Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Atcheynum Inducted to Moose Jaw Warriors Hall of Fame.

The Moose Jaw Warriors and Conexus are proud to announce the 2011 Warriors and Legends Hall of Fame Inductees as Blair Atcheynum and Derek Kletzel.

The induction banquet is set for Friday August 19th with a golf tournament following on Saturday August 20th to wrap up the Alumni weekend presented by Conexus. The Warriors will welcome two deserving inductees to the wall this August. Blair Atcheynum spent three seasons as a Warrior from 1986-1989. In that time he played in 143 games notching 105 goals and 84 assists for 189 points during his Warriors career.

Blair still holds the Warrior record for most goals in a season with 70 in 1988-89. Blair went on to an extensive professional career in both the AHL and NHL. The Estevan born hockey star, played in 169 NHL games with the Ottawa Senators, St. Louis Blues and was part of the first Nashville Predators team in the 1998 Expansion draft as well as the Chicago Blackhawks. A draft pick of the Hartford Whalers in 89, Blair's passion for hockey lead him to a successful pro career that ended in 2001.

Derek Kletzel, a four year Warrior veteran and captain; put on the red and black from 1988-1992. Derek played in 190 games, banking 83 goals and 100 assists during his WHL career.

Derek attended Acadia University in 1992 to 1994 and the University of Regina in 1994-1996 to earn his Bachelor of Physical Activity Studies (BPAS). Since 1997, Derek has been a Kinesiologist and part owner at Julien's Fitness and Rehab in Moose Jaw. Derek continues to support the Moose Jaw Warriors through his dedication to the Alumni Committee and as the color commentator for Warrior home games.

This year's builder inductee is 15 year radio broadcaster, Rob Carnie. Calling over 800 games from 1986 through 2001, Rob entertained Warrior fans over the air waves and has made a lasting impression on all those who know and love his signature voice.

Weekend Details:

Warriors and Legends Alumni Banquet

Heritage Inn & Convention Centre

Friday August 19th, 2011

Cocktails 6:00pm; Dinner 7:00pm

Tickets: $60.00

Golf Tournament

Lynbrook Golf Club

Saturday August 20th, 2011; Shot Gun 12:30 pm

Fee: $150.00 per person/$500 per team of 4

To purchase tickets or register for the Alumni Weekend presented by Conexus, please call

306.694.5711 ext 24 or email


Friday, May 27, 2011

Pearson Gives Hildebrand Some Good News.

If all goes according to plan, Graham Hildebrand will be the number one goaltender for the Battlefords North Stars in 2011-2012.

24-hours after the Stars acquired goaltender Blake Voth from the Vernon Vipers, Ken Pearson made his stance clear on CJNB/CJNS radio this afternoon.

"Graham Hildebrand is going to be our number one goaltender, and Blake is probably going to be moved so we can strengthen our club in other areas," said Pearson earlier today. "I've talked to Blake, and he understands what we're trying to do, and he's going to sit patiently to see what happens as things play out over the summer months and into the fall."

Pearson added, "With Blake being a Saskatchewan boy, going into his 20-year-old season. We thought that maybe he'd be looking to come back to Saskatchewan to play. We felt we had a better chance moving him in Saskatchewan. That's part of our reasoning for going about things the way that we did."

Graham Hildebrand will be a guest on Monday's edition of the CO-OP Leisure Time Sports Fix.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Stars Finalize Trade With Vernon Vipers.

The Battlefords North Stars have bolstered their goaltending in a big way for 2011-2012. The Stars have acquired 1991-born goaltender Blake Voth (Herbert, SK) from the Vernon Vipers of the BCHL.

Voth comes to the Battlefords along with cash considerations in exchange for Dane Muench who was dealt to Vernon at the January 10th trade deadline.

Voth's numbers last season with Vernon were very impressive. Voth had a record of 25-11-3 with a goals against average of 2.12 and a save percentage of .905. He dressed in 40 games last season with the BCHL league champions.

As it stands right now the Stars have two solid goaltending options with both Voth and Graham Hildebrand vying for playing-time.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Some Quick Hits.

Good evening,

First and foremost I want to thank so many of you for the birthday wishes. It's incredibly humbling, and I am sitting here extremely grateful for all of the Birthday Love. I've got a great feeling about this year, and I wanted to recognize those who helped make today a solid day!


The Battlefords North Stars and Vernon Vipers have come to terms on a deal. The specifics of the deal cannot be announced until the league has approved the deal. Check the blog and my twitter account for the latest details as they become available.


Former North Star's forward Josh Daley has signed with Penn State to play collegiate hockey. Here's an exerpt from the e-mail I received today from Josh Daley's grandpa.

