Realty One

Thursday, March 3, 2016



1 - Somewhere during Wednesday's announcement of the first 16 players to be named to Canada's roster for the 2016 World Cup, General Manager Doug Armstrong said he had the pleasure of twice angering Canadian hockey fans: on the March 2 announcement plus the upcoming declaration of the remaining seven players on the June 1 deadline.  Truthfully, what's there for Canadian hockey fans to be upset about with this lineup?

2 - One of the Sportsnet analysts said earlier this week the Canadian World Cup roster would mirror that of the 2014 Olympic gold medal-winning team but that wasn't the case.  Sure the regulars were there like Crosby, Toews, Doughty, Weber and Price but absent were Chris Kunitz, Patrick Marleau, Jay Bouwmeister and a host of others.  Regina's Ryan Getzlaf is back for another crack at it but there was some backlash on Twitter saying he's getting long-in-the-tooth.  A member of Getzlaf's family was listening to the SportsCage on Wednesday (and there are a ton of them) and he noted that Ryan looked fine in February when he was named the NHL's #1 star of the month and had four more points than the next closest player.

At least they didn't leave it to the fans to vote this time.

3 - I've given up on the Jordan Eberle campaign.  Not that the Edmonton Oilers star from Regina has done anything wrong, but he wasn't even mentioned in the conversation for the 2014 Olympic mens tryout camp let alone this roster.  The only time Jordan's given consideration for international play is at World Championships time in the spring, when Canada's GM sifts through the rosters of the NHL's non-playoff teams.  Eberle's only fault is playing in Edmonton, and it's been detrimental to his career and profile in my honest opinion.

4 - It's interesting that Saskatchewan produces more NHL players per capita than anywhere else in the world yet we don't have an NHL team.  That'll likely never change however to quote infamous football coach Gary Etcheverry, "forever's a long time".

5 - The 1996 World Cup of Hockey always causes painful flashbacks for me.  The final game between Canada and the USA was on television at the exact same time as our live In The Huddle broadcast and I was joined in studio by Rider quarterback Kevin Mason at Access headquarters.  Guaranteed no one was watching the Roughrider TV show that night but I had to fill 60 minutes with the soft-spoken quarterback and the team was struggling through a 6-12 season at the time.  The interview spiraled into me asking Mason what school his kids went to and if they liked their teachers!  Safe to say it was the longest hour of my life.  To that point anyway.

6 - Monday's first-ever Hockey Day Game by the Regina Pats was an absolute treat.  The Pats were outmatched by the Red Deer Rebels in a 2-1 loss and the game served as a measuring stick to show how far Regina has to go to reach the league's elite.  However the atmosphere was incredible!  When the Pats took to the ice, the roof went off the Brandt Centre.  5,000 school kids helped pack the arena to a capacity of 6,484 and many of the teachers I spoke to said most of these kids would have never attended a Pats game before nor were they likely ever to again (for financial/home reasons).  NHL scouts grumbled that they couldn't find a seat but that was a minor inconvenience.  They were placed in luxury club seating.  Thumbs up to the Pats and here's hoping they do it again soon!

Some parents were literally cringing when they heard a line brawl broke out at Monday's game.  Well, it was the 2016 version of a line brawl.  Everybody dropped their gloves and paired off however there might not been a punch thrown.

7 - The attendance figure of 6,484 on Monday got me wondering if that was the highest-attended hockey game in Brandt Centre/Agridome history but my mind quickly scanned to the 2001 Memorial Cup when auxillary seating was brought in.  If memory serves, that event attracted crowds of over 7,100 when the Pats played.  When will the Pats host the M.C. again?  There are rumours the new ownership will take a run at it for 2019.

8 - We're off to Phoenix bright and early Thursday morning for the Riderville Arizona Tour II outside Gila River Arena, home of the NHL's Arizona Coyotes.  There were will be a pregame tailgate party at 2:00 pm at Salt Taco & Tequila right by the rink and we'll have the SportsCage live on 620 CKRM at 4:00 pm.  We'll have several Roughrider personalities on the air plus a special appearance by Coyotes President Anthony Leblanc.  It will be a long but very energizing day.

