Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Malenstyn Interview

(Malenstyn at spring camp - Photo Randy Emery)

I told you last week about the addition of big defenceman turned forward Matt Malenstyn. The 6'7, 255lbs Surrey native was my guest on Mountain FM's Overtime recently. I also had a chance to talk to Smokies Coach and GM Jim Ingram on Malenstyn's addition.

Malenstyn on Mountain FM's Overtime

Click here to download

Jim Ingram on Malenstyn

Click here to download


...Word from a couple of sources today that former Smokies Coach Tom Renney is not only the associate coach for the Edmonton Oilers, but he is lined up as the heir apparent for Pat Quinn's inevitable retirement. I read a couple of reports that indicate if Quinn steps down before or after the three years in his new contract are up, Renney will be given the head coaching job. Of course that's easy for them to say now. A lot of that will depend on how the team does with Quinn and Renney at the helm. I'm looking forward to watching. That's a lot of experience behind one bench. A lot of class too!

...A couple more coaches have been hired in the BCHL over the last week or two. Victoria hired Victor Gervais to take over for Geoff Courtnall. Gervais had been an assistant with the Grizz. I've read some comments from unhappy fans who wish the search had been extended outside of the organization. That being said, those in the know obviously got a pretty good look at how Gervais handled himself and they liked what they saw. He'll certainly get his chance with a whole new group of players after Victoria tried to load up for the RBC Cup this past season.

...The Williams Lake Timberwolves have hired their first or second head coach depending how you view it. Brad Fox was going to be in charge there before they parted ways at the start of the off season. Fox went back to Revelstoke in KIJHL and appears to be out of the job there too. Troy Mick's group bought the team and Mick is now going to be the Coach and GM there. The KIJHL is sure collected a talented group of coaches. As for the Timberwolves, they hired Okanagan Rockets Major Midget Coach Dave Dupas. It's taken Williams Lake a while to get their man in place, but he certainly sounds qualified and driven.

...As a result of Dupas leaving the Rockets for Williams Lake, Westside assistant coach Misko Antisin will be leaving the Warriors to take over the Major Midget job. Congrats to Misko who was always very easy to deal with and clearly knows the game. I know he'll be missed in Westside.

...It's interesting to note that in both Victoria and Williams Lake these new coaches won't be handling the GM duties. That makes it easier for them to concentrate on coaching, but they won't necessarily have the guys they want in the dressing room. I wonder sometimes which way is the best way to go at this level. It seems like most of the coaches want to control the roster as well.

...I believe all of this movement leaves Quesnel as the only team who has yet to name their Coach. The Mills seem to have new ownership in place and the hope of a new building. They have Trevor Hertz and Jeff Malcom coming back to form a great duo to build around. They also don't have a coach and it's nearly June! Get moving, guys! (Unless I missed the announcement in which case I'm the dolt... it happens)

...It looks like the playoff format is changing for the 2009-10 season. The first round should end up being a best of seven. There is also talk that the league will change how many teams qualify for the playoffs as well. Details should emerge when they ratify those changes at league meetings. I think it's a great move. In the two years I've called Smokies games they've ended up losing money from making the playoffs because they didn't get at least two home games. Of course you don't aim to get swept, but if teams can at least get two home games each they can more reasonably budget for that.

...A quick note about attendance. After the recent AGM, the Smokies have said they could likely guarantee a profit every year if only they could pack a 100 more fans into the Cominco Arena for each home game. It seems like the attendance every year has been within the mid 900s but never really above 1000 recently. Outside of simply winning games does anyone have some thoughts on ways to encourage more people to come check out the best junior hockey in the region? Shoot me an e-mail at shawnsamsmullin@hotmail.com and I'll pass it along to the team. There are no bad ideas, right? OK maybe there are... but it's worth a shot.

No comments: