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Archive for July, 2011

Hawks Trade Jorgenson

Posted by Darryl Skender on July 30, 2011

The Nipawin Hawks traded defenceman Dallas Jorgenson to the Estevan Bruins for future considerations. The 6’1″ 200 pound defenceman had 6 assists and 84 penalty minutes in 53 games last season with the Black & Gold. Coach & GM Doug Johnson said, “Dallas is one of those guys that every team needs and we wanted to do what’s best for him and that was move him to Estevan where he can get a little more ice time and also with the new rink and facility, it’s going to be a great experience.” Johnson said that he’d still like to get a couple ’93 forwards signed and that the club’s backend is looking solid.

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Mustangs Add Defenceman

Posted by Darryl Skender on July 30, 2011

The Melfort Mustangs have added 18 year old defenceman Cody Brown from Alberta Midget ‘AAA’ Hockey League. Brown was the captain of the UFA Bisons last season. He had 3 assists in 25 regular season games last season to go along with 71 penalty minutes. Stangs coach & GM Gavin Holcomb said, “We’ve had a lot of good reads on Cody and we’ve had an opportunity to meet him and his parents. He’s excited. He’s a big kid and we’re expecting him to step in and play a significant role right away.” Holcomb said there will be more moves in the future. He said the team is still looking for at least a couple more bodies.

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Q & A With Dean Brockman

Posted by Darryl Skender on July 30, 2011

I spoke with Dean Brockman about a week or so ago. Here is what he had to say.

Q- What future consideration trades are still pending?
A- We have a couple. One is with Spencer Braaten. We’ve come to an agreement on a player and that announcement will come later in August. We have the 2 kids we sent out East still pending. The 2 players we asked for in return do not want to report so we just have to do some more wheeling and dealing again and see if we can find the right players that will come back to us.

Q- I know there is a lot of competetion for jobs right now but what is the 20 year old situation like right now?
A- Well we’re a little bit high right now but we do have a few older guys that are hurt so it buys some time for me to get rid of some guys. This summer is a little bit different Darryl than most summers, things change on a daily basis. Right now we have too many and hope to cut that number back but in the same breath, we might not need to.

Q- In past years, you’ve waited until well into the season to name a captain, are you going to name one before this season starts?
A- Yeah I think so, we’re going to have a little bit of time to look at that. Taylor Johnson finished the year as our captain, we assessed how he did and thought he did a good job. Unfortunately he’s going to miss the start of the season with an undisclosed injury. He’ll eventually be our team captain but at the start we’ll have to fill for him.

Q- Will there be any changes to the coaching staff this year?
A- Both Tim and Murray will be back, we’re excited about that. Brett is is going to be our trainer again so it’s great to have that consistancy for a few years now. I’m looking forward to working with those guys again.

Q- Any thought of having a second trainer for the RBC Cup like you did in your last couple?
A- I haven’t thought that far ahead. We might add another assistant coach on a part-time basis as well. That might become a dual role with helping us and helping Brett. It would have to be on a volunteer basis and sometimes that’s not easy to find.

Q- What about uniforms for this year, are they going to change?
A- They’re not going to change immediately. You saw a glimpse of our new road jersey last year and that will become our permanent road jersey. As far as our home jersey, that’ll be unveiled in December or maybe even January. We want to keep everyone in suspense.

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Broncos AGM Recap

Posted by Darryl Skender on July 23, 2011

The Humboldt Broncos know how to hold an AGM. They started on time and 30 minutes later, it was over. I’ve been to AGM’s that have lasted 3 hours so this was a nice change. President Bob Johnston and coach & GM Dean Brockman were the only 2 speakers. Bob talked about logisitics and events while Dean talked about his on-ice product.

Here were some of the key points:

* The Broncos lost money in 2010/2011 although it won’t be known until next month how much. That’s when the books will be done.
* The Hall of Fame Game was slightly profitable, exhibition game against Sweden broke even, their comedy night made money as did their lottery.
* Many thanks were handed out to board members, fans, volunteers etc.
* Talked about new electronic ticketing system including 50/50 for upcoming season.
* Billets will still receive $330 dollars per month but will also get a free youth ticket for every game to go along with the adult ticket they were already getting.
* The Humboldt Broncos Golf Tournament will be held August 27th.
* Season tickets went on sale on Thursday. Prices: $299/$199/$129 (slightly up from last season). Gate admission will be $14/$10/$7.
* The goal for season tickets this year is 750 (to break even)
* The operating budget is $650 000 dollars.
* It is believed Hockey Canada will be at the home opener so they’d like to fill the stands for that game.
* The team is in need of billets and volunteers.
* The night ended with board nominations. There are no new board members as of yet and 10 of a possible 12 positions are filled.

