Tuesday, December 10, 2013

REBELS: Dumba Dealt To Portland

Trade breakdown (as per whl.ca)

The Red Deer Rebels have officially parted ways with Mathew Dumba.

Today, the Rebels traded Dumba’s WHL playing rights, along with a conditional 2014 WHL Bantam Draft pick, to the Portland Winterhawks. In return, the Rebels get 18-year-old forward Presten Kopeck and conditional bantam draft picks.

While it has become quite clear that the Minnesota Wild have no interest in sending Dumba back to play for an on-the-fringe playoff contender (if they ever had any to begin with), the chance to send him out west to play for a league championship and Memorial Cup contender may be a much more enticing possibility. It is clearly a possibility that both Rebels GM / Head Coach Brent Sutter and Winterhawks GM / Head Coach Mike Johnston are banking on.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

REBELS: Doetzel Provides Spark, Volek Gets World Juniors Invite

Red Deer Rebels fans, who were kept away from last night’s game due to this not-so-lovely blast of winter weather, or for whatever other reasons, are today all probably all thinking the same thing.

Doetzel did that? You gotta be kidding?!

It’s true, honest. The game changing offensive play was last night made by a stay-at-home defenseman who had not scored a single goal all season long.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

REBELS: Big Weekend Ahead

With the spectacle that was the Subway Super Series now in the books, the focus for junior hockey fans in Central Alberta returns squarely on the exploits of the Red Deer Rebels.

The Rebels are coming off of what was perhaps their best home effort of the season thus far, definitely their best since their return from November’s ArgiTrade induced road trip.  My question for Lukas Sutter on Thursday, what was the key to success that night?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Weekend Wrap - Sept 16

With the web editor for my sports page at 1067thedrive.fm down for maintenance... here is my usual weekend wrap from the local sports scene...


The Red Deer Rebels wrapped up preseason play with a pair of wins over the weekend.  The Rebels finished with a 3-3-0-0 preseason record.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Rebels: Bleackley Excited About Future After Eventful Month

Conner Bleackley
To call the last few weeks in the life of Red Deer Rebels forward Conner Bleackley “eventful” would be a gross understatement of fact.

In a huge off-season when it comes to his future as a hockey player, Bleackley’s hockey efforts were abruptly put on hold when his hometown of High River was devastated by June’s massive floods.

Thankfully for Bleackley, he and his family made it through the traumatic experience relatively unscathed compared with many others.

“We got all of our valuable stuff out of the basement but it was devastating to see the rest of the damage in and around High River,” Bleackley told me over the phone today. “All the houses on our street, some of the families won’t be able to recover from the flood which is sad to see. We were fortunate that all we lost was some stuff and that everyone was out ok and all my friends and family were not hurt.”

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Hard Hitting Topic of Body Checking

Hey gang.

I am fortunate enough to have been invited by Hockey Alberta to serve as moderator for an interesting, and quite possibly emotional, forum discussion taking place tomorrow night as part of their Annual General Meeting.

The topic of discussion… body checking. There has been no shortage of opinions voiced both for and against Hockey Alberta’s, followed by Hockey Canada’s, decision to eliminate body checking from pee wee hockey.

The bottom line is there’s no turning back. The decision has been made and the focus of tomorrow night’s forum will be on “what’s next.” Now that this change is being made, how do we (coaches, managers, officials, players, parents, etc.) move forward while also improving the game of hockey?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Rebels Go Prospecting

Even though I’ll only be around for the first day, I’m quite looking forward to this year’s edition of the Red Deer Rebels annual prospects camp.

34 players will hit the ice at the Penhold Multiplex Friday (3-5pm), Saturday (3:45-5:45pm) and Sunday (9-11am) with all three sessions open to the public.

If 34 seems like a high of players number that’s because, compared to past years, it is. Usually, somewhere around two dozen players come to town for this annual camp. The increased camp roster will provide a new and interesting dynamic.
“We’ll have enough players that we can have 17 on each team, so we’ll scrimmage more than we did in the past,” Rebels GM / Head Coach Brent Sutter told Greg Meachem (@GregMeachem) of the Red Deer Advocate.
It makes sense. It can only help these up and coming players to put them head to head and see what they’re made of. Let them measure themselves against each other so see where they are now and where they need to be in order to someday make this team.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Rebels: WHL Bantam Draft

Even when it's finally nice outside it's fun to talk hockey.

The 2013 WHL Bantam Draft took place today in Calgary.  Here's who the Rebels selected...

