at an absolutely crucial part of the schedule. The Blazers play five games in a row against BC division opponents.

Face-off at 7pm at ISC. One of our guests during tonight's game on Radio NL will be CBC Sports Director of Production Joel Darling. He was the driving force behind the WHL game in Whitehorse next month as part of Hockey Day in Canada celebrations.


Thursday, January 20, 2011


Marty Hastings from Kamloops This Week has a fun look at Blazers Head Coach Guy Charron. Check the link here.


Update on Caron's Spearing Major

The game misconduct has been rescinded by the WHL.

Caron picked up a spearing major and game misconduct in last night's game in Tri-City.

There's more info in the post below.


Blazers Blanked

The Blazers were shutout 5-0 in Tri-City to wrap up their mini two-game U.S. swing.

To me, the game was decided five minutes into the 2nd period. The Blazers failed to capitalize on a minute long 5-on-3 powerplay. Seconds later, Tri-City made it 2-0 on a goal by Carter Ashton. 19 seconds after that, Connor Rankin increased it to 3-0. The Blazers shortened line-up was going to have a hard time overcoming that.

The Americans scored two goals on the PP in the the third as the Blazers played most of the last 10 minutes short-handed. A major for spearing to Josh Caron and a double-minor for high sticking served to Austin Madaisky kept the Blazers down two men for a long stretch. The Ams finished 2/10 on the powerplay.

Cam Lanigan played pretty well in this one. He'd finish the night with 31 saves in the loss. The Ams had a 35-21 shots advantage.

As for Caron's spearing major? While I wouldn't say it was a "phantom call" it was a more like a tap on Ams D Tyler Schmidt who did a good job selling it. The result was an automatic game misconduct. I'm hoping once the league reviews it (they review every major penalty) they'll see it for what it is, and rescind the game misconduct to Caron. Multiple game misconducts can lead to a suspension.

The game was getting chippy. Perhaps it was the referee's way of trying to send a message to both teams.

The Blazers host Chilliwack Friday night.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Blazers Get Thumbs Down From Seattle Blogger

At least one blogger out there isn't a fan of the Blazers end-of-game celebration.... this is from from fan blogger Mike Caccioppoli.....

"Speaking of the integrity of the game I want to talk about the Blazers over the top celebration at the end of the game. This has been mentioned before but I paid attention this time and I have to say that it should be stopped by the league. Upon scoring the controversial winning goal the entire team raised their sticks over their heads and pumped them for a good minute or so. They did this while facing the crowd and the opposing bench. The entire time their coach Guy Charron just looked on and smirked.

I'm guessing the league wants their players to act like pros. Maybe I'm wrong here. Maybe they don't care if they act like 10 year olds. Maybe the Blazers don't realize that they also currently have the worst record in the Western Conference. No matter where they stand though, that kind of over the top celebration is bush league to say the least. The Blazers should more concerned with stopping this before it negatively affects their team. They should be less worried about muting sports writers. "

I seriously laughed out loud reading the line "it should be stopped by the league".

Sure, I've blogged in the past in can be a bit excessive...but gimme break.

As you were....


Blazers 4 Seattle 3 SO

- That was WHL hockey at it's finest in Seattle. A wild game saw the Blazers give up a three goal third period and eventually win it in a shootout thanks to shootout goals from Brendan Ranford and Colin Smith in and a pair of saves from G Jeff Bosch.
- The Blazers played a perfect game for 48 minutes. Dressing only nine forwards, the Blazers got pucks in deep, limited odd-man situations against and took advantage of opportunities to build a 3-0 lead four minutes into the third period with goals from Brady Gaudet ( 5-on-3), Chase Souto and Dylan Willick.

- The T-Birds roared back with a pair of goals 19 seconds apart and then tied the game with 1:12 to play as Travis Toomey deflected a puck home in front from a pass off the near boards.

- Overtime saw the Blazers fire nine shots on goal thanks to a powerplay. The Blazers finished the night outshooting the T-Birds 58-37. At one point in the first period the Blazers were outshooting their opponents 22-1. The shot clock operator was very generous, but the Blazers were playing well too. It took Seattle 13 minutes to get their first shot on goal - a dump in from center in which the fans responded to with a mock cheer.

- Like riding a bike? D Josh Caron fought for the first time in four months coming off a collarbone injury. It was his first WHL fight of the season and first since Minnesota WIld training camp as he danced with Mitch Elliot. Caron got some late shots in, knocking Elliot down to the ice in his "welcome back scrap".

