Realty One

Thursday, April 13, 2017


Home of the Golden Knights. Photo credit: Shae Paisley

1 - HOCKEYTOWN SOUTH: Greetings from the newest hockey city in North America, Las Vegas, Nevada!

We've been coming down here on these CKRM/Harvard Broadcasting trips for quite a few years now but it's never been a hockey town. Until now.

And the NHL's Golden Knights will make a splash on Thursday when they announce their first ever Head Coach at a noon news conference. Unfortunately the cat's already out of the bag, as the news was leaked on Wednesday that former Columbus and Florida bench boss Gerard Gallant will be this franchise's first-ever Head Coach. He's got a really big - but exciting - job ahead of him.

2 - WELCOME TO REALITY: Just one other Vegas note, because that's not what you came here for today. The locals, the Las Vegans, can't believe the cost of NHL tickets! My friends who make their home in Nevada are astounded at having to shell out $200 for good seats to Golden Knights games, or up to $10,000 for a pair of season tickets.

You see, they're used to getting tickets for free or getting minor league baseball or NCAA basketball tickets for peanuts.

But they wanted to be big time, and now they are. So far however, the associated cost has been tough for them to swallow.

3 - SORRY, ONE MORE: Shortly after a supper news story on local TV aired regarding the hiring of Gerard Gallant, the NBC affiliate blurted a commercial that said, "NBC Las Vegas welcomes the Raiders!"

They are referring, of course, to the NFL's Oakland Raiders who will be moving here in a few years' time.

Ummmm, the football team is already overshadowing the local NHL team, and they haven't even set up shop yet.

As you know, I'm an "eavesdropper" and the conversations I've overheard from hotel and casino staff, store clerks and cab drivers this week is all about the Raiders. That's understandable because in America, football is king.

All it means is the Golden Knights need to bare down and dig deeper. They need more do'ers, and less thinkers.

But it can be done with hard work.

4 - THE OTHER J.O.: I have to admit that when the news broke on Wednesday morning that Jeffrey Orridge was stepping down as CFL Commissioner, my heart sank a little. It's no secret that we had our battles but I'd truly come around on the guy. The Roster-Gate scandal from last summer is ancient history as far as most everyone is concerned, and I defended Orridge's stance at Grey Cup on the concussion issue as it relates to the CFL.

Furthermore, we spent a great deal of time together at Marks CFL Week last month, and I grew to respect him even more.

And then, Wednesday's bombshell came down.

So, I was a little disappointed and I think most would admit it came totally out of the blue.

I sincerely wish Jeffrey well in his future endeavours. He was put in a tough spot.

5 - SO WHO'S NEXT?: Literally moments after the CFL confirmed that Orridge was stepping down, names starting flying regarding a replacement. Pinball Clemons, Glen Suitor and Jim Hopson were the three names I heard the most.

Is there a modicum of creedence to any of them? Hopson seems to be enjoying retirement. Pinball is in the shadows of the Argonauts organization but would have to be considered a front-runner, if he wants it. He's a football guy and a P.R. dream.

Another name you'll hear in this CFL Commissioner search: Scott Schultz.

UPDATE: Some other big-time, highly-qualified people are stepping up on Thursday and throwing their hat into the ring for this job.

My question: where were they two years ago? Did no one want to follow Mark Cohon?


6 - THE EVIL EMPIRE:'s Justin Dunk reported on Wednesday that long-time Roughriders front office man Jeremy O'Day is preparing to interview for the Edmonton Eskimos' vacant General Manager's position.

He knows Esks President Len Rhodes well, after interviewing in Edmonton four years ago. In his short time as interim GM of the Riders, O'Day made some nifty manoeuvres such as acquiring a sturdy kicker (Tyler Crapigna) and dealing Kevin Glenn to Montreal for draft picks. A little over a year later, Glenn is right back in Green & White.

However I got a tip Wednesday night that the Eskimos Alumni is pushing hard for Blue Bombers Assistant GM Danny McManus to replace Ed Hervey. Remember, "Once an Eskimo, always an Eskimo".

Several former Eskimos vented their frustration on Facebook over the firing of Hervey for "non-football" reasons.  They seemed to really like and respect Ed.

That situation is proving to be very interesting.

7 - VINCE YOUNG: Rider fans are giddy this morning about a video Vince Young posted to YouTube of his workouts in Austin, TX. It looks very impressive.

Maybe, must maybe, is there a chance Chris Jones might know what he's doing? 

8 - HOW ABOUT THOSE PATS?: Count me among the many who are astounded that the Regina Pats are facing elimination from the WHL Playoffs, trailing Swift Current 3-1 in their second round series.

