Question: What do you get when you remove Dean Millard from TPS for a week?
Answer: No mentions of that WHL team in Manitoba. Oh, an chaos. lots of chaos.
The adventure began before we even went on the air. My normal routine is to get to the studio an hour or so before hand so Dean and I can chit chat and firm up some of the stuff we want to talk about. This is usually also when I research my trivia questions and so on.
Earlier in the day I had pre-taped an interview for the show that night, saved it on my flash drive and promptly left it at home. Which I noticed at about 6:15. I live in Devon. There and back to the studio... about 20-25 minutes each way. Do I bolt home, get my stuff or...
Decision made - I Steve McQueen it home in about 20 minutes, grab my stuff and head back. I park and sprint back into the CTV building and get to the studio with about 3 minutes to spare. (But me sprinting is not a pretty sight and I needed all 180 seconds to get my air back).
Little did I know that The Sports Doctor was also having a bit of pre-show trouble. He was stuck south of Edmonton on a return from Calgary. After an lengthy stop at Wendy's in Red Deer and a conversation about speeding with a highway RCMP... Taylor made it in just before I did.
Preparation? Screw it... we've been doing this for a few years, good to go!
Quite honestly, listening to the archive since, it's not nearly as bad as I feared. I'm not as polished as Deano, that's for sure, but I got by. And a big thanks to Corey Graham who sat in with me to help keep the ship on track... or... afloat. See?
We kicked the show off with some discussion about CIS hockey. Corey is the play-by-play voice of the Alberta Golden Bears (hockey and football) so it was perfect timing. We also chatted about the WJC camp in Saskatoon and other things as well.
Corey had to slip out for the next segment so he could pre-tape an interview for his own show (Edmonton Sports Night Live, 9-midnight, Mon-Fri in case you've been living in a cave). Thankfully my first guest was Peter Loubardias who is so well spoken and knowledgeable in regards to junior hockey that I can just lob a subject into the air and know he's going to hammer it home for a couple of minutes. Less me, more Peter = good. By the way, Peter's the guy on the left standing next to another 1st class guy - Regan Bartel, voice of the Kelowna Rockets.
Peter and I discussed Canada's WJC camp in Saskatoon and we went in depth about a lot of players. we also talked about the fact that Canada is the only country that has a camp in December and in August... should they? It's hard to argue with success though so is it a case of "don't fix what ain't broke"? You can hear that conversation HERE.
Next up was a visit with Carter Camper of the Miami RedHawks. The NCAA National Finalists from last season lost a heart breaker to Boston university by gassing a 3-1 lead with a minute left to go, and you know we had to ask about that. I also wanted to know how he felt seeing players his size dominating the NHL or getting taken in the first round and yet he, with back to back +40 point seasons, is still a free agent. Finally, looking ahead to next season I declared him to be my early pick for the Hobey Baker and he reacted to that and agreed that the RedHawks will not take a step back in 2009-10. Hear what Carter Camper had to say.
The second hour of the show began with an entertaining conversation with Saskatchewan Huskies coach Dave Adolph. we talked a lot about his incoming class of recruits, #2 on my recent top 5 list, and also about the changes in CIS recruiting over the last few years. The growing trend of offering "Leadership Bonuses" - basically paying players big money simply for things like appearing at off season hockey schools) is getting out of hand and teams like Saskatchewan and Alberta are starting to feel the effects as WHL grads head East to the AUS. Coach Adolph reacted to a clip we played him of Alberta head coach Eric Thurston as well. Well worth the listen and you can hear that conversation HERE.
Our next guest deserves credit for trying his best. Devan Dubnyk, just getting over a chest cold, joined us for a little while to discuss the upcoming season. Does he expect to be in Springfield? Is there room for both he and Jeff Deslauriers in the organization this season or in 2010-11 when both will be RFAs? How did he feel about playing behind a team that struggled as badly as the Falcons did last year? We talked about as much as we could before we finally pulled the plug so he could give the vocal cords a break. Hear that Dubnyk interview HERE.
Lastly, the interview that Corey and I pre-taped earlier in the day with former Oilers colour analyst - Morely Scott. How did Morley spend last season, his first away from the Oilers? How did he land his new gig with the Vancouver Giants of the WHL? We covered it all and I know there are a lot of people out there who wondered "What's Morley doing these days?" so... HERE is you answer.
All in all, I'm glad it was a guest heavy show and even more pleased that Millard will be back in the big chair next week. Of course, he's gone again for the Season 4 finale show on August 25th but... I have a couple weeks to prep for that one!