- The Blazers had a solid defensive effort. Head Coach Guy Charron singled-out F Dylan Willick, F Brendan Ranford and F Logan McVeigh for their good efforts. McVeigh was playing basically on one leg but fought threw the pain. An ankle injury had McVeigh leave the morning skate early.

- The Blazers pulled into Kennewick, WA just a few minutes after the Tri-City Americans who were on the road in Portland, losing 5-4 in OT. The teams play tonight at the Toyota Center for the 2nd time in a week.

Some pics from the broadcast booth tonight...

Blazer Head Coach Guy Charron "After the Buzzer"

And this guy.......

This guy came right into the booth at the start of the third period and told me he was going to call the third period for me. While I appreciated the gesture, I stuck with it. He was a good sport. He bares a strong resemblance to Mickey Rourke in the movie "The Wrestler". However, I avoided getting body slammed. His better-half (pictued left) was the voice of reason and got Mickey out of there.

The Blazers and the Tri-City Americans tomorrow night... hopefully I have an update between now and face-off.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Blazers in Seattle

The Blazers arrived in Seattle this evening with a bit of a lighter load due to a handful of injuries. However, there will be no suspensions for this incident at the end of the game vs Portland Saturday night.

Hanes was assessed a major for slashing as G Mac Carruth came out of his net to impede Hanes in the final seconds.

I guess the league saw it the same way I thoughts are below.

Regardless, the Blazers will be short staffed tomorrow and Wednesday night in Seattle and Tri-City. I'll have a breakdown tomorrow.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Injuries Mounting / Post-Game Antics

Last night's 5-2 loss to Portland saw the Blazers lose a couple more forwards up-front.

There's going to be a waiting list at the trainers table as both Thomas Frazee and Logan McVeigh went down with injuries early in the first period. McVeigh did return for a couple shifts before being shut-down. Frazee went immediately to the dressing room with a knee injury and never returned. Later in the broadcast we learned it'll be an injury that'll cost him a couple weeks.

Add this on top of Chase Schaber (leg), Jordan DePape (leg), Bernhard Keil (upper-body), and the Blazers are going through their toughest injury stretch of the season.

At this point, I'm not sure who will be available for the Blazers two-game US swing through Seattle (Tues) and Tri-City (Wed). GM Craig Bonner was busy looking for a call-up or two for the trip.


The game ended with this incident.

It may result in suspensions to F Ryan Hanes and perhaps D Brandon Underwood. For me, that would be a disappointing result.

As you can see at the end of the game, Portland G Mac Carruth comes out of his net to impede Hanes who was going behind the net to pressure the Portland defenseman. Why Carruth would choose to step-up and impede the path of Hanes is pointless with just seconds remaining. Hanes, gets his stick into Carruth which resulted in a major for slashing. That's a bit of over-kill from the officials there.

Carruth has a history of some of these antics. In the end, Craig Cunningham - a pretty straight-up honest player, has to come to the aid of Carruth and ends up eating a pretty big right-hand from Hanes which ended the fight. That's careless from Carruth's standpoint. I hope the WHL factors in everything here.

That's a pretty bad deal for the Hawks too. They were content to ride out the 5-2 win and head home. Instead, you have a brash goaltender in the Portland crease who ends up causing a mini-brawl at the end of the game (with help from Ryan Hanes of course) and having one of the best players in the WHL and his teammate getting KO'ed. If you're Portland GM/Head Coach Mike Johnston are you pleased with that result? Do you want a guy like Cunningham getting involved for a teammate on such a silly thing like this?

D Brandon Underwood and D Joe Morrow also scrapped just as Hanes/Cunningham was wrapping up.

Just my perspective... something to ponder...debate.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Blazers and Ams Tonight

The Blazers and the Tri-City Americans face-off tonight on Radio NL following the Canucks broadcast from Washington, DC.

We hope to air all or part of our pre-game show beginning at 6:30pm. Play-by-play at 7pm.

Cam Lanigan will get the start in goal, his first start in 10 games. F Carter Ashton will make his Americans debut tonight. He will play on a line with Adam Hughesman and Brendan Shinnimin.

This is the first of four head-to-head meetings of the season. The Blazers play here again next Wednesday.

The Blazers were 0-4 vs the Ams last night and were outscored 24-6 in the process. Tri City has been scoring goals lately. They've scored 16 combined in their last two games.

More tonight from the Toyota Center.....


