Friday, March 29, 2013


The Yorkton Terriers overcame a 2-0 deficit and defeated the Melville Millionaires 3-2 Friday night to take a 3-games-to-2 lead in the best of seven Sherwood Division final.

I thought this game looked a lot like Monday night.  On Monday, the Mils were 3-1 winners despite being outshot 40-23, and I felt they were also outskated, outhit, and didn't match Yorkton's desire.

Wednesday, it was Melville who stepped up and totally dominated giving their fans hope of, not necessarily a repeat performance, but at least something that looked better than Monday (it should be noted, when I was in Melville on Wednesday, the folks associated with the Mils saw the game on Monday much differently than I and they felt it was a real good road game for them).

Tonight, the big difference was that the best four players on the ice were:  Brady Norrish, Chase Norrish, Devon McMullen, and Austin Bourhis.  Honorable mention to Dylan Bear, who crushed Daniel Orsborn with a first period hit that has to go down as the best check of the series to date.  When the Terrier defense is on the top of their game, it is extremely difficult to defend them.  I guess the other difference was that they scored tonight as opposed to Monday.

Again tonight, it was the Terriers who looked faster, appeared more hungry to get loose pucks, and initiated the physical play.

It's a huge win for a team that played without their top goal scorer, Patrick Martens.

Game six is tomorrow night at Horizon Credit Union Centre.

Thursday, March 28, 2013


The Sherwood Division final is now a best of three.

In what has to be considered their best all-around effort of the playoffs, the Melville Millionaires defeated the Yorkton Terriers 3-0 last night to tie up the best of seven at two wins apiece.

Ian McNulty had two assists and was in a position to score two goals as well.  A lot has been made about his dip in statistics from the regular season.  I suspect McNulty is back.  In fact, I thought he was maybe Melville's best player on Monday too when they won despite getting outplayed.

Christian Magnus scored two and has now lit the lamp four times in the last two games and this is, exactly, the way the Mils are built to play.  McNulty shouldn't have to score goals every night.  In the playoffs, the top liners are always going to be focused on more.  In Melville's case, that means players like Magnus, Sean Aschim, and Nathan Boyer have to produce.  Boyer, to me, has been the Millionaires' top player in the playoffs outside of Alex Wakaluk.  Boyer had two assists last night, while Aschim picked up a goal.

Jeremy Johnson had another good game for the Terriers last night, he just couldn't get on the scoresheet.  Johnson and Patrick Martens are the two most dangerous offensive weapons in the Yorkton arsenal outside of defenseman Brady Norrish.  I think Yorkton is at its best when Brady and Chase Norrish, along with Devon McMullen are taking risks and rushing the puck.  McMullen had a great goal on Monday jumping into the play.  The Terriers need more of that.

Playoff hockey is really something.  Yesterday you would have had a hard time convincing me that Melville could turn the series around and be in the driver's seat within 24 hours; but that's exactly where my opinion is starting to go.  I figured with the way the two teams were playing, the series was going to be over tomorrow night.  Now, the onus is on Yorkton to answer back; and I think they can.  After all, they have only had one regulation loss at home all year prior to Monday; so it would be quite a stretch to think the Mils could dominate tomorrow like they did last night.  Nevertheless, to win the series, they have to win in Yorkton, at least, one more time.

Time to take the pressure off the Mils and put it on the Terriers.  Their turn to answer.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


