Wednesday, June 29, 2011

AGM Summary

A tough season on the ice has put the Battlefords North Stars into some financial trouble off of it.

The Battlefords North Stars held their annual general meeting Tuesday at the North Battleford Civic Center where Board Member Darren Huxley said the following:

"We did lose some money. Right around the 80-thousand dollar mark. The community itself I would really like to get more involved in the club. Ken and everyone is working really hard. The board members work hard. I'm a little disappointed that there were only 17 people at the AGM."

The fact is that the costs of running a Junior A hockey-team continues to rise, and unless community and fan support increases, the situation will continue to get worse.

Huxley and the organization already have some plans to help make next season a better experience for the fan.

" (Kids) 10-and-under get in free this year. There are some different things we're going to do. Our budget is a tight budget, and a lot of issues depend on gate, the amount of people coming into the gate," said Huxley after the meeting.

Star's Coach and GM Ken Pearson knows full-well that more wins will ultimately lead to a stronger fan-base and larger crowds. Pearson hopes that his staff can use these financial statistics as a motivator for the upcoming season.

Pearson said, "We can do our part as a coaching staff to try and get people into the rink and we want to try and get our players out into the community a little more and get more involved."

Several North Star players appeared at Innovation Credit Union's Family Day two weekend's ago, and similar efforts will be made throughout the summer to raise awareness of the team and the 2011-2012 season.

The other cause for concern was the fact that approximately 17 people attended the meeting.

"You hear people voice their opinions throughout the season then you don't really get to face them and try to give them answers as to why things are done a certain way. Tonight would have been a great opportunity for people to do that," added Pearson.

After a disappointing season, Ken Pearson has already added several key building-blocks for the team's future. Grit, and size are two areas that were promptly addressed at the start of the SJHL Off-season. And while expectations are somewhat tapered and quiet heading into 2011-2012, the passionate fan has to feel good about the incoming roster and the potential that lies within.

The Board of Directors did a fine job of recognizing the loyal fans, and sponsors who put their hard-earned time and money towards the North Stars. Here's hoping that more people will take advantage of the fact that kids 10-and-under get in for free in 2011-2012.

The coaching staff, and Board of Directors are determined to work hard to fill the Civic Center again. Now the fans and community need to meet them halfway. More victories will things much easier I'm sure.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tuesday Takes.

Good morning,

The Battlefords North Stars are holding their Annual General Meeting tonight at 7:00 from the North Battleford Civic Center. The primary purpose of tonight's function is to go over the financial statements from the recent year and soon we'll know exactly where the Stars stack-up financially heading into 2011-2012. The A.G.M. will also likely feature an election for some positions on the North Star's Board of Directors.

The public is certainly welcome to attend the A.G.M. and can vote for Board Members provided they pay a small fee.


The Battlefords North Stars held their Annual Golf Classic on Saturday at the North Battleford Golf and Country Club. It was great to see such a strong representation from players, coaches, parents and fans. Theweather was a little finicky, but everybody got their round in, and a tremendous supper was enjoyed by all afterward.


The Kindersley Klippers have traded a key cog from their blue line.

The Kindersley Klippers have made a three-for-one trade with the BCHL's Salmon Arm Silverbacks. Kindersley sends homegrown product Sean Flanagan to the Silverbacks for 20-year-old forward Ten Vaanholt,19-year-old forward Josh McKissock and 19-year-old defenceman Justin Elliott.

According to Brenden Ullrich's blog, Flanagan requested the deal, and wanted to play away from home.

Salmon Arm certainly paid a price to land the services of Flanagan, but I'm sure they've done their homework, and they know full well moving forward that they've acquired a heck of a defenceman. Over the past two seasons I''ve enjoyed watching Flanagan play in Kindersley. In my mind
he is a Dan Hamhuis type of player that never seems to stick-out for the wrong reasons.

Rockie Zinger has added some offensive depth with Vaanholt and McKissock and surely the hope is that Elliott will add some stability to the Klipper's back-end.


