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Saturday, May 18, 2013

A MEMORIAL CUP BLOG

The Place Is Still Majestic
The Saskatoon Blades opened the 2013 Memorial Cup with a 3-2 loss to the London Knights Friday night at Credit Union Centre. Here are some notes:

- I did my best to warn Saskatoon of this all week on the radio.  I really, truly did.   Despite the *impressive* attendance of 10,023 at Game 1, the Bridge City is getting ripped from coast-to-coast for the 5,000 empty seats and the deflated crowd. More on that later.  

- Veteran coach Curtis Hunt and I left Regina around noon bound for Saskatoon. We made a pit-stop for gas in Hanley, SK and were chastised by the gas station owner, Marcus, for having Regina Pats logos on my vehicle. Turns out he's originally from P.A. and went to Carlton Comp with Huntsy in the 1980s. You've gotta love Saskatchewan.  

- We arrived at CUC a little before 3:00 and the arena officials, volunteers and CHL folk couldn't have been more accomodating when it came to getting our accreditation and finding our broadcast location for the SportsCage. Special thanks to Corey Wolfe and Steve Chisholm.  

It's situated between the Sportsnet and Shaw broadcast set-up, 10 feet from the teams' laundry facilities. Perfect! We're all quite comfortable with being out-of-the-way, yet we have a big screen TV and leather couches.  

- Within an hour of arriving, someone stole my complimentary 2013 Memorial Cup briefcase. I hope the guy enjoys it.  

- IT WAS GREAT TO BE BACK IN THE RINK!! And before we went on air it was great to visit with old media and WHL pals like Dave Hunchak, Drew Wilson, Dave Thomas, Les Lazurak, Sam Cosentino, RJ Broadhead, Darren Zary, Paul Krotz, Wray Morrison, Linda Walker and the like.  

- The opening ceremonies and opening faceoff occurred while we were still on the air but when Saskatoon scored early to make it 1-0, there was a thunderous roar which seeped its way under the stands to where we were situated. We couldn't wait to get out there!  

- We didn't time it too well. After taking our broadcast gear back out to the Titan Auto SportsCage Cruiser, we went back in and were awash in a sea of humanity on the concourses. It seemed like many more than 10,000 people were there.  

- For the final two periods Phil Andrews and I sat up in the temporary media section near Loubardias and Remple, and were joined by Global Saskatoon's Taylor Shire. New Lethbridge Hurricanes GM Brad Robson was seated nearby.  

- Honestly, the crowd looked a lot better from where we were sitting but truthfully, it looked dreadful on TV. All the empty seats in the lower bowl made it look like a Wednesday night WHL game on Shaw.  

- Now, the arena looked magnificent on Sportsnet BEFORE the game when it was empty. Heck, it has a bigger capacity than Winnipeg's MTS Centre, home of the Jets!  

- Again, I said it all week and fortunately we didn't catch much flak, but the nation is watching and Saskatoon didn't come off real well if it wants a CFL, NHL or even an AHL team.   That's JUST what the national media is saying on Twitter. Read it for yourself.

- Some are even blasting the cleanliness of the arena but I think that's just being petty and taking it a little too far.

- Attendance figures aside, the crowd was indeed dead too.  There didn't seem to be much energy for the Blades to feed off of.  "Go Blades Go"?  Forget it.

- Seeding time, long weekend, cabin country, the location of the arena, blah, blah, blah. They're all excuses.

- It's the SUPER BOWL OF JUNIOR HOCKEY!!  Actually, the World Juniors are probably the Super Bowl so this more like the Grey Cup, but you get the point.

- Wow, I've called them both on radio.  How cool is that?

- The fact the Blades lost certainly won't help momentum either. They played well in spurts, and showed they belong, but they refuse to play 60 minutes. The powerplays were 5-2 London, I believe, and while that was a little lopsided, the Blades weren't real disciplined in their game nor staying out of the box.   That's a tragedy.  

- Anyways we're back in Regina for the weekend and will be watching Portland-Halifax tonight on Sportsnet. It's the marquee game.  

- I'm interested to know your thoughts on the analysis from the Sportsnet panel of Kypreos and Cox. In the US, the networks were criticized during March Madness for having NBA analysts breakdown and cover the NCAA games. It's the same with hockey in Canada, with NHL analysts being used for CHL games.  

