Saturday, April 29, 2017

Who Gets The Number One Pick At NHL Draft

Image result for nhl draft lottery 2017

The NHL Draft Lottery goes in Toronto tonight as we find out what team gets the right to select the number one pick in June's draft.

The odds are as follows:

Colorado Avalanche 18.0%
Vancouver Canucks 12.1%
Vegas Golden Knights 10.3%
Arizona Coyotes 10.3%
New Jersey Devils 8.5%
Buffalo Sabres 7.6%
Detroit Red Wings 6.7%
Dallas Stars 5.8%
Florida Panthers 5.4%
Los Angeles Kings 4.5%
Carolina Hurricanes 3.2%
Winnipeg Jets 2.7%
Philadelphia Flyers 2.2%
Tampa Bay Lightning 1.8%
New York Islanders 0.9%

There will be three drawings to determine the top three picks, with the first draw determining the number one selection, the second draw for the second selection and the third draw for the third selection. Once the top three picks have been selected, the remaining 12 teams will be ordered based on the final standings from this past season.

The three lowest-ranked non-playoff teams now have worse lottery odds than they had in the past. For example, the Toronto Maple Leafs, who finished 30th in 2016, had a 20 percent chance of winning the No. 1 pick (which they did). Colorado, which finished 30th this season, will see its odds reduced to 18 percent.

Last year, the Toronto Maple Leafs were awarded the No. 1 pick and chose Auston Matthews and the Winnipeg Jets moved up four spaces to win the No. 2 pick (Patrik Laine).

If you want to have some fun before the lottery starts, the ever-popular simulator is right here 

Friday, April 28, 2017

Pats and T-Birds One Win Away From Date in WHL Final

Photo from Keith Hershmiller

Adam Brooks had four assists as the Regina Pats scored the only two goals of the 3rd period to take Game 5 of the WHL East final 5-3. 

Brooks set up Dawson Leedahl for the winner at the 6:25 mark of the 3rd and then had a helper on Austin Wagner's empty-netter with 2 seconds to play. 

The victory means the Pats can earn a spot into the WHL Final Sunday night in Lethbridge in Game 6. The Hurricanes will try to force a Game 7 on Tuesday.
 1st Period-1, Lethbridge, Tarzwell 1 (Vandervlis), 2:53. 2, Regina, Mahura 3 (Steel), 15:37. Penalties-Pouteau Let (tripping), 5:23.

2nd Period-3, Lethbridge, Vandervlis 7 (Estephan, Menell), 3:04 (PP). 4, Regina, Steel 8 (Brooks, Leedahl), 5:10 (PP). 5, Regina, Ahl 3 (Brooks, Wagner), 11:29. 6, Lethbridge, Babenko 9 (Cozens, Addison), 13:54. Penalties-de Wit Reg (tripping), 2:06; Merezhko Let (holding), 3:25; Henry Reg (high sticking), 11:39.

3rd Period-7, Regina, Leedahl 11 (Brooks, Wagner), 6:25. 8, Regina, Wagner 13 (Brooks, Zborovskiy), 19:57 (EN). Penalties-Zborovskiy Reg (cross checking), 8:44; Leedahl Reg (high sticking), 9:14; Menell Let (embellishment), 14:15; Henry Reg (hooking), 14:15; Estephan Let (cross checking), 19:57; Brooks Reg (cross checking), 19:57.

Shots on Goal-Lethbridge 10-15-7-32. Regina 11-12-8-31.
Power Play Opportunities-Lethbridge 1 / 4; Regina 1 / 2.
Goalies-Lethbridge, Skinner (30 shots-26 saves). Regina, Brown (32 shots-29 saves).
Referees-Steve Papp (17), Reagan Vetter (39).
Linesmen-Sean Dufour (50), Ryan Lundquist (106). 
Out west, the Seattle Thunderbirds got 3 assists from Matt Barzal in a 5-3 win over Kelowna to take a 3-2 lead in that series. They will look to end it Sunday in Kelowna.  The T-Birds once again did not have defenceman Ethan Bear in the lineup. It is thought he may have a broken hand after blocking a shot in Game 3 of the series. 

