Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Curse of 2012 Continues

It's been a draft year like no other and not exactly on the good side for some of the top prospects for 2012. In past years we've seen the odd player go down with an injury or 2 (Brett Connolly, Jared Cowen) but this year you could field a whole line with some of the highly touted players Alex Galchenyuk, Nail Yakupov, Martin Frk, Ryan Murray and Morgan Rielly just to name 5.

Now you can add Peterborough Pete Defenceman Slater Koekkoek to the list.

2012 Draft Blog: Brendan Gaunce

He is the current OHL Player of the Week after scoring 5 goals and 6 points in 3 games, further cementing his status as a must-see player eligible for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Now today, Brendan Gaunce of the Bellville Bulls joins an already illustrious group of TPS Guest Player Bloggers this year with his first entry of the season.

Earlier this year we have heard from Michael Matheson of the Dubuque fighting Saints in the USHL, Cody Ceci of the Ottawa 67's and Everett Silvertips captain Ryan Murray. Now, in his own words, we're pleased to introduce you to the leading scorer of the Bellville Bulls and top prospect for 2012.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My Team Canada (Guy)

It's my turn to take a prediction crack at Canada's final WJC roster. Dean's list came out this morning, you can see that by scrolling down a few inches on the page.

With a record-high 41 players invited to camp this year, there really are a lot of spots up for grabs and a lot to be decided between now and Boxing Day. There are only three returning players and while usually those guys are locks to make the team, some might suggest that this year that isn't the case for one of them.

Thankfully, Kevin Prendergast and Don Hay gave hints yesterday as to what types of players we should expect to see on the final roster.

My Team Canada (Dean)

Hockey Canada invited 41 players to it's December training camp in Calgary. The list will be whittled down to 20 skaters and 2 goaltenders after the camp wraps up on December 13th. Here is my team heading into camp.

Who's on your Team Canada?

Calling all arm chair coaches, TPS wants to hear from you. Think we don't know what we're talking about? Think you can do a better job picking the team then Kevin Prendergast and Don Hay? Now's your chance to shine.

Enter The Pipeline Show's WJC roster contest. Simply predict what Canada's 22 man roster will look like. The most right always the earlier entry breaks ties.

Email us at with your picks, but remember you have to be 18 or older to enter and the deadline is noon mountain time on December 10th. You will need to provide photo ID when you pick up your prize pack at the TEAM 1260 studio in Edmonton.

Good luck!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

And then there were 41

Canada announced it's training camp roster this morning. Guy had his say, now it's my turn. Tomorrow we will provide what we think will be the final team based on the 41 players invited to the camp in Calgary starting December 11th. The official list can be found here.

Canada Invites 41 - Initial Reaction

This morning Hockey Canada held two simultaneous press conferences in Edmonton and Calgary to announce the names of the 41-man selection camp who will compete for a roster spot beginning December 10th. As always, there will be as much talk about names not on the list as those that did make the cut. Here is the official list for the selection camp.

Both Dean and I will offer up our initial reaction today, starting with me...

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Camp Considerations for Canada

Hockey Canada makes their official camp invite list known to the public at a Monday morning announcement. The press conference at Rexall Place is scheduled for a 9:30 start and then we'll finally get some answers to questions that have been asked over the last several weeks on our show.

Out of curiosity, I spent a portion of Sunday on Twitter taking a straw poll of our audience. I threw out several names of players who may or may not be in consideration by Hockey Canada for the WJC camp. I wanted to know what fans across the country felt about some guys and I was surprised by some of the responses, less so for others.

Pysyk Gets WJC Invite

The Pipeline Show has learned that Edmonton Oil Kings defenceman Mark Pysyk will be one of the players receiving a December camp invite from Hockey Canada. This is not a surprise as the 19-year-old is clearly one of the best defencemen in the WHL and has a solid chance of making the final roster.

Hockey Canada will hold a press conference in Edmonton on Monday at Rexall Place where they will formally announce the names of the players who will compete for a WJC roster spot. As usual, there will be the team's brass and a few players on hand and being that it's in his backyard, it only makes sense that Pysyk will be there.

