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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

10 THINGS I THINK I THINK FOR FAMOSO PIZZERIA

1 - SIN CITY: It's exciting to be back in Las Vegas during an improbable Stanley Cup run by the fledgling Golden Knights! We're here for the annual CKRM sponsors trip and aside from the usual sunshine, gambling and nightlife, Vegas visitors are also getting swept up in NHL playoff hysteria. It's amazing!

2 - GOLDEN KNIGHTS: There is no one - not one person on earth outside of Knights players and staff - who thought Vegas would sweep the LA Kings in Round 1. But that's exactly what they did when Davidson, SK's Brayden McNabb scored the only goal in Tuesday's 1-0 Game 4 win over the Kings, enabling Vegas to get out the brooms. NBCSN's Jeremy Roenick said last night, "The Kings were the worst match-up Vegas could've drawn but no one in the NHL works harder or longer than the Vegas Golden Knights". Now, they're into the Final 8 and who could possibly deny that Vegas has a good shot to win the Stanley Cup in the first year? Head-spinning. I said it at Christmas and people thought I was nuts.

3 - BUT WHY?: Now THAT'S the most-interesting question. Other than goalie Marc Andre-Fleury, there isn't one star or household name on the Vegas roster. In fact, forward Tomas Tatar is the highest-paid skater at $5.3-million but he's been a healthy scratch as Head Coach Gerard Gallant juggles team chemistry. Why are they winning? Theorists suggest the players are rallying around the fact they are a band of outcasts, playing for pride under #VegasStrong, and their locker room is distinctly void of egos. What a remarkable concept. Hard work and pride = success.

4 - COPYCATS: Surely this is a blueprint any NHL GM would love to copy but the Knights may just be the perfect storm. Does Vegas's early success make the rest of the NHL look bad? Not really, but that's a matter of perspective. The nearby Arizona Coyotes continue to flounder around in the dark with seemingly years to have gotten it right so how could Vegas have pulled it together so fast? Answer: A proven GM who meticulously selected his management, scouting and coaching staff along with a marketing department who didn't overlook any detail, and worked its ass off. Luck had NOTHING to do with this.

5 - CHUCKY'S COMING: The Golden Knights go about their business with the NFL ominously looking over their shoulder. Billboards in Las Vegas blare: "The Raiders Are Coming", complete with a photo of new Raiders coach Jon Gruden. The Oakland Raiders are relocating to Las Vegas in 2020 and many are wondering what that will mean to the fortunes of the Golden Knights. If they keep winning, it may not mean a lot. The Knights are extremely lucky to have gotten a headstart but while everyone here is crowded around TVs watching the Golden Knights play, this still isn't a hockey town.
1881 Scarth St. Regina, 306-789-0011
6 - #HUMBOLDTSTRONG: The rest of the world has gone back to its business but the SJHL, the Humboldt Broncos and the families affected continue to recover - and deal with - the April 6 tragedy. That's not to sound callous because the outpouring of sympathy continues, however other stories are leading national newscasts now. People who aren't connected to the disaster have gone about their lives and that's natural. However if you can still find ways to contribute via a fundraiser, T-Shirt, socks, ribbons, auctions, a personal cheque, etc., the Broncos need it. The worst land catastrophe in North American sports history is going to take more than a few weeks to be dealt with.

Meanwhile that Country Thunder benefit concert in Saskatoon on April 27 will feature Dallas Smith, Brett Kissel, Gord Bamford, Chad Brownlee, Jess Moskaluke and the Hunter Brothers.

7 - HAWKS-BRUINS: The Nipawin Hawks lead the Estevan Bruins 2-1 in the Canalta Cup championship series after an OT win on Tuesday in the Energy City. Here's hoping you sports fans are paying a little more attention to the SJHL now. It's a tremendous league with excellent players who deserve the support and following. That's why we posted the SJHL Power Rankings on this blog all season long, with unfortunately little fanfare.

8 - DUB PLAYOFFS: That's junior hockey for ya. The Moose Jaw Warriors didn't show up in Game 7 of their second round series with Swift Current, and were spanked 6-0. "Potentially" the greatest team in Warriors history didn't get out of the second round and you know that stings. Will this affect Memorial Cup ticket sales? Would the organizers have preferred to see the Warriors in the Memorial Cup? We don't know because we don't hear a lot.