The media sure knows how to spin things don’t they?  Last week, a story came out regarding the Saskatchewan Government deciding to cap a hefty insurance increase against motorcyclists.  Originally, it was thought those drivers would be hit with a 73% raise in premiums; but after a rather strong kick back from the community, the government has had a change of heart and it looks like that number will be dialed back to about 15%.  I’ve seen numerous reports that suggest other drivers will have to ‘subsidize’ the about face as the government pays out approximately $9 million more than what it takes in from motorcyclists, yearly.  So, the majority of the rest of us will have to deal with increases, in the neighborhood, of $35 a year.  Oh, the hardship.  Those of you that are, staunchly, opposed to ‘subsidizing’ motorcyclists should remember that if you analyzed your taxes, you would find that you are ‘subsidizing’ different people and interest groups everywhere.  I’ll use myself, as an example.  I’ve never used Employment Insurance ever in my life, but I pay it every single pay period.  I’m ‘subsidizing’ that person who has been laid off or working on a seasonal basis (or worse, subsidizing an abuser of the system).  Let’s just understand that no formula is perfect, and yes they probably should be hit with a big increase but 73% is ridiculous; and spreading it out so thin that the rest of us pay an extra $3 a month is a good way to go.  Full marks to the Sask Party on this one.
A number of weeks ago, I wrote a paragraph concerning the Canadian Senate and the apparent mismanagement of taxpayer dollars by Senators for travel and living expenses.  I said that I had emailed Yorkton-Melville MP Garry Breitkreuz to get his opinion on the matter and an official from his office replied, promptly.  To date, however, I haven’t heard from Garry so maybe that big salary and larger pension plan is warranted, after all.  If you are too busy to get back to an inquiring tax payer on an issue such as this within a period of three weeks, then I would suggest a raise should be in order.  And, he’s not even a Cabinet Minister.  Just think how busy they must be!  I’m no longer interested now anyway.  Too much time has gone by, the issue is no longer in the news, and in typical Canadian fashion we all just roll over and continue to allow our politicians to spend like drunken sailors at our expense.  I wonder if a bunch of us decided to block a highway or something over this matter if more attention would be given to it.
Major League Baseball starts this Sunday and there is some real excitement surrounding the prospects of the Toronto Blue Jays, as they went on a spending spree during the offseason by adding the likes of shortstop Jose Reyes, outfielder Melky Cabrera, and pitchers Josh Johnson, RA Dickey, and Mark Buehrle.  Combine that with the likely decline of the New York Yankees and the continued dumpster fire that is the Boston Red Sox and you have yourselves a pretty good Canadian Major League Baseball team.  I think they win the AL East.
The Texas Rangers may be on the way down too, but it sounds like they will continue to boast the game’s best hot dog.  Fans can purchase, for $26, a two-foot dog covered in cheese, chili, sautéed onions, and jalepenos.  Local baseball icon Nolan Ryan, upon hearing of this concession creation, said, “It must be a tremendous wiener.”
Hockey fans with a sense of humor need to follow a character called Not Dany Heatley (@DanyAllStar15) on Twitter.  It’s not for those easily offended or small children.  If you get a kick out of that, look the guy up on YouTube as well.  The man has too much time on his hands to be sure, but it’s pretty funny.  In fact, there are a number of sports parody Twitter accounts out there that are good for a laugh. 
While we are on the Twitter topic, here are a couple of tidbits I discovered from First World Facts:  ‘65% of people have the ability to sense when someone is staring at them’.  Count me in the 65%, at least 50% of the time.  Can some math whiz work that out please?  The other revelation I read yesterday from First World Facts is that ‘Some people have a natural alarm clock allowing them to wake up whenever they want, this is caused by a stress hormone’.  I have stress hormones, but they are sleeping right along with me most of the time, so I don’t fall into that category.  Heck, I could maybe sleep for days on end without some form of an outside alarm clock or window that shines light. 
The ‘experts’ I bump into regarding the March Madness basketball tournament makes me laugh.  I don’t think any sports fan in Saskatchewan watches or pays attention to a single college basketball game all year, but yet he is an expert at filling out a bracket and is quick to boast when he’s gone 14-for-16 to start the week. 
Nice person mentions this week to Craig Stein, Craig Clark, Mike Dirven, Mark Nickolayou, and Debbie Sutherland.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


I guess I have a few more questions regarding this incident where a Regina Police Service member shot and killed a pitbull over the weekend.

This much of the story we know:

Officers received a complaint about an assault and upon arrival saw a severely injured man.  Multiple witnessed described three suspects running away from the scene.  A canine officer, police dog, and patrol officer followed a suspect into a yard where they encountered a pitbull.  A scuffle ensued and, fearing for their lives, one of the officers fired a shot at the pitbull and killed it.  The dog was later determined to be on a long chain and had access to most of the yard.

Here's what I am wondering:

-What time of night was this and how come the dog wasn't inside?  To me, if you have a loving pet, you don't leave it outside all night long.  You bring it in to stay with you.

-Did the suspect, in fact, go into this yard and was he caught?

-Is the suspect connected to the owner of the pit bull at all?

Once those questions are answered, I may have more comment on this.

