Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday Randoms

Let's call it a bit of a brain dump on this Monday afternoon....

- Today is the anniversary of the "Golden Goal". A year ago today Sidney Crosby scored the OT winner vs the U.S. at the Vancouver Olympics and everyone will always remember where they were for the moment in hockey history. I'll never forget it...I was with friends in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic watching the game at The Hard Rock Cafe with about 250 other Canadians and about 50 Americans.

- I'm typing up watching the final moments of "NHL Trade Center" on TSN as they cover the deadline. It looks like a bust. A lack of moves has the panel on their blackberrys playing bubble breaker and trying to look busy. James Duthie is a pro. I like the fact he's making fun about the lack of things to talk about. He's one of the best.

- It's not often you run into another WHL team on the road on your travels. It was a rare occasion in Medicine Hat as the Blazers pulled into the same hotel the Kelowna Rockets were staying at following their game vs the Tigers Wednesday night. I got a chance to have breakfast with Rockets voice and former Swift Current radio colleague Regan Bartel. It was at that time he told me about his now infamous interview with Kootenay Ice GM Jeff Chynoweth. It looks like Jeff's words are getting some play.

- Speaking of Medicine Hat....that was some kind of ending Friday night. I can't tell you how many times I've seen the script unfolding the way it was in that building. The visiting team down 5-1 in the third period dying a slow death and the clock moving at a snail's pace. The Blazers mounting the four-goal comeback in the final 10 minutes literally blew my mind. It was a nice change from the ordinary in the Arena. The reaction on the Blazer bench on the tying goal was priceless.

- Stop the presses! Depth defenseman Chris Campoli has just been traded to Chicago for a conditional draft pick. Breaking news at NHL Trade Center....riveting stuff.

- Blazer F Ryan Hanes had a good game in Kootenay Saturday. The ultimate team guy scored once and added an assist and was named the 3rd star. A team filled with players like Ryan Hanes may not win many games but it would sure be a fun group to be around.

He has to rank up there with some of the best characters I've been around in this league. I often ask him after the game what he was saying to a certain player on the ice or in warmups. There was some gold exchanged on the ice in Kootenay Saturday. Hanes told me one of the players from the Ice told him "to mix in the odd salad" referring to his diet when going back and forth with some verbal jabs. If we ever have a "mic'd up" feature on the broadcast, I'd attach a permanent mic to Hanes and let him carry the show. Hanes is an unsung hero for this hockey club is many ways.

- The Blazers took a step forward in the team aspect the last 10 days on the road. It's a tighter group than when they pulled out of the ISC parking lot nearly two weeks ago.

- The Blazers are doing a much tamer "NHL 94 celebration" these days. It seems to be catching on. I was watching the Chilliwack/PG webcast last night and the Cougars Taylor Thompson did the celebration following a goal he scored in the 2nd period.

- Two guys I'll always have time for? James Martin and Cody Eakin(pictured left) These two are having a blast playing together again.

This pic pretty much says it all.....

- It was a first for me Saturday night. I interviewed a head coach I've actually played against in competitive hockey. Kris Knoblauch of the Kootenay Ice is a former Imperial/Simpson Flyer which played in the same league as my hometown's minor/hockey team the Lanigan Pirates. We are both 32. He was a bigger bodied forward with a good shot back in the day. He wasn't overly physical but we always knew when he was on the ice.

- In the spirit of last night's Oscars here's a list of candidates for Blazer player of the month for February. And the nominees are......

1)Dylan Willick - brings it every night. Scored some clutch goals in the month
2) Thomas Frazee - 10 points on the Central division swing. A big month
3) Colin Smith - followed up a great January with another solid month.
4) Jeff Bosch - played every minute of every game in the month going 7-3-1. Won both shootouts he was in.
5) Corey Fienhage - has stepped up big time with the absence of three key d-men

The winner will be announced Wednesday prior to the Blazers/Rockets game at ISC

- D Brady Gaudet took a step forward in his development on the central swing. He was forced into playing big minutes in all situations and played well. The 16 year-old is on his way to becoming a premiere d-man in this league.

- Jordan DePape has filled in admirably on the back-end with the lack of bodies as well. His contributions on the five-game swing shouldn't be overlooked.

- Looks like I'm going to check out some Junior "A' playoffs this week. Salmon Arm plays down the road in Merritt in round one of the BCHL playoffs. Salmon Arm, coached by former Bronco assistant coach Tim Kehler, has jumped out to a 2-0 series lead. if you missed the news from last week, here's the latest on Kehler.

Merritt is also where former SC Bronco Athletic Therapist Paul Ayotte started and former Director of Media Relations Keegan Goodrich once toiled.

- Speaking of the BCHL, the Penticton Vees bus hit the ditch last night according to Brian Wiebe's blog. Everyone is OK. It's stuff like this that keeps me awake on those long trips through the mountains.

- Reminder... Blazer Hockey Talk is set for tomorrow night from the Ramada Rooftop Lounge. Email your questions to You can listen online at from 5:30-6:30pm. I'll co-host along with Rick. Guests include Craig Bonner, Guy Charron and G Jeff Bosch.


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