By the way what are the Pats practice plans over the next month? John Paddock spoke a little bit about it on Wednesday saying they've planned some exhibition intrasquad scrimmages and will play them in the evening, to match up with Memorial Cup scheduled game times. He told reporters he doesn't plan to play against any other make-up teams.

9 - RIDER PRIDE: Call this the calm before the storm. These are certainly slow times in the CFL but next week's Roughriders Florida minicamp will be the tipping point, touching off eight months of hysteria. I've got the Riders winning 13 games and capturing the West Division so it's going to be a wild summer (if it ever shows up). So when Zach Collaros and the boys take to the grass in Bradenton, FL next week, it'll be the start of something special. 620 CKRM's SportsCage will be broadcasting live from IMG Academy on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

10 - CONGRATS SCRUFFY: SportsCage co-host Mitchell "Scruffy" Blair was named the newest News Director at 620 CKRM on Monday, ending a months-long search. I'm not sure what that means for our talkshow, but I know it means Scruffy gets his own parking space and office. Way to go Mitch! Well deserved.

Y'er welcome,
RP
@rodpedersen


20 comments:

Eastender said...

Love point #7. Affinity Place was sold out last night (including standing room) and will be again tonight. Go Bruins! :)
(Ps. Thanks for supporting the SJ all year. It is a good league and a lot of fun to watch)

Anonymous said...

Really good points and hard to disagree with any of it. Vegas will be more of a hockey town than a football town. The idea of it all starts at the top applies and I agree there is no such thing as luck. Bill Foley vs Al Davis' kid is a wash and not even a fair deal.

Jon Gruden is so overrated he basically has the same record as Jeff Fisher who by the way is a better coach, who had to deal with two franchises moving and got the same record. All Gruden did was turn himself into a brand and has cashed in.Davis' kid was goofy enough to buy into it. When I think of the Golden Knights winning I can't help but think that one piece of the puzzle in the management team is Kelly McCrimmon. Has he ever lost at anything in hockey? Teams like Arizona, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, St Louis, Carolina, Dallas there are about 10 in the NHL which I qualify as pure garbage organizations. Their maladies are self inflicted. There are enough elite players in the world to make teams, but picking the right players and having the right approach all starts upstairs. The other reason the Golden Knights will be more successful is Bill Foley is not only focusing on Las Vegas as his base, he's marketing that team in Idaho, Montana and taking a regional approach to it. When I've been to Vegas one thing I really took away was that nobody in Vegas is from Vegas. There are so many transplants from all over the USA and it's a start over town. They come from areas of the USA where they love hockey and this fits right in.

SJHL hockey is incredible, but people in small towns like that would rather bitch and complain about rural crime than go to games.

Congratulations to Mitchell Blair he's a died int he wool radioman and he is fun to listen to and from what I hear on the radio waves, he's matured since he came to CKRM. Being in a strong organization does wonders for a person.

Safe travels home.

Jean Val Jean.

Rod Pedersen said...

Gruden led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the 2003 Super Bowl.

Anonymous said...

Not in any disagreement.

My philosophy is any coach in any sport with a ring and saying they are no good is like saying you have an ugly playboy playmate for a girlfriend. A ring is a ring. The Bucs faded fairly quick after their Super Bowl season 7 years, missed the playoffs 4 times, but his image has remained high due to his Monday Night Football gig and because he stays on the perpetual coaching rumor-mill tree which he mostly puts himself out there for to negotiate raises.
He was linked to everything from Tennessee to Michigan to Philadelphia while being out of the league for 10 years. He went to Tampa had Dungy's defense and tweaked their offense. Maybe he was the Kent Austin of the NFL taking over Shivers/Barrett's team. Again luck plays no part so full credit to him. The stars did align where he ended up playing playing perpetual chokers Philadelphia and then the Raiders with Bill Callahan. Bill Callahan history has shown it can't be proven he has brain damage, but based on his Raiders and Nebraska tenures he can't disprove it.
They could have picked one of these coaches with Super Bowl Rings without the branding and will get the exact same result that is coming - Barry Switzer (love that guy), Mike Ditka (Las Vegas = New Orleans), Brian Billick (thank God for Marvin Lewis).

