Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Things that make me go hmm.....

  • Kelowna Rockets GM Bruce Hamilton has a few busy days ahead of him. Hamilton will represent the WHL as the Moose Jaw Warriors play their first regular season home game Thursday in a brand new building. Two night's later he is headed off to Victoria for the Royals home opener Saturday night. Add it all up and Hamilton will be unable to watch his own team open the new season in Everett this weekend.
  • The Rockets could be short staffed on defense this weekend if Madison Bowey and Kevin Smith are unable to play. Bowey played in just three of six pre-season games after suffering a knee injury and Smith was the recipient of a knee in a game against the Vancouver Giants Saturday night. No pressure on rookies Jesse Lees and Colten Martin in game one.
  • The Rockets will start the season with four-16 year-old's. The last time the team had that number or more was back in 2006-07 when Tyler Myers, Riley McIntosh, Dylan Hood, Brandon McMillan and Evan Bloodoff were cutting their teeth at 16. That season's youth movement saw the Rockets win just 22 games and miss the playoffs for the only time in franchise history. Hood made the team as a listed player while the other four were all bantam picks from 2005.
  • Just to bring things into perspective, those five-16 year-old's played a lot in 2006-07. Myers played 59 games while McMillan played 55. Dylan Hood played 47 games while Riley McIntosh dressed for 42 games in his rookie season. Evan Bloodoff, who started that season as a 15 year-old, dressed in 59 games.
  • Be gentle on the young defenceman on the Rockets blue line this season. The learning curve is immense and their errors are often easier to identify than the miscues by the forwards. Remember, Tyler Myers was a -21 in his first season of junior hockey.
  • Producing offensively as a 16 year-old doesn't come easy at the WHL level. Here are a few examples of Rockets alumni that have had success at that tender age: Tyson Barrie had 43 points while Rory McDade had 38 points including an impressive 15 goals. Mike Card had 29 points as a 16 year-old defenceman while Kiel McLeod had 12 goals and 27 points, also at 16.
  • Roster's have yet to be finalized, but it is safe to say the Rockets will ice one of the youngest teams in the WHL this season.
  • Sixteen year-old's rarely score in their first WHL game. The last 16 year-old I can remember scoring a goal in a Rockets uniform was Kyle St. Denis, when he was called up from the Vernon Vipers. Shane McColgan scored in his first WHL game, but he was just 15. The goal came in Edmonton.
  • Who takes the first 'hit to the head' penalty? Eighteen year-old Jessey Astles was the only Rockets player to take such a penalty during the pre-season. He was accessed a double minor.
  • 17. That is the number of players on the Rockets roster selected in the WHL bantam draft by Lorne Frey.
  • Colton Sissons, Adam Brown, Carter Rigby, Mitchell Chapman, Cody Chikie, MacKenzie Johnston and Kevin Smith were all acquired through trade or listed. Filip Vasko was a selection in the CHL Import draft.
  • I am excited to be headed to Everett for the season opener. Great building, solid fan base and a great set up for the visiting team. Love the national anthem singer and the dance for your dinner promotion really works there because the fans let go of their inhibitions and let loose. The cruise down the I-5 with a stop at the outlet store is on the agenda.
  • Am I the only one that thinks Tyler Maxwell will score 50 goals this season? The Tips forward had 41 last season as a 19 year-old on a team that struggled in the offensive zone. Something tells me Maxwell won't be celebrating that 50th goal in a Tips uniform though.
  • The five BC Division broadcasters are joining Dan Russell for our regular round-table WHL preview show Wednesday night. It is a chance for us broadcasters to talk about how great our teams are, how they have no flaws and the fans should be ready for a Memorial Cup run. Then Russell asks all of us to give our prediction on who will win the BC Division title. We tend to all cower and suggest anybody but the team we broadcast for will win the division. Saying the team you follow will win it all is bad karma.
  • For the record, the team I usually predict finishing first often fades in the standings. One year I picked Kamloops, only for the Blazers to miss the playoffs. I thought Chilliwack had what it took to win it all one year and they tanked. Who will be my next victim? Find out during Dan Russell's Sportstalk, heard Monday through Sunday on AM 1150 between 9 pm and midnight.


bigkev said...

have they gave out the " C " yet

acco said...

Hey Regan, is there a link where we can listen to a re-broadcast of Dan Russell's wed night show (The WHL preview)?

Regan Bartel said...

CKNW's website has an 'vault' where archived programs are stored. Just look on the left side of the home page and you should see it there.