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Tigers 4 Blazers 1

Game highlights are available at

Medicine Hat came in and got the job done as they built a 2-0 lead after the 1st period. Linden Vey finished with a goal and an assist to take over the WHL scoring lead by a single point over Brendan Ranford who was held off the scoresheet.

The only Blazer goal was from JT Barnett. He easily had the most chances on the Blazers side by Tigers goaltender Tyler Bunz was solid. He made 27 saves on the night as the Blazers outshot the Tigers 27-18. The Blazers were 1/7 on the PP, the Tigers 0/2.

The game marked the return of D Josh Caron who had missed 41 games with a broken collarbone. He was used sparingly though in his first game back with the Blazers dressing seven defenseman.

Chase Schaber played despite being a game-time decision. He appeared to be still affected from his leg injury.

Jeff Bosch took the loss in goal giving up four goals on 18 shots. That number is a bit deceiving though. He didn't play that bad. The Tigers had some quality chances.

The back-breaker came just over eight minutes into the third period when the Tigers scored short-handed on their first shot of the period. Emerson Etem and Lindey Vey worked the two-on-two to perfection to make it 4-1.

The Blazers travel for most of the day Thursday to Kennewick, WA to get set for their first meeting of the season against the Tri-City Americans Friday night at the Toyota Center.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Blazers Host Tigers

Blazer captain present a jersey and autographed hat to "Clay" a Blazer fan living in Kelowna. The meeting was set up through the Blazers Education Coordinator during the Blazers last trip to Kelowna. photo credit: Ashley Neuls

Josh Caron, Clay and Chase Schaber


It's the first of two meetings of the season between the Tigers at and Blazers. Game-time 7pm at ISC. Pre-game show on Radio NL begins at 6:30pm.

Here's some quick notes on the match-up:

- The league's top two scorers face-off tonight. Linden Vey of the Tigers (65 points) and Brendan Ranford (66 points). Vey is coming off a five-point game in his last outing vs the Swift Current Broncos in a 7-1 home ice win.

- F Kellan Tochkin, D Alex Theriau will make their Tigers debut two days after being acquired at the trade deadline for F Ryan Harrison and a 2nd round bantam pick. Tochkin has four goals in three games vs the Blazers this season including a hat-trick when the Blazers were in Everett in their last meeting.

- The addition of Tochkin give the Tigers a pretty potent group of forwards that include Vey, Emerson Etem, Tyler Pittlick, and Wacey Hamilton. The Tigers sit three points out of the Central division lead and have been one of the hotter teams in the league since November.

- Blazer captain Chase Schaber will be a game-time decision with a charley horse injury. Head Coach Guy Charron hinted at practice today that D Josh Caron could suit up for the first time since the opening weekend pending news from doctors in Minnesota with the Wild. At least there's a possibility he could go. A flu bug that affected a couple players earlier in the week seems to be under control. F Bernhard Keil is doubtful with an upper body injury. Coach Charron said on Monday's "Hockey Talk' he would be out a week to 10 days.
- Jeff Bosch will get the call in goal for the Blazers. It would be his ninth straight start. He's started every game so far in the 2nd half.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Statement Regarding Drinnan Ban

This statement was issued by the three parties today following today's meeting in Kamloops:

The Western Hockey League, Kamloops Blazers Hockey Club and The Kamloops Daily News held a meeting today in Kamloops to discuss the concerns raised by the WHL and the Blazers organization in regards to The Kamloops Daily News’ coverage of the franchise and the League. The meeting provided the WHL and the Blazers the opportunity to review their concerns with the newspaper.

As a result of the meeting, the WHL and the Kamloops Blazers have agreed to reinstate sports reporter Gregg Drinnan with full media access for the balance of the 2010-11 hockey season.

The Kamloops Daily News has provided an assurance that moving forward, coverage of the League and the Blazers Hockey Club will be fair and balanced.


My take?

With that statement out, it appears it's back to business as usual. But will it ever be the same?

The relationship has been strained for awhile and everything the Daily News writes, in particular Gregg Drinnan from this point on, will be scrutinized inside and out. Too positive, too negative...It's a tough place to be for the veteran sports writer.

Also, some interesting wording in the release.

The statement clearly shows the WHL had the same concerns the Blazers had as mentioned in the "to discuss the concerns raised by the WHL and the Blazers organization in regards to The Kamloops Daily News’ coverage of the franchise and the League. The meeting provided the WHL and the Blazers the opportunity to review their concerns with the newspaper".

