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Hockey Challenge 2014

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I'm back...

After a bit of an extended hiatus here during the summer I am back for a few notes.

Some fans are planning a Memorial Cup viewing party down at Gator's in Kent on Sunday for the Final.

The link to the Facebook invite is right here.

Also... The Bantam Draft came and went a couple of weeks ago and quite frankly I didn't find myself all that motivated to write anything about it. It's really difficult to get a read on 14 year old players at this point and it is almost equally as difficult to get very much reliable information about them on the internet.

The one interesting note that came out of the draft was the size of the players Seattle took. Generally speaking, one of the biggest mysteries about drafting Bantams is that you only get a few clues about whether a player will grow taller or bigger over the course of their career in the WHL. Seattle has obviously made a concerted effort to avoid this problem by drafting, on average, taller players than any other team in the WHL. They won't have as much of a guessing game as courtesy of Alan Caldwell the Tbirds average draft pick already stands 6'1" tall. 1st Round pick Ryan Gropp stands 6'1" and 2nd round pick Austin Douglas already measures 6'5" and 195 lbs... whoa.

This of course doesn't ensure that any of these selections will turn into great WHL players but at least the Tbirds won't have to worry about Douglas not having the required height.

Lastly, I have heard a few grumblings and rumors about the coaching search but nothing that has any kind of repeatable reliability. It's still pretty early in the process and there is plenty of time to hire a coach. I imagine we will likely see an announcement in the next couple of weeks.


Anonymous said...

Tyler- Glad you are back!
Any predictions on the draft?

Anonymous said...


Welcome back!

Anonymous said...

What's your take on Button being back next year? The lack of depth and talent on D has me worried we'll yet again be struggling for the 8th spot in the playoffs.

At least with him in the lineup the first two D lines are semi respectible. Without him...yeah....yikes.

Thunnex said...

Draft prediction... Noebels will get drafted before Jacobs.

Regarding Mr. Button. I think at best we probably have a 50/50 shot at him coming back. I haven't studied the depth chart in Providence so I don't really know about the numbers game.

The situation will be similar to that of Greg Scott where he probably only gets sent back if the Bruins feel like they can't get him enough ice time in Providence.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back Tyler,

How do you feel about trading for defensive help? Who will have enough value to get us a good defenseman? What about the young guys will they have an impact on defense this year? The young guys being Greene, Theodore, and Hauf.

Anonymous said...

NHL to Seattle? Your thoughts? I cannot believe its true. Portland is a better option

Thunnex said...

On the D... I expect Hauf and Theodore to make it. I expect Green to need one more season before he is ready to make the roster and I would expect the Birds to trade for a 20 year old defender if Button isn't back and possibly even if he is if you don't think Bonsor is in your top 4.

NHL in Seattle is the WORST rumor going around. There is zero chance that an NHL team would be playing in Key Arena. Chances of building a new 500 million dollar multi-purpose facility? I will put the chances of that at around 10%. I just can't see that ever happening. I think Portland is absolutely 100% a more logical spot than Seattle.

Anonymous said...

Draft Question: I agree, Noebels before Jacobs. What do you think about Luke, Elliot and even Doty?

Mr Tell13 said...

Welcome back tyler,

I agree with you on the NHL in Seattle rumor, its really the worst thing to get fans riled up.

On Button coming back, I sure hope so. I do love Dave Sutter's progress but I have a hard time thinking that we can have a kid with 70 games of WHL experience to be the #1 D man on the team.

draft wise, Noebels late first, Jacobs second (or just whenever Dallas can get him....too good of a PR thing)
Lochart late 3rd to mid 4th, Elliot 6th, maybe doty last round and Sutter migth slide in late round also.

Interesting note, I hope we keep Paul Fricker in the coaching staff. the work he did, and kept doing with Calvin and Jacob Deserres is pretty impressive.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Tell - Just saw on Driannan's blog that Fricker is coaching for Vancouver. That will be a loss for our team.

Mr Tell13 said...

It is the worst news ever. I completely get why Paul is doing it, but that could have huge repercussions on the team as a whole. Maybe more than the head coach change.

Anonymous said...

What about Brent Bilodeau? Does he live in Seattle?

Anonymous said...

So what are some of the coaching names out there other than Turner for the Seattle job? Would Corey Clouston even consider taking the Seattle job with his ties to the WHL?

Anonymous said...

Regarding the coaching rumors:

I've seen the following names out there as possible candidates, but only via fan rumors that don't have much substance to back it up:

Corey Clouston, Jon Klemm, Pat Conarcher, Jim Paek, Ryan McGill

Anonymous said...

With Hartsburgh going to the NHL I hope Russ acts quickly on a quality coaching candidate before Everett jumps on that candiate first.

Anonymous said...

I'm hearing John Torchetti, from associate coach from Atlanta and former Blackhawks assistant coach, will be available soon.

Anonymous said...

Does Torchetti have any WHL ties as a former player or coach?

Anonymous said...

No, he played and coached in the QMJHL outside of his other stops.

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