The smooth skating, two-way blueliner has 12 points in 20 games this year but is counted on more by the Edmonton Oil Kings for his defensive zone play. The 19-year-old is captain of the Oil Kings, was at the summer U20 camp in Edmonton and has played for Canada in the past.

Hitmen Taking Aim at Playoffs

In a league with parity it's amazing what a hot streak over a two-week period can do. Case in point, the once floundering Calgary Hitmen have surged up the standings after winning 7 of their last 9 games. The 2010 WHL Champs have actually managed to climb out of the cellar and into the the 8th and final playoff position.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Big Trade for the Oil Kings [Updated]

Just becoming official... The Edmonton Oil Kings have acquired banished Everett Silvertips scorer Tyler Maxwell. The 'Tips receive a 3rd round pick in 2012 and prospect Griffen Foulk who was a 8th round pick in 2010.

Oil Kings get more offensive but stay small

Edmonton Oil King G.M. Bob Green pulled the trigger on a deal that will give his club an offensive boost but doesn't solve the biggest problem on the team...they're still small.

Green dealt the rights to Griffin Foulk and a 3rd round bantam pick to Everett in exchange for American centre Tyler Maxwell.

The 4 year WHL veteran lit the lamp 41 times last year and has steadily improved his goal total each year from 22 to 33 to 41 and has 11 in 19 games this season.

The small problem I have with this deal is Maxwell measures up at 5.09 and 170 pounds. That doesn't help a forward group with only 5 guys who are atleast 6 feet, one of them being injured forward Travis Ewanyk. The Oil Kings were pushed around a bit in the playoffs versus Red Deer. But the club is hoping you can't hit what you can't catch and Maxwell has pretty good speed.

He is undrafted but did attend the Minnesota Wild's camp as a free agent this year. He's expected in the Oil King line up Friday when they kick off an 11 game homestand against Medicine Hat.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

In Sam's World...


Tuesday night we welcomed in our weekly CHL insider Sam Cosentino from Sportsnet. FYI for all you Sam fans, he will be in studio with us Saturday morning at 10 am mst to answer any questions you might have. As for Tuesday night we covered everything from what underaged should be invited to Hockey Canada's camp to a perceived bias in the OHL to how many goalies should be invited when Hockey Canada reveals it's list of invitees on Monday.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Big Concerns in Goal for Canada

"We're not very comfortable with where we are right now with our goaltending situation" - Kevin Prendergast (Head Scout - Hockey Canada)

We are one week away from finding out who will receive invitations to Hockey Canada's December WJC selection camp in Calgary and as of now, the picture between the pipes is incredibly hazy.

Head scout Kevin Prendergast was a guest on The Pipeline Show this past Saturday and didn't sugar coat a thing when it came to talking about the choices of netminders available for the 2012 WJC team.

Monday, November 21, 2011

2012 Draft Blog: Mike Matheson Pt.2

Michael Matheson is a native of Quebec playing his junior hockey in the USHL for the defending champion Dubuque Fighting Saints. His first blog entry here with us was made public back on October 3rd and gave readers a sense of where he's come from and what has led to the position he is in today.

Here now is the second chapter in the 2012 Guest Player Blog written by defenceman Mike Matheson.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Calgary Prospects on Fire

Sure the NHL club is currently 14th place in the Western Conference but the big picture for Calgary fans might not be as dark and out of focus as it appears right now.

For years the media has pounded the Flames for not having anything in the system to look forward to but maybe... just maybe... that's starting to change.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

ISS & Central Scouting Release 2012 Rankings

The evolution of the Class of 2012 continues to take shape this week as both International Scouting Services and NHL Central Scouting have released their updated rankings. ISS head scout Ross MacLean will be back on The Pipeline Show this Saturday for our regular bi-weekly "ISS Draft Countdown" segment and you can be sure we'll be discussing their new #1 ranked player.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Top Five For 2013

In January of 2010 I wrote a 'Top 5 Tuesday' that offered up the names of five players to watch in advance of the 2011 NHL entry draft. That list, released 18 months prior to the actual draft, was pretty hit and miss when you look at it now in 2011. But three of the players I mentioned did go in the top 10 including the guy who eventually was selected #1 overall.