Once we land at 8:00 am, I'll drop my wife off at her brother's house and head to the Coyotes' morning skate in Scottsdale.  Hoping to get interviews with the Coyotes' Dave Tippett and Shane Doan there, for airing on today's program.

It'll be interesting to find out why Doan is such a rabid Riders fan since he hails from Halkirk, AB.  Not so much in the case of Tippett, who hails from Moosomin, SK.  That's my favourite thing to do: generate hype and build the team's fanbase.

The whole idea of this thing was to have a Rider Pride gathering with Saskatchewan snowbirds in Phoenix but almost half the fans are making a special trip from Canada.  Hundreds of them.

It's quite a feeling to see something that started out as a kernel of an idea turn into something this large, then be repeated year after year.

9 - I feel dreadful that I'll be gone for Dave Ash's funeral Friday morning.  Mr. DASH Tours has been honoured from coast-to-coast since his passing on Sunday morning and it's been a tribute fit for a king.  It was also humbling to be mentioned in the Leader Post's obituary for Dave on Wednesday as a close friend.  My thoughts will be with Dave's family and friends Friday morning.  He had a very big heart.

10 - What a smashing interview we got out of Ben Hebert on Tuesday as he and the Alberta Kevin Koe rink prepare to open the 2016 Tim Hortons Brier Saturday in Ottawa.  Hebert - a born and raised Reginan - was talking trash leading up to their opening game against Glenn Howard with colourful quotes such as "We're gonna run 'em outta the rink!" and "We plan to take the crowd out of it early".  Since when do we ever hear that kind of talk associated with the Roaring Game?  Regarding Steven Laycock attempting to end Saskatchewan's Brier doubt which dates back to 1980, Hebert smirked, "They're not gonna win.  We are!"

11 - The Toronto Argonauts announced their 2016 season ticket pricing structure on Monday and are getting kudos for introducing a $199 season ticket package.  Given the cozy confines of the Argos' new home at BMO Field, there shouldn't be a bad seat in the house.  Now there's absolutely no reason not to attend Argo games in Toronto.

I don't get these teams who are struggling at the gate but RAISE ticket prices?

Meanwhile Wednesday's report by TSN's Gary Lawless that the CFL is considering expanding video replay to add another official in the Command Centre was a curious one.  This "second" former referee in the replay booth would work as an extra set of eyes and the goal is help significantly reduce the amount of penalties called.  However it seems the addition of more replay officials and more reviews will only serve to slow down the game even more, penalties or not.

It says here there is nothing more unsightly than fans sitting on their hands for up to 10 minutes while waiting for a video review or challenge.  This is progress?  And why do we really even need refs anymore at all?

Furthermore what incentive is there to be an official at all given the abuse they receive? It seems to be getting worse.

At least thanks to Gary, we now know the CFL rules committee is meeting in Toronto next week.

12 - NCAA Ivy League football coaches are being applauded for unanimously voting to eliminate hitting and contact during practices beginning this season.  However the move was quickly given the thumbs-down by football types who said the "big schools" will do nothing of the sort.  Don't forget the 2015 Riders tried something similar during training camp and promptly reeled off a winless preseason and 0-9 first half!




Anonymous said...

The local media should do more to promote the great Adam Brooks! The best thing to happen to the Pats since Jordan Eberle. A star is being born this year, but you wouldn't know it.

Anonymous said...

I just got home from Pats game, by far the smallest crowd in a while at the Brandt Centre

Anonymous said...

The problem with Eberle is that he is soft, has no puck battle skills, and as evidenced on last nights Buffalo goal refuses to backcheck. Only time Jordan has any benefit is on 3 on 3 and the shoot out. He is one of the many problems with Coilers. The problem with Jordan is not that he is playing in Edmonton, the problem with Jordan is his lack of intensity on a regular basis. Mr. Peter will resolve this issue over the summer, you will have your wish -Jordan will not be playing in Edmonton in October. Maybe the years of losing has gotten to him.

