Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Raiders Need A New Coach

The Prince Albert Raiders announced today that they have chosen not to renew the contract of Head Coach Steve Young.

Young has served in various capacities with the Raiders, after joining the team as an Assistant Coach in 2008-2009, and took over the Head Coaching duties in October 2011.

After a strong start to the season, the Raiders had an inconsistent second half followed by a first round playoff exit to the Red Deer Rebels in four games.

“We would like to thank Steve and his family for their commitment to the Raiders organization for the last 5 years,” said Raiders General Manager Bruno Campese. “Steve is a first class individual and a true professional. We wish him all the best in his future endeavours.”

Mullinder Retires A Rider

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today that non-import defensive lineman Luc Mullinder has signed a one-day contract with the team and will subsequently retire as a Roughrider.

A nine year CFL veteran, Mullinder played eight consecutive seasons (2004-2011) with the Roughriders after being selected by the team in the fourth round (31st overall) of the 2004 Canadian Draft. He also played for the Montreal Alouettes and Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

“Luc was a great teammate to have during the seven seasons we shared in Saskatchewan,” said Riders Assistant General Manager Jeremy O’Day. “He was dedicated to the program and wanted to win above all else. He was definitely a big contributor to the success we had.”

In his time with the Green and White, Mullinder tallied 88 defensive tackles, 15 quarterback sacks, six tackles for a loss, two fumble returns, two forced fumbles and one interception in 112 regular season games. He was a member of the 2007 Grey Cup Championship team.

Mullinder, his wife and daughter have made Regina their home.

Sportsnet Now Owns "The Score"

Rogers Media today received final regulatory approval from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to acquire Score Media Inc., which has been held in trust since October 19, 2012. With today’s approval, Rogers Media will integrate the operations and financial results of Score Media effective immediately.

The acquisition of Score Media includes The Score, Canada’s third largest specialty sports channel with 6.6 million television subscribers, closed captioning service Voice to Visual Inc., and mixed martial arts program The Score Fighting Series. As part of the transaction, Rogers Media’s parent company, Rogers Communications Inc., acquires an 11.8 per cent equity interest in theScore Inc. (Score Digital).

The total consideration paid by Rogers Media in October 2012 was $167 million.

“The Score delivers niche sports news and information programming, complementing Rogers Media’s robust multiplatform sports offerings and significant investment in sports content and experiences,” said Keith Pelley, President, Rogers Media. “Last year, we made the bold statement to make Sportsnet the #1 sports media brand in Canada, and together with The Score, we take another step forward in achieving this goal.”

The Score will be rebranded under the Sportsnet umbrella, which continues to experience double-digit audience growth year-over-year* and deliver award-winning content across five platforms. The rebrand will be unveiled on July 1.

Rogers Media received approval for its request to amend The Score’s condition of licence, allowing for an enhanced viewing experience for Canadians while upholding The Score’s nature of service as a headline sports news service. The changes to the condition of licence are an increase in the amount of analysis and interpretation programming to 15% from 10%, and flexibility to break into live sports event programming every hour to present sports results and video highlights, instead of every 15 minutes. Rogers Media plans for The Score to continue providing sports updates once every 15 minutes during live events when possible, as the nature of the game being played permits.

Rogers Media’s tangible benefits package of $17.1 million (representing 10% of the value of the transaction) will have a positive long-term impact on regional and national amateur sports in Canada, athletes, sports organizations, and sports fans. The funds, which will be directed over a five-year period, will be used to create new programming opportunities for the independent production sector and help foster skills development in multimedia and/or digital media production.

As part of its programing strategy, The Score will continue to deliver its own unique mix of programming and be the prime destination for breaking sports news, analysis and highlights. While some sports properties will be shared between The Score and the Sportsnet networks (Sportsnet, Sportsnet ONE, Sportsnet World), The Score will be the home of exclusive content in Canada, including WWE and the newly-created HOCKEY CENTRAL Playoff Extra, which debuts tonight at 5 p.m. ET and will air daily until the end of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. In addition, Tim and Sid, which currently airs on Sportsnet 590 The FAN, will be returning to The Score in simulcast, beginning tomorrow from 1 to 4 p.m. ET weekdays. Additional programming details will be announced in the coming weeks.

The Score will continue to operate out of the station’s studio on King St. in Toronto’s downtown core, with support from the extended Sportsnet and Rogers Media family.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Avs Win Draft Lottery

Seth Jones took his first strides as a hockey player in Colorado. Based on the fact the Colorado Avalanche won the 2013 Scotiabank NHL Draft Lottery on Monday, he may take his first strides as an NHL player there, too.

Jones, a defenseman for the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League, is the No. 1 ranked prospect by the NHL's Central Scouting Bureau. The 2013 NHL Draft will be held June 30 in New Jersey and the Avalanche, who beat the odds with an 18.8-percent chance to win the lottery, is certainly in the market for a big, offensive defenseman.

For the first time in four years, it will not be the Edmonton Oilers stepping up to the microphone to announce the first pick of the draft. The Oilers collected Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov with the No. 1 selection the past three summers.

"It is a very, very exciting night for the franchise for sure," Avalanche general manager Greg Sherman told

Sherman did not attend the lottery, sending the team's director of amateur scouting, Rick Pracey, to Toronto instead.

The Avalanche finished 29th this season at 16-25-7, three points ahead of the last-place Florida Panthers. Florida had the greatest odds to get the first pick in the lottery at 25 percent.

It was a turbulent season for the Avalanche, beginning with the contract dispute with center Ryan O'Reilly and concluding with the dismissal of coach Joe Sacco. Still, with forwards O'Reilly, Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog and PA Parenteau, the Avalanche has a solid foundation from which to build.

"Clearly, given the talent we have on this team right now, we're adding another elite prospect to the solid foundation that we have," Sherman said. "It is certainly a big day for the franchise; it's a big night for our fans and we're very excited about the outcome tonight."

Jones, who helped Team USA win the World Junior Championship this year and is currently playing with the Winterhawks in the WHL playoffs, is a blue-chip prospect expected to make an immediate step into the NHL next season. The son of former NBA star Popeye Jones had 14 goals and 56 points in 61 games this season and was ranked ahead of Halifax Mooseheads forwards Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin at Nos. 2 and 3, respectively.

"There's a lot to like about Jones," Pracey said. "His size and skating ability are two things that jump off the page and are attention grabbers, but his ability to rush the puck and make decisions coming out of the D-zone to create offense from the back end has our attention. He's an individual that brings two-way ability, size and reach."

Pracey also praised MacKinnon and Drouin.

"Drouin is a skill-set type of player who makes others around him better," Pracey said. "His ability to make plays and create chances are very good. His offensive ability will translate at the NHL level. We think he is very talented with great instincts. MacKinnon is more of a power play [guy] and his skating is elite. We think he comes to the rink and approaches and plays the game the right way. We like his intensity and his energy."

Pracey added picking Jones first overall, "is not a slam dunk decision by any means."

This year's lottery was the first in NHL history in which all 14 clubs not qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs -- or the clubs that have acquired the first-round drafting positions of those non-playoff teams – had a chance at winning the right to the No. 1 selection. In seasons past, only the bottom-five teams had a crack at the top pick.

The Tampa Bay Lightning had a 14.2 percent chance of getting the top pick. The other teams who had an opportunity were: Nashville Predators (10.7), Carolina Hurricanes (8.1), Calgary Flames (6.2), Edmonton Oilers (4.7), Buffalo Sabres (3.6), New Jersey Devils (2.7), Dallas Stars (2.1), Philadelphia Flyers (1.5), Phoenix Coyotes (1.1), Winnipeg Jets (0.8) and Columbus Blue Jackets (0.5).

