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.



Anonymous said...

Can we expect any more signings any time soon from the stars?? I really like the 3 we were able to sign.. Our backend got a lot bigger with Forbes and Zimbaluk. Hoppefully we can get a few more players in here and I really like the direction this team is going.

Anonymous said...

Do you know if Ken wants Blake Voth to stay? Or is he gonna use him as trade bait? On that note, how many goalies can we expect to see at the Stars Main Camp?