Thursday, September 6, 2012

Things that make me go hmm

  • With two exhibition games under their belt, it remains unclear who will backup goaltender Jordon Cooke this season. Cooke has played every minute of the first two games, a one goal win in Ladner and a shootout loss to the Giants at Prospera Place. Cam Barnes has been Cooke's backup on both night's but hasn't seen any game action.
  • The announcement this week that Spencer Main's hockey career is over shouldn't come as a surprise. When he failed to suit up for either of the first two pre-season games it raised a red flag. When you've missed as much playing time as Main has over the last year, if healthy, the 20 year-old would be injecting into the line up to work off the rink rust. 
  • I have a positive feel about this team heading into a new season. While I haven't spent a lot of time around the players, my general impression is they like one another and have come together quickly as a group. I think they realize that without a group effort they won't have much success this season.
  • This season is the 22nd in the history of the Rockets organization. This is the franchises 18th in the Okanagan.
  • Damon Severson signed an NHL contract with the New Jersey Devils. While it was made official this week, it actually happened about a week prior to the Devils releasing it to the general public. One of the tough aspects of my job is keeping my mouth shut and letting other media outlets release the details. Once it's released 'officially' by the team, then I don't mind commenting on it. 
  • My hope is the new contract spurs Severson to even greater things. For many junior players, awaiting a contract can be a huge distraction while other NHL teams believe holding the carrot out there, dangling before a prospects eyes, encourages them to grow as a player.    
  • I wish for the sake of the Rockets players, Ryan Huska and Dan Lambert could transform back into the players they were at the prime of their junior hockey careers. I think everyone would get a better appreciation of how skilled and hard working these two coaches were as players. The cheesy mustache's they also fashioned back then would also provide a chuckle for the players.
  • Where will the Rockets finish this season? I can't say they will win the BC Division because the Kamloops Blazers are just too loaded with talent. The Blazers are going to be as good or better than a year ago. I can see them winning 50 games this season. The only difference this season compared to last is the expectations will be far greater then they were at the start of the 2011-2012 campaign.     
  • Two players in the Western Conference that will have big years will be Blazers forward Brendan Ranford and Portland's Ty Rattie. That won't surprise anyone after the terrific seasons they had as 19 and 18 year-old's respectively. I could see both of those players putting up between 115 and 130 points each. 
  • The Rockets open the regular season on the road in Kamloops. It will be the first time since the team re-located to the Okanagan that they have opened the season by visiting their nearest rival. Weird. Last season the Rockets opened the season in Everett with a 5-4 shootout win. Who scored the game winner? Filip Vasko.
  • In the last 16 seasons, the Rockets have played their first game on home ice.
  • In 10 of the last 16 seasons, the Rockets have opened the regular season against an American based team.
  • AM 1150 is proud to announce a new sports program hitting the airwaves this weekend. Eric Stansfield will be hosting 'Inside Sports', a 90 minute local program that will feature interviews and discussion on hockey, football and other local and provincial sports. Inside Sports can be heard every Saturday afternoon from 5 pm until 6:30 pm and is a nice precursor to our Rockets broadcasts this season.
  • Six weeks of holidays are in the books. No, I didn't take them all at once but I am ready to get back to work. The regular season starts two weeks from tonight (Friday) and I think everybody is chomping at the bit to get going.


g.k said...

Hey Regan hope you enjoyed your six weeks of vacay!! I read in one of our local media sources that we have a few injuries to deal with to start the season.. Of course with Spencer retiring that leaves us with one overage, but I've heard we may start the season with no 20yr. olds due to an injury to Mitchell Chapman. Hope I'm wrong but if true where do you think our leadership will come from??

Regan Bartel said...

20 year-old deadline is early October, so we will see some movement there, I believe, on or before that date.