Hey, Dan-o, just wanted to let you know that Josh Daley has committed to Penn State. Although the school is Division III now and will be for next year, they will move to the Big 10 and play Division I in 2012-13. He is very excited about the signing.

I think it's great news regarding Daley. He's a nice kid, and is capable of doing great things. North Star Nation wishes Josh all of the best as he continues with his hockey aspirations.


That's all I've got for you tonight. Thanks for checking in, and I'll do my best to keep the updates coming a little more frequently. Again, something I've always struggled with is the notion of blogging about things that I'm not DIRECTLY involved with. I'm happy to share my thoughts and opinions about the NHL Playoffs, and other Junior Hockey headlines as well! I guess you just gotta catch me on the right day.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Gibson Off to Milwaukee on a Scholarship.

Battlefords North Stars are pleased to announce forward Cole Gibson has accepted an offer to play for the Milwaukee School of Engineering Raiders next season.

At MSOE, Gibson joins a program that plays in the Midwest Collegiate Hockey Association.

The 5-foot-10, 180-pounder produced 25 goals and added 21 assists in 49 games in North Battleford. Gibson was awarded the North Stars most underrated player award this past season. The North Stars organization would like to wish Cole all the best as he pursues his engineering degree and continues to play hockey.

Some Odds and Ends.

First off, I want to (again) thank the Battlefords North Stars Board of Directors for holding a volunteer appreciation night on Friday. The turnout was fantastic, and so was the food. On behalf of everyone in attendance, I want to commend the Board and North Star's staff for treating their 'help' extremely well. The Stars continue to find new ways to outclass themselves. The passion for Junior Hockey in the Battlefords remains high, and the winters definitely tend to fly by faster when you get to spend a few nights a week at the rink accompanied by passionate fans and North Star supporters.


I ran into Battlefords North Star's alumni forward/defenceman Brody Malek at the Volunteer Night. Malek is back in the Battlefords working with Kramer Auctions. He agreed to be a guest on an up-coming Sports Fix, and I know he reads this blog regularly.

Brody, let's find a time to chat this week. I'm sure all of us would love to hear some stories from your season down south in Columbus, GA.


Before the Volunteer Night, I golfed at Jackfish Lodge with big-time North Star's fan and supporter Kyle Kellgren. Star's forward Brett Miller joined us for on the course as well and is incredibly optimistic about next season and his subsequent return.

In an earlier post this month I mentioned that Brett Miller's return from injury was one of the top-five burning questions surrounding this team heading into 2011-2012. A healthy Brett Miller could do some great things as a 20-year-old in the SJHL, and here's hoping he doesn't encounter any set-backs along the way. Lord knows he deserves a shot at repeated success after last year's struggles.


Still no word on what's coming back to the Stars from the Vernon Vipers. When I know, you will too.

Ken Pearson also told me that yet another scholarship will be announced shortly.


One thing was made abundantly clear by Brett Miller, and I'm sure his thoughts are echoed by his teammates: Nobody in the SJHL is going to be a push-over for the 2012 Royal Bank Cup hosts from Humboldt. History has certainly shown that Royal Bank Cup hosting teams don't always qualify through the front-door. Don't get me wrong, I'm expecting Humboldt to be awfully competitive and one of the league's top teams. But Dean Brockman will be the first to tell you that championships don't just happen.


I want to wrap up this entry with some information regarding an upcoming event in North Battleford called Relay For Life. Some of you are well aware of the fact that my Mom Nikki passed away in July of 2010 after a short but brave battle with stomach cancer. On June 10 several of my teammates and I will be participating in the Canadian Cancer Society's Relay for Life 2011 in North Battleford from 7 pm - 7 am Saturday June 11.

The purpose of Relay For Life is to raise money and awareness for cancer. All of have been affected by cancer to some degree either directly or indirectly, and I will be honoring my Mom by battling cancer head-on. One thing that is abundantly clear is that Cancer Never Sleeps.

My personal Relay For Life Profile can be found here:

Dan's Relay For Life Profile.

If you have a moment or two, please have a quick look at my profile and read more information about Relay for Life and my team's involvement in the cause. Our goal is to raise $7500 before June 10th. So far I've managed to raise over $1000, and if our team can reach our goal - The male members of our team will be showing up to Relay For Life with mohawks. Please consider a donation to this terrific cause.

On that note, I once again want to recognize my fellow colleagues: Craig Stein, Josh Lewis, Daniel Fink and also Ken Oak for their donations. Really guys, it means more to me than you know.

Have a great Tuesday.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Let's Make a Deal.

I compare 'future considerations' trades to a Credit Card. Boy it feels good to go home with that brand-new item, but sooner or later you have to pay off your debt, and that feeling doesn't feel nearly as good. That being said, Tuesday was another busy day for SJHL teams who continued to finalize trades that were made in January.

