Saturday, August 6, 2011

Saturday Morning Special - Aug 6th

Hockey Canada's U20 camp dominated discussion today on TPS as should be expected when the summer World junior camp is going on in our back yard. But we also made time for a WHL GM who made a massive coaching move this past week and we also went south of the border to check in on Team USA's summer camp as well.

We began the program with extended discussion of what we've seen this week at Rexall Place. Who have we noticed and what types of things we've taken away from the practice sessions. We then began our camp audio clips with Jaden Schwartz (STL) who could be up for the captaincy this time around with Canada and who I've likened to this edition's Jordan Eberle.

Next we were joined by Kelly McCrimmon of the Brandon Wheat Kings who has dropped the coaching title from his office door after hiring Cory Clouston. We talked about why this, after 7 years behind the bench, was the right time for him to concentrate on just the GM role and why the former WHL, AHL and NHL head coach is the perfect guy for Brandon's current roster. Should we expect to see a more defence-first Wheat Kings team?

It was back to the audio clips for segment 3 and we played conversations we had over the last couple of days with Devante Smith-Pelly (ANH), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and head scout Kevin Prendergast - all talking about the potential chemistry of the camp's top line which includes Schwartz.

Hour 2 began with us talking to Hall of Fame journalist Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal. Matty gave us his impressions of Canada's camp and whether he thought guys like Erik Gudbranson, Quinton Howden, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Sean Couturier, Jonathan Huberdeau and Ryan Johansen would even be available in December.

Next up was a conversation with Quebec Remparts netminder Louis Domingue (PHX). Part of our discussion included me asking him to reflect back on the QMJHL playoffs after head coach Patrick Roy said he'd have Domingue on a short leash for Game 7 against Gatineau because "he looked nervous" and "shaky". I asked Domingue how he felt hearing that from his coach.
"Well, I mean... we won game 7 (against Shawinigan) and I believe I had something to do with that. So it's kind of hard, not having his (respect/trust) when we're losing and not really having it when you are winning. It's tough but he's the coach. He's like a boss in a company. I'm not going to quit for the boss, I'm going to show him that I've got character and I'm a strong person and that my strength is between my ears."
Our 5th segment featured conversations with giant defenceman Jamie Oleksiak who told us why he chose Canada over the United States this year and why he chose Saginaw this year and if he would have left Northeastern if coach Cronin had still been there. Plus, our 2012 eligible player of the week was Ottawa 67's blueliner Cody Ceci who talked to us about his career to this point, how things look in the OHL this year and how the blend of a professional football playing father and a figure skating mother resulted in him playing hockey.

Finally, we closed the show by going to Lake Placid where USA Hockey opened their summer WJC camp. We spoke with Jason Zucker (MIN) who will be playing on his 3rd WJC team for the Americans this year. We asked the Denver Pioneers sophomore about coming back to Canada for the tournament where he and the 2010 team struck gold. We also asked him about Denver's chances without starting netminder Sam Brittain.

On top of all the content above, there are several interviews we conducted over the last couple of days which we could not possible fit into the show. Therefore, we're pleased to tell you that they have all been archived in their entirety in our media archive. You'll hear Lucas Lessio (PHX) talking about his role in this camp, Ryan Johansen (CLB) on being here with absolutely zero pressure to make the team, Dougie Hamilton (BOS) told us what it's like playing against his brother Freddie for a change.

Goalie Scott Wedgewood sized up the competition and looked ahead to the year in Plymouth, Sean Couturier (PHI) told me whether he felt comfortable taking on a more defensive role for Canada if need be. Ryan Strome (NYI) spoke about his excitement being involved at the camp and commented on the failed vote results on Long Island.

Phillip Danault made his first appearance on TPS and made a case for himself making the team even as a depth, shut down guy. Joe Morrow talked about signing on with Pittsburgh and attending their camp this summer. Christian Thomas suggested he should be in the picture as either a scorer or a checker and Brandon Gormley made it clear that nothing will stop him from playing for Canada this year after the way it's gone in the past.

An absolutely loaded archive for today. You can find it all... RIGHT HERE.

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