Wednesday, March 28, 2012

STACKHOUSE SOAPBOX (Yorkton This Week March 28)

There is really nothing that I can add with regards to the Graham James 2-year sentence that was handed down by an ignorant judge last week.  James has made a career of violating teenaged boys and exploiting our bleeding heart justice system.  If you surveyed the entire country, you would find 99% of the population would find the sentence to be too lenient.  The 1% opposed are the judges, who maybe should be on the victim side of crime every once in awhile so that a reality check can be delivered.  The judge says because James is incredibly sorry, that has to be taken into account.  I couldn't disagree more.  Furthermore, we have to remember that James is likely sorry at being caught more than he's sorry for sexually violating these boys hundreds of times in such a calculated manner.  And judges, who are supposed to be the smartest people in our society, have to recognize what exactly the accused is sorry for.  Judges may be smart.  But, they are also the most gullible; which cancels out the intelligence as far as I'm concerned.

I am so nervous about our society's stance on pedophilia.  I see a day when people like James won't do a stitch of jail time.  Instead, they will receive special medical treatment in the form of pills and be sent on their merry way.

The latest head scratcher from the politically correct world is in Britain where young kids are being prevented from having best friends.  Serious.  One particular school is making children play in large groups because later in life it is painful to split from a best friend.  Eventually, this thought process will make it's way to Canada and teenagers will be encouraged to have multitudes of boyfriends and girlfriends on the go at the same time.  I mean breaking up with a significant other is hard.  So, let's date everyone to prevent hurt feelings.  Might be more fun too.

I don't know if the decisions Brendan Taman is making as General Manager of the Saskatchewan Roughriders will pay off or not; but I am quite satisfied seeing him take charge and, at least, try to right the ship.  Defensive end Odell Willis is the latest to be acquired to try and shore up another weak link the team had last year.  Keep in mind, my constant grumbling about the team last year was based on the incompetence and indifference shown by Ken Miller.  And, by now, it's obvious this mess lies right at the feet of Miller.  I don't care how many times he coached the team to the Grey Cup game.  I'd suggest this team maybe could have won a Grey Cup every single year Miller was at the helm if they had someone that knew what he was doing instead of a guy day dreaming.  The speed and decisiveness shown by Taman is proof he was nothing more than a puppet last year.

Major League Baseball officially starts this week with Seattle and Oakland in Japan.  For what it's worth, here are my picks for division winners:  Yankees, Tigers, Angels, Braves, Brewers, Diamondbacks.  Wildcards:  Rays, Rangers, Marlins, and Reds.  This is the year baseball expands playoffs by two teams isn't it?

I'll maybe write more about this NFL bounty issue at a future point, but my feelings are that in professional football, quarterbacks should expect defensive players to come at them with an intent to injure on a play by play basis.  The bounty is wrong, but only so much in that if players were hitting illegally.  If that's the case, the onus shifts to the referee to flag and eject such players.  End of story.  Morally there is a lot wrong with the bounty and that's why Roger Goodell is handing down harsh penalties.  But, in the world of professional sports, very little of what goes on is morally right.

Health tidbit of the week:  10 minutes of sunshine a day can cut your stroke risk by up to 80%

If this isn't illegal, it should be:  in Dauphin on Saturday, we saw a man 'walking' his German Shepherd.  The Shepherd was running up the street.  The man was driving an SUV with his hand out the window and a leash, attached to the dog.  Laziness at its best.  Look.  If you don't have the energy or time to walk man's best friend, then give him to someone else.

I saw a really nice thought yesterday that can sometimes give us pause.  "If you treat someone like a celebrity, they are likely to return the favor by treating you like a fan."

Another good one from Twitter:  "Nowadays, 'cool' means 'I really don't care'.  'Sick' means 'awesome' and 'I love you' doesn't mean anything."

Nice person mentions this week to John Stechyshyn's mom and dad.  I should've asked them their names.  The DeCorbys, Scott Keith, and the person working admitting at the Yorkton Regional Health Centre who dealt with my wife and was complimentary (on behalf of her husband) on my column.  I will also take her advice and add Jenn Stackhouse to the list of nice people this week (and every week).

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


A lot of people have maybe read and seen this.  I, vaguely, knew about it; but have learned a lot more now that I'm reading Rick Reilly's Hate Mail From Cheerleaders.

Reilly is a tremendous writer.  Yes, it's sports.  But, you don't have to like sports to like Reilly's work.

If you are not touched by this; you don't have a heart.   (read the article first)

"The thing I'd like most," Rick types, "is that my dad sit in the chair and I push him once."

Saturday, March 24, 2012


The Melville Millionaires forced a game seven on Saturday night with a 5-1 win over the Weyburn Red Wings in front of close to 1900 fans at Horizon Credit Union Centre.

1900 for a team facing elimination.  Yorkton could learn something here.

I've only seen two games in this series (game four Melville double OT win was the other), so I'm not really qualified to comment on the series as a whole.

Tonight, Weyburn looked tired.  And, so they should.with key forwards Jack Kennelly and Miguel Pereira on the shelf.  They don't strike me as a team (from the two games I saw) that wants to roll four lines as it is, so those two players being out is huge.  Goalie Mitch Kilgore was also out for a second straight game with an unknown injury that the media has speculated occurred in the pregame warm-up of game five.  Kilgore's replacement, Brett Teskey, made some fine stops tonight but an error in judgement to come out and play a loose puck with the Wings on a second period powerplay was the marker that put the Mils ahead by two and the home team seemed to take over after that.  You never sensed Weyburn was on the brink of launching a quick comeback like they have in two other games this series.  Tough call in game seven.  How healthy does Kilgore need to be in order to play in such a big game?  And, to me, Teskey has played well enough they should be confident in him.

