Thursday 30 September 2021

The Hockey Show - Episode 471

The Hockey Show, Canada's only campus-produced radio show that strictly talks hockey, is humbly displayed in orange today as we reflect on and honour the first-ever National Truth and Reconciliation Day in Canada. After all the devastation discovered over the last few years that has deeply and profoundly affected our Indigenous population in Canada, The Hockey Show and UMFM respectfully stand as allies for our Indigenous friends and colleagues who are still grieving the atrocities and losses suffered, and we acknowledge these harms that were done to our proud Indigenous friends and commit to not only honouring this day to its fullest, but to continue to be an ally of Indigenous communities and peoples throughout the rest of the year as well. As a sign of respect for our friends, the banner today is in orange and there will be a Treaty One recognition statement made to start the show.

It is with great honour that Teebz welcomes back a former Bisons women's hockey player who is doing amazing things in her professional career in MoDo's Erica Rieder! Erica is back for a third season with the Swedish-based club, and we'll catch up with her on living in Sweden, playing for MoDo, how the opportunity came about for her to join the Swedish team, moving to Europe, her professional career, reunions with other former Canada West players, COVID-19 and how it affected MoDo, the 100th anniversary of the Swedish Ice Hockey Association, and a unique food item that Erica has grown to love since being in Sweden! There are career highlight moments, a discussion about a brawl, conversation about playing against Olympians, and more so make sure you tune in at 5:30pm CT on 101.5 FM, Channel 718 on MTS TV, or via!

Where's the best place can you hear tonight's show if you're outside Winnipeg or not near a radio, you ask? The new UMFM website's online streaming player is pretty awesome if you want to listen online. If you're using an Apple device, the player doesn't seem to like Safari yet, so if you want to stream the show I'd recommend Radio Garden to do that as it works nicely with Safari. If you're more of an app person, we recommend you use the TuneIn app found on the App Store or Google Play Store. If you do use the TuneIn app, you won't be disappointed. It's a solid app.

If you have questions, you can email all show queries and comments to! Tweet me anytime with questions you may have by hitting me up at @TeebzHBIC on Twitter! I'm here to listen to you, so make your voice heard!

Tonight, Teebz sits down with former Bisons defender and current MoDo star Erica Rieder to discuss life, hockey, moving, roommates, speaking Swedish, the current season, and much more exclusively on 101.5 UMFM and on the web stream!

PODCAST: September 30, 2021: Episode 471

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Wednesday 29 September 2021

There's Something Missing

On the clip of the game summary between today's KHL game thatb featured Jokerit and Ak Bars Kazan seen to the left, there's clearly something missing. As you're likely aware, every team must dress a backup goalie, but Kazan only has Igor Bobkov showing as a dressed netminder which would cause a serious issue if he were injured or needed to leave the game. Clearly, this would pose a huge problem, so let's spend a few moments investigating what was going on in this KHL game because, as you know, almost anything can happen in a KHL game.

It should be noted that Bobkov was the goalie of record in the 4-3 overtime loss that Kazan suffered today, so he played the entire game without issue. While that's good to hear for Kazan's sake, it still doesn't clear up the mystery as to why there is only one goalie dressed for Kazan. Let's dig into what happened here.

According to this news article on the KHL website,
"Six players from the visitors had been excluded from the team due to a one positive covid test that was given on Tuesday. Therefore, Ak Bars had to play only with three lines through the game. Also forward Dmitri Katelevsky had to serve as a back-up goaltender."
According to the Kazan roster, it would appear that those six players contained some or all of netminders Artur Akhtyamov, Timur Bilyalov, and/or Shamil Valiullin (who wears #68). Due to the restrictions placed on these six unknown players, they could not dress for the game against Jokerit and, as the passage states, the team has to get creative with forward Dmitri Katelevsky.

And there's visual proof of that creativity! Digging into the tweet, Ak Bars Kazan's social media representative wrote, "The Finnish authorities did not allow goalkeepers Akhtyamov and Valiullin, defender Henkel and forwards Voronkov, Lindholm and Uila to play today. They do not comply with Finnish health regulations (man shrugging emote) Let's play in a stripped-down version of the line-up and with goalkeeper Katelevsky as a backup", so it appears that two of the three netminders named above were affected by the COVID-19 restrictions placed on the team by Finnish authorities. Being that it's a road game for Kazan, carrying a fourth goalie would be rather unnecessary so it appears that Bilyalov was left at home.

If the game summary is correct (and I have no reason to suspect it isn't), Kazan oddly played with seven defencemen and ten forwards once Dmitri Katelevsky was in his goalie gear. Why I find this to be odd is that they had an extra defender, but played with three lines up front. Why not dress Mark Yanchevsky in the goalie gear (since he only played 4:50) and leave Katelevsky up front where someone can double-shift to make up a fourth full line?

It would appear that Kazan played from behind the entire game as they were down 1-0 and 3-1 at points in the game before tying the contest up, but Jesse Joensuu's penalty shot goal in overtime after Iiro Pakarinen drew a penalty sealed the win for Jokerit. Despite being dressed and ready for shots, Dmitri Katelevsky never got to make his KHL goaltending debut.

There's always some oddity happening in the KHL when it comes to weird situations and this is another one that needed some examination as Ak Bars Kazan played shorthanded, but still earned a point in the standings. Let's hope that no other teams will be forced into dressing skaters as goalies this season!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Tuesday 28 September 2021

Pats In Red

Unbeknownst to me mostly because I've been focused on other stuff this week, the WHL's Regina Pats decided to unveil a new jersey to add to their collection today! The Regina Pats will wear red this season, but it won't be the jersey seen to the left. That was the red jersey worn in 2013 when they held "Red Fridays" at the Brandt Center by donning "a new red third jersey celebrating the teams' namesake, the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, as the military division heads towards its 100th Anniversary in 2014". Clearly, there's some history with red jerseys in Regina despite it looking odd for the Pats.

Knowing that there is a history of red jerseys in the club's history, here's the new uniform that the Pats debuted today. According to their release, "[t]he design of the jersey is a reflection of the team's 104 year history that dates back to when the club was founded in 1917 as the Regina Patricia Hockey Club — namesake of Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry during the First World War"... or, in simpler terms, the very same thing the last red jersey was meant to honour. Why do we need a new one then? Why are we honouring this military connection with new uniforms dedicated to the same thing every few years?

I want to be clear that I'm not here to rain on the connection the team has to the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry unit, but they wore the jersey honouring the PPCLI in the lede photo in 2013-14. They honoured them again in 2018 with jerseys worn at the Memorial Cup. They honour the military unit with shoulder patches on the everyday uniforms they debuted in 2015-16. Why are the Pats continuing to sell new merchandise - let's be honest with what they're doing here - while recycling this "honour the PPCLI" reason?

According to the release, the new red jersey "features a colourful version of a WWI era PPCLI military badge on the front. This is referred to as a 'sweetheart badge or brooch' that was pinned on clothing. A Canadian military chevron is present on both sleeves and a diagonal stripe across the jersey pays respect to the sash worn in ceremony by infantry soldiers. Additionally, the tone on tone Pats shoulder logo is a subtle nod to the team that doesn’t distract from the overall design."

Or, if you're looking at the pictures linked on this article, they took the logo off the 2018 Memorial Cup sweater, slapped it on a red jersey, and threw a white sash on the front to break up all the red on the jersey. They can take all the military elements they want and rationalize putting them on a new red jersey, but the fact of the matter is that they're introducing a new jersey this season that people will buy, they'll see a windfall of merchandise money come in, and the bottom line for Regina Pats Incorporated get stronger. Personally, in no way should they be leaning on the PPCLI for those pennies from heaven when it comes to selling jerseys.