The Flanagan trade sparks an interesting debate.

Is it easier for a kid to play Junior Hockey away from his hometown? An argument can surely be made from both sides of the equation. Feel free to weigh in if you choose.


I'm on vacation as of Saturday, so I'll try to post something between now and then.

Have an awesome day, and we'll see you tonight at the A.G.M.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Stars and Terriers Swap 18-year-old Hopefuls.

The Battlefords Stars and Yorkton Terriers have made a one for one trade involving a pair of 18 year forwards that both hope will have a significant impact for their team.

The Stars get 1993 born forward Cody Pongracz (Saskatoon, SK) from the Terriers in exchange for 1993 born forward Curtis Oliver (Elkhorn. MB) Pongracz was 7th in Saskatchewan Midget Triple A scoring last season registering 57 points for the Saskatoon Contacts in 43 games while Oliver put up 39 points in 37 games for the Yellowhead Chiefs of the Manitoba Midget Triple A League.


So much for a lack of trade talk. That's Junior Hockey folks!

Tuesday Tid-Bits.

Good morning,

First off I want to remind you all that the 2011 Battlefords North Star's Annual Golf Classic goes THIS Saturday at the North Battleford Golf and Country Club. If you have never participated in this event before, I would strongly encourage you to do so. Not only is it one of the primary fundraisers for the team, but it's also a great way for you to socialize with fellow fans, the players, coaching staff, volunteers and broadcaster(s). Many North Star's from year's past and present should be in attendance. You can find more information on the North Star's website or call 445-7827 for more details.


So far the off-season should be considered a success from the North Star's stand-point. Ken Pearson has gone five-for-five in his pursuit of recruits, and he's optimistic that they will add some jam and some youthful enthusiasm to the 2011-2012 North Stars.

There has been some chatter on the blog lately about what comes next for the Stars. The answer? Not much.

The Coach told me Friday that he's still got a few irons in the fire, but nothing in the way of player announcements are imminent. As it stands right now the Stars have 13 eligible forwards, six defencemen and two 20-year-old goaltenders in the fold. Add some WHL talent to the mix and roster spots are by no means at a premium.

As far as 'trade-talk' goes, there has been very little of that either. Again, teams typically start talking trade in late August and early September once they have a better gauge of what they have in camp and in the Western Hockey League. Obviously coach Pearson will not be standing-pat. He'll be busy this summer attending various camps, padding
his list and making sure the Stars are in a good position to contend in 2011-2012.


I had a really great chat with Saskatoon Blade's color-man Cody Nickolet last night on the CO-OP Leisure Time Sports Fix. Cody did color on several North Star's broadcasts in 2009-2010 before heading back to Saskatoon, and it's great to see how far he's come. Cody is a hockey-scout trapped in a broadcaster's body. He provided some tremendous insight into the upcoming NHL draft. Make sure you give him a follow on twitter. His handle is: @WHLFromAbove.


Last week I had the great fortune of attending Golf Saskatchewan's Media Day at the Beautiful Legend Golf Course in Warman. I want to publiclythank Golf Saskatchewan again for the invite, and I look forward to our future visits and conversations. Golf Saskatchewan clearly understands the importance of the Media to their exposure and success, and they treated us with total first-class hospitality. Thank you.


That's all I've got for you this morning. Thanks for visiting the blog, and I look forward to our future conversation!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Stars Announce More Recruits.

The Battlefords North Stars would like to announce the signing of 2 players from the Manitoba Midget AAA League

Tanner Quinn and Tyson Stoesz have signed by the North Stars for the 2011-12 SJHL season.

Quinn, 18, from Winnipeg, was with the National Midget Champion Winnipeg Thrashers this past season where he had 18 goals and 27 assists for 45 PTS to go along with 28 PIM in 44 games.

Stoesz, 18, from Steinbach, played for the Eastman selects, where he had 19 goals and 24 assists for 43 PTS with 64 PIMS.

