-- Are you ready to blow the roof off the Brandt Centre tonight Regina? I think I know the answer to that. Regina Pats-mania is alive and well in the YQR as the Queen City Kids get ready to tangle with the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the WHL's Eastern Conference Final. The first ECF for the Pats since 1993!! I wasn't in Regina at that time as I was calling North Peace Hockey League games in Peace River, Alberta. You have to go back longer than 93 for this guy. I think it might have been 84 when the Pats met Kamloops in the WHL Final. I still have nightmares over how that series ended. Damn you Ryan Stewart, damn you Dean Evason!!
As I walk around Regina, people are going crazy over the Pats. Many a GO PATS GO sign can be seen, many are wearing a jersey or something with the logo on it. I don't know if I have ever seen it like this. I'm not complaining.
As I watch the NHL games and see the "C of Red" in Calgary, the "Orange Crush' in Edmonton, whatever you want to call it in Nashville, I wonder if the Brandt Centre could be awash in blue for Pats home games the rest of the way. Could the Pats- if they reach the WHL Final - put blue "Join the Regiment" T-Shirts on each seat for Game 1? It would be an awesome sight. Why wait for Game 1 of the WHL Final? I'm sure you have blue in your wardrobe. Wear blue to the orange-top tonight!!
Make no doubt about it, the Lethbridge Hurricanes will pose a stiff challenge. They are an injured bunch, and they still found a way to get past Medicine Hat. I don't know what the status of their injured players are, but if they get healthy they will be a better team much like the Pats will if Adam Brooks returns. Regina in 6? Why not!
Lethbridge GM Peter Anholt got it going Thursday when he responded to John Paddock's comments on Tyler Wong saying the Pats are known for running the other team's top players too. Damn, I love this time of year. How can you not?!
-- The CFL has seemingly shut its doors again. There is very little coming from the league offices these days. It also seems no one wants to engage in the "Who will replace Jeffrey Orridge as Commissioner?" talk. Why is that? I thought there would be column after column after column on people who could take over and why. The Winnipeg Free Press' Randy Turner sent out a tweet this week that Wayne Parrish, who is the former CEO of Basketball Canada, and the former COO of Postmedia is interested saying he wants a "challenge". If Parrish worked with Postmedia, would his first order of business to be cut and slash the CFL to a six team league?
During the Monday edition of the Sportscage, Luc Mullinder threw out two names: Bombers president Wade Miller and former Rider CEO Jim Hopson. With all due respect to both, I can't endorse that for one simple reason. I don't think the new CFL commish can have any assumed allegiances to a team as these two would have. It would start them off on the wrong foot especially if something had to be done with the team they once worked for. I believe the CFL has to find someone (if there is someone out there who wants the job) that has no ties to any of the clubs.
-- The Saskatchewan Roughriders did the right thing with Justin Cox. They got rid of him as soon as his domestic violence charge in Regina came to light. The CFL did the right thing as well when they told the other eight teams not to bother signing him because the contract won't be recognized.
Many were asking why the Riders would bother with Cox considering his past. He had two similar incidents in the U-S -- one when he was at Mississippi State. The Kansas City Chiefs took a chance on Cox and he failed them. The Saskatchewan Roughriders took a chance on Cox and once again, he sadly let them down. Justin Cox obviously needs help. The Riders are not the only team to have someone of questionable character on their squad, and they won't be the last. I hope for Cox he has a plan after football, because his football days are likely done. If he doesn't have one, his life could take a much darker turn.
-- Teams in the Prairie Football Conference will be playing teams in the Ontario Conference this year, The Thunder will take on the Hamilton Hurricanes while the Hilltops will battle the Ottawa Sooners. If they can do this in junior football, why can't they do this for University football? There's no reason why teams couldn't play one game a year against a non-Canada West opponent. Oh yeah, there is one. The reluctance of the Ontario and Quebec universities to do so.
-- So much for my Stanley Cup pick. I never, ever thought the Nashville Predators would beat the Hawks in 4 straight! I really can't see Chicago blowing it up, but who knows,
-- The Anaheim Ducks looked pretty damn good in taking out the Flames in 4 straight. They had control of that series right from the drop of the puck in Game 1. Yes, Calgary let a big lead get away in Game 3, but there is no doubt who the better team was. If you're a Calgary fan, you have to A) wait to see what happens with GM Brad Treliving and B) Try again to upgrade your goaltending. I have to think the Flames will throw money at Ben Bishop
Speaking of the Flames, I am interested to see how far Don Henderson's 10 million dollar lawsuit against Dennis Wideman and the team goes. I don't care what anyone says. Wideman is as guilty as can be and is using the "he was concussed" as a convenient excuse. The fact Wideman appealed his 20 game suspension and got it reduced shows what type of individual he is. Needless to say, here's hoping Henderson gets what he is looking for as the gutless act by Wideman cost him his career.
-- That's all I got. I'm finishing this up as the Oilers and Sharks prepare for overtime. It could be a short night!