It’s Friday! AND The First Dave’s Dis N’ Dat For 2014

As we round out the week here are a smattering of thoughts that I like to call a little of Dis N’ Dat!

Alright let’s start with the Saskatoon Blades and it was nice to see them snap their ugly 13 game losing streak on New Year’s Day at Credit Union Centre. What I am curious to see is how many will brave with the expected frigid conditions on Saturday night to take an opportunity to come out and salute the Grey Cup Champion Saskatchewan Roughriders. As I write this there are still big pockets of tickets in the lower bowl for tomorrow night.

Speaking of attendance how about the contingent of Canadian fans at the World Junior Hockey Championship in Malmo Sweden! More than 3000 fans in Red and White have been taking in the action! Interesting that is more fans than in some Western Hockey League buildings over the holidays.

Speaking of those fans it’s awesome to see Regina’s Dave Ash heading the contingent. How cool would it be to have his job as a sports tour operator? It hasn’t been an easy road for Dave or his company Dash Tours out of Regina but he’s lived up to his motto and more… One Call And Your There! I have only had the opportunity to host one of Dave’s tours but from those that have taken in some of his trips they tell me they are top shelf.

More from the World Juniors and it is very funny to me that those who hopped off the band wagon, after Canada’s loss to the Czech Republic in the round-robin, seem to be firmly back on calling for a Canadian gold medal win. We are kind of a fickle fan base.

Another adjective that should be discussed around the tournament is confidence. There is a fine line between being confident and cocky and it drives me insane when the latter comes into play. I do believe, however, that Hockey Canada and the IIHF have crossed that line. It is very evident that Canada is the motor that keeps the event running. The sponsorships on the boards, the gear that other nations are using, etc. all are heavily influenced by Hockey Canada and its’ sponsors. Don’t you think it’s just a tad cocky that the Canadian Logo with the words “We All Play For Canada” etched on the boards at the players bench go over the line! I’m not sure I would agree if I was playing for Russia or the host country, Sweden.

One more from the World Juniors and I find it amusing that TSN has bowed to pressure in their radio markets to produce a radio only broadcast from Sweden. As the tournament began TSN decided to simulcast their television feed on the radio. The move came under harsh criticism as fans and broadcasters commented that they could not follow the play on the radio. SO, TSN stepped in with Dave Randorf and Craig Button who were in Sweden calling action in the other pool and threw them on the radio for Team Canada games. Again the two platforms are entirely different. As a broadcaster who I consider to be one of the best on all platforms once told me, “you have to paint the picture for your listeners. If they cannot see what is happening through your eyes you are not doing your job!” Here’s hoping that TSN now realizes their missed opportunity and rectify it for next year in Toronto/Montreal.

Back on this side of the pond and despite my own skepticism I must admit the Winter Classic in the snow in Michigan had a certain charm. The lone disappointment is that I have yet to hear a firm attendance number from the NHL. To be truthful I believe the league wanted to set a World Record for the most fans to ever watch a hockey game, unfortunately I don’t think that was the case.

Staying with the NHL and a lot is being made of the access that was granted ESPN and the subsequent comments that were made in ultimately deciding that Bobby Ryan would not be on the team. Firstly, the players have to know that those conversations happen all the time when it comes to accessing their abilities. Unfortunately for Ryan that analysis was made public which is why many executives in all sports are shying away from the 24/7 access being granted to their teams.

Speaking of the 24/7 shows and the Saskatoon Blades were Guinea Pigged by Sportsnet and the CHL in their quest for the Memorial Cup, last year. At the time of the tournament OHL Commissioner David Branch told me that it was highly unlikely that the London Knights would take part in such a show this year. Following the Memorial Cup, however, Branch quickly changed his tune stating that they were all in to promote the event and the team. Interesting though as of now I have yet to see anything out of London have you?

Back to Bobby Ryan and it was obviously the comments of his former General Manager Brian Burke and his view on the player’s intensity that drew Ryan’s ire. To look at the bigger picture, however, you have to know that Burke would absolutely love to have him on the Calgary Flames right now.

Staying with the NHL and Dion Phaneuf has signed a seven year extension with Toronto. The move seems to be applauded in the Big Smoke, but is Dion Phaneuf, Phil Kessel and Joffery Lupul enough to build your franchise around?

That’s all I have for today! Hope to see you out at the rink on the weekend!

DT

One Response to It’s Friday! AND The First Dave’s Dis N’ Dat For 2014

  1. Hawker says:

    Hey Dave…love the blogging, but have a few thoughts on this one:

    I think 3000 Canadian fans in Malmo is an exaggeration, considering there have been Canadian games with a total attendance of less than 3000. The little/old rink there has definitely seemed like a Canadian home rink than any neutral site though.

    Regarding the ad boards at World Junior’s, it’s just more proof that for the most part the only folks that care about the tournament is Canadians, and as you have mentioned it is very much a creature of TSN.

    I guess you don’t watch Sportsnet in off hours, I have seen the London Knight’s Quest for the Cup episodes a lot. Here is a link to the first one:
    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/juniors/quest-for-the-cup-episode-1/

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