The Season Wraps…

It was a long season…but it went by so fast…

When the clock struck 00:00 last night at the Memorial Coliseum, the 2008-09 season for the Portland Winter Hawks came to a close with a 4-3 loss to the Chilliwack Bruins.

My original thought was to do a lengthy post mortum on the season with a lot of mind-numbing stats but I just don’t have the energy right now.  Being a broadcaster for a team that has won 30 games in two years isn’t easy.  It is more of a mental drain than a physical one and the last month has been especially mentally draining with some long bus hours and not many days at home.

I had a number of people ask me the past couple of days if I was ready for the season to end…my answer was yes, but I’d rather be preparing for a first round playoff match-up.  I am definitely ready to spend weekends at home…

As the season ends, it is time to do a bunch of “thank you’s”…

– To Vicki and Aiden…you guys know what you mean to me and the patience you have while I’m rolling around the Pacific Northwest on a bus can never be thanked enough.  I am very lucky to have both of you in my corner and I hope you don’t get sick of me over the next five months.

– To Mike Johnston, Travis Green and Kyle Gustafson…thanks for providing me the access I need to do my job and for being open and honest in our discussions.  I look forward to a full season with you all as you continue to drive this team in the right direction.

– To Rich Campbell and Rob Gagne…thanks for the great discussions and many laughs we shared on the road and in the locker room this season.  You are true professional’s at what you do and the Winter Hawks are lucky to have you on board.

– To Rich Kromm, Brian Pellerin and Innes Mackie…I miss having all three of you around the rink and on road trips.  It was not an easy time to start this season and all three of you never let it show in your work and you always did your jobs with pride and dedication.  Thanks for being who you are and I wish you all success in your post Hawk careers.

– To Bill Gallacher, Doug Piper and the entire Business Operations Staff…thanks for making me feel such a large part of the organization.  The wheels are rolling in the right direction and I have confidence that you all will steer the team to success.

– To Dean Vrooman and John Kirby…you two showed me the ropes at this broadcasting gig and I would never be where I am without your help.  We never did get the three of us together on a broadcast this year like we discussed…something we have to do in 2009-10.  Our broadcasts together were always full of laughs (mostly behind the scenes) and they were some of the best times, win or lose…thanks again for giving me my break in broadcasting.

– To Mark Ertle…you can attest that being a broadcaster for a team that only wins 30 games in two years is hard.  Thanks for your enthusiasm and efforts…they are greatly appreciated.

– To Mike Schacker, Zak Travis, Jason Huth and Nate Corbett…the folks running the board at the KKAD studio.  We had some trying times this year with technical issues, but we always made it on the air.  Thanks for the hard work and for being there and keeping Winter Hawks hockey on the air!

– To the players…while it would have been nice with more wins, it was never boring.  It was a pleasure to watch you all develop and mature and I look forward to another year on the bus with the boys in 2009-10.

– To the parents and families of the players…I’ve said it a lot…without your love and quidance, there would be no Winter Hawks or WHL.  It isn’t easy to let your children move from home to chase their dreams.  I’ve got the pleasure of knowing most, if not all, of you over the past few years.  Thanks for the compliments that you send my way…you guys are why I do what I do.

– Lastly…to the fans, listeners and readers of the blog…I know you get frustrated at times…so do I.  Your passion is what keeps the team alive and without you, the team would cease to exist.  Keep the faith…I have a feeling that in the not so distant future, the past three losing seasons will be long forgotten.

With the season coming to an end, the blog will continue but the posts will be less frequent (some will say that they have been less frequent lately…and I can’t argue with that…so don’t bother posting it in the comments…OK?).

The best way to keep tabs of any new posts is to subscribe to the RSS feed by clicking on the button on this page.

Cindi asked about dates for the Bantam Lottery Pick, the Bantam Draft and the Import Draft…I know that the Bantam Draft is a bit earlier than normal (April 30) but I’m not sure on the others.  The Lottery should be in the next week or so (possibly Thursday?) and the Import Draft will be in late June.

Thanks again for reading…

I’m out…

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10 Comments

  1. I know I just started following this blog but I’ll miss coming here for the game to game updates of how the Hawks are doing on the road. Thanks for the good reads, I look forward to getting up to date on the incoming players and eventually the new season. Thank you.

  2. Thank you Andy……

    I wonder if you might make some post season predictions?? I like Spokane v. Calgary.

    But watch out for Lethbridge.

  3. Andy,

    Thanks for all your hard work this past season. You did a great job. Look for to 2009-2010 Season. Not that far away.

  4. Have a great summer, Andy!

  5. Have a great summer, enjoy your daughters swimming and get ready for a potentially busy off season.

    The team has some real questions to answer as they move into making this team a playoff group for 2009 – 2010.

    AJP

  6. Have a great summer Andy! and I will guarantee that next season will last into April and I bet we get as many wins next year as we have in the last two years combined and I bet we hit that mark in the month of Feb.It was very nice to see the crowds this weekend and I think we played some great hockey on Saturday night our breakout passes have really improved in the last month or so.Next season is going to be fun one I think

  7. Looks like it’s time to hit the links eh Andy, Im in Tigard, but dont mind hitting the road for a day of chasing the little white ball around. Great job again this year Andy, Thanks for all you do !!

    A Fan,
    Dave

  8. Thanks for keeping us up to date all season Andy, you’re a pleasure to read as always.

  9. Thank you Andy for keeping us fans informed of our loved ones playing for the Winter Hawks. We have enjoyed listening to you and your calling of the games.

    Grandpa Ron.

  10. In closing the season Andy … a big Amen!

    The fans, the team, the staff, the organization can count their blessings, and now the Bantam Draft has come our way too ….

    We were promised a “re-building period,” and that was what was delievered, and … we are not done rebuilding yet, but we are well on our way …

    We certainly can now look forward to bigger, exciting, brighter years ahead.

    Best regards Everyone, See YOU Next Season, Cheering Our Team, Win or Lose, on to Victory … never give up!


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    Got a question for the broadcast crew? You can email questions to hawksradio@gmail.com and if you include your name and city, we just may answer them on the air!