- There will be no further mention of the "Mem Cup".  Athough it's popular junior hockey slang (sort of like 'Dub' for WHL or 'World J's' for World Junior), many veteran hockey observers and Armed Forces personnel say it's an insult to Canadian soldiers.  I'm 50/50 on it, but because our respect for the Canadian military, that term dies now.

- I read somewhere on Twitter that London, ON gets the 2014 Memorial Cup.  That's quite the run of Cup appearances for the Knights.

That's all. Have a great long weekend! There will be no MMG.  

RP

51 comments:

Anonymous said...

So Mem is bad, but corporate sponsership is good

Anonymous said...

Format seriously flawed, Saskatoon not deserved of skating with the. best who've earned their rightful place at this prestigious tournament.

Anonymous said...

As awesome as this hockey is, it's the middle of May and hockey takes a back seat to so many other things now. Like you said, it's Saskatchewan and our interests and priorities are varied, to me 10,000 seems like a great crowd. Sports are not everything to everybody

Anonymous said...

It's been a long winter, and I don't live in Saskatchewan. Can't imagine the one you just went through. Personally, I don't want to be inside a rink watching hockey or a domed stadium watching baseball or football. I want to be outside enjoying the nice weather.

Anonymous said...

Did this article just dis the farming community of Saskatchewan at seeding time as a blah blah excuse for not supporting/attending games at this Memorial Cup In Saskatoon ? Not wise, respect what made this Province.

Anonymous said...

Offended by the writer of this article disrespecting the farming community of this Province for his comments regarding seeding time as a excuse as part of the reasons for low attendance at the Memorial Cup, Saskatoon, Sk. Have some respect RP, don't suppose you will post my opinion as this Is your blog sight to say and do as you like.


Taken a 40min. break from hard work this day.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1...exactly right
Anon 3 and 4. EXCUSES, EXCUSES, EXCUSES

You are part of the problem when you could be part of the solution. I guess you have no civic pride. Sit there and let Canada crap all over your city.

Anonymous said...

As soon as I saw Damian Cox on my TV, mute button went on so cant comment other than its a joke some arrogant d-bag like him actually gets to cover this tourney. Hockey fans are too smart to accept a no-nothing putz like him can contribute anything.

Sam C is once again proving to be horse plop as well.

Anonymous said...

Saskatoon ain't my city, hell Saskatchewan ain't my province which you would know if you read the post.
Besides, I don't really even like hockey. Go Riders
Anon #4

Anonymous said...

Don't care much for the sportsnet crew, would rather listen listen to you the highway man, the silver fox and phil the thrill on whats happening in toontown.
Stewart

Anonymous said...

"I'm interested to know your thoughts on the analysis from the Sportsnet panel of Kypreos and Cox. In the US, the networks were criticized during March Madness for having NBA analysts breakdown and cover the NCAA games. It's the same with hockey in Canada, with NHL analysts being used for CHL games."

Completely agree. Junior hockey has its' own culture and own metrics and rolling in the national guys who cover the NHL doesn't make it big league, just detached. While there are prospects at these games, the bigger story that doesn't get told is these teams journey there.

Where it's even worse is with university. The Toronto-based announcers make everything relative to the CFL and OUA because they haven't been paying attention to anything else all year long.

Drive-by media...

Anonymous said...

A few things:

1) If anyone is so offended by calling the Memorial Cup the Mem Cup I suggest they head down to local Armed Services recruiting branch and enlist because talk is talk. Enlist if you are such a big fans of the military; other than that in my world view it's another organization that provides public service. Memorial or Mem Cup I could careless.

2) Saskatoon is failing miserably to support this event. Which in turn means this event will never make it's way back to Saskatchewan.

3) Not a fan of Kypreos, I enjoy Damien Cox' Toronto Star Column. Peter Loubardias would have been oustanding on a panel for something like this.

4) Yes I appreciate where my food source comes from. Yes I appreciate those who produce it, but the days of romanticizing the Farmer is long gone. 10,000 Farmers now produce over 1/2 of what Canada produces overall. The rest of the entire group doesn't make anything as they are either small or part time. You add in the fact Agro Companies continue to merge and this is a significant problem. This is an industry that needs to be reigned in and seriously watched. Canadian farm subsidies are more than double US levels. As the subsidies are there to produce more that means more chemicals are used, and that is a very big problem for the environment.

My point is there are a lot of Farmers not making an impact other than their 1500 acre hobby farms so they can get off their duffs and get to the rink to support this event.

