Monday, January 31, 2011


Here's a real good article about how UBB hurts Canada

Here's another article that came out today:

The irony, of course, is that big telecom companies, like Bell, force us to subscribe to useless channels through bundle packages.  You know, the one what says you have to take The Pet Channel just because you really only want Nickelodeon.  So, the internet needs to be billed 'per use', but your cable is based on bundles and a bunch of channels you don't even want.  It all ends up to screwing the customer.

For years, I have said the CRTC is bad for Canadian consumers.  They have no interest in consumer protection at all (see cell phones).  Instead, they are a bunch of suits who make far more money than they deserve, who do nothing more than cater to the biggest of companies, stifling competition and ensuring Canadians continue to pay through the nose.

Socialism at its finest.

Don't be surprised if, at some point, people figure out how to pirate the internet much the same way pirating cable was done years ago.


You have to love sports reporting these days.  Bob McKenzie posted on his Twitter account earlier today that he had spoke to Brian Burke about a possible Joe Thornton to Toronto rumour and Burke said the story was 'a complete fabrication'.

To me, McKenzie should either report further as to why he gives the story credibility despite Burke's denial; or else admit the story shouldn't carry much weight because it came from Source A, who has a history of making things up.

It's hockey ambulance chasing at its finest.

It's not unlike the 'journalist' who reported Pat Burns had died a number of months ago, despite the fact Burns wasn't dead at all.  Did we ever find out who started that real sick rumour?  These irresponsible folks need to be held accountable.

And, earlier today, it was reported that Clay Matthews had won the NFL Defensive Player Of The Year, only to find out later in the day that it was, in fact, Troy Polamalu.

Here are a couple of stories about it:

I really love the 'multiple reports' part.  When someone breaks a story first, sports reporters are actually very quick to point out who should get credit for first releasing the information to the public.  When something false comes out, we get 'multiple reports'.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


--Yorkton Terrier goalie Devin Peters looks like he's back on his game.  Peters made a number of real nice saves last night in a 4-1 victory over the Notre Dame Hounds.  The Terriers are ravaged with injuries throughout the line-up, so having Peters at his best is imperative right now.  Brendan Poncelet and Keon Vick appear to be the closest to returning.  Don't bank on seeing Blaine Tendler again until playoffs.  Robbie Ciolfi (indefinitely) and Zak Majkowski (2 weeks) are also on the shelf.

--Everyone knows goaltending is a huge factor in any playoff series.  Because of that aspect, if Notre Dame is able to get past Melville and into the playoffs, it might be real interesting to see if Russell Abbott can play spoiler in a series or two.  Having said that, Zack Rakochy has ramped up his game for the Mils and he may be the deciding factor as to whether or not the Mils can hold back Notre Dame in the fight for the last playoff spot in the Sherwood Conference.

--Give the National Hockey League credit for trying.  Their new All-Star Game format is definitely unique.  I'm not watching the game today because I don't have a rooting interest.  My only comment is that the sense of entitlement wasn't more evident when watching numerous media reports over the weekend concerning Phil Kessel being the last choice.  How embarrassing this, supposedly, is for Kessel.  I wonder if someone asked Marc Savard if he would be able to trade places with Kessel right now, would he do it?  Trade your concussions for last pick in the All-Star Game?  What about Wade Redden?  Think he'd trade his current situation for that of Kessel's All-Star Game selection?  Who cares if he's the last pick?  Someone has to be.  And, can anyone really put any credibility into Cam Ward going first?  The selections mean zilch.  Brian Burke is right when he says the attention paid to the last pick is absurd.  He couldn't be more wrong, however, when he suggests the last five names go into a hat.  This isn't grade one where Little Johnny has his feelings hurt.  These are multi-millionaire grown men.  They can suck it up.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

STACKHOUSE SOAPBOX (Yorkton This Week Jan 26)

I got a GPS for Christmas and was pretty excited to use it in a meaningful way, for the first time, late last week when I was in North Battleford and Kindersley for SJHL broadcasts.  I set it to take me to the West Central Events Centre from my hotel in North Battleford and things appeared to be going swimmingly until I hit Wilkie.  One look at Google and you can plainly see the next stop should be Unity.  However, the GPS decided to take the ‘as the crow flies’ path and led me through some back roads and fields that, surely, I’d still be in the middle of had it not been for my four wheel drive vehicle.  The only place I can recall seeing on a sign was Tramping Lake.  I never saw a lake, but maybe it was buried under 10 feet of snow.  I have never been so unsure driving to a destination in my life!  Later that evening, I passed through Saskatoon on my home from Kindersley and ended up taking Circle Drive South exit.  Bad mistake.  So I set up the GPS again to get me out of the jam and all I did was end up in a dead end somewhere near the big Sask Power facility.  0-for-2 using my new GPS....

