Road Trip Winding Down…

Seems like we’ve been on the road for a month…but after tonight’s game with Kelowna, we’ll leave the Okanagan city and head south back into the U.S. before taking on the Tri City Americans on Saturday before finally returning to the Rose City early on Sunday AM.

We’ve joked about our vacation in Kelowna, but the team has kept up a tight routine of breakfast, followed by a school session, lunch, practice, dinner and rest pretty much all week. 

Of course, just about every conversation with the Coaching Staff that I’ve had the past few days has begun with “what’s the latest?” regarding trades and rumors of trades.  Both Mike Johnston and Travis Green have been working the phones, but the impression I’m getting is that they aren’t going to make a move just to make a move.  I will talk to Johnston for our pre-game show tonight and the focus will be on the trade deadline and his thoughts heading into tomorrow.

Of the trades made so far – the rich seem to get richer as Vancouver picks up Nick Ross and Alex Rodgers from Kamloops for Curtis Kulchar and three picks.  We won’t know the true impact of this trade for Kamloops for a few years, but right now it looks like the Giants won this one and maybe it was a matter of brother helping brother with Craig and Scott Bonner.

The other rich team that got richer was Calgary picking leading goal scorer Joel Broda.  I expect Broda’s scoring rate to go down with the Hitmen as he will be joining a team with a lot of talent that will be spread around, as opposed to being “the guy” in Moose Jaw.  I relate it to Mike Hurley joining the Hawks from Tri City at the trade deadline in 1998.  His goal scoring dropped off, but he was still a key player for the team through the Memorial Cup championship.

I had a chance to sit down and have lunch with Director of Player Personnel Garry Davidson and Head Scout Grant Armstrong yesterday as they were in Kelowna watching a Midget tournament and catching up with both Johnston and Green.  They are working hard building a priority list for the Bantam Draft in May and they are heading today to Calgary to take in the Alberta Bantam All-Star Game.

It appears that there may not be a consensus #1 guy for the Bantam Draft this year, but the talent level is evenly distributed throughout the top 25 players, meaning it should be a good first round for the WHL.

For tonights game, the Kelowna Rockets are resting Tyler Myers and Jamie Benn after the World Junior Tournament, so the Hawks won’t have to worry about them. 

Riley Grantham, whom the Rockets acquired from Moose Jaw this week, is set to make his Rocket debut tonight.

For Portland, Chris Francis has remained with the team following the death of his Father, and should be in the line-up the next couple of games.

That’s it for now…I’ll post game notes later…and any updates should they occur…

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2 Comments

  1. Hope that Chris is doing ok! It sucks to lose someone you love like that!! Wish him luck for tonights game for me!! thanks

    p.s. GO HAWKS GO!!!!!

    a sad fan
    Rebecca

  2. Chris is a very impressive young man. I admire him tremendously. His parents did a great job in teaching him values in life. This is a terrible time to have to go through; but with his Dad’s influence, I’m sure Chris will get through this and do very well in the future. I wish him and his Mother rays of sunshine in the future.


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