More interesting wording..."have agreed to reinstate sports reporter Gregg Drinnan for the balance of the 2010-11 hockey season". The way it's worded, it sounds like nothing is guaranteed moving forward to next season.

For now, it's good to see it resolved. The focus can now shift back to the hockey club on the ice.


Monday, January 10, 2011

Bonner on Deadline

Blazers GM Craig Bonner on today's deadline....

He admits he was involved in some discussions...

"We threw a few things out there...things that would make sense now and into the future, but like I said before we weren't willing to part with anyone on our roster. It's tough to do deals, and the deals we saw today... price have gone crazy this year. We stuck with our plan and we are going to keep developing our players."

On the high prices...

"Those are deals in the OHL of QMJHL... or even the NHL. Generally deals here haven't had that big of wow factor. There were some elite players out there. Giving away as many picks as some teams have had can sure set a franchise back, but it's sometimes the risk you have to take. I've never seen prices like that in my 15 years."

On the Thomas Frazee deal...

"I've said that the Frazee deal was our move and we are happy with that. I wouldn't want to be trading for Thomas Frazee today. The price would have been much higher than it was before the Christmas break."

On teams looking for some of the Blazers top players...

"There were some calls but I had made it clear earlier that we weren't moving any of those players. We have a plan here and we are sticking to it."

Blazers Quiet

The Blazers did not make a move today with the WHL's trade deadline. More with GM Craig Bonner within the hour....



Don't forget....

Blazer Hockey Talk comes at you tonight beginning at 5:30pm PT from the Ramada Rooftop Lounge on Columbia Street on Radio NL.

Guests will include part-owner of the Kamloops Blazers Tom Gaglardi, General Manager Craig Bonner, and Head Coach Guy Charron. If there's time, we will also be joined by Blazer Account Executive Ashley Neuls.

Myself and Rick "the Bear" Wile will co-host the show.

It runs until 7pm tonight. You can email questions to or call us at 250-374-5345.

We will be discussing several items including the trade deadline, the 2nd half of the season and the Blazers media ban on Gregg Drinnan in advance of tomorrow's meeting between the three parties.


Hansen, Colin Smith Ranked by Central Scouting

D Tyler Hansen #97th amongst North American skaters, and Colin Smith checks in at #130 in the mid-term rankings. No Dylan Willick in the rankings though. I'm surprised. Hopefully he gets some attention in the 2nd half.

Here's the rankings

Trade Deadline Chuckles...

All is quiet in Kamloops for now as the deadline passes at 2pm local time.

It's not the same story in Swift Current with yesterday's package deal between the Broncos and Ice involving Cody Eakin for five players and three draft picks.

At least Swift Current is having fun with it. Check out
this morning radio bit from my old colorman Ryan Switzer. Gold.

More later....


Sunday, January 09, 2011

Broncos Trade Eakin, Stock the Shelves Big Time

A blockbuster today.... the Broncos dealing away franchise player Cody Eakin to the Kootenay Ice... the deal brings a King's ransom back to the Broncos...

Swift Current Broncos’ General Manager and Head Coach Mark Lamb has announced today that that the club has traded Broncos forward Cody Eakin for Kootenay Ice forward Christian Magnus, listed players Ryan Bloom, Jarett Zentner, Colby Cave and Steven Myland along with a 1st and 2nd round pick in 2011 and a 3rd round pick in 2012.

Magnus, the 5’11”, 174 pound forward from Saskatoon, SK is currently in his fourth WHL season. In 42 games played with the Ice this season, he has accumulated 17 points through five goals and 12 assists. Magnus is returning to the Broncos after originally being drafted by them in the 1st round, 9th overall in the 2007 WHL Bantam Draft.

Bloom, the 5’10”, 171 pound forward from Calgary, AB has collected 21 points through seven goals and 14 assists in 20 games played this season with the Drumheller Dragons of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL). In the six games he has played with the Ice, he recorded one point through one goal. Bloom was drafted by the Ice in the 2nd round, 37th overall in the 2008 WHL Bantam Draft.

Zentner, the 6’2”, 190 pound forward from Red Deer, AB started the 2010/11 season with the Okotoks Oilers before joining the Calgary Mustangs of the AJHL. In 20 games played with the Oilers this season he has collected four points through two goals and two assists. In the seven games he has played with the Ice he has recorded one assist. Zentner was drafted by the Ice in the 4th round, 81st overall in the 2008 WHL Bantam Draft.