Prime Minster Stephen Harper was asked by Peter Mansbridge about the death penalty and while Harper said it isn’t on the table, his answer left some to wonder as to whether or not the death penalty may be something that could, eventually, emerge as some form of legislation.  Harper said, “Sometimes the death penalty fits the crime.”  A recent survey shows 62% are in favor of capital punishment.  My own thoughts surrounding this are that the death penalty should be used in extreme cases and only where there is not only guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, but guilt without any doubt at all.  Paul Bernardo, Russell Williams, Clifford Olson, and Robert Pickton come immediately to mind.

On the issue of gun control, here’s a real telling statistic:  of the eight guns cop killer James Roszko had around him at the time of his death, one was smuggled across the border, several had been stolen, and none were legally registered.  It’s the latest embarrassing example on how gun control and firearms registration does nothing to reduce illegal acts involving these types of weapons.  If someone can explain to me how this works so that we can be a safer society, let me know and I’ll put it in a future column.  I would also call on our local Member of Parliament to continue to pursue this issue as vigorously as he did when the Liberals held power in Parliament.

I would love to hear Osoyoos Chief Clarence Louie speak at a public function.  Louie has some very frank words for his fellow native leaders across the country and he’s been delivering them through various speaking engagements.  He says, ‘The biggest employer should not be the band office.  You are going to lose your language and culture faster in poverty than you will in economic development.”  He also says the time has come to stop whining about 100-year-old failed experiments.  “Blaming government?  That time is over.”

When asked about San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers a couple of years ago, Jay Cutler said, “I don’t like how he carries himself.  I don’t like some of the stuff he does on the field.”  I bet.  After all, Rivers doesn’t carry himself like an egotistical jerk, who looks indifferent to just about everything around him (good or bad).  Rivers also plays through injuries, which Cutler doesn’t do.  It was Rivers who gutted out a torn ACL in a playoff game and it was Cutler who all but pulled himself from Sunday’s loss to Green Bay because of a sprained MCL.  I don’t question his toughness.  I just think he’s a glory hound who looks for a way out when there is no glory to be had.  What a miscarriage of justice it would have been had Caleb Hanie rallied Chicago to a win, only to watch Cutler get the Super Bowl start.

Nice person mentions this week to Trevor Hove, Sid Matsalla, Kyle Ulmer, Terry Tyson, and Theresa Nykolaishen.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


--To me, Jay Cutler doesn't deserve to be a starting NFL quarterback.  I'm watching Ben Roethlisberger (I don't usually support a bully of women) tough out what appears to be a charley horse or a thigh injury after taking a knee to his upper leg.  Meanwhile, Cutler left his NFC final game today against Green Bay with a knee injury that resulted on a play that television cameras didn't pick up and Cutler, himself, can't recall when it occurred.  Cutler also asked out of a game earlier this year in which the offensive line struggled with protection during the first half.

--From what I saw of Caleb Hanie today, the Chicago Bears would be further ahead if they anointed him as their new starter and let Cutler take a walk.  It actually makes me wonder if Cutler is really nothing more than a third stringer anyway.  Even journeyman guys like Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jon Kitna, Bruce Gradkowski, and former Bear QB Rex Grossman have had games where you could say the quarterback was the main reason for his team winning.  I don't know that you can ever bring up a game where Cutler was the deciding factor for his team winning a game.  No NFL team ran the ball in the second half of this season more than the Chicago Bears.  Cutler, in essence, is just a caretaker of an offense.

--Green Bay will need to be a lot better in the Super Bowl if they hope to win.  A better team defeats them today.  You have to get points when you march the ball up and down the field the way they did today.  Aaron Rodgers wasn't his best today, but just think of how much of a set back to the franchise it would have been if the Packers let Brett Favre play them like a song the way the Minnesota Vikings and New York Jets did for three years?  It's possible Rodgers would be playing somewhere else by now.  GM Ted Thompson deserves a lot of credit for cutting ties with Favre when he did.

--Does anyone have the NFL Draft Preview magazine from 2005 in which it was considered to be a toss up between Alex Smith and Aaron Rodgers for first overall?  Smith went to San Francisco and has been marginally better than other first rounders like Cade McNown (another bad Bears QB), Akili Smith, and Ryan Leaf.  Rodgers fell all the way to 25th overall.  I wonder if Washington would like a do-over as much as San Francisco.  They had two picks in the first round.  The first was spent on Carlos Rogers 9th overall, while the second was quarterback Jason Campbell (also better than Cutler, but just an average quarterback) at 26.

--Carson Palmer has asked for a trade out of Cincinnati or else he will retire.  I don't blame him.  What a dumpster fire that organization is with the long line-up of ex-cons and attention seeking receivers.  He'd be a real good fit in Arizona.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

STACKHOUSE SOAPBOX (Yorkton This Week Jan 19)

We had a really bad week in the area of common sense in our country and it’s sad.