And while we're discussing this topic of the Regina Pats and capitalizing off the PPCLI, this whole effort of honouring a military unit that isn't even based in Regina seems a wee bit disingenuous. Excuse me while I go on a bit of a rant.

For history buffs, the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) was founded in 1914 in Calgary with the Princess lending her name to the regiment to use. The regiment was mostly made up of British immigrants and fought with the British during the First World War, so there's very little "Canada" and even less "Regina" in the founding of the PPCLI outside of the regiment being part of the Canadian military.

Further to this, the Canadian government decided to keep the PPCLI going after the war had ended, but the regiment needed a permanent home. Regina was one of the locations considered, and Regina residents rallied together to plead their case as the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Ladies Auxiliary was formed. Unfortunately, Regina lost out to the city where the PPCLI was founded - Calgary - so the PPCLI remained in the Alberta city as opposed to setting up shop in the Saskatchewan city.

In more modern times, there are three battalions of the PPCLI, and none of them call Regina home. Edmonton has both the First Battalion, which is mechanized infantry, and the Third Battalion, which is light infantry. Shilo, Manitoba has the Second Infantry - mechanized infantry - and this is where the Regina Pats usually visit when they need to get in touch with their military roots... which seemingly don't exist.

When the Pats were founded in 1917, they were originally named as the Regina Patricia Hockey Club, and that "Patricia" name came from Princess Patricia of Connaught. Outside of the city of Regina campaigning the Canadian military and government to move the PPCLI regiment to Regina post-WW1, the name "Pats" worn by the hockey team has absolutely nothing to do with the military regiment whatsoever. And I don't fault the team for being huge supporters of the PPCLI and the Canadian military in general in modern times, but it annoys me to see things like the tweet below when the "roots" and "namesake" links they make literally are not in the team's history.
Ok, rant over. I just needed to get that off my chest because I respect all that the Pats do to support the military, in particular the PPCLI, but when people start talking about how the Pats were named after the PPCLI when the hockey club was founded while the PPCLI were still fighting in the First World War it drives me mad.

After all that, the Regina Pats will wear red this season. I'm glad they honour the PPCLI for what they do for this great country because the battalions deserve a nod for all the good they do, but let's stop dedicating every new jersey to them when it's simply a cash grab for the hockey club with no discernable benefit for the military regiment, their families, or the bases at which they live.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Monday 27 September 2021

Disappointing Decision

With leagues across the country starting to find their ways back to arenas, it looked like we may have a winter where kids of all ages - from ages 6 to 96 - would be on the ice and playing hockey. Granted, there are some areas of concern where COVID-19 is still thriving and surviving among the populace, but with Canadian vaccination rates breaking through the 80% mark this week for double doses in all eligible Canadians, it really looked like we were going to approach this season safely. That is, until the news hit today that Hockey Canada was cancelling some major events once more as they exercise what appears to be extreme caution regarding the pandemic.

In rather shocking news, Hockey Canada went ahead and cancelled the 2021 National Women's Under-18 Championship, 2021 Canadian Tire Para Hockey Cup, and 2021 World Junior A Challenge. These three events are landmark events for Hockey Canada whereby lots of scouting is done and players get exposure on a national level when it comes to following their hockey dreams. Having these three tournaments cancelled is pretty devastating for the athletes and teams who were set to compete at these events.

"Despite a strong desire to work with three great communities to host the top players at various levels across the country this season," Hockey Canada CEO Tom Renney made in a statement, "the health and safety of all participants and the communities at large continues to be of the utmost importance to Hockey Canada. The ongoing pandemic, in addition to the vaccination status of some international teams, has left us with no other option. We believe the decision to cancel these fall events is the safest decision given the ongoing uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic at a local level, as well as the uncertainty around countries and regions being able to safely compete."

I know I've been preaching this for what seems like forever now, but Tom Renney pointed out that the health and safety of the communities at large comes into play in these decisions, and that means that people within those communities should have already been vaccinated in anticipation of having the world come to play in their backyards. While Hockey Canada certainly can't mandate that, these events put communities like Dawson Creek, BC and Bridgewater, Nova Scotia on the map as future destinations for other tournaments, so it should have been stressed that those communities should be in the upper percentiles of cities near 100% vaccination.

The other side of the coin, as Renney pointed out, is that there are international teams who would be visiting that have different vaccination standards compared to Canada. Because of this, there's a greater risk of them potentially bringing the virus into those communities, and that's the last thing those communities need right now after having battled the pandemic here in Canada for so long. As a corporate neighbour, Hockey Canada has to look out for the communities in which it plays, and by cancelling the tournaments they have reduced the risk of international persons bringing the virus into Canada.

Why this is disappointing is this is the second-straight year where the National Women's Under-18 Championship has been cancelled. Having seen Team Manitoba play against the Bisons, there were lots of reasons to be excited for Manitoba's squad who were set to travel to Dawson Creek at the end of October, but that's not on the table any longer as a number of U18 players will miss the chance to be scouted by teams or seen by the school to which they committed while playing against the rest of the country's best U18 players. That sucks.

It would appear that the western Canadian hockey governing bodies aren't quite content with this decision, though. According to a Hockey Manitoba statement on the cancellations, "Hockey Manitoba, along with the other three Western Branches (Hockey Saskatchewan, Hockey Alberta, and BC Hockey), are in the process of exploring all potential options to operate an event that can fill the gap left by the cancellation of the National Women's Under-18 Championship."

If these four governing bodies can come up with a solution based on the growing number of cases of COVID-19 in BC, Alberta, and Saskatchewan, I'm all for it, but let's not rush to do anything just to say we did it. If those three provinces can get their pandemic numbers in order with significant reductions in cases, I'd be more inclined to have them put a tournament together. Whatever the case may be, these four provinces should follow Hockey Canada's lead in ensuring whatever community hosts the tournament has public health concerns put at the top of the priority list.

If the ladies from western Canada do get to play, it will be a huge benefit for all involved as a number of these girls missed last year's tournament due to the pandemic, and it appeared they would miss it again this year. My hope is that the four hockey governing bodies come up with something because Hockey Canada, while erring on the side of caution, really is doing the players it represents a serious disservice by cancelling these tournaments outright.

I'm not one to complain about being safe, but how do we make up the months and years lost to these players? That's the question Hockey Canada must now answer because they're truly making it impossible for kids to follow their dreams.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Sunday 26 September 2021

Getting Set For A Season

I spent most of my weekend inside Wayne Fleming Arena on the University of Manitoba campus doing radio for the Bisons women's hockey team, and I have to say that getting back into this routine is harder than I thought. Don't get me wrong when I say I'm excited for hockey - I am over the moon to have it back! - but there's a routine that I followed when hockey was a regular weekend thing in 2019-20 with Canada West hockey being played, and it feels not-so-normal trying to get back into that routine. Once we hit the air, though, it felt like we had never left despite nearly 600 days elapsing between broadcasts!

The photo above was taken by Miss Cheryl Dunning, and it featured the Bisons and St. Mary's Academy Flames in action on Sunday. As we know, scores don't matter in the preseason, so I'm not here to discuss scores or break down highlights. That will come starting on October 17 when The Rundown articles return, so keep an eye peeled for those. For Trinity Western and MacEwan fans who haven't seen one of those articles yet, you'll get a full serving of weekend hockey news and notes from me.

Despite the effort to get back into the swing of things, broadcasting alongside Jason Pchajek on Saturday and Kyleigh Palmer on Sunday is easy. They're two of the best in Canada West at calling play-by-play action, and they know the game and players well so that good conversations happen between us as we're broadcasting. Bisons hockey fans, whether it be men's or women's hockey, should feel pretty lucky that they have two great people who are invested and committed to their teams like Jason and Kyleigh are. Working with them again this weekend felt like we hadn't missed a beat in nearly 600 days.

