Monday Update…

A nice three day weekend with warm weather, some bbq, a little golf and nothing burning down as our neighborhood went warzone ballistic on Saturday night…

On the hockey front, most NHL teams are having some form of development camp this summer and there a few Hawks taking part with Tayler Jordan just finishing a free agent stint with the Columbus Blue Jackets.  Brett Ponich will be in St. Louis to take part in the Blues camp (that includes NHL players T.J. Oshie and Erik Johnson) this week and while I haven’t seen anything official yet, I have heard that Travis Ehrhardt will be with the Detroit Red Wings for their development camp.

From reports on the web, it appears that both European Import Draft Picks, Nino Niederreiter and Jacob Berglund, will be in Portland this season, adding to the competition for roster spots on the 2009-10 edition of the Portland Winterhawks.

At some point this summer I will do a season preview for the team (as we get closer to the training camp in late August), but right now, it looks like a lot of bodies vying for a spot on the team.

Eligible to return:


’89 (overagers):  Chris Francis, Radim Valchar, Stefan Schneider

’90 (19 year olds):  Luke Walker, Tayler Jordan, Colin Reddin, Joel Ridgeway

’91 (18 year olds):  Killian Hutt, Oliver Gabriel, Riley Boychuk, Sawyer Mick

’92 (17 year olds): Brad Ross, Taylor Peters

Possible new additions:  Nino Niederreiter (92); Jacob Berglund (91); Ty Rattie (93) and possibly only one other spot for another of the ’93 born forwards from the 2008 Bantam Draft (or maybe from a training camp invitee that impresses).  Also, this list doesn’t include Jason Grecica (90) who may be ready to return after missing all of last season.

You’d have to think that maybe there will only be one overage forward spot open and it is looking more and more that Valchar will get caught in the numbers game being a two-spot player as a 20 and an Euro.


’89 (overagers):  Travis Ehrhardt, Ryan Kerr, Brock Cornish

’90 (19):  Travis Bobbee

’91 (18):  Brett Ponich

’92 (17):  Troy Rutkowski, Joe Morrow, Daniel Johnston

Possible new additions: Tyler Wotherspoon (93) and, again, maybe another 93 from the 2008 Bantam Draft or anyone that impresses from the training camp.

At this time, while strictly my opinion, I don’t think Ehrhardt will be back, earning a pro contract somewhere, although it would be great to have the Captain return to lead the defense that is still very young.   Kerr is a possibility as an overage while I don’t think Cornish has a good chance due to injury concerns.

This is good, young group that could be together for a few years as Morrow, Johnston and Wotherspoon are not even draft eligible until 2011.


’89 (overage) – Kurtis Mucha

’90 (19) – Ian Curtis

’92 (17) – Keith Hamilton

This could be an interesting battle as there is a good possibility that Mucha will be back as a 20 and Mike Johnston said that he will not be carrying three goaltenders this year.  There are a couple of list players that could come in and battle for a spot, but right now, IMO, it looks like these three battle it out for the two spots.

Might be the most interesting battle of the training camp…

Hole #10 at Forest Hills

Hole #10 at Forest Hills

I had a few people make comments asking about my golf game and in all respects, it has been an average summer…no real break out rounds, with most being in the 81-85 range…

I did play yesterday and shot 83 at Forest Hills (one of my favorite courses, check it out here) where I drove the ball nicely all day but couldn’t make any putts when it counted.  Could have easily been a 78…but three putting for par on the Par 5 2nd hurt and not being able to sink any putt in the 5-7 foot range killed the round.  Only had 30 putts on the round, but all the one putts were for par or bogey…did close with a nice birdie on 18 when I nearly jarred a 50 yard sand wedge for eagle, leaving it on the lip for the tap in.

Going to play again this weekend and then prepare to play Crosswater at Sunriver in early August…

Speaking of golf, I hear that that the First Annual Winterhawks Alumni Association golf tournament is filling up fast…so, if you want to take part on Monday, August 10, contact Andrea in the Hawks office at

That’s it for now…

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