Sunday, June 14, 2009

Legassic Interview, Ingram on DeKeyser


I had the chance to chat with former Smokies forward CJ Legassic about his decision to leave Trail so he can start school. Legassic wanted to make sure the fans understood that he loved his time with the Smoke Eaters but simply could not risk missing out on the opportunity to follow his career ambitions. CJ's a class act and we'll miss him next year on the ice and off.

CJ Legassic on leaving Trail

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I also had the chance to talk to Smokies Coach and GM Jim Ingram on losing Danny DeKeyser to Sioux City of the USHL. Ingram was full of praise for DeKeyser's character and work ethic, but it's obvious how disappointed he was with the decision.

Ingram on DeKeyser

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You can't blame Ingram for being choked that he's losing last year's Smokies defenceman of the year award winner for absolutely nothing. This isn't the first time or the last the USHL will poach top talent from the BCHL. Last season Ryan Hill decided to stay home and play there. Two seasons ago the Smokies lost a top defenceman who had come over from Merritt. The USHL is obviously an attractive destination for Junior A players as there's more money in the league and they play closer to the NCAA schools.

I've heard some comments from fans who hope this will mean that BCHL teams stay away from American kids. If Carsen Chubak leaves Powell River for the USHL does that mean BCHL teams should stay away from prairie kids too?

It does seem like this is happening more this year than in previous season, but what can the BCHL do about it? There is a serious risk that if this pattern continues to grow people could try and label the BCHL and other Canadian Junior A leagues as developmental leagues for the USHL. Just wait for the best young talent to emerge and pluck them away after Canadian teams take them through the growing pains. Does the league have an answer for it? Is there anything they can do?

Nothing that happens in the future can help Trail. For now they'll have to hope that Ingram can land another top end defenceman in a deal, that the returning core (Koshey/Strukoff/Raley) can pick up the slack and that the new recruits are ready for prime time.


...I was sitting up late one night in April unable to sleep and thinking about the changes the BCHL should make to their schedule. I felt they should move to a playoff system with seven teams making it from each conference (the top team gets a bye) and a best of seven in each round. In the regular season I felt they had to go back to visiting and hosting every team at least once. I also thought the northern teams should play each other ten times and the rest of the Interior four times. Great minds think alike! The BCHL governors came up with the same solution I was thinking of so obviously I approve of their decision. If only I could take credit for it! I should've blogged about it then I could claim that they stole the idea from me. Instead I think the playoff format is actually similar to what they do in the AJHL.

...All the junior leagues are following the NHL's lead when it comes to the first face off of a power play being moved to the defending team's zone. It makes sense to follow the NHL's lead when you're a developmental league. Of course that makes me wonder why the BCHL doesn't use a shoot out and why the KIJHL has now followed the BCHL's lead. 4 on 4 and 3 on 3 is great. Why not just follow that with the shoot out? If the NHL and other junior leagues are doing it the BCHL should be.

...How good was game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals? Glad to see a different result this year. I was cheering for the Wings last spring because Rossland's Dallas Drake was on the team and looking for his first cup. This time around I wanted to see someone else get to lift the history mug. It couldn't have been more dramatic. I will always dream about getting to call a game like that someday.

...I had even more fun today with game 5 of the NBA finals. As an unapologetic Lakers fan I've got a pretty damn big smile on my face tonight.

...Tune in tomorrow night on Mountain FM's Overtime (104.1 in Trail) to hear the latest player announcement from the Smokies. This 1992 born forward has something in common with the first forward we told you about this off season. Tune in to Mountain FM from 6pm to 10pm tomorrow for that news, local baseball results, rugby results and all the reaction from the NHL and NBA finals.

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