One of the complaints we hear regularly as broadcasters is "I don't know any of the players". I can empathize with this as people really have no connection to the team unless a family member is playing for the team. Whether it be a son, daughter, grandson, granddaughter, niece, nephew, sister, or brother, unless one has a connection, I get the complaint for people trying to break into the university hockey world. This season, we want to help, so let's check out a few ideas we have to help you get more into the game!

We debuted some graphics on social media this weekend that may make their way into Bisons women's hockey broadcasts like the one to the right. This screen, seen on Midway's Open Ice 2-On-2 Challenge arcade video game, will be used every gameday to highlight players we believe will have an impact on the game played that day. It's an easy way for us to get players' names and faces out into the discussion, and my hope is that this exposure will give everyone a better idea of the players who may appear on the highlight reels and who make up the Canada West rosters.

Secondly, if you're following me on Twitter, you're likely aware we're introducing you to the Bisons with respect to their jersey numbers and the number of days until they play for real on October 15. The mocked-up hockey cards I've made for the Bisons will be used this season for a variety of purposes, but every single player who is on a roster this season has a hockey card! On top of that, any player who may have played for a team previously in their careers may also have a card! Again, if you want to know who these players are, associating a number they wear on the ice with the person brings them to life a little more than just having some broadcaster talk about them. If we isolate on a player this season or someone does something remarkable or if a record is set or broken, expect to see a player card used to identify that player like Anna Purschke above!

For parents reading this, if you reach out to me via email or social media, I can send you the mocked-up card of your daughter if you want it. I am more than happy to share the image because, as hockey parents, you've played a pretty big part in getting your daughters to this level. Feel free to reach out, and we'll make sure you get the one card that matters most to you! And yes, the plan is to make new ones each season for those players still in the league. Tell your team staff to take lots of pictures this season!

If you're watching on Canada West TV this season or listening on UMFM's Second Stream, you might hear voices from days gone by as the second periods have been deemed "Alumni Periods" all season long. Bisons women's hockey alumni from any and all eras of the program are encouraged to come and visit the broadcast booth this season during the second period of play so that we can get caught up with all of the amazing athletes who put Bisons women's hockey on the map. And, if they're up to it, I'll relinquish my headset to the alumna and let them do some colour commentary alongside Kyleigh as well! How much fun will that be?

If I'm being totally honest, this has been long overdue in terms of honouring the women who cleared a path for the women who followed them, and we feel the best way to honour them is to feature them prominently on the broadcasts. Whether an alumna played one game or every game across all five seasons, all alumni are encouraged to stop by the broadcast booth so we can introduce Bisons fans to the women who elevated this program to new heights during their time in the brown-and-gold! So c'mon by the booth and say hi!

Make sure you also stick around for first intermissions this year as we feature each of the nine schools who make up Canada West hockey during the breaks! There will be a special look at the program, a person, or people where unique and interesting stories are found, and we'll run a feature every home game to identify those schools and stories that make this league awesome. In terms of having ten home games, we also have a special feature planned exclusively for the October 15 game, so make sure you're tuning into that game if nothing else!

Beyond that, there will be stuff added over the coming weeks as the game broadcast schedule is finalized. I'm trying to convince Bisons Sports to allow us to have a ticket giveaway for future games, but they're mulling over that still. We'll see what happens. What I do know is that the only pregame show on Canada West broadcasts will continue thirty minutes prior to every game played, there will be a postgame show with Honour Roll mentions, and there will be lots of hockey action to call over ten home games this season.

While I found it hard to get myself back into a routine for these two exhibition games this weekend, there's no need for added encouragement for October 15 and 16 when the Calgary Dinos come to town as I'm already beyond excited for those games. If you do want to go to those games, don't forget that all tickets are virtual this season and can be purchased through the Bisons website. Bring your mask and your proof of vaccination, and let's get ready for a crazy, fun, and exciting season of Canada West hockey!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Saturday 25 September 2021

Female Goalie Goal!

It's not even October yet, and we already have a goalie goal on the board for the 2021-22 season! As you know, goalie goals are rare, and this blog will make every effort to find video of those goals. Regardless of what's happening in the hockey world, a goalie goal takes precedence over any other story. I will say that I don't recall a goalie goal ever being recorded in a regular-season game in September nor do I recall any goalie goals scored in the first weekend of the NCAA season, but we can officially strike both of those from the record thanks to Quinnipiac's Manitoba-born netminder Corinne Schroeder!

Schroeder played for the Pembina Valley Hawks and the Balmoral Hall Blazers in Manitoba as she honed her skills before being recruited to join Boston University where she played for three seasons plus the shortened COVID-19 season last year. She transferred to Quinnipiac to pursue her MBA after graduating from BU, and she decided to play out her final NCAA season with the Bobcats as a graduate student.

Quinnipiac, who also has Winnipegger and former St. Mary's Academy Flames netminder Logan Angers on their roster, seems to be getting the most out of Manitoba-born goalies in the NCAA. Angers picked up the 3-2 victory against Maine to open the season on the Friday before the Bobcats sent Schroeder to the net for tonight's game in the back-half of the two-game set against the Maine Black Bears.

We'll pick this game up in the third period with Quinnipiac leading 4-1, but trying to gain possession on a delayed penalty call. As the announcers mulled over who last touched the puck for Quinnipiac before Maine sent the puck the length of the ice into their own net, this is what the fans in the arena heard as a goal scorer:
With that goal, Schroeder wrote her name into the school's record books. She becomes the first Quinnipiac women's goalie to score a goal in school history. She is the first female goalie in NCAA history to be credited with a goal of any kind. Her goal also made Quinnipiac the only school in NCAA history with two goalies who scored goals as she join men's hockey alumnus Michael Garteig who scored for the Bobcats in 2013. She's the 13th goalie to score a goal in NCAA history. How cool are those records? And she's from Elm Creek, Manitoba!

Congratulations to Corinne Schroeder on her first career NCAA goal! HBIC loves goalie goals, so let's hope there's a chance at a second goal as this season wears on! Who would have thought we'd have a goalie goal on September 25?

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Friday 24 September 2021

Desecrating The Uniform

If you're a frequent reader of this blog, you know that this writer holds uniforms in a sacred spot when it comes to what appears on them. Team logos are always going to hold a place of prominence on the chest while patches on the shoulders in any spot shouldn't detract from the chest logo. Anything beyond that is unnecessary unless we're talking about a minor-league charity night or some one-off event. Europoean uniforms get lumped into their own category when it comes to the ads on them simply because the revenue generation for those teams is different than we see in the NHL, so you know that advertisements on NHL uniforms is a non-starter for me. Don't even bring it up in a positive manner - it's simply unacceptable.

As you likely know, the NHL's Board of Governors - excuse my sarcastic tone, but forever the protectors of the sanctity of the sport - voted to have advertising on NHL jerseys starting in 2022-23 in what amounts to a pathetic cash grab 32 times. To say I'm annoyed already that I'm writing this article would be accurate, but seeing the Washington Capitals announce a multi-year deal for their jersey advertisement this morning only lit an angry fire in me that is still burning now.

Without further delay, here's Washington's advertisement.
Holy moly does that look brutal. Not only is it in one of the patch spots where teams sport various patches, but it occupies a large chunk of real estate on the jersey going east-west. As for the company promoted on the jersey, it's a sportsbook ad which drives me nuts because the NHL is supposed to be for everyone. That line would include both kids and recovering gambling addicts, but who really cares as long as the NHL is getting its money, right?