The Mils are banged up on defense with Brett Kipling and Tyson Newell out; but their forwards are at full strength.  I liked Colby Williams tonight and I always feel as though John Stechyshyn gives them such quality minutes whenever they need to lighten the load on Lee Christensen and Tyler Bird.  I can't believe the multitude of penalties they take hasn't cost them more.  Eight more minors tonight on top of an already league leading 248 penalty minutes for the postseason (updated total is 274).  Battlefords is second at 208 and they've played one more games.

Ian McNulty-Jesse Mireau-and whoever Jamie Fiesel puts with them (Kilback, Trudeau, Aschim) have been better than Jesse Ross-Coltyn Sanderson-Keegan Bruce in the two games I've witnessed and that's also a big difference.  Jordan Hoffman, on the other hand, is a threat.  The Wings need to figure out how to get more out of his line.

The best game I've seen Blake Voth play in the playoffs was tonight.  He didn't have to be great; but each save was made with confidence and he didn't give many rebounds at all.

Just a reminder we will be broadcasting the Canalta Cup final live from game one through the end of the series starting on Friday on Access 7.  A few days ago I would've proclaimed Humboldt as the place the series will start, but Battlefords is trying to do something special as they have forced game six at the Civic Centre tomorrow night.  Wish I could see that.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


It's been a couple of days and I still don't know what to write concerning the Graham James verdict.

I have never understood or will ever understand the bleeding heart mentality we have to perpetrators of crime in this country. How is this sentence rational?  Judge Catherine Carlson had a chance to right a previous wrong.  It was wrong that James got just 3 1/2 years (even more wrong that he served just approximately 18 months) for the sex assaults on Sheldon Kennedy and another former player.  Carlson had a chance to send James away for quite some time and did not.  Whether it is the law or not, it makes no sense to me that a judge can take into account the totality of the crime and rewind it to make it relevant to what he served for assaulting the victims in 1997 that were known at that time.  James didn't come forward in 1997 and admit to further assaults.  Had he done that, then I would be inclined to have a bit of sympathy towards him.  Instead he hid it and got a light sentence for the Kennedy related assaults.  Years later when the Fleury related ones come out, a judge can say, "Oh well, if we had known about them at that time, then we probably only would have added another two years."  Hogwash.

Cowards.  Judges in this country are cowards.  What would be so bad about throwing the legal book at someone like Graham James, making the defense appeal, and then watching a panel overturn what is morally right?  Do you really think a panel would do that?  Instead, it's easier for a panel to look and say, "It is a lenient sentence, but it is not one that is something that should be overturned."

Here is something all defense lawyers, if they don't already, should use when making a sentencing argument for leniency:  make sure your client expresses remorse, apologizes to the victims, and try to get the media and public to hound your client to the point that a judge will feel your client has experienced an extreme degree of humiliation.  These are factors Catherine Carlson says warrants a reduction in sentence.

I wonder how lenient Carlson would be on one of James' victims if one of them decided to put a bullet in James.  I wonder if that victim expressed remorse, apologized to James' family (does he even have one?), and dealt with scores of media who were opposed to vigilante justice, would be let off so easily.  I bet not.  The defense lawyer would even have an added argument for leniancy:  mental turmoil from being molested by this sicko.

Judges get paid a lot of money to be cowards.  I have respect for precious few of them.  There was one judge in Yorkton that I used to sit and watch and he, literally, looked terrified of the criminals that were before him on a daily basis.  And, he passed lenient sentence after lenient sentence.  If you have never been in a Yorkton courtroom, you should go and see the over-the-top security efforts inside.  If it's so dangerous for court officials to deal with these people, why do they turn around and set them loose on the public so easily?

When it comes to child molestation, this is a win for the predators.  If I was someone considering speaking out against my assailant, I would quickly make sure I keep my lips zipped shut after seeing this verdict.  What's the point?  It's clear we don't take child sex crimes seriously.  In fact, we are dangerously close to simply accepting this as a sickness and giving people like James a few pills and hoping it takes their urges away.

I should say, sadly, I wasn't surprised by the James sentence.

Here is the best article I've seen on this subject:


This was worth 17 months

STACKHOUSE SOAPBOX (Yorkton This Week March 21)