(NHL Media)

Stanley Cup First Round TV Sked

The National Hockey League today announced the dates, times and national broadcast information for the 2013 Stanley Cup Conference Quarterfinal round, which begins Tuesday, April 30th. Information on the U.S. broadcast networks for games later in the round will be released as it is determined.
All times listed are ET and subject to change.
* - if necessary
SERIES ATIME (ET)#1 vs. #8Networks
Wednesday, May 1, 20137:30 p.m.NY Islanders at PittsburghNBCSN, TSN
Friday, May 3, 20137 p.m.NY Islanders at PittsburghNBCSN, TSN
Sunday, May 5, 201312 p.m.Pittsburgh at NY IslandersNBC, TSN
Tuesday, May 7, 20137 p.m.Pittsburgh at NY IslandersNBCSN, TSN
*Thursday, May 9, 20137 p.m.NY Islanders at PittsburghTSN
*Saturday, May 11, 2013TBDPittsburgh at NY IslandersTSN
*Sunday, May 12, 2013TBDNY Islanders at PittsburghTSN
SERIES BTIME (ET)#2 vs. #7Networks
Thursday, May 2, 20137 p.m.Ottawa at MontrealCNBC, CBC, RDS
Friday, May 3, 20137 p.m.Ottawa at MontrealCNBC, CBC, RDS
Sunday, May 5, 20137 p.m.Montreal at OttawaNBCSN, CBC, RDS
Tuesday, May 7, 20137 p.m.Montreal at OttawaCNBC, CBC, RDS
*Thursday, May 9, 20137 p.m.Ottawa at MontrealCBC, RDS
*Saturday, May 11, 2013TBDMontreal at OttawaCBC, RDS
*Sunday, May 12, 2013TBDOttawa at MontrealCBC, RDS
SERIES CTIME (ET)#3 vs. #6Networks
Thursday, May 2, 20137:30 p.m.NY Rangers at WashingtonNBCSN, TSN
Saturday, May 4, 201312:30 p.m.NY Rangers at WashingtonNBC, TSN
Monday, May 6, 20137:30 p.m.Washington at NY RangersNBCSN, TSN
Wednesday, May 8, 20137:30 p.m.Washington at NY RangersNBCSN, TSN
*Friday, May 10, 20137:30 p.m.NY Rangers at WashingtonTSN
*Sunday, May 12, 2013TBDWashington at NY RangersTSN
*Monday, May 13, 2013TBDNY Rangers at WashingtonTSN
SERIES DTIME (ET)#4 vs. #5Networks
Wednesday, May 1, 20137 p.m.Toronto at BostonCNBC, CBC, RDS
Saturday, May 4, 20137 p.m.Toronto at BostonCNBC, CBC, RDS
Monday, May 6, 20137 p.m.Boston at TorontoNHLN-US, CBC, RDS
Wednesday, May 8, 20137 p.m.BOSTON AT TORONTONHLN-US, CBC, RDS
*Friday, May 10, 20137 P.M.TORONTO AT BOSTONCBC, RDS
SERIES ETIME (ET)#1 vs. #8Networks
Tuesday, April 30, 20138 p.m.Minnesota at ChicagoNBCSN, CBC
Friday, May 3, 20139:30 p.m.Minnesota at ChicagoNBCSN, CBC
Sunday, May 5, 20133 p.m.Chicago at MinnesotaNBC, CBC
Tuesday, May 7, 20139:30 p.m.Chicago at MinnesotaNBCSN, CBC
*Thursday, May 9, 2013TBDMinnesota at ChicagoCBC
*Saturday, May 11, 2013TBDChicago at MinnesotaCBC
*Sunday, May 12, 2013TBDMinnesota at ChicagoCBC
SERIES FTIME (ET)#2 vs. #7Networks
Tuesday, April 30, 201310:30 p.m.Detroit at AnaheimNBCSN, TSN
Thursday, May 2, 201310 p.m.Detroit at AnaheimNBCSN, TSN
Saturday, May 4, 20137:30 p.m.Anaheim at DetroitNBCSN, TSN
Monday, May 6, 20138 p.m.Anaheim at DetroitCNBC, TSN
*Wednesday, May 8, 201310 p.m.Detroit at AnaheimTSN
*Friday, May 10, 2013TBDAnaheim at DetroitTSN
*Sunday, May 12, 2013TBDDetroit at AnaheimTSN
SERIES GTIME (ET)#3 vs. #6Networks
Wednesday, May 1, 201310:30 p.m.San Jose at VancouverNBCSN, TSN
Friday, May 3, 201310 p.m.San Jose at VancouverCNBC, TSN
Sunday, May 5, 201310 p.m.Vancouver at San JoseNBCSN, TSN
Tuesday, May 7, 201310 p.m.Vancouver at San JoseCNBC, TSN
*Thursday, May 9, 201310 p.m.San Jose at VancouverTSN
*Saturday, May 11, 2013TBDVancouver at San JoseTSN
*Monday, May 13, 2013TBDSan Jose at VancouverTSN
SERIES HTIME (ET)#4 vs. #5Networks
Tuesday, April 30, 20138 p.m.Los Angeles at St. LouisCNBC, CBC
Thursday, May 2, 20139:30 p.m.Los Angeles at St. LouisCNBC, CBC
Saturday, May 4, 201310 p.m.St. Louis at Los AngelesNBCSN, CBC
Monday, May 6, 201310 p.m.St. Louis at Los AngelesNBCSN, CBC
*Wednesday, May 8, 2013TBDLos Angeles at St. LouisCBC
*Friday, May 10, 2013TBDSt. Louis at Los AngelesCBC
*Monday, May 13, 2013TBDLos Angeles at St. LouisCBC

NHL Three Stars For April

NEW YORK (April 29, 2013) – Washington Capitals right wing Alex Ovechkin, St. Louis Blues goaltender Brian Elliott and New York Rangers center Derek Stepan have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the month of April.


Ovechkin led the League with 14 goals and 22 points in 13 games as the Capitals posted an 11-1-1 record en route to their fifth Southeast Division title in the last six years. He scored in nine of his 13 games, including four multi-goal efforts and his 12th career hat trick April 6 at Florida, and totaled eight multi-point performances. Ovechkin recorded his 30th goal of the season April 20 at Montreal, becoming the ninth player in League history to score 30 or more goals in each of his first eight seasons. His 32nd and final goal of the season came in his 600th NHL game April 25 vs. Winnipeg, giving him 371 for his career – the eighth-most by any player in League history through their first 600 games. Ovechkin’s 14 goals set an April record and spurred the 27-year-old Moscow native to his third Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy, awarded to the League’s top goal-scorer. He played in all 48 games for the Capitals this season, finishing third in the NHL with 56 points and first with 16 power-play goals and 27 power-play points.


Elliott posted an 11-2-0 record, 1.28 goals-against average, .948 save percentage and three shutouts in 13 games to help the Blues secure the fourth seed in the Western Conference. He allowed one goal or fewer in 10 of his 13 appearances, including the final three games of the season, and posted three consecutive shutouts – all on the road – April 7 at Detroit, April 9 at Nashville and April 11 at Minnesota. Elliott’s 11 April wins established a Blues record (including the postseason) and his three straight shutouts equaled a franchise mark he tied last year (March 22-27). The 28-year-old Newmarket, Ont., native played in 24 games this season, compiling a 14-8-1 record with a 2.28 goals-against average and .907 save percentage.


Stepan finished second among skaters with 19 points (8-11—19) and recorded a +14 rating in 14 games as the Rangers clinched their third consecutive playoff berth and the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference. He registered points in 12 of 14 his games, including seven multi-point efforts, and tallied three game-winning goals – April 1 vs. Winnipeg, April 21 vs. New Jersey and April 27 vs. New Jersey. The 22-year-old Hastings, Minn., native played in all 48 games for the Rangers this season and led the team in assists (26), points (44), plus/minus (+25) and game-winning goals (6).

(NHL Media)

Rider Moves

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today they have signed import runningback Dede Dorsey, import defensive lineman Antonio Coleman and import defensive lineman Richard Sumlin. Financial details of the signings were not released.


