With Rider training camp just under a month away, Regina sports fans have a question that can now take them until the decision is made. That question being: "Who will the new coach of the Regina Pats be?". The name of Curtis Hunt is front and center on the lips of many as they believe the former coach will re-assume his role after a nightmarish season in the Senators organization. I would also have to believe that Hunt is on his way back. If Marc Habscheid didn't get the job last year, what would change to give it to him this time. Dean Brockman's name is being mentioned but he is the "flavour of the week" right now because of his track record with the Humboldt Broncos---one that will only get better if the Broncos repeat as RBC Cup champs. Is former Pat goalie Chad Mercier in the mix??? Swift Current's Dean Chynoweth and Lethbridge's Michael Dyck are also being mentioned in some circles.
GM Brent Parker made an interesting statement in yesterday's media session to discuss the move. He said there were too many nights in which his team was outworked and he put the blame on that on his players. He wants them to take the same type of approach that former Pats Barrett Jackman, Rick Rypien and Garth Murray had when it comes to leadership.
When I read that statement, I think to myself you are the guy that brought the players in here. You needed to find guys like this and you didn't do it so you must take some blame for that. I look back at the 2007-2008 season when Tim Kraus and J-D Watt were brought in. These guys weren't leaders. Kraus was a problem child in Vancouver and Watt was a loose cannon both on and off the ice. I don't think its fair for Brent to hang that on the players when I think he is to blame for that. As I've said before, I have a great deal of respect for Brent. I know he has his detractors out there (all I have to do is read the Leader Post comments section on yesterday's developments for that) but I know this man has a passion for his team and he wants them to succeed not just for his own personal glory but for a community that he knows is begging for a winner.
I had someone e-mail me yesterday suggesting Parker is no better than Roy Shivers in his final year. I say NO to that!! Brent Parker has never, ever given up on his team. He may not have made the right moves but he has never stopped trying to do things to improve the team. Some of those moves weren't right but he never sat back in his office and did very little to nothing as did Shivers. Some of you may think I'm full of crap and that's fine. My problem with Shivers was I felt he quit on his team and I have never, ever, ever felt that way about Parker. Is Brent the best GM in the WHL, no he's not, but he isn't the worst one either despite what some of you think. Nobody bitched and whined about Parker in that 2007-2008 season when the team finished first in the division but once the loss to Swift Current happened, the Parker-bashers sharpened their swords. Whoever gets control of this team next year will have some work in front of them. I think some trades have to be made because there are some players who just can't return next season because of their play last year. If a trade can't be worked out than in the words of Stampede Wrestling villain J-R Foley, "Get rid of em!!".
The other big story Tuesday was the fact Jim Balsillie is getting in Gary Bettman's face again. I gotta say this for Mr. Blackberry. He puts the "balls" in Balsillie and he does not back down when he wants something. Balsillie has offered to buy the financially troubled Phoenix Coyotes for 212 and a half million.....the only thing is if he buys the team, he moves them to Southern Ontario which is what he wanted to do with the Predators. This story ain't going away any time soon. At some point, the commissioner must realize his vision will never come to fruition and that Canada can support NHL teams much better now than they could in the past. Bettman will do everything he can to prevent the Coyotes from leaving Phoenix and relocating to Southern Ontario but with the Players Asssociation also saying Canada needs another team, it may just be a matter of time. But c'mon Jim, you can't bring the Jets back to Canada and not put them in Winnipeg. I think Winnipeggers would be crushed knowing their team is just a few short hours away from where it should be.
I didn't see the Vancouver-Chicago game last night but I heard Roberto Luongo tell Scott Oake on "Hockey Night in Canada" that it was his team's best game of the playoffs. Vancouver taking a 2-1 lead in the best of 7 with a 3-1 win. Here's a question for you and its one I can't answer because I don't know what the right answer is. As you know, Luongo is the captain of the Canucks. When there is a ceremonial opening face-off or when the refs have to confer with the captains, I believe it is Willie Mitchell who takes that responsibility. If the Canucks win the Stanley Cup, would Bettman present the Cup to Mitchell or would he give it to Luongo????I would have to think it would go to Luongo.
In Anaheim, the Ducks beat Detroit 2-1 to take a 2-1 lead in that series. The Wings get jobbed late when Marian Hossa taps a loose puck behind Jonas Hiller in only to have had the play blown dead because the ref lost sight of the puck. It was a bad call and it cost the defending champs.
What's this I see? Brett Favre and the Vikings are going to sit down to see if Favre wants to come back and play for the Vikings. Didn't see that one coming!!!!! C'mon Brett! I don't care if you can still play or not, this act is getting more and more lame and you are just embarassing yourself. Its over!! Accept it!
Someone please tell me why it is in a grocery store when two ladies start talking to one another that they just ignore what is happening around them. Ladies, I don't care what your kids are up to or what is new in your lives or how this person or that person is doing. All I know is you are holding me and others up because we can't get through and you are standing right in front of the item I want to buy. MOOOOOOOOVE!!!!!!!! And don't even think about giving anyone a dirty look when they ask you to get out of the way because it is you to blame and no one else.
I see gas went up today by six cents a litre in Regina. That must mean the May long weekend is right around the corner. Gas company executives are weasels....plain and simple they are weasels who have a spot in hell waiting for them.
And finally from the category of "I'm a douchebag coach". Look at this story from Minnesota. Are you f***in kidding me???