Thursday, 21 June 2018

The Hockey Show - Episode 300

The Hockey Show, Canada's only campus-produced radio show that strictly talks hockey, is back with a huge achievement as we have reached show #300! I'm not sure if Beans or myself ever expected to reach this milestone, but here we are as we've worked through six seasons of shows thus far! If you are interested, we have a limited supply of cake at the station if you want to come down and check out where we do our thing, but we've got a bunch of stuff to cover, so let's get to it!

What does one do for a monumental show like this? Well, Beans and I will talk hockey - I know, surprising, right? We're going to welcome Kyle from Toronto to join us on the show as we go over all the news from the past week. We'll chat about the Max Domi-Alex Galchenyuk trade, the Mike Hoffman deals, Pierre Dorion's insistence not to deal players to teams within his division, Gimli playing host to an MJHL game, the NHL Awards, the Canada West hockey schedules for the Bisons, and more!

We were going to do a highlight show of some of our favorite moments, but the hockey world doesn't seem to stop. We may still do a highlight show in the future, but Show #300 is going to be just as informative as every other show but with cake! Tune in tonight at 5:30pm CT for cake and news!

"So how can I hear this show?" you ask. Well, the easiest way is for you to download the UMFM app on your phone or tablet. It's literally the easiest and most convenient way to listen to any of UMFM's great shows any time of the day, so go get it! Just follow this link on your iDevice or this link for your Android device and get the UMFM app! It's never been easier to tune into The Hockey Show or UMFM! Download the UMFM app today, and don't miss any of our great programming or shows! Of course, you can do the radio thing at the 101.5 frequency on the FM dial and you can always listen online via the UMFM website as well!

If you prefer social media, we try to remain up-to-speed there! Email all show questions and comments to hockeyshow@umfm.com! Tweet me anytime with questions you may have by hitting me up at @TeebzHBIC on Twitter. You can also post some stuff to Facebook if you use the "Like" feature, and I always have crazy stuff posted there that doesn't make it to the blog or show.

Tonight, Beans and I welcome Kyle to the show, we enjoy cake in honour of our 300th episode, and we talk all the hockey things that happened over the last week only on The Hockey Show found exclusively on 101.5 UMFM, on the UMFM app, on the UMFM.com web stream!

PODCAST: June 21, 2018: Episode 300

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

It's Banner Time

No, we're not talking about Bruce Banner of the Hulk, but one superpower of hockey got its schedule today. It took them until mid-June, but Canada West has finally released the schedules for the 2018-19 men's and women's hockey seasons, and there are some big dates that should be pointed out on one of the schedules. Yes, I'm going to talk about the Manitoba Bisons women's hockey team here, so settle in and get ready for some information. There's a lot happening this season, and it's time that I let you all in on a few secrets that the program and UMFM have been keeping close to their chests regarding this season's broadcasts.

First off, if you're in town or coming into town and want to see the Bisons men's hockey team play, please click here. If you're interested in seeing the defending U SPORTS women's hockey champions in the Bisons women's hockey team play, please click here. You catch all home games on UMFM's Second Stream and on Canada West TV while select home games can be heard on the radio at 101.5 FM!

Ok, so you have all the places to find the Bisons this season whether in person or from afar. That's going to be important when it comes to the women's team trying to defend their Canada West crown and the U SPORTS National Championship. The men are going to give it their all in trying to unseat one of Saskatchewan or the defending U SPORTS National men's hockey champion Alberta Golden Bears, but they'll have their work cut out for them.

Let's get to the schedule. You'll note which team is at home based on the clear notation of the home team below. If Bisons women's hockey is at home, then the men are on the road playing the same team. The opposition for that week is listed next. The dates and times is listed as well, and special notes about specific games are also listed.


BISONS HOCKEY SCHEDULE
Date/Time Bisons Team Opposition Notes
7PM 10/5
Women
CalgaryBanner Raising Night
Girls' Hockey Day
2PM 10/6
Women
Calgaryn/a
7PM 10/12
Men
Alberta Alumni Night
Minor Hockey Night
7PM 10/13
Men
Alberta n/a
7PM 10/19
Men
Regina n/a
2PM 10/20
Men
Regina n/a
7PM 10/27
Women
Mount RoyalSuper Spooky Saturday
2PM 10/28
Women
Mount RoyalSunday Game!
Nov 2 & 3
Both
Conf. ByeNo games scheduled
7PM 11/9
Women
Lethbridgen/a
2PM 11/10
Women
Lethbridgen/a
7PM 11/16
Men
UBC n/a
1PM 11/17
Men
UBC n/a
7PM 11/23
Women
Saskatchewann/a
4PM 11/24
Women
Saskatchewann/a
7PM 11/30
Men
Calgary n/a
2PM 12/1
Men
Calgary n/a
Dec. 7 to
Jan. 3
Both
Holiday BreakNo regular season games scheduled
7PM 1/4
Women
Albertan/a
2PM 1/5
Women
Albertan/a
7PM 1/11
Men
Mount Royal n/a
2PM 1/12
Men
Mount Royal n/a
7PM 1/18
Women
ReginaPride Night
Alumni Night
4PM 1/19
Women
Reginan/a
7PM 1/25
Men
Lethbridge Bell Let's Talk
Winter Classic
2PM 1/26
Men
Lethbridge n/a
7PM 2/1
Women
UBCn/a
2PM 2/2
Women
UBCSenior Students Game
7PM 2/8
Men
Saskatchewan n/a
2PM 2/9
Men
Saskatchewan Senior Students Game
There's your entire schedule for Bisons hockey at Wayne Fleming Arena this season. If you're wondering how to catch the away games for either team, the only way that will happen right now is through Canada West TV because most of the other schools aren't awesome enough to feature radio and internet radio broadcasts like UMFM offers. And this is where the changes that I mentioned above come into play.

