An absolutely loaded show tonight as we had a guest every segment to save me from solo tap dancing during Dean's absence. It started out, unintentionally, to be a coach's show as we brought in 3 bench men in the first hour alone to kick off the program. In hour 2 we spoke with our CHL Insider, an analyst who covered and could recap the Ivan Hlinka tournament and we closed the show with a former CJHL Player of the Year.
Did I mention that it was a kick ass, loaded show?
Dave Hakstol has rapidly become one of my personal favourite guests because the North Dakota head coach always speaks his mind and gives great insight. It doesn't hurt that he's from Warburg, AB either. That said, we covered a ton of ground with Coach Hakstol tonight including looking back at the 2011 Frozen Four, overcoming the loss of several graduations and pro exits, a look at the incoming freshman class, conference realignment and more. Of course I asked him about J.T. Miller's (NYR) choice of the Plymouth Whalers over the Fighting Sioux and the coach pulled no punches. (More on that later tonight or tomorrow). We also talked specifically about incoming freshman Rocco Grimaldi and his practical joke via Twitter this past Sunday.
Our next coach was a former Edmonton Oiler and two-time Canadian Olympian now behind the bench of the Victoria Royals, Marc Habscheid. The relocated Chilliwack Bruins are now on Vancouver Island and look much different than they did a year ago - and not because of the jersey change. How will the Royals fair without guys like Ryan Howse, Lucas Gore, Brandon Manning and Roman Horak? Is Brandon Magee now a go-to guy after a 29 point rookie season? Does defenceman Tyler Stahl need to tone down his antics or is he the deterrent the team needs? Plus what does Habscheid think of the NHL's influence on CHL coaching with so many former big leaguers back in the major junior game?
We closed out the first hour of the show with a fun segment talking to Edmonton Oil Kings assistant coach Steve Hamilton. Everything from guest coaching at Canada's U20 camp to goatees to Oil Kings rookies to watch for and a desperate plea for Twitter followers - this segment had a bit of everything. (But seriously... start following @hamilton_steve on Twitter because there's a free steak dinner in it for me!)
Hour #2 began like usual on Tuesdays - with a visit from Sam Cosentino of Rogers Sportsnet who is also our CHL Insider. What's happening with Matthew Peca (Mike's son) who is currently property of the Kitchener Rangers but maybe find himself playing in the QMJHL for the Quebec Remparts. It's a complicated situation but we tried to look at it from all angles. We also discussed the Remparts additions of Mikhail Grigorenko, Adam Erne and now Anthony Duclair and wonder if the Saint John Sea Dogs are still to be considered the favourites. Plus, where will Ivan Hlinka gold medalist goalie Daniel Altshuller end up with his trade request from Belleville?
In segment five I was joined by someone I consider to be one of the nicest guys in the business - Craig Button. The TSN analyst recapped the Ivan Hlinka tournament for us with special mentions going to Matt Dumba, Griffin Reinhart, Morgan Rielly, Andreas Athanasiou and leading scorer Charles Hudon. Plus, Swede Filip Forsberg turned heads overseas but does Button really rank him and Nail Yakupov as 1-2 overall for the 2012 NHLD draft?
Finally I was happy to welcome back to The Pipeline Show a former CJHL Player of the Year and a former member of the Sherwood Park Crusaders in Cody Kunyk. The forward is now entering his sophomore year with the University of Alaska-Fairbanks Nanooks and is looking to build on his team leading 30 points from 2010-11.
It was a great line up and an entertaining edition of TPS but if you missed any part of it live, don't worry... you can find it all in its entirety by clicking the media archive HERE.