The Trews, apparently, put on a pretty good show in Regina last week.  They were supposed to do the same in Yorkton; but the performance was cancelled when nobody stepped up to buy tickets.  In the last little while, The Trews have joined a select group that also includes Big Sugar and Scott Stapp as rock performers who have had to call off a show before taking the stage because of poor sales.  Simply put, Yorkton is not a rock music market.  I have to say this, despite good attendance and a real lively crowd at Default and Hinder in recent years.  If The Trews were Merle Haggard, the Gallagher Centre would sell out within minutes.  Nevertheless, it’s time for folks to stop whining there is nothing to do in Yorkton because good people put up good money to try and bring entertainment to our fine city.  When acts like The Trews are forced to cancel, the promoter is still out cash.  I’d like to say a public thank-you for trying.   
In Toronto, there is talk of allowing policewomen to carry out duties clad in a burqa or niqab.  The thought behind it is maybe it’s a ‘reasonable accomodation’ to help recruit more Muslim policewomen.  I am appalled.  I hear stories all the time of school divisions across North America considering banning a simple Lord’s Prayer to kick off the morning.  Yet, we can make religious considerations such as this to recruit more police officers.  Here’s a thought:  maybe be a little less politically correct and you wouldn’t have to worry about a shortage of officers regardless of race or religious belief. 
I’m not sure how long this has been on television, but my wife started watching this hour long waste of time called My Strange Addiction.  I have not watched more than about 35 seconds of this, simply a few clips that she fast forwarded through on the PVR.  One particular segment that was beyond bizarre was this man who has sex with…wait for it…his car!  You can’t make this up.  There was footage of him French kissing the front of it.  He slides right underneath the front of the vehicle and makes out with ‘Chase’.  He says he’s attracted the car’s curves on the hood, etc.  There’s an illness for just about everything now and his happens to be called Objectophilia.  From what I could see, there were ‘features’ on a woman who picks at her ear 12 hours a day as well as this other lady who drinks nail polish.  I’m not kidding.  Is this what we watch now?  Whatever happened to Family Ties, Growing Pains, Dallas, Melrose Place, and Friends?  Heck, I didn’t even like those last three shows I just listed off, but they would be better than the majority of this nonsense on tv nowadays.  Nowadays.  Listen to me.  I sound like my grandparents. 
Bell Media rocked the broadcasting industry last week, announcing it was buying Astral for $3.38 billion.  This is bad news for listeners, viewers, and employees.  Airchecker, a trusted source of media information in Canada, says Bell will own 45% of all radio stations.  I wonder how much longer it will before Bell and Rogers own everything related to television and radio in this country.
There is still the publicly funded CBC, and they are currently involved in a bit of a dispute with the National Hockey League over renewing their Hockey Night In Canada contract.  To me, it’s very wrong for the NHL to dictate how the CBC covers the games.  The media is supposed to be unbiased, but the opposite has taken place with both TSN and Sportsnet as they suck up to the NHL on a regular basis.  For me, Hockey Night In Canada has become the only time I will even turn the tv on for the NHL.  I don’t really care if Don Cherry’s views are on target or not.  For me, he’s entertainment.  In a league where there are too many 1-0 games; Cherry provides the thrill.  But, the CBC isn’t likely to get a new NHL deal if they don’t part ways with Cherry and/or Ron MacLean.  It’s wrong.  It’s too bad.  And, there isn’t anything anyone is going to do about it.
As I write this, Graham James is about to be sentenced for crimes committed against Theoren Fleury and Todd Holt.  As you read this, his punishment will be made public.  Here’s to hoping he gets what he deserves and we can all say the justice system finally worked, for a change.  For some reason, I have some doubts.  After all, the guy was pardoned!
Peyton Manning is set to become a Denver Bronco.  I can’t say I’m a pro or anti Tim Tebow person; but I do hope the Broncos trade him and he gets an opportunity to start somewhere because the one thing he has provided in his young career is excitement.  I think I have my doubts about his ability to make it long term in the NFL, but I’d, at least, like to see a team give him a fair shake to succeed or fail.
Nice person mentions this week to Becky Scheller, Garth Harris, Sheldon Kaminski, and Dean Partridge. 

Friday, March 16, 2012


I haven't had many days where I thought I'd like to jump back into broadcasting.  Listeners likely have felt the same way about me!

Anyway, today is yet another day where I look at people still in the broadcasting community and can't help but feel bad for them.  Broadcasting companies are like oil companies.  They start small, build into something a little bigger, and then sell out to the giant.  Astral is the most recent example of this as they are expect to sell for $3.38 billion.  Astral is Canada's largest pay and specialty TV broadcaster, owning 83 radio stations in 50 Canadian markets, and the third-largest outdoor advertising company.  Bell would acquire Astral's slate of television stations that include HBO Canada, the Movie Network, and the Family Channel, as well as radio stations under brands like Virgin Radio and EZ Rock.

Airchecker claims Bell will own 45% of corporate radio in Canada.

While smaller companies like Harvard, Goldenwest, and Vista are making some serious headway with what they are doing, it becomes almost impossible to resist a take-over bid after awhile.  It's a double edged sword for employees in the industry.  If your boss runs a bad business, you will be out of business.  If you run a good business, a company like Bell comes along and says "Here's a blank cheque.  Fill it in."  Make no mistake.  Mergers/take overs/whatever you want to call it will ALWAYS result in job loss.  In fact, it's my understanding Astral was already trimming fat before this announcement; but I haven't been keeping real close tabs on that situation to know if that is 100% accurate.  It's, merely, a couple of comments I have heard from broadcasters still trying to make a living in the industry.

Announcers should, if they haven't already, take this is a big time wake up call. Your employer, while maybe holds you in high standard, isn't going to hesitate to look out for number one.  As an announcer you can do the same.  You have a vehicle to promote yourself for a future opportunity, potentially a lucrative one that isn't even in the field.  Make sure important people, no matter what industry, know who you are.  Don't forget you are making an impression every minute of the day and being on the radio or television gives you a leg up on the average person.  And, while you may not know as many people as you want, you will always run across people who feel as though they know you.  And, that's a good thing when promoting yourself as a valuable person to have in a work force somewhere.