Dorsey (5’11 – 210) joins the Riders after four successful seasons in the UFL with the Las Vegas Locomotives. The seven year pro originally signed with the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals in 2006 as an undrafted free agent. Later that season the rookie runningback was claimed off the Bengals practice roster by Indianapolis where he went on to dress for 13 regular season games, three playoff games and the Colts victory in Super Bowl XLI.


The Lindenwood University product played 29 regular season NFL games over three seasons, recording 29 carries for 191 yards and six receptions for 68 yards.       


Coleman (6’1 – 254) signs with Saskatchewan after spending parts of the last three seasons in the NFL. The Auburn product originally signed with the Buffalo Bills in 2010 as an undrafted free agent. He went on play eight regular season games recording 12 tackles his rookie season.


The Mobil, AL native also spent time with the Arizona Cardinals and New York Giants appearing in 11 career NFL regular season games registering 16 defensive tackles. He also played part of the 2012 season in the UFL with the Sacramento Mountain Lions. 


Sumlin (6’2 – 270) joins the Green and White after playing four seasons at the University of Findlay. The Medina, OH native played 31 career collegiate games for the Oilers recording 167 defensive tackles and 12 quarterback sacks. He was named All-GLIAC Second Team in 2012. 



The club also announced they have released the following:


Import             WR                  Brooks Foster

Sunday, April 28, 2013

"Something To Mitch About"

What a weekend! It was an extremely busy one, but that's OK.

It all started Friday night at the Hungarian Club as the stars of High Impact Wrestling did their thing at a new venue and I think its safe to say they impressed many.

There were a lot of imports there from other territories, but that is what you would expect at their biggest event of the year. The matches were great, the guys did some stunts that make me wonder just why they would do it when they aren't getting paid a lot and I'm sure each and every one of them were damn sore on Saturday morning.

The next card is next month back at the Victoria Club. As I mentioned to fellow wrestling afficionados Tony Playter, Rob Vanstone and Pete Paczko after, HIW may have outgrown the Victoria Club. I'm sure there were many first-timers at Friday's card that will go back, but the Vic Club is just too small for them.  They are working hard to make this thing work and if Friday's card is any indication, it looks as if its good times (and painful times) ahead for the group.

Saturday night was the Regina Red Sox annual dinner and it was first class all the way.

It was a distinct pleasure and an honour to have a chance to interview former Blue Jays closer Duane Ward on stage with CBC's Kent Morrison. Ward was outstanding as he answered questions from Kent and I along with the crowd. What really stood out to me were two things  1) That he feels Dave Winfield was perhaps the greatest athlete of our generation as he was a first round draft pick in four different leagues (ABA, NBA, MLB, NFL) . 2) How the Blue Jays honestly felt they weren't playing for a city, but a country. I found that comment to be surprising seeing there were Americans, Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, etc. etc. on that squad, but they were all honored to win the championship for the country. If there was thing that disappointed me, it was that Ward couldn't answer a question that for some reason has always bothered me. What happened to Joe Carter's home run ball? I thought for sure Ward would know, but he doesn't. He has no clue! Who has that ball and does he or she realize its significance?

All in all it was a great night at the Turvey Centre and I thank the Red Sox for the opportunity. I think blog-readers know I am a huge supporter of the Red Sox and I can't wait to get back to Currie Field and cheer them on to what will hopefully be a "three-peat".

The Blue Jays are 9-17 in April. There is a lot of time to fix what has gone wrong. However, one has to think the Jays will need 93-95 wins to make the playoffs meaning they have to go 84-60 the rest of the way in what is an American League East where they have lost series to all division rivals. I think its opportunity wasted in Toronto. They will need to be a 500 team by the end of May. If they aren't, expect a managerial change. Would Cito get a call yet again?

The Chicago White Sox need to bring these jerseys back!!

If you're squeamish, I would suggest paging down a little. It was expected that Jon Jones will would massacre Chael Sonnen in the main event at UFC 159 and he did finishing it off before the first round was over. Good thing!  Jones broke his toe in that first round and there is no way as you will see that he could have continued...

That just re-defines nasty boys and girls!

I will be rooting for a Chicago-Boston Stanley Cup final. Doing that should enable me to win the hockey draft I was in on Sunday.

Nice of the Edmonton Oilers to finish off the season waxing division rivals Minnesota and Vancouver to a tune of 13-3. Where was that a few weeks ago? I would like to say that is a precursor to next year, but its not.

The Detroit Red Wings were being written off by a lot of people, but Mike Babcock challenged them by saying if you want in the playoffs, you have to win your next 4. They did! They will give Anaheim a battle in the first round. One has to think this might be Detroit's last hurrah though with the likes of Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Kronwall, Franzen. etc. etc. They will be a tough out make no doubt about it.

When in my hockey draft, I stayed completely away from Vancouver-San Jose. That's a coin-flip! I would have to say though if the Sharks are bounced, that may be it for Todd McLellan. From what I hear, he isn't the only playoff coach on the hotseat.

A question was asked on NHL Home Ice on XM. Can you consider James Reimer as a candidate for one of Canada's goalies in Sochi? I can't say yes, but I can't say no either. That will be a weak spot for Canada no matter who they take as Carey Price, Marc Andre Fleury, Cam Ward and Roberto Luongo don't leave me feeling comfortable.

The Yorkton Terriers have started out the Western Canadian championships with wins over Manitoba champion Steinbach and the host Nanaimo team. The Terriers were seen as the number 3 team going into this tournament behind AJHL champion Brooks and BCHL champion Surrey so I guess one could say Yorkton won the games they were supposed to, but they are showing that they belong and some thought that wouldn't be the case. Keep it going boys!

The first round of the NBA playoffs has been great. Saturday's triple overtime game between Brooklyn and Chicago was an instant classic. The first round of the NBA playoffs was also the last round of the NBA playoffs for the Los Angeles Lakers. What a gong show that team was. To think a lot of people thought that would be the team to challenge Lebron and the Heat. NOPE! The Lakers need to do many things and the first thing is to get rid of Dwight Howard.

A story came out Friday suggesting the Toronto Raptors would look into seeing whether or not Phil Jackson might be interested in coaching the team seeing the new head of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment is good friends with Phil. I guffawed openly upon seeing that. I would think Phil Andrews has a better shot of coaching the Raptors than Phil Jackson. I would think Dave Taylor would have a better shot than Phil Jackson. Perhaps James Hillis is off to Toronto. The chances of Phil Jackson ever coaching Toronto are beyond zero. At least none of the Toronto media picked up on the story---at least not that I saw.

If everything pans out, I would think the winner of the NFL draft is the St. Louis Rams. They seemed to improve their team immensely. The loser might have been Matt Barkley. The USC quarterback likely would have been a top 5 quarterback had he come out and not stayed at USC for another year, but an injury-riddled campaign followed by a tough season meant his stock fell to the point that he was taken in the 4th round. It just shows when you have the chance to leave, do it.

Congrats to U of R defensive lineman Stefan Charles for signing a free agent deal with the Tennessee Titans once the NFL draft was over. It will be interesting to see how this impacts his role in the CFL draft and where he goes. I would not be surprised to see the Saskatchewan Roughriders to take him with the number 4 selection. There is a thought process out there that Charles will slide to the 2nd or 3rd round because of the NFL, but I can't see that happening especially because he wasn't drafted, but signed on with someone as a free agent.

Some believe the Riders should take MacMaster DE/LB Ben D'Aguilar if he is around at number 4. There is no doubt the Riders need a rush end, but for some reason I see D'Aguilar as another Shomari Williams.

Ya didn't think I was going to get through this without a CFL mention of some kind didja??