I believe it was on this blog that someone had pointed out Jordan would be a serviceable NHL 3rd liner...wondering if they were right.

Hammer away Eberle fanboys...

Long time Coiler fan

Anonymous said...

I agree with Long Time Coiler Fan.

Eberle would get more consideration if he was multi-dimensional.

Not to say he's bad by any stretch, but his defensive skills are sub-par IMO.

Anonymous said...

The only people that pump Eberle's tires are the Regina crowd.
He aint that good people!

Doovy 49 said...

Ben Hebert could borrow Phil Mickelson's nickname--TIGJAM----thing I'm good just ask me.

Parkside said...

Hold on RP, you think Eberle would do better to not be playing along side McDavid? Thats a career boost for anyone!

Anonymous said...

Don't kid yourself pededersen, there was likely more people in SK tuning into the cabana boy in '96 than that hockey game

Anonymous said...

A couple of games ago there was a graph shown that demonstrated if Jordon Eberle and Connor McDavid played together for a full season, Jordan would be a 60 goal man. He's a trigger and he ain't going anywhere.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Pedersen, could you please jog down to the nearest Piggly Wiggly and pick me up some Oscar Mayer Balogna, plus a loaf of bread, hmmm hmmm good I love that stuff. Send it care of delivery asap to CKRM for pick up, thanks. Please lable do not touch on package. l8tr.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who thinks curling is a sport please donate your head Immediately to Curling Canada so they can use it as a curling rock for the upcoming pending events. Only thing getting exercise is their big mouths with all that annoying yelling. Do they not know about discreet communication head phones?

mister winnipeg said...

Video replay is a cure worse than the disease. Get rid of video replay, get rid of the ridiculous new PI rules that turns PI into an offensive play, and get the game under control again.

There is no bigger buzzkill in the stadium than sitting there for 10 minutes while the "control centre" sorts something out. Ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

The Milestone farm playboy jet setting again? Finest hotels, finest retaurants, smoking big cigars.

Anonymous said...

No it's FIGJAM, with the first works being f***. And yeah he's pretty cocky. Gonna be hilarious when his team struggles and misses the playoffs altogether. He likes to say how awesome he is, well he hasn't won squat since he left Martin's team!

Anonymous said...

Oh you poor thing, loud noises hurt you so. Go play some chess if you're that offended.

Anonymous said...

Jordan Eberle is a great player and has proven it by playing and contributing in the NHL through his career so far.

However, the NHL is full of great players and Ebs is smack dab in the middle of that category along with 150 other players in the league.

What Eberle is not is a GREAT player and in no way shape or form should he even be in the mind of the hockey Canada brain trust.

Mark my words, before their careers are over Connor McDavid and Jordan Eberle will be 1 and 2 on Canada's all time scoring list at the world championships.

Anonymous said...

He sure is, sonny boy. With a smoking hot blonde at his side and a convertible rental car waiting at the airport. Jealous?

Anonymous said...

Video Replay:

Get used to it folks, it is here to stay. But in case you are having a tough time accepting it or rapping your mind around that it is what it is, here is another way to look at it.

For every time a person complains about the waiting time, or calls to get rid of video replay, just remember there would be 100x as many people who would be calling for the reinstatement of video replay if we ever got rid of it. So who should the league be listening to, the one or two whiners, or the 100+ who would always call for it, want it, and would persist to always have it. After all, what's wrong with getting it right? What's wrong with using modern technology to establish that the correct call occurred and that the outcome of any game would not be effected? Come on people, put it to rest the idea of getting rid of the replay, face it, it's here to stay!

Now, as for waiting 10 minutes for a video replay official to make a call, yes that is a problem; one that likely needs remedy. How about an extra official in the replay booth to speed things up and help make the call? Oh, I see the CFL is implementing that for this upcoming season - awesome! Thank-you league officials for helping to speed up the game by adding an additional set of eyes for replays, subsequently addressing this serious shortfall of lengthy waiting times - now, what were we complaining about again...

