I’m all for the concept of parity that has inundated the Western Hockey League but as far as trade deadline deals, speculation and innuendo goes, she just ain’t what used to be.
In just over a week’s time, on January 14, the WHL’s trade deadline will have past and with the emerging trend of too much demand, not enough supply, this year’s round of poker will have lots of players, all wanting to draw some cards, but few wanting to meet the ante.
Every year the Christmas wish list gets extended a few weeks in the WHL because of the multitude of G.M.’s still searching for that elusive cog that could push their club over the top, put them into contention to make some noise in the playoffs or augment an already powerful lineup. Looking for the bargain deal, most of the gifts this year have been opened early in the season long before the economics of supply and demand had put their prices into the stratosphere.
B.C. Division -In the B.C. Division, where four of the five clubs have a legitimate shot of reaching the Western Conference final, the shopping could be all but done. Teams such as Kootenay, Kelowna and Kamloops have all made deals that are designed to address certain needs. Kootenay and Kelowna both revamped their goaltending situations by adding B.J. Boxma and Shane Bendera, respectively. Kelowna also tinkered with their defensive corps with the addition of former ICE blueliner Jesse Ferguson and Kevin Young out of Portland in October. In continuing the trend of adding former Kootenay players, Nick Marach joined the Rockets in a deal from Vanc Read more»
There is the old adage said among mountain climbers when asked why they risk their lives to climb grand peaks: “Because it is there”. It seems that answer really is the subconscious driving force in most humans, to answer that call to accomplish something that simply “was there” and moved them to action.
Remember when you were a small child playing in some setting where there was a tall hill? Whether it was a large dirt-pile at a construction site or a natural slope that was formed naturally by the earth, the odds are that you climbed that hill. Sweating and breathing heavy, remember that feeling when you got to the peak and stared down at everything below, that feeling of accomplishment, solitude, and peacefulness?
With that being said, Mountain climbing has become one of the most talked about and followed activities for the professional and amateurs alike. When Sir Edmund Hillary became the first Man to summit on Everest in 1953, Mountain Climbing became a source of national pride for England and a world-wide phenomenon was born. Since than, countless books, movies, documentaries, and companies have came into existence to fuel this global obsession with Mountain Climbing.
There is one site on the Internet that has fast become the pre-eminent place to get virtually almost any kind of information on Mountain climbing, EverestNews.com
The Czech Republic got some vindication, Team Quebec jumped for joy and Team Western watched its medal hopes vanish.
That summed up the fifth day of the World Under 17 Hockey Challenge, where the Czechs bounced back from a heart-breaking, disputed setback on Tuesday to play the role of spoiler last night in front of 2,063 fans at the Selkirk Arena.
The Czechs, who protested their 5-4 loss to Quebec on Tuesday but had it thrown out yesterday morning, got four goals from Jakub Sindel — his first of the tournament — in a 7-2 thumping of tournament host Team Western.
Team Western, which finished 2-2 and only needed a win or tie last night to qualify for the playoffs, fell to fourth in Pool A and will play for seventh place today against Team Atlantic in Stonewall at 2 o’clock.
“It’s very disappointing,” said Western forward Stefan Meyer, who had a second-period goal. “For the past games it looked like we came to win, but tonight it looked like we just had no desire to win. That Czech team worked hard tonight and they deserved this win more than us.”
Team Quebec was smiling because its 2-1-1 record in Pool A after a 4-4 draw with Team USA yesterday afternoon landed it in a semifinal tonight (7:30) in Stonewall against Team Pacific, which beat Russia 5-0 last night in Stonewall to finish at 4-0.
The U.S. (3-0-1) will play 3-1 Team Ontario, who blanked Finland 3-0 yesterday, in the other semifinal tonight in Selkirk at 7:30.
Team Western had a 35-25 edge in the shot department, but Czech netminder Vladislav Koutsky made some outst Read more»
The World Junior Hockey Championships is always extremely interesting to watch. It’s fun to observe many of the players that will be tomorrow’s stars in the NHL before the big bucks change their love for the game. This year’s tournament has been a roller coaster ride with plenty of upsets and lots of sidebars that have made the action extremely entertaining. Team Canada has found itself in the thick of things and has found an old rivalry against the Russian bear boil over. The players have made this something to remember, in more ways that one.
There have been some excellent performances, and some that make you scratch your head. Some players make you sit straight up when they make a play, and others make you hide your eyes before they play the puck. Because many of these young men have been drafted, or scrutinized to death, certain expectations are placed on these players, sometimes unfairly. Consider that when reading the reviews. They are one person’s opinion of what has been observed in a short tournament, one that is really not long enough to properly gauge a player except to flag him for further scouting, against the best competition possible for the age group of the players in question.
Jay Bouwmeester – The un-drafted Bouwmeester has been in the public spotlight for several years now. He has been touted as the number one pick for the 2002 NHL Entry Draft for three years. If there was a player that had unfair expectations to live up to, it is Jay Bouwmeester. Funny thing is that this kid lives up to them, Read more»
Greg Watson, a front-line power forward for the Prince Albert Raiders of the Western Hockey League, is on a roll.
After a slow start to his Western Hockey League season, Watson has exploded to produce 18 goals and 15 assists for 29 points in 27 games.
The slow start wasn’t a problem to his team because he was still playing with heart and determination, said head coach Wade Klippenstein.
“Offensively his numbers weren’t what he wanted them to be but I still thought he was playing hard and reasonably well.”
With a hat trick on Nov. 20 against the Swift Current Broncos and then another on Nov. 28 against the Medicine Hat Tigers, Watson took his point tally to 26 points in 26 games.
After counting two goals and one assist for a three-point game Nov. 30 in Calgary against the Hitmen (a 5-4 overtime loss), the 6-foot-2, 200-pound Watson said he might have found his groove.
“I’m starting to get the feel,” the Calgary native said. “I finally found a pattern of sticks I like and things are just bouncing my way right now.”
The WHL also recognized the streak of points and Watson was awarded Player of the Week after recording eight points in four games in the week ending Dec. 2.
After going 0-11-1-2 on the road at the start of this season, Watson guided the Raiders to their first road victory of the campaign.
Despite his Raiders being out shot 32-31, Watson had a five-point night with a trio of goals and two assists to lead his team to a 6-2 win over the Tigers.
Klippenstein can see Watson warming up and Read more»