Thursday, July 28, 2011

Some Personal News.

It is with sincere excitement, yet also with a heavy heart that I make a major personal announcement. After four unforgettable years in the Battlefords I have accepted a position with the Prince George Cougars of the Western Hockey League. I will be responsible for Corporate Sales, Media Relations and the Play-By-Play Broadcasting for all regular season and playoff games for the 2011-2012 season and (hopefully) beyond.

The past 48 hours have been extremely emotional, and there's a lot to process right now, and the next few weeks are no doubt going to be an absolute blur. There are so many things that I want to reflect on, and so many people that I want to thank, and I will certainly do so before my time in the Battlefords comes to a close.

I'm excited for the new opportunity, and I'm overjoyed by the fact that Julie and I get to start a new adventure together. This is something that I have been building towards ever since I started watching hockey and I'm incredibly excited to hit the ground running and contribute to the legacy of the Prince George Cougars.

The support that I have received from family, friends and colleagues has been nothing short of amazing. The phone-calls, e-mails, and texts have made me feel incredibly humbled and grateful. I feel so much gratitude to those who have cheered me on and encouraged me along the way.

I promise that there will be some more entries and some deeper thoughts posted on here before the move. For now I just wanted to publish the news, and make everyone aware of the decision.

Thanks for stopping by. Your readership and support is something that I genuinely appreciate.

More tomorrow, I promise.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Pearson Resigns as Coach and G.M. *Updated*

The Battlefords North Stars are looking for a new head-coach and General Manager.

Stew Demmans with the North Star's Board of Directors announced this morning that Ken Pearson has resigned from the team due to family reasons.

"Throughout the three seasons there have been times where it's been tough to be away from them (two kids)," Pearson told me earlier this morning. "This decision to step down is purely based on me looking to get closer to my kids."

Pearson added, "Hopefully my replacement continues to build on the things we (the coaches, staff and scouts) have built there."

Pearson served as coach and General Manager for the Battlefords North Stars for three seasons. In 2009-2010 he led the Stars to a birth in the Bauer Conference Final with La Ronge, and was also nominated for Coach of the Year in 2010.  Pearson is largely responsible for rebuilding the Stars into a contender, and has worked extremely hard to help graduating North Star's find a place to play once their Junior A. careers conclude.

The Board of Directors are already accepting resumes and applications for the vacant position. All interested applicants can send their package to Stew Demmans. His e-mail is

Listen to CJNB/CJNS throughout the day for the latest audio and information.

Ken Pearson will be my guest tonight on the Co-Op Leisure Time Sports Fix. The show runs tonight on CJNB-CJNS at 8:00.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tuesday Odds and Ends.

Welcome to the dog-days of summer.

Don't get me wrong. I love golfing, camping, playing ball and lounging in the summer sun. But at the same time, it excites me to know that September is not THAT far away and soon there will a LOT more to talk and write about.


I really enjoyed last night's Sports Fix.

It's always great having Dana Johnson (North Battleford Golf and Country Club) on the program. Together we talked about the Sportsman's Dinner taking place on August 15th. Boston Bruin's fans will love the fact that Wayne Cashman and Gerry Cheevers will be on hand to sign autographs on Sunday the 14th, and will participate in a breakfast, fun scramble and supper on the 15th. Anybody interested in participating needs to act fast. Call 937-5659 for details.

I also spoke with Sean Campbell from the Team 990 in Montreal. The struggles of the Saskatchewan Roughriders have been well documented through three-weeks, and it's only going to get tougher in Week 4 when they head to Montreal Sunday. Campbell hosts the Al's This Week on 990 and also does the sideline reporting for the Allouette's broadcasts. His insight is always appreciated.

My final guest was Minnesota Wild forward Kyle Brodziak. I met Brodziak a week or so ago at the Battlefords United Way Golf Tournament. Brodziak was a first-timer on the program and spoke very well. Naturally he's excited about the upcoming season, and about the possibility of playing alongside either Dany Heatley or Devin Setoguchi. Brodziak set career high's last year with goals (16) and points (37) and could be poised for an even better year if all goes well.

The thing that caught my eye about Brodziak when looking at his stats: His health! In four full seasons in the NHL, Brodziak has only missed seven games total.


The Battlefords North Star's broadcasting schedule is basically complete. Once the I's are dotted and the T's are crossed, I will post it onto the blog, and I'm sure it will be posted onto the website as well. This season we will once again be carrying 40 regular season games a long with a pre-season warm-up. Every playoff game will also be on the radio.