The Pats have held the lead for much of the series and have outshot the Broncos by a whopping 197-155 margin. They've outscored them 12-11 through four games.

On average, the Pats are outshooting the Broncos 49-38 per game and outscoring them 3-to-2.75.

So what in the hell gives? Obviously they could just as easily be up at least 3-1 since three games have gone to overtime. A fortunate bounce here or there, and they could've already won in a sweep.

BUT, that's not the case.

And, clearly, Swift Current is winning the goaltending battle while the absence of Adam Brooks, Filip Ahl and Jake Lescyshyn is crippling Regina.

Can the Pats turn it around and win this series? Of course they can but it's going to be an incredibly tough road. Remember, they lost Game 1 by a 2-1 OT score when they were playing with a mostly full deck.

Right now, you've got to take your hat off to Emmanuel Viveiros's Broncos. They've come in with a plan and not wavered.

9 - THE TV GAME: This series has been watched far and wide. The NHL Network picked up Sportsnet's broadcast of Game 3 and it was seen in sports bars and sports books all over Las Vegas. It was cool to see the Pats on the screens down here.

Although the epic triple overtime in Game 4 was limited to Western Canada on Access and Shaw, several CKRM customers on this trip watched the game on Facebook Live from a fan who was livestreaming from the arena in Swift Current.

Today's broadcast and social media technology knows no bounds.

I'm happy to report I'll be back in Regina to call Game 5 on Access and Shaw, and hopefully a Game 6 and 7.

10 - A RUFF EXIT: On the March 24 edition of the SportsCage on 620 CKRM, I told the listeners that Ken Hitchcock would be the Head Coach of the Dallas Stars next season. On Wednesday the Stars made it official, just days after announcing Lindy Ruff would not be back.

That's the good news. The bad news is I've been wrong on 1,376 things in between.

11 - THE RATINGS GAME: On Monday TSN announced that 1.3-million people watched the final round of the Masters while 1-million viewers tuned into the World Mens Curling Championship final.

Canada's Brad Gushue went undefeated through the event - going 11-0 in the round robin plus a pair of playoff wins - and never broke a sweat. There was no drama in the tournament at all! Yet millions of people tuned in to witness the carnage.

I'm starting to think that Canadian curling fans are just like the nation's hockey fans; they want to see blowout wins and total domination. To hell with close games.

I suppose they are the same people cheering for both sports.




Lewis Grant said...

Putting an NHL team in Las Vegas was a mistake from the get-go. The last thing the NHL needs is another sun belt team in a housing-crash market that doesn't care about hockey. It's like the NHL learned nothing from the Coyotes debacle.

The whole Vegas expansion reminded me of the sudden addition of Florida and Anaheim in the 1990s, when the NHL just wanted Blockbuster and Disney among NHL owners. (That sure worked out well.)

And now the NFL has come along to kick sand in the NHL's face before the NHL can even get started.

I think I'm going to follow Olympic hockey instead of NHL hockey. Oh, wait....the NHL got rid of that too...

mister winnipeg said...

There is some irony in the fact that the NHL waited just long enough to expand to Vegas so that it could be a total afterthought compared to the Raiders.

Seriously, instead of Golden Knights they should have called them the Las Vegas Argonauts.

Woody said...

Your first impression of Orridge was correct...he was wrong for the job. Sure, he was a nice guy once you got to spend time with him, but he just wasn't a good fit and he would need to spend that much time with every fan, in order to win any over. Glad to see him out and please take that stupid electric socket logo with him. Our next comish should know the game and the fan base. We don't need gimmicks either, like the helmet mics.

John Knight said...

The NHL will be on life support from day one! No one, I repeat, no one will be watching NHL hockey in Vegas. This is another idiotic move by Betman. The team should have been put in Quebec or Seattle.

Anonymous said...

Rod, if you land the Golden Knights PxP job, be prepared to move to Quebec City within three years.

Anonymous said...

At those prices the Golden Tickets won't last 5 years.

As soon as the NFL comes, see ya.

Sponsors, tickets, everything gone.

I think people are more willing to shell out $200/game for 9 games rather than $10g's for 41.

I like to think the Broncos are "out structering" the Pats. Happened to the Blades a few years ago (2013 against the Tigers) in the first round.

Pats need a big lead (4 goals) and they might win. Game 6 will be harder to win.

Say what you will about Paps but he's been rock solid.

Russ from Saskatoon

Anonymous said...

You are right Rod it was for the most part domination for Gushue at the worlds but Edin (Sweden) did give them a battle in the final and in came down to the last shot in the 10th end before Gushue secured the victory.