The Humboldt Broncos continue to bolster their lineup in the early stages of the SJHL off-season. One day after acquiring both Robbie Ciolfi and Clark Breitkreuz from Yorkton, they've added 20-year-old forward Ryan Marshall from the Swan Valley Stampeders of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.

Marshall comes to Humboldt as part of a future considerations deal that saw Nick Keller traded to Swan Valley.

The Melville Millionaires have improved their outlook for 2011-2012 after plucking three roster players from the Melfort Mustangs. After sending Brayden Metz, Cody Hanson, and futures to the Melfort Mustangs in two separate trades in early January, the rest of that deal is now announced.

20-year-old defenceman Lee Christensen, 20-year-old forward Jesse Mireau and 19-year-old forward Sean Aschim are all now property of the Melville Millionaires. The addition of these three (in my opinion) makes Melville an instant contender in the Sherwood Conference.

The Nipawin Hawks have also acquired two new players.

Former Battlefords North Star forward Justin Waskewitch is heading to Nipawin from Estevan as part of a future considerations trade for Jonothan Ceci.

In addition, the Yorkton Terriers have sent forward Alex Laird to Nipawin as part of the future considerations for defenceman Brant Remenda.

Again, the Battlefords North Stars are owed future considerations from the Vernon Vipers, but that deal won't be announced for awhile yet out of respect for the Vipers who are still celebrating their run to the Royal Bank Cup.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Off-Season Needs and Future Considerations.

Heading into the off-season it's no secret that the Battlefords North Stars are looking to add some more character and grit. Last night on the CO-OP Leisure Time Sports Fix, Star's Coach and GM Ken Pearson confirmed that the club has made a deep commitment to bring in some character kids to compete for jobs in the fall. Last season the Stars had an abundance of skill, but at times seemed to lack the necessary tenacity to win close games and protect leads.

If you think back to the 2009-2010 team, Troy Watt, Mitch Wall and Coleman Brodbin were three 20-year-olds that left it all on the ice every game and were solid contributors in their own unique ways. In my opinion there weren't enough of those types of role players on last year's club.

I'm not suggesting that the Stars don't have some of these ingredients already. Boyd Wakelin, Robbie Newton, Travis Sparrow, and Luke Hannas are all players who play with an edge, and possess those types of qualities. But clearly it wasn't enough last year, and those players will need to prove early in 2011-2012 that they're willing to bring the same 'lunch-bucket' approach to the game.

As it stands right now, here are the players eligible to return up front:

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

On the back-end:

91 - Woody Klassen
91 - Travis Sparrow
92 - Brody Luhning
92 - Zach Maclellan
93 - Dillon Forbes

In goal:

91 - Graham Hildebrand

Keep in mind that this list does not include WHL possibilities, the future considerations coming from Vernon, and recruits from within and outside the organization. All-in-all I like the list of eligible returnees, but you and I both know that things could look a lot different come the start of training camp.


It didn't take long for some big trading dominos to fall in the SJ. The Humboldt Broncos have acquired forwards Clark Breitkreuz (Bright-CRYTES) and Robbi Ciolfi (CHOAL-FEE) from the Yorkton Terriers.

Both players head to Humboldt as future considerations from a trade in January that sent Jeremy Boyer and Justin Buzzeo to Yorkton. More trades are expected to be announced later this week as the Melville Millionaires and Melfort Mustangs have two different 'futures' deals to finalize.

As for the Stars, they are owned 'future considerations' from the Vernon Vipers. But Coach Pearson wants to give the Vipers time to unwind after their run to the Royal Bank Cup. He wants to wait until after their team banquet and farewell before announcing the end-part of the deal that sent Dane Muench to Vernon in January.

That's all I have for you today. Enjoy the sun!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Ken Pearson On Sports Fix.

Star's coach and GM Ken Pearson joins me tonight on the Co-Op Leisure Time Sports Fix. Segment number two.

Again, he joins Andrew Albers and Keith Cassidy.

Galbraith Off to Mount Royal.

The Battlefords North Stars are pleased to  announce that graduating forward Mitch Galbraith will attend Mount Royal University in Calgary and play for the Cougars. The Cougars play in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference and this past season were crowned Champions defeating SAIT.

 The 20 year old from Quesnel, B.C. had 13 points in 27 games for the North Stars along with 31 PIM.

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!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Sports Fix Recap and More.

Good morning!

Due to the Federal Election, the Co-Op Leisure Time Sports Fix aired last night instead of it's usual Monday time-slot. I always enjoy having 'first-timers' on the program, and last night's show featured two.