The North Stars would like to welcome these players to the Battlefords and look forward to seeing them at camp which starts August 31.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Giving the NBA Another Try.

Last week Bill Simmons wrote an article describing his new-found love of hockey after years of indifference living in Boston and following the Boston Bruins. His article was thoroughly enjoyable, and also inspired me to do some soul-searching of my own. No this is not a hockey piece, and anybody expecting quips about the SJHL, NHL or hockey need not read this, unless you embrace the sport of basketball. If so, than this might be right up your alley.

Growing up in the Greater Vancouver area, I admit that basketball was hardly forced down my throat as a youth. Sure we played in the school-yard, and my classmates would wear Michael Jordan t-shirts and Nike shoes. But the Vancouver Canucks were the only show in town, and hockey was (and still is) life. It was the be-all end-all sport, and no sport could touch it.

Maybe it was out of boredom, or possibly by chance, but I remember watching bits and pieces of the 1994 NBA Finals. I remember watching the Houston Rockets led by Hakeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler and Vernon Maxwell take on Patrick Ewing, John Starks and the New York Knicks. As the series progressed I got more and more into it, and after watching Houston beat New York in Game Seven I was left with two prominent thoughts:

1) "I'm glad New York didn't win the NBA Finals too." - This coming from a die-hard Canuck's fan who was still choked at the 1994 Stanley Cup Final.

2) "I think I want to buy a pack of basketball cards."

A year later the Canucks were still legitimate, but they were bounced by Chicago in the playoffs in Round Two. The absence of Canuck's hockey left me watching more and more basketball. Michael Jordan had returned to the game and was dominant. The New York Knicks had a great rivalry going with Indiana, and I was smitten with the Orlando Magic and the tandem of Shaquille O'Neal and Anfernee Hardaway. I still remember watching Houston beat Orlando in the finals that year and seeing Shaq crying as he walked back to the locker-room. Thankfully I did not do the same.

My knowledge of the sport was growing, and grew ten-fold with the arrival of the Vancouver Grizzlies and Toronto Raptors. How cool was this?! An NBA team in Vancouver! A chance for me to watch Shaq, Reggie Miller, Shawn Kemp, David Robinson, and Patrick Ewing live!

While the Vancouver Canucks started to unravel from 1995 onward, the NBA became my new fascination. I would get to school at 8:30 every morning to shoot hoops with my friends. My allowance was spent on basketball cards, and instead of shelling out money for NHL tickets (thanks to the lockout), my Dad and I went to watch the Vancouver Grizzlies in 95-96.

We're all aware of how bad the Grizzlies were, and my Dad and I knew that heading to G.M. Place likely meant certain defeat for the Grizzlies. However season one did provide some entertaining moments. I'll never forget watching Byron Scott hitting two clutch free-throws in the final seconds, helping Vancouver to an 84-80 victory over the New York Knicks. That victory snapped a 22-game losing streak for the Grizzlies and helped them avoid the history books for the wrong reasons.

But I didn't only watch the Grizzlies. I would watch any game available to me. I could name the starting five for most teams, and I made sure that I had the most NBA jerseys out of all my classmates. No joke I had a jersey for every day of the week. I assure you that I was the only fifth-grader in B.C. that owned a Dikembe Mutumbo Denver Nugget's jersey.

Even as the Grizzlies continued to lose miserably they still provided a ton of entertainment. Shareef Abdul-Rahim and Bryant Reeves provided some highlight-reel plays, and youthful prospects like Mike Bibby, and Antonio Daniels provided the necessary optimism to continue cheering them on.

While the Grizzlies kept losing games, the Chicago Bulls kept winning championships. Even though the Bulls were dominant, the game still had plenty of parity, and stars like Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant, Shaq and of course Michael Jordan provided plenty of reasons to continue watching.

However in 1999 things changed. I was now old enough to understand the politics of sports a little more, and I remember screaming bloody murder at the television on the day that the Grizzlies drafted Maryland point-guard Steve Francis with the second-overall pick in the draft.