Cave, the 6’0”, 170 pound forward from Battleford, SK is currently playing with the Battlefords Stars of the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League (SMAAAHL). In 30 games played this season, he has 10 goals and 10 assists for 20 points. Cave was drafted by the Ice in the 1st round, 13th overall in the 2009 WHL Bantam Draft.

Myland, the 6’0”, 210 pound goalie from Cloverdale, BC is currently playing with the Valley West Hawks of the British Columbia Major Midget Hockey League. This season, he currently holds a 1.64 goals against average and save percentage of 0.934. Myland was drafted by the Ice in the 10th round, 211th overall in the 2009 WHL Bantam Draft.

“Both Magnus and Bloom will bring depth to our team,” says Broncos Assistant General Manager Jamie Porter. “Zentner, Cave and Myland have all been playing strong for their respective teams and will be great additions to our organization as well.”

Eakin leaves Swift Current after four seasons with the Broncos. He was acquired in the 2006 WHL Bantam Draft in the 1st round, 6th overall. In the last four seasons, Eakin has recorded 100 goals and 95 assists for 195 points in 212 games played.

“Eakin has been the best player to come to this team since Joe Sakic,” says Broncos General Manager and Head Coach Mark Lamb. “It’s a trade we didn’t want to do, but it’s the best thing for our hockey club in the long run.”

Both Magnus and Bloom will be joining the Broncos for Friday’s game against the Saskatoon Blades. Zentner, Cave and Myland will remain with their respective clubs.

The Swift Current Broncos Hockey Club would like to wish Cody Eakin all the best in his future endeavours.


This makes a lot of sense for both teams. Credit to the Broncos Mark Lamb for pulling the trigger here. He stocks the shelves but gets no real immediate help. It must have been tough for him to trade Eakin given the respect he has for the 19 year-old captain

F Christian Magnus began his WHL career in Swift Current before being a piece in the Michael Stickland and Johnny Negrin deal to the Broncos from the Ice.

Eakin reunites with good friend and minor hockey teammate James Martin.

Kootenay instantly gets better in a lot of areas. A win-win trade here.


Saturday, January 08, 2011


Have you seen the standings in the BC Division today? One point separates Prince George and Vancouver with Kelowna and the Kamloops Blazers.... and the teams all play each other again tonight.

At the beginning of the season, we all talked about how tight the division would be, but I don't anyone expected it to be this tight as we approach Monday's trade deadline.

The Blazers head down to Kelowna for another meeting with the Rockets - the 6th of the season. Meanwhile, Prince George plays Vancouver for a 2nd straight night.


As for tonight's game, the Rockets are expected ton insert D Tyson Barrie back in the line-up tonight. He'll play against the Blazers in his first game back from the World Juniors. F Mitchell Callahan has now played two games with the Rockets after playing with the U.S. at the event. The Rockets suffered their 4th straight loss dropping a 3-1 decision in Seattle last night.

The Blazers will likely be without their captain Chase Schaber for a 2nd straight night. I think the Blazers would like to get him back for Wednesday's home game against the Medicine Hat Tigers. It's a charlie horse injury.

F Bernhard Keil was hit hard in back-to-back shifts last night vs the Chilliwack Bruins and didn't finish the game. I'm not sure of his status for tonight's game.

Dalibor Bortnak fit in well on the Blazers top line in the place of Chase Schaber. Bortnak, Brendan Ranford and Jordan DePape combined on one of the nicest goals of the year for the Blazers as they scored off the rush in the 1st period to put the Blazers up 3-1 in the 1st period. Plays of the Week? I'm thinking so....


Trade deadline talk is heating up. Who's buying? Who's selling? There seems to be some teams in the Western Conference willing to give up some assets. The talk around the Blazers is very status quo. It's quiet. I think if there is a chance add some depth, or a piece to the puzzle, GM Craig Bonner will, but they won't be giving up a lot in order to acquire such an asset. I'm thinking it will be a quieter deadline this year in Kamloops than in years past.


Speaking of trade deadline, we have our Blazer Hockey Talk show from the Ramada Rooftop Lounge set for Monday evening beginning at 5:30. We've just confirmed that majority owner Tom Gaglardi will join us on the phone just after 6pm. He will comment on the ongoing ban of access to Blazer players and coaches imposed on Kamloops Daily News Sports Editor Gregg Drinnan. The Blazers are 5-2 since imposing the ban, it would equal their best seven game stretch of the season. Is it related? Not likely, but it's an interesting footnote.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend, tonight's broadcast from Kelowna begins at 6:30pm with the pre-game show on Radio NL.


