Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Things That Make Me Go Hmm...

  • With the window slowly closing on Luke Schenn's return to Kelowna, might Rockets GM Bruce Hamiton be knocking on the door of Seattle GM Russ Farwell? Farwell has the rights to a pretty dynamic defenseman in Thomas Hickey. Hickey was returned from the LA Kings. With the T-Birds struggling, Hickey may become available. I anticipate the smooth skating rearguard would come at a high price though. With Greg Scott's return, maybe Farwell believes his club isn't as bad off as many people think? I came to appreciate Hickey last season both on and off the ice as the Rockets battled the T-Birds in round one.
  • Hamilton and Farwell are no strangers to making trades. Paul Hurd and Clayton Barthel come to mind as players acquired from Seattle over the years.
  • How concerned should we be about the sluggish attendance so far at Kootenay Ice home games? Ice general manager Jeff Chynoweth is. He wants to see a minimum 28 hundred fans attending home games. Right now he is getting about 25 to 26 hundred per game. When I asked Jeff about the attendance so far this season, he had this response. www.am1150.ca/player/player?mediapath=&type=mp3&fi=files%2Fam1150%2Fsrimedia%2FR09_0734.MP3&nid=804184
  • I thought coach Ryan Huska brought up a good point Sunday when I asked him to explain who was hardest hit by Luke Schenn's absence. I suggested 17 year-old Tyson Barrie, who Huska says has been affected, but not in an adverse way. Sure Barrie misses his defensive partner but Huska likes the way Barrie has adapted to the change. No longer playing high risk hockey, Barrie is picking his spots better when rushing the puck and still picks up points with key time on the power play. Becoming a more complete player is what will attract NHL scouts, and oddly enough the loss of Schenn is forcing Barrie to become that type of player.
  • I won't mention names, but I heard some hockey fans giving Daily Courier sports writer Doyle Potenteau a rough time after an article he wrote last week about Kelowna resident Kyle Beach. Potenteau mentioned in the article that he would be a nice fit with the Rockets. The article is just an opinion or a suggestion of something that may or may not happen. It's not factual persay, but it provides debate. Bottom line, it's a good read.
  • What does Tips head coach John Becanic think of trading Beach? I asked him that question when they visited Kelowna last week, a few days prior to the Tips learning the feisty forward would be returned from the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks: www.am1150.ca/player/player?mediapath=&type=mp3&fi=files%2Fam1150%2Fsrimedia%2FR09_0735.MP3&nid=804186
  • Many readers of this blog are freaked out at the Rockets slow start. But let me remind you that the Lethbridge Hurricanes were 4 and 7 in their first 11 games last season. Oh ya, they ended up being Eastern Conference Champions.


Ryan said...

I wouldnt say fans are "freaking out" over the start the Rockets have had, not sure where you see that. I do see fans concerned over the play of a number of guys. We all know the Kelowna media would never dream of being a little controversial with the team, God forbid. Its about time fans here showed a little feeling once in awhile.

what you perceive as freaking out is just fans pointing out the negatives that you dont see or wont admit.

Not sure what Lethbridge starting slow has to do with this team though.

Regan Bartel said...

I just find it hard to critise a team that has played just three games together this season - as a team. A new goalie in game one, McMillan comes back in game two, Almond and Long in game three, Benn in game four and Myers in game five. Only in games six - seven and eight has this lineup played together. Sure they were teammates last season, but it's a new season. I have not denied the struggles the team has faced on the blueline. Curt Gogol was a -6 in his last two games before being a healthy scratch Sunday. Aaron Borejko is still trying to get his feet wet, and the coaching staff are still trying to determine if Stepan Novotny truly compliments Benn and Long on the teams #1 line. Plus this team has played 6 of their first 8 games on the road. As for the Lethbridge comparison, the Hurricanes struggled out of the gates like many do in the early stages of the season. That doesn't mean good teams don't stumble. The Rockets are a good team, yet they too have struggled out of the gates. But give me these early season struggles now, and avoid them in the last week of the season and in the playoffs. The Hurricanes struggled to at this point last season, yet you can't help but notice the Eastern Conference Championship banner in the rafters.

Jared Comeau said...

So here's my take on the Schenn thing Regan. As far as I'm concerned, Schenn should come back...Reason #1 He will be the most dominant Defenceman in the league and get tons more confidence, #2 Be captain of the Rockets, #3 most Likely Captain a gold Medal winning Team Canada, and #4 make a long run into the Playoffs with the Rockets and push for a championship both WHL and CHL. Luke will not see a Championship calibre hockey team for a long long time as long as he plays with the Leafs, so give him a taste of what it's like to get the job done so he can bring that experience to the leafs in the big time next year.

Regan Bartel said...

Even from a contract stand point Jared, would the Leafs not want to pay him his rookie salary next season when they indeed have a team that has a chance at making the playoffs? While no games have been played, the Leafs are projected to be the worst team in the NHL,so paying him his rookie salary doesn't make fiscal sense. Also...do you want your franchise player being in a losing environment?

David's Color Comments said...

I'd like to point out, while the Leafs are picked to be among the bottom of the standings, they are sure to be number one in revenue...and you know me...that's pretty important! This team spent MILLONS this off-season to make players go away, do you really think they are concerned about $850,000.

PS...LA and ATL will be worse...take that Bartel.

Regan Bartel said...

David, a good colour guy wouldn't disagree with me.

Jasperoni said...

Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Toronto all have TWO things in common. They will all be fighting for last place in the league, and that infamous first overall pick which will land them Tavares or Hedman.

And the second? All three teams are dressing their first round defenseman from 2008. Bogosian for Atlanta. Doughty for LA. Schenn for Toronto.

While I agree it would be in Schenn's best interest to come back to Kelowna (play full time minutes, get a nice playoff run, and likely a Gold medal from the WJC) Toronto is simply following suit right now.

Toronto is the joke of the NHL right now. They did absolutely everything in their power to create one of the worst rosters in the NHL, (including that horrible contract they gave to Jeff Finger) and then made the rebuilding process official by trading up for Schenn.

How does that make Toronto look if Atlanta and LA are successful in developing their top defensive prospect while Toronto sends theirs back to the Dub? While I agree it is the best move for both sides, the media will make it seem like the first fatal flaw of the Toronto rebuilding process.