I keep jokingly) trying to persuade the 'powers that be' to give me more games, and I continue to get (playfully) shot-down. In a perfect world, every single game would be on the radio, but it's simply not a reality at this stage. I feel that 40-games is more than fair, and hopefully there will be web-casting options available this season as well.

As for the broadcasting schedule itself. Every single road-game will (tentatively) be on the radio. Last season we couldn't do three road games because of neutral site games in Kyle, Stanley Mission, and I had to miss one because of my surgery. So far I'm not aware of any neutral-site games involving the Battlefords North Stars. Neutral-site games are fantastic for the league, but quite often they can be a broadcaster's nightmare. It's never fun worrying for an entire bus-ride and wondering whether your equipment will work in an unfamiliar rink.


Check out Blaine Weyland's blog to the right of this piece. He's posted some new pictures of Spectra Place in Estevan. I know I've beaten this horse to death before, but golly am I excited to see and experience the new rink in Estevan. I've made it no secret both on and off the air that I dreaded calling games in Estevan for the sheer difficulty involved in trying to conduct a broadcast without the services of a score-clock.

What made matters worse is that the Stars and Bruins have played some great games in Estevan (except for 2007-2008) that I wasn't able to truly enjoy.

All of that changes this season!


That's all I have for you today. Thanks for checking in during the 'slow time' of the summer. Your readership is always appreciated, and I look forward to chatting with you again soon.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Back At It.

Good morning,

After a week off I am back in the sports-chair and I've got a couple of things that I want to hit on this morning. As you can imagine, things are a tad slow on this end during the summer months, but the closer we get to September, the busier things will get I'm sure.

First off, if you didn't already know:

The Battlefords North Star's regular season schedule is posted on the North Star's website. Upon first glance, I feel that the schedule is favorable to the Stars. Their longest stretch of consecutive road-games sits at five - All of which are against Bauer Conference teams. That
stretch runs from October 1 - 11th, which could also help develop some early season chemistry.

The Stars start their season with the traditional home-and-home with Kindersley, and will also make their traditional weekend trip to Flin Flon in mid-February. 2011-2012 will mark the third season in a row that the Stars have done this trip, and it's always a highlight (unless your broadcasting gear fails you).

I will have a broadcast schedule selected by the end of this week. I'm expecting to call another 40-game schedule, but I assure you that I'll be nudging my bosses to let me do more. Efforts over the past two years have been futile in that regard, however my first season I only called 30. Now I call 40 games plus all playoff games.

Another thing that I'll be looking into is web-casting. The team hinted that they were heading in that direction towards the end of last year, but I won't speculate any further until I'm told whether or not it's a go. If so, then I'll happily call more games.


During my time away the Stars traded 1991-born forward Luke Hannas to the O.C.N. Blizzard in exchange for future considerations. I liked Luke both as a player and a person, but in my opinion he simply fell victim to a numbers game. The Stars had a surplus of eligible 20-year-olds, and it was unlikely that all would be returning.

With Hannas out of the picture, the remaining eligible 20-year-olds include forwards:

Blake Tatchell
Brett Miller
Boyd Wakelin
Samuel Fortier

On defence:

Woody Klassen
Travis Sparrow

In goal:

Graham Hildebrand
Blake Voth


A truly bittersweet day for me yesterday.

July 11 marked the one-year anniversary of my Mom's passing. It's been an emotional year, and while the pain has eased to a certain degree, there will always be days like yesterday where sadness is inevitable.

In saying that though, I could not have asked for a better day.

I had the pleasure of golfing in the Battlefords United Way Golf Tournament at the Jackfish Lodge Golf and Conference Center. The weather was cooperative, and a great time was had by all. The United Way more than doubled their proceeds from last year, and enrollment for the tournament had also increased.

I was fortunate enough to golf with three great guys: Martin Smith, Bruce Yockey and Todd Heck. I was blessed to join them on the course, and I greatly enjoyed their company. There are few things more enjoyable in life than a day on the golf course with your buddies.

That's not all. A strong tee-shot on #12 earned me the 'Closest to the Pin' award and a great prize through the Gold Eagle Lodge. And the icing on the cake: I won a signed Kyle Brodziak (Minnesota Wild) jersey through a raffle.

I can't help but feel like Mom had my back out there, and helped make sure that I had a day full of smiles.

A huge thank you to Kyle Kellgren (Jackfish Lodge), the entire United Way staff, and Access 7 for yesterday. It was truly a summer highlight.


I plan on touching base with Ken Pearson sometime this week. I'll ask him about the schedule, the search for a new trainer, and how recruiting/trading efforts are going. I'll be sure to keep you posted.

Have a great Tuesday.