Starting this season, the UMFM broadcasts will be simulcast over the Canada West TV broadcasts! There will be some modifications, but all the graphic overlays and information present on Canada West TV will also be discussed on the radio broadcast. In its most basic of explanations, Canada West TV and UMFM will have the exact same broadcast going out over the respective mediums. This way, listeners on both mediums will get the knowledgeable information and reporting that UMFM provides on the radio broadcasts that was previously unavailable on the Canada West TV broadcasts. As you probably know, UMFM does a lot of work in getting stories about the players last season to ensure high-quality broadcasts, and the feedback received by Bisons Sports suggested that this was missing on the Canada West TV broadcasts.

In short, no matter how you tune into games for Bisons hockey, you're going to get a top-notch broadcast team with unparalleled knowledge, stories, and information about your Bisons athletes. That's the whole point of these broadcasts, right?

There are more changes and more fun being planned for the broadcasts this season, and future announcements will be made as to what these additional changes are. For now, expect another great season of Bisons hockey this winter as we get set to deliver all the great action via UMFM and Canada West TV!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Monday, 18 June 2018

Gonna Get Paid

There are a lot of words and phrases that can be used to describe NHL head coach Barry Trotz: dedicated, driven, meticulous, detail-oriented, Stanley Cup champion, and, as of today, free agent. Barry Trotz resigned his position despite having triggered a clause in this current contract that would have seen him extended by two seasons. The only problem is that Trotz' extension, had he accepted, still would have seen him as one of the lowest-paid coaches in the NHL. Instead, he opted to walk away from the Capitals and seek better compensation after leading Washington to the promised land.

Pierre Lebrun's tweet above sums up the situation with Barry Trotz quite nicely, so there really isn't anything that I need to expand upon except perhaps why he's seeking more money. As Pierre stated in his tweet, $1.8 million per season on that extension doesn't amount to anything close he could possibly get on the open market after leading the Capitals to the Stanley Cup.

As it stands, Toronto head coach Mike Babcock currently pulls in a cool $6.25 million per year, and he hasn't won a Cup since 2008. Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville is making $6 million annually, but he has three Stanley Cups to his name in Chicago. Montreal head coach Claude Julien makes $5 million annually, and his wins came with a far-superior Boston team compared to his current employer's team. With Trotz's successes in Washington, it's hard to see why he wouldn't command something in the same ballpark as the salaries of those listed above.

With Trotz being a free agent at this point, all the speculation has him going to Brooklyn where Lou Lamoriello could sign him to run the Islanders' bench just as Brendan Shanahan did with Mike Babcock. If that happens, it should make for an interesting summer for the Islanders as Andre Burakovsky could be on the block for the Capitals as well having Jay Beagle as a free agent. Both players were key cogs for Trotz with the Capitals this past season.

There are other destinations he could land as well if there is some movement in the NHL coaching ranks, but the only vacant head coaching job at time is with the Islanders unless Trotz renegotiates a deal with the Capitals. Regardless of where he lands, though, there is one absolute certainty: Barry Trotz is going to get paid!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Sunday, 17 June 2018

One For One

I feel like Gary Bettman when he announces a trade at the NHL Entry Draft, but, ladies and gentlemen, we have a trade to announce as Montreal packaged up Alexander Galchenyuk and sent him off to the Arizona Coyotes for Max Domi in a straight one-for-one trade. While some will credit the Coyotes for picking up a talented centerman from the Canadiens where he was misused and often deployed as a winger, some are crediting the Canadiens for acquiring another tough-as-nails winger who can score to add to the likes of Gallagher and Shaw. Regardless of what one feels towards this trade, both players needed something to kick-start their careers once again, and this trade might be that catalyst.