Y'er Welcome
Obama
"Educating People on this Blog since 2007"

Anonymous said...

It has been seeding season in lots of other places during the memorial cup and folks still packed the place (Brandon a few years ago comes to mind) & Saskatoon is the only place around where folks go to the cottage in May? Weird how it is cottage season during every Memorial Cup and the stands always look full except in Saskatoon...

Anonymous said...

To the last anon: name the last place that had an arena that sat over 10,000 for a memorial cup!

Anonymous said...

i dont know if you can compare saskatoon and brandon memorial cups. 10000 more seats in one building. i think 66 bucks for a blades game is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

So, lets see if I got this right - Saskatoon, aka "Saskaboom" has the economy which is the envy of the free world, but can't sell out an event in May because the "thousands" of farmers who apparently live there are too busy seeding? Ok right......

Anonymous said...

Yes it is only Farmers that attend Memorial Cup hockey games. The remaining 300,000 in the city of Saskatoon just decided to head to cabins. They all have either farms or cabins to attend to.

Anonymous said...

Shut up Claven!

Anonymous said...

Ya saskatoon has more seats but also has a way bigger population base to draw from...I suppose it isn't fair to expect more folks to show up at a movie in Saskatoon than would in Rosetown, after all the theater in Saskatoon is much bigger....

Anonymous said...

watching the knights & mooseheads play a puck possession game with creativity really makes u question the BS hockey that the Eastern Conference in the WHL plays... its dump n chase boring hockey, the blades even play the dump n chase who won our division & they are just as boring as the teams below them were.

Its time for the WHL to wake the hell up & start producing better on ice product that resembles hockey

Anonymous said...

Farming is the biggest socialist enterprise going on in this province. Was not always like this but with tax concessions, fuel rebates and ongoing subsidies farming has changed. They have as much time as anyone to attend hockey in May but who wants to? It's May and time to be outside besides this is Jack Brodsky's (albeit a nice guy) hockey tourney not the city of Saskatoon. He purchased it, he staffed it and will earn any financial benefits (good for him). Do not expect any atmosphere from basically a private business. This is the opposite of the hoopla the farmers generate for themselves for basically doing their job.
Welcome to bipolar Saskatchewan.

Anonymous said...

Obama, clueless since 2007. We think your "best before date" has expired.

Anonymous said...

Lol Obama, talk is talk? Hahaha, all you do is blab on here. I'm sure you had some other points but I didn't read them after that opener.

Anonymous said...

The lack of interest in Saskatoon is a further reason why this tournament needs to go back to grassroots communities like PA, Swift and Moose Jaw. Swift would have sold out their rink each game at 3,000 fans plus they could fit another 3,000 into the curling rink as a beer gardens during the games. Not to mention the city has developed a Market Square downtown where another 2,000+ could celebrate. These three cities would have treated this tournament as a 10 day party. Oh yeah Swift also has an anthem singer that knows the Star Spangled Banner. Its time the CHL looked at success Brandon had and determine if empty seats is really the way they want this tournament portrayed.

Anonymous said...

Rod, lets just stick with your thought that the crowd number was disappointing and leave it there

Anonymous said...

The bottom line is that just like they did with the world juniors the organizing committee priced the average fan out of buying complete packages. I know a ton of people who are going to a game or 2 but couldn't justify spending over $1000 on all the games. That is why we are getting 8 to 10 thousand at the games. NHL priced tickets won't fly here. They should have learned that form the WJ's but I guess they would rather have 8000 people at a top price of $90 rather than 15000 at a price of $40 to $50!

Anonymous said...

Actually Obama writes well, however the use of Bob Hughes quote of yer welcome is psthetic

Parkside said...

I'm from PA and would rather have a Pats logo on my vehicle too than that new Raider logo.

Its too bad the Raiders folded like a deck of cards after Christmas. If they could have went the distance, CUC would be overflowing with Raider faithful. Just think back to when the Raiders hosted Calgary (Pavel Brendl era) for a couple playoff games at Saskplace. People were hanging from the rafters.

Anonymous said...

Educating people on this blog since 2007 ? If O'Buma was anymore dense, he'd be a singularity.

Anonymous said...

Claven/Obama, just exactly what is it you do? Other than show your self righteous attitude? What are your ties to the farming community? If any. Do you know how a farm really operates? You have studied US subsidies vs. Canadian? As a farmer I really don't think you have. I had disdain for your attitude in the past, now you just confirmed it. I done eating my dinner now, getting back to planting some more food for people to eat. Your welcome, &;)hole Obama. Norm Petersen

Anonymous said...