Riders & Lions Handed Fines; All Teams Under Salary Cap

The Saskatchewan Roughriders Football Club have been fined $31,500 for two By-Law violations which included players attending practice while on the CFL suspension list and violations related to the recruitment of a junior player.

The CFL has also fined Chris Jones $5,000 for meeting with Johnny Manziel’s publicist, which constitutes tampering and is in violation of CFL By-Laws. Based on evidence to date, there is nothing that concludes that Saskatchewan held any workouts involving Mr. Manziel.

The BC Lions Football Club have been fined $2,500 for violating the CFL’s Constitution as it relates to matters concerning the contract of Adam Bighill.

An extensive audit process has confirmed that all nine teams were under the Canadian Football League’s (CFL) Salary Expenditure Cap for the 2016 season, the CFL announced today.
The salary cap for the 2016 season was $5.1 million.

The system’s review process includes detailed field audits of all nine clubs. Teams are also required to provide regular updates on compensation levels at the six-game, 12-game and 18-game points of the season.

The salary cap for the 2017 season is $5.15 million.

Under the provisions set by the League’s Board of Governors, teams that exceed the salary cap are fined; in some cases, teams can also lose multiple draft selections.  
As no team exceeded the cap in 2016, the order for the 2017 CFL Draft on May 7 is not affected. The draft order for the first round remains (barring trades) in this order:
1. Winnipeg Blue Bombers via Toronto
2. Saskatchewan Roughriders
3. BC Lions via Montreal
4. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
5. Edmonton Eskimos
6. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
7. BC Lions
8. Calgary Stampeders


Rams/Thunder Spring Camps This Weekend

Image result for regina rams

The University of Regina Rams will welcome a total of 115 players this weekend for spring camp, which will be held from Friday through Monday at Leibel Field.

66 of the 115 players return from the roster of last year’s team, which went 6-2 in Canada West play and finished in first place in the conference standings for the first time in program history. The list of returning players includes Hec Crighton Trophy-winning quarterback Noah Picton, who will be back for his fourth season of U SPORTS eligibility after a record-setting season in 2016 with the Rams.

38 players are new to the program as the Rams bring in 26 players straight from high school, 11 from Canadian Junior Football League teams, and one university transfer. Six of the new recruits hail from the powerhouse Dr. Martin LeBoldus High School program in Regina, while five of the junior players make the crosstown move to the Rams from the Regina Thunder – that number includes Polis Koko and Ryan Warner, who both started their post-secondary playing careers with the Rams before joining the Thunder.

The coaching staff will also bring in nine players to camp on a tryout basis.

“There’s going to be incredible competition at several positions this weekend and all of the coaches are excited to get out there and see what develops,” Rams head coach Steve Bryce said. “Specifically, I expect there to be fierce battles at linebacker and offensive line with the quality of incoming players we have at those positions. It’s going to be a wake-up call for a lot of guys, and I can’t wait to see how some of the top high school and junior recruits match up against our returning players.”

With installation of a new turf surface ongoing at the on-campus practice field, the Rams will utilize Leibel Field for this year’s spring camp. They will practice there on Friday night (7:00 to 9:00), Saturday morning (9:00 to 11:45), and Sunday afternoon (12:00 to 3:00) before concluding camp with a scrimmage on Monday scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.

The Regina Thunder Football Club will continue their 2017 roster selection by hosting their annual Spring Camp April 28th to April 30th presented by O&T Farms.

Spring Camp is an invite only camp and one of the final stages of the selection process for our 2017 roster. The Regina Thunder has hosted four off season indoor workouts in Moose Jaw since January to identify participants for this year’s camp. Spring Camp will host approximately 125 players from throughout the province.

Following this weekend’s Spring Camp, the Regina Thunder will host the NCAA Div III Concordia College Cobbers from Moorhead Minnesota as part of the 2017 CanAm Football Exchange presented by AGT Foods & Leak Technology, Monday, May 8th, starting at 5pm at Leibel Field.

The Regina Thunder go into the 2017 season looking to get back on top of the PFC (Prairie Football Conference) and Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL) where they were the Canadian Champions in 2013. The 2017 Regular Season starts at home Saturday August 12th vs the Saskatoon Hilltops.