What makes this worse is what ESPN's Greg Wyshynski reported earlier today. He wrote,
"NHL teams were restricted to one ad on their jerseys, to go along with one on the helmet, which is a program that began in the 2019-20 season. While teams were prohibited from selling sportsbook ads during the first two seasons of the helmet sponsorship program, the NHL said that gambling ads would be allowed on helmets and jerseys beginning in the 2022-23 season.

"The Capitals' partnership with Caesars falls within the NHL's regulation guidelines for gambling ads on jerseys. The ads can only be sold in markets where single-game sports betting is legal, and cannot appear on away uniforms.

"'We don't want that jersey going to away markets where it's not legal,' Keith Wachtel, the NHL's chief business officer and senior executive vice president, told ESPN last month."
Essentially, based on Greg's reporting, the Capitals could have a Caesar's Sportsbook ad on their home jerseys, and sell the same space on their road jerseys to some other company so they can maximize as much potential revenue from the jersey ads as possible. In theory, Washington could generate more money annually from jersey revenue than teams who are legally not permitted to advertise gambling in those states or provinces.

Is that fair? I suppose it is. Is that gross in terms of what the Capitals can do when it comes to maximizing revenue? Entirely.

This is why I am against advertising on jerseys: the rules differ from state to state and province to province which will ultimately allow some teams to capitalize more than other while other teams are penalized through no fault of their own. If we're talking about "have" and "have-not" teams, this only opens the gaps a little wider.

Beyond that, the ads are entirely intrusive, quite distracting to the eye, and extremely tacky from an aesthetics point of view when one is looking at the uniforms. There is no way that the NHL should have agreed to this, but the colour of money is officially the only colour that matters when it comes to traditions in the NHL. If the ads were on the edge of the shoulder yoke area, I might be able to stomach them on an NHL jersey, but having them located on the shoulder where they are creeping into chest logos is grotesque. While my complaints won't make them go away, my interest in owning game-worn jerseys just fell off the table.

The reality is that we need to forget the blue-and-white, the bleu-blanc-et-rouge, or the yellow-and-black because green is the only colour that shamefully seems to matter to NHL teams.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Thursday 23 September 2021

The Hockey Show - Episode 470

The Hockey Show, Canada's only campus-produced radio show that strictly talks hockey, is back tonight with a promised follow-up show as Teebz sits down with Bisons women's hockey head coach Jon Rempel to talk about everything that's gone on in Bisons camp as we sit 22 days from opening night on October 15. There are lots of updates to report, so this chat will be informative for all who listen and have an interest in Bisons women's hockey and Canada West women's hockey. There's lots that Jon breaks down, so let's see what was discussed!

Head coach Jon Rempel sits down with Teebz to provide updates on training camp and preseason games in terms of how he's viewed both the progress of the team and the results in preseason games. They discuss the absent Polina Goncharova, his views on the three games the Bisons played against the Team Manitoba U18 squad, whether or not he sees the skill gap between prep and U18 hockey closing between his team and those teams, his takeaways in the two games against the Regina Cougars this past weekend, the addition of a transfer student, how the Bisons will travel when it comes to the COVID-19 situations in Alberta and Saskatchewan, the announcement of the U SPORTS-CBC deal and the impact it may have, what Jon will stress as important moving forward, how he may handle the bye weeks, preparation for the other eight Canada West teams, injuries and how they impact his lineup, what will make this season successful by Jon's measures, breaking "bad habits", some of the things we'll see within the Bisons' systems this season, players accepting roles, having foreign players settle into university life in Winnipeg, and the excitement for this season. It's a very candid and very informative show about how Bisons women's hockey is preparing for the season, so make sure you tune in at 5:30pm CT on 101.5 FM, Channel 718 on MTS TV, or via!

Where's the best place can you hear tonight's show if you're outside Winnipeg or not near a radio, you ask? The new UMFM website's online streaming player is pretty awesome if you want to listen online. If you're using an Apple device, the player doesn't seem to like Safari yet, so if you want to stream the show I'd recommend Radio Garden to do that as it works nicely with Safari. If you're more of an app person, we recommend you use the TuneIn app found on the App Store or Google Play Store. If you do use the TuneIn app, you won't be disappointed. It's a solid app.

If you have questions, you can email all show queries and comments to! Tweet me anytime with questions you may have by hitting me up at @TeebzHBIC on Twitter! I'm here to listen to you, so make your voice heard!

Tonight, Teebz sits down with Jon Rempel, Bisons women's hockey head coach, for the final chat of the preseason as they chat about preseason games, some new twists to the Canada West season, making and setting a lineup with injuries and players who are showing up in camp, changes to his systems, his excitement for this season, and much more exclusively on 101.5 UMFM and on the web stream!

PODCAST: September 23, 2021: Episode 470

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Wednesday 22 September 2021

More Is Better

If there's one thing you never hear anyone say, it's something along the lines of "we need less international women's hockey". Based on ratings from the Olympics and during World Championships, it's hard to fathom how the women play so little when it comes to international tournaments. Today's announcement will change that scenario somewhat, and quite possibly breath more oxygen into the competitive fires between teams as the IIHF approved a major change that will see the Women's World Championship played annually including in Olympic years!

The effect of the change adds one extra tournament for the top-level teams in the IIHF Women's Division, but it also will stoke those competitive fires that seem to burn brighter as teams approach the Olympics where the biggest prize internationally is found. This change will begin next year with the Beijing Olympics still being played in February, but the 2022 IIHF Women's World Hockey Championship officially will take place in August 2022!

Using the lede image, Denmark has officially applied to host the 2022 World Championship, so it would appear we have a host nation for the ten teams to where they can travel and play already. With the top division playing every year just as the lower divisions do, it will allow for more seamless promotions and relegations as there will no longer be years where that doesn't happen.

For those asking, the March or April dates for the tournaments are not going away. The tournament will only move to August in Olympic years in order to give players enough time to fulfill obligations they hold. With the success of the tournament in Canada in August this past year, the move seems rather elementary in terms of holding a tournament. What matters most is that the victory is still fresh for Canada while the wounds of defeat should have the other teams fired up once the Olympics begin - a timeframe of just six months after the World Championship took place.

In all honesty, though, having more high-level women's ice hockey tournaments is good for the game. Fans love seeing their country win over rivals. The players love the thrill of the game and thrive on the competitive nature found within the game. And media sponsors eat up the storylines that develop before, during, and after games. In other words, holding an extra two-week tournament for the ladies over a four-year period really has no drawbacks at all.

If we're talking about growth of the game, seeing more teams promoted more often will also have a cascade effect on some of these countries who are building their hockey programs into something greater. There are no years where a team wins its IIHF division, but is stuck there because no one from the division above was promoted. That matters when selling hockey in developing nations like Estonia, Israel, Serbia, Great Britain, the Netherlands, France, and a host of other nations. Having these nations rewarded for succeeding matters immensely to them when it comes to funding and attracting girls to the sport in those nations.

At the end of the day as a fan of women's hockey, I can talk about it all day long, but eyes are drawn to the games. Giving the women more opportunities to be seen in international competition by more people thanks to media coverage and promotion within countries is good for the game. It will only mean that more countries are on the right track faster to strengthening their programs through increased growth and funding.

I don't give them credit often, but the IIHF is, in this writer's view, doing the right thing with this decision. They deserve a few kudos for this decision as it will strengthen the women's game from top to bottom when it comes to all 44 registered countries.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Tuesday 21 September 2021

When Winnipeg Had Two Teams

We're all quite aware that there are, in 2021-22, nine schools with Canada West hockey teams. This isn't some new fact, but it needs to be stated because, across the four Canada West provinces, every province has at least two teams within its borders except for one. That one province is Manitoba where the University of Manitoba is the only school with Canada West hockey programs. With no provincial rivals, the Bisons have forged good rivalries with both Regina and Saskatchewan as the closest teams they play, but how great would it be if Manitoba had two teams? Or if Winnipeg had a second team like Calgary and Edmonton do?

