I think every week I start the Wednesday Re-set by saying something like "Big show last night." Well... while I do think we have a pretty solid line up on our weekly radio program I don't think there is a soul alive who could argue that last night's guest list more than qualified as "A Big Show".
We started things off with one of the biggest power forwards available for the 2009 NHL Entry Draft in Zack Kassian of the OHL's Peterborough Petes. We'd tried to have Zack on a few times over the last several weeks but for one reason or another it never happened. We're glad it finally did last night as the probable top-20 pick went into detail about his NHL combine experience including some rather interesting interview tactics by one club in particular (which he actually names!). We also talked about his year with the Petes and the way it wrapped up with Canada's U18 squad in Fargo. Hear from Zack Kassian HERE.
Last week we began our cross-Canada tour with the Calgary Flames and Assistant GM Tod Button. This week's first stop was Ottawa where we had a conversation with Senators Assistant GM Tim Murray. We spoke about the team's combine strategy and what their fans could expect at the draft. Several key Ottawa prospects were also discussed and an array of fan emails were directed Murray's way as well. Hear from Tim Murray HERE.
Jeremy Morin was a standout for the USA Hockey's National Team Development Program and represented his country at the U18s in Fargo. We talked with the likeable forward about his year, the US-NTDP, teammate Kyle Palmieri's exile from the program, his decision to play for the Kitchener Rangers next year and also about his impression of the growing trend that sees NCAA-bound prospects bolting for the Canadian Hockey League. Hear from Jeremy Morin HERE.
Next stop: Vancouver. Mike Gillis is the GM of the Canucks and he willingly answered a lot of questions that we received from Vancouver fans inclduing some fairly critical ones. Everything from draft and scouting strategy to prospect updates to his draft experience as a scout was covered including the impending signing of a top prospect. Hear more from GM Mike Gillis HERE.
We played a couple rounds of Bad Ass Trivia and also chatted about a couple recent blogs we wrote like the Ryan Ellis feature I did and Dean's Tomas Tatar piece debating the merits of his being asked if he was GAY at the NHL combine.
We closed the show with the biggest name of the night, Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke. This year is the 10th anniversary of the fantastic draft day deals he made in 1999 that resulted in the Canucks landing both of the Sedin brothers and Burke gave us the "Cole's Notes" version of how the trades came to fruition including a great recap of his dealings with Rick Dudley. Burke went on to talk about Toronto's much-publicized desire to trade up in the draft, who he definitely won't trade, if it's true that Toronto is going to pass on Justin Pogge, are the Buds still hunting for Jonas Gustavsson, and much much more.
It was Brian Burke at the top of his form with zero B.S. and plenty of great sound bites as well as answers to questions posed by Leafs Nation. Hear from GM Brian Burke HERE.
I don't think we could have possibly fit anymore into our two hours this week but we've already got some work done for our June 16th show. We were able to speak with dynamic Swedish prospect Magnus Pääjärvi Svensson (or is it Svensson Pääjärvi... he sets the record straight) and we'll air that exclusive interview on next week's show. Plus we hope to complete our pre-draft cross Canada tour by checking in with both the Edmonton Oilers and the Montreal Canadiens.
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Oh, I know, Finnish names are difficult. Pääjärvi-Svensson. (Yes, I know, Svensson is much easier, but that's the Swedish part of his two-part surname.) Repeat after me: Pääjärvi.
(See http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/finnish.pronunciation.html for pronounciation help.)
Well I think you'll be interested to hear his explanation next week. We asked him which order the names come in... and he told us.
It's actually kind of complicated.
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