Monthly Archives: April 2014
Saskatoon Blades defenceman Nelson Nogier is taking home some major hardware from the WHL’s 2013-14 Awards in Calgary.
While hockey players are used to being recognized for their achievements on the ice, Nogier had a season to remember off the ice. The Blades alternate captain has taken home the WHL’s Top Scholastic Player Award, the Daryl K. (Doc) Seaman Memorial Trophy.
“It’s absolutely an honour to even be considered for this kind of award,” said Nogier. “Finding the balance between hockey and school can be a real challenge for players across the league and it’s something I’ve really taken pride in since I was a young.”
The Western Hockey League announced today that the WHL Board of Governors have approved the application to transfer the ownership of the Prince George Cougars and the Regina Pats WHL franchises.
The WHL Board of Governors voted unanimously to approve the transfer of the Prince George Cougars ownership from Rick Brodsky to EDGEPRO Sports and Entertainment Ltd., and the Regina Pats from Russ and Diane Parker to Queen City Sports and Entertainment Group Ltd.
Ready to hit the turf of Griffiths Stadium in PotashCorp Park for spring camp, the University of Saskatchewan Huskie football team will get its first chance to test skills for the 2014 season.
Spring camp kicks off early Thursday morning with the 14th annual Dogs Breakfast at Prairieland Park and wraps up Sunday with the Green and White scrimmage. The Dogs Breakfast helps raise scholarship funds for the team. 2013 Grey Cup champion quarterback Darian Durant and receiver Geroy Simon from the Saskatchewan Roughriders will speak. At the event, Huskie head coach Brian Towriss will make an official announcement of new recruits to the team.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today that non-import defensive lineman Ryan Wellman and import defensive back Antonio Fenelus have signed with the team. As per club policy financial details of the contract were not released.
Wellman (6’6 – 235) joins the Riders after spending four seasons at the University of Regina. During his career with the Rams, the Regina native totaled 83 tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 quarterback sacks, and two forced fumbles. After red-shirting the 2009 season, Wellman played junior football in 2010 with the Vancouver Island Raiders before returning to the Rams for the 2011, 2012 and 2013 seasons. He was named a 2012 Canada West All-Star.
This will be the second time Wellman has attended training camp with the Riders after signing with the team in December, 2012 before returning to school for his fourth season.
10 – The Lethbridge Hurricanes had to appear before Lethbridge City Council last night to address the community owned franchise’s performance on and perhaps more importantly off the ice. The team is being sued by a former Assistant Coach and has hit rock bottom with a number of their players asking for trades out of the South Western Alberta city this winter. With the lawsuit that has been filed as well as growing animosity in the city the once proud franchise is fighting a bit up hill battle.
9 – WHL Comissioner Ron Robison was in attendance at the meeting and answered a number of concerns from council one being the perceived disadvantages faced by small market teams. The Commish responded with, “no team has an economic advantage over another. The difference is in management.” I know of at least one team that would disagree.
The Prince Albert Mintos (West) have won the 2014 TELUS Cup, claiming Canada’s 41st National Midget Championship with a 4-3 triple-overtime win over the Grenadiers de Châteauguay (Quebec) in Sunday’s gold medal game at Mosaic Place.
The game was the longest in tournament history at 108 minutes and 36 seconds, surpassing the previous mark of 102:24 set in the Mintos’ 5-4 win over the Calgary Buffaloes in the gold medal game of the 2006 TELUS Cup.
The victory gives Prince Albert its third gold medal, joining 2006 and 2007. The Mintos are just the sixth team in the history of Canada’s National Midget Championship to win at least three national titles, joining the Regina Pat Canadians (1983, 1988, 1994, 1999), Couillard/Gouverneurs de Ste-Foy (1978, 1979, 1996, 2001), Notre Dame Hounds (1980, 1986, 2009, 2010), Lions du Lac St-Louis (1981, 1985, 1992) and Riverains du Collège Charles-Lemoyne/Richelieu (1987, 1990, 1998).
Here are some random thoughts from the week that was in the world of sports..
We’ll start off with the Saskatoon Blades who announced a new radio partnership with the Saskatoon Media group this morning. That means that the Blades radio home will remain on 92-9 The Bull with Les Lazaruk calling the play through the 2017-2018 season.