First of all, the Dire Straits song Money For Nothing has been banned from radio stations across the country for using a slang word that could offend homosexuals.  One person lodged the complaint with the Canadian Broadcasting Standars Council and that one person has gotten away with being able to dictate what the rest of us can and can’t listen to.  Next up should be Every Breath You Take by The Police.  It’s a song about stalking.  I’m offended.  You can see there is no limit on political correctness.

In Ontario, a convicted cop killer has been awarded $9500 in damages after he complained that being asked to stand up once a day so that inmates could be counted amounted to ‘adverse differentiation’.  The cop killer was involved in a motorcycle accident as a young man that damaged his spine.  He was also in several other accidents after that.  Standing up is a problem for this guy, but escaping from the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre in 1983 and shooting a police officer while on the run isn’t much of a hardship, apparently.  This same prisoner won a human rights award in 2008 from the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network for helping to educate other prisoners about preventing HIV infection.  The sick irony is that the police officer that was killed in 1983 had his human rights taken away, but this convict can continue to conjure up ways to utilize his own human rights to the fullest.

Closer to home, a woman who left her newborn in the toilet of a Walmart in Prince Albert is not guilty of child abandonment.  Last week the Appeal Court upheld a lower court’s ruling.  At her 2009 trial, it was revealed the woman didn’t know she was pregnant (I am a guy and have no idea what it’s like to be pregnant, but how can you not know?) and ended up delivering the child in the bathroom.  The baby was blue and not moving.  The woman, scared and confused, thought the baby was dead and so she just left.  Staff later found the baby and it survived.  It wouldn’t surprise me if, sometime in the future, this woman (term used loosely) decides she wants to be a major part of this child’s life and files to have certain records unsealed.  She gets off based on the fact she thought the baby was dead! 

As an extension to that argument, if I see that someone appears to be dead and I fire three bullets into that person’s chest, am I guilty of murder if that person was only asleep?  Or, if I stab a human doll only to realize it wasn’t a doll at all, am I guilty of murder?  The slippery slope has no ending.

I read a lot of news stories and other blogs and always marvel at the brave things people will say in the ‘comments’ section when they are allowed to leave an anonymous name.  These folks have great keyboard courage; but nothing beyond that.  It’s one thing to criticize someone with an actual name, but if you can’t put your own name behind it, then what good is it?  The credibility is zero.  I have had plenty trash me in my days working with the SJHL and I can tell you that when you see your name being slagged by someone not willing to offer up his/her own name, it doesn’t feel very good at first.  In short order, however, you get used to it and you have to remember that the criticism comes from someone who, obviously, can’t look you in the eye and say the same things.  I had some immature person comment about my online blog and really get personal about someone I had written about.  Of course, the comment was left as ‘anonymous’.  How brave.

Nice person mentions this week to Benno Looft, Nicole Gendreau, Sherry Popp, Rick Bradshaw, and Chad Haas.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


--Anyone pick the New York Jets to beat New England today?  Talk is cheap unless the talk is being done by the Jets.  I don't like either team and there was something about watching the Patriots go gently into that good night that made me very happy; but I'm also not able to watch much post game analysis tonight.  I've had enough Rex Ryan for one year, thanks.

--You often see teams try and copycat other successful teams, so does this mean the NFL will start to become more of a trash talking league?

--Chicago defeated Seattle today and that really couldn't have come as much surprise.  The Bears are going to lose to the lowly Seahawks on their home field?  I don't think so.  Not in the playoffs.

--I'm a little surprised Green Bay handled Atlanta the way they did, considering Matt Ryan's near unbeatable record at home.  Still, anyone not cheering for Brett Favre over the last three years has to be happy for Aaron Rodgers.

--Pittsburgh beat Baltimore in what I thought was a coin toss type of game.  Big Ben maybe an ass, but he comes to play when the games mean something.

For next week, I really hope Green Bay beats the Bears.  I won't be able to watch a Super Bowl with Jay Cutler in it.  He might be the only guy more self absorbed than Rex Ryan.  Oh wait.  A Bears-Jets Super Bowl?  I pass.  Can't say I'm really rooting for Ben and the Steelers though either.

So, here's to Rodgers and the Packers.


--As I drove into Regina on Friday (late afternoon), my first impression was 'when do city crews start cleaning the streets and what streets do they clean first?'  Yorkton takes a back seat to absolutely no-one in this regard.  When I compare Yorkton street cleaning in the winter to other cities and towns I visit, Yorkton is at the top of the class.  I think a plow went up and down Victoria Avenue overnight Friday/Saturday; but there was definitely nothing on the road as far as alleviating the possibility of slipping and sliding along the ice.  Streets like Arcola and Saskatchewan Drive still hadn't seen snow removal (at least to me) by late Saturday afternoon; but Eastgate (Days Inn) was getting a nice cleaning.  Privately done?  Maybe.  I know a busy place like Regina can't easily be done, but there has to be a way to be more prompt, even if you have to shut down a lane along Victoria in order to get it complete.

