Saturday, September 19, 2009

Observations from Tri City

  • The Tri City Americans will have a banner ceremony of their own before tonight's game. The Americans will unveil a U.S Division regular season championship banner to go with the one they won in 2008. If the truth be told the Americans won't lift the banner to the rafters, but will instead have minor hockey players skate with it to centre ice and unveil it there. The Americans players will then hover around it before it is taken off the ice and placed in the rafters at a later date. Fans can also have their picture taken with the banner between periods. Cool idea.
  • The Toyota Centre received a few upgrades over the summer. Most noticeable is new club seating in a section between the blue lines on the bench side of the arena. The new seats are slightly larger and padded in comparison to the orange plastic theatre style seats that are throughout the arena.
  • It was loud enough as is, but Toyota Centre will be even louder this season. They've installed a new horn in the building (see picture below) that will bellow out every time the Americans score. From a Rockets perspective lets hope that horn is used sparingly tonight.
  • I understand a new visitor dressing room is also under construction, unfortunately the Rockets will use the existing one on this stop.
  • Americans GM Bob Tory came up to our broadcast booth prior to the Rockets morning skate to say hello. Small gesture yes, but I will admit to having a greater appreciation for the man over the last few years, not only for his hockey smarts but just being a good guy.
  • Americans radio broadcaster Craig West will enter his 20th season of calling WHL games in 2009-2010. Westy has called over 15 hundred hockey games over that period, with four different teams. The veteran broadcaster has called games for Spokane, Vancouver, Portland and Tri City. West could write a book about the people and places he's seen over his time behind the mic.
  • We technically didn't get lost when we drove to Kennewick last night, but a detour with no signage anywhere had us taking several side streets to make it to the hotel. The bridge that we are suppose to cross is under construction, so we were told to use another route. The problem is, with no signage to help you even a GPS system becomes somewhat obsolete. I finally had to tell Gord McGarva to shut off the female voice from the GPS system after she repeatedly told me to - 'turn around' .

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