Thursday, July 28, 2011

Blazers Deal Underwood to Pats

The Kamloops Blazers have made a move to help a crowded blue line by shipping 19 year-old defensman Brandon Underwood to the Regina Pats for a 4th round bantam pick.

The Blazers get a 4th round pick back after dealing there pick to Edmonton in the deal to get import D Marek Hrbas.

The Californian d-man should provide a little added toughness to the Pats.

The Blazers return defenseman Bronson Maschmeyer, Josh Caron, Austin Madaisky, Brady Gaudet, Tyler Hansen and Hrbas moving forward into the season.

Here's the news release:

Kamloops Blazers General Manager, Craig Bonner, announced today that they have traded 19-year-old defenseman Brandon Underwood to the Regina Pats in exchange for a 4th round 2012 WHL Bantam draft pick. Underwood spent the past three seasons with the Blazers playing in 149 games.

“We have an influx of experienced WHL defensemen returning to our roster,” said General Manager, Craig Bonner. “We’d like to thank Brandon for his three years with the Blazers and wish him the best of luck in his future.”


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Former Voice of Blazers/Jets Headed back to WPG

This was on the @jonkeenNLSports twitter feed first but here it is for the blog.....

Former Voice of the Winnipeg Jets and for the glory years of the Kamloops Blazers Kelly Moore is headed back to Winnipeg to join CJOB radio's Jets coverage.

Broadcast rights were won by TSN Radio 1290 in Winnipeg.

Kelly has spent the past three years as Program Director of Country 103 in Kamloops - our sister station here at NL.

Prior to that, Kelly was the play-by-play broadcaster for both the Winnipeg Jets and Manitoba Moose.

Good luck Kelly, and thanks for all your help.


Monday, July 18, 2011

New/Old Radio Voice, Coaches Conference Wrap

It'll be officially announced soon but I'm told Marlon Martens in Lethbridge is the new (and 2nd voice) of the Victoria Royals. Martens has previous WHL experience with the Lethbridge Hurricanes a few seasons ago. Martens lost his gig when the broadcasts rights were switched to 94.1 FM The Lounge in Lethbridge. The station then went in another direction hiring Pat Siedlecki.

Martens is the 2nd voice of the Royals in their very short history. Dave Sawchuk was originally hired in Victoria. The Music Director for The Zone FM stayed around long enough to get quoted in a news release. He later accepted a job in the music industry.

Randy Merkley was the voice of the Chilliwack Bruins before the franchise moved to the Island. He really wasn't given an opportunity to move with the team. He's exploring other options.


It was a good weekend at the 5th annual Kamloops Coaches Conference. Nashville Predators Head Coach Barry Trotz closed out the conference with his presentation Sunday afternoon.

I hosted the Saturday night Hot Stove segment with guests Garry Davidson - the Director of Player Personnel for the Portland Winterhawks, Player Agent/CMG Sports Shane Corston, Montreal Canadiens Assistant Coach Perry Pearn, Former Assistant Coach in Kamloops/Vancouver/Tri City Terry Bangen, Former Blazer Steve Gainey and Kootenay Ice Head Coach Kris Knoblauch.

Of all the topics of conversation... it seemed the "what is PK Subban like to coach?" discussion drew the most interest. It was good to hear some stories from Perry Pearn on the subject.

A good conference, lots of time to chat with some of the guests and coaches taking it in KMHA's George Cochrane deserves some credit for bringing in a pretty good line-up over the three day event.


Kamloops Blazer d-man Tyler Hansen and the Lethbridge Giants won the Prairie Big League championships (Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba) and have advanced to the Canadian Big League championships in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

During the 15 game summer tournament schedule Tyler batted .594 with 3 - HR, 3 - triples, 9 - doubles, 22 singles and 2 strike outs. The Canadian Championships run from July 19 to July 24th with the winner advancing to North Carolina for the Big League World Series. Pic below:


A dream come true for Winnipeg native Jordan DePape.

DePape has received an invite to attend Winnipeg Jets development camp. He received word over the weekend.


Blazer F Dylan Willick and D Josh Caron spent the past week at Minnesota Wild development camp.

There's some highlights of them action here.

Both players scored in the post-game shootout. Caron's goal is 4:10 into the video, Willick's goal at 4:40.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011


The Kamloops Blazers have tentatively set their training camp schedule.

The rookies will be broken up into four teams with on-ice sessions August 26,27 and 28th. Main camp will open on the 29th.

The Blazers are back at Interior Savings Center this season after Cirque Du Soleil took over ISC last year forcing the Blazers to McArthur Island.

There should be an interesting crop of rookies with some WHL ties in the mix. I'm told as many as three current or former WHL coaches will have their sons at Blazer rookie camp.


Thomas Frazee (Washington), and both Dylan Willick and Josh Caron (Minnesota) are skating at NHL Development Camps this week. Blazer F Colin Smith was at Edmonton Oilers camp last week and told me it "went well... he got a lot out of it."

Here's a pic of Frazee in action:


The 5th annual Kamloops Coaches Conference is set for this weekend. Some of the guest speakers include Don Hay, Ryan Walter and Perry Pearn. Nashville Predators Head Coach Barry Trotz will close out the conference on Sunday.

There's presentations, an on-ice session and a Saturday night open hot-stove session planned.

I hear Kootenay Ice Head Coach Kris Knoblauch will be one of the people taking in the three day event.

I'll be helping out this weekend...I'll try to tweet some pics.


Just one more WHL coaching vacancy to fill...that's in Regina with the Pats. A lot of conflicting reports the last week as to who will take over the reigns. There's more here.


Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Mark Ferner WHL Bound

BCHL's Vernon Vipers Head Coach/GM Mark Ferner has resigned his position for a head coaching job in the Western Hockey League.

Details will be announced tomorrow. I would speculate the former Blazer coach will be announced in Everett as the Silvertips bench boss.

Regina and Moose Jaw also have openings although I don't believe he's in the mix there.