Photo: Keith Hershmiller
--Some believe the Regina Pats won't be a playoff team in 2018-19. You can believe that if you want to, but it may be a mistake. Max Paddock is undoubtedly the starter as he tries to build off a 17-year-old season that should see him get drafted somewhere in the mid-to-late rounds of the NHL draft. On defence, Aaron Hyman, Brady Pouteau and Cale Fleury are all 20 and one has to think one if not two will be back.
Up front you have Jake Leschyshyn, Nick Henry, Austin Pratt and Robbie Holmes to start off with, Jared Legien could be a 20 year old forward. If Cole Dubinsky does as a 16 year old what he did in his short stint with the team this past season, he will become a fan favourite in no time.
Make no doubt about it, what you have seen the last two years with the likes of Brooks, Steel, Hobbs, Mahura and Wagner have come to an end, but the situation isn't as dire as one might think it is. It is far too early though to determine just where the Pats could be in the Eastern Division. It is one that some believe Prince Albert could have the inside track on, but one has to believe Brandon will be right there again.
-Now that his days done as a Pat, let the debate start. Where does Sam Steel fit when it comes to all-time greats for the team. The book can't be closed when it comes to that because of where his professional career will take him. However, if you take a look at his accomplishments in junior where does he fit? There is no doubt he is top 10, but did he have a better junior career than Jock Callander, Dale Derkatch or Jordan Eberle? I know what my answer would be.
--One regret from Memorial Cup week. I did not have the chance to meet Dennis Sobchuk. He was the man when I first started going to Pats games at the Exhibition Stadium in the 70's. I've had the opportunity to shake hands and speak with Ed Staniowski and Clark Gillies a number of times, but I've never had the chance to meet Sobchuk. He looked great! Another time!
--The Stanley Cup Final is even at one heading back to Washington. That shouldn't surprise anyone. Game 2 may not have had the same excitement level as Game 1, but the two teams are giving us a treat in these finals to cap off a playoffs that have been one of the more enjoyable ones in years.
--Is your popcorn ready? Johnny Manziel makes his CFL debut tonight as the Ti-Cats take on the Argos. I'm more interested in whether or not Noah Picton gets a chance to play If he is going to have a CFL snap, this will be the game.
--Uh oh!! What do the Ottawa REDBLACKS do if Trevor Harris is done for the year? I think it is safe to say he won't be starting the season unless he has amazing recuperative powers because that hit looked nasty. At best, it's a knee sprain that keeps him out for 4-6 weeks like Mike Reilly a few years ago. Do you stick with Dominique Davis? Do you call Darian Durant who I believe is still property of the Bombers. Do you call Marquise Williams? Here's one---do you see what the asking price is for Brandon Bridge? The medical report will be key on what direction Rick Campbell and Marcel Desjardins take!
--What happened to the CFL in Halifax? It would seem to me as if that issue has been put on the backburner. Halifax will host next year's Memorial Cup. I asked one of their organizers if he knew enough about the situation to comment or if he cared. He said he didn't, but there is a lot of excitement about the potential of the league coming, but there are still far too many question marks. I think we may be a couple of years away.
--It's been asked again, it will be asked before. Why don't Regina drivers like using their signal lights?
--The Regina Red Sox begin another season tonight. The home opener will be Sunday and the Red Sox have asked this guy to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. This guy played a lot of ball in his younger years, but due to age and a bad shoulder (from playing ball), I haven't stepped on a diamond in quite a while. That arm has one more toss in it doesn't it? I guess we will find out Sunday afternoon at 2 o'clock. The question I have is will there be more chirps for yours truly from the 1st base stands, the 3rd base stands or behind the plate.
--The Toronto Blue Jays aren't winning this year. That has been established. Fans want Vladimir Guerrero Junior. Why? Yes, he is hitting the cover off the ball in double A, but that's double A and not the majors. He still has some work to do in the field by the sounds of it and while there is no doubt he will be in Toronto come September when rosters expand, the need is not there to bring him up now. Patience is the key. Bringing him up will mean that Ross Shapiro and Mark Atkins have pushed the panic button. You're not going anywhere with him in the lineup or not. Just continue the development and make room for him next season. Plus, if you bring him up now, you lose a year of service which could be huge moving forward. If Toronto fans are so desperate to see him, then call him up to Triple A Buffalo and watch the convoy head across the border.
--The Bryan Colangelo story is just one of pure fascination. You don't think that could happen, but it might be. Is he the only one?
--When the NHL playoffs start, you have many different teams that can win the Stanley Cup. 16 in fact that have a legitimate argument as to why they could win. Let's face the facts in the NBA. While there are pretenders (Houston, Toronto etc. etc. etc), you can just pencil in the Cavaliers and Warriors. Seeing the same team in the cap era in four straight finals hurts your overall product doesn't it? Would you want to watch Nashville and Pittsburgh for four straight years in the Cup final?
- That's all I got. Have a great weekend!