Friday, January 07, 2011

Friday Thoughts / Blazers and Bruins Tonight

A preview of the Blazers/Chilliwack Bruins game is below... first some random thoughts to start the day.

- There was two games on the WHL schedule last night. On Shaw TV, the Swift Current Broncos edged the Calgary Hitmen 3-2. It was great to see my former colorman Tim Tisdale do an intermission interview with Shaw's Joey Kenward. Tizzy's son play's on the "AA" bantam team in Swift Current and they may be headed to Kamloops for the big annual tournament in April. I texted Tiz and told him to bring his clubs. He's a solid player. Maybe I can use some home course advantage. He might only have to give me 15 strokes...

- A good kid that deserves a plug? Adam Lowry. He had all three Bronco goals in the win. Adam comes from a good family. The Lowry's are first-class.

- In the other game, the Moose Jaw Warriors completed their BC swing with a 4-1 record following a 4-2 win in Kelowna. Credit where it's due, Dave Hunchak has the Warriors playing hard every night. I was impressed, not so much with the Warriors skill level but by their work ethic and solid structure. The Hunch Bunch is getting it done. And so much for conceding the division to Saskatoon. Hunchak told me in our pre-game interview they plan on using their head-to-head games to reel in the Blades.

- Question thrown my way yesterday...."Jon have you ever been banned from talking to coaches and players?" The answer is yes... to both. However, never from the home team. Once in Saskatoon, Head Coach/GM Lorne Molleken refused a pre-game interview based on the comments I made on a prior broadcast. The division rivalry was heating up and I may have went a bit overboard in my assessment of the Blades. The thing about Mooner is, the next time he saw me, it was over. He gave me a big slap on the back and said "hey there young feller" like he always does. He made me accountable for my words. I understood, and that was that. I wasn't about to waive the WHL media policy book at him. He made his point.

As for players? The expansion season of the Everett Silvertips saw them play their first ever game at the Civic Center with four former Broncos. It was a highly anticipated game. A broadcasters dream, more angles than a protractor. My plan was to get a couple of them on the pre-game show. Head Coach Kevin Constantine had other ideas. He told me that his players would not be available for comment, citing he didn't want them to have any distractions.

The ban lasted about 45 minutes. Mitch Love and Jeff Harvey eventually did make it onto the pre-game show that night. I'm still not sure why KC had the change of heart.

- Last night was media wing night. Yes, it's true, members from Radio NL, Kamloops This Week and the Daily News hang out on occasion. Guess what we talked about??


Alright, now the Blazers and Bruins who meet for the first time since the War in the 'Whack" October 2nd. It was a wild game that saw the Blazers initiate a line brawl in the third period after several liberties were taken on Blazer players. Bruins F Blair Wentworth ran Blazer rookie Chase Souto from behind. Souto suffered a concussion and missed 2-3 weeks, Wentworth was handed a two-game suspension.

Blazer F Jordan DePape was also hurt in the game after being checked awkwardly into the boards. The Bruins scored five powerplay goals in a 6-1 win. It made for a spirited post-game show with Assistant Coach Geoff Smith.

Do I expect some carry over? Yes. With that said, the two teams play five times in the next four weeks. There will be many new battles waged in that time.

The Blazers go in to the game without captain Chase Schaber. It's expected he'll miss the weekend with a leg injury. He confirmed today at practice he's day-to-day.

Also at practice, Dalibor Bortnak and Bernhard Keil were back with the team after the World Juniors. I'd expect them both to play tonight. D Brady Gaudet and F Logan McVeigh will also be inserted after playing for Team West at the U-17's

JC Lipon is a question mark as well after missing Tuesday's game with injury.

More from the rink.....


Thursday, January 06, 2011


It's been an interesting week to say the least in these parts...

With the ongoing drama of Gregg Drinnan vs The Kamloops Blazers, I've been on the sidelines somewhat watching as the story unfolds. I've been able to escape to Sun Peaks for a couple days of skiing in between broadcasts, and I've felt a little removed from the proceedings.

But they've heated up....

Rick "The Bear" Wile of Radio NL was in contact with former Blazer great and part-owner Mark Recchi to get his take on this.