Congrats to Morgan Klimchuk of the Pats for winning gold at the World Under 18's in Sochi. Canada winning hockey gold at Sochi. There's a sentence I hope to write next February. The way Klimchuk played, I have to think he has solidified himself as a late first round pick. As for Connor McDavid, the NHL draft lottery in two years will be of tremendous interest. That kid can play.

As you start the day, remember this. If nothing is going right, go left!

Friday, April 26, 2013

DeLaet Coming Home To Help

PGA Tour professional Graham DeLaet, a product of Weyburn, Saskatchewan, will be in Saskatoon July 11th to help Golf Saskatchewan raise awareness and funds to support junior golf programs throughout the Province.


The Graham DeLaet Charity Golf Tournament In Support Of Junior Golf in Saskatchewan is a joint initiative between Golf Saskatchewan and Graham DeLaet, a past Golf Saskatchewan member and two-time Amateur Men’s Provincial Champion who is currently ranked 106th in the world.  The event will take place Thursday, July 11th at the Willows Golf & Country Club in Saskatoon.


DeLaet will have a strong presence at the event. “I am very excited to be able to give back to junior golf in Saskatchewan, said DeLaet.  “I look at the opportunities that were available to me growing up and I hope to see more and more kids involved with golf in Saskatchewan.”


“Growing our current junior golf programs and providing more opportunities for youth to get involved with the sport is a major priority for Golf Saskatchewan,” said Brian Lee, Executive Director.  “As an association we have been proactive in adopting and developing new junior programs for schools and golf clubs to endorse throughout the Province. With Graham’s support, it is our goal to set up a Graham DeLaet Junior Golf Development Fund that will benefit communities, schools, golf clubs and impact children from all walks of life.”


“It is important for those in the golf community in Saskatchewan to make junior golf and development programs a major priority,” said Phil Grosse, Manager of Sport Development and Marketing for Golf Saskatchewan. “Junior golfers are the future and I believe we can make a significant contribution to junior golf and the future of our sport through this exciting initiative.”


The proceeds raised through the Graham DeLaet Charity Golf Tournament In Support of Junior Golf will support Golf Saskatchewan initiatives and a portion of the proceeds will assist the Weyburn and District Hospital Foundation, whom Graham supported through fundraising events in 2011 and 2012.   



Thursday, April 25, 2013

This and That

Just a weekly collection of thoughts running through my muddled brain....

--It will be different watching the U of R Cougars mens basketball team do their thing without James Hillis on the bench coaching the squad. Hillis has been leading that team ever since I started watching them. I would think that position would be a somewhat attractive one for whoever even though the team has had a rough patch of late. Good luck to James in whatever his next venture is. He's a class act!

--Dave "Tiger" Williams was in town for a Cougar mens hockey fundraiser on Thursday night. I had no idea this event was going on. "Tiger" is an outstanding dinner speaker although I'm sure the ladies would leave less than impressed.

--I will have the opportunity to interview former Jays closer Duane Ward on Saturday night at the Regina Red Sox's dinner at the Turvey Centre. It will be interesting to hear some stories from Ward about that World Series team and some of the stories surrounding them as well as his thoughts on today's game.

--The New England Patriots showed why they just continue to be successful. They managed to get four picks from the Minnesota Vikings for the #30 pick in last nite's draft. Four picks for number 30?? That's a little extreme, but if Cordarelle Paterson works out for Minnesota so be it. As it is, the Patriots will just continue to add depth at various positions with four extra draft picks and chances are three of those four if not all of them will make the team and be impact players.

--How far will Manti Te'o slide in the draft? The guy had a rough couple of months and its starting to show.

--Hawks defenceman Duncan Keith took some heat this week for being "sexist" when speaking to a female reporter after a loss to Vancouver. I didn't see anything wrong with it.  The reporter asked a dumb question and Keith let her have it much as I'm sure he would have let a male reporter have it. I equate that to Bryce Harper and his "That's a clown question bro", Milt Stegall's explosion at a Winnipeg reporter a few years ago and even Ken Miller's blow-up at Rob Vanstone in 2011. It got its sound-byte and everyone moved on. The same would have happened with Keith if it wasn't for the fact that he answered the question from a woman. Who cares?  This has nothing to do with women trying to become sports personalities. There are many good ones out there and there are some bad ones and the same can be said for men as well. I say Karen Thomson got burned by asking a dumb question. Lets move on. She has.

--While people in North America are flocking to "42 --The Jackie Robinson Story", it would seem as if Russians are flocking to the theatre to see a movie about former Russian hockey player Valeri Kharlamov. I wonder who is playing Bobby Clarke?  The movie is called "Legenda 17".

--For the love of god, please give Bob Cole a first round assignment that does not involve the Toronto Maple Leafs.  Then again, I won't be watching that series so why should I care.

--Chicago Cubs pitcher Carlos Marmol ages me greatly every time he pitches or whatever the hell he calls it. The guy is b-a-a-a-a-a-a-d yet manager Dale Sveum keeps trotting him out there in the 9th. If he is aging me with each appearance, I can only imagine what stomach palpitations Sveum has. That Cubs bullpen has been atrocious. They've blown 5 saves already and the first month of the season isn't even over. YUCK!

--Speaking of the Cubs, there is a guy that doesn't live too far from me who may be a bigger Cubs fan than I am. He drives a truck with the Cubs logo on it and he has a licence plate "Cubs Fan". I keep wanting to stop and introduce myself to him, but then I think we will start commisserating about that team and the next thing you know a couple of bottles may be consumed. Then again, is that a bad thing????

--I won't see it because I will be at the Red Sox dinner, but I am hoping to read on my Twitter feed or hear from someone that Jon Jones absolutely pummelled Chael Sonnen. Sonnen would be great in WWE. There may be no better heel in sports today.

--Tough break for the Edmonton Oil Kings. They have lost Griffin Reinhart for the rest of the season with a foot injury. That may be what prevents them from winning it all for a 2nd straight year.

--Its culture night in Regina. The stars of "High Impact Wrestling" are back in action. I missed the last one because the CIS Womens Basketball Championship were on, but I'll be back tonight. The boys are moving up as they leave the Victoria Club for the Hungarian Club for one night only. This is one of their biggest cards of the year and it sounds as if the joint may be sold out. Once again, I am guessing its "black tie optional". I just hope Vanstone can behave himself and not be the prudish boor that he usually is.  By the way, these guys give it their all and they are not getting paid a lot for entertaining the fans and they do entertain. They deserve your support.

--Reginans, do yourselves and do this city a favour by picking up some garbage that may be around your place with the snow melting. The city looks dirty enough as this snow starts to melt, but lets show some civic pride and clean up a little bit until the street cleaners get out there.

--I may be completely wrong on this one, but I don't think there is going to be a great deal of flooding if any this year. The melt might have been slow enough to do everyone a favour. That being said, we are supposed to get double digit temperatures this weekend. When is the last time we had a day with double digit temperatures on the plus side?

--Its a question I will have to ask to Locker Talk producer and all around good schmuck Graham Condo. What is the viewership for each show on Access 7?  Co-host Pete Paczko and I have both noticed that the show seems to be seen by a lot of people this year for whatever reason. I attribute it to the fact that Reginans need a freak show and we fill that void. In all seriousness though, thanks for watching!

--I will never understand how people can read a paper on-line. I would much rather read my Leader-Post while drinking morning coffee than moving the mouse around from page to page.

--Life is too short, so do whatever the hell makes you happy!

--Have a good weekend!!

Hillis Steps Down as Cougs MBB Coach

University of Regina men's basketball head coach James Hillis  announced his resignation on Thursday afternoon effective immediately.

Hillis recently completed his 19th season as the school's head coach and finishes his time at the U of R with 175 conference wins and 28 postseason victories. The team participated in three Canada West Final Fours during Hillis' tenure, with the program's best season coming in 2005-06 when the Cougars put together a 16-4 conference record.