(U of R Athletics/Regina Thunder Football Club)

This And That

Welcome to Friday! Here are the usual weekly thoughts running through my muddled mind, and as always they come in no particular order.

--I can't really give a lot of thought on the Saskatchewan Roughriders mini-camp. All I know from listening to Saskatchewan's #1 sports show besides Rod and Luc hitting a grand slam at Dodgertown with the three days of coverage was that the Vince Young comeback tour will most likely take him to Riders training camp as he did not disappoint.  As one Rider fan said to me on Wednesday after hearing VY on the Cage, "Is this really going to happen". I think the answer is yes! There is still a long ways for Young to go before he can be considered the starting QB, but he will be Saskatoon bound in about a month's time.

While Chris Jones gave him as many reps as he could, Young still hasn't played a game in the CFL and it has been a long time since he was under center in a game situation.  I don't know if that or the nuances of the Canadian game will be his biggest obstacle moving forward.

From all accounts, he has come in with the right attitude. He seems to have matured from his NFL days which is something he has acknowleged, and he is having fun.  Let the debate continue.

One of the most interesting comments came from assistant GM John Murphy while on the Cage.  Rod asked Murph "Will Vince Young be content if he's not the starting quarterback?".  Murphy said "I hope not".  That's a valid question.  With the resume Young has. he may feel putting his name to paper and signing a contract guaranteed him the starting spot.  We all know that isn't the way it works.  Yes, he has said all the right things, and he has shown he is ready to resume his football career north of the border, but how will he react if he is told he is behind Kevin Glenn on the depth chart.  I think it's a valid question to ask.  What I did like from Young was him giving himself a C+ on his work over the 3 day affair.

It was refreshing to see some humility. I will take it as genuine humility as Young realizes he has a lot of work to do if he is going to become a CFL QB.  The job isn't over by a long shot.  Let's see how he progresses over the next month as he gets set to spend some time in Saskatoon at Riders camp. He will soon see he is the main attraction.

--Lets go from the Riders to the Pats. I think it is safe to say what type of atmosphere it will be at the Brandt Centre tonight.  It will be insane as it should be.  I said earlier this series is going 7 and I stand by that. I think the Pats win in Game 4 was the last time in this series a road team will win a game.  It has been the type of series I thought it would be. There are still some concerns on this Pats team, and I have to wonder about the health of everyone, but I think we are back at the Brandt for a Game 7 on Tuesday.  Out west, it's a battle there too.  I think a lot of people thought Seattle would win going away, but the Kelowna Rockets have said not so fast.  It's been great hockey!

--Zach Sawchenko has said thanks, but no thanks to coming back to Moose Jaw for his 20 year old season as he is opting to go to the University of Alberta.  I am not the only hockey person scratching my head on that one.  I have heard some stories that have not yet been verified, so I won't throw them out there, but there appears to be a lot of discord in Moose Jaw. As I was told this week, "There has been a lot of hostility there since the Pats swept a home-and-home from them in March. Things went downhill from there.  It will be an interesting summer in Moose Jaw as a contender for the Ed Chynoweth Cup next season now has a huge hole to fill.

--I walked into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame on Thursday, and one of the first people I saw was the legendary Dave "Tiger' Williams.

As Dave looked at some of the hockey players already enshrined in the Hall, I thought to myself that the former Leaf and Canuck had to have already been inducted. He hadn't! How?  The selection is long overdue.

One of the great things about the day the SSHOF announces their hall of fame class is that you are reminded about how diverse the Saskatchewan sports community. Including this year's inductees, there are 51 sports represented amongst the 512 including this year's class in the Hall.  We are so much more than football and hockey. A trip to the Hall one day would show you that.   Congratulations to all those going in this year. Thank you for your efforts.

Moments after seeing Tiger, I went back to the 620 CKRM studios where there was plenty of excitement.  Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came in to talk agriculture with "The Ayatollah of Canola"--the legendary Jim Smalley during his noon-hour show.  Regardless of your political affiliation, a chance to meet the Prime Minister is a once-in-a-lifetime thing.  No, I did not get a selfie with the PM, but I did get an introduction and a hearty handshake. That's good enough for me.  From Tiger to Trudeau in a 90 minute span.....not many could say that.

