|Voice of the Pats Phil Andrews|
NHL DEVELOPMENT CAMPS: Three Regina Pats are back home after their first NHL Camps earlier this month. Forward Austin Wagner was in Los Angeles with the Kings while Colby Williams and Connor Hobbs were with the Washington Capitals.
Wagner, the Kings 4th round pick, says it was a great experience and really enjoyed the city. "You know it was an unbelievable experience getting to play with players older than you, more mature and more skilled. You learn a lot, not just from the players but from the coaching staff too. I learned a lot of stuff that I can take into next season." Wagner says L.A. was quite the place. "It was awesome, the facility was state of the art and top of the line and the city is amazing. It's a good place to be and hopefully one day I can play there. I had a great time the week I was there."
In talking with all three guys, the schedule was a grueling one. Waking up early and going through 12 hour days of training, testing and skating.
Hobbs, who was the 5th round pick of the Capitals, says his camp went well. "It was unbelievable. One of the best experiences of my life and a great first taste of the NHL. I got lots of stuff I can bring back and learn. I am just going to be skating with coach Dave Struch over the summer and I'm looking forward to training for the season."
Hobbs teammate and defence partner Colby Williams was with the Capitals as well. The two were placed on different teams for camp but Colby says he thinks he made a good impression. "I think so but it's tough to say. It was more about development and stuff like that. There were just trying to teach you how they want you to be as a player on and off the ice so it is kind of tough to get a read. I felt like I had a pretty good camp all the way through the week and got better and better as it went along."
Williams got to skate with another former teammate in Chandler Stephenson who is entering his second pro season.
Currently Jesse Gabrielle is in Boston at the Bruins development camp.
Defenceman Sergey Zborovskiy could not attend the New York Rangers camp because of VISA issues.
Former Pats Captain Braden Christoffer is done his camp with the Edmonton Oilers while Patrick D'Amico started his first pro camp on Monday with the New Jersey Devils. D'Amico has yet to sign a pro contract but has offers on the table.
WHL COACHING ANNOUNCEMENTS: The Calgary Hitmen annouced they have hired Almeda Saskatchewan native Trent Whitfield as an assistant coach on Tuesday. Whitfield played 16 seasons of professional hockey, including 194 games in the National Hockey League capped by a Stanley Cup with the Boston Bruins in 2011. He was an American Hockey League All-Star, a two-time AHL captain with both the Peoria Rivermen and Province Bruins, and won a league title in 2014 with the Bolzano Foxes of the Austrian Hockey League. He played in the WHL with the Spokane Chiefs from 1993-98.
-The Tri-City Americans hired Rejean Beauchemin as the team’s goaltending coach and Jerry Price as goaltending consultant on Tuesday as well. Beauchemin brings experience to the Americans, starting his goaltending career with the Prince Albert Raiders in 2002. He was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in 2003 and went on to play in the ECHL, AHL and overseas for 10 years, last playing for the Allen Americans in the 2011-12 season.
Price will work with Beauchemin, coordinating the development of goaltenders and prospects, and act as a mentor for both Rejean and the team’s goaltenders. Price is the father to Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price, Carey played his junior with the Americans. Jerry played in the WHL and pro ranks, drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 8th round of the 1978 NHL Draft, he previously scouted for the Americans as well.
-Not a coaching announcement but the Everett Silvertips extended General Manager Garry Davidson for five additional years through at least the 2019-2020 WHL season. Davidson is currently preparing for his fourth full season as GM.
RIDERS CAN'T CLOSE: Well if week two was a kick in the nuts, I don't know how to describe week 3 and the loss to the B.C. Lions. What a tough way to lose a game. It's almost unfathomable that the club was able to lose the last two games when leading late. They deserve to be 2 and 1 and not have the heat focused their way but this is how it goes sometimes. After the first OT loss to Toronto I thought the team could play that final two minutes a hundred more times and win 90 percent of them but then they followed it up with another melt down. It's been a trend all year from the pre-season and through 3 weeks of the year. I'm hopeful the club will respond positively from the losses. I'm not in that dressing room so I can't say if they will or not but it's not going to get any easier. Weldon Brown likely won't play this week and Levi Steinhauer is done for the year. The defence that is already thin has gotten even thinner. I wonder how much of an impact Geoff Tisdale will have in his first game here. He's had a great career in this league and if he plays like he did the last few years that could be a very key signing. However it could be a tough night at Mosaic on Friday, the offence is going to have to be even better that they have been already.
CHAMBLIN: I was unaware that people were calling for Corey Chamblin to be replaced before he met with the media on Tuesday morning and responded to his critics. I am completely behind what the head coach said that he doesn't go to sleep wondering if he is going to be fired. That he works hard and isn't concerned about where he will be in the future. Said he would be a great coach wherever he is. He is a good coach and has experience leading a team through tough stretches. In 2012 the losing streak ahead of the playoffs but got the team to the West Final against Calgary and was so close to the Grey Cup appearance. Then in 2013 the losing streak without Kory Sheets and we all know how that season ended in November at Mosaic Stadium. He will get them through this.
MLB HOME RUN DERBY: What a great move by Major League Baseball to change the format of the annual home run derby. 8 players, bracket format and the 4 minute time limit made it so much more exciting. Not to mention hometown boy Todd Frazier winning the while thing and the crowd was going nuts. Who would have thought a time limit would result in almost double the home runs than in any other derby. Great move!
ALL-STAR GAME: I'm not a huge fan of the all-star game in any sport but the one I like the most in in baseball. Why? Because it actually means something. The players have something to play for and it's competitive and just like any regular season game. With the best players in the world of course. A good show last night with the American League winning 6-3. Mike Trout was named the MVP for a second straight year for the first time in history.
RED SOX LOSE AGAIN: The Regina Red Sox struggles continued last night at Currie Field in a 8-5 extra innings loss to the Moose Jaw Miller Express. The Sox could have taken sole possession of 3rd in the division with a win but gave up 3 in the 9th to go to extras where Moose Jaw pulled ahead and held on. Regina is now 14-21 on the year. Next action is tomorrow night in Moose Jaw.
That's it from me today, have a great week!