Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Is Novotny a no-go against his old team?

  • I'm not sure we will see Stepan Novotny in the Broncos lineup tonight against his old team. Novotny has missed 8 straight games with a knee injury and hasn't played since November 20th. Novotny has played against the Rockets before, but this game would obviously be played in Kelowna where his junior hockey career began. We will talk to him in the pre-game show regardless.
  • Kyle Verdino will return to where it all started, as the now 19 year-old Broncos' defenceman will play his first game at Prospera Place since being traded last January for a 5th round bantam pick in the 2011 draft. Verdino was originally taken in the 6th round by the Rockets in 2006.
  • Verdino leads the Broncos in penalty minutes.
  • When looking at 2006, only one player remains with the Rockets from that draft. Tyson Barrie was the teams first pick that year. Collin Bowman (2nd round), Jesse Paradis (4th round), Aaron Borejko (5th round), Kyle Verdino (6th round) and Curt Gogol (8th round) have all been traded away.
  • In case you are wondering, Barrie will play tonight and Friday against Red Deer before heading off to the training camp of the Canadian world junior team.
  • Make sure to watch for Broncos forward Cody Eakin. The 19 year-old is a good bet to make Team Canada this year and is one of the best forwards in the Eastern Conference. Eakin has wheels and the ability to score. Amazing to think he was taken in the 3rd round of the NHL draft by Washington.
  • The Broncos have had four players taken in the first round of the NHL draft. Joe Sakic, Tyler Wright and Nathan Smith to name a few. Peter Soberlak was also taken in the first round of the 1987 NHL draft by Edmonton. Soberlak is the Rockets Sports Psychologist.
  • Rockets assistant coach Dan Lambert played 244 games with the Broncos between 1986-90. Lambert had 319 career points.
  • In case you are wondering, the father of Kelowna Rockets forward Mitchell Callahan is Canadian. Mike Callahan was born in Toronto but moved down to California where he was part of the California Hawks of the Pacific Coast Hockey League. The P-C-H-L was a semi-professional league that operated in California, Nevada and Alaska starting in 1970 and ran through 1995, when its members were incorporated into the upstart professional West Coast Hockey League.
  • What are the benefits of the Rockets heading on an Eastern Conference road trip following tonight's game? Outside of the Rebels game on Friday, the Rockets will likely avoid meeting some of the top players on the five teams they face because of the upcoming World Juniors. Red Deer's Ryan Nugent Hopkins will likely play Friday when the Rockets pay a visit while Edmonton's Mark Pysyk is doubtful Saturday and Medicine Hat's Linden Vey shouldn't be in the Tigers lineup next Tuesday when the Rockets visit the 'Gas City'. Of course, outside of Friday's game in Red Deer the Rockets will play this road trip without Tyson Barrie.

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