This question stemmed from a tweet sent out by the great Nathan Sager today after the University of Manitoba put out a tweet about University of Winnipeg President James Currie and University of Manitoba President Michael Benarroch having some fun while hyping the Duckworth Challenge, a set of games between the schools' basketball, volleyball, and women's soccer teams that determines a winner between the two Winnipeg-based schools in head-to-head games between the teams listed above.

In response to the tweet, Sager wrote,
What if I told you that the University of Winnipeg did have hockey at one point for both men's and women's hockey?

Full credit for what follows goes to Will Jones, a broadcast operator and media technician at The University of Winnipeg, who went digging into Wesmen sports history to find as much as he could about Wesman hockey. What he ended up with was a comprehensive look at three decades of Wesman hockey that he put into a film titled Iced: The Lost History of Hockey at The University of Winnipeg!

Produced back in 2016 and shown on MTS TV Stories From Home, Jones spent three years digging through archives and interviewing players as he tracked down the history of Wesmen hockey that focuses on the "modern Wesmen teams of the 50s through early 80s; and the championship pedigree UWinnipeg women's club team in the early 2000s." The end result is a very good film that pulls back the curtain on a university hockey program that very few seem to remember.

Grab your history books, folks, because we're going back in time to visit this era of Wesmen hockey! Here is Iced: The Lost History of Hockey at The University of Winnipeg in its entirety as we look back on a pair of lost Canadian university hockey programs!
Honestly, Mr. Jones' efforts in producing this can't be understated as this is an exceptional look at Wesmen hockey. While I missed out on seeing the Wesmen men's team play by a good twenty years, I had no idea that there was a women's team at the institution during the early 2000s. Had I known, I probably would have gone to see a few of those games as it sounds like the women's program was quite good. Especially when you hear that they beat the Bisons year after year and could compete with teams like Alberta and Regina.

Would it be incredible to see the Wesmen return as a possible tenth Canada West team? Heck yes! I'd love to see a tenth team in Canada West and have a second Manitoba-based team for a crosstown rivalry once more. Where they would play would require some examination and we're certainly not here to try and build a program from the ground up, but it would be pretty cool to welcome the Winnipeg Wesmen back to Canada West hockey if they were thinking about adding hockey to their complement of sports teams!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Monday 20 September 2021

More Eyes For National Championships

It's virtually a known fact that CBC Sports is the home for amateur sports in Canada when it comes to seeing sports on TV that the other major sports networks simply can't or won't cover. We know they air things like alpine skiing, swimming, and beach volleyball, but their announcement in getting back into showing Canadian Hockey League games seems to have prompted CBC Sports to do more for more amateur athletes in this country. Today's announcement is a huge boost for those athletes who have chosen to pursue their education as well, and we should celebrate that the national public broadcaster is once again throwing itself into a segment of amateur sports largely ignored by the major sports networks and the Canadian public in general.

CBC Sports announced today that they and U SPORTS had come to an agreement to have every U SPORTS National Championship broadcast on CBC's various digital options including both the Men's and Women's National Hockey Championships! The four-year deal will see CBC air these championships across the CBC streaming services and the CBC Gem app as the English option for viewers while the French option will be made available through (currently inaccessible) as CBC covers the best university athletes Canada has to offer!

Before we get too excited about this, you may recall that CBC covered six championships in their first attempt to cover U SPORTS action in 2020, and the streaming coverage for the women's hockey tournament in PEI was rather abysmal. Between choppy video and a rather poor video quality, the hope is that this commitment to U SPORTS will drive CBC's efforts behind the scenes to new heights so that the video quality is exceptional. While I'm sure this is something that U SPORTS and CBC discussed, we'll see how things look during the U SPORTS Women's Rugby National Championship from November 10-14 as that's the first tournament on the schedule.

Assuming that's all fixed, this is a huge moment for U SPORTS to gain some meaningful traction on the sports landscape through a network that seems committed to amateur sports and gender-equality in its sports broadcasting as part of its mandate.

"These U SPORTS championship events offer the opportunity for audiences to see some of the top high-performance athletes in the country in action on a national stage," said Chris Wilson, Executive Director of Sports and Olympics at CBC. "We're proud to further enhance our commitment to gender-balanced sports coverage with this equal slate of men's and women's championship events, and we look forward to sharing the athletes' stories across our digital platforms over the next four years."

CBC's commitment to amateur athletes on its network wasn't lost on U SPORTS either.

"CBC Sports is Canada's Olympic Network and has an impressive repertoire of high-performance sport coverage on its digital platforms," said John Bower, U Sports' director of marketing and communications. "U SPORTS look forward to growing our audience with CBC so that the performances and stories of our student-athletes reach the widest possible audience."

One of the things that wasn't discussed in any of the press releases, though, was who was going to do the broadcasts with respect to play-by-play and colour commentary. One of the things that was agreed to in 2020 was that "English-language play-by-play and commentary for the live events will be provided by local voices and students", so it will be interesting to see if CBC opts to bring in their own broadcasters for the events who may not have that intimate knowledge of the schools and players versus using the schools' broadcasting teams who have a much deeper relationship with those teams.

Personally, having worked beside hired voices who were broadcasting national championships, I can tell you that they used my notes for games that the Bisons played in more than their own notes. There were also off-air conversations during breaks about how to pronounce player names, who may play larger roles in games for the Bisons, and some background info about players who were being featured as the hired team came out of breaks.

I'm not saying they should have hired us to call the game, but the homework that the broadcasters had done was simply not at the same level as the knowledge we possessed about the teams. I worry that this may happen with the CBC broadcasters who would be assigned to call these championships whereas there are a number of exceptional and talented broadcasters working at the university level already who could used. And, if CBC was so inclined, could scout for potential CBC Sports broadcasting positions as well.

What is certain, though, is that for the next four years U SPORTS national championships can be seen on CBC's streaming services, and that's exciting news when it comes to seeing a vast number of talented, exceptional athletes compete at th highest level for Canadian university sport's highest honours. CBC deserves a tip of the cap for this effort because there are a ton of sports that will require coverage, so here's hoping the technology holds up with clear streams, the broadcasters are well-informed and well-prepared, and the athletes put on a helluva show for all to see.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Sunday 19 September 2021

Back To La Belle Province

John Tavares, Victor Hedman, Matt Duchene, Evander Kane, and Brayden Schenn - those were the first five players taken in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft by the five teams shown in the image, and only Hedman remains with the team who drafted him. The Entry Draft that season took place in Montreal, and there was a lot of anticipation over which team would win the lottery to earn the right to draft Tavares who was seen as a player who could change the fortunes of whichever team chose him. Of those five players, it's Hedman and Schenn who have hoisted the Stanley Cup, so it will be interesting to see who is selected by which team when the NHL Entry Draft returns to Montreal this year!

July 7 and 8 will see 32 teams choose players who they believe will improve the franchise's fortunes, and Montreal is going to get this year's draft in person after COVID-19 forced the last two drafts to be done virtually. While there were fun and there were a few cool surprises - Alex Trebek, may he rest in peace eternally - getting back inside a venue and seeing the names appear on the big board behind Bettman will feel a lot more normal.

Looking back on that 2009 draft year, there's one player from the first-round selections that never played in the NHL. Carolina selected left-winger Philippe Paradis from the Shawinigan Cataractes with the 27th-overall pick that season, but Paradis never got past the AHL level. Part of that may be that he was traded during his final QMJHL year from Carolina to Toronto for Jiri Tlusty, and then was traded from the Maple Leafs in the summer with Chris DiDomenico and Viktor Stalberg to the Chicago Blackhawks for Kriss Versteeg and Billy Sweatt.