OH-BAH-MAH!! OH-BAH-MAH!!! OH-BAH-MAH!!!

Anonymous said...

Norm Petersen,

It is a two edged sword argument. It was bad enough when you had nothing but 1500-2000 acre family farms and these guys would constantly be looking for a subsidized handout. Why should I subsidize them and sell their wheat? Long ago you can check the records as far back as the late 1980s I was saying if you can't make it in that business or any business then why should I have to pay to subsidize it? Whatever world or local factors transpired we are all better off with less mom and pop operators. It opens up wholesale other problems with consolidating the power to these guys with the 15-20000 acre operations that are now Corporate farms, combined with eliminating the wheat board, and along with the merging of these Agro Businesses you have a small amount controlling the food source. That is a direct threat to national security. When the operations are that big and you are pumping that much chemical into the environment to get the massive yields then yes buddy I have a problem with it. Go ask one of your SaskParty rural MLAs to address the issue, but good luck. They know who butters their bread.

So like I said I'll be the lone guy in the wilderness telling the truth because the truth doesn't have to answer questions. Here is what I propose. Let these guys operate the way they do, and let the Ag companies monopolize the food source. When the Bees eventually go we will all go, and maybe you can write a letter to Monsanto asking them to do something after the fact.

Don't even get me started on those subsidies. I because those are pure b.s. I heard the world would end when the CROW was eliminated. That was just a start 20 years ago, and they should have taken it even farther with the handouts. However the PCs/SaskParty knew for them to have a chance they'd have to walk out to the farmyard and convince some A-Holes standing by a pick ups they'd look out for their interests. Fast forward to today and I don't know about you, but my grocery bill went up how 'bout yours? You guys all whine about socialism this and socialism that. It was socialism that let you guys stay on your plots as long as you have. Where in that instance had there not been subsidizations we would have had the doughheads out of the industry a long time ago, and could have had a handle on the corporations running the food source along with the oil and pharmaceuticals.

Y'er Welcome
Obama

Anonymous said...

Norm Peterson

....and my last point never mind the grocery bill going up, have you ever wondered why the overall cancer rates are going up? Could it possibly be the food that's being produced with the incentive for volumes to then use the amount of chemicals to get these yields might just have a linkage? So yes I will debate the wildwest factory farming model all day long.

Obama

Anonymous said...

Hey Football Bat (obama), by chance, did someone stand you on your soft-spot when you were a baby, because that might start to explain most of your rambling nonsense, pathetic, just pathetic how you have been Imposing your so called pharmaceutical chemically produced Ideas since 2007. Just pathetic, a. sad little person with no life besides blogging 24/7. You do blog on other sights, right ?

From the engine that drives In the 306, V8.

Anonymous said...

Give it a rest Claven. You keep speaking jibberish, and don't answer a simple question. Do you even have a job or have you ever had one? Or are all the rest of us paying for your food? All talk and no action.

Anonymous said...

The guy complains about Obama blogging - yet blogs himself to complain. Funny stuff.

Anonymous said...

I am a Truthteller. I don't answer questions because I speak the truth and the truth doesn't have to answer questions.


Obama

Anonymous said...

....and be careful about what you ask me because I might take time to explain how this entire bullcrap about Don Cherry/Glen Suiter and pop culture's mantra to "support the troops" and don't question. That mantra is nothing more than diverting people from the real issues going on in the world of whether they should be there at all, and how being where they are is tied into the hidden military industrial complex. War means profits my friends.

That might be abit much for your brains on a Sunday.

Obama

Anonymous said...

And there you have it folks. The gospel according to Obama. We would all be so much better off if we listened to his advice. Lol.

Anonymous said...

obama, you are a socialist, a democrat, a progressive who just might be young enough to fall In that 2nd generation gap that was never taught correctly.It would seem your public school education allowed you to never compete against others, never have homework, but allowed you multiple attempts to pass a test. You hide behind your computer screen posting anonymously under the name Obama because It's obvious there are no sports to which you currently don't understand or play. You get that little kick of bravery and power from posting your asinine opinions on a web site and feeling high and superior to others, not kool.That Is all you are , but let me Inform you of something else. The day will come when you are sitting or standing with other people and one of them puts you down (If that hasn't already happened bigmouth) and the gene pool will be all the better for It. Until then, I will spare few moments for trashing your opinions posting soem comment about your lack of skill and maybe even how you hope to grow up some day In the future. Poor, the automatic script Is already running. Suck It up punk, you are already doing It.
From the engine that drives In the 306, V8.