On a separate note, Evan Bray is 110% correct when he says people have no right to go on a Facebook page and say things like 'the only good cop is a dead cop' or 'lets see how an RPS officer likes being tied up in a yard and then shot'.  Give your head a shake.  For that second individual commenting on being tied up, I refer you to my first question surrounding this incident.

Monday, March 25, 2013


The Melville Millionaires, to me, didn't look like a team interested in playing hockey a whole lot longer this year.

Alex Wakaluk not included.  Wakaluk stopped 39 shots, several saves of the spectacular variety as the Millionaires won 3-1 tonight and are back in the series, down 2-1 heading home Wednesday night.  One can only assume the other 18 players will be better than they were tonight, and if that's the case then we could have a heck of an end to this Sherwood Division final.

I remember about five years ago I witnessed a similar game.  The Terriers were up 3-2 in the series and Joe Rodwell stole it.  He made about 40 saves in a 2-1 win and then Melville went home for game seven and took the series.

Tonight, I saw a Yorkton team that kept the Mils hemmed in their own end of the rink with, apparent, relative ease and looked hungrier.  They skated faster and were the aggressors as far as physical play is concerned.  I thought the Terriers won most of the races to loose pucks and didn't have nearly the trouble getting out of their own end that Melville did.

Yorkton's better skilled defense is proving to be a major advantage in the series, but Melville got a powerplay goal tonight and that could be the breakthrough they are after.

I'm not sure the Terriers can play any better than they did tonight, aside from some of those shots going in.

I know Melville is capable of better.  We will find out on Wednesday if we have a real series or not.

Sunday, March 24, 2013


I was watching TSN’s The Reporters this morning and a discussion about visors and fighting ensued, and so I thought I’d jot down some of my own thoughts when it comes to fisticuffs. 

I’ve got no issues with fighting so long as it isn’t a sideshow between two players who play for two minutes a night.  I can appreciate the lengths the sport has gone to in their efforts to keep hockey a sport based on clean physical play, goals, saves, and fast skating; but I just think fighting is something that has its place in certain games. 

I’ll give a couple of examples based on SJHL games I saw this weekend:

Friday night, Tyler Giebel and Tyler Bird engaged in a fight that was, perfectly, warranted.  It was at the end of a shift and the two players were competing against one another intently in the corner.  Unfortunately, the fight occurred with, approximately, nine and a half minutes remaining in the third period so both players were ejected based on a rule that states if you drop your mitts with under ten minutes to go in regulation then you are punted from the game.  Had that game gone to overtime, Yorkton would have been without a first line forward, simply because he was competing hard, physically, in the corner.  That doesn’t sound right to me.  I realize the intent is to prevent fights breaking out after every stoppage of play with two minutes remaining in the game; but can’t we have some discretion?

Last night in Humboldt, the Broncos outshot Flin Flon 16-5 in the first period and the Bombers didn’t have a shot in the final thirteen minutes of the frame.  Had the second period started with a scrap to try and get the Bombers going a little bit then I really have no issue with it.  Some will say a fight such as this does nothing; but if Andy Blanke, soundly, wins a scrap with Adam Antkowiak to start the second period; I suspect you will see (maybe only temporary) a lift in play from the Bombers.  It’s up to the offensive players to keep that momentum going forward.  Further to that, I remember some Melville Millionaire players acting a bit more brave in last year’s playoff series with Yorkton after Colin Mospanchuk dropped the gloves with Kailum Gervais.  To me, this is part of the game. 

I’m not saying hockey should promote fighting, but I really don’t think the sport needs to go to the great lengths it has to curb it and in the two examples I listed above, that’s exactly the case.  I think it reduces emotion and lowers compete level to put deterring measures in place.

I don’t know if the lack of fighting really hurts fan interest when it comes to the NHL, but I do feel at the junior level, the lack of the prospect of seeing a fight has kept some fans away.  This isn’t something we like to talk about, but the reality is that if I mentioned Derek Parker, Barry Sparvier, Jordan Hack, and Mitch Stephens; there is a really good chance you will recall specific instances involving the first two then you will the last two names.  Imagine the interest generated if Trent Cassan spoke out in an interview and said if the Millionaires go within five feet of Jeremy Johnson then they’ll have to deal with John Odgers?  In today’s world, a public mention like that from Cassan may get him a fine. 