In the world rankings Canada has seven of the top eight ranked teams with Edin being the only non-Canadian team in this elite group. The world is catching up but Canada is still the powerhouse of curling.

Unknown said...

Arizona I don't think is a good comparison. Had they kept the Coyotes in downtown Phoenix or moved to Scottsdale/Tempe, they would not have had the issues that have propped up in Glendale over the years. Many hockey people have alluded to this also. The Golden Knights are right on the strip and hockey has grown at the grass roots level in neighbouring communities. One big challenge that has been talked about is getting the residents who never go to the strip out to games, but it seems the Golden Knights already have a good footprint in the marketing and digital areas. This is all part of Bettman's legacy. He wanted to be the first of the 4 major North American sports to set up shop in Vegas, and to his credit he has accomplished that

Anonymous said...

And learn some French fast or those firery Qubecers will send your a** back to the flatlands asap! Here's a starter lesson word, Bonjourno!

Bon Ami

Anonymous said...

Who nuked riderfans forum? Did they forget to pay the bills ? Lol

John Meissner said...

Quebec, maybe. Seattle, no. No arena on the way, no suitable temporary facility in place. It would be a disaster without a viable arena already in the pipeline.

Curtis said...

Rod, the reason that no one wanted the job after Mark Cohon is that it is difficult being compared to a person who for the most part did a good job.

Whereas now, you are replacing a person for the most part is that most people think did a very lousy job.

When you are being compared to the person who is perceived to have done a good job, it is tough to measure up. Now it is much easier to exceed the current commissioner because the bar has been set very low.

Rod Pedersen said...

That was my point.

Anonymous said...

Have not watched the Broncos since the days of the Tiger and Trots when I lived in the area. Awesome hockey at that time!! Recently saw a playoff game on TV and found myself rooting for them again especially in what was perceived as tough odds. Unfortunately they are not carrying all their games here.

Anonymous said...

It would be nice if all you needed to do to be a successful CFL QB was get in shape and have your own marketing campaign.

I, of course, am hoping for the best out of Vince Young but I won't be convinced until he sees regular season action. Just like any previous big name college player or NFL-er. Prove it on the field.

Anonymous said...

The only Vince Young workout video I can find was posted five years ago.

Anonymous said...

Haha - I just watched the Vince Young video. Not sure what would make someone salivate over it. He appears to be working hard to get in physical shape, so good on him - but lets not lose sight of the fact that treating this as a serious opportunity should be a given, especially considering he appears to represent a major component of Chris Jones's... ahem ... "plan" for replacing a bona fide CFL starting QB.

I'd venture a guess that most other CFL players are doing the exact same thing as Young is right now - they just aren't doing it in front of a camera.

Anonymous said...

Yeah no one except the 15,000 season ticket holders will watch hockey in Las Vegas. Take off you hosers.

Anonymous said...

Vince Young video's nothing to be "giddy" about. One would hope he's getting in shape like 100's of other guys looking for work in football here or down south. Ask Chad Owens about HIS workout. Seems to me I heard mention last year that most of the 100 or so in 1 mini-camp would look good on the Riders. Well training camp is one animal, pre-season another & then there's real games. Anyone remember Terrence Nunn? If Rider fans are over the moon over this video thinking this has any correlation with how he performs, give your head a shake. On another note, it would be tough to see the Pats go out this way. They're way better than that, aren't they?

Anonymous said...

Found the video, watched it.
Sorry Rod, I'm not 'giddy' so the answer to your question is NO!

Anonymous said...

The Broncos have done to the Pats what they doping to the Warriors...choked them out & kept tnem away from the net. The Broncos will win as I am sure the Warriors would have beat the Pats too. It's tough to be ranked no. 1 all year. At least there is a berth in the Memorial Cup next year.

Anonymous said...

Will they deserve it or end up going through the back door like the blades did. Next years team won't be as good as this one

Doovy 49 said...

Bad bounces. Hot goaltender. Things will change. Swift has won it's last game. Take that to the bank!!

Anonymous said...

Chris Jones is a fantastic coach, maybe the best in the CFL. He is however, not Wally or Huff. He is not a great GM, he is not even a good GM. We're paying him like he is, and have given him all of the power as if he is a proven great GM.

Dark days ahead for this franchise, all tied to this decision.

Anonymous said...

Bonjourno is Italian genius.

Anonymous said...

That may be an exciting video if you were in the business of making exercise videos. But if the goal is winning football games, there is nothing there to make anyone giddy. A lot of men can look impressive working out; only a few can be a CFL calibre QB.