Guest one was the new head-coach of the Battlefords Midget AAA Stars, Lorne Neilsen. It's no secret that this program has seen it's share of struggles over the years, to the point where Neilsen is the fourth coach in five seasons to try and lead this team to the playoffs.

I first met Neilsen by accident a few summers ago at the Canada Baseball Cup in Kindersley. He had to remind of this, but Neilsen did color-commentary with me during the Gold-Medal Game. I was impressed with him then, and was even more impressed with him after last night's show. Neilsen has a definitive passion for the game, and strikes me as the type of personality who is up to the task. He expects a better work-ethic, better leadership and a classier approach to the game and the community. Neilsen also hopes to continue the Midget AAA's positive rapport with the Junior A North Stars.

My second guest was the play-by-play voice of the Kootenay Ice, Jeff Hollick. Hollick is originally from the Battlefords, and actually got his start at CJNB. Hollick and I discussed the Kootenay Ice in great detail. The Ice are set to battle the Portland Winterhawks for the WHL Championship. At the start of the season I expected Portland to win the whole thing, and that hasn't changed. But in the same breath, I have a tough time predicting a Kootenay loss after they've swept both Medicine Hat and Saskatoon in the playoffs.

My third guest was Fox Sports Radio's Tomm Looney. Looney is the co-host of Game Time React with JT The Brick. Game Time React can be heard coast-to-coast across North America every night on Fox Sports radio. Looney's energy is contagious and is somebody who I am long looked up too in the business. Looney and I discussed the NBA playoffs, and then we also discussed the reaction in the United States when they learned of Osama bin Laden's death. As always, it was a compelling show, and I sincerely hope you got a chance to hear some or all of it.

Remind me one day to tell you how I met Tomm Looney. It's one of my favorite stories to tell, but it would be better suited for a different entry than this one.


Yesterday I did a fourth interview that did not run on the program. For the first time, I had the chance to speak with the new head-coach and GM of the Estevan Bruins, Kevin Cassidy. Cassidy was recently hired in Estevan, and will be charged with the responsibility of leading that squad into a new building, and a new identity.
Coach Cassidy impressed the heck out of me. He spoke very confidently, and honestly about his transition into the SJHL, and I'm expecting big things from that program this season. I expect the Sherwood Conference to be very wide-open on 2011-2012, and I would not be at all surprised if Estevan was in the thick of things with the likes of Dylan Smith, Cole Olsen, and Justin Waskewitch all eligible to return and contribute.

That interview with Kevin Cassidy will run on next Monday's episode of the Co-Op Leisure Time Sports Fix.


I guess the next target for the show will be Gavin Holcomb who was recently named head-coach and Director of Hockey Operations for the Melfort Mustangs. I'm sure there were many deserving candidates out there, but I defy anybody to argue the reasoning behind this choice.

Holcomb has won two championships alongside one of the best in the business in Bob Beatty, and I'm sure has learned a ton along the way. I want to sincerely congratulate Coach Holcomb on landing the position with Melfort, and I look forward to dealing with him on 2011-2012. And Coach, if you're reading this: Expect a phone call from me sometime soon!


Earlier this week I officially started my 8-week training for my 10 K Run. So far I'm underwhelmed by Week 1, and I'm tempted to try and up the anti a little bit. But I'm sure it's going to get more strenuous, and it's probably wise for me to slowly pace myself rather than do things "my way." This training forces me to go to the gym six days a week. It's going to be a lot of fun, and extremely rewarding in the end. Today is my cross-training day where I need to do 30 minutes of 'non-running' cardio.


Remember that Sunday is Mother's Day. This is the first Mother's Day for me without my Mom here. I'm sure Sunday will be an emotional day of sorts, but let my story be a reminder to everybody to appreciate the time you have with your Mom, and make sure you recognize her on Sunday, if not every other day of the year. Not a day goes by where I don't think about my Mom, and I miss her more than words can say.


A couple of brief thoughts on the Canucks-Nashville Series.

1) If not for Pekka Rinne, this series is easily 3-0 Vancouver, and it would be over tomorrow.

2) The penalty-call on Shea Weber was atrocious, but so was the non-call moments earlier on Kevin Bieksa.

3) Glenn Healy needs to lighten up and have some fun in life.

4) I think the Green Men are hilarious, and the fact that Nashville complained to the NHL is even more hilarious. What is this? the No Fun League? My stance has always been: If a fan is going to pay their admission to get into a game, they can scream, boo, dance, and hand-stand until their heart's content. They're not verbally or physically assaulting anyone, and their antics have no REAL affect on the outcome of the game. So lighten the hell up already!

Take care, and enjoy your day. As always, I encourage you to weigh in on the topics above.

- Dan