--Regina people don't speak nicely about city crews and their snow removal efforts either, at least, from the few I spoke to.  Apparently residential streets are lucky to see snow plows once a year!  Not the gospel, just going by what residents were telling me.  Hopefully municipal taxes aren't too high if that's the case.

--Don't get me wrong, I like going to Regina.  I think it's a very underrated city.  Lots to do, and you can still get from Point A to Point B in a reasonable amount of time without suffering too much in the way of traffic jams.

--Folks ripped a page out of the Gallagher Centre parking lot on Sunday at Evraz Place.  It was hilarious, although if I had been on the wrong side I wouldn't have done any laughing.  A number of lazy people parked as close as they could to the building; but also used up the end of the lane so that any vehicle parked behind them would be boxed in.  Furthermore, vehicles looking to properly park behind them couldn't get in and it clogged things up pretty good.  I don't know why when it comes to parking, that people just completely do the dumbest things.  Anyway, I went into the building and notified Regina Soccer Association officials of the nonsense and, I guess, Evraz Place staff took care of it.  Thankfully.

--I chuckled in the Gallagher Centre parking lot too one night this week as I was attending a Terrier game and noticed people had parked as close to the building as possible, but also had advanced so far north of the doors that simply making a new line east of the doors would make much more sense.  The line extended so far north, I can't imagine anyone wanting to walk that far!  A Festiva could get around the end of the line, so (technically) nothing was blocked.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


I just got off the phone with Dean Shyiak and he's confirmed that barring any last minute unforeseen circumstances, the re-modeled McDonald's on Broadway Street will be open for business tomorrow at 7am (January 14).

There are, approximately, 100 people working there today to try and get themselves prepared.

I know a lot of people have been waiting, anxiously, for this day.  Keep in mind that the employees will be breaking in a brand new system tomorrow, so there could be delays a little longer than usual.  However, I know Dean is an extremely hard worker and he has a very good staff so they'll iron out the bugs pretty quick.

The grand opening is planned for lunch time on Saturday, January 29th.

I'm Lovin' It.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

STACKHOUSE SOAPBOX (Yorkton This Week Jan 12)

I was long winded, so probably got edited this's the full version

The Yorkton Terriers made a move that will have a major impact on their present and future by adding Justin Buzzeo and Jeremy Boyer from the Humboldt Broncos in a future considerations trade.  When combined with Robbie Ciolfi, Brent Struble, Craig Eisenhut, and Clarke Breitkreuz; the Terriers now have two lines up front that are better than any other team in the SJHL.  Don Chesney and Trent Cassan are showing a tremendous amount of faith in the current group to win a championship and now it’s time for the fans to pay back their gratitude by showing up for the games.  This club is going to score a lot of goals and it’s going to be fun to watch.  Literally, these top six forwards are worth the price of admission.

When I was in New Brunswick over Christmas, I took full advantage of the 24-hour grocery store service that is available there.  This is something I would love to see here in Yorkton.  I know some of the big stores do it during the Christmas season only; but let’s extend it to twelve months of the year.  My reasons are extremely self-serving.  I hate line-ups and, therefore, like the convenience of a quick trip to grap what I need.  I also like that I don’t have to do it right after work, thus, delaying my date with the couch by 45 minutes or so!

For those wondering, it sounds like the middle of the month for the re-opening of the McDonald’s on Broadway Street.

As a rule, governments as well as the court do not like to intervene in one’s religious beliefs.  For example, there was a case in 1990 whereby an RCMP officer was permitted to wear a turban on the job.  The man’s fight for his religious right led to the removal of the federal ban prohibiting Sikhs in the RCMP from wearing turbans.  However, on Monday, the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal rejected two proposals from the provincial government that would allow some or all marriage commissioners to refuse to perform a service involving gay or lesbian partners if it offended their religious beliefs.  Apparently, some religious beliefs are more important than others?  I could be misinterpreting, but that’s the message I’m receiving from comparing these two rulings.

SARCAN Recycling will soon refuse to accept containers that have caps attached.  It’s not mandatory until April 1st; but they are trying to get the word out now so that there are no surprises when that date comes.  Saskatchewan has one of the highest return rates in North America.  84% of the containers purchased are returned, according to statistics.  I wonder if that number is slightly off due to the Manitoba people that bring their empties into Saskatchewan.  Manitoba doesn’t (or didn’t as of a couple of years ago) have a program like Saskatchewan and people at SARCAN admitted to me they are wise to what some of the crooks are trying to do; but it can be tough to prove.

A few years ago airlines started charging extra if your bags were too heavy.  Now, they are charging for a second carry-on bag.  Ordinarily, I would have a problem with this; but when you see what some folks try to get on the plane for ‘carry-on’ I think it’s time to put measures in place to enforce the spirit of what’s intended.  Some people are given an inch so they take a mile.  Therefore, we end up all getting the shaft eventually.