Recchi responded in this manner:

"For years now we've dealt with this negativity towards these young men and we want to keep their self esteem, it's important. We have to be responsible for these young men who come in and play for our franchise, the community and the City of Kamloops. They are going to become young men, through that. I don't think anybody as a parent would want their children to be constantly in a negative environment. As owners, we have to protect their kids and that's what we're doing."

Bear continued the interview....Recchi feels the criticism is unique....

"I haven't really seen anything like this. It's upsetting because I feel it really impacts our kids. At the NHL level, we are all big boys and get paid to perform but we don't even get this negativity that the organization and players of the Blazers get. I think it's important we take a step back and take a look at this and make sure our kids are protected."
Recchi also eluded the Drinnan ban on team personnel is endorsed by the Western Hockey League.

"The WHL is also involved. They said they would like it if Gregg Drinnan did not have access down in the dressing room until we have a meeting. The Kamloops Daily News is more than welcome to send someone else for post-game interviews. Gregg Drinnan is welcome to come down to the rink for games and practices. Until their is a resolution between the League, the Blazers and Gregg Drinnan of the KDN, we just don't want him to have access to our players or other team personnel."


Bear also filed this podcast .... have a listen. Interesting. It's at the bottom of this podcast page dated Thursday January 6th".


Regardless, I think we have to move forward, get it resolved and get a plan moving forward whether that's with GD or not.


The Blazers may have lost their captain for the weekend. Chase Schaber went down with a leg injury vs the Moose Jaw Warriors after an atempted his of Warrior F Dylan Hood.

JC Lipon may return to the line-up after missing Tuesday's game with an ankle injury. The Blazers are also set to get back F Bernhard Keil and F Dalibor Bortnak back from World Juniors and F Logan McVeigh and D Brady Gaudet. I'd expect all or at least three of them to suit-up.

More tomorrow for game-day,


Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Blazer Hockey Talk / Host Warriors Tonight

Our third edition of Blazers Hockey Talk on Radio NL is set for Monday evening, January 10th (trade deadline day) from the Ramada Rooftop Lounge.

Our guests include Head Coach Guy Charron and General Manager Craig Bonner. No doubt there will be plenty of things to discuss. It begins at 5:30pm Monday night. Check it out online at


Meanwhile, the Blazers chase their fifth win in their last six games as they host the Moose Jaw Warriors tonight. If the Blazers can get the win, it would be their best stretch of the season.

JC Lipon is out with an ankle injury. It's not a serious injury, but will keep him out of the line-up tonight. The Blazers have recalled F Aspen Sterzer.

The Warriors come through sitting 2nd in the east division and fifth in the eastern conference. This is the Warriors fourth game through the BC division. They are 2-1 so far.

The Blazers are 3-2 vs east division teams this season. The Warriors east division team to come through. On their side, they'll me missing F Quinton Howden (Canada WJ) and Tony Honejsek (Czech WJ)

Face-off at 7pm from ISC.

Monday, January 03, 2011


Kids Month is in full swing. Check out this video. Safe to say I'm looking over my shoulder. Good stuff Frank!


The Kamloops Blazers have called up 16-year-old forward Aspen Sterzer for Tuesday’s game versus the Moose Jaw Warriors. The native of Canal Flats, BC will fill in for 17-year-old forward JC Lipon who went down with an ankle injury last night in a 5-1 win over the Kelowna Rockets.

Sterzer has played 25 games this season with the Midget AAA EDGE Prep Team in Calgary. He has 7 goals, 20 assists for 27 points with his midget team. Sterzer is also pointless in 7 games this season with the Blazers.


Blazers 5 Kelowna 1

The Blazers won their fourth game in their last five outings by blasting the Rockets 5-1 at Interior Savings Center.

A determined Blazer team came out and scored three first period goals, getting to Rockets G Adam Brown. It was something they couldn't do Thursday in Kelowna as Brown was stellar on home-ice.

Brendan Ranford, Chase Schaber and Dylan Willck scored first period goals to set the tone for the contest. For Ranford, the shot actually went in off a Rocket defenseman in front. It was his league-leading 30th of the season.

Bronson Maschmeyer added a PP goal just 49 seconds into the 2nd period and the Blazers rolled from there. JT Barnett added another.

Jeff Bosch was excellent in goal. He made 29 saves - including some big stops late as the Blazers finished off the game killing off a 5-on-3 for a full two minutes.

"Tonight was redemption for myself," said Bosch during our Radio NL post-game show.

"I wanted to prove it to the guys and myself (after being pulled in Kelowna Thursday night). I was happy to do my part."

Bosch now looks forward to facing his former club the Moose Jaw Warriors Tuesday night at ISC. In his last seven appearances, Bosch has posted a GAA of 1.83 and a .945 save %. That's getting it done. Impressive numbers.


- The Blazers made Rockets F Shane McColgan a target most of the night. The shifty Rocket forward taunted the Blazer bench after one of his goals Thursday night. It was clear the Blazers didn't forget about it.

- With that said, I think the Blazers post-game celebration needs to be toned down... just a little. F Chase Souto taunted the Rockets bench post-game with what's becoming a regular post-game celebration. It was in response to what happened in Kelowna. I thought it was too much.

- As comical as the celebration is for the players and Blazer fans, I can tell you this - other teams around the WHL and personnel aren't so enamoured by the "NHL 94" celebration. The last two nights, the celebration has caught the ire of the opposition. Even though it's not intended to be a taunt... if this was the NFL, there would be flags flying everywhere. I see the humour in it, but others not familiar with what's going on are taking it personal. Something to keep an eye on moving forward.

- The mood around the team is pretty good right now. The guys are enjoying winning together. The Blazers are enjoying wins a lot more than they were earlier in the season. The team has come together more because of it.

- F JC Lipon left the game and didn't return. He injured his leg and limped off the ice. There's word he went in for an x-ray. No word on his condition.

- In the last seven games, the Blazers penalty kill is 30/32 or 93.7 %

- The Blazers host Moose Jaw Tuesday night. They are the last of the East division teams to come through. The Blazers are 3-2 vs the division this season.


Sunday, January 02, 2011

Blazers Save Best for Last

The Blazers got themselves out of the basement in the Western Conference and vaulted into 8th spot with a come-from-behind 3-2 win in Seattle last night.

Down 2-1 in the third, the Blazers tied it midway through on a lazer from F Thomas Frazee from 20 feet out. With 8:23 to play, F Dylan Willick converted a 3-on-2 rush as he banged home his own rebound to give the Blazers a 3-2 lead. Willick's last three goals have all been game-winners.

The rest of the way, the Blazers locked it down as Jeff Bosch finished the night with 38 saves to record the victory between the pipes. On the other end, it was another busy night for G Calvin Pickard. He faced 49 shots and was on top of his game. It didn't look like he was going to allow the Blazers a chance to come back.

Brendan Ranford scored the opening goal, just 23 seconds into the 2nd period. It was his league-leading 29th of the season.

The schedule keeps on coming. The Blazers host the Kelowna Rockets to open up a three-game homestand tonight at ISC. Face-off at 6pm. It's a rematch of Thursday's game in Kelowna. The Rockets lost 5-2 on home ice last night to the Spokane Chiefs.

The Blazers have just begun a 15 game stretch over the next 29 days.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy New Year!

Kent's beautiful ShoWare Center plays host to the Kamloops Blazers and Seattle Thunderbirds to kick off 2011.
The Blazers will look to respond from a 7-1 loss in Kelowna Thursday while the T-Birds come in after a 4-3 win in Portland last night.
As always when you play Seattle, the big factor is always G Calvin Pickard. I'm sure Canada would love to have him around their junior team about right now. Unfortunately, he was cut by the national team. Canada's loss is the T-Bird's gain. Face-off at 7pm tonight.
I'm blogging out of the hotel room today. You would think one could get a wifi connection somewhere in this city... but not at the rink, and not at the strip mall where the team had lunch yesterday following practice. So, here I 219, getting a quick update in.
A nice sunny day outside... a little crisp, but nice. A good start to 2011.
The Blazers will ice the same line-up they did against the Rockets Thursday. One short of the maximum 20 with call-ups Matt Needham and Landon Cross. Although the maximum number of games for a 15 year-old (Needham) to play in the WHL is five, the games over the Christmas break don't count towards that number. After Needham's team is done for the season, he can then join the team full time for the rest of the year. I'm not sure that's the plan just yet but it would make sense.
The Blazers busy schedule continues following tonight's game. They return home immediately after the game for rematch with the Rockets tomorrow night. Tuesday, Moose Jaw is in town.
No TSN in the states means no Canada World Junior wall-to-wall coverage. It made it very hard to check out the Canada/Sweden game. The streaming video is unavailable online to U.S. destinations. Finally, I found the end of the Canada/Sweden through online radio.

Have a good start to 2011... talk to you tonight. Pre-game show at 6:30, play-by-play at 7pm on Radio NL