Player                         Selected                                  POS    Birthdate        Hometown    

Jeff de Wit                   1st round, 14th overall              C          Mar. 14, 1998  Red Deer, AB
Joshua Mahura             2nd round, 36th overall              D         May 6, 1998    St. Albert, AB
Caleb Riess                  4th round, 70th overall              RW      Aug. 20, 1998  Rocanville, SK
Nick Darling                6th round, 113th overall            D         Feb. 12, 1998  Saskatoon, SK
Cale Chalifoux             6th round, 124th overall            D         May 15, 1998  Edmonton, AB
Joshua Logel                7th round, 137th overall            C          Apr. 17, 1998  Calgary, AB
Max Salpeter                8th round, 168th overall            D         Apr. 2, 1998    St. Albert, AB
Tyler Kirkup                9th round, 190th overall            C          Apr. 3, 1998    Virden, MB
Kyle Sargent                9th round, 195th overall            D         Mar. 2, 1998    Carlyle, SK

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Generals: Oh, What a Relief It Is

2013 Allan Cup Champions
Jubilation.  Celebration.  Satisfaction.  These are words that usually come to mind when a team wins a championship.

But for the Bentley Generals, who won their second Allan Cup title on Saturday with a 3-0 win over the Clarenville Caribous, there are another words which are perhaps more fitting.


You would be hard pressed to find another team facing as much pressure to win as this year's Bentley Generals.  They already knew they'd be playing in the 2013 Allan Cup as the host team.  But the Generals shocked the senior hockey world when they fired coach Brian Sutter. 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Bentley Generals - Allan Cup Champs (again)

Here's the Hockey Canada media release for the Bentley Generals 2013 Allan Cup championship win...

RED DEER, Alta. – For the second time in five years, the Bentley Generals have won the Allan Cup, claiming Canada’s 105th National Senior Championship with a 3-0 victory over the Clarenville Caribous in Saturday’s championship game at Red Deer Arena.

Bentley and Clarenville Battle for Allan Cup (again)

Here's a look at Hockey Canada's media release for today's Allan Cup final between the Bentley Generals and Clarenville Caribous...

(visit my soundcloud page for some audio from Generals coach Brandin Cote and captain Sean Robertson)


RED DEER, Alta. – After semifinal victories on Friday, the Bentley Generals and Clarenville Caribous will meet for the 105th Allan Cup, Canada’s National Senior Championship, on Saturday at the Red Deer Arena. The championship game can be seen on TSN beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT. Check your local listings for broadcast times in your area.

Bentley defeated the Kenora Thistles 3-2 in Friday’s late semifinal, while Clarenville topped the Rosetown Redwings 6-2 in the early game.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Rebels and Hitmen Renew Rivalry

It just seems wrong that the Red Deer Rebels and Calgary Hitmen have gone nearly a full decade without meeting in the playoffs. (not nearly as bad as the Oilers / Flames playoff drought, but still…)

During the Rebels “glory days” a yearly postseason date with the Hitmen was pretty much set in stone. In the six seasons between 1999 and 2004 they met in the playoffs four times…

1999 – Hitmen swept the Rebels 4-0 in the second round on their way to winning the WHL Championship
2001 – Rebels beat the Hitmen four games to two in second round in their way to winning the Memorial Cup
2003 – Rebels beat the Hitmen four games to one in the opening round on their way to winning the Eastern Conference
2004 – Rebels beat the Hitmen four games to three in the opening round

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Fab Four For Optimist Chiefs

2013 AMHL Champions - Red Deer Optimist Chiefs
The Doug Dynasty continues...

At least that's how the players, past and present, refer to the Red Deer Optimist Chiefs streak of four straight Alberta Midget AAA provincial championships.

It's their tribute to the man in charge, Doug Quinn, who has been behind the Chiefs bench for all four title wins (as well as their Telus Cup championship win last April.)

He's a coach these players absolutely love playing for.  And on Saturday, they rewarded him with another solid 60 minute effort leading to another provincial title.

"They're all exciting but I think one is probably a bit extra special," Quinn said following the Chiefs 1-0 won over Edmonton Southside Athletic Club in the fifth and deciding game of the Alberta Midget Hockey League final.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Great Words From The Great One / Sutter Talks Iggy

Wayne Gretzky and Yours Truly
I can’t lie to you.  Even as a lifelong Calgary Flames fan I was really, really looking forward to today.

After all, it’s not every day that The Great One visits your city… especially when your city is Red Deer.

Wayne Gretzky had the crowd in the palm of his hand this morning at the 10th annual RDC Kings and Queens Scholarship Breakfast.  Over 1,400 people came out to Westerner Park to hear Wayne share stories on stage with his former St. Louis Blues teammate, Kelly Chase [who is very entertaining in his own right].

Monday, March 25, 2013

Rebels: Prospects Perspective

Rebels Senior Scout
Shaun Sutter
As I mentioned in my last blog post, the Rebels had a number of their top prospects in town over the weekend to soak in the "Rebels experience" so to speak.

Players spent quite a bit of time at the Enmax Centrium, both on and off the ice, learning all about what it takes to be a part of the Red Deer Rebels organization.

On Saturday, I chatted with Rebels Senior Scout Shaun Sutter about the weekend and about a pair of high profile prospects in particular, Adam Musil and Vukie Mpofu.

Rather than re-type the whole interview... you can listen to it on my soundcloud page.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

"Bling" For Bartosak / Prospects Update

Honoured.  Excited.  Focused.

