Monday, September 12, 2011

Adam eyes Wednesday's debut with Oilers

  • Kelowna Rockets goaltender Adam Brown will see his first game action with the Edmonton Oilers Wednesday night at the Young Stars tournament in Penticton. The Oilers face the Calgary Flames on that night. Brown will back up Tyler Bunz Tuesday night when Edmonton faces the Winnipeg Jets rookies. Brown is rooming with Olivier Roy during the tournament.
  • I will be in Penticton tomorrow night to watch the Oilers-Jets game. It will be a chance to catch up with Brian Munz, who is now the voice of the Winnipeg Jets and is calling the games on radio at the Young Stars tournament.
  • Head Coach Ryan Huska and GM Bruce Hamilton will be in Calgary Tuesday to get a clearer understanding of how the WHL plans to tackle blows to the head. The league will unveil the seven point plan they have come up with. I am just wondering how a blow to the head penalty will look like when the referee makes the call in a game and translates that through sign language to the off-ice officials and the awaiting fans that are wondering why a penalty was called.
  • My understanding is a blow to the head can result in a two minute minor or a five minute major.    
  • It will be interesting to see if the coaches are held somewhat responsible for the actions of their players when it comes to head shots. Do coaches face fines or suspensions if their players step out of line? Guess we will find out.
  • I was asked the other day why I often gravitate to some players rather than others when it comes to radio interviews. The honest truth is I go with the players that best express themselves. Ask any member of the media and they will tell you a three word answer by a player is a quick way of sending a message to the interviewer that they likely won't have this one sided conversation again. If a player wants media attention, he needs to express himself, or in a worst case scenario, give it an honest shot.
  • The best example of a new player who has really come a long way when it comes to interviews is 16 year-old Tyson Baillie. I interviewed Baillie last season when he joined the Rockets in Kamloops as a 15 year-old. He was shy and honestly had little to say, but what a difference just a couple of months make. Baillie won't be hosting his own talk show anytime soon, but the rookie forward has made some huge strides in expressing himself which makes for a more interesting subject to interview. Maturity has a lot to do with improving ones interviewing skills, but I've spoken to many 19 year-old veterans that just can't carry a conversation. I know these players are here to play hockey, not shine when the mic or TV camera is in their face, but improving your public relation/media relation skills is part of being a pro player.  
  • My understanding is the Rockets are still using their old elbow and shoulder pads during the pre-season. That will all change when the new softer capped elbow and shoulder pads are implemented for the start of the regular season.
  • I had a good conversation with Rockets goaltendering coach Kim Dillabaugh Monday morning at the arena. 'Dilly' is a class act and pleasure to be around. I have respect for his ability to help both Adam Brown and Jordon Cooke perfect their craft. I hope both goaltenders realize how fortunate they are to have Dillabaugh in their back pocket. 
  • It is amazing the success the Rockets have had when it comes to 20 year-old goalies. Mark Guggenberger, Kris Westblom, Derek Yeomans (traded in 20 yr old season), Kevin Swanson and Kelly Guard are a few examples. No shame in Brown returning for his overage season.
  • It is only pre-season, but it's interesting that the Rockets have allowed just one-first period goal in four exhibition games. Conversely the Rockets have scored seven-opening period markers. 
  • Back to Brown, the 20 year-old will set a new franchise record for games played this season. Brown is closing in on franchise leader Kevin Swanson.        


Tim said...

Hi Regan,

The sign for checking to the head is the referee touching his helmet with his left hand, open palmed (similar to the kneeing signal, just on the head instead of knee).

In the 2010-11 NHL rulebook there is officially no provision for a minor for checking to the head (major or nothing). Not sure about 2011-12, or what the WHL rules call for. I was at the preseason tournament in Everett and there were several checking-to-the-head majors and no minors.

Regan Bartel said...

Tim, thanks for the clarification. I just got off the phone with coach Huska and he explained it to me. Appreciate you dropping by with a response.

Tim said...

Please post if you find out whether minors are in the rulebook. Obviously, if head-checks can only be called as 5s or nothing, it will significantly change how they are called. Curious to know...