Wednesday, December 31, 2008

So long, 2008!

It's time to bid adieu to 2008, and look ahead to '09:

  • The Saskatchewan Roughriders lost their head coach (Kent Austin) last January. However, the 2008 season wasn't lost until Michael Bishop rolled into town.
  • Would Marcus Crandell have flourished with a healthy receiving corps in 2008?
  • Seriously, did anyone think Michael Bishop was the answer? Seriously?
  • Rider slotbacks Jason Clermont and Andy Fantuz will battle for the CFL's Outstanding Canadian award in 2009.
  • The Regina Pats bowed out of the 2008 WHL playoffs with barely a whimper, losing to a much faster squad from Swift Current.
  • This year's edition is faster, but, outside of Jordan Weal, name me one bonafide, honest-to-goodness blue-chip young prospect on the Pats. Okay, I suppose Damien Ketlo would qualify too.
  • I really enjoyed my first taste of coaching minor football in 2008. I'd say the atom Cougars are stuck with me with another year, for better or worse.
  • My kid likes having me as his coach, which is all the endorsement I could ever need.
  • Young Jacob may not be a natural star athlete, but his work ethic is outstanding. Suffice to say I'm proud.
  • I wonder what changes Access will throw at us for SportZone in 2009? I've said it before, but Corey Matthews really is doing a fine job as the full-time co-host.
  • I'd also like to thank the other community co-hosts for their contributions in 2008 - so thanks Tim Hubic, Carlo Palazzo, Alynn Brischuk and Brandon Brooks!
  • Please be safe while ringing in the new year tonight. The fun starts with Canada vs the U.S. at the world junior tournament in Ottawa.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A last-minute list

Thank goodness for email and that new-fangled interweb - I think I can still get my Christmas list to Santa in time for tonight. Here's what I'm hoping the jolly old elf brings:

  • A pink slip for Packers general manager Ted Thompson
  • A professional hockey team in Toronto
  • An end to this cold snap!
  • A goal for Brad, Jacob.
  • A star quarterback for the 2009 atom Cougars
  • An offensive line for that quarterback to play behind
  • Cheese, and lots of it
  • Did I mention I want Ted Thompson gone?
  • My October paycheque from Access! November and December too, please.
  • A hard rock defenceman and a veteran centre for the Regina Pats
  • Maurice Lloyd back in Rider green in 2009
  • A salary cap in major league baseball
  • A consistent backhand in tennis
  • A break from injuries - getting old sucks!
  • A new domed stadium for Regina
  • A new communications gig
  • Halle Berry
  • Another year of smiles and hugs from the munchkin
And if Santa can't fit all that on the sleigh, just send over Halle Berry with a cheese tray. That'll do!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday thoughts

A little gray matter shuffling is in order, on the verge of a long weekend:

  • Did everyone in gov't take an EDO today? You could swing a dead cat in here today and not even hit a bureaucrat!
  • My latest term gig runs out at the end of March. Better polish up that resume over the holidays, I suppose.
  • Given recent events, I'd say landing a new gig has become a priority.
  • Mats Sundin is a Vancouver Canuck. First Sundin refuses to waive his no trade clause last year, so the Leafs can't get anything for him. Then he takes half of this season to pick a new team. Swedish drama queen?
  • Or, given his Swedish heritage, more like Dancing Queen?
  • I almost wonder if the Regina Pats wouldn't be better off dealing their most marketable veterans at the WHL trade deadline, in an attempt to stock up for next year. Or are they really only a player or two away from competing with Vancouver and Calgary?
  • Now that Jason Clermont is a Saskatchewan Roughrider, he won't be making his annual appearance on SportZone. It's a Rider/Access thing.
  • Oakland Raiders fans now know what it was like to cheer for the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 80's. Just waiting for the crazy old man to die...
  • Wow, I really need to rekindle my Christmas spirit! Thankfully, a weekend with the munchkin will do just that. So, on that note...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Hall joins Evil Empire

It's official. Saskatchewan Roughriders' Defensive Coordinator Richie Hall is the new head coach of the Edmonton Eskimos. Read all about it here.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Monday musings

Maybe thinking can generate some heat:

  • Why yes, it is in fact cold enough for me. Thanks for asking.
  • Congrats to Jordan Eberle and Colten Teubert for cracking the Team Canada roster for the world juniors.
  • Without those two, the Pats look like a very good team. A very good midget AAA team.
  • The first rule of media relations is to return calls/messages in a timely manner.
  • After spending all weekend in a classroom setting, I'm another step closer to being an NCCP level one certified football coach.
  • In case I forgot to mention it, Corey Matthews is now the full-time co-host of SportZone on Access 7. And doing a fine job, by the way.
  • Seriously, this weather is completely unacceptable.
  • Boy, good thing the Green Bay Packers got rid of Brett Favre and Jon Ryan huh? What a trainwreck that team has become.
  • I get to attend a four hour meeting this afternoon. Pray for me.
  • My kid plays defense like Brad Marsh. I love him anyway.
  • I think I saw a brass monkey crying this morning.

