Canada’s World Junior team selection camp roster was announced Monday.
The No. 1 surprise had to be Barrie’s Anthony Camara (although I did have him on my pre-announcement list).
The next most surprising pick would have to be goalie Jake Paterson of the Saginaw Spirit. But upon further review, as good as Zachary Fucale and Eric Comrie are, there was no chance, at their age, they were going to make the team. Paterson is a legitimate threat that gets no love in Saginaw, but Hockey Canada goalie consultant Ron Tugnutt raves about him.
Remember, they will take three goalies to Russia, but one of them won’t play unless there’s an injury and that means the number three guy’s club team in the CHL must be capable of sustaining at least average goaltending in his absence. For example, if Laurent Brossoit goes to Russia, the Edmonton Oil Kings will still be in good shape with Tristan Jarry in goal.
Next on the list of surprises would have to be Frankie Corrado of Sudbury. Unless of course you watched the the Subway Super Series game in Sarnia closely. Corrado had the game winner in that one.
J.C. Lipon has the chance to be this year’s Tanner Pearson.
How about Ryan Sproul and Daniel Catenacci of Sault Ste. Marie?
Catenacci is finally living up to the expectations that made him the top OHL priority pick in 2009. Meanwhile Sproul, when healthy, has been amongst the league’s top defenceman.
Interesting hire in the Soo as general manager Kyle Dubas went off the map hiring former Pembroke Lumber Kings head coach Sheldon Keefe. Hockey Central at Noon had him on to answer the tough questions, listen here.
Poor Ronny Choules in Cape Breton. He got the head coach’s job in May of 2011. Almost a year and a half later he’s given the general manager duties as well, and less than 2 months after that, he’s relieved of both duties. Marc-Andre Dumont, who was fired in Val d’Or on October 15, will take over both roles.
It’s so tough to see Robbie Ftorek let go in Erie. To be perfectly honest, I’d only met him once, but first impressions are lasting, and he’s a class-act. It might’ve been the hardest hockey decision Sherry Bassin has ever had to make.
On the other hand, a great hire by Bassin and the Otters. No doubt Kris Knoblauch learned a valuable lesson this past offseason, and he’ll be better for it. This guy can flat-out coach, and a shorter age gap between he and his young Erie team won’t hurt either.
No disrespect to Danny Dupont (who should’ve had the Shawinigan job this year), but did anyone actually apply for the job in Bathurst? Several turned it down for the fear of dealing with ownership. I’m a big Danny Dupont fan, but he’s got his work cut out for him on and off the ice. Good luck Danny.
And it doesn’t look like Brent Sutter has lost his touch. The Red Deer Rebels haven’t lost a game since he took over behind the bench. We’ll see the Rebels a week Friday when they host the Victoria Royals on Friday Night Hockey.
An argument can be made that the sanctions levied against the Portland Winterhawks were excessive, but consider the other side of the coin; how can one team be continuously in violation of league regulations for so long, and then be so adamant when challenged previous to the investigation.
Ron Robison’s point is well-received in that the repeated number of violations over a five-year period justified the severity of the sanctions regardless of the wrongdoing.
Although there is no official appeal process, the WHL’s Board of Governors can meet with Robison to discuss whether or not the punishment can be altered.
Having said that, exposing the violations as Portland did, went against a non-disclosure agreement and that alone will make the Board think twice before hearing what Portland has to say.
Although each member league of the CHL is different, this is an issue that may re-appear and it’s incumbent upon the three leagues to at least discuss with one another the possible sanctions or punishments.
Odds and ends
Thursday night’s game between Windsor and Barrie featured Bob Boughner against Dale Hawerchuk on the benches. The game included scraps between Rychel and Corson as well as a Verbeek versus Lemieux tilt.
Sounds like the good ol’ NHL.
I’ve never seen it before, the London-Mississauga game on Sunday went 19 rounds deep in the shootout. In fact, the Knights’ Seth Griffith scored twice as each team had to recycle players. Here’s the box.
*Saskatoon has just 13 wins all season, and 10 of those have been away from the Credit Union Centre.
Completely off topic: Keep an eye on the Toronto Blue Jays during the Winter Meetings. I don’t think they’re done just yet.
Don’t forget to check out the latest from Patrick King, you can find it right here.
Friday Night Hockey
I’d like to welcome PK Subban to the FNH crew. He’ll work alongside Rob Faulds as a second analyst to what RJ and I do up in the booth. Last week he worked on our FNH panel, and if the lockout goes on, I have a sneaking suspicion we’ll see a lot more of PK.