Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Interviews with Naka, Ingram, Jones and Bloodoff

(Naka in the yellow at spring camp, Paul Mailey in the grey - Photo Randy Emery)

A whole bunch of audio for you tonight. First of all, I had the chance to chat with new Smoke Eater Brett Naka at Kootenay Chrysler Bull-A-Rama. I also talked to Smokies Coach and GM Jim Ingram on the addition of Naka. Here are the interviews from Mountain FM's Overtime:

New Smoke Eater Brett Naka

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Jim Ingram on Naka

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(Kelowna after winning the WHL Championship - WHL.ca)

Five West Kootenay junior hockey players are celebrating championships this week. Montrose's Jones twins are RBC Cup champions while Castlegar's Bloodoff brothers and Trail's Kyle St. Denis are WHL champions. Congrats to all of them for representing the region so well. Tonight on Mountain FM's Overtime I talked to Connor Jones and former Smoke Eater Lucas Bloodoff:

Connor Jones on winning the RBC Cup

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Lucas Bloodoff on winning the WHL Championship

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Good luck to the Bloodoffs and St. Denis at the Memorial Cup!


...Did Dan Cloutier somehow pull a Freaky Friday and put himself into Roberto Luongo's body tonight? Yikes!

...As usual a lot of Canucks fans are saying the Sedins aren't good enough to win. They are at the very least among the top 20 forwards in the game. Those guys don't grow on trees! I think most teams would love to have two automatic point per game producers on their team. Are they Steve Yzerman leadership types? No, so surround them with those kinds of guys.

...Usually when the media (including me so I'm guilty too) hype something up too much it never delivers. If it's possible, the Washington/Pittsburgh series has exceeded expectations. I've been talking to some friends who are justifiably on the Ovechkin bandwagon but really underrated Crosby. I think some of those people are starting to realize just how great Crosby is. He has more hockey sense than anyone in the game. Put the two of them together and you'd have the ultimate hockey player. It's a fantastic battle between two superstars who are very different in almost every way. Throw in the other elite talent like Malkin, Semin, Gonchar, Green, Varlamov, Fleury and some super vets like Guerin and Fedorov. How about the role players like Steckle and Cooke making big plays and scoring big goals? How about the calm, young Bylsma against the emotional Boudreau? This series is awesome. As much as today's game must hurt for Pittsburgh fans, there is no way this series should end in 6.

...I read on a couple of websites that Canada is not under served as a hockey market because of population in Canadian markets compared to some of the American markets that aren't working right now. What some of these so called experts don't understand is that it's not about the population in the market, it's about the market available to you. Phoenix may be a huge market, but how many sports outrank hockey in that city? The NBA, the NFL and MLB at the very least are significantly more important to Phoenix residents than the NHL. How about NCAA football and basketball? So where does an NHL hockey team rank for sports fans in Phoenix? How much available market is there for a hockey team when you consider how much money people there already spend on those other sports?

Now compare that to some Canadian markets. Where would an NHL hockey team rank in Winnipeg? First. Quebec City? First. Southern Ontario? Second. Even with the Blue Jays, Raptors, FC and Argos there is no question in my mind that a new NHL team would instantly become the second most important sports franchise in Southern Ontario. That means in any of those markets there is likely more market available to an NHL team than there is in Phoenix or Atlanta. It's first on the list instead of fourth or fifth.

I understand the argument for places like Columbus, Raleigh and Nashville. Those markets aren't populated with other major sports franchises so the NHL has a real chance to become a priority there. Phoenix, Miami, Atlanta? Good luck.

1 comment:

vipersdiehardfan said...

Hey Shawn, Just wanted to say many thanks for your kind comments you left on my blog the other day. Very much appreciated. Thanks again. Now Id like to thank you for the great interview with Connor Jones. Great interview! I always enjoy checking out and reading your blog, excellent job! Keep up the great work! Vipersdiehardfan