“It was a very difficult decision, but after much deliberation I decided that after serving as a head coach for over 20 years and 19 years at the University of Regina, it was time to step down,” Hillis said. “Over the past 19 years, I have enjoyed tremendously the opportunity to coach various cohorts of fine young men who have worn the Cougar basketball uniform. I have had the great pleasure over the years to meet wonderful people and make many friendships at the University, in the community, and around the country. I would like to thank the University of Regina for the experience and wish the men's basketball team and the entire athletic department future and continued success.”

The process to replace Hillis as head coach will begin immediately.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Jones Is #1

Seth Jones of the Portland Winter Hawks is the number one ranked North American skater by NHL Central Scouting in its final rankings before June's entry draft.

The complete list of North American skaters can be found here with the the list of European skaters right here 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Maybe Roughriders Isn't So Bad

Without much of a fuss about it, more than a year before they take the field, Ottawa’s CFL team, soon to be officially named the RedBlacks, are taking season ticket deposits — already more than 5,000.
It’s amazing, really ... and shows that Ottawa isn’t just Hockey Country and is about to add Football Country to its credentials.
“We haven’t spent 10 cents on marketing,” said Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group president Jeff Hunt. “It’s a great indication of what’s to come. It’s pretty organic. No business expects to sell its product without marketing.
“In 2008, when we got the expansion franchise, we got 2,500 PRNs (Priority Registration Numbers, at $25 a pop) within a week. We then became preoccupied with getting the process underway. We felt let’s get the stadium approved and do the marketing later. Since we got that certainty (the final OK to build the stadium last October), there was another run on PRNs.
“It’s word of mouth ... people coming to us. When we do launch our (tickets), probably in early June, we will start to market our season tickets.”
Getting a PRN is a good way for fans to ensure they wind up with good seats. Eventually, when everything is in place, fans will be able to choose where they sit.
“The PRN program that we’ll launch, probably in June, will really be for season tickets,” said Hunt. “This creates an orderly process to selling the tickets. But we won’t be in position for people to start picking their seats until the fall.
“We’re looking at software that will allow fans to choose a seat and actually see what their view will be like from that seat. Years ago, when I bought my Senators season tickets (for the inaugural 1992-93 season), all I could look at was a one-dimensional blueprint on the wall. I didn’t have a great perspective of what I would be looking at from my seat.”
The RedBlacks have hired a GM — Marcel Desjardins — and two other football employees — Jeremy Snyder and Miles Gorrell — and will choose up to four players in the May 6 CFL Draft, only able to pick from a group of Canadian-born redshirted players (with one more year of college eligibility) from the NCAA ranks.
“This is what we’ve been waiting for years to do,” said Hunt. “It’s abstract for a lot of fans. As the stadium comes out of the ground, when you hire a GM, pick some players ... you start to make it more real for fans.
“Fans are still consumed with hockey ... as they should be. But soon, the CFL season will begin. This time next year, we’ll have a team ready to go on the field. It becomes a reality ... that this is coming quick.
“Thinking ahead to this CFL season, what’s really interesting is every game I watch, I’m going to be wondering which of those players is going to be wearing an Ottawa uniform next season. Even last year as Ottawa fans watched the CFL, we didn’t have certainty about the CFL team here, at least not until mid-October.”
It may still be a dull roar, but there is excitement building ... it brings back memories of the Senators 20 years ago, when Hunt, No. 212 on the PRN list, bought eight season tickets.
Now, quietly, the sights and sounds of the CFL at Lansdowne Park, are nearing.

(Ottawa Sun)

Something To "Mitch" About

Take a bow Regina. Despite the fact that it seemed more like mid-December than mid-April out there, I think we did a pretty good job with the Juno Awards. I didn't hear too many people complaining and there were certainly a lot of people out and about over the past couple of days. If this was a dress rehearsal for the Grey Cup, I think we did OK. Did anyone run into a severely intoxicated Ben Mulroney? There are some women out there that absolutely love that guy. I'm not sure why. Then again, some ladies love Ryan Seacrest too.

How about the Brandt Centre? The orangetop looked outstanding. In fact, I said to the Mrs that if someone told me that was the Brandt Centre and I didn't know, I wouldn't have believed them. The place can look great if we want it to.

Why weren't Chad Kroeger and Avril Lavigne here? They could have done some wedding shopping while in our fine city. Damn you Chad, damn you Avril!!!

The big winner as far as I was concerned....Billy Talent! Those guys are outstanding!

The one thing that  bothered me about the Junos, and other award ceremonies for that matter is/was the hollow red/green carpet ceremony. I hate those things. I don't care what he or she is or isn't wearing. Just get on to the show and hand out the awards.

Actually there were two things. If you were going to pay tribute to Rita McNeil, which was fine, then you had to do it for Stompin Tom too, especially on the Prairies. Yes, I know Stompin Tom and the Junos aren't the best of friends, but the man deserved his moment and if that would have resulted in everyone at the Brandt singing "Bud The Spud" or "The Hockey Song" so be it.

It took Michael Buble seven minutes to mention the Riders. What took him so long? Could he be back here for Grey Cup? Don't be surprised!

Speaking of the Grey Cup.....

...this picture of Mosaic Stadium looks a helluva lot better than the last one I put up a couple of weeks ago.

Question: When this snow does go, it will leave behind a lot of water. Will that water turn into our summer being ruined by mosquitoes? I would think there would be a lot of standing water to treat and I would think this cold weather has done nothing when it comes to mosquito larvae hatching. If mosquitoes and other bugs ruin what is already going to be a short summer, there will be a lot of nasty moods around here.

The city really needs to do something about the parking lot at the Schmirler leisure centre. It is one giant pothole after another. I took my daughter swimming there on Saturday and as we were leaving, another couple was walking in saying its an embarassment. I can't disagree. When the centre shuts down for its yearly maintenance, its time to re-pave the lot.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are in the playoffs. This means we will be inundated with Leaf propaganda for the next few weeks. In the words of Rob Vanstone, I WANT ESPN!!.

Would the Leafs be in the playoffs if it wasn't for Brian Burke?  He hired Randy Carlyle, he traded for Phil Kessel and James Van Riemsdyk. he drafted Nazem Kadri. This team has Burke's fingerprints all over it.

Who said Alexandre Ovechkin was done? Has he gotten himself into the MVP discussion?

Is that former President George Bush now or Rod Pedersen in 25 years? With Roddy's frequency of taking pics of the lovely ladies of Hooters, it may be the latter. At least RP doesn't have the creepy grin that the former Prez does.

The manhunt for the Boston bombers was compelling television. I'm sure it wasn't for those in the Boston area, but for those of us around the world that watched one Tsarnaev brother get killed in a fire-fight with Boston officials while the other one was captured while hiding in a boat, it was riveting to watch. It was like a real-life episode of "24" was happening on our TV screens. Jack Bauer would have kicked some ass too!

There seems to be a lot of chatter recently about Geroy Simon wearing Ray Elgaard's #81. Its too late now. The Riders could have and should have retired the number years ago, but they didn't and Simon isn't the first Rider since big Ray to wear 81 so let it go.

I know its early, but the Blue Jays can't afford to be losing series---especially at home to division rivals.

I bet Vernon Wells loved his weekend in Toronto.

Speaking of the Jays, former Blue Jays reliever Duane Ward will be here next Saturday night for the Regina Red Sox's annual dinner. I have been given the honor to sit down with Ward during the dinner and speak with him about his life as a major leaguer. I'm looking forward to rubbing elbows with Ward and Regina's baseball community. If you want to go. call 545-5232.

The Denver Broncos have the easiest schedule in the NFL this year when you look back at last season's opponents. The Carolina Panthers have the toughest. Lets see how that pans out.

What's fun about being sober on a Sunday morning? Nothing!