The most popular sport in the world right now is MMA.  I’ve watched guys get punched and kicked in the head AFTER they’ve already been knocked out.  Meanwhile, hockey is banning fighting.  I realize it’s a different kettle of fish when dealing with junior aged hockey players (although most players are between 18 and 20 and therefore considered adult); but the NHL should simply say it’s a contact sport and these participants are adults and capable of making their own decisions. 

Hockey is a sport where rule changes are discussed constantly.  For me, you can improve the game by making all goalies where gear similar to what Patrick Roy wore in 1993 (it should be noted that in 1993 there were critics who said Roy had an unfair advantage because of the size of his equipment) and take out the restrictive rules on fighting.  That’s it.  Some of this stuff involving players getting suspended will go by the wayside as players would then be allowed to police it themselves.  I’d like to see a game like that, but I’m not sure I ever will.

Friday, March 22, 2013


Jeremy Johnson was the story in game one of the Sherwood Division semi-final.

Johnson scored three goals, two of which were of the undressing the defenseman and goaltender variety, to lead the Terriers to a 3-1 win over Melville in front of 1609 fans (about half of them were from Melville, but it doesn't matter, a good gate is a good gate).

Nathan Boyer scored for the Millionaires, who continue to really struggle for offense in these playoffs.

The difference, to me, was Yorkton's willingness to go to the net and Melville's reluctance.  In addition, the Millionaires fired blanks on the powerplay, including a four minute long one in the first period.  They are getting pretty much no offensive production at all from their defense and Yorkton's top line of Johnson, Giebel, and Gervais outplayed Melville's line of McNulty, Trudeau, and Elliott.

Not enough shots for the Mils tonight as Dawson MacAuley had, pretty much, an easy game.  I didn't think it was Yorkton's best game.  It was 1-1 after two and the Terriers hadn't really impressed.  But, they did take over in the third and the better team definitely won.

Both teams welcomed back a couple of injured players as Derek Falloon played for the Terriers and Christian Magnus was back in for Melville.  Brennan Ritchie remains out for the Mils.

Game two is tomorrow night in Melville.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Once again, I’m left scratching my head as to what the citizens of Yorkton would like to have in their community as far as entertainment is concerned.  It’s evident we are not a rock music community as numerous concerts have had to be cancelled due to poor ticket sales.  Now, I’m suggesting we are not a hockey town either as the Yorkton Terriers have failed to break the 1000 barrier for attendance through three games (although the 986 on Saturday is encouraging after two really small sized gatherings).  I don’t buy the fact that the games are too expensive.  Especially when very similar prices down the highway in Melville are yielding, in excess, of 1200 people a night in a community that is 1/3 the size of Yorkton.  Are you saving your money for the Melville series? Well, as of this writing there is no assurance you will see the Millionaires as they have slept through the majority of their games with Notre Dame and have to win a game seven on Tuesday night (last night as you read this).

Last year at this time, I chastised the players of the Yorkton Harvest for ‘quitting’ on their coach after an extremely disappointing finish to their regular season.  Well, now you have to give credit where credit is due.  This is a hockey club that got off to as woeful a start as they had a finish to last year.  But, the difference is that they stepped up and answered the call in a big way and I thought going into the playoffs, they had a chance to win the entire league. 
However, the Regina Pat Canadians have had their number all year and that’s who they drew in the first round and the Pat C’s won the best of five in the full five games.  Still, the Harvest have nothing to hang their heads over.  That was a tremendous run and there are several quality prospects for the junior ranks.   I wouldn’t be surprised to see Lynnden Pastachak, Dakota Odgers, and Ethan Bear all in the WHL this Fall.  Eric Meyer should be a Melville Millionaire and there is a nice group coming back.  To me, every team needs a guy like Turner Ottenbreit.   Turner may never be the best defenseman on his team, but the effort is second to none and he’s improved a ton just in the last year.  Further to that, Turner is a super kid who ‘cares’ and finding elite hockey players that ‘care’ is a lot harder than finding a big time scorer or some other player blessed with talent.  So, hats off to the Harvest.  And, hats off to their fans as I attended game two against Regina and there had to have been 500 or more in the rink.  That’s about triple their average crowd.  So, maybe we are a hockey community after all????

