After one of the best episodes of The Pipeline Show last weekend the only way we could possibly follow it up was with another stellar line up of guests and that's what we were able to come up with for last night's show. A league commissioner made his TPS debut, we got the no-B.S. insight on the Plymouth Whalers and their off-season activities, one of last year's top NCAA freshmen joined us, a NHL GM kicked off hour 2, we hit Kelowna for a pre-season update and ended the show in the midst of a hot debate.
If you caught this edition of TPS, we know you were entertained.
Somehow through the first 6 seasons of the show, QMJHL Commissioner Gilles Courteau had never been on. We changed that here in the early portion of Season 7 and got right to the heart of the controversial circumstances involving Matthew Peca, his rights in the OHL, the pursuit of those rights by the Quebec Remparts, the actions of the CHL and the player's eventual move to the NCAA.
Mr. Courteau was very forthcoming when answering our questions which included "Should the CHL President not be allowed to occupy the commissioner of one of the leagues as well?" We also asked about the contraction of Lewiston and next year's expansion to Sherbrooke, the how's and why's behind Shawinigan's successful bid to host the 2012 Memorial Cup. Plus we got more information on the league's decision to enforce a 2-American draft policy beginning next year. It was a very informative discussion.
Our second segment guest has had a very busy and noteworthy summer. Mike Vellucci is the President, GM and head coach of the Plymouth Whalers who had a trio of players selected in the first round of the 2011 NHL draft. That number includes J.T. Miller who officially joined the team shortly after that event although according to Vellucci, the Whalers started feeling confident after getting news from TPS.
"We drafted [Miller] two years ago and had talked to him quite a bit before he decided to join the US Program. We kept in touch and every summer I would talk to him myself and his family. All along he said that if he was a high draft pick that he would like to play for the Whalers," Vellucci told us, "I had heard that the Rangers were going to sign him and we had be talking to him too up to that point. Once I heard that, I think you guys reported it first, that he'd DE-committed to North Dakota and once I heard that I was pretty confident that we were going to get him."From there we talked with Vellucci about the other standouts on his squad including Stefan Noesen (OTT), Rickard Rackell (ANH), Austin Levi (CAR), Matt Mihalak (CAR), Scott Wedgewood (NJ) and 2012 eligible Max Iafrate who apparently dropped 25 lbs over the summer. Are the Whalers contenders for the OHL crown in 2011-12?
T.J. Tynan was the highest scoring freshman in NCAA hockey last year and was drafted in the 3rd round by Columbus because of it. We spoke at length with the Fighting Irish forward who is back at Notre Dame to try and lead his club to another Frozen Four appearance. Tynan talked about his development over the year, his surprise late addition to last year's team, his chemistry with Anders Lee and much more.
Hour 2 began with Winnipeg Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff talking to us about his excitement being a part of the city's return to the NHL. We asked about a number of players including Zach Bogosian, Ondrej Pavalec, assistant coach Pascal Vincent and more. We also went in greater depth with expectations for first round pick Mark Scheifele which all Jets fans should probably hear.
Next it was off to Kelowna to speak with Daily Courier writer Larry Fisher who recently had an interview with GM Bruce Hamilton. In the article, Hamilton was talking about his plans to eventually land Latvian Import Zemgus Girgensons and while ding so, made comments that would likely ruffle some feathers south of the border.
Finally, Dean and I talked about the day at the 9th annual TEAM 1260 golf tournament and then got into a debate, or a couple of them actually. First, we asked listeners if they would like to see the USHL and CJHL champions playoff against each other to determine Tier 1 junior supremacy. That then led into an argument over the Memorial Cup champs VS Frozen Four champs which was taken one step further: CHL All-Star team vs NCAA all-star team.
It was a fun note to close the show on and I know that Dean is already pounding his keyboard writing on the subject.
If you missed any portion of the show, you can catch up by clicking the archive... HERE.