I have become more and more interested in Twitter.  I am not a frequent poster; but it’s become a huge source of news for me as I follow prominent news and sports makers.  It’s also an entertaining way to see what certain celebrities are up to if you can get one that posts his/her own stuff and doesn’t have a publicist do it.  Alyssa Milano is overkill.  I’m going to have to ‘unfollow’ her.  In fact, I can’t believe somebody as famous as her has the time to post non-stop.  Obviously being a sports guy, I like to see what the athletes have to offer.  Milwaukee relief pitcher John Axford is very interesting.  Jose Canseco is well worth following too.  Dave Zinczenko of Men’s Health Magazine is also excellent.  In the last few days, Zinczenko has offered up a couple of tips on how to drop the odd pound or two.  He suggests eating your cereal from a coffee cup to help better control portion control.  Zinczenko says drinking 17 ounces of water when you wake up will boost your metabolism.  He also says we eat, on average, 236 more calories on Saturdays. 

The mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona over the weekend is disturbing on so many levels and it makes me so mad to know that no matter what punishment the shooter ends up getting; there is just no way to ever make things right.  The shooter must have so little self-worth that sentencing him to life in prison or to be executed really has little impact on him.  Meanwhile, there is no returning the six people that died to their families that struggle with such a senseless loss of life.

Rick DiPietro, the oft-injured New York Islanders goalie, gets a lot of attention for being hurt.  True, DiPietro is seldom healthy; but at least it’s just one area of his body that he struggles to get into playing shape.  Ottawa’s Pascal Leclaire takes the cake for me.  They may as well just flush millions of dollars down the toilet.  He missed most of 2008-09 due to injury and was actually dealt to the Sens while on the shelf!  Since being a Senator he has suffered a broken finger, head injury, knee injury, groin injury, and concussion.  He was also struck by a puck while sitting on the bench and fractured his cheekbone (missed 16 games for that one).  He has a troublesome groin right now that has him on the injured list.  His coach says it’s not actually his groin.  “It has to do with the lower body, the back, hips, and groin area.”  Wow.  If there’s an NHL team that does a worse job than the Philadelphia Flyers when it comes to goaltenders, it’s Ottawa.  Next up is Swedish World Junior sieve Robin Lehner.  Lehner, by the way, didn’t even start the bronze medal game last week, which Sweden lost to the United States.

Nice person mentions this week to Linda Koroluk, Mike Haczkewicz, Steve Gibson, Rachel Kraynick, and Dean Brockman.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


--The Battlefords North Stars dealt away Dane Muench (recently re-assigned by the WHL's Regina Pats) to the Vernon Vipers for future considerations.  Long term, it's a great deal for the Stars.  They also picked up Cole Gibson from Estevan.  Gibson is a proven top-six forward and will help boost the second scoring.  Lance Tabin and Braeden Johnson were added from Kindersley without having to give up a Junior 'A' ready player.  Tabin's a steady defensive defenseman and Johnson was a bit of a surprise cut from the WHL's Saskatoon Blades.  I like what the Stars did and I think they are a darkhorse in the Bauer Conference, which seems to be dominated by La Ronge and Melfort.

--Estevan was rumoured to be in the hunt for a number of players, namely Cody Hanson from Melville, but ended up getting Jonathan Ceci from Nipawin for prospects.  It's an underrated move as Ceci is the SJHL's top point getter since December 1st.  With Joel Danyluk and Shea Cooper in goal, there was no room for Derek Tendler, so he's been moved to Winnipeg Saints (MJHL).  The Bruins have the pieces in place, the chore now for Chad Leslie and company is making them fit together.

--Flin Flon was maybe caught in that 'do we buy or do we sell' mode after seeing Melfort load up.  Adding Tanner Clark from Humboldt should help a bit for the present and more for the future.  He's only 17, but has a decent amount of experience already.

--The Broncos dealt away Justin Buzzeo and Jeremy Boyer to Yorkton; Nick Keller to Swan Valley (later La Ronge), Spencer Braaten to Kindersley, and Riley Gillies to Dauphin.  They want to see if the young guys left on the roster are capable of playing prominent roles for them next year, which is the RBC Cup host season.  If you believe half of what's out there for rumours, the Broncos will be getting quite a few players from the teams they have dealt with and should come out of this just fine.

--The Klippers are going to give Yorkton a run in the Sherwood after receiving Wheaton King from the WHL and Braaten from Humboldt.  They also took care of business for the future by securing the rights to Zane Morin from La Ronge and they were part of a three way deal with Battlefords and Melville in the Braeden Johnson trade that should pay dividends next year and beyond.  I liked Kindersley's chances before the year started and I like them just as much on January 11th.

--The Ice Wolves stole Nick Keller from the Swan Valley Stampeders and I've seen this player kick it up a notch in the playoffs in each of the last two years that Humboldt won their SJHL titles.  It's a subtle, but potentially huge move for La Ronge as they try to defend their crown.  Not sure what went wrong with Keller in Swan; but it's too bad they couldn't hang on to him.