Do yourself a favor and watch the Jeff Gordon Pepsi Max ‘Test Drive’ ad on YouTube.  It went viral last week and some have speculated the whole thing is rigged.  Well, to me, it doesn’t matter.  It’s unique and fun.  Whether you like NASCAR or not, you have to tip your hat to a professional sports organization that really knows how to market itself.  You don’t need to like NASCAR to like the ad.  It has a wide ranging appeal.  Meanwhile, we have the boring National Hockey League generating interest by referring to injuries as ‘upper body’ and ‘lower body’.  Have you ever heard of anything more pathetic? 

I’d like to say the NHL could win me back as a fan, but I am really beginning to have my doubts.  On Saturday, I lasted half a period on Winnipeg and Toronto before turning the channel to W5.  And, I guess, I missed one of the better games of the year.  Apparently, the shootout went ten rounds or something too.  I don’t like the shootout.  Can you imagine the NFL employing a contest at the end of tie games to see which quarterback could throw the ball through a tire swing to determine a winner?

It wasn’t my intention, but this has turned into a sports column, so I apologize as I know a lot of people read for the non-sports content.  But, I’ll finish up with a remarkable story about a semi-pro hockey player who is facing charges after waking up drunk in a stranger’s home.  The woman woke up to the sound of her dog barking and discovered the guy passed out on the couch.  She asked him what he was doing there and he said not to worry about it.  Eventually, police picked him  up and the player said, “I just want to make sure you got me because I can’t walk and don’t want to fall.”  The incident happened in Texas, where had the woman’s husband been home, the player likely would have met his maker that night.  Isn’t drinking fun?

A recent study indicates people who are unable to detect sarcasm are more likely to suffer from dementia.  I’ve, obviously, met a lot of these potential  victims or else I’m not doing a good job dishing out sarcasm.

Nice person mentions this week to Kristina Nesbitt, Jason Hiduk, Kim Olfert, David Oryschak, and Debbie Sutherland.

Monday, March 18, 2013


Here's a link to a story critical of how CNN reported the case of two high school football players found guilty of rape.

In a nutshell, it appears as though the perpetrators and the victim were all intoxicated and an assault took place.

I think what is the hardest point to hammer home in a situation like this is that these boys, while guilty, did not necessarily prey on this girl.  They were drunk, made an error in judgement and it is going to cost them (as it should).  It wasn't like they grabbed this girl, unwillingly, off the street and committed a vicious act.  That doesn't make the crime less serious nor does it excuse their actions.

What bothers me is the leniency shown on a daily basis to drunk drivers in our culture, who kill innocent and unsuspecting people by way of getting behind the wheel of a vehicle while drunk.

For some reason, we show compassion through the court system for those people; yet we bring the hammer down with a crushing blow for those that make a comparable error in judgement when it comes to being 'horny' and under the influence of alcohol.

I don't think you will find a convicted drunk driver anywhere that will say, "Yeah, I decided I'd go out and get totally wasted and see if I can get into a fatal car accident."  I mean, it's ridiculous to think that.  I'd say the same applies here.  I don't think these high school football guys set out to commit a crime that night, but through alcohol and hormones they ended up committing one anyway.

But if rape is rape, then murder is murder.  If you are expected to keep your faculties and your hormones together when horsing around with a member of the opposite sex (not an unreasonable request, either, don't get me wrong I am not condoning rape) while consuming booze, then the same expectations should also apply to other crimes.

In short, I'm not saying have compassion for these high school football players; but rather let's show the same level of intolerance to drunk drivers and other people who commit crime and pass off alcohol as an excuse.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Pepsi MAX & Jeff Gordon Present: "Test Drive"

I wonder if National Hockey League teams have any idea how ridiculous and uninteresting they are by announcing things like 'upper body injury' when NASCAR is busy doing something like this.

Go ahead.  Make fun of NASCAR.  But, this is something you can't NOT watch.


I don’t know what it takes to get a highways department to shut down a road; but I can’t imagine travel conditions being any more treacherous than they were on Saturday night in Manitoba on the Trans-Canada Highway from Brandon to Moosomin.  It was an odd day as there wasn’t a snow storm or anything like that; but the entire highway was a sheet of ice with blowing snow.  There were places you couldn’t do more than 40 km/h and even then there were times when you would spin out.  We passed numerous vehicles in the ditch or in the median. 

