Sunday, May 4, 2014

Steve Papp for MC assignment?/Don't forget about Habscheid.

Kelowna's own Steve Papp
  • An impressive start for the Portland Winterhawks in the first two games of the Western Hockey League final against the Edmonton Oil Kings. The defending league champs earned a 5-2 win in game one and did it without forward Brendan Leipsic. The 19 year-old was tagged with a one game suspension for his spear on Kelowna Rockets forward Tyrell Goulbourne in game five of the Western Conference final. With the Nashville Predators draft pick back in the line up for game two, the Winterhawks earned a 3-1 win. Portland has now won an impressive 25 straight games on home ice and have lost only twice in the playoffs to the Rockets and Victoria Royals.
  • I would be surprised if the Winterhawks win both games in Edmonton as the series switches to Rexall Place for games three and four this week. The Oil Kings are also flawless on home ice in post season.  Will the Winterhawks win the series and represent the WHL for the second consecutive season? Portland is getting the goaltending they need to get the job done and need no help in generating offense at the other end of the ice. 
  • Nice to see Kelowna resident Steve Papp being rewarded for his efforts as one of a handful of referee's used in the WHL final. Here is hoping that Papp calls a strong game or two and is given the honour of representing the league at the Memorial Cup in London Ontario later this month. 
  • Two members of the Kelowna Rockets are undergoing surgery this summer. Mitch Wheaton will go under the knife for shoulder surgery while teammate Tyrell Goulbourne will have bone chips removed from his elbow. Wheaton underwent shoulder surgery after last years playoff run but this time the right side will get the attention instead of his left shoulder.
  • Leading scorer Myles Bell will be spending the summer in Kelowna while rooming with teammate Carter Rigby. I ran into the two of them at the Parkinson Rec Centre on Sunday as they were watching a billet families son playing flag football. Rigby and Bell will be doing construction work this summer to pay the bills. 
  • Last week I suggested the likely candidate to back up veteran Jackson Whistle in goal next season may be rookie Jake Morrisey. Morrisey may also find himself battling for the spot with Okanagan Rockets goaltender Brendan Barry. The 1997 born player was instrumental in helping his team reach the Telus Cup where the midget's earned a bronze medal. Barry was listed by the Rockets.
  • I will admit I am not a big Montreal Canadiens fan, but how can you not cheer for them considering they are Canada's only hope in the NHL playoffs? And if that isn't enough to convince you, how about the fact Rockets alumni Josh Gorges and Travis Moen are apart of the team? And don't forget about former Vancouver Giants agitator Brendan Gallagher. OK, Gallagher was a hated member of the G-Men in his days in the WHL, but you can't but admire the courage he plays with against the much larger Boston Bruins.
  • With Don Hay taking over the head coaching duties with the Kamloops Blazers, we now have three WHL teams' needing to fill head coaching vacancies. The Giants have an opening along with the Calgary Hitmen and Saskatoon Blades. Several names have been thrown about as possible candidates. Let me throw Marc Habscheid's name into the ring. Would he not be a good fit specifically in Saskatoon? Habscheid is a former alumnus. Now 51, Habscheid has coached in Kamloops, Kelowna and Victoria and has had success .What is unclear is if he wants to get back into the coaching racket or keep a low profile at his home in Southwest Saskatchewan.   
  • Sixteen year-old Nick Merkley tells me he will be spending time training over the next couple of weeks with Rockets Athletic Therapist Scott Hoyer. Merkley is completing his grade 10 here in the Okanagan before spending the majority of the summer back in Calgary where he will be working out  at Crash Conditioning. The WHL rookie of the year wants to take time off after his first season of major junior hockey, but the sky is the limit if the soft spoken forward comes back to training camp this September in unbelievable shape. 
  • You know line-mate Rourke Chartier will be in tip top shape. The 18 year-old is often the most impressive physical specimen at training camp. Let's hope this summer his name is heard at the NHL draft so his tireless work ethic is rewarded in a significant way.


Devilsfan992 said...

Hey Regan, how severe does Myles injury look? When do you think he will return? Also do you find it definite the Devils sign him this summer.

Regan Bartel said...

I saw him this weekend. Won't need surgery so no need to worry about his knee.

Devilsfan992 said...

That's great news! Hope he makes it pro