This trade (in my opinion) created the eventual un-doing of the Grizzlies.

For anybody not familiar with the situation, here's what happened.

Vancouver had previously drafted point-guards Antonio Daniels (1997) and Mike Bibby (1998) in the first round of the NBA Draft. Daniels was something of a bust, but Bibby was exciting, consistent and what many considered to be a 'main-stay' in Vancouver's back-court.

For reasons that still to this day defy explanation, the Grizzlies had expressed great interest in drafting point-guard Steve Francis second-overall in the draft. Francis publicly stated that he did not want to play in Vancouver for these reasons:

- The Grizzlies have a point-guard.
- It's too far away from Maryland.
- Endorsement-wise it was not a good fit.

Meanwhile forward Lamar Odom had expressed great interest in playing in Vancouver and would have been a great compliment up-front with Shareef Abdul-Rahim and Bryant Reeves. They Grizzlies could have also drafted the likes of: Richard Hamilton, Shawn Marion or better yet they could have dealt the pick to add some size and depth.

Sure enough, Stu Jackson drafted Francis and traded him before he even played a game in Vancouver. He sent Francis to Houston in exchange for Small-Forward Michael Dickerson, some spare parts and some draft-picks that the Grizzlies subsuquently wasted.

Poor basketball decisions coupled with a weak Canadian dollar, a jack-ass owner and a constant loser did not mix well with the previously loyal contingent of fans in Vancouver. To nobody's real surprise the team was shipped away to Memphis in 2001 and basketball has been an after-thought in Vancouver ever since.

Even when the Grizzlies left, I still felt a glimmer of loyalty to the NBA because of the Super Sonics and they're close proximity to B.C. But that changed when they're ownership turned murky. Add the fact that the Vancouver Canucks were once again competitive, and NBA players were making more headlines off the court than on it. I was fed up. The Sonics were relocated to Oklahoma City in 2007 and I was done. Finished. The two teams I cheered for had both left, and I had no real vested interest in the NBA anymore. Sure I kept tabs on who the best teams and players were, but the only time I truly acknowledged the NBA was during vacations in Miami and Phoenix. I admit that I always rooted for Steve Nash, but even that was more for band-wagon purposes.

Then about a year ago The Decision happened. Lebron James went on National television and told the world that he was, "Taking his talents to South Beach to join the Miami Heat." He would be joining his pal Dwayne Wade, and shortly thereafter it was announced that ex-Raptor Chris Bosh would join in on the party. It was a dynasty in the making! Three of the NBA's top players on one team. How could they lose?

While fans in Miami were elated, the rest of the sporting world was pissed. Who did Lebron James think he was? He's a true talent, but had never been able to lead Cleveland to a championship. Then he joins Miami and the 'Big-Three' start talking about all of the championships they were going to win, like it's something that's easy to do.

I couldn't help but think about guys like Karl Malone, Gary Payton, Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Reggie Miller, and Steve Nash are all infamous NBA players who are 'ringless.' How do you think they feel about Lebron, Wade and Bosh predicting a dynasty before it happens.

More importantly the NBA was worth following again. Why? Because the NBA had a villain. The whole premise of the 2010-2011 season was simple: Either somebody will Beat the Heat and embarrass Lebron, or the 'Big-Three' would find a way to win and the dynasty would begin.

As expected the Heat rolled through the NBA's Eastern Conference playoffs with relative ease. They took care of Philly, Boston and Chicago with little difficulty and found themselves in the NBA finals against a plucky Dallas Mavericks group that had a combined ZERO championships between the 12 of them.

While Miami had three stars, Dallas had one. A seven-foot German named Dirk Nowitski who had played 13 years without a championship. Another name that would one day be added to the list of Hall-of-Famers to never win the big one.

Miami wins Game one at home with relative ease. Dallas takes Game Two in dramatic fashion with one of the most improbable comebacks in NBA playoff history. All of a sudden my interest is peaked again. Did they really just go on a 20-2 run to tie the series?