For me, I put on 40-thousand kilometers a year in travel on highways throughout Saskatchewan (and a little bit in Manitoba).  I don’t recall a highway being as bad as the one we were on Saturday for quite a few years.  Yet, Manitoba seems to shut down the Trans-Canada, regularly, just outside Winnipeg.

There is a rest stop as soon as you enter Saskatchewan (or right before you leave Manitoba); but it didn’t look accessible Saturday night for travelers.  Am I wrong to think these rest stops should be one of the first things cleared of snow so that weary or careful drivers can stop and wait out the conditions?  It just seems to defeat the purpose of having it.

While on the topic of snowy roads, I will (once again) say, publicly, that there isn’t a municipality in Saskatchewan or Manitoba that does a job as well as Yorkton when it comes to city snow removal.  Our crews deserve the best grade available for their work.  Thank you.

I’m throwing in the white towel on winter.  I give up.  Winter wins.  I’m tired of it.  Too cold, too much snow, too many days of gray sky.  Yes, I know it’s Saskatchewan and so on and so forth.  Still.  I give up.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a paragraph concerning the Canadian Senate and the apparent mismanagement of taxpayer dollars by Senators for travel and living expenses.  I said that I had emailed Yorkton-Melville MP Garry Breitkreuz to get his opinion on the matter and an official from his office replied, promptly.  To date, however, I haven’t heard from Garry so maybe that big salary and larger pension plan is warranted, after all.  If you are too busy to get back to an inquiring tax payer on an issue such as this within a period of two weeks, then I would suggest a raise should be in order.  And, he’s not even a Cabinet Minister.  Just think how busy they must be!  I’m no longer interested now anyway.  Too much time has gone by, the issue is no longer in the news, and in typical Canadian fashion we all just roll over and continue to allow our politicians to spend like drunken sailors at our expense.  I wonder if a bunch of us decided to block a highway or something over this matter if more attention would be given to it?

Since I am on the topic of politicians and their salaries, Standing Buffalo First Nation Chief Roger Redman made $314 000 in the calendar year 2011.  The Canadian Taxpayers Federation gave him a ‘Teddy Award’, which goes to individuals for excessive spending.  The money is more than Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s salary and while most of us would agree that is, absolutely, ridiculous; I think we all need to keep quiet about it until more is done at the very, very top.  Let’s clean this nonsense up, starting with the Senators, and work our way down. 

Granted, we are only presented with one side of the story when we read and see news reports; but you would have to convince me, otherwise, that this kind of misspending shouldn’t be a criminal matter.  Hopefully if First Nations people are upset about Redman’s salary, they will find a way to make their voice heard.  The one thing I admire most about Canadian First Nation people is their ability to protest and make an impact with the politicians in Ottawa.

Saskatoon troublemaker Ashu Solo was back in the news last week, taking his anti-Christian message to the human rights commission.  In case you missed it, he didn’t like “Merry Christmas” being displayed on city busses nor does he like a prayer being said at city sponsored events.  I’m not going to bother acknowledging him anymore, I’ll leave that to John Gormley.  However, I will only say I wish I had the kind of time on my hands like he, apparently, does to protest things I find offensive. 

Am I alone in thinking the traffic light on Gladstone and Smith in Yorkton is a little mixed up?  I’m sure I have been stopped at that intersection and seen a red light for all four directions.

Nice person mentions this week to Jeff Sedor (great driving on Saturday), the volunteers associated with the Melville Millionaires Junior ‘A’ Hockey Club, Tracy Cook, Les and Audra Johnson, Chad Morris, and Justice Von Awesome.

Monday, March 11, 2013


Every once in a while I browse the SJHL Message Forum and I did so, today, finding a thread that caught my attention.

The original poster who commented on the Terriers playing a solid game one against Estevan despite a poor turn out of 666 is correct.  It is embarrassing to have that low of an attendance figure in a city of our size.

To look a little closer at the numbers, here are the five Saskatchewan communities who hosted playoff games this weekend, their population as of 2011, their average attendance in the playoffs so far, and how that translates into the percentage of the community's population that is going to the games.

Melville 4,517 population.....1,241 attendance....27.4% population turnout

Nipawin 4,265 population.....792 attendance....18.6% population turnout

Melfort 5,576 population....965 attendance....17.3% population turnout

Estevan 11,054 population.....1,292 attendance.....11.6% population turnout

Yorkton 15,669 population....666 attendance....4.2% population turnout

Now, there are a lot of arguments to be made as to why people are not going to the games; but the only one that works for me is this one:  "Because I don't want to."

The reality is that I go to a great number of games in Melville, simply because their team is a strong supporter of the store I work at, and I have many personal relationships there.  I don't disguise that fact.  Having said that, if I am going to a hockey game the only way I would NOT go to a Terrier game would be if a Millionaire game is being played on the same night (such as the case on Friday).  What I found interesting was that there were a fair number of Yorkton people in Melville Friday night.  I could count enough for two hands and those are only the ones I know.  I'm sure there were a few others there who I am unaware of.

So, you have my reason for going to Melville.  What is yours?

The ticket prices are, essentially, the same.  Anyone that is going to haggle over a dollar or two needs to remember that you are out more $$$ in fuel if you are going to drive to Melville instead.

The Terriers are a first place team and favored to go to the Canalta Cup final.  So, they are definitely competitive enough.

At the end of the day, I don't think fans going to watch the Millionaires are a factor.  What is a factor is that we live in a city where nobody wants to do anything.  I hear griping all the time from folks who say 'there is nothing to do'.  Yet, music concerts have been cancelled a number of times due to poor sales and now we have a first place SJHL team struggling to draw despite being in first place all year.

Bottom line is that Yorkton is not a hockey city.  Swift Current draws an average of 2200 for their WHL Broncos.  There is no reason the Terriers can't AVERAGE 1500 with a playoff crowd of 2000.

Now, I'll also ask this:  What do you want to do for fun in Yorkton?

Sunday, March 3, 2013


The first part of the Ryan O'Reilly situation is this:  the Calgary Flames offered a two-year $10 million contract to O'Reilly and the Colorado Avalanche took a couple of hours to match it.

The Flames were ridiculed for over-paying to get O'Reilly in their line-up, but if that's the case why did Colorado match?  These are exactly the kinds of tough decisions teams should make within their own budget structure.  If Calgary has the room under the cap and sees this guy as a $5 million a year player and Colorado doesn't then you let him go and take your draft picks as compensation.  It's really not that hard a choice.  The Avalanche are 13th in the Western Conference and aren't likely to go up much higher in the standings with O'Reilly on the roster for the rest of the season.  Up until this weekend, the Avalanche didn't see him as a $5 million a year player.  All of a sudden, because someone else does, now so too do the Avs.

Personally, I feel O'Reilly and whoever is drafted in the first round will, likely, be a wash and O'Reilly is still quite young (22 years old).

For the record, I thought what Calgary did was dumb and what Colorado answered with was even dumber.

Something else to consider:  O'Reilly was after $5 million a season all along and the Avalanche said they weren't going to pay it.  Clearly, that's not the case.  So why not just buckle up and pay it so that you can have a key player in your line-up when the season starts?  To me, if I am negotiating something there would be a window of a yearly salary I'd be willing to pay and once O'Reilly brings his price down to that window, then I'll sign him.  If he doesn't come down, then he can sit (or, someone else can have him and I'll take the picks).

Watching the experts over the weekend, it sounds as though O'Reilly had played some games in Europe since the lockout ended and even if Colorado had declined to match, it's possible O'Reilly would have to go through waivers and then some other team would claim him and the Flames lose their picks and O'Reilly.  Totally idiotic. Their entire management team should be fired on the spot for that potential gaffe.

What I am not sure of is that if O'Reilly is so, grossly, overpaid why are the experts so sure he would not make it through the waiver process?  That means we now have Calgary, Colorado, and likely a few other teams willing to pay him $5 million a year.  Therefore, he is NOT overpaid.

And, now we come back to one of the reasons why I was 'pro player' during the lockout.  We have an employer (Colorado) not being honest with the employee as they, evidently, were willing to pay the money all along.  We have other teams willing to pay a player money that outsiders feel is too much and that is NOT the fault of the player.  The player, accurately, set his value as a free agent and should not at all be blamed for that.

The problem with escalating salaries lies at the feet of the incompetent general managers who can't control themselves.  I can't believe Calgary is letting this Feaster guy keep his gig.