Who wouldn't want to spend the rest of their life in broadcasting when that's been your goal all along?  But, the reality is that there is a great world out there for you in communication fields like public relations, sales, government, and other various forms of customer service.  And, in some case, they pay extremely well.  In this day of the internet, the ones that are able to communicate verbally are becoming a smaller and smaller group.  Take advantage of this demand in society.

I'd write about what I think the CRTC should do here, but that's a waste of time.  They are a two-faced organization that looks out for the Bells of the world.  Not listeners, viewers, small businesses, and employees.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


So, let me get this straight...

We can ban the Lord's Prayer in schools; and then turn around and allow this???

Welcome to Canada, where you don't have to change because we change for you.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

STACKHOUSE SOAPBOX (Yorkton This Week March 14)

The Melville Millionaires not only beat the Yorkton Terriers on the ice, they beat them in spirit.  The Mils, with two home dates in the series with the Terriers, averaged 1307 per game.  Yorkton averaged 1202.  Melville’s population is about 5000, Yorkton’s is close to 20000.  I would like to challenge the people of Yorkton to determine what their hockey team means to them.  North Battleford, comparable in size to Yorkton, has averaged 2110 in three home dates during the playoffs.  I often hear people complain there is nothing to do around here.  That rings hollow to me.  Recently, I’ve heard rumblings of a new arena for Yorkton.  I can’t support it with those less than acceptable attendance figures for the marquee tenant.

Bullish Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager Brian Burke, who recently overpaid Mikhail Grabovski to the tune of $27 million over five years is suggesting teams be allowed to ‘eat salary’ in an effort to stimulate trades in a salary cap world.  The salary cap was put in place to protect dummies like Burke from themselves.  Hopefully his request falls on deaf ears.  Some have said allowing teams to ‘eat salary’ would be a way to save careers, such as Saskatchewan resident Wade Redden (currently making $6 million a season in the minors because nobody wants to take on the contract).  I liked Wade as a guy from my days in Brandon, but I will also tell you if there is any doubt in a player’s mind that he may not live up to the salary and/or contract offered to him then he should decline to sign it.  It’s nice to have confidence in your ability, but you also have to be honest with yourself.  I remember when Redden signed that contract, there wasn’t a hockey person outside New York who felt it was a good deal.  Contracts should be fair partnerships between an employee and employer.  In sports, they are heavily weighted in favor of the employee.  So I have no sympathy and no support for Burke’s attempt at circumventing the cap.

Burke has been nothing short of a disaster hire in Toronto.  He’s the highest paid General Manager in the league and can’t even deliver a playoff spot.  Burke claimed he didn’t believe in the five year rebuilding plan when the Leafs hired him.  Well, he’s in about the same place right now as he was when the Leafs hired him in 2008.  Four years and not a playoff appearance.  Rebuilds, by the way, don’t mean a playoff spot.  They mean contending for a Stanley Cup.  Burke’s trade for Phil Kessel was a bomb.  His claim that he could’ve had John Tavares for Nazem Kadri and Luke Schenn is also embarrassing when you consider he turned it down upon bragging he was going to make a huge push for the Tavares pick on draft day.  First round picks Kadri and Schenn have been big swing and misses.  This year, Burke said h e could’ve traded between four and six of his roster players for first round draft picks.  He chose not to.  So is he stupid or a liar?  And, I’m not sure the replacing of Ron Wilson with Randy Carlyle is going to do anything.  Usually when you change a coach, you also change the personality.  But, both Wilson and Carlyle have a reputation of being surly with the media.  Carlyle is already 1-and-4 as of this writing and it’s just a matter of time before he makes them as mad as Wilson did.  Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t like the Leafs.  I’m happy.  I hope Burke gets an extension.

I hate to dedicate my whole article to Burke, but his crusade to oust Don Cherry from Hockey Night In Canada, while pathetic, is likely going to be the legacy he leaves in Toronto.  In today’s day and age, unbiased journalism really doesn’t exist.  The parent companies of TSN and Sportsnet have bought the major sports teams in Toronto (Argonauts notwithstanding) so it’s hard to believe that those two networks will be too critical of the ownership situation with the Maple Leafs.  CBC, love them or hate them, have been the one voice that has contradicted a lot of what the NHL has done with its game in recent years.  Because they have given this opinion, Burke has gone to the head honchos at CBC as well as the NHL and now the NHL can hold a renewed TV contract over their head if they don’t remove Cherry and/or Ron MacLean from the mix.  I am betting while, morally wrong, the NHL and Burke will get their way.  Not that it matters, but Hockey Night In Canada is really the only time I even flip on the tv to watch the NHL anymore and if that goes by the wayside, I guess it’s TLC for me.

Nice person mentions this week to Tammy Stevenson, Barry Butler, Marlin Murray, and Allan Mitchell.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


In my time that I've been associated with Junior 'A' hockey, I feel as though I've been fortunate to live in the two best markets in both Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

To me, if you don't want to play, coach, or watch Junior 'A' hockey in Yorkton; then you aren't cut out to be a player, coach, fan, etc.  And, most people in Yorkton are not cut out to be fans, but that's another topic for another day.

The same is true in Dauphin, where Marlin Murray is taking a bit of heat this weekend for losing his mind on the referees during his team's series with the Winnipeg Saints.

I'll talk about the Dauphin market shortly, but I think I want to tread lightly on a subject that bothers me a little.  When it comes to coaches and their disputes with referees, I think it's important for the refs to remember that the coaches' jobs are on the line every time a call goes against them.  Let's be honest.  Sometimes referees have bad games just like coaches and players do. If they didn't, they'd be officiating in the National Hockey League and not the Junior 'A' ranks.  While I admire referees who work full-time jobs, then hop in their vehicles to travel, sometimes for a few hours, to work a game and then travel a few more hours just to get home for a few hours' sleep and then start anew all over again; I do feel that it's important to stress that if a coach is on the edge with his team (which might not be playing well) and then sees his team as being picked on (rightly or wrongly) he may have a moment where he comes unglued.  After all, who's to say if his team loses; perhaps the coach finds himself out of work with a wife and children also out on the street with him.  Now, that's what all Junior 'A' coaches sign up for.  They know they are going to be fired eventually; but it doesn't make the situation any easier.  So, I bring this up so that all of us can cut a guy some slack sometimes if he happens to 'snap'.  The ref gets to have a bad game and go home to his full-time job the next day.  A coach may have a bad game, then have another bad game because the players are not sharp, then another bad game because the ref wasn't at his best and guess what?  All of a sudden you have three bad games in a row and in a playoff series, it's now 3-0.  And, who's to say you don't get unlucky and maybe get a referee who has two bad games in a row?  I'm not accusing; but rather setting the table for something.

In the case of Murray, I haven't followed the situation all that close other than to know his team lost a playoff series they shouldn't have.  I don't know what the reasons are.  And, to me it doesn't matter.  I'll use the same analogy on Murray that I used on Jamie Fiesel in Melville.  Murray's teams since he's been in Dauphin have been at, or near, the top of the MJHL every single season.  Murray's teams are competent every single season.  And, that's all you can ask.  But, furthermore, I think he has more wins than any other coach that has served there.  So, a first round playoff exit (while a crisis to him) shouldn't be a big deal to fans or executive members.  You can't win every year.

The year I lived in Dauphin (1995-96), the Kings were a powerhouse.  In fact, if I was to compare rosters I'd say that team had more talent than any other Dauphin team (2010 RBC final club included).  I still remember a lot of the players (Brian Kostur, Richard Chartrand, Brent Wishart, John Guthrie, Neil Andruschak, Jaret Harms, Duane Clarkson, Mike Jelencic, Ian Munro, Lee Erickson, Josh Morino, and Eric Pateman to name a bunch).  That team pretty much rolled over for Neepawa in the second round.  I couldn't believe it.  Since that time, the Kings have gone through a who's who list of head coaches who, in my opinion, all under achieved in a market that should be a favorable one for players to want to play in.  Not to mention the amenities the town has for young people when you compare it to other small communities in Manitoba.  I blame the Dauphin Kings Executive (which has also had a revolving door of people involved) for not getting it right.  Not getting it right until they hired the emotional Murray.

Marlin's not perfect.  He wears his heart on his sleeve and the entire Junior 'A' hockey world (and then some now!) knows that.  Personally, I like the passion.  I'd rather have a Marlin Murray than a guy who stands behind the bench looking like he's making plans to shovel the driveway when he gets home.  And, the Dauphin Kings have had a few coaches that have looked exactly like that in the 12 years or so since 1996 up until Murray's hiring.  Now, the devil's advocates will say there needs to be a happy balance.  I say good luck with that.  How many of the best in what they do are 'down the middle' type of guys?  A few.  But, not many. In Murray's case, I say you take the good with the bad because the scale is heavily weighted on the side of good.  And, like Fiesel in Melville, if there is a change behind the bench in Dauphin; Marlin won't be out of work long.  He's had way too much success.  More success than any other Dauphin coach.  So why mess with that?

As far as the suspension goes, I don't really have an issue with the 12 games when I look at in an isolated manner.  But, when I compare it to some of the other suspensions handed down, I have to say I'm puzzled.  The original penalty in the hazing case for the Neepawa head coach was in the single digits.  To me, that's way more serious.  And, the Swan Valley coach last year was only given single digits when Jesse Enns came out as an extra attacker and steam rolled an opposing player that could have resulted in a life altering injury.  Now, I'm not suggesting Enns was told to do what he did, but if you are putting an extra guy on the ice for a goal, he's not it!

Either way, the suspension is what it is.  And, the do-gooders out there will be highly critical of Marlin for his actions.  But, those same do-gooders should also remember how happy they were watching a championship team in 2010 and that wouldn't likely have occured without Murray as the coach.  And, I'm betting it won't happen again any time soon if he's replaced.  It's not easy to get that special coach who has a knack for winning.

Here's to hoping the Kings play well in their first 11 games next year and then Murray comes back and, once again, leads them to great success.

Friday, March 9, 2012


I talked to Jamie Fiesel earlier today and I said to him that even though his team was up 3-1 in the series with Yorkton, I felt as though I still haven't seen a good game out of his team.  He agreed.

Well, tonight was a good game.  A very good game.  A very, very good game!

Ian McNulty, Russell Trudeau, and Jesse Mireau combined for the team's first five goals in a 7-3 victory over the Yorkton Terriers tonight, sealing the series in five games.

