Monday, October 31, 2011

NEUTRAL ICE...October 31, 2011

Coming Home...Bulmer returning to Kelowna. Great move for the player and the team. Now, if PG can get Connolly back, and Portland gets Johansen back, all will be good. The stars in junior hockey need to be playing junior hockey where they are in very responsible roles. These three will develop big time if they come back and play 25 minutes per game. And the fans win, too.

The Puck Stops Here...Gotta give the Tri City Americans credit, giving 16-year-old goalie Eric Comrie the starting nod. Already a POW award winner after back-to-back shutouts a couple of weekend ago. And don't forget, their backup is Ty Rimmer...a journeyman of sorts who was a 15th round pick in the 2006 WHL Bantam Draft.

Please, A Balanced Schedule...Sure would like to see the powers-that-be come up with a way for the fans to see every WHL team each season. Sure, dollars are probably an issue. And, I doubt the city of Portland gets excited about hosting the Prince Albert Raiders. In the US Division, the teams play each other 12 times! That's 48 of 72 regular season games played within the division!

Does Size Matter...Gotta like Brendan Gallagher's start. He's been effective ever since he entered the league, playing bigger than his 5'8, 175-pound frame. If healthy, he should break the Vancouver Giants career scoring record sometime in February.

Kamloops Blazin'...With an 11-3 start so far, the veteran-laden crew has been a surprise, but generally only to those who did not do their research. With 16 returnees from last season, their forward group is deep and their backend is huge. They might still shop for a goaltender. The addition of former Moose Jaw Warriors head coach Dave Hunchak has been a huge plus as an assistant to head coach Guy Charron. I'm convinced Hunchak is bridging the communication gap between the players and the 63-year-old Charron.

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