Monday, May 9, 2011

Five Burning Questions for the Battlefords North Stars.

Broadcasters rejoice! The off-season is here!Strange isn't it how sports enthusiasts often look forward to the off-season. It means a fresh start, some re-tooling, and returns that hope to the heart of the fan that says, "Maybe this is our year, and it all starts this summer."

The Pembroke Lumber Kings defeated the Vernon Vipers 2-0 in the Royal Bank Cup Final, and are National Champions. Although they finished 1-3 in the round-robin portion of the event, the Kings won when it mattered, and Vernon's championship reign is over, at least for now.

Over the next few days, several SJHL teams are expected to announce the terms of their 'future considerations' trades that took place either on or before January 10th. The Yorkton Terriers, Melville Millionaires, Melfort Mustangs and Humboldt Broncos are all expected to be busy over the next few days making some deals official.

The Battlefords North Stars do have some future considerations coming to them, but I don't think that any announcement is expected soon. Obviously when I know, you'll know.

So considering the fact that there is nothing urgent to report as far as North Star personnel is concerned, I thought I'd kick off the off-season by posing 5 Burning Questions surrounding the Stars as they head into the off-season. Feel free to weigh in.

1) What is the biggest NEED that the Stars need to address?

2) Will Brett Miller be healthy and ready for the 2011-2012 season?

3) Is Graham Hildebrand the clear front-runner to start in goal in 2011-2012?

4) Which second-year winger will blossom the most?

5) Who captains the 2011-2012 North Stars?

I'm not going to provide my answers to these questions yet. Given the fact that spring and summer is a slower time for the blog, I thought I'd address these five questions in separate posts later this week and next, but please don't let that stop you from providing your own insight. Did I miss any nagging question that you feel should be asked?


Junior Hockey will be a hot-topic of conversation on tonight's CO-OP Leisure Time Sports Fix when Estevan Bruin's head-coach and GM Keith Cassidy makes his Sports Fix debut. Cassidy was recently hired to take over the Estevan Bruins, and he'll get to do so in a new building come the fall.Cassidy had a ton of coaching success in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League, and no doubt he'll have a positive impact on the Bruins as they begin a chapter in their team's history.


Guest two will be North Battleford's Andrew Albers. Albers is currently pitching for the Fort Myers Miracle, who are a high A-Ball affiliate with the Minnesota Twins.

Albers was drafted by San Diego in 2008, but ran into some injury troubles shortly after he was drafted. Albers had Tommy John Surgery, and had serious doubts that he'd ever be able to pitch again. After some strenuous rehab, a year out East, a teaching stint at JP 2, and some open tryouts, Albers finally caught on with a professional team.

 Albers is back on track, and is pitching pain-free. So far this season he's 2-0 and has an ERA of 2.50 in Fort Myers. This interview is easily a Top 10 for the program, and I urge you to check it out tonight. He's a great guest, a great guy and I wish him all the best.

That's all I have for you right now, but make sure you check back throughout the week as there will be several more entries!

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