Pats duo to wear Team Canada jerseys

Congratulations to defenceman Colten Teubert and forward Jordan Eberle of the Regina Pats, who made the final Team Canada roster for the world junior hockey championships. The news release from the WHL is below.


OTTAWA, ON – Hockey Canada and the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) announced on Monday the 22 players that will make up Canada’s National Junior Team for the upcoming 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship in Ottawa, from December 26, 2008 – January 5, 2009.

12 of the 22 players announced to the roster are from the Western Hockey League, including 2008 IIHF World Junior Championship gold medalists Zach Boychuk (Lethbridge Hurricanes) and Thomas Hickey (Seattle Thunderbirds).

Also, for the fourth time in the last five years both goaltenders named to Team Canada ply their trade in the WHL, arch rivals during the regular season will become teammates over the holidays as the Spokane Chiefs’ Dustin Tokarski and the Tri-City Americans’ Chet Pickard are named to the roster.

To view Canada’s 2009 National Junior Team’s full roster, go to .

Canada will play its first game of the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship on Boxing Day, December 26th versus the Czech Republic.

TSN, TSN HD and, along with RDS, RDS HD and have live coverage of the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship, airing December 26 to January 5 from Ottawa.

Canada has medaled in 10-straight World Junior Championships including: gold medal performances in 2008, 2007, 2006 and 2005, silver medals in 2004, 2003, 2002, 1999 and bronze medals in 2001 and 2000.

For more information on the 2008 IIHF World Junior Championship, or Canada’s National Junior Team, visit Hockey Canada’s official website

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

SportZone lineup for December 10

Here's the lineup for this week's show, airing Wednesday at 6 p.m. and Thursday at 3 p.m. on Access channel 7:

SportZone Guests for Dec 10/08
Community Co-Host: Corey Matthews

1. (Event profile) A preview of the 2008 Regina Youth Curling Bonspiel. Guest: Jan Betker (Curl Regina Youth Coordinator). (

2. (Regina Sport Spotlight) Two members of the University of Regina Men’s Hockey Team will represent Canada at the 2009 Winter Universiade. Guests: Brant Hilton (Cougars Goalie) and Kyle Ross (Cougars Forward).

3. (Fitness/Lifestyle segment) A profile of Regina’s Lonsdale Boxing Club. Guests: Frank Fiacco (Lonsdale Club President) & Shyloe Davis (Boxer).

4. (U of R segment) A profile of the University of Regina men’s basketball team. Guest: James Hillis (Head Coach).

SportZone trivia: Who is the Cougar men's basketball career leader in points scored? Email your answer, and your contact information, to:

Monday, December 08, 2008

Monday musings

Let's clear out some space upstairs:

  • The Green Bay Packers should fire general manager Ted Thompson. Among other boneheaded moves, he completely bungled the Brett Favre situation and cut Regina's Jon Ryan. Favre is on the verge of taking the Jets to the playoffs, Ryan is punting the cover off the ball in Seattle, and the Packers have gone from 13-3 last season to a playoff wannabee this year.
  • I'm giving head coach Mike McCarthy the benefit of the doubt, for now.
  • Jason Clermont as a Saskatchewan Roughrider? What's not to like?
  • Seriously, his skills, experience and leadership abilities are a perfect fit for what could be a very young receiving corps next season.
  • The Regina Pats have become predictable lately. They generally beat the teams below them in the standings, and lose to the teams ahead of them.
  • What a revelation Brett Leffler has been! He and Matt Strueby are piling up the points on Regina's second line.
  • Can I get a prorogue at work?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Eberle and Teubert get the call

Congratulations to Regina Pats forward Jordan Eberle and defenceman Colten Teubert, who are among the 38 players invited to take part in the national junior team selection camp later this month. The news release from Hockey Canada is below.




OTTAWA, ON – Hockey Canada and the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) announced on Wednesday that 38 of Canada’s best junior-aged hockey players (born in 1989 or later) have been invited to take part in Canada’s National Junior selection camp from December 11-15, 2008 at the SBP Arena in Ottawa, ON and the Robert-Guertin Arena in Gatineau, QC.