--Where do we start with Melfort?  Brayden Metz and Cody Hanson were added from Melville and they should bring a combination of skill and toughness to the club as they are widely considered to have the best chance at unseating the Ice Wolves in the Bauer Conference.  It sounds like Carter Berg is coming back too so that further solidifies an already strong defense.  For people that are familiar with what Yorkton did in the Sherwood, Melfort is the Bauer Conference equivalent.

--Melville, basically, is punting 2010-11 in favor of 2011-12 as they expect to be in a new arena and they should have a real good team if the futures from Melfort pan out as many think.  They also get young Michael Sagen from the Regina Pats and are believed to be calling up Dayton Reinboldt from Swift Current Midget AAA.  

--Nipawin moved out their veterans as they are currently in the cellar of the Bauer Conference.  Still, the decisions couldn't have been easy as they are 7-and-4 since Christmas.  Jeremy Peeke, ex-Estevan, brings help for the present and there are prospects coming over in the other deals.

--Notre Dame was quiet, although many thought Russell Abbott and James Howden may be on the move.  One coach told me the price was sky high for both players.

--Weyburn didn't do anything in the way of transactions and they were also quiet last year.  One common misconception people have is that folks think clubs are built on January 10th and they are not.  The Wings are playing extremely well and they didn't feel the need to cause ripples.

--Yorkton fired the first shot when they picked up Boyer and Buzzeo from Humboldt late last week.  Upon learning that Davis Vandane was staying with Spokane and some of their other WHL players were also keeping their roster spots; Don Chesney made a move for Brant Remenda, Nipawin's captain.  Remenda brings experience, some offensive ability, and a no-fear approach.

Here are my Power Rankings following the moves (I think you can break up the league into three groups.  Four teams that are the clear favorites, four teams that are capable of knocking off those above them, but are a little behind, and four teams that should look towards next year.):

1-La Ronge ... if Bartko elevates his game, he is the difference and Ice Wolves repeat.
2-Yorkton ... are there enough pucks for all the offensive playmakers?
3-Melfort ... sink or swim.
4-Kindersley ... nobody is really talking about them, but their talent level is the same as the other three.

5-Weyburn ... getting good goaltending and they are not fun to play against.
6-Estevan ... I still think Danyluk emerges and he'll be a big problem against whoever they play in playoffs.
7-Battlefords ... quietly have taken some steps forward in recent weeks.
8-Flin Flon ... people are writing them off and not sure why.

9-Humboldt ... play 12 of final 17 at home so I think they have a chance to hang on to 3rd.
10-Melville ... opportunity for Desjarlais, Tagoona, Froese, and Owen to show what they've got.
11-Nipawin ... always tough for first year coach to come into a rebuilding program, so rebuilding continues.
12-Notre Dame ... clearly, their goal will be to catch Melville for fifth after standing pat.

Monday, January 10, 2011


Congratulations to Yorkton native Davis Vandane for being ranked 167th by NHL Central Scouting in the mid-term rankings for the NHL Entry Draft in June.

Vandane lit up the SJHL with 13-points in 14-games as a rookie defenseman during his brief stay with the Yorkton Terriers; earning himself SJHL Defenseman Of The Month for November.

It was enough for the Spokane Chiefs to take notice in the WHL, and Vandane has been with them ever since Jared Cowen left in early December for the Canadian National Junior Team and the Terriers are not expecting him back.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


I'm a big stats guy and find certain numbers to say a lot about players.  In particular, I believe stats after December 1st (when the bulk of the roster shuffling in Junior 'A' is done) tell a big story.

Since the start of the Showcase, here are the standings:

Kindersley 8-1-0-0
La Ronge 8-2-0-0
Weyburn 8-3-0-0
Nipawin 7-4-0-0
Melfort 6-3-0-1
Battlefords 6-3-0-0
Yorkton 4-4-1-1
Estevan 4-6-0-1
Melville 3-6-0-1
Humboldt 3-7-0-0
Flin Flon 2-7-1-0
Notre Dame 1-7-1-1

Top 10 scorers since December 1st
Jonathan Ceci, Nip 11-10-14-24
Marc-Andre Carre, LAR 11-11-11-22
Johnny Calkins, Kind 10-7-14-21
Travis Eggum, LaR 11-11-8-19
Doug Lindensmith, LaR 11-5-13-18
Brock Appleyard, Wey 11-9-8-17
Matthew Spafford, Nip 11-6-11-17
Colin Phaneuf, Bat 10-7-9-16
Andrew Johnston, FF 11-7-8-15
Brayden Metz, Mlf 12-3-12-15