My personal feelings on this trade is that it was dead-even for both the Coyotes and Canadiens. Arizona gets a skilled centerman whose usage in Montreal has been questioned since he arrived, and there's a chance for the Coyotes to re-establish Galchenyuk as the skilled, play-making centerman he showed infrequently under Claude Julien. Montreal gets another rugged-but-smallish winger whose tenacity and doggedness on the puck might have been overshadowed by his lack of production last season. In both cases, there's a lot of room for growth in both players.

What the Canadiens didn't need to do was trade away an underperforming, lack-of-confidence centerman as they are extremely thin down the middle when it comes to talent at the center position. Somehow, Galchenyuk needed to find a way out of Claude Julien's perceived doghouse, but he was never really given that chance. This will now put more pressure on the Canadiens' scouting staff as they hold the third-overall pick, and there will be an expectation that the Habs draft a prototypical centerman with that pick who has the potential to step into the lineup next season to fill the hole created by the Galchenyuk trade.

The Canadiens are getting a player who doesn't mind going to the front of the net, and often finds scoring chances from that area. Domi won't back away from playing in the high-traffic areas, and this was one of the weakest parts of the Canadiens' attack last season. He's also far more effective on the power-play than Galchenyuk ever was, and Montreal's 13th-best power-play shuld see an improvement with how Domi attacks the slot area with passes and with drives to the net while on the man-advantage.

The problem, to me, is that if the Canadiens use Domi as a centerman rather as a wing, they're asking for a ton of offensive trouble when it comes to generating offence. Domi, for all he's worth, needs to play alongside playmakers to be successful, and his finishing touch hasn't been anything like it was in junior hockey thus far in his NHL career. With Montreal possibly going with a Jonathan Drouin-Max Domi-Phillip Danault trio down the middle on their top three lines, that trio produces very little in the way of goals and could be the lowest-scoring trio of centerman on any NHL team this year. In other words, if the gamble to generate offence from the wing from Domi doesn't pay off and they move him to the middle, it could be a serious bust year for les bleus-blancs-et-rouges.

At the end of the day, two struggling young players get a chance to shed the tarnish they found in their previous homes with a fresh start in their home countries of origin. Galchenyuk will play center in Arizona, and should give the Coyotes another weapon to deploy behind the likes of Clayton Keller, Christian Dvorak, and Oliver Ekman-Larsson. Montreal will play Domi on the wing from everything being said, and that will help them if they push Domi to look to the middle of the ice more often for drives and passes. Whether or not that will happen will depend upon Claude Julien, but the Canadiens will get some added toughness along the wing if nothing else.

Who wins this trade? I'm going to say it's a wash at this time. The jury, however, is still out.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Neutral Site Game

The Manitoba Junior Hockey League released its schedule today, and there was one particular game that stood out to me based on the location of where the game is slated to be played. On October 27, the Virden Oil Capitals will meet the Selkirk Steelers in Gimli, Manitoba at the Gimli Recreation Center! I was a little surprised by this choice of a neutral site game as Gimli's population usually doubles to triples in the summer with the cottage folk, but remains fairly low when it comes to the winter. As much as I don't think Gimli would be a future location for the MJHL to expand into, the fact that the Steelers and Oil Capitals will play there should provide some insight as to what kind of crowd support the MJHL can get in the community.

As per the 2016 Canadian census, the permanent urban population of Gimli is 2246. That's not a figure that would indicate a large enough fanbase to support an MJHL team as Selkirk, the home team in this neutral site game, boasts an urban population of 10,278 as per the same census. Selkirk, for what it's worth, does fairly well with its attendance, but having 80% less people in town would hurt Gimli's chances at running a bigger operation in the MJHL. As a result, they do have the Gimli Vikings who play in the Keystone Junior Hockey League, a Junior "B" circuit in the province.

That being said, though, there's a great initiative here to push the game into potentially-interested communities and drive participation numbers up in said communities. As stated, Gimli is cottage country for many Manitobans over the summer, and that leaves very few permanent residents once the snow flies. Having some of the bigger teams in the MJHL play games in towns like Gimli should help push the game to new heights in those communities.

Selkirk is the closest MJHL team to Gimli, so it makes sense to have them as the home team. Getting last year's Turnbull Cup finalists in the Virden Oil Kings to meet them in Gimli bodes well for the play of the game as both teams should be competitive once again this season.

I think the MJHL taking a game to a neutral site is a smart idea. It shows the rest of the province the talent we're producing in Manitoba on the ice, and it showcases some great communities as potential future hosts for more games like this and, possibly, future teams for the MJHL. While Gimli may not fill a 10,000-seat arena, the fans are still as passionate as any other in this great province, and they'll be exemplary hosts for the Oil Capitals and Steelers in October!

If you have the means, make the trip north of Winnipeg and catch this game in a rather unique setting as Gimli, Manitoba hosts the MJHL on October 27, 2018!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!