Among the 38 players invited, 18 are currently playing in the Western Hockey League, including 2008 IIHF World Junior Championship gold medalists Zach Boychuk (Lethbridge Hurricanes) and Thomas Hickey (Seattle Thunderbirds). Of the players selected to participate at Canada’s National Junior Team Selection Camp, only six are eligible for the 2009 NHL Entry Draft including Western Hockey League NHL Top Prospects Evander Kane (Vancouver Giants) and Brayden Schenn (Brandon Wheat Kings). In the past 10 years WHL players have made up 40% of Team Canada’s National Junior roster, and 60% of Team Canada’s defenceman, in the last 10 years, played in the WHL.

Four of the 38 players invited won gold medals at the 2008 IIHF World Junior Championship in Pardubice, Czech Republic. Thirty-one of the players named to the selection camp roster were drafted in either the 2007 or 2008 NHL Entry Draft, including thirteen first-round selections and eight second-round picks.

Hockey Canada may add additional players prior to the opening of the selection camp on December 11, in the event that any NHL teams loan Canada’s National Junior Team junior-aged eligible players currently playing in the NHL.

“On behalf of Hockey Canada, I would like to congratulate the players named today, along with their club teams, their parents and all the minor hockey coaches and officials who helped them along with the way,” said Brad Pascall, Hockey Canada’s senior director of men’s national teams. “I would also like to make special note of the great partnership that Hockey Canada has with the Canadian Hockey League, which is essential to the success of the Program of Excellence.”

“Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence, which includes our under-17 and under-18 programs, has provided many of these players with the preparation and experience for to deal with the rigors of the upcoming World Juniors and high paced international competition,” said Al Murray, Hockey Canada’s head scout for men’s national teams. “The quality and skill of the 38 players invited to the camp next week is a testament of the hard work, commitment and development of all those involved in the Canadian minor hockey and junior hockey system.”

Murray traveled coast to coast during the first part of the 2008-09 hockey season assessing players in preparation for the selection camp.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

(Day after) Monday musings

Truth be told, I needed an extra day to recover from a weekend jaunt to Vancouver...
  • I'm no Stephen Harper fan/apologist, but I'm pretty sure Canadians did not vote for a coalition government this fall.
  • Seriously, Prime Minister Stephane Dion? Are we going to change the name of the country to Wuss-ovia?
  • Will the new national anthem be recorded by Rene Simard?
  • (Taliban) Jack Layton for Foreign Affairs Minister anyone?
  • Vancouver - nice city, but the rain would drive me bonkers if I had to live there.
  • Sure is a nice place to visit though. Lots and lots to see and do within easy walking distance of our hotel on Granville St.
  • AC/DC can still rock!
  • My ears have finally stopped ringing!
  • Do members of the Richie Hall fan club know there's a difference between being a coordinator and a head coach? Quite a different skill set, actually.
  • Having said that, if Richie does have the necessary attributes, nobody deserves an opportunity more than he does.
  • Not a successful road trip for the Pats so far, unless you count getting Prince George's coach fired a major accomplishment.
  • What has happened to Matt Strueby's production? He was lighting the lamp at a fantastic pace the first month of the season. Not so much since.
  • I wonder what Brian Burke's first big move will be as Leafs GM. I suspect it won't involve a trade with the Edmonton Oilers.

SportZone lineup for December 3

Here's the lineup of guests for this week's show, airing Wednesday at 6 p.m. and Thursday at 3 p.m. on Access channel 7:

SportZone Guests for Dec 3/08
Community Co-Host: Corey Matthews

1. (Athlete/team profile) A profile of the Leboldus Golden Suns junior boy’s basketball team. Guests: Rob Pyne (Head Coach) & Joe DeCiman (Player).

2. (Regina Sport Spotlight) The Campbell Tartans celebrate a provincial senior boy’s volleyball championship. Guests: Calvin Toffan (Head Coach), Roger LePage (Assistant Coach) & Connor Burns (Team Captain).

3. (Fitness/Lifestyle segment) A profile of Regina’s New Line Boxing Academy. Guests: Moses Ali (Executive Director).

4. (Event profile) A preview of the 2008 provincial Learn-to-Ski weekend in Saskatchewan. Guest: Terry Hooper (Alpine Saskatchewan President).

5. (U of R segment) A profile of the University of Regina men’s volleyball team. Guest: Greg Barthel (Head Coach).

SportZone trivia: How many matches did the Cougar men's volleyball team win in the 2007/08 season? Email your answer, with your contact information, to: