Some Of Dis N’ Dat To Wrap Up The Week

Well it has been an interesting few days in the local world of sports where are some random thoughts on the week that was.

– Bye, bye Richie! I will be truthful I was surprised to hear the news last week that Richie Hall would not be back as the Riders defensive coordinator in 2015. Maybe more surprising though was the fact that Corey Chamblin was calling the defence for the final third of the season.

– Call LaPolice: It appears as though former Rider Offensive Coordinator Paul LaPolice is the front runner to return to that role left vacant by George Cortez’s departure. I wouldn’t be surprised if the job doesn’t also come with a title of Assistant or Associate Coach.

– Most talked about job in Regina? So with the Riders looking for both an Offensive and Defensive Coordinator I’m not sure that they are the most talked about job in Regina. The Head Coaching vacancy with the University of Regina Rams is garnering some attention. The team is currently interviewing for Frank McCrystal’s successor. From what I have heard the Rams are looking to make a splash with the hire. Names that I have heard associated with the position include; Paul LaPolice, Bob Dyce, Ricie Hall, Kavis Reed, Marc Mueller, Tom Sargent, and Gene Makowsky just to name a few. I have spoken with a few of those candidates and only a couple can legitimately be taken of the list.

– Almost as intriguing to me as the opening in Regina is the new vacancy with the Calgary Dinos who lost Blake Nill to UBC last week. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a well-known former Stampeder take over the reins of the program. However, a possible candidate could be Matthew ‘Snoop’ Blokker. A veteran to junior football Blokker was instrumental in the success of the Vancouver Island Raiders, a program that he built into a perennial contender in B.C. Add to that in his first season as the Head Coach of the Calgary Colts he perhaps engineered one of the greatest season-over-season turnarounds for a program leading the Colts to the PFC final in Saskatoon after a winless 2013 season.

– Adding more fuel to the Rockets? The Kelowna Rockets and Prince Albert Raiders swung the first blockbuster deal of the WHL season late Wednesday night when the Raiders sent their captain and first round pick of the Winnipeg Jets Josh Morrissey to the Kelowna Rockets. Coming back the other way was a pair of serviceable players as well as a second and third round pick. The questions that I am hearing from my sources in the league is that there is some head scratching going on around the loop. Some are wondering why the deal was done prior to Morrissey heading to the World Juniors and a month before the WHL trade deadline. The other question is how the Raiders didn’t get a first round draft pick in the transaction. The first rounder has become the norm in acquiring top level players (Morrissey is considered by many to be the top defenceman in the WHL) especially since the Saskatoon Blades made a deal with Brandon to acquire Brayden Schenn for four draft picks (including 2 first rounders) and two prospects.

– The winds of change in Lethbridge: Firstly, I wish Peter Anholt (one of hockey’s true good guys) all the best as General Manager and Head Coach of the Lethbridge Hurricanes. He is literally walking into the eye of the storm. The Canes G-M fired their coach on Tuesday and then he was turfed on Wednesday. Players have wanted out of Southern Alberta faster than a sneeze through a screen door. That’s the on-ice problems, off the ice the team that is about to miss the post season for a seventh straight year and is leaking red ink everywhere. It is a mess and hopefully Pete can add some stability to the situation.

– Staying on the ice and if you are looking for a quality taste of international hockey head down the highway to Kindersley. The Klippers and the community are hosting the World Junior A Challenge this Sunday through next Saturday December 20th. For all of the information on the Challenge click here.

That’s it for this week! Enjoy the weekend. Chat soon!
DT

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