Kel in Victoria

Anonymous said...

It'good to know that RP's wifes brother has a place in you need to know!

Anonymous said...

So the brother inlaw mooches off the brother inlaw.

Edward said...

I don't agree that Eberle is being ruined in Edmonton, I think most players would want to be on a line with Connor McDavid.

I'm also not totally on-board with this being a problem of media exposure either. Edmonton might not have the traditional media profile of virtually every east coast city, but it's the age of social media and the Internet. News is a few clicks away for anybody. A lot of Oilers also had very good, high profile careers.

If you're referring to coaching or player development though, I think you might be right that Eberle's been ripped off. Not sure if he's been given the resources to get better.

Anonymous said...

Kel I see your point it's valid, however why not take all the $$ & resources the CFL is spening on this stuff and put it towards properly training and grooming young refs so they know and understand all of the rules and can get it right the FIRST TIME. Problem solved.
Chad in Moose Jaw

Anonymous said...

The new independent official reviewing play in the CFL will be a trade off between speed and accuracy.

I watch rugby union often, and the Television Match Official (TMO) does slow the game down when a review is required, especially when the TMO has to alert the referee to an infraction that was previously missed. While CFL football does start and stop more often than rugby union, a review process of this nature will prolong the stopped time.

However, this will result in more accuracy in officiating. During the recent game between England and Ireland a potential Irish try was not awarded late in the game after the referee consulted with the TMO. It slowed down the game by a few minutes, but resulted in the correct call being made.

Any process which helps to make the correct decision, and hopefully contributing to the more deserving team winning, would be a good thing.

Anonymous said...

I highly recommend people see the movie 'The Big Short' now playing at the Rainbow. An outstanding film. I would put it up there with 'Goodfellas'. Once you see The Big Short, I would suggest getting the DVD movie "99 Homes" which can be seen as an unintended sequel.

Anonymous said...

Rod in his bachelor years had a three some with Cheryl Tiegs and Brooke Shields. Most you losers will have is a threesome with a blow up doll and a can of dream whip.

Anonymous said...

I've been thinking about the rugby-style video review also. If the on-field official isn't 100% sure of what he saw, he simply calls for the video ref to make the call. The decision comes down, and that's that. No, it's not as quick as if the on-field official makes the call that he thinks he saw. However, it does ensure a more accurate call is made.

The correct call is more important to me than a few minutes, a couple times a game.

Anonymous said...

2019 Mem Cup is not in the west, it's in the QMJHL. It's official, book it as fact, Moose Jaw will play Brandon as the 7th seed. Warriors are unfortunately soft as the bottom falls out. Raiders also out in first round. Between the Hurricanes, Warriors and Raiders losing, we'll have an intriguing 2nd round in the Eastern Conference. Diaz also knocks out the Irishmen tomorrow night!!

Anonymous said...

Rod...Great comment about Eberle having it so bad in Edmonton as they have ruined him....maybe he should get traded to YOUR team as they are much better...oh ya they have 5 more points than Oilers...lets see at the end of year who has more points....when all your perks from Drummond run out who's band wagon do you jump to then

Anonymous said...

Speaking of the supposed line brawl at Monday's Pats game, did you hear the kids cheering and screaming for a fight. It was loud! Even the kids know something about entertainment, Don Cherry would be proud of Regina's kids! Suck it liberals!

Anonymous said...

The guy hacking on curling probably can't even lift a curling rock. I'd love for him to go down to the Callie, Tartan or Highland and say that. He'd have a broom stuffed up his you know where very quickly. #villageidiot

Anonymous said...

Weird. Posted a comment then wasnt posted. Weak blog. Only serves his interest. Typical.

Anonymous said...

Sure is fun to hear some of the old guys around Milestone laugh about Rod and Carm and there old ways back in the 90s at a place off Lewvan.

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