Thursday, May 26, 2011

Finally A Blog Update!

Yes the blog has been gathering dust lately....but here's an update with the latest info. I just find twitter to be easier to get the word out. A lot of the blog topics today may have already been covered by my twitter feed. If you're not following me yet, go ahead @JonKeenNLSports.

Winnipeg native Jordan DePape is fresh off a tour alongside country music star George Canyon.

The sponsored tour two hit up Halifax, Toronto and Calgary raising awareness of an insulin pump both have to help regulate their blood sugar.

"It was like a talk show... I would have been the guest sitting on the couch and George had a cordless mic and was in the crowd helping to get questions...and throwing the odd chirp my way."

He admits he was a George Canyon country music fan going into the tour.

"Yeah I have lots of his music on my ipod. It was weird meeting him for the first time. I was really nervous. He was really cool and made me feel comfortable. He gave it to me pretty good about missing the playoffs...(laughs)."

DePape plans to do more work with the insulin pump company in the future.


Blazer minority owner Mark Recchi says he will retire if his Boston Bruins win the Stanley Cup. While I would like to see him win another cup (he's won two already) I'd like to see him chase down the all-time record for NHL games played as well.

His 22 seasons in the NHL has him currently at 1652 games played - 4th on the all time list behind. Ron Francis (1731), Mark Messier (1756), and Gordie Howe (1767).

Remarkably, Recchi played in 81 of 82 regular season games this past season.


The Blazers are narrowing down their search for an assistant coach with some interviews beginning this week. Blazer Head Coach Guy Charron says he's down to about five guys he wants to talk to.

The three names I know all have WHL coaching experience either as a head or assistant. I can't get into the specifics but I've worked with two of the candidates in the past so I have a pretty good feel for the quality of assistant they will be getting.

Once the interviews are done, the Blazer hockey staff will get together and come up with a candidate.


I had a chance to spend some time with Blazer captain Chase Schaber this past weekend. It's safe to say he's very motivated and chomping at the bit to get it right this season ahead. He twittered earlier today "can't wait to get back into the routine, just craving for the season to start. #goodthingscoming."

Chase, along with coach Guy Charron, media relations Tim O'Donovan and myself played a round at Rivershore on Sunday. Thanks to the Rivershore staff for the hospitality. You can check their link over to the right side of the page.

As for Schaber's injury late last season. He says his leg is back to feeling 100 percent. He's will be training in Edmonton for the next month.


Blazer training camp is still shy of three months away. The thing I'm most looking forward to is the battle at the forward position. While losing F Thomas Frazee to graduation and both imports Dalibor Bortnak and Bernhard Keil, the Blazers are set to have a big competition for spots at camp.

Four rookies may crack the forward line-up. Matt Needham, Aspen Sterzer, Cole Ully and newly signed Dallas Calvin. Three of those four played games last season with Calvin joining the Blazers for practice late in the season.

There's always a surprise or two at camp...we will if one of those is at the forward spot.


I spoke with WHL Director of Officiating Kevin Muench this week regarding Hockey Canada's new regulations on blows to the head.

He reminded me the new regulations aren't for major junior hockey though, only junior A,B,C and D. The WHL and the CHL are not under the jurisdiction of Hockey Canada.

With that said, Muench says it will be a big topic at the upcoming summer WHL Annual General Meeting. He says they will be taking a look at a number of things from equipment, glass, arenas and rule changes in the past that have sped up the game which may be leading to more concussions.

It will be interesting to see what changes or regulations the league will make moving forward into next season.


As the summer hits I'd expect the blog to remain idle for the most part with the odd update. Again, twitter is the way to go for the months ahead leading into the season.


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