Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Thorburn Represents Canada/Leavold A Lightning?

  • The National Junior Team has wrapped up it's summer development camp. Three members of the Kelowna Rockets attended the camp, including returning gold medalist Luke Schenn. Schenn was joined by teammates Jamie Benn and Tyler Myers at the camp. Schenn is a lock to again play for Canada at the 2009 tournament in Ottawa, but Benn and Myers will be holding their breath, hoping for an invite to main camp in December. Benn had a goal and an assist in Tuesdays intersquad game.
  • One member of the Kelowna Rockets will represent Canada at this years World Juniors, and we aren't talking Luke Schenn. Rockets Athletic Therapist Jeff Thorburn has been named to the medical staff for Team Canada. Thorburn isn't the first Rockets Athletic Therapist to represent our country at the World Juniors. Scott Hoyer was with Team Canada in 2003.
  • Who replaces Thorburn when he's gone to the WJ? Constable Gary Creed, who helps Thorburn in the Rockets dressing room as a volunteer, may be pressed into duty.
  • In watching the TSN highlites the other night from the evaluation camp, I marvelled at the short summer the likes of Schenn, Benn and Myers have had. All three have had little time away from the rink, that I wonder what type of mindset they will have when the Rockets open the playoffs next March? Both Schenn and Myers have had the pressure of the draft, have attended prospect camps for the Leafs and Sabres respectively, and now are trying to put their best foot forward to earn an invite for a spot on Team Canada. Benn didn't have to go through the draft this summer like his teammates did, but he had the pressure of earning and signing an NHL deal with Dallas. I know all three love the game of hockey, but you wonder if an overdose of the game will have an adverse affect on them sometime over the course of next season? I'm not making excuses for any of them, but will they have much left at the end of the regular season to be impact players when the fun of the playoffs really starts?
  • Two members of the Kelowna Rockets are taking part in the Tampa Bay Lightning prospect camp near Victoria this week. Goaltender Torrie Jung is obviously there after being drafted by the Lightning in 2007, but the feel good story at the prospects camp has to be former Rockets forward Brady Leavold. Leavold is getting a shot at showing his stuff, with the possibility of attending training camp with the Lightning this fall.
  • It likely didn't cross Leavold's mind at the time because it wasn't a done deal, but essentially he was auditioning for Lightning co-owner Len Barrie during his short time in Kelowna. While Barrie missed few road games last season watching his son Tyson play, it also gave him the chance to appreciate the skill level and grit that Leavold brought consistently during his time in Kelowna.
  • Wouldn't you like to be a fly on the wall when the Rockets players get to know each other at training camp next month and talk about what their parents do for a living. I can see a fresh faced 16 year-old rookie telling Rockets defenseman Tyson Barrie that his dad is a pig farmer in Saskatchewan, to which Barrie will respond - oh that's interesting, my dad owns the Tampa Bay Lightning.
  • How badly does Prospera Place need a lit up sign in the parking lot that tells you what is going on in the building?

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