I'm still in the process of trying to make this blog relevant, and now the Fall is upon us and my own personal broadcasting schedule starts to ramp up, there is certainly a lot to talk about. One thing that I've learned is that people really do not care what my thoughts are on certain NHL topics, or the Leafs, what the heck the Senators are doing etc. I don't cover those beats, so my credibility takes a hit as I really am commenting from afar. For the most part, I like to stay in my lane and stick to topics that I am covering, such as OUA Football and OHL hockey. That said, as this post will prove, occasionally I will dive into topics in professional sports, especially if its particularly topical. This blog will be more of a shorter, bullet point commentary as I am covering a number of different topics.
- This feels like the longest OHL off season for some reason. Like a lot of broadcaster, I am chomping at the bit to get going on the season. A lot of prognosticators have the Niagara IceDogs atop the mountain in the Eastern Conference and there is good reason to believe the talent level and experience of this team has them positioned well. That said, Caveat Emptor! The 2015-2016 team was deeply talented, but had a middling regular season, rolled the dice on being buyers at the trade deadline and then got hot making it to the OHL Final before running headlong into London. So do not panic if the IceDogs aren't lighting it up in the regular season. Trust the process, and the plan! That said, if there is a team to watch out for I'd go with the Oshawa Generals who are roughly in the same position as Niagara in terms of returning impact players. Personally , I'd love a strong Oshawa/Niagara rivalry. Also watch out for Ottawa as they are a team poised to make noise this season!
- Ed Burkholder, Al Galloway and I are happy to be back for a 12th season of calling Niagara IceDog home games. Hard pressed to find a crew in the OHL that has been intact for that long. I know that we are among the longest tenured crews on the TV side of things. We get going with back to back games September 28th and 29th!
- When Craig Button's original 2019 draft list came out , there were only three OHL players in his rankings scheduled to be drafted in the first round (Top 31). Arthur Kaliyev of Hamilton, Ryan Suzuki of Barrie and Nikolai Okhotyuk of Ottawa made the list. Is it a down year for the OHL? Something to be concerned about? Maybe there are sleepers , or late bloomers? Lots of questions to be asked as the season progresses. Personally, while I enjoy reading all draft projections, I'm trying not to put too much stock in the first ranking of the season. As they say, it is a marathon not a sprint and often the cream always rises to the top. (Wow, two banal standard cliches in one sentence!)
The list is HERE
- Had a chance to watch the fine production that TSN put together on the return of the Humboldt Broncos. Kudos to the network for presenting the season opener of the Broncos commercial free, and also a nice touch to have Chris Cuthbert call the game. Cuthbert got his start in the SJHL and I am sure it will be an emotional homecoming for him.
The story on the two returning Broncos is HERE
- Man, I do not know what the Ottawa Senators and Eugene Melnyk were trying to accomplish with that bizarre video of current player Mark Borowiecki interviewing the owner about the current state of the franchise. If it was to improve public relations, I'm not sure it did that as the only words to describe the video were "uncomfortable" and "awkward" . Everyone is expecting the Senators to be awful this year, but I will reserve judgement until I see the return on Erik Karlsson. It would not shock me to see the team be better than expected.
The video is: HERE
- A little OUA Football news, as this is one of my many side broadcasting projects. This weekend is McMaster homecoming and the team will stumble into it on a two game losing streak and off a 44-6 thrashing by the #1 ranked Western Mustangs. It has been a while since McMaster has been a Top 10 afterthought and below .500. That said, the University of Toronto, while improving do not have the talent level of McMaster and they are this weekends opponent, and it will be fun to watch these young Marauders battle for playoff positioning and a playoff berth he rest of the year. It should be a fun 5 games down the stretch. You can catch the game live this weekend on TSN 1150, Saturday at 12:30 is the pregame and 1:00 is the kickoff with Bubba O'Neill and I.
- A little sports media musing to close out the blog. This week TSN 1050 finally anointed former Leaf Carlo Coliacovo as the new co-host to Michael Landsberg for their morning drive show (6-10 am). Full disclosure in that I had one conversation with TSN 1050 about the morning show, and while the discussion was productive, obviously they looked in another direction, which of course is their prerogative. I was a long shot at best, and was happy to be part of the process (cliche #3 if you are counting). TSN is doubling down on the idea of having former NHL players as part of their radio shows. Normally athletes are analysts, or colour commentators not talk show personality. That said TSN has caught lightning in a bottle with Overdrive with Bryan Hayes, Jeff O'Neill and Jamie MacLennan and are hoping to replicate that chemistry in the morning. Between ex players being sports radio personalities and The Fan parachuting in U.S. based guys like Richard Deitsch, it is becoming tougher and tougher to break into the sports talk game. This is an observation not an criticism. As long the content is good, and entertaining I will listen. CC (I'm not trying to spell that last name again) has a good on air personality and comes across well on air, so I'll see what the show has to offer.
Until Next Time