Monday, November 14, 2011

Barnett Traded to Everett, Balson Recalled & Random Thoughts

- The Blazers dealt 19 year-old F JT Barnett to the Everett Silvertips for a 3rd round bantam pick in 2013 today.  The move gives the Blazers a bargaining chip for later this season and frees up a spot for someone else amongst the forward group to take an increased role.

From JT's perspective, it's an opportunity for him in a new place to get an important year kick-started.  Barnett has scored four goals this season - three of them came in consecutive games on a Central division road swing.  Barnett scored goals in Red Deer, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat on the swing.  It appeared as if he was finding his groove.

It never materialized back on home ice though.  The Blazers acquired Barnett from the Vancouver Giants for a 2nd round pick back in July of 2010.

- The Blazers also recalled F Brock Balson from the BCHL's Salmon Arm Silverbacks.  He was recently listed by the Blazers after being dropped by Prince Albert.  In two seasons with the Raiders he scored once and added two assists in 50 games.  The Kamloops native had scored nine goals and added 11 assists in 20 games for the Silverbacks this season.

- Despite only winning one of two weekend home games, I thought it was a great two nights at Interior Savings Center from an entertainment and atmosphere perspective.  Fans are making some noise and have been energized by the team's play this year.  Fans are having fun, making some noise and it continues to build.  The Blazers won't play at home now until Wednesday the 23rd when they welcome the Kootenay Ice.

- Blazer F Colin Smith is off to Regina to take part in the Subway Super Series game vs the Russian Selects Wednesday night.  Initially left off the team, Smith was added early last week.  He'll rejoin the team for a pair of weekend games in Spokane and Tri-City this weekend.

- The Blazers are again featured in the latest WHL Plays of the Week.  You can watch it here.

- The Blazers have received some good mileage from their 4th line recently.  Ryan Hanes, Aspen Sterzer and Chase Souto "set the tone" Saturday night against Edmonton according to Head Coach Guy Charron.  If you talk about the Blazers best player this past weekend, Hanes would be in the discussion.

- The  Blazers will head south to Spokane Thursday to play the Chiefs Friday and then Tri-City Saturday.  It was tough sledding in those two barns last season.  The Blazers were 0/4 combined and outscored 32-9.  32 goals against in four games....that's eight goals allowed per game.  That's a lot. It'll be a tough place this year too. Both the Chiefs and Americans are out to great starts.  Spokane is 9-1 at home this year, Tri-City is 7-2 at the Toyota Center.  In many ways these two games can be used to see how much progress the Blazers have made.

- I ran into Gregg Drinnan of the Daily News Friday night...literally.  We collided in the media box as I was stepping into the hallway behind the radio booth. He definitely caught me on  my blindside, I may have delivered a blow to the head.  Suspensions are tbd.

- For the Swift Current Bronco folks who still check in here from time-to-time... you can bet this Sunday night in Vancouver is the place to be.  Former Bronco teammates and friends Dale Weise and Zack Smith collide as the Canucks host the Ottawa Senators.  Both represented by the same agent, they're trying to get as many as tickets as possible for this one for family and friends.  Personally, this one might be worth the drive over the Coquihalla for. 

- It's good to see former Bronco D Aaron Rome beginning to blossom with the Canucks.  He had three points in last night's 4-1 victory over the New York Islanders at Rogers Arena  He's on a roll lately. I've said it before...Rome was one of my favorite d-men over the years on and off the ice.  The swagger meter was always at a 10.

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