As we know, the Blackhawks had just won their first Stanley Cup of that decade in 2010, and they were loaded with good offensive wingers. Cracking that lineup would be difficult for a number of IceHogs who were down the depth chart, so Paradis went about his business in Rockford where he played a physical style of hockey that he hoped would get him noticed.

On April 3, 2013 as the Blackhawks were retooling for a second Stanley Cup, Paradis was traded from the Blackhawks to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Kirill Gotovets which meant he was onto another team whose depth at the wing position left him considerably down the depth chart. However, Paradis reported to Syracuse where he continued to chip in offensively while playing his physical brand of hockey.

Paradis' 2014-15 season would be cut short after starting the season with eight goals and seven assists in 34 games as it appeared he found his groove in Syracuse. However, a torn ACL ended his promising season far too early as Paradis was forced to watch from the sidelines as the ligament healed. What looked like an innocent play as he attempted to get up after a player fell on him, his leg went in the opposite direction he needed it to go and the ligament snapped. For Paradis, the sound he heard and the pain he felt after the ligament gave out was the clear sign that something wasn't right, and it would turn out to be a serious injury.

"I just heard a pop, like something stretching. I didn't know really what it was," Paradis told Lindsay Kramer of "My leg was kind of bending at that time. I remember trying to put it straight. It just hurt like crazy."

Paradis would come back for one more season with Syracuse, but his production dipped despite him still being a physical player on the ice. With his contract expiring, the Lightning appeared to not have offered a new contract to Paradis, making him a free agent. The 2016-17 season is a gap in his career, but Paradis returned to LNAH for a handful of games in 2017-18 before jumping to Europe in 2018-19 where he played 20 games in the AlpsHL with Jesenice where he scored 19 goals and added seven helpers. He returned to the LNAH in 2019-20, and it appears his career ended there.

Foe what it's worth, Paradis played one less game than another player from that draft as the Dallas Stars used 8th-overall pick in the draft to select Scott Glennie who played exactly one NHL game in his career. Glennie did spend time with the Texas Stars for several seasons before playing the 2016-17 season with the Manitoba Moose where he closed out his career.

While there are always a handful of players whose NHL dreams stop short once they're drafted, we'll see who gets picked at the 2022 NHL Entry Draft live from the Centre Bell on July 7 and 8 as 32 teams restock and retool for the future!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Saturday 18 September 2021

Numbers That Don't Mean Much

With Canada West hockey starting in less than a month, most of the teams have already played in some sort of exhibition game or series against other teams. Whether they be prep teams, Canada West teams, or teams from other university leagues such as the ACAC, every team in Canada West women's hockey has squeezed at least one game in on their preseason schedule at this point. In what has become an annual tradition since 2017, the Manitoba Bisons and Regina Cougars met in a neutral site game to work through a couple of preseason tilts, so I thought it might be a good time to look at how these preseason games have played out with respect to the numbers.

With Manitoba winning both games this weekend in Russell, Manitoba by 3-1 scores, the Bisons improved their preseason record over the Cougars to an impressive 11-2 mark. The Bisons have scored 46 goals in those 13 contests to Regina's 17 goals, so it appears that the easternmost Canada West team is dominant when compared to the southern Saskatchewan team. This, though, is where we need to pump the brakes a little because we all know that preseason results may not be entirely accurate when it comes to regular season final standings.

While the results from this season will play out over the next few months, let's look at the seasons where these two teams met in the preseason and see how things turned out.

In 2019-20, the Bisons and Cougars met twice in the preseason with the Bisons winning 6-0 while the Cougars won 1-0. During the season, Regina went 2-1-1-0 (W-L-OTW-OTL) compared to Manitoba's 1-2-0-1. Manitoba was shutout three times by the Cougars, scoring just two goals in four games while Regina scored six in those four games. At the end of the season, Regina finished nine points ahead of Bisons in the standings, so that 6-0 win by the Bisons really was an aberration from how the regular season played out.

In 2018-19, the Bisons and Cougars met once in the preseason with the Bisons prevailing by a 4-2 score. The Bisons went 3-0-1-0 in the four regular season gamnes against the Cougars, outscoring Regina by an 18-9 count over those games. The biggest number in this season's comparison is that the Bisons finished 25 points ahead of the Cougars in the standings. That 4-2 score might have suggested the Bisons were better, but I'm not sure it showed that they were 25 points better.

In 2017-18, the Bisons picked up two preseason wins over the Cougars by 2-1 and 4-2 scores. The regular season saw the Bisons go 4-0 over the Cougars as they outscored Regina 11-2 in those games, so this season saw the preseason results carry into the regular season. It should be noted, though, that Manitoba, who would go on to win the U SPORTS National Championship that season, finished the season 32 points ahead of Regina. Again, the low-scoring affairs didn't seem to suggest a gap that wide between the two teams.

We need to skip to the 2014-15 season where the Bisons and Cougars met in the preseason once more. The Bisons would win 4-0 in that lone preseason game, and they would take the season series by a 1-0-2-1 record compared to the Cougars' record of 0-1-1-2. If it weren't for the 6-1 win late in the season by the Bisons, the total goals would see a one-goal difference between the two teams. However, Manitoba did end up outscoring Regina 11-5 in the season series, but the three close games that needed extra time to decide them was not indicative of the 16-point difference that Manitoba had on Regina that season.

2012-13 is the next preseason game between these two programs, and Manitoba would win that game by a 5-3 score. However, Regina would go 2-0-2-0 in the regular season while Manitoba recored an 0-2-0-2 record against Regina. Regina outscored Manitoba 14-9 in those four games, and they'd finish 13 points ahead of the Bisons in the standings as the 5-3 win by the Bisons in the preseason clearly meant nothing once the real games started.

2011-12 saw Manitoba and Regina split the two preseason games with Regina winning 2-1 before Manitoba took the second contest by a 3-2 score. During the regular season, Manitoba went 3-0-0-1 to Regina's 0-3-1-0 record as Mantioba outscored Regina 9-5 in those contests. What makes this season a little weird is that Manitoba finished in fifth-place while Regina finished in sixth-place, but there was a 12-point gap between the two teams. While the regular season scoring was similar to the close results in the preseason, the 3-0-0-1 record and the 12-point advantage in the standings posted by Manitoba were not.

The final season we'll look at is the 2010-11 season where Manitoba took both preseason games over Regina by 7-0 and 4-2 scores. Things didn't get much better for Regina in the regular season as Manitoba went 3-1-0-0 while outscoring Regina 19-3 in those games, but Regina's 2-1 win at the end of January certainly wasn't expected. Based on these scores, it looked like Manitoba might be some sort of juggernaut, but Manitoba finished 15 points ahead of Regina in the standings.

So what does this all mean?

Th answer is that the scoring over the course of the season seems to be fairly similar to what we see in the preseason aside from a few weird scores that don't line up with the rest of the season. Because the preseason has so many strange variables that can be magnified in one or two games, we really should look at it as less of a predictor of results for the season and more as a way to predict scoring trends in a season. That's what I usually take away from the scoring - it's less about wins and losses and more about how teams are playing systemically in terms of goals-for and goals-against.

We also know that Regina, as a team, is typically a slow starter when it comes to earning wins early in the season. Sarah Hodges is an exceptional coach who really moulds her team into what she wants by the time the calendar flips to November and December, so September and October scores, in my view, mean very little as Sarah implements her systems and has her young players adapt to how she needs them to play within that system. Because of these seemingly annual slow starts by the Cougars, I don't lend much belief in wins and losses because the Cougars always seem to find a playoff spot by the end of the season.