After game four in this blog, I wrote that even though the Mils were ahead 3-1, we still hadn't seen their best effort because Trudeau and Mireau had been non-factors and Blake Voth looked like he was fighting the puck.  Well, Trudeau and Mireau each, officially, had 2 goals and 2 assists.  I'm thinking one of Mireau's goals should actually have been credited to Trudeau, but that's neither here nor there.  Voth was marvelous tonight.  He gave up two goals in the first period when Melville was in a heap of penalty trouble and he was also beat on a questionable one from Brent Struble in the third period when the game was already decided, but I'll give credit to Struble for the terrific individual effort.

Tonight's version of the Millionaires is the one I'd like to see going forward and if that's how they play most nights, then Weyburn is not going to have an easy time with them.  But, being outshot 36-14 through two periods against the Wings (like they were against Yorkton in games 1 and 3) isn't likely going to have you in the same arena on the scoreboard let alone still in a position to win the game if you play one good period.

There are a lot of good players on the Millionaires, but sometimes I think they read about themselves after good performances and think they don't have to work as hard going forward.  If you are one of them reading this, I ask you to remember that while you are a good team; so too are the other teams remaining in the playoffs and if you don't bring your 'A' game, you will quickly be bounced.

For Yorkton, it comes down to the fact they gave up too many goals on too few shots.  Tonight, Dawson MacAulay was pulled after allowing three on thirteen.  Warren Shymko finished and was beaten four times on twenty shots.  For the series, Shymko was 1-and-3, 4.23, .849.  MacAulay 0-and-1, 5.25, .860.  Count yourself lucky to win the one game the Terriers did with numbers like that.

I thought their defense was pretty good and with Devon McMullen coming back along with Brady and Chase Norrish; I think the makings of something special on the blueline are already set for 2012-13.

Up front, nothing was revealed, but I believe Riley Paterson was hurt and the Mils thought so too.  Brent Struble also looked banged up to me, but he played a pretty good series.  Tyler Giebel was fantastic and I expect him to be a real elite player in the SJHL next year.  Zak Majkowski scored tonight, but he and Jeremy Johnson were both held in check for the series and that hurt the Terriers too when they needed a big goal.  Majkowski did suffer a shoulder injury late in the year so it's hard to know if he was healthy or not.  He dropped the mitts tonight to try and get his team going, but to no avail.  They also missed Tayler Thompson's offensive presence.  He missed the whole series with a concussion.

One thing I don't like to hear from fans is how they hope Austin Bourhis, John Neibrandt, and Davis Vandane come back from the WHL next year.  To me, it's a disservice to those three guys to assume they are even on the bubble let alone coming back.  Wish them the best, cross them off the list of potential players, and if they return...well, it's a gift.

For the Mils, it appears as though TJ Reeve is ready to play and Tyson Newell is making noise about coming back at some point.

Good luck to Melville the rest of the way.


And, while I'm at it, let's offend women again:


Yorkton residents Alex Giannoulis, Tarrington Wyonzek, Nick Jonassen, and Kurtis Decker participated in a Flash Mob at the University of Regina on March 6th.  It focuses on physical inactivity in today's youth.

Alex created the video and here it is:

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


The Melville Millionaires have been a bit of a sleeping giant all season.  Perhaps they are waking up.  In a tremendous showing of character, which they have not shown much of all year, they have beaten the Yorkton Terriers with back to back gutsy performances in the third period of games.  On Monday, they really showed a will to win with their ability to get down and block shots and then a hustling play from Connor Bradshaw at 19:38 gave them a 5-4 win in a game that saw them down 4-2 at one point and being badly outshot.

Tonight (Wednesday), they played from behind all night long and overcame a couple of weak goals to win 4-3 with not one, but two, last minute goals from Ian McNulty.  The first one was a classic last minute, goalie pulled, send everyone to the front of the net, desperation type of score.  The second was a partial breakaway thirty seconds later.  Before McNulty's first one, I thought to myself, "McNulty has been very quiet in this series, for the most part.  He needs to be better because he's the best player on either side."  Not anymore.  McNulty took the game over from the 19 minute mark of the third period on.

This is going to be very tough for Yorkton to come back.  I don't know how much better they can play.  On one hand, I look at this series and think the Terriers should have won all four games.  After winning game one, game two was a bit of a 'last shot wins' type of affair that the Mils took in overtime.  Monday night's game didn't feel like it was at all close, but somehow the Mils hung around.  And, tonight Yorkton led the entire game until there was just fourteen seconds left.

On the other hand, Melville deserves credit for their third period performance Monday and the 'no quit' attitude tonight.

While I'm not sure the Terriers can play better, I think Melville has room for improvement.  We haven't seen Blake Voth's best game yet.  Russell Trudeau doesn't have a point, and Jesse Mireau doesn't have a goal.  Both have missed two games though with injuries. Sean Aschim didn't get his first goal until tonight (he had his best game of the series tonight), and Lee Christensen has been held to 1 point through four games despite logging plenty of ice time.

While Yorkton has played well, the stats don't lie.  Zak Majkowski and Jeremy Johnson have combined for just one assist in the series.  Tyler Giebel, Brent Struble, and Curtis Oliver have scored 10 of Yorkton's 16 goals in the series.  And, they've allowed too many goals on too few shots.  Dawson MacAulay's performance tonight was encouraging and I think he's the guy in the net going forward.  Obviously, if they lose, the season is over.  If they come back and win, it's because MacAulay has been crucial and it would be impossible to take him out.

I have to admit.  I, silently, picked Yorkton in five at the start of the series.  It's been incredibly fun to watch.  I expect Friday to be exciting for anyone watching.

Oh, and despite the real tough loss tonight I give full marks to Trent Cassan for conducting himself professionally and doing a really good interview on GX94 with Craig Stein after the game.  We live in a day and age where players and coaches are spoiled and unaccountable.  So, they shrug off interviews following a tough defeat and they don't get any tougher than tonight.  Yet, Cassan was there and offered full praise for his players.  I've said this privately and now I don't mind saying it publicly.  You know Trent Cassan is doing a great job when you take an informal survey and discover you can't find a player, parent, fan, opposing coach, referee, or zamboni driver that has anything bad to say about him.  Good work Trent.

And, kudos to Jamie Fiesel.  There are a few in Melville just waiting for him to fail and my message to you is this:  shame on you.  Eleven other SJHL teams would hire him in a heartbeat if there was an opening on any of their teams and Fiesel was available.  I know you want a championship, but you have no right to demand it.  The only thing you can demand is that your team is competent and the Mils have been, at least, that every year of Fiesel's watch.  Of course, if they lose three straight the naysayers will be out in full force and they will all be posting on my blog telling me how wrong I am about Jamie.  Still.  You stand by your friends and Jamie, I'm happy to say, is one of the best ones I have in hockey and he does a great job.

STACKHOUSE SOAPBOX (Yorkton This Week March 7)

I’m not sure I’ve ever been as turned off by federal politics as I am now.  We have a Liberal party member starting a Twitter account to attack Vic Toews on a personal level as a means to protest his on-line surveillance bill.  And, we also have an allegation the Conservatives were making bogus telephone calls during the last election to prospective voters.  I’m assuming this is an attempt to get non-Conservative supporting people to actually not vote at all.  I’ve always said if you don’t vote, you don’t have the right to complain.  But, I am very close to not voting during the next election.  Which poison do I pick? 

The producers from the television show Canada’s Worst Driver, apparently, have come or are coming to Yorkton to see if they can find a possible contestant.  I have news for them.  They can bring the entire crew and film the entire show with contestants from nowhere BUT Yorkton.  Heck, one of the events can be how to escape the Gallagher Centre parking lot following a Yorkton-Melville SJHL playoff game.  Of course, you could also find most of your contestants at this same game. 

Last week’s news story about a couple of SaskTel employees, fired for drinking and socializing on the job and also telling ‘mistruths’ about the incident garnered a lot of attention.  The two employees were awarded their jobs back by an arbitrator.  We can argue all day long about whether or not these individuals deserved to be fired; but my favorite part is that we are so politically correct we can’t accuse someone of lying.  “Hey, you told me a mistruth.”  Meanwhile, it appears as though there was a difference of opinion as to whether or not these employees were on company time.  I’m unsure as to how this can be a grey area.  Either you are working or you are not.  I don’t think I’ve ever worked a job where I was unsure as to whether or not I was on company time and I worked in broadcasting for over thirteen years.  It doesn’t get any greyer than broadcasting because the hours are not regular or consistent.

Our family went bowling on Sunday (really great entertainment to do with your family for pretty much no money, by the way) and our four-year-old daughter did something I am not sure I’ve ever seen before.  She rolled (using the term loosely) the ball towards the pins and the ball hit the pin, but the pin stayed upright and the ball started coming back toward us.  I call that negative velocity.  Maybe the term ‘negative velocity’ means something else; but I only took one year of Physics and don’t remember 90% of what was in class anyway…

I am becoming more and more a proponent of paying professional athletes based on performance.  If you look at golf, tennis, and racing you will notice that those that win are paid the most money.  Why can’t this be the case in hockey, baseball, basketball, and football?  Players should get a certain amount for team win and those that are superstars should get more based on individual statistics.  The contract Edmonton gave to Ales Hemsky is a joke.  $5 million dollars a year for the next two years.  This year, Hemsky has 5-goals in 51-games.  $1 million per goal.  Outrageous.  And, the Oilers are pretty much a last place team to boot, so it’s not like even one of those goals was key to the team’s success.  Here’s to hoping they strike or are locked out again.  

I wonder if Randy Moss had been paid based on team wins and personal touchdowns if he would’ve developed the reputation of being a quitter like he did.  All of a sudden, the phrase players often use when they say, “I want to go somewhere that has a good chance of winning,” would actually mean something. 

Running back Arian Foster just signed a new contract that will pay him more money by halftime of week one than he made all of last year.

It, probably, seems like I’m speaking out both sides of my mouth; but I do think athletes should be able to earn whatever they can command.  Baseball is starting up again and I hear casual sports fans bemoan a ball player earning $20-million a year to swing a stick.  I have no issue with the cash.  If you are producing, then get what you can from your team owner.  Baseball isn’t the only entertainment profession where ridiculous amounts of money are given to stars.  What was Charlie Sheen making before he was sacked from Two And A Half Men?  What does Tom Cruise make per movie?  What’s Jon Bon Jovi taking home after each concert?  I seldom hear complaints about that.  But, guess what?  Sheen, Cruise, and Bon Jovi are also all paid based on performance.