That was the AGM in a nutshell. I spoke with Dean afterwards and will post his comments on my next post.

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Bronco Fans Need Not Worry About Breitkreuz

Posted by Darryl Skender on July 18, 2011

All the talk about Clarke Breitkreuz leaving the Broncos to play pro hockey in Germany is just that… talk. Our sports department got a hold of Clarke today and he dispelled the rumour. Branden Crowe asked him about the rumours. Breitkreuz said that it’s just a tryout next month, basically to be evaluated for the future if he decides to go that route, but it won’t affect this season with the Humboldt Broncos. He said he hasn’t been offered a contract and that’s the only way he could leave. The 6′ 180 pounder says he plans to play for the Green & Gold this year and bring home another Credit Union Cup.

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Mustangs Add Goaltender

Posted by Darryl Skender on July 18, 2011

The Melfort Mustangs have given themselves some depth in between the pipes. Last year’s back up Jesse Ehnisz (who will be a 20 year old this year) will be competing for a job against another veteran this season.

Jesse Wilkins, a Calgary native, was acquired from the Sioux Lookout Flyers of the SIJHL where his record wasn’t great (10-26-3-1) but had good numbers with a 3.92 GAA and a .906 save percentage. He was the Flyers #1 goalie as an 18 year old last year. Melfort gave up future considerations in return.

Mustangs head coach & GM Gavin Holcomb said, “It’s important in this league to have 2 goaltenders that can play. We feel Jesse Wilkins really helps solidify a position in net and just makes us stronger overall.” Holcomb also said he wants to see a good competative healthy rivalry between the 2 once training camp begins. The 2 should be able to push each other which makes both of them better. Gavin was also quick to point out that there is not a #1 goalie in his mind as of yet and has some prospects coming into camp that could surprise as well.

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I’m Back

Posted by Darryl Skender on July 18, 2011

It’s my first day back from my week off which I enjoyed quite a bit. There has been a lot that has been happening. First of all, I’d like to say congratulations to Branden Crowe who we’ve hired to help out with afternoon sports as well as some SJHL and Long Lake Hockey League broadcasts. He will also be the new Mustangs webcast broadcaster. Branden had been working with us as mostly a news guy before Gino DePaoli departed for Alberta.

The Humboldt Broncos will be having their AGM on Wednesday at 7:00 at the Youth Centre in the Uniplex. Everyone is welcome to attend. Speaking of the Broncos, I have updated the RBC Cup portion of the website with another report which will run tomorrow and Friday on our stations. The Melfort Mustangs AGM has been rescheduled to August 8th at 7 PM at the Kerry Vickar Centre. The agenda will remain the same.

I called former Nipawin Hawks coach Colin O’Hara on July 4th when it was announced he has taken over as head coach of the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. He wasn’t in so I left him a message saying that I’d like to do an interview with him as a feel-good story where he could thank Nipawin (his first junior ‘A’ head coaching job) etc. to put a positive spin on an ugly story. He never called me back. I’ve always been positive on the radio and on my blog regarding O’Hara despite the allegations that surrounded him and the way he treated me at the end. During his last game (before the board told him to quit or he’d be fired), I asked him for our usual pre-game interview. O’Hara, who was sitting down replied, “I’m not getting up.” He did the interview reluctantly. During the post game show, he gave me a one-word answer which is a slap in the face to a broadcaster. I said, is that all you have to say? That’s when he said the infamous “F” bomb on the radio. I ended it there and that’s the last time that I spoke with him.

On a brighter note, the draw for the Nipawin Hawks pontoon boat raffle is on Wednesday at the Nipawin exhibition. Yes, I put in my $100 for a ticket and am crossing my fingers. I believe there are a few tickets left if you still want to get in. I’d like to thank Dennis Botterill for helping me out with getting the stories on the air. The organization also held their first annual Walleye Challenge over the weekend.

At the IFAF Senior World Football championship in Germany, Team Canada got a silver medal on Saturday. There were 5 current or former U of S Huskies involved on the team. They were:

Head coach Brian Towriss (Special teams coach for Team Canada)
RB David Stevens
DL Brian Guebert
Safety Bryce McCall
DL David Rybinski

Canada lost 50-7 to the USA in the Gold Medal game. David Stevens got the lone touchdown for Canada.

In the round robin, here were Canada’s results:

Canada 45 France 10
Austria 36 Canada 14
Canada 31 Japan 27

In other recent Huskie news, I attended their press conference a couple weeks ago and it was announced that they were expanding Griffiths Stadium seating. 1174 news seats will be added which includes 880 premium seats. Those seats are close to 2 feet wide with cup holders and arm rests as opposed to the bleacher style seats in the rest of the stadium. David Dube and Heather Ryan are funding this project which will hopefully be ready for the Dogs regular season home opener on September 2nd. It is unlikely to be ready for the non-conference game against Windsor the week before. Season tickets are already on sale . Call 966-1111 to get yours.