Have a good week!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

God Bless You David Ortiz

The Boston Red Sox played their first home game this afternoon since Monday's tragic bombing at the Boston Marathon and the pursuit of the two responsible. After their game, David Ortiz spoke to the crowd. I truly wish the President or someone else would be as candid as what Ortiz was. Take a listen!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Rider Moves

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today they have signed import receivers Rod Harper and Eron Riley. Financial details of the signings were not released.


Harper (6’1 – 208) joins the Roughriders after spending time in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles, Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints where he returned two punt returns for touchdowns in the pre-season. He spent the 2009 season with the Arkansas Twisters of af2 where he led the league in multiple categories, including receptions and receiving touchdowns.


The Florida native attended Murray State where he led the team with 57 receptions for 779 yards and ten touchdowns in 2007. He ranks third in school history in both receiving yards and touchdowns.


Riley (6’3 – 205) comes to Saskatchewan after spending the past few seasons in the NFL with the Baltimore Ravens, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos and N.Y. Jets. Prior to joining the NFL, Riley spent four seasons at Duke University where he was a four-year letter winner at wide receiver. He was a two-time All-ACC selection and finished his collegiate career as one of Duke’s all-time receiving leaders.





The club also announced they have released the following players:


Non-import                K/P                  Chris Bodnar

Import                         DE                   Jammie Kirlew

Import                         DE                   Julian Miller

Import                         DB                   Terrell Skinner

Non-import                WR                  Kolton Solomon

Press Box Playoff Draft

This And That

I guess that once again we learned a lesson this week. We've all been bitching about the fact that winter won't leave. Would you rather have what you're going through or be involved in what happened in Boston on Monday and in Texas on Wednesday?

The events of the Boston Marathon had to shake many people  up including right here in good old Regina because some of our own were right there and saw all the commotion first-hand. Thankfully, they weren't at the finish line,

I can't stop thinking about the man who had just run the race and had gathered with his family to celebrate what obviously was a major triumph when the bomb went off. In an instant, this guy had gone from perhaps going through one of the most exhilarating moments of his life to having that life taken away as his son was killed, his daughter lost a leg and his wife suffered terrible injuries.

I also wonder just what would make people do this sort of thing. Did anyone win from what happened? If someone thinks the answer to that is yes, they are very, very twisted. No one wins, but everyone loses.

I picked up the phone Tuesday to do a story with Doug Russell from the Queen City Marathon about whether or not organizers have to look at security in the wake of what happened. Sadly, the answer is yes and little old Regina and everywhere else. Something we never thought could happen has. Its not as bad as 9-11, but its comparable.  The bottom line is getting up off the canvas and resuming our lives. Sports plays a big role in that and that was proven at the Bruins game on Wednesday. That national anthem and pre-game ceremony was amazing to see. Our resiliency is something you can never take away.
Before the events of Monday afternoon, the Edmonton Oilers took up the sports headlines with the announcement that Steve Tambellini was out as GM and that Craig MacTavish was in with Scott Howson returning in MacT's old position as VP of hockey operations.  I'm very disappointed with the play of the Oilers and while I think some of the blame ence, Kevin Lowe said all the wrong things and  showed many that the moves at the top didn't go far enough.  Lowe proved his idiocy in front of all. The president of hockey operations made a complete idiot out of himself. He questioned one reporters query about whether or not he's lost patience after a three year rebuild. It seems to me that in making these moves by showing he has lost patience by making this move. However, that comment    was nothing compared to the one in which he said only one person in hockey today has more Stanley Cup rings than him. Of course, we all know that Kevy boy was won zippo in management with all his Cups coming from his days on the ice when he just stood back and watched the likes of 99, 11, 7, 17, 9 and 31 do their thing. Make no doubt about it, Lowe played a role in those Cups, but it was nothing compared to what the others had. I think it will be a very interresting off-season in Edmonton as MacTavish starts to put his stamp on this team.  Hall and Eberle aren't going anywhere and I can see Sam Gagner getting a new deal after the season he has had. Would someone like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins be considered as trade bait? How about Nail Yakupov? Will the Oilers trade out of their first round pick this year? The blocks are there, but its like a JENGA. One wrong move and everything could come tumbling down.
If what TSN's Darren Dreger reported this week is true, the NHL has taken one of its more popular items and killed it. There is no need to have six--count em six, outdoor games next year. I don't understand the thought process of Gary Bettman on this ( or many other things). Have a game in the U-S and have one in Canada, but you don't need six. The game at Dodger Stadium, which I think will be extremely cool if they can handle the ice situation, can wait for a year and so can the others.
Jonathan Toews gets my vote for NHL MVP this year. Of course I don't have one.
This Winnipeg Jets fan seems to be frustrated at his team's play....

Baseball is a sport that wants to clean itself up from performance enhancers, but it proved this week that they're OK with alcoholism. Milwaukee pitcher Yovani Gallardo was arrested near the team's ballpark and charged after he was pulled over and found to have a blood alcohol limit at .22 percent.  The Brewers did nothing and either did baseball as Gallardo pitched Thursday. How can a sport sit there and say they want to clean things up and then let this slide. No fine, no suspension, no penalty whatsoever for Gallardo. That's brutal!
A shout-out to Heather Anderson and Rustie Dean at Global. They are the  morning TV show of choice at Casa de Blair. Those two put on a great show every morning and are great to watch. I don't know how both of those ladies can look so good and be so energetic that early in the morning, but who cares. Thanks ladies!!
If you're reading this in Regina, how much Juno activity are you taking in? Are you going to the awards? Are you hoping to hob-nob with some of Canada's musical best? If so, have a great time. Speaking of the Junos, CKRM co-worker, Pats play by play man and all around good schmuck Phil Andrews was excited to not only meet former Flames and Leafs player Gary Roberts who will play in th Juno Cup, but get his autograph as well. I couldn't help but wonder if Phil then took a two hander across the back after it was over. Much to Phil's chagrin, I was never a Gary Roberts fan!
I left my cellphone at a friends Wednesday night and had to go a day without it. It was good in so many reasons and bad in so many other ways.
I guess with the Junos on, I should leave it at this.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

SSHOF Unveils Class of 2013

The Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame announced its class of 2013 on Thursday. The list of inductees can be found right here

CFL Draft Rankings

The Canadian Football League Scouting Bureau today published its final edition of the top 15 ranked prospects prior to the 2013 CFL Canadian Draft which is scheduled for Monday, May 6 at Noon ET (TSN).

Bo Lokombo, a 6’3”, 233 pound linebacker from the University of Oregon, remains as the top prospect heading into the draft.

Rounding out the top five are University of Regina defensive lineman Stefan Charles (2), University of Calgary defensive lineman Linden Gaydosh (3), McMaster University offensive lineman Matt Sewell (4) and Eastern Michigan defensive lineman Andy Mulumba (5).

The players who made the biggest jump after a strong showing at the CFL Combine presented by Reebok were University of Calgary linebacker Mike Edem who jumped four spots to 10 and Universite de Laval wide receiver Seydou Junior Haidara who appears on the ranking for the first time at 11.

The ranking includes seven defensive linemen, five offensive linemen, two linebackers, and one receiver.

Fourteen of the 15 ranked players on last year’s CFL Scouting Bureau list heading into the draft were selected in the 2012 CFL Canadian Draft. Five of those players were selected in the first round.

Here is the full ranking:

1. (1) Bo Lokombo LB Oregon
2. (4) Stefan Charles DL Regina
3. (3) Linden Gaydosh DL Calgary
4. (2) Matt Sewell OL McMaster
5. (6) Andy Mulumba DL Eastern Michigan
6. (10) Nolan MacMillan OL Iowa
7. (5) Ben D’Aguilar DL McMaster
8. (11) Brett Jones OL Regina
9. (9) Brent Urban DL Virginia
10. (14) Mike Edem LB Calgary
11. (NR) Seydou Junior Haidara WR Laval
12. (7) Corey Watman OL Eastern Michigan
13. (8) Jesse Joseph DL UCONN
14. (NR ) Connor Williams DL Utah St.
15. (NR) Brander Craighead OL UTEP

The CFL’s Scouting Bureau is comprised of CFL scouts, player personnel directors and general managers from the league’s eight teams.