More good concerts are coming.  Nickelback is in Saskatoon in May; Bryan Adams goes to Regina in June, and Iron Maiden is in Winnipeg in July.  Simple Plan is going to Moose Jaw in August.

Here’s my favorite quote of the week:  “I hate when I go to hug someone really sexy and my face hits the mirror.”

Nice person mentions this week to Glenn Herperger, Ashley Campbell, Brent Haas, Chuck Tysowski, and Karen Hansen.


I guess I need more information on this one; but the first questions I have are:  can police conduct a search to see if there is a cell phone in the vehicle.  Legal or not, if I didn't have a cell phone, I'd happily jump out and tell the officers to fill their boots looking for one.  The second question is, does this man have a cellular account with any of the providers?

My overall feeling is that this 'clamping down on traffic violations' is nothing more than a cash grab.  You never hear of a 'clamping down' on actual criminal offenses.  Never.

By the way, it sounds like there will be another blitz in the Yorkton area any day now.  So, set your cruise control to 49km/h in the residential areas and make sure you stop for 3-5 seconds at all stop signs!

Friday, March 2, 2012


Here's the story of a 17-year-old suspended from school for writing an open letter to his fellow students.

Meanwhile, a couple of SaskTel employees kept their jobs after drinking on the job and getting into an accident.

And, from a year ago today is the story of the Saskatoon nurses who kept their jobs despite tossing a newborn baby in the closet because it was crying.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

STACKHOUSE SOAPBOX (Yorkton This Week Feb 29)

I followed the Graham James sentencing hearing with great interest last week.  James, who served 3 ½ years in jail for sexually assaulting Sheldon Kennedy and another hockey player in the 1980s and 1990s; is about to be sentenced for similar offense on Theoren Fleury, Todd Holt, and another man from the same time frame.  The defense is saying he shouldn’t do another single day of jail time because he’s already been sentenced for crimes committed on Fleury and Holt’s teammates during the same time frame and under similar circumstances.  In fact, the defense says if Fleury and Holt stepped forward the same time Kennedy and the other unidentified player did; then James probably would’ve received about 4.5 years in jail.  The crown is saying now that they know more offenses occurred than what they were, originally, led to believe then it’s a whole new ball game.  They’ve asked for 6 years prison.  The judge will decide March 20th and here’s to hoping James gets re-acquainted with the grey hotel.  Hopefully, the crown is right because if the defense wins the argument, the law is essentially telling victims who are struggling to come forward to, pretty much, stay quiet because if an accused has already been punished for violating someone else, you are not really important anymore.

There were two tragic stories of child deaths last week that didn’t sit well with me.  In Alberta, a new born baby was killed by the family pet huskie when it, somehow, got out of its kennel and attacked the child that was lying in a crib.   A judge will decide whether or not to have the animal destroyed.  I have difficulty imagining how the animal made it through that moment of discovering your child has been bit to death without having been destroyed by its owner.  Unfortunately, this story is one of tragedy and no maliciousness was intended by the parents or the dog for that matter.  The second story is much different.  A 9-year-old girl died after disobeying her step mother and grandmother by eating a piece of chocolate.  Her punishment was to run outside in the sweltering heat for three solid hours.  Perhaps they would have made her run more, but she ended up suffering a seizure of some sort and died.  If that’s not tragic enough, the idiot adults in this case still won’t admit the punishment was too severe.  Instead, they are fighting criminal charges by claiming the chocolate must have caused a reaction.  Another case of deflecting accountability.  Hopefully, they spend a considerable amount of time behind bars.

In Quebec, a man was sentenced to six years in jail for his 24th DUI offense.  24!  It’s tough for me to imagine how a guy manages to get away with breaking the law that many times and isn’t put away and the key to his cell getting lost somewhere at the bottom of the ocean.  He must have an amazing lawyer.  “Your honor, I realize Mr. LeBlanc (not his real name) has been caught drinking and driving 19 times and you have taken his license away forever; and despite the fact he continues to drive without a license and while impaired; I would hope you would consider his hardship and upbringing and give him five more chances before you put him in jail for any length of time.”  24 is a Canadian record for number of impaired offenses.  It’s sad that someone has broken that law that many times and even worse that our system has enabled him to do it.  I don’t know what the magic number is before you treat a DUI offense like a murder conviction; but it’s got to be long before 24 doesn’t it?

Sports channels across the country were live with NHL trade deadline reporting all day long on Monday.  If HGTV were broadcasting a live episode of somebody’s grass growing over the same period of time, I  would’ve watched HGTV.  I know all-sports networks need to fill time, but this is ridiculous.  There has to be a better way to spend two hours on tv other than dissecting the fact Rick Nash held a one minute and forty-three second media scrum.  Sportsnet had a graphic that ran along the left hand side of the screen that said ‘In Play’.  According to them, half of the NHLPA were up for trade. 

New Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine is banning alcohol in the team’s clubhouse in response to their epic collapse last season and the subsequent finding that a bunch of players were getting bombed during games in the clubhouse.  David Ortiz, who the Red Sox should pay until the day he dies, says, “We are not here to drink.  We’re here to play baseball.  This ain’t a bar.”  Amen.

How loaded is Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook guy?  He could buy every seat to every New York Knicks game for next 100 years at the tickets’ current pricing structure.

Nice person mentions this week to Tammy Stevenson, Lynda Parsons, Larry Hilworth, Derek Henkelman, and Orvin Pineda.