|Vin Scully knows when to 'shut up'.|
- Kim Dillabaugh has one Stanley Cup ring. Would he like another? The Kelowna Rockets goaltending coach is also a goaltending consultant with the LA Kings, meaning he will be at Staples Center tonight for game one of the Stanley Cup final between the Kings and the New York Rangers. Dillabaugh was with the Kings when they won hockey's holy grail back in 2012. Dillabaugh primarily works with the Kings goaltending prospects but worked extensively with Jonathan Quick when he was cutting his teeth at the American Hockey League level.
- How would you like to live in a hotel for a month? If you are wondering what its like, just ask Ryan Olsen. The Kelowna Rockets forward has been hanging out in a hotel in St. John's Newfoundland while practicing with the American Hockey League's IceCaps during their long playoff run towards the Calder Cup. Olsen hasn't played a game, but is a group of Winnipeg Jets prospects that are along for the ride and could see duty if a regular is injured. "We have had to eat out every single day since I have been here. I haven't had a home cooked meal since I left Kelowna", Olsen told me this morning on an off day. The IceCaps face the Texas Stars in the Calder Cup final which begins Sunday.
- Several WHL teams have updated their jersey colour scheme over the last couple of years. This week the Swift Current Broncos went back to the uniforms they wore when they broke into the league in 1986. I wonder if the Kelowna Rockets change things up considering this season marks their 20th in the Okanagan in 2014-2015.
- If Brian Gionta doesn't resign with the Montreal Canadiens, wouldn't Josh Gorges be a nice choice for captain of the Habitants?
- NHL prospect Sam Bennett raised eyebrows this week when he was unable to do one pull up at the Combine in Toronto. I am a little surprised he couldn't do one, but have you ever attempted to do a pull up? Try it. I dare ya! I am a little bit of a gym rat so I know the strength and technique needed to execute one properly. Trust me, Bennett is not a bad player because he can't execute a pull up. If he can't shoot a puck or skate, then he is in massive trouble.
- The NHL draft will see Kelowna Rockets Justin Kirkland taken somewhere in the late second or third round. When he is chosen, just remember he didn't play major junior until he was 17. The lanky forward spent his 16 year-old year playing midget hockey in Wilcox Saskatchewan (Notre Dame). Did that extra year in midget hurt? Not one bit.
- I read an interesting article on legendary broadcaster Vin Scully. The one quote that stood out was when Scully said, 'I've learned to shut up'. That is so true. Some times its best to keep your yap shut.
- The Kelowna Rockets will have one prospect attending the WHL's Combine this weekend at the Capital News Centre. Jonathon Smart, the teams first round pick in April's bantam draft, will be there.
Prospects will be put through the paces at the Combine, which is designed to assist players with their skill development, with on ice testing, tips and seminars. Rockets Head Coach Ryan Huska will make a presentation to players attending on the benefits of playing in the WHL.
- An interesting hire indeed for the Saskatoon Blades this week. Bob Woods leaves his assistant coaching position with the NHL's Anaheim Ducks and will guide the Blades for the next five seasons. I only find it interesting that an NHL assistant coach comes back to major junior in the hopes of getting some additional head coaching experience with the goal of eventually moving back to the 'bigs' as a full time bench boss. And to think Woods traded in the sunshine of California for the cold winter nights on the Saskatchewan prairies. He likely won't say it publicly, but on several occasions he will mutter to himself, 'What did I do'?
- Now that the Montreal Canadiens are out of the playoffs, lots of talk about how good Brendan Gallagher was leading up to the Eastern Conference final. Gallagher is a smallish player with a MASSIVE heart. He just doesn't quit. But honestly, how many small players are out there that play with that type of effort and can do it at an elite level? Gallagher is a special player and I am not sure many can match what he brings in a small package.
- The Blue Jays are sparking my interest. I know it is only June, but I am watching the out of town scoreboard closely hoping the team stays atop the division and has what it takes in October. Will the bubble burst? I am enjoying the fact they have won 14 of their last 17 games and are in first place. I thought they would suck this year. That said, I thought they would be good last season and they really struggled.
- The Saskatchewan Roughriders are holding training camp in Saskatoon this year. I remember as a teenager driving up from Swift Current with a buddy of mine and spending the weekend watching the Riders workout. Even back then, in the mid 80's when the team was horrible, we were still diehards.
- The BC Lions hold training camp at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops. Remember the days when the Lions held camp in Kelowna? I understand the set up for the Lions in the 'Loops' is outstanding and they are looking at staying there long term.