That’s pretty much how Patrik Bartosak felt yesterday afternoon when we chatted about his double honours from the Western Hockey League.

After receiving the Red Deer Rebels MVP Award last week, the 19 year old Czech netminder was named as an Eastern Conference 1st-team All Star on Wednesday.  He is also the Eastern Conference nominee for WHL Goaltender of the Year.

He appreciates the honours but, as you would expect, isn’t taking any time to celebrate as he prepares for his WHL playoff debut.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Rebels Players Awards - Who's Gonna Win?

Contrary to popular belief, I have no insider info whatsoever as to who will win the 2012-2013 Red Deer Rebels Player Awards tonight.

But... as a guy who follows the team closely all season long... I should probably offer up my thoughts on the awards in the form of some predictions (which never ever work out well for me in the end).

Thankfully, at least one of this year's awards is an absolute slam dunk...

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Allan Cup - One Month Away


Yesterday at the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, the 2013 ATB Financial Allan Cup organizing committee gave an update to the local media.

With the tournament now just one month away, excitement for the Senior AAA national championship tournament is starting to pick up. 

Ticket sales are a clear indicator of that excitement as the tournament is already more than 80% sold out.  Tournament Chair Dave Mousseau expects that number to reach 100% by the time the tournament starts on April 15th.

"With our choice of venue being the [Red Deer] Arena, I think the atmosphere there is second to none, especially for championship calibre," Mousseau proclaimed.  "But unfortunately there's only a certain amount of seats in that venue.  With the following that senior hockey has now, it is going to be a sellout."

Friday, February 22, 2013

Prime Time Rebels Alumni

On Thursday, the Western Hockey League sent out a release stating 20% of all NHL players who have through the first month of the season are WHL graduates (156 of 778 players).

Here's a list of those players who have suited up for the Red Deer Rebels...

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Rebels Gone Wild

Sometimes, as a broadcaster, you get lucky.

Prior to last night’s game at the Enmax Centrium between the Rebels and Regina Pats, Cam Moon and I were saying “How cool would it be if Paul Charles came to the game tonight?  He’d be a PERFECT intermission guest.”

Most of you probably don’t know who Paul Charles is… he is a scout with the Minnesota Wild.  And, as we’ve all seen, there’s no shortage of Rebels-Wild activity to chat about these days.

Sure enough, about 10 minutes later, Paul walked into the media lounge while Mooner and I were still chatting.  Perfect.

Paul is a big reason why Minnesota drafted Mathew Dumba 7th overall in last year’s NHL Entry Draft.  Before that, he was a big advocate for drafting Darcy Kuemper, which the Wild did in the sixth round (161st overall) of the 2009 draft.

That particular selection is turning out to be quite a steal for the Wild, and Charles couldn’t be happier.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

DePape Arrives In Red Deer

Jordan DePape skates Tuesday
After being signed by the Rebels at the WHL trade deadline on January 10th, Jordan DePape is finally in Red Deer.

The 20 year old forward arrived in town this past weekend and has taken part in his first ice sessions with his new club. DePape did some individual skating and puck handling drills prior to main Rebels practices Monday and Tuesday.

DePape is right on track with his recovery from shoulder surgery last fall and is scheduled to suit up for the Rebels before the end of the regular season.

I’m super excited,” DePape admitted before hitting the ice on Monday. “Since I got picked up on the trade deadline I’ve been anxious to get out here and it’s finally nice to meet the boys.”

Friday, February 1, 2013

Rebels: Season Turning Point?

Seeing his team's desperate need for a spark... The Captain came through.

Depending on what happens moving forward, an argument can be made that Turner Elson's late second period, and eventual game winning, goal versus the Kootenay Ice last night could be a milestone moment in the Rebels season.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Rebels: Searching For Consistency

I had a chance to spend some time at the rink yesterday to catch up with a few of the Rebels following their three game Saskatchewan road trip… and to film another episode of Southside Dodge Rebels This Week (yup, shameless plug).

In looking back a trip on which they earned three of a possible six points, the Rebels (as they should) are taking the “good, but not good enough” approach.

“In Swift Current, we had a rough game, didn’t do our best,” noted Captain Turner Elson. “We need our work ethic all the time, every sixty minute game, and we didn’t do that for the whole trip.”

Monday, January 7, 2013

Wild Camp Looms For Dumba

It looks like the Minnesota Wild will have their 2012 first round draft pick attending their training camp.

Red Deer Rebels Owner / President / GM / Head Coach Brent Sutter fully expects to lose the services of Mathew Dumba for a few days while he skates with the teams that selected him 7th overall last June.

“Matty will be leaving for sure,” Sutter confirmed before Monday’s practice at the Enmax Centrium. “There’s a good possibility Matty could be leaving before the weekend games [Friday at Saskatoon, Saturday at Prince Albert]. He’ll be gone for a few days and then he’ll be back again.”