UFC 216 will come to Edmonton in September.  The first ever appearance of the UFC in the Alberta capital will come on the same night as the Eskimos are hosting the Stampeders.  Was this not considered when the booking was made? The UFC and CFL appeal to the same demographic. This will hurt both.  The Eskimos should move their game to the afternoon so people can attend both, but why should they re-arrange their schedule just because the UFC is bullying in.  It's obviously too late for Dana White and crew to change the dates. It is a head-scratcher though as to why they would book an event at the same time as the Eskimos game. Someone had to have realized that.

If you didn't get a ticket for the Pats game, head over to the Highland Club for High Impact Wrestling's "Spring Meltdown".  It is their version of Wrestlemania, and it's a good time.  Sorry Gronkville, I'll be at the Brandt Centre.

That's all I got.  Have a great weekend!!  GO PATS!!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

UFC 216 Heading To Edmonton's Rogers Place

The UFC is heading to Edmonton

It was announced Thursday UFC 216 will be held at Edmonton’s Rogers Place on Saturday, Sept. 9, No bouts have yet been announced for the card.

This will be the 24th UFC card in Canada, dating back to the memorable debut at UFC 83 in Montreal in 2008, in which welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre defeated Matt Serra to regain the welterweight title. Edmonton will become the 10th Canadian city to host a UFC card.

While this marks the first UFC event in Edmonton, the city did host a WEC 49 in June 2010 when the company was owned by then-UFC owner Zuffa.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Pats Beat Hurricanes 6-2; WHL East Final Down to Best of 3

Picture: Lethbridge Herald

The Regina Pats needed to find a way to solve Lethbridge goalie Stuart Skinner in Game 4 of the WHL East final if they were going to even the series at 2.  They did!

It took a while to crack the armor of Skinner, but goals late in the second period from Adam Brooks and Dawson Leedahl just 70 seconds apart gave Regina a 4-2 lead. They added to that lead in the 3rd with goals from Connor Hobbs and Wyatt Sloboshan.

Brooks had 3 points on the night as did Hobbs while Tyler Brown stopped 24 shots to record the win.

Game 5 is in Regina Friday with Game 6 back in Lethbridge Sunday.

 1st Period-1, Regina, Buziak 1 (Harrison, Lockner), 9:53. Penalties-Franklin Let (boarding), 0:11; Vandervlis Let (delay of game), 5:39; Yewchuk Let (high sticking), 14:29; Leedahl Reg (slashing), 16:06.

2nd Period-2, Lethbridge, Cozens 3 (Zborosky, Addison), 2:21. 3, Regina, de Wit 3 (Brooks, Hobbs), 9:00. 4, Lethbridge, Vandervlis 6 (Bellerive, Baer), 9:34. 5, Regina, Brooks 5 (Ahl, Schioler), 18:06. 6, Regina, Leedahl 10 (Steel, Sloboshan), 19:16. Penalties-No Penalties

3rd Period-7, Regina, Hobbs 4 (Steel, Brooks), 7:53 (PP). 8, Regina, Sloboshan 3 (Hobbs), 17:04 (EN). Penalties-Yewchuk Let (hooking), 7:25; Holmes Reg (tripping), 8:38; Leedahl Reg (roughing), 16:15; Wong Let (roughing), 16:15.

Shots on Goal-Regina 11-17-6-34. Lethbridge 8-7-11-26.
Power Play Opportunities-Regina 1 / 4; Lethbridge 0 / 2.
Goalies-Regina, Brown (26 shots-24 saves). Lethbridge, Skinner (33 shots-28 saves).
Referees-Jeff Ingram (82), Brett Iverson (24).
Linesmen-Jared Mackey (52), Michael Roberts (87).

The Western Conference final is also even at two as the Kelowna Rockets beat Seattle 4-2 in Game 4.

Nick Merkley, Tomas Soustal, Kole Lind and Nolan Foote all had a goal and an assist for the winners.