Remember This

Its the halftime show from the 95 Grey Cup. Could we do an all-Saskatchewan half-time show again??

These videos come from Terri Harris, who is now one of the chief muckety-mucks within the Saskatchewan Party (I mean that as a compliment Terri!!), who is actually singing in Part 1 of this.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Thunder 2013 Sked

The Prairie Football Conference and The Regina Thunder Football Club have announced their 2013 schedule.

The regular season opens up at home with a rematch of 2012 PFC Semi Final where the Regina Thunder upset the undefeated Calgary Colts in a last minute come from behind win to move onto the PFC Final. The schedule also features home and home series against both the Saskatoon Hilltops and Winnipeg Rifles with the Regina hosted games being played on Saturday evenings. We expect large crowds for all three games. 


The following is the Regina Thunder Football Club 2013 Schedule:



Sunday, August 11, 2013 Exhibition Game vs Winnipeg Rifles in Brandon, MB


Regular Season:

Sunday August 18, 2013 Calgary Colts at Regina Thunder 2pm

Saturday August 24, 2013 Saskatoon Hilltops at Regina Thunder 7pm

Saturday September 7, 2013 Regina Thunder at Saskatoon Hilltops 7pm

Sunday September 15, 2013 Edmonton Huskies at Regina Thunder 2pm

Sunday September 22, 2013 Regina Thunder at Calgary Colts 2pm

Saturday September 28, 2013 Winnipeg Rifles at Regina Thunder 7pm

Sunday October 6, 2013 Regina Thunder at Winnipeg Rifles Noon

Saturday October 12, 2013 Regina Thunder at Edmonton Huskies 2pm



Sunday October 20, 2013 PFC Semi Finals

Sunday October 27, 2013 PFC Final

Saturday, November 9, 2013 CJFL Championship (Canadian Bowl) Hosted at Winner of the PFC

(Courtesy Regina Thunder)

Cougs WBB Team Gets Two Local Players

University of Regina women's basketball head coach Dave Taylor announced Wednesday that the Cougars have received commitments from local guards Caitlin Zacharias and Sara Hubenig for the 2013-14 season.

Zacharias played for Cougar women's basketball legend Cymone Bernauer at Michael A. Riffel HS, leading the Royals to a recent appearance in the city championship game while being named an RHSAA all-star in 2011, 2012, and 2013. She has extensive experience at the provincial level, competing for Team Saskatchewan's U17 team in both of the previous two summers.

“Caitlin brings a tremendous work ethic to our program and has improved every year as a player because of it,” Taylor said. “With her athleticism and drive, she is exactly the type of player we want and she'll be able to help us in the very near future.”

Hubenig, a product of Dr. Martin LeBoldus HS, helped lead the Golden Suns to city and provincial titles this season. She was also named an RHSAA all-star this year for LeBoldus, where she was coached by former Cougar player Rebecca Schmidt.

“Sara reminds me of Danielle Schmidt when she was coming out of high school,” Taylor said. “And if Sara commits to developing as a player, she'll have the opportunity to become an elite lock-down defender like Dani was.”

Curling's Popularity In Canada Is Proven

With the final audience data of the season now in, the numbers show that curling is one of the most-watched sports properties on Canadian television. Overall, more than 13.7 million Canadians, or close to half the population, have tuned in to watch some of TSN's extensive curling coverage this season.

As official broadcaster of the Canadian Curling Association, TSN broadcasts close to 300 hours of live Season of Champions curling each year, including the Tim Hortons Brier and Scotties Tournament of Hearts, along with the Men's and Women's World Championships, Capital One Canada Cup, WFG Continental Cup, and M&M Canadian Juniors.

Throughout TSN's live curling coverage in primetime the network attracted an average audience of 561,000 viewers – making it one of the network's most popular sports properties.

TSN wrapped up its exclusive Season of Champions coverage with its most-watched draw of the year, attracting an average audience of 1.13 million viewers for the 2013 Ford World Men's Championship Final on Sunday, April 7.

"Curling is a cornerstone of the TSN schedule and it consistently ranks as one of most-watched sports on TSN every year," said Stewart Johnston, President, TSN. "We are exceptionally proud of our curling coverage and are thrilled to have such a broad and dedicated audience turn to us time and time again – at all hours of the day – for the biggest events in curling."

"This is yet another sign of the passion that curling fans have for this sport," said Greg Stremlaw, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Curling Association. "Our long-term partnership with TSN, which we renewed this season, has taken curling to new heights and we look forward to continued growth down the road."

Snapshot of Season of Champions Curling on TSN during 2012-13 season:
• Total reach (number of Canadians who watched some curling coverage on TSN this season) – 13.6 million
• Average audience for curling in prime time – 561,000
• Average audience for all draws of Ford Men's World Championship – 613,000
• Average audience for all draws of Tim Hortons Brier – 594,000
• Average audience for all draws of Scotties Tournament of Hearts – 497,000
• Average audience for all curling events on TSN during the 2012-13 season including morning and afternoon draws (294 hours) – 454,000
• Total hours of live coverage – 294
• Total events – 97

TSN's top five audiences from the 2012-13 curling season are as follows:
• 2013 Ford World Men's Championship Final – 1.1 million
• Scotties Tournament of Hearts Final – 1 million
• Tim Hortons Brier Final – 894,000
• Tim Hortons Brier Draw 17 (Alberta vs. Ontario) – 857,000
• 2013 Ford World Men's Championship Semifinal – 836,000

TSN's curling coverage is led by the esteemed broadcast team of Vic Rauter, Olympic gold medallist Linda Moore, two-time Brier champion and Olympic gold medallist Russ Howard, as well as Bryan Mudryk and three-time Scotties winner Cathy Gauthier. As announced last week, Howard will be inducted to Canada's Sports Hall of Fame – one of our country's highest sporting honours – for his illustrious curling career.

Courtesy TSN PR

Lowry Named WHL East Player Of Year

The Western Hockey League today announced the WHL Eastern Conference finalist for the 2012-13 WHL Player of the Year. The two finalists for WHL Player of the Year are determined through voting by General Managers, coaches, broadcast and media representatives of all WHL Member Clubs.

In the WHL's Eastern Conference, which includes the East and Central Divisions, the Player of the Year Nominee is forward Adam Lowry of the Swift Current Broncos.

Lowry enjoyed a strong season for the Swift Current Broncos, appearing in all 72 games while scoring a team-leading 45 goals and 43 assists for 88 points to go with a +18 rating and 102 penalty minutes. Lowry’s considerable contributions to the Broncos helped the Club make the WHL playoffs for the first time since the 2009-10 season.

Lowry, a Calgary, AB, finished sixth among all WHL players in goals and finished 12th in WHL scoring with 88 points. In addition, Lowry finished tied for eighth among all WHL players with 14 power play goals and tied for second with six shorthanded goals. His eight game-winning goals also tied him for second among WHL players in that category. Lowry displayed remarkable consistency throughout the 2012-13 WHL season, going more than two games without recording a point only three times all season while enjoying a season-best 21-game point streak and an eight-game goal streak. His efforts saw him named the Husky WHL Player of the Month for December. Lowry’s importance to the Broncos during the 2012-13 season cannot be understated as he had a hand in nearly 48% of his team’s entire offensive output.

Chosen by the Broncos in the 4th round, 78th overall, of the 2008 WHL Bantam Draft, Lowry has played four seasons in the WHL, scoring 90 goals and 204 points in 235 regular-season games. Lowry was drafted by the Winnipeg Jets in the 3rd round, 67th overall, in the 2011 NHL Draft.