In saying all that, just because the Bisons went 2-0 on the strength of back-to-back 3-1 wins this weekend doesn't mean fans shouldn't be excited about either team. Manitoba and Regina are both young, fast teams who have a ton of talent, and I'm guessing from those scores that we're going to see four really good games between these two squads. If it's any indication, I see these two teams playing down to the wire for playoff spots and possibly jockeying for position when it comes to who plays whom in the playoffs.

The one big takeaway from all of this, though, is that we need to temper expectations when it comes to preseason results. Winning is fun and it always feels good, but the games start for real on October 15. Both teams are using these games to build for that night.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Friday 17 September 2021

There's Something Missing Here

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly seems like a smart guy. He's well-spoken and seems very well versed in the happenings in hockey. He's risen to a place of prominence within the NHL where people listen when he speaks, and he usually has something important to say when he does speak. I've never seen him get caught in a discussion where he's had to backtrack or back-pedal in any way, so let's give credit where credit is due and say that Bill Daly comes prepared when he holds a press conference or conference call. The chat he did today with's Nick Cotsonika, though, seems like he missed a pretty big opportunity when it comes to "growing the game".

The man who is second in command behind NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman sat down with Cotsonika to discuss the growth of the game, and he was fairly candid on a lot of topics. For example, Daly doesn't see the league expanding in the forseeable future (sorry, Quebec and Houston). He discussed having NHL teams play international games in more locations such as Russia and Mexico. And he chats about the Olympics once more as the NHL players are preparing themselves for more Olympic hockey action.

My only question: where is the chatter about a professional women's hockey league?

Now, to be fair to Mr. Daly, perhaps Mr. Cotsonika never had that as one of his questions. Mr. Daly may have simply responded to the questions asked by Mr. Cotsonika, but there's one line that stood out for me when Mr. Daly answered the questions that really could have set the stage for the entire discussion about growth: "The equation is, 'Is the addition of the franchise good for the League? Does it help grow the League?'"

While Mr. Daly was referring to the 32 NHL teams in that line regarding possible future expansion, there could be the possibility of adding as many as six more teams to the NHL's umbrella of business by mentioning a professional women's league once more. Further to that, this would hit the target dead-center when it comes to growing the game as we've seen the international opportunities for women in hockey grow by leaps and bounds over the last decade as more and more countries begin to develop national women's team programs.

Both the PWHPA and NWHL have been promoting their numbers in terms of viewership through streaming during the pandemic, and the figures seem encouraging despite not seeing the raw data on those numbers. But in an Olympic year where we've seen the women's final at the US Open outdraw the men's final, where we've seen huge numbers come back for Olympic soccer in Canada, and where it truly seems like women are setting the bar at international competitions for viewership, this "growing the game" conversation between Daly and Cotsonika seemed like it missed a very large section of the human population demographic.

I know that Bill Daly is responsible for talking about the NHL because that's the business for whom he works. I'm not saying he shouldn't be talking about growing the game internationally when it comes to NHL interests, but let's be honest when we say that a lot of hockey fans can name a men's player from Slovenia but none can name a player from Russia.

If the NHL truly wants a stake in the international revenue game by attracting more fans and more eyeballs, it needs to grasp the concept that 50% of the population is women and a large chunk of current hockey fans do, in fact, like watching women's hockey. If the NHL is going to grow the game internationally, it needs to start talking about a professional women's hockey league that has the NHL's backing more often and with more sincerity than "we'll look at this when all other options are exhausted".

Men's hockey and, specifically, doesn't really need a ton of help in promoting itself because everyone knows it exists. The NHL can play games in all sorts of countries, but there are all sorts of economic and systemic reasons why the NHL isn't more popular globally. Sending the LA Kings an the Vancouver Canucks to Uzbekistan to play a handful of meaningless games does very little to help the NHL's brand in that country.

However, if you had two NHL-supported women's teams accompany NHL teams to places like Sweden or France, the turnout for those games could be the fuse that lights the fire under the women's programs in those countries. This is why I can't understand why the NHL isn't talking about the women's game when they talk about growing the game - it would be such an easy way for them to appeal to so many more people internationally than just showing up with the NHL shield and proclaiming "we're here!"

I don't claim to be smarter than Bill Daly in any respect, but it just seems like the NHL is missing the open-net goals that are there for the taking when it comes to growing NHL business in all facets overseas.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Thursday 16 September 2021

The Hockey Show - Episode 469

The Hockey Show, Canada's only campus-produced radio show that strictly talks hockey, is back tonight with Teebz and Jason going through a number of stories that likely didn't catch your attention, but certainly deserve closer looks. Having worked from home for so long, I didn't even notice that this is show #1 of Season 10 at this point, but we'll celebrate that achievement once we're back in the studio on campus at the University of Manitoba. Until that time, let's dig into the hockey stuff because there are a few things to go over!

Teebz and Jason kick off the show with a quick remembrance of Norm MacDonald and his love of hockey and a birthday shout-out for Bisons women's hockey head coach Jon Rempel! With regards to the news, the co-hosts pick apart the craziness of Sylvain Lefebvre's decision to end his coaching stint with the Blue Jackets over his refusal to get vaccination. They try to justify the Arizona Coyotes hiring John Ferguson Jr. as their assistant general manager. They celebrate the IIHF creating a new tournament for four new women's national teams and discuss how this makes the women's game better. They point out why Jake Linhart's headline wasn't the actual story behind his decision to sign with Iowa that was celebrated by the media. They have an update on Robert Morris University's attempt to re-establish NCAA hockey. They write-off Jake Virtanen in the KHL. They welcome a new voice to Canada West women's hockey. And Teebz reminds everyone of the requirements for attending Bisons games this season as the doors are open for fans to come and watch preseason games! It's another busy show with as Teebz and Jason work through these stories, so make sure you tune in at 5:30pm CT on 101.5 FM, Channel 718 on MTS TV, or via!

Where's the best place can you hear tonight's show if you're outside Winnipeg or not near a radio, you ask? The new UMFM website's online streaming player is pretty awesome if you want to listen online. If you're using an Apple device, the player doesn't seem to like Safari yet, so if you want to stream the show I'd recommend Radio Garden to do that as it works nicely with Safari. If you're more of an app person, we recommend you use the TuneIn app found on the App Store or Google Play Store. If you do use the TuneIn app, you won't be disappointed. It's a solid app.

If you have questions, you can email all show queries and comments to! Tweet me anytime with questions you may have by hitting me up at @TeebzHBIC on Twitter! I'm here to listen to you, so make your voice heard!

Tonight, Teebz and Jason pay their respects to Norm MacDonald and Jon Rempel, question a questionable decision, try to justify a weird hiring, discuss the growth of the game, explain why Jake Linhart's story is so much bigger than "first", dive into more RMU news, are excited to meet a new broadcast colleague, and much more exclusively on 101.5 UMFM and on the web stream!

PODCAST: September 16, 2021: Episode 469

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Wednesday 15 September 2021


As we know from the past year and a half, there have been many tournaments and events cancelled in the hockey world. This shouldn't come as a surprise as we battled a worldwide pandemic during that time, but it seemed like we were creeping back towards some normalcy with hockey seasons getting close to starting, teams requiring staff, players, and fans to be vaccinated, and facilities putting policies in place for all people who work in and around the arenas. With the Delta variant still very present in everyone's life, however, two countries have decided to cancel events for its national teams.