More from the WHL, and at the news conference to announce the sale of the Regina Pats did outgoing owner Russ Parker take a shot at the Blades? He said, ““The things in Saskatoon haven’t gone as well as the governors were led to believe.” Now there was no clarification as to whether or not he was referring to the teams on ice or off ice performance. It would be very interesting to hear what he actually meant by the comment.
Staying with hockey and there seems to be outrage around the NHL over the 7-game suspension handed to Matt Cooke. The Minnesota Wild forward is a repeat offender of many vicious hits and his latest on young defenceman Tyson Barrie of the Colorado Avalanche. The knee in question may very well be career altering for the d-man. I’ll say that I agree that the suspension was too lenient but I will caution to act as judge and jury as we were not privy to Cooke’s side of the story, which may have been an interesting argument to hear.
More hockey and Hockey Night In Canada host Ron MacLean came under fire this week when he stated that a French-Canadian referee should not have been assigned to work game four of the Montreal-Tampa Bay series after another Quebec born official made a controversial call in game two. Unfortunately the focus of his comments was that he said French which always stirs up a hornets nest in our country. What he should have said was regionally neutral. I do not buy into any conspiracy theory nor do I think any hockey official has any bias at any time. However, the optics didn’t look good and the NHL should know better than to put their officials in that position.
One last hockey thought and so you want the American Hockey League to come to Saskatoon? Are you ready to pay for it? To leave Abbotsford, the money losing , top affiliate of the Calgary Flames, Heat will be paid $5.5-million from the city of Abbotsford. Total cost to the tax payers for having the privilege of a pro hockey team will be close to $12-million, which doesn’t include the infrastructure for the rink!
In football the Saskatchewan Roughriders were fined almost $18,000 for exceeding the CFL salary cap by the same amount. First of I would like to show my admiration for General Manager Brendan Taman taking responsibility for going over the cap. Additionally, I think he truly felt some remorse for exceeding the league’s $4.4-million cap. However, I had an outstanding conversation with a high ranking football operations official and I asked him if the football ops department would be upset with team’s focusing on players achieving individual goals for personal financial gains in the form of bonuses. He simply put if that’s what you are worried about in terms of staying under the cap you have some big problems. Of course, those incentives in part were responsible for the Riders going over the cap.
Staying with the news of the cap overage and the Edmonton Sun’s Terry Jones had the best comment that I read on twitter, “Punishment for going over salary cap in CFL should be a schedule full of Thursday night games. With 8 p.m. starts. And opening week bye.” He of course is referring to the Edmonton Eskimos schedule of years past.
One more from the CFL and for those fans that are calling for the players to get revenue sharing included in a new collective bargaining agreement I say be careful what you ask for. The players are seemingly asking for a share of the league’s revenue BEFORE expenses. This would be huge for the Saskatchewan Roughriders as it is very evident that through ticket and merchandise sales they are league leaders in revenue, therefore, any sharing would definitely sting them the most. So be careful what you ask for!
There will be no need to turn the dial to catch Blades action on the radio as the team has announced a new 4-year contract extension with Saskatoon Media Group, the parent company of 92.9 The Bull.
The new contract runs through to the end of the 2017-18 WHL season and will see all Blades regular season and playoff games broadcast live on the air, along with a minimum of two exhibition games per season.
The Western Hockey League announced today a special meeting of the WHL Board of Governors has been scheduled for Wednesday April 30, 2014 in Calgary to review applications to transfer the ownership of the Prince George Cougars and Regina Pats WHL franchises. The meeting will take place at the Deerfoot Inn in Calgary at 8:30 am, prior to the WHL Awards luncheon.
The owner of the Prince George Cougars, Rick Brodsky has entered into an agreement with Mr. Greg Pocock of EDGEPRO Sports & Entertainment Ltd., to purchase the Prince George WHL franchise. Mr. Pocock is the head of a group consisting of local Prince George businessmen and former WHL players who formed EDGEPRO to purchase the Cougars franchise.
In the words of Saskatchewan Roughrider analyst Michael Ball, “If you aren’t cheating you aren’t tryin’!”
An extensive audit process has confirmed seven of eight teams were under the Canadian Football League’s salary cap, the CFL announced today.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders were the only team to exceed the cap. Their total salary expenditure of $4,417,975 was $17,975 over the salary cap of $4,400,000. They will be penalized one dollar for each dollar they were over the cap for a total fine of $17,975.