Its going to be a busy Friday. The day will culminate of course with the new-look Riders playing at the new-look Mosaic Stadium. Before the game kicks off, we will know who has done what at the NHL draft and another team will have advanced to the semis of Euro 2012.
It will be an interesting night at Mosaic. I have only seen pictures of the what the old girl looks like now and I like what I see. Its now time to witness it first hand while trying to watch the game and seeing what questions get answered. Questions? There are many going into this week as there are every week. Some of the questions I have are
1) Say what you will about last week, the Riders offence did not look crisp in their brief opportunity. Darian Durant needs to have a couple of confidence-building drives. He will get more of an opportunity to do so.
2) Who will emerge as the starting running back? I would have to think Brandon West is the odds on favourite right now, but Kory Sheets can't be far behind.
3) Can Dan Goodspeed hold off the challenge by newly acquired Chris Patrick to hang on to his position?
4) Can the Rider front four get some pressure on Drew Tate and whoever?
5) Can Shomari Williams show us that he is deserving of being the middle linebacker. I'm still not sold on that one.
Meanwhile, the NHL draft will be going on in Pittsburgh. I hope Oilers GM Steve Tambellini either trades the number one pick and gets some assets for it or he takes White City's Ryan Murray. Murray has shown he is NHL ready and Edmonton has enough skilled forwards (Eberle, RNH, Hall, Gagner, Hemsky). Murray would be a great fit and if the Oilers can snag highly touted free agent Justin Schultz as has been suggested and they are in the running for Phoenix's Keith Yandle which has also been suggested at the time of writing this, Edmonton will have improved themselves greatly on the blueline. If Edmonton does trade down, (and I think they will) I wouldn't be surprised to see them end up with Griffin Reinhart. He is also NHL ready and if he's anything like his dad in the NHL, the Oilers will have a player---a player they got to see all last year when he played with the Oil Kings.
Draft night is always full of intrigue. I get the feeling we are going to see a couple of big trades with guys like Rick Nash, Ryan Miller and Patrick Kane coming into play, Yes, I said Ryan Miller and Patrick Kane. I also think Brian Burke has a trick or two up his sleeve. Lets see what transpires.
The day will start at the 4 Seasons. George Yannitsos has invited me down to watch the Greece-Germany Euro 2012 quarterfinals. The Germans are the heavy favourites, but the Greeks have won this thing before and there's nothing saying they can't again. Get the dry ribs ready George, here I come!
Just some other random thoughts...
Lebron James has his first championship. YAY!!! Although if I had a choice between Lebron or Kobe winning, I would take Lebron any day of the week.
Sportsnet's Jeff Marek has asked an interesting question when it comes to the Oilers. Are they better off with Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and what would they be like had they gone with Tyler Seguin and Gabriel Landeskog instead?
I was shocked to see Landeskog win the Calder Trophy as NHL rookie of the year. I thought for sure that award would go to RNH or Adam Henrique and even this Oilers fan thought Henrique would get it.
The best part of the NHL awards ceremony was Will Arnett's Brendan Shanahan parody. That was funny.
Its great seeing Peter Loubardias working this week for the NHL Network. Hopefully this leads to a permanent gig with them.
Happy 40th birthday to my good friend Kelly "The Silver Fox" Remple. The man is always telling people to "stay young". He's now 40 so he needs to take his own advice.
Whatever happened to Regina comedy duo "James and Kevin"? Someone asked me that the other night seeing I do stuff at Access. I couldn't answer them. The only James and Kevin show on right now was the NBA final and its over.
I won't be patrolling the sidelines for CKRM tonight meaning I will once again view the festivities from the press box. Is the elevator working to get up there this year? What? I have to go up the ramps again???? SIGHHHHH!!! Apparently, they didn't do enough upgrades.
With the Riders having made another fistful of money, have they found enough cash to buy Gainer some pants???
Will fans on the east side see Calgary and automatically start chanting Hennnnnn-reeeeeeee!!!!
Who do you take first in a CFL fantasy draft? My guess would be Travis Lulay or Anthony Calvillo
TSN isn't televising tonite's game because of the NHL draft. I can understand that. TSN2 is showing a repeat of the Greece-Germany soccer game.
Wednesday night's hail storm that hit Regina was quite the little storm. I get the feeling we will see several more of those before the summer is over.
Word is the Southland Mall will be getting a Canadian Tire and a Sportchek along with another store where the old Walmart used to be. Its about time. Remember where ya heard this. I wonder what happens to the Sportchek that currently sits beside Chapters.
36-thousand people were at Rogers Centre for the Argos-Als exhibition game. Most of them were kids as they were there on a fieldtrip. Apparently some kids in the GTA had the history of the CFL, the Grey Cup and the Argonauts on their curriculum this semester and it culminated with the game. I love the idea! I know the Edmonton Oil Kings have a game that is played late in the morning so that kids can go watch. I'd love to see the Pats do something similar.
Speaking of the Pats, they have hired former La Ronge Ice Wolves p x p man Daniel Fink to be their new media guy. In my one year with the SJ, I had a talented group of broadcasters to work with and many have moved on which is great. Daniel is in Regina, Dan O'Connor is in Prince George, Gino DePaoli is in Okotoks and Brenden Ullrich is in Edmonton albeit he is now in news and not doing any hockey broadcasts.
With the CRTC now officially giving the go-ahead for Rogers to buy SCN, I wonder if the future plan is for a news-staff to be hired to give Global, CTV and CBC some added competition. Is Regina/Saskatoon big enough for a 4th news outlet?
I don't know if his next start is at home or not, but if you hear that Daniel Jones is starting for the Regina Red Sox, head to Currie Field and watch this kid pitch. He might be one of the best pitchers I have seen in the WMBL since the Red Sox got back into the league a few years ago. Word is the scouts aren't looking at him because he's too small. That's too bad.
Twitter went down for an hour on Thursday. Some reacted as if the end of the world was right around the corner.
10 of the last 11 Grey Cup champs have won their last exhibition game so GO RIDERS!!