Been a bit since my last post…some random thoughts…
— Congrats to the Windsor Spitfires for their dominating performance at the Memorial Cup in Brandon. They showed from the first shift of the first game that they were the team to beat and none of the other three teams could do that and in the end, the best team in the tournament won.
Sure, it would have been great to see Mike Williamson and the Calgary Hitmen raise the Cup, or the Brandon Wheat Kings, but it just wasn’t meant to be. Thanks to the NHL Network for showing the Rogers SportsNet feed here in the U.S. so I could watch the games.
— The NHL Combine is going on this week in Toronto with Nino Niederreiter, Ryan Johanson, Brad Ross and Troy Rutkowski all taking part. The combine is a week of interviews and physical testing (all off the ice) with all 30 NHL teams taking part to do their best to narrow down which prospects they want to go after in late June.
You can watch some NHL Draft prospect profiles of the four Hawks (and other prospects as well) on the NHL website here.
— The announcement that the CHL teams will be part of the NHL ’11 EA Sports game coming out in September brought some interesting reactions – fans love it, but the NCAA supporters saw it as the league patronizing their players. Since that came out, we find out that the NCAA is looking at doing the same thing.
Either way…the addition of CHL teams in the game changes nothing for the players as far as their playing status, WHL education plans or their ability to be drafted and pursue their dreams of playing professional hockey. To suggest that the players are “slaves” is absolutely mind boggling at the least and downright assinine at the most.
The battle between Paul Kelly and the CHL is becoming very interesting and should give both sides ample opportunities to trash the other in the future. Makes for some fun reading…
— The Stanley Cup Final is now set and it is certain that a former Hawk will have his name engraved on the Cup at the conclusion of the series with Marian Hossa playing for Chicago and Braydon Coburn playing for Philadelphia.
Hossa will have now played in three straight Stanley Cup Final, having lost the last two seasons with Pittsburgh (beat by Detroit) and Detroit (beat by Pittsburgh). This is Coburn’s first trip to the Final.
One of them will join Adam Deadmarsh, Nolan Pratt, Glen Wesley and John Kordic as former Hawks on the Cup. Mark Messier and Mike Vernon also donned Hawks jerseys at some point, but they weren’t full time Hawks, but they each have their name on the Cup multiple times.
— It has been a good year for Hawks and/or former Hawks in the various championships this year with a number being on the winning side, a rundown:
Luke Walker – Gold Medal World Junior Championships with Team USA
Brenden Morrow – Gold Medal Olympics with Team Canada
Either Marian Hossa or Braydon Coburn – Stanley Cup
Mike Williamson – Ed Chynoweth Cup with Calgary Hitmen
Jakub Klepis – Gold Medal World Championships with the Czech Republic
Ryan Kerr – AJHL Championship with the Spruce Grove Saints
Patrick Wellar (Hershey) and Colton Sceviour (Texas) are both still alive in the Calder Cup race in the AHL
Did I miss any???
— Don’t forget the NHL Draft Party will be coming up on June 25th at Buffalo Wild Wings in downtown Portland starting at 3:00 PM with yours truly, Dean and Todd Vrooman and Dan Folwick amongst other guests. For more information, visit the Hawks website.
That’s it for now…