Anonymous said...

Why is it when I see obama's comments I think of David susuki? What a horrifying image.

Anonymous said...

To this engine guy who really must have got hit where it hurts to spend that amount of time attacking Obama yet not really mounting much of a defense against his valid points. Yes Obama is a Socialist, Democrat and Progressive as opposed to you being what a Misanthrope?

To your veiled attempt to attack Obama all I can say is in the immortal words of Stone Cold Steve Austin.....what?....what?....what?

Signed
Proud Obama Supporter

Anonymous said...

Suck It up punk, you are already doing It !

From the engine that drives In the 306, V8.

Anonymous said...

The question becomes would Engine guy confront Obama in person. Not likely.

Anonymous said...

I don't think V8 hates people, just doesn't like conceited blowhards like Cliff Claven.

Anonymous said...

V8 hates people or people like Obama who ask questions like Why and don't go with the status quo. When you don't understand the definitions due to ignorance then lable someone a Socialist/Democratic/Progressive which are all based on equality and championing human rights there is no doubt if you are against those things V8 would hate people. At best hating people who just don't know their places. What really drives V8's bus is that Obama is so thick and confidant in what he's stating and he can't refute the arguments so he makes it personal which makes a guy like Obama laugh. Then combined with Obama not giving a rat's ass about anyone's opinion of him; that drives guys like V8 absolutely bonkers.

We all laugh watching the show though.

Anonymous said...

Never hate anyone ! Just pissed off at some of the print by this obama that ruins subject and Is sometimes Insulting to others Intellect on this site which Is personally enjoyed for the pertinent posted RP sports Info of the day ! Actually, respectfully took this character up on his offer a month or so back to show how It Is to live on a Sk First Nation according to his personal way off point of view to that opinion and even provided my real name on this site, just as he Is anonymous, no response, and that's the way It should be. We laugh ! but.... know your place and the line you cross !

From the engine that drives In the 306, V8.

Anonymous said...

How bout daM Blades ?

Anonymous said...

V8 is your real name? Rod gives Obama a shoutout and lets him post his ramblings. Why might that be do you thing? If you are that off balance to post your real name and want to take an annonymous guy up on a tour of a First Nations community you have deeper issues than Obama's posts.

Obama always wins and we love it. Nobody wants to admit more than often he is right.

Down with V8.

Sincerely
Senator Mike Duffy. There I posted my real name I'm a real man not hiding behind a computer screen.

Anonymous said...

From V8

".... know your place and the line you cross"

V8 just proved my point....again. As long as you don't write anything that is counterintuitive to his point of view. As long as you don't take a progressive viewpoint and challenge the status quo then he will not sign on here and spew hatred venom at you.

We can also just stick to sports, but just as long as it's not the opposite side of V8's viewpoint.

Well unfortunately for you Mr. V8 I will not being adhering to any imaginary line you have. I will not be silenced, nor will I sit at the back of the bus and know my place. Those days of silencing women, minorities, and others you want kept in the darkness are long gone. I speak for them, and they follow me.

I have been on the right side of history since the beginning of this Blog. Whether it is Riders, NHL, Pats, Politics I am always right because I tell the truth, and the truth doesn't need to answer questions.

Y'er Welcome
Obama
"Educating V8 since he learned how to type in the comments section"

Anonymous said...

Listened to your radio show today while moving my husband from field to field during seeding. You commented on why the curling was so well attended and not the hockey...but noone picked up on the fact of "possibly it is the time of year?" In the winter many farmers and their wives in Sask attended the curling and they also attend Roughrider games but not at the busiest time for them. I enjoyed listening to the show especially when you had the Saskatoon TV guy on there as he told it like it was! I went to the Memorial Cup in Mississauga when our son played (but my husband did not attend either for the same reason)and we had a blast. Unfortunately we did not make it in to the city this weekend! About the comment on an earlier blog about excuses blah,blah...There are many farmers who put in several hours coaching hockey in the winter - they would love to be there seeing this calibre of hockey but can't just leave as this is the life they have chosen...it isn't an excuse and someone should tell that to SN.