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This Week’s RBC Cup Report Done

Posted by Darryl Skender on July 5, 2011

The “Road To The RBC Cup” report is done and inserted in the RBC Cup section of my website. It features the 2006 national championship. It will be of special interest to Yorkton Terrier fans as they went to the big game that year. I’d like to thank GX94’s Craig Stein for helping me with some contact information as well as our own Branden Crowe for helping with some of the interviews.

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One On One With Hawks Doug Johnson

Posted by Darryl Skender on July 1, 2011

It’s been an interesting off-season for the Nipawin Hawks so far to say the least. There was a lot of hype last season about the fact that they didn’t have a single 20 year old on the squad and every player was eligible to return. Of course we all knew that isn’t realistic but certainly one would expect fewer than usual transactions with the main core returning. Doug Johnson has made 3 trades in June, all of which are intriguing. The latest move involves bringing in goaltender Davis Jones from Fort Mac for forward Jamie Johnson. Of course, Brody Hoffman is eligible to return for the Black & Gold. There was talk last season also that Tanner Dusyk could be a 3 year captain, but he was also dealt for Eric Peterson and Jesse Williamson. It wasn’t overly surprising that Brendan Tash got traded, maybe just the fact that it was to their arch-rival Melfort Mustangs. Doug has been down south for a lot of the off-season, both in the States and in Climax, SK on the farm. I caught up with Doug to see what has been happening. Here is part of that Q & A:

Q- You’ve been involved in several trades this year. Is this out of neccessity to improve the team or did you have your hand forced by the players?

A- I’ve said I’m not going to trade a kid just because he wants out. You look at our trades, I think we got very good returns for all the deals. With the Tash trade to Melfort, I think that a change of scenery is going to benefit both Tash and the Nipawin Hawks… You look at the Tanner Dusyk trade, Tanner was a huge part of out team last year but we were able to get 2 quality players. Eric Peterson put up as many points as Tanner did last season, then we also get a 6’3″ defenceman in Jesse Williamson that’s really going to anchor the back-end. Now the one trade, it wasn’t forced on us but Jamie Johnson is going through some personal issues and he wanted to get closer to home. His dad is in Fort MacMurray, it was a fit that worked out. Davis Jones is a goalie that we ‘ve targeted for a while and we’re very happy to acquire him.

Q- With the loss of your captain, who are you looking towards not to just fill in as captain but for a leadership role?

A- Most people that are close to the organization know that I let the players vote on the captain and assistants. I will do that again this year. We had some very good leaders last season that didn’t have an “A” or a “C” like a Steven Jean or a Scott Bollefer. Dan Szerlip I really thought stepped up…

Q- You brought Chad McLeod into the fold, how important was that?

A- I think adding Chad may was our biggest acqusition this summer because of his work with goalies and his experience coaching. Something that hasn’t been brought up is his recruiting in the U.S.  He just loves being on the road. Every weekend when I talk to him, he’s either in Denver or in Fargo or in Nashville working camps. He’s not just scouting, he’s working but while he’s working he is able to recruit. He loves being on the phone, he loves talking to kids, family and recruiting. That’s going to pay huge dividends. He’s had a few commitments from some guys. We have a 6’6″  defenceman coming in. There’s some skilled forwards he’s working on that we’re hoping in the next week or 2 we’ll get commitments from…

Q- What was the purpose of bringing a third goalie into the fold?

A- Obviously we’re going to have to make another move. I’ve discussed with the guy we’re going to move, he’s ok with it and we’ll just make sure we get him in a good spot. Right now we have a few things on the go. We’re just trying to make sure it works for both parties. It’s going to take a little more time than anticipated but hopefully we’ll get something done in the next 2 weeks.

Q- How competetive are the Hawks going to be this season?

A- Until you get the guys on the ice, it’s tough to say we’re going to be very good or it’s going to be a rebuilding year. Last year didn’t go the way we had planned. We took our lumps, this year we need to be better. We need to make playoffs and get a round or 2 under our belts. I don’t foresee us selling off our 20 year olds at the deadline, no. I foresee us going out and acquiring a player that will make us better and by at end of the day, make sure we’re right there with the elite of the SJHL.

The one thing one has to admire about Doug is he’ll answer the questions no matter how tough they are. He should be back in Nipawin on Tuesday after a pretty hectic schedule. Of course the SJHL has just released it’s schedule and Nipawin’s first game will be September 16th in La Ronge. Their first home game will be the very next night against Flin Flon.

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