Announced last Friday, New Zealand is keeping its U18 women's and U20 men's national teams from their respective 2022 IIHF World Championship events as New Zealand looks to control its COVID-19 situation. As we know from New Zealand's previous efforts, one case was too many for them, so it appears they will prevent its U18 women's team from travelling to Turkey in January while the U20 men's team will be prevented from playing in Mexico in January.

New Zealand Ice Hockey Federation President Andy Mills stated that while this was a no doubt a disappointment for the players and staff, it was the right decision for the NZIHF to make in order to ensure that the health and safety of its teams. New Zealand, as stated above, would have required these players to quarantine after returning, and this was also cited as a factor in preventing these teams from going to their tournaments.

The other country who decided to pull its team was Iran whose national women's team would have competed at the 2022 IIHF Ice Hockey Women's World Championship Division III Group B tournament. What makes this one a little more eyebrow-raising is that the Iranian men's national team will still play, at the time of writing, in the 2022 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division IV tournament scheduled for March 3-9, 2022 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

Iranian women's rights aside when it comes to that country's decision as that's another blog entry altogether, New Zealand's decision to withdraw their teams seems a little overcautious, but that's how the country has handled the entire pandemic. They've been reluctant to allow foreign travellers, banning neighbouring Australians from travelling to the island nation, as well as locking down the country when even one case was detected. Again, I don't find a problem in this strategy outside of it being quite strict, but New Zealand has escaped this past 18 months with just 27 deaths and only 4000 sick.

What I do fear is that these young men and women who were scheduled to play in these tournaments will now have aged out of the U18 and U20 categories without having played any international hockey for the past two years. That seems awfully unfair to those kids when it comes to them following their hockey dreams, but public safety is truly a matter for all in New Zealand.

The last time the U18 New Zealand women's national team played was February 2, 2020 when they lost the bronze-medal game to Mexico 6-3 to finish in fourth-place at the four team 2020 IIHF World Women's U18 Division II Group B Championship. For the record, they went 0-3 in round-robin play against Spain, Mexico, and Turkey before losing a heartbreaking 2-1 overtime game to Spain in the semifinal. But when you consider that the Mexico game was their last international game in February 2020, there are definitely women who have aged out of the U18 program.

The same goes for the U20 men's program who played their last game in a 6-1 loss to Bulgaria on January 19, 2020 to finish in sixth-place at the 2020 World Junior Hockey Division III Championship. Players such as Lochlan Butler and Nathan van Slooten played in the 2020 tournament, but they never got a chance to suit up for the U20 team after that as tournaments were cancelled and New Zealand denied their teams from participating. It's these players I feel for simply because they're missing years of hockey where they could be improving their games.

With another year gone due to the NZIHF's decisions, there will be another year of players who miss out on their last chances in representing New Zealand on the international stage. These experiences would be immense in the development of the young New Zealand men and women playing in these tournaments, so these decisions, while good for public safety, are literally setting back the development of hockey players in New Zealand.

Assuming everyone was vaccinated and following the safety protocols set out by the tournaments, I don't understand why New Zealand is denying these men and women the opportunity to play hockey and represent the country. While there is a risk they could contract the virus while travelling, it would be expected that they would take all the necessary steps to prevent that from happening.

Instead, New Zealand falls further behind the other countries it was competing against for promotion within the respective championship structures, and these players miss out on amazing opportunities to gain experience and possibly shock the world with their skills.

While I respect New Zealand's effort to eradicate the virus within their borders, at some point they have to let the kids off the island to play. Otherwise, why have international hockey teams at all?

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Tuesday 14 September 2021

New Stripes

Despite the image of four NHL officials appearing to play a game of Rock-Paper-Scissors, there was an announcement today that there will be a number of new officials joining the NHL and AHL while a handful of others were promoted to patrol the ice at the NHL level! Officials are rarely celebrated by anyone, but they work hard to keep order on the ice while putting in a ton of time to upgrade and improve their abilities in the offseason. HBIC recognizes these efforts, so let's take a look at the new guys - no women YET - who will keep things sane at the NHL level this season.

We'll start with Furman South, Corey Syvret, and Michael Markovic who were all given the news by the NHL that their refereeing times in the AHL are over as they've been hired by the NHL to enforce rules there this season. The 33 year-old South is a former NCAA player who played with Robert Morris University. Syvret, who is 32, is a former Florida Panthers draft pick who played in the OHL, AHL, and ECHL for a long time before turning to officiating where he's been giving back to the officiating community as well. Markovic, at 32, played five seasons with the University of Toronto Varsity Blues before spending one season in the ECHL with Alaska.

It's pretty clear that these new zebras have a ton of experience in terms of their playing days, but they've been honing their officiating skills at various levels including the AHL last season, and that effort has paid off with NHL jobs this season!

There were five linesmen who got the news that they were being promoted to the NHL as well, and all of Kyle Flemington, Julien Fournier, Jesse Marquis, Tyson Baker, and Travis Toomey can celebrate their efforts as they'll call lines at the highest level of professional hockey this season and beyond.

Flemington is 29, and he skated for three OHL teams before spending a couple of years in the EIHL with Edinburgh before playing one season in the ECHL with two teams. Fournier, 26, has worked his way up through the officiating ranks, starting out in Quebec with minor hockey, moving to the QMJHL, graduating to the ECHL, and appearing in the AHL. Marquis, 27, has rocketed through the officiating ranks thanks to his commitment to the craft, calling lines in the QMJHL for two seasons before spending two more seasons in the AHL and ECHL where he caught the NHL's attention. Tyson Baker, 26, played three games with the Peterborough Petes as the highest level he can boast, but his passion for officiating pulled him to the stripes full-time at 21 where he worked in the OHL for a few seasons before getting an AHL linesman job. Toomey, at 31, was well-known in the WHL and with the University of Alberta Golden Bears for his physical play, but he jumped knee-deep into officiating once he graduated by working AJHL and WHL games before being hired by the AHL in 2019.

The experience these five men bring with them is quite varied, but it's pretty clear that they've worked very hard on their individual skills - skating and positioning on the ice - while officiating with a high competence for the game in the various leagues where they appeared. Make no mistake: every single one of these linesman has dedicated himself to officiating in a big way, and that effort shouldn't be forgotten.

The NHL also hired two more linesmen who skipped the whole NHL-AHL mixed contract as Jonathan Deschamps and Ben O'Quinn will also suit up full-time in the NHL this season. Deschamps, 25, just finished his playing career in U SPORTS with the University of Québec-Trois-Rivières in 2018-19 following five seasons in the QMJHL, but he was already officiating while going to university which led to an AHL opportunity before being named as an official at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship. O'Quinn, 30, played three seasons with the Sarnia Sting before he jumped to the ACAC where he spent two seasons with SAIT that led to four seasons in the SPHL, but he worked his way through the OHL, ECHL, and AHL while also being a linesman at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship before the NHL came calling.

It should also be noted that referee Dan Kelly, who worked both NHL and AHL games last season, has transitioned over to calling lines as well. Kelly will work lines at both the NHL and AHL levels all season long, it appears, so there's one more experienced official on the NHL's roster of stripes.

With these hirings and promotions, there are positions in the AHL to fill as well. Among the referees who will step in at the AHL level will be Jordan Samuels-Thomas, Justin Kea, Cody Beach, and Carter Sandlak who will all have chances to call NHL games this season as well. At the linesman position, Justin Johnson, Mitchell Hunt, CJ Murray, Caleb Apperson, and Kilian McNamara will all work AHL lines with chances to join NHL games as the season progresses. Expect these men to be the next hires in the coming years based on performances at both levels.

You know you're close to hockey season when the new zebras are announced, and these officials bring a ton of experience with them that should help them be successful on the ice when calling games. Welcome to the show, gentlemen, and I look forward to not noticing you or the job you did in every game you're assigned!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!