Friday, February 11, 2011

Whitehorse all that and more...

Very safe to say Whitehorse has exceeded everyone's expectations. Being in the city for about 12 hours so far has been a great experience.

The entire city of 25,000 is on board and you can see Hockey Day in Canada pride everywhere you look. Organizers and the city of Whitehorse should be very proud of their efforts leading up to the big day.

I can tell you the Blazers organization - players, coaches and staff have been treated great. The entire experience has been memorable leading up to today's game vs the Vancouver Giants at Takhini Arena. Pre-game show at 3:30pm on Radio NL, and at


I knew it was going to be a good experience when I boarded the charter jet in Kamloops only to find I was sitting beside former NHL coach Pat Quinn along with WHL Director of Communications Cory Flett for the two hour plus flight.

I had a real good chat with Pat on the way up - the flight could have been six hours for all I was concerned. We talked about all sorts of things including his take on the media in Toronto, Vancouver and Edmonton. The people that he liked, and disliked while coaching in some the bigger media hot spots in the game.

Pat reminisced about the gold medal in Salt Lake in 2002 and the "biggest disappointment in his coaching career" in Torino, Italy at the 2006 Olympics.

That was a neat experience to say the least.


To see the New Brunswick bantam team aboard the flight was special. These kids are definitely fired up to take part in today's festivities as they take on the local Whitehorse bantam Mustangs.

We were greeted at the airport by cheers from the local people and the Mustang bantam team. There was a news conference at the airport hosted by the CBC. It was a very well put together event hosted by Scott Oake.

For many of the Blazers, I think this was the moment it set in.

"We weren't really thinking about too much leading up. But, we got here and everyone's attitude completely changed when we landed," said Blazer F Thomas Frazee.

"We are so happy to be here. The city has been so great to us so far and we can't wait to get it started,"

Frazee admits the airport greeting was a nice touch.

"When we got off the plane... we didn't expect to get a round of applause from everyone. From that point on we were so excited to be here.


The Blazers hotel is also the host hotel for much of the CBC and special guests. Trevor Linden, Ken Dryden and several others have been spotted by the guys around the hotel. The CBC's Don Cherry is just a floor up from the team.

Everything has been first class all the way. The Blazers now have to shift focus to winning today's game vs the Giants.


Blazers Assistant Coach Scott Ferguson poses with one of the many volunteers helping to pull this event together.
Got this email earlier. The Blazer parents are definitely plugged in to the events in Whitehorse:

"I am speaking on behalf of all the Blazer moms when I say we really appreciate having the chance to see the pictures so we can feel like we've got to experience it with the boys too!

Good luck to the team tomorrow! We'll be listening in as always!

Take care!
Melissa Willick "

I had a chance to set up the broadcast with the CBC folks here this afternoon. It's a floating start time for the 4pm face-off based on their timeline of events and Coaches Corner in the 1st intermission.

We are likely looking at a 4:09-4:13pm ceremonial face-off from the rink. Hopefully we can track down some guests and have some fun during our live broadcast.
Looking forward to a big day ahead....

From Whitehorse, Yukon, enjoy the day.

1 comment:

kevink said...

Make us proud boys, good luck and safe return