My interest faded again after Miami won Game Three in Dallas. But then Dallas bounced back with a win in Game Four and then grabbed the series lead with another home victory in Game Five. Dirk Nowitski couldn't miss, while Lebron James couldn't come through in the clutch. Heading into Game Six, James had only 11 fourth-quarter points in the past three games. Dirk Nowitski was out-playing all three superstars, and did so in Game Four with a nasty sinus-infection.

Before Game Five, Dwayen Wade and Lebron James mocked Dirk Nowitski's illness by "faking" sickness before the game. As they walked to their locker-room they jokingly covered their mouths and coughed and giggled in front of the camera. Nowitski took the high-road and told his teammates not to say anything about their antics. In Game Five he let his play do the talking and his team had a 3-2 series lead.

Last night at 6:00 my finance and I sat in front of the T.V. and turned on the game. I told myself that I was going to watch the game in it's entirety and do my best to 'be a fan' again. It turns out that the Dallas Mavericks made it very easy for me.

Even with Dirk Nowitski going one-for-12 in the first-half the Mavs were leading. Jason Terry was shooting the lights out, JJ Barea was a true spark-plug and the Miami Heat seemed nervous and on-edge.

Dirk bounced back in the third quarter with eight points, and the Miami Heat could not get any sustained pressure going. Better yet, when Dallas made clutch baskets I found myself cheering out-loud and fist-pumping their success. I was glued to the TV for every possession, and once the fourth quarter rolled around my fist-pumps turned into loud statements directed at the TV.

"C'mon Dirk! You have to make that shot!" or "Lebron just turned it over again!" were common statements. The fiance was half-watching and kept laughing at my reaction to the various plays. Sometimes she would look up from her lap-top and ask me a question or uttera funny statement:

Julie: Who's that Guy?

Me: That's Mark Cuban. He owns the Mavericks. He's so rich it's disgusting.


Julie: Oh my God! That guy's so short! (Pointing at Jason Terry when he was celebrating with Dirk).


Julie: Ahh! I'm so happy the Heat lost! Lebron James is a douche-bag. (That's why I'm marrying her folks.)


Julie: Where the hell is he going? (Asking why Dirk walked to the dressing-room right after the game was over).

The worst part about last night's game was the celebration itself. The game ended and everything was so subdued. Lebron and Bosh cried, Mark Cuban jumped up and down, and then decided that he didn't want to answer any questions on the podium.

All of that aside, the plucky underdogs defeated the favored villians and in doing so the Mavericks won their first NBA Championship ever. It was great to see players like Jason Kidd, Dirk Nowitski and Jason Terry win their first ring, and even greater to see Lebron James humbled at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks.

Will the Heat be able to rise up and win the big one? Time will tell I guess. But the important thing is that I WILL be watching it all unfold.

I forgive the NBA for stealing the Grizzlies away from me, and I thank the NBA karma-police for allowing the underdog to win. Now I just need to pick a favourite team and stick with them, at least until Vancouver gets a team back. Hey, if the Mavs can beat the Heat in six, then anything is possible.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wednesday Odds and Ends.

A couple of things to hit on today,

First off, I want to weigh in on the three recent signings by the Battlefords North Stars.

Ken Pearson wanted more sand-paper and grit, and he got it with Dillon Forbes, Jared Samborski and Nathan Zimbulak.

Forbes fit in seamlessly with the North Stars late last season and played a regular shift in the playoffs against Flin Flon. Sure there were some nervous moments, but Forbes handled himself very well, and should only get better. He moves the puck well, can handle himself physically, and he brings a strong element of leadership to the table.

Samborski was one of the recent stand-outs at spring-camp. He simply does not quit. What he lacks in size, he makes up for in hustle, and passion. He, like Forbes also brings a strong element of leadership to the table. Many folks last season said that the Stars seemed to lack that type of "Troy Watt" or "Mitch Wall" type of player. With a little seasoning, Samborski could certainly fill that type of void.

Nathan Zimbulak played three games last season with the Swift Current Broncos and will also bring size and strength to the Star's blueline. The addition of Zimbulak means that the Stars automatically become a tougher team to play against, and far fewer liberties will be taken in the Star's zone with the likes of Zimbulak and Forbes and Travis Sparrow on the back-end.

With those three signed, the Star's summer depth chart looks like this:


Brett Miller (91)
Blake Tatchell (91)
Luke Hannas (91)
Samuel Fortier (91)
Boyd Wakelin (91)
Braedon Johnson (92)
Kyle Hall (92)
Tanner Schwab (92)
Tim Rollins (92)
Robbie Newton (93)
Jared Samborski (93)


Woody Klassen (91)
Travis Sparrow (91)
Brody Luhning (92)
Zach Maclellan (92)
Dillon Forbes (93)
Nathan Zimbulak (93)


Graham Hildebrand (91)
Blake Voth (91)

As far as I'm concerned the only area that the Stars are truly 'thin' in is center. But if the roster still looks exactly like this on opening night, I'd be shocked. The Stars also have several listed players in the Western Hockey League who will likely fit into their plans at some point in 2011-2012.


Melfort Mustang's new head-coach and G.M. Gavin Holcumb will be a guest on Monday's edition of the CO-OP Leisure Time Sports Fix. Holcumb and I are slated to chat later this morning, and the interview will then run Monday. I'm looking forward to the interview. I always enjoy having 'first-timers' on the program.


The rebuild continues in Nipawin. Nipawin Hawk's coach and G.M. Doug Johnson made another shrewd move earlier this week when he traded his captain Tanner Dusyk to the Bonnyville Pontiacs for forward Eric Peterson and defenceman Jesse Williamson.

My buddy Robb Hunter does the play-by-play for the Bonnyville Pontiacs, and he raved about Peterson and Williamson, and said that both will be impact players with the Hawks. Add Eli Litchenwald, Darius Cole, Justin Waskewitch and Tyler Paslawski to the equation and all of a sudden you're looking at a pretty deep Nipawin Hawk's group.

I can't help but root for the Hawk's a little bit based on the fact that I've covered North Star teams in a similar boat, and watching a rebuild come full-circle is extremely rewarding for fans, players and broadcasters alike.


A quick football note:

The 2011 North Battleford touch football league meeting will be held Monday June 13th, 2011 at 7:00pm at the Downstairs Pub.


Enjoy your Wednesday! We'll talk soon.


Monday, June 6, 2011

Stars Sign Three

Some great news from earlier today.

The Battlefords North Stars would like to announce the signing of 3 players from the Saskatchewan Midget AAA League. 

Dillion Forbes, Jared Samborki, and Nathan Zimbaluk have all been signed by the North Stars for the 2011-12 SJHL season. 

Forbes, 18, from Battleford, was the captain of the Battlefords AAA Stars this past season where he had 3 goals and 10 assists to go along with 154 PIM in 36 games. Jared

Samborski, 18, from North Battleford, also captained his AAA Saskatoon Blazers, where he had 16 goals and 19 assists for 35 PTS with 74 PIMS. 

Nathan Zimbaluk, 18, from Regina, was acquired in a trade last season played for the Regina Pat Canadians where he had 5 goals and 7 assists with 64 PIMS.

 The North Stars would like to welcome these 3 to the Battlefords as we prepare for camp which will open August 31st.


I'll probably post another piece tomorrow with some more personal reaction about these signings, but I just got home from the Wayne Pruden Golf Tournament and I'm feeling rather tired! Feel free to weigh in on the signings!

Stars Sign Three

Some great news from earlier today.

The Battlefords North Stars would like to announce the signing of 3 players from the Saskatchewan Midget AAA League. 

Dillion Forbes, Jared Samborki, and Nathan Zimbaluk have all been signed by the North Stars for the 2011-12 SJHL season. 