Anonymous said...

Nobody in Vegas is from Vegas is the Reg Dunlop marketing approach to relocating a team to Florida. Similar to Florida those old geezers have to have something to do down there and what do they miss? Hockey their own team a Saturday night game.

Anonymous said...

I feel bad for the players on the Warriors loss to the Broncos but not for Hunter. Again he is making excuses that the Warriors lost because they weren't 100% healthy, not that they were beat by a better all around team. He made excuses when the Pats beat them toward the end of the regular season, they beat themselves, the Pats didn't beat them! Maybe its a coaching issue?

Anonymous said...

#6 Humboldtstrong

I watched a live stream of a professional rodeo in Logandale, Nevada last Saturday and they opened with a minute silence for Humboldt. Amazing!

Russell Cone said...

Tim Hunter will be the next head coach of the Calgary Flames and those kind of excuses won't fly.

Hope you're having fun in Vegas Roddy.



Russ from Saskatoon

Anonymous said...

13 wins, not 18? I'll give you credit for one thing, Rod. You don't mind making a fool of yourself. But as fans, we don't go to you for unbiased info. Learned the last few years not to trust any predictions from you & Luc. The team has too many question marks. Be happy if Collaros STARTS 13 games because that would match his high mark. It's been a few years he played even that many. Lots of hype for a guy who is working on an 0-12 record & that isn't all about the team around him. They did okay without him, 7-7 when he didn't start in 2016, 6-4 in 2017. But okay, until they lose their 1st 6, you can crow. That may be awhile as they get the easiest schedule of any Western club starting with 5 vs the East. Better win those.

Anonymous said...

In broadcasting is News Director one spot below General Manager? That is a really big deal for Mitch. Awesome I agree with above poster. When Mitch came over I take the impression he humbled himself, set his ego aside and worked hard. He's a character which is okay, but I'm happy to see a good guy finally catch a break. Sportscage will be fine it's must listen to radio.

Anonymous said...

If Swift wins the WHL ticket sales will be fine, as I can still see Bronco fans coming in for games. Everett or TriCity may hurt sales a bit or it could be the high prices. Best hope is for the Pats or Broncos to be in the Memorial Cup final and the Brandt Centre will be packed.

Anonymous said...

Ticket sales will be fine regardless it's an event and the hockey will be outstanding. One thing you'll notice is how an elite OHL team makes so called elite WHL teams look like they should be back in pee wee.

Anonymous said...

Ridiculously priced tickets for junior hockey doesn't help sales either.

Anonymous said...

Only 1700 ticket packages sold for the Memorial Cup.

Discounted tickets will be on sale in the beginning of May.

Anonymous said...

I just did a quick look and am guessing 25% of seats have been sold for memorial cup. I have gone to games in both cities that last hosted from the WHL and didn't pay 1/2 per game what Regina is asking. If per chance our LETHBRIDGE HURRICANES pull off the miracle of all miracles and end up playing in Regina I would love to come to a few games but not for $90.00+ per game. Maybe if the Canes do make someone will donate tickets to the cause.

Anonymous said...

Vegas is an example of getting NHL expansion right if you are thinking on the business side of things. And they should be in the playoffs for what they pay in expansion fees. Seattle should get an automatic berth for the fee they are going to have to pay. It's a cash grab by the league for initial startup hype.
LF

Roland said...

Maybe Mr. Blair can do some real good now and get rid of the country music on CKRM and hire some former Riders like Mr. Mullinder and play rap/hip hop music on time and all the time!

Anonymous said...

The only way your 13 win prediction is feasible is if Zack Collarus turns the clock back to 2015.

What makes you think that is going to happen?

Anonymous said...


You and Mitchy do a great job on the Cage. You can tell how much two you guys are having on a day-to-day basis. Not crazy about Myers, but you can't have everything.

Hope everything stays status quo now that Mitchy got promoted. Congrats!

jade duckett said...

Great post