Again, to re-read that post today is to use hindsight but when it was originally written, the guys I listed in the #4 and #5 spots really were regarded that highly. It just goes to show you how much can change for players from their 16, 17 and 18 year old year seasons in terms of their development.

That said, here's a quick list of five notables for the 2013 NHL Entry draft a full 20 months ahead of time.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Big 'Mack Attack

Don't look know but after a weekend that saw many of the top ranked teams suffer defeat, there should be a new program at the top of the NCAA poll on Monday. There is only one team in the country with a zero in their loss column and unless the poll makers have completely lost their minds, Merrimack will be ranked #1 for the first time in their history.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thoughts and Prayers with the Steel family

Some very sad news from the Alberta Junior Hockey League today as Canmore Eagles forward Patrick Steel suddenly passed away. The 18 year old from Sherwood Park was in his first season with the Eagles. In his bio on the team site, Patrick lists 'Getting to play hockey everyday' as one of his favourite things. We have been told that Patrick was feeling ill at team practice and went home to sleep where he passed away.

Patrick's younger brother Sam is in his first year of bantam and should be a fairly high pick in next year's WHL bantam draft.

TPS sends our thoughts and prayers to the Steel family during this difficult time.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Kuhnhackl Gets 20 Games

The Ontario Hockey League continued it's trend of laying down the law today when it suspended Niagra Ice Dogs forward Tom Kuhnhackl 20 games for his hit on Kitchener Rangers defenceman Ryan Murphy.

I'm not sure anyone can argue it's too long...but is it too short?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Huberdeau, Murphy Out: Hockey Canada Has To Be Concerned

On Saturday we spoke to Kitchener Rangers colour man Mike Farwell briefly about the hit Rangers defenceman Ryan Murphy took courtesy of Niagra's Tom Khunackl.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

St. Croix, Reinhart among those added to Team WHL

There will now be a trio of Oil Kings that will face the Russians for Team WHL in the Subway series on Rogers Sportsnet. Forward Michael St. Croix and blueliner Griffin Reinhart will take part with Reinhart taking the place of Everett's Ryan Murray. Reinhart will play in Regina, along with Brett Bulmer and Zach Franco of the Kelowna Rockets and Colin Smith from the Kamloops Blazers who were also added the squad. St. Croix will suit up for the final game of the series in Moose Jaw, along with Warrior forward Cody Beach. Oil King captain Mark Pysyk was named to the team originally.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

From Russia with Love & Campbell has Hound Power

Tuesday night on TPS our CHL insider Sam Cosentino hinted about the Russian roster for the upcoming Subway Series with the CHL. It gets started on November 7th in Victoriaville and wraps up 10 days later in Moose Jaw.

2012 Draft Blog: Ryan Murray

He captained Canada at the 2011 Ivan Hlinka Tournament and suited up for Canada at the 2010 World Under 18 championship. This December Ryan Murray is hoping to wear the maple leaf once again in Edmonton for the World Junior Hockey Championship for the 20 and under crowd. Murray is also expected to go very high in the NHL draft, with most expecting him to be the first defenceman drafted in June. ISS has him ranked 3rd, and we expect NHL Central Scouting will have him in a similar spot if not higher when it's list comes out.

Each year we're please to bring you blog entries written by players in their NHL draft year. Defencemen Michael Matheson and Cody Ceci introduced themselves in October and now here is the first entry from Everett Silvertips captain, Ryan Murray.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Etem and Smile

The year was 1986. David Lee Roth had left Van Halen, latched onto another brilliant guitarist, and released his first full length solo album. Eat'em and Smile is full of quality songs featuring Dave at his lunatic best, Steve Vai's ridiculous skills and Billy Sheehan's crazy bass. To me it's one of the most underrated CD's from the era.

Speaking of underrated... has anyone noticed that Emerson Etem is destroying nets and goals against averages around the WHL?