Goalie Breakdown since December 1st

Jesse Ehnisz, Mlf  3-1, 1.26, .962
Charles Corsi, Mlf 4-2, 2.14, .933

Warren Shymko, Ykt 1-2, 2.30, .933
Devin Peters, Ykt 3-3, 3.41, .909

Justin McDonald, Kind 2-0, 1.00. .956
Sean Cahill, Kind 7-1, 2.38, .917

Myles Hovdebo, LaR 4-0, 2.41, .921
Adam Bartko, LaR 4-3, 3.82, .881

Mitch Kilgore, Wey 5-2, 2.47, .923
Riley Hengen, Wey 3-1, 3.21, .897

PJ Musico, FF 3-7, 3.10, .909
Randy Graham, FF 0-1, 8.79, .824

Zach Rakochy, Mlv 3-3, 3.48, .897
Alex Sirard, Mlv 1-3, 3.94, .889

Brody Hoffman, Nip 3-3, 3.60, .889
Stephen Klein, Nip 4-1, 3.69, .907

Russell Abbott, ND 1-7, 3.65, .894
Matthew Smidt, ND 0-1, 3.84, .873

Kyle Birch, Bat 5-2, 3.69, .892
Graham Hildebrand, Bat 1-2, 4.03, .887

Shea Cooper, Est 2-2, 4.28, .890
Joel Danyluk, Est 2-5, 4.73, .873

Andrew Bodnarchuk, Hum 2-4, 4.64, .862
Matt Hrynkiw, Hum 1-4, 4.82, .864

SJHL GAME OF THE WEEK RECAP (La Ronge at Humboldt)

--Earlier in the season, I was wondering how the La Ronge Ice Wolves would fare if their top line of Doug Lindensmith-Marc Andre Carre-Travis Eggum was ever shut down.  Well, they were shut down last night and they still found a way to score two goals.  I'm beginning to think even as the games start to get tougher, these guys won't be shut down.  Opposition teams are going to have to, simply, try to minimize the damage.  Eggum, who's really benefited from playing with the high skill linemates, scored a goal last night whereby it wouldn't matter who his linemates were.  Carre scored, perhaps, the second prettiest goal I've seen this year.  He also scored the prettiest I've seen (Showcase against Battlefords).

--Another big thing that I like about La Ronge is that their player roles are very clearly and distinctly defined with very appropriate personnel in each of their assignments.  The number one line is as good as you can get in Junior 'A' hockey.  The second line of Logan Herauf-Justin Ducharme-Philippe Cliche is very well suited to being just that:  a second line.  Aaron Enns-Nolan Souchotte-Taylor Piller is probably the best third line in the league.  Sure, there may be players in third lines roles with more talent than these guys, but those three play a very effective third line style and they know what their roles are.  Dayton Fossum is clearly the main option on the powerplay as far as the defensemen go.  Robert Monfore looks like the defensive shutdown guy, and the other four play solid, but unspectacular.  Adam Bartko is the unquestioned number one netminder, but Myles Hovdebo provides underrated play as a back up and the Wolves would be fine if Hovdebo had to go a long stretch.

--Humboldt, while rebuilding, may not fall as far in the standings as people think.  Their players are battling for jobs on next year's coveted team and they will play twelve of their final seventeen on home ice.

--Taylor Johnson has been named Humboldt's captain and he's getting a chance on the new top line with Ward Szucki and Adam Zbitniff.  For my money, I thought Brendon Fornwald was their most dangerous forward last night and it will be interesting to see if he can carve out a key role going forward after a couple of other SJHL teams have passed him over.  Troy Gasper and Matt Glowa are two other guys that are really going to be watched close for the rest of the season by the coaching staff.  They are in top six roles at the moment.  Adam Antkowiak is another guy that seemed to get prime minutes, so clearly there is an opportunity there for him too.  

--Josh Roach has really stepped up his game from last year.  He's only 18, but you have to consider him a top five defenseman in the SJHL; although late in the third period last night he looked like he tried to do a bit too much.  That's going to be something he'll have to work on as he's, clearly, the Broncos' most talented player at the moment and he looks like he's going to be the 'go to' guy.

--Matt Hrynkiw played okay last night, but I can't help but wonder if Humboldt would have been big sellers this year had they received better goaltending over the last two months.  Both Hrynkiw and veteran Andrew Bodnarchuk are sporting goals against averages close to 5.00 since the team opened 12-1-and-1.

--Yorkton is getting all the attention for snagging Justin Buzzeo and Jeremy Boyer from the Broncos; but Swan Valley's acquisition of Nick Keller is underrated.  Keller has proven to be a clutch playoff performer and I suspect that he'll be as big a factor for his new team as Buzzeo and Boyer.  In Humboldt's last two championship seasons, Keller emerged after uneventful regular seasons to be a major factor in the playoffs.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


The Yorkton Terriers will host a Sportsman's Dinner on January 22nd

Cocktails are 6pm

Dinner is 7pm

I'm assuming the event is at the Gallagher Centre.

Jeff Odgers is the Guest Speaker.  I heard Odgers speak a number of years ago at an RCMP hockey function.  He's very good.  I hope he tells the Minnesota North Stars training camp story with him and Basil McRae.

