Lots to get to today, including some big news from Tuesday afternoon.
2018 MEMORIAL CUP - "We believe we can host the best Memorial Cup in the history of Canada." That from Regina Pats co-owner and Governor Anthony Marquart as the team will bid for the 2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup.
The 2017/18 season marks the century anniversary of the Pats organization and Marquart believes that, alongside the milestone for the CHL makes Regina a perfect place to hold the 2018 tournament. "This is the first step in a multi-step process. We as an organization intuitively believe it is the right fit. It is out 100th year anniversary, it's the Canadian Hockey Leagues 100th year anniversary. With the Memorial Cup, our proud history, the Memorial Cup being named after those soldiers that lost their lives fighting for our great country in World War One. We want to host this event and we are excited."
2018 was projected to be the year for a QMJHL team to host the tournament based on the three league rotation but Marquart says that has changed as a result of the 100th anniversary. "That's a decision that was made through the Canadian Hockey League where one or two teams from each of the league will have the opportunity to submit and present on a national bid and as far as I understand this is the first time this has occurred. So it's a significant undertaking for the Canadian Hockey League, it's a lot of work for us here in Regina. We also believe we are well suited and ready to march forward and put together the team to make an application."
Marquart says he is confident his team will be built to compete. "That's certainly one of the key elements of the application, the quality of the team itself. We feel very confident with our players and our coaching staff that yes we will be very good this year but we will also be very good next year. So we believe we are well suited to handle the hockey side of the equation in terms of being a competitive team for next year."
The Brandt Centre was built almost 40 years ago and Marquart says he expects there will be some improvements needed for approval as the host facility. "We believe so, having said that we are awaiting a facility report from the Western Hockey League to give us guidance in areas that need improvement at the Brandt Centre. We should have that shortly. What we can then do is work with the City of Regina, work with the Exhibition Association, see what we can do collectively to make the improvements as suggested by the WHL and then we will do our best to get it done."
The next step in the process is putting together a team to head up the bid process.
GOLF TOURNEY - It was a great day at the Royal Regina Golf Club on Monday for the 19th annual Wickenheiser Golf Classic. A total of $16,000 dollars was raised for Regina Palliative Care Inc.’s Caring Hearts Camp. The weather held and people seemed to have a great day.
The big winners were from the Saskatchewan Blue Cross at 14 under par 57.
TAYLOR RUCK - A pretty cool story with a Regina Pats connection at the Rio Olympics. Taylor Ruck, daughter to former Pats tough guy Colin was a part of the Bronze medal winning women's team in the 4x100m free. It was the first medal for Canada at the games!
THUNDER OPEN SEASON - The Regina Thunder host their home and season opener on Sunday at Mosaic Stadium. The Edmonton Huskies are in town for a 1 PM kickoff. The Thunder were in Lloydminster for a pre-season game against the Edmonton Wildcats this past weekend and won 30-2.
CALLANDER - Jock Callander, former Regina Pats center, brother of Drew Callander who also played for the Pats and won a Memorial Cup in 1974, is getting two championship rings this year. Jock is a member of the Lake Erie Monsters staff that won a Calder Cup this year and he also works for the Cleveland Cavaliers who won an NBA Championship. How many people from Saskatchewan have an NBA ring? Is there anyone?
ANNING - Talk in the hockey world is that David Anning will take over as the head coach of the Brandon Wheat Kings. The rumours are that the deal is done already. Anning has been an assistant with the Wheat Kings since 2012 and served as head coach when Kelly McCrimmon was gone at the World Juniors this last year.
RIP GARY RENNER - Gary Renner, an off-ice official for the Pats for many years passed away on Friday at the age of 70. Renner was honoured as a Regina Pats builder in 2014. Thoughts and prayers are with the Renner family.
WHITFIELD OFF TO AHL - The Calgary Hitmen announced Thursday assistant coach Trent Whitfield has accepted the position of assistant coach with the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League. Whitfield joined the Hitmen in July 2015. The search will now begin for an immediate replacement for Whitfield. Interested candidates are encouraged to forward a resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
SILVERTIPS SIGN TWO - has signed forwards Eetu Tuulola and Mario Mucka to WHL Standard Player Agreements. Tuulola and Mucka were Silvertips selections in the 2016 Canadian Hockey League Import Draft. Tuulola, 18, was selected by the Silvertips in the first round (40th overall) and was additionally selected by the Calgary Flames in the sixth round (156th overall) in the 2016 National Hockey League Entry Draft. Mucka, 17, was selected by the Silvertips in the second round (100th overall) and finished third in scoring for the Nitra U18 program last season, earning 44 points (20g-24a) in 30 games. He was second in assists (24), third in goals (20), and fourth in plus-minus (+23). In 61 games of career action in the Slovakia U18 league, he amassed 61 points (26g-35a) and a +20 rating.
That's all I have for today, have a great week!