The WHL Western Conference finalist for the 2012-13 WHL Player of the Year will be announced on Thursday, April 18. The recipients of all WHL individual awards will be announced at the 2013 WHL Awards Luncheon, which will be held in Calgary, Alberta, on Wednesday, May 1, 2013.

WHL Rookie of the Year, Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy
Eastern Conference – Leon Draisaitl (Cologne, Germany), Prince Albert Raiders
Western Conference – Seth Jones (Plano, TX), Portland Winterhawks

WHL Goaltender of the Year, Del Wilson Trophy
Eastern Conference – Patrik Bartosak (Koprivnice, CZR), Red Deer Rebels
Western Conference – Mac Carruth (Shorewood, MN), Portland Winterhawks

WHL Defenceman of the Year, Bill Hunter Memorial Trophy
Eastern Conference – Morgan Rielly (Vancouver, BC), Moose Jaw Warriors
Western Conference – Brenden Kichton (Spruce Grove, AB), Spokane Chiefs

WHL Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year, Brad Hornung Trophy
Eastern Conference – Dylan Wruck (Saskatoon, SK), Edmonton Oil Kings
Western Conference – Zach Franko (Winnipeg, MB), Kelowna Rockets

WHL Scholastic Player of the Year, Daryl K. (Doc) Seaman Memorial Trophy
Eastern Conference – Josh Morrissey (Calgary, AB), Prince Albert Raiders
Western Conference – Rourke Chartier (Saskatoon, SK), Kelowna Rockets

WHL Coach of the Year, Dunc McCallum Memorial Trophy
Eastern Conference – Ryan McGill, Kootenay Ice
Western Conference – Ryan Huska, Kelowna Rockets

WHL Executive of the Year, Lloyd Saunders Memorial Trophy
Eastern Conference – Bob Green, Edmonton Oil Kings
Western Conference – Bruce Hamilton, Kelowna Rockets

WHL Humanitarian of the Year, Doug Wickenheiser Memorial Trophy
Eastern Conference – Cody Sylvester (Vernon , BC), Calgary Hitmen
Western Conference – Mitch Topping (Red Deer, AB), Tri City Americans

WHL Marketing / Business Award
Eastern Conference – Saskatoon Blades
Western Conference – Kamloops Blazers

Monday, April 15, 2013

Tambellini Out, McTavish In As Oilers GM

The Edmonton Oilers have fired general manager Steve Tambellini and promoted Craig MacTavish to take over for him.

In addition, former Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson will take over MacTavish's now former role as senior vice president of hockey operations.

Tambellini was in his fifth season as Oilers' general manager after he was hired on July 31, 2008. MacTavish served as the Oilers coach from 2000-09 and was brought back into the organization this season in an executive role.

Howson was hired by the Oilers as a pro scout last month. He was the Oilers assistant general manager from 2002-07.

Faith Hill Leaves Sunday Night Football

Faith Hill is out of the football game.

The country star announced Monday morning on Twitter that she won't be doing the ``Sunday Night Football'' theme song this year.

She's been featured at the top of the broadcast for six years now.

Hill says in her tweet it's been an honour to appear on the NBC show, but that it's time to ``let someone else rock the open. Difficult decision. Kinda emotional.''

``Sunday Night Football'' executive producer Fred Gaudelli tweeted ``great love and appreciation'' to Hill for her participation over the years. He made no mention of what the show plans to do with the opening.

Something To "Mitch" About

If you are a fan of Tiger Woods, the Blue Jays and the L-A Lakers, this was quite an eventful weekend for you as those three certainly took the spotlight.
Lets start with Tiger. This is a debate that could go on and on and on and I don’t really know if there would be a winner. What I do know is that Tiger has now proven he is bigger than the game he plays. You can give me whatever excuse you want to give me about a player unknowingly breaking the rules and having to take a two stroke penalty. The bottom line is that Tiger signed an incorrect scorecard and that means disqualification.  If this had been any other golfer in the field and that includes marquee names like Mickelson. McIlroy, Johnson or whoever, it would have been tough luck partner, but you’re done. In fact, now that a precedent has been set, no other golfer should be DQ'ed from a tournament for signing a wrong scorecard.  Penalizing Tiger two strokes was their way of getting an “out”.  Could Tiger have improved his declining image by voluntarily pulling out, yes he could have, but I don’t think anyone was truly expecting that to happen were they?

I think what bothers me the most in this whole scenario though is that the reason it all came to the attention of officials is because of some bozo sitting at home who for whatever reason has the ability to phone up the course, get someone’s attention and tell them of a violation. Is there some schlub out there puffing out his chest saying he is the reason Tiger got the two stroke penalty? Why does golf allow for Joe Public to have an ability to say something is wrong? Can you imagine the Pandora’s Box that would be opened if other sports allowed this.  CFL officiating director Tom Higgins would never ever get off the phone during the season. What an arcane and idiotic rule. That is what needs to be scrapped.

While Adam Scott won in what was a dramatic final round, one can only wonder how it would have turned out had that chip on 15 Friday simply gone in the hole and not in the water.
After a rough start to the season, it would appear as if the Blue Jays are finally getting their feet underneath them having taken two of three in Kansas City, but the season took a definite downturn Friday night when Jose Reyes suffered an ankle injury that will keep him out for three months. Reyes was seen to be the kingpin of the offense and as lead-off man, he had gotten on base in all 10 games Toronto had played. This means Toronto won’t have the lineup they wanted on the field opening day until after the all-star break as they wanted it to be Arencibia, Lind, Bonifacio, Reyes, Brett Lawrie, Bautista, Rasmus and Encarnacion or Cabrera.  I would think Lawrie will be promoted into the lead-off spot once he is ready to return and that should be very soon by all reports. 
I’m not a Kobe Bryant fan. I never have been, but the torn Achilles tendon injury suffered by him Friday night is a terrible injury to suffer---especially at his age. Its doubtful the Lakers can make the playoffs now without Bryant, and now its time to see if Kobe will be the player he was before he went off. He gave us a heartfelt posting on his Facebook account hours after the injury in which he says he’s not done. We’ll see. As I said, I don’t like Bryant, but it wouldn’t be right to see him go out because of an injury.
The city sent out a press release Friday saying 90 percent of all city residential streets had been plowed. I came home wondering Friday if I was in that 10 percent that hadn’t. I was. SIGHHHH!!!!
We are now less than two months away from the Riders first pre-season game in Edmonton.  Its getting closer.
The Regina Minor Girls Softball Association says opening day is supposed to be April 28. I don’t think opening day will proceed as scheduled. In fact, looking at their diamonds, I am starting to wonder if some of the little ones like my daughter will have a season at all.
The way the Oilers are going, they could find themselves in the lottery again. I don’t care what people are saying---progress is not being made! At least hall of fame writer Terry Jones from the Edmonton Sun is with me by the looks of this column
When I hear PK Subban mentioned in the same breath as the Norris Trophy, it makes me laugh. You might as well put Mike Green in the conversation as well. There is no way that Subban should even be considered in the conversation as far as I'm concerned. Let the hate from the Habs fans begin.

I am resigned to the fact that the Leafs are making the playoffs.
Count me as one of those who could care less that Oprah Winfrey was in Saskatoon. It did make me laugh though that Credit Union Centre was going to transform some mens rooms into ladies room because of all the women attending. I can’t see any event where that might be the other way, and I can only imagine the backlash if it happened.
Congratulations to Trent Cassan and the Yorkton Terriers for winning the SJHL championship Sunday night. The Terriers got a huge triple overtime win in Humboldt Saturday night to take the advantage in the series as it looked like no visiting team would win. Can the Terriers get to the RBC by finishing top two in the Western Canadian championship. I still think that championship is designed to see Alberta and BC teams get there, but if anyone will throw a monkeywrench into those plans, it will be the Terriers. Good luck to them in Nanaimo.

Men who don't understand women fall into two categories. Bachelors and Husbands.
Have a great week. Don't let the weather get ya down!