Don Chesney is the MC.  Honestly, you don't need a guest speaker when someone like Chesney is moving the program along!

So, this promises to be a very good night.

Tickets are $50 each or $350 for a corporate table (I believe 8 people).

Tickets available at

-Terrier Office
-Canadian Tire
-KW Men's Wear

You can call 783 4077 for more information.


Unlike most, I don't really have a whole lot to say about last night's collapse.

To make light of it, I suppose we could call it the Curse Of The Green Sweater!  The lovable Roughriders have had some memorable collapses in recent years (Paul McCallum 18 yard field goal, too many men)!

It is what it is.  A blown lead in the biggest junior game of all.  Period.

Anyway, here's my response to Dan O'Connor on Facebook...

The second goal was weak and I think the players did what most junior players would do....they kinda panicked. Russians kept coming and won the game. Not totally Visentin's fault. But, he didn't make a deadly stop either to help regroup the guys.

Canada still rules the roost. 7 juniors in the NHL and the top 5 scorers from both the OHL and WHL weren't considered for this team. Name another country that could leave off 17 players of that calibre and still win or come within a whisker of winning.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


I can't say enough good things about the Kamloops Daily News and their support for longtime junior hockey writer Gregg Drinnan, who was banned from talking to Kamloops Blazer team personnel for simply being too critical.

Over the years, media outlets have become cheerleaders for their local sports teams because of a number of reasons, but I believe the two biggest factors are

--The advertising dollar that comes into radio stations and newspapers from the team in question over powers and controls any critical comment that may come from a reporter or editor.  It's become a no-no in media circles to criticize a business that spends money with you and major junior hockey franchises are businesses who spend money with print and broadcast media.'

--Young reporters who are not ballsy enough to ask tough questions and look at the athletes as idols and, therefore, don't want to make anyone mad.  I'm not saying you have to be a complete putz like Jim Gray (remember the Pete Rose interview?), but if the obvious tough question is there, then it should be asked.

As this story continues to develop, I expect Drinnan and his newspaper will win because the Blazers will take an unbelievable amount of bad press on this.

Having said that, 95% of the rest of the country's newspapers and radio stations would call the reporter out on the carpet and smooth things over with the team, therefore making it so fans, and the rest of the general public, would have no idea there was ever a rift.

Here's a link to the Drinnan/Blazers story:

Monday, January 3, 2011


This is a big season for the Bruins, as they've struggled in recent years and many believe pieces have been put in place for this club to make a long playoff run.

However, it's Yorkton that is sitting pretty atop the conference while the Bruins are in a dogfight with Weyburn and Kindersley simply to stay in the top three.  Traditionally, Dwight McMillan doesn't start the season until about now anyway and the Klippers look rejuvenated after their coaching change last month.

To me, this decision further amplifies the feeling around Estevan and the need for this team to make some playoff noise.  A 4th vs. 5th series against a dangerous team like Melville wouldn't cut it.

On a personal note, I really enjoyed working with Karry Biette when I had the Communications role with the SJHL.  He, easily, ranked amongst my favorites to deal with.  He's an entertaining guy and I feel bad it didn't work out better for him with the Bruins.

STACKHOUSE SOAPBOX (Yorkton This Week Dec 22)

My Christmas presents... | Columnists | Yorkton This Week, Yorkton, SK

(I'm way late posting it here, but just in case you wanted to read it and haven't seen it)


Greg Marshall close to deal with Saskatchewan Roughriders

Sunday, January 2, 2011


--Why do NHL media types still question and criticize the National Hockey League for putting on the Winter Classic when it, obviously, makes the league money? 

--Are these media critics the same ones that constantly put down the NHL for lack of innovation when it comes to generating revenue?

--Why are Saskatchewan Roughrider fans already criticizing Greg Marshall, when a) he hasn't even been officially named head coach and b) he hasn't even coached a game?

--Do the people criticizing Greg Marshall even know this is a different Greg Marshall from the one that coached Hamilton for 2 1/2 seasons a few years ago?

--Are the Melville Millionaires still going to be 'sellers' between now and January 10th, or will their sweep of the Yorkton Terriers this weekend change the direction?

--Does Canada's national junior team pick bad goalies on purpose just so the World Junior Hockey Championship can be interesting?  Surely, our country produces better 18 and 19 year-olds than Olivier Roy.  You have to wonder though, as Martin Jones (installed way too late in the tournament last year) is 12-and-2 with a 1.70-GAA in the American Hockey League and it took drastic, drastic measures before he was used in a must-win game.  Jake Allen had to, practically, move out of the way of the American shooters last year in the gold medal game before Jones got a chance.  Mark Visentin starts today in a must-win game against the underrated Swiss.  Tyler Bunz (Medicine Hat) and Calvin Pickard (Seattle) come immediately to my mind.  To be fair, Allen is 13-and-3, 1.60, .950 in the AHL this year.