Forbes, 18, from Battleford, was the captain of the Battlefords AAA Stars this past season where he had 3 goals and 10 assists to go along with 154 PIM in 36 games. Jared

Samborski, 18, from North Battleford, also captained his AAA Saskatoon Blazers, where he had 16 goals and 19 assists for 35 PTS with 74 PIMS. 

Nathan Zimbaluk, 18, from Regina, was acquired in a trade last season played for the Regina Pat Canadians where he had 5 goals and 7 assists with 64 PIMS.

 The North Stars would like to welcome these 3 to the Battlefords as we prepare for camp which will open August 31st.


I'll probably post another piece tomorrow with some more personal reaction about these signings, but I just got home from the Wayne Pruden Golf Tournament and I'm feeling rather tired! Feel free to weigh in on the signings!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Friday Thoughts

Good morning to you all,

It's been a busy week. I'm not sure exactly why it's felt that way, all I know is that it's Friday and I'm happy that the weekend is here. This morning I've got a lot on my mind, and I'll share these thoughts with you as quick as possible.


First off I want to officially announce that Julie and I will be tying the knot on June 16, 2012 in Saskatoon. We've picked a venue, and we're close to deciding on a Hall for the reception. Now that a date has been picked, the (healthy) jitters have already started to sink in.


I want to (once again) congratulate Blair Atcheynum on the news that he will be a 2011 inductee into the Moose Jaw Warrior's Hall of Fame. If you go to the Moose Jaw Warrior's website you can find the raw audio of a three-minute interview that I conducted with Blair earlier this week. As always, Blair spoke very humbly and graciously regarding his accomplishments. I've greatly enjoyed getting to know 'Atch' over the past four seasons, and all of his success is well deserved.


This weekend in Nipawin, SJHL Coaches and staff will gather to discuss scheduling and the SJHL's AGM will also be taking place. I will be a busy, yet productive weekend for all involved I'm sure. I'll do my best to get in touch with Ken Pearson Monday to see what was discussed.


The La Ronge Ice Wolves have signed Bob Beatty to a five-year contract extension. Cudos to the La Ronge Ice Wolve's organization, and to Beatty himself for his recent accomplishments. Obviously Beatty is a tremendous fit for the Ice Wolves, and I think p it speaks volumes about both sides that they were able to get a deal done of this magnitude. Job security is a difficult thing for a coach in any realm of hockey to achieve, and I'm sure both sides are content as can be to have the situation settled.


Monday is going to be a busy day due to the Wayne Pruden Memorial Golf Tournament taking place in North Battleford. I look forward to this tournament every year. A great time is always had by all, and it means a half-day of work for me. The tough part though is getting a Sports Fix completed by 10:00 AM. The show this week should be a very busy one, and I've got two confirmed guests, and a third that is looking very. promising. Once everything is official, I will update you via twitter and the blog.


A week from today my teammates and I will be gathering at the Centennial Track in North Battleford to partiicpate in the Canadian Cancer Society's Relay for Life in North Battleford. It promises to be a very emotional 12 hours, but I'm sure it will be a very fulfilling time as well. So far I've managed to raise over $1200 and my team is hovering close to the $2000 mark. If anybody is interested in donating to our cause, you can e-mail me at for more details.


As fate would have it, Game Five of the Stanley Cup Final between Boston and Vancouver goes next Friday - The same night as Relay for Life. If the Canucks head into Game Five with a 3-1 series lead, I might just cry. I've waited a life-time to see the Vancouver Canucks win a Stanley Cup, but if there is one thing that would certainly take priority over that, it's honoring my Mother and the many others who have endured cancer. My friend Stefanie told me yesterday that, "If the Canucks do win the series in five, you can consider it a gift from your Mom." When you put it that way... In all honesty though, I'm expecting a six or a seven-game series with Vancouver winning it all.


That's all I have for you this morning. Have a great Friday, a stellar weekend and maybe our paths will cross at some point! Take care,