BRETT LAWRIE: THE SECOND COMING?
Great lyricists Public Enemy warned us to not believe the hype, and perhaps this should be a caution for all those expecting Brett Lawrie to be the second coming of Brooks Robinson and Mike Schmidt all rolled into one. Make no mistake about it, the young man has tremendous talent and unlimited potential, but he's still a rookie trying to find his way in the league. Sad thing is that another hyped youngster in Travis Snyder got sent down again to make room for Lawrie and Snyder is in danger of being tabbed with the "unfulfilled potential" label.
OHL NEWS: NIAGARA ICE DOGS
Gotta slip in a little OHL news for the team that I cover, the Niagara Ice Dogs. Assistant Coach Mike Van Ryn, who did an admirable job with a defense led by first rounder Dougie Hamilton, is off to Houston of the AHL to fulfill a similar role. Former Guelph Storm bench boss and general manager Jason Brooks takes over the affable Van Ryn. Brooks did some scouting for the Ice Dogs toward the latter part of last year.
Good luck to Ice Dogs Freddie and Dougie Hamilton, Ryan Strome and Mark Visentin who are attending Team Canada orientation camp. Visentin is a lock to be the #1 goaltender for the team this year, while the Hamilton brothers and Strome will make strong bids for the team. Former Ice Dog D-Man Matt Petgrave is also plying his trade as a hopeful.
I was a little disappointed to see Jesse Graham not crack the U-18 squad competing in the Ivan Hlinka Tournament. Reports had seemed to indicate that he was having a good camp. I have no doubt that Graham will channel that disappointment into positive energy and he'll have a big sophomore campaign for the Ice Dogs.
The players just ratified a 10 year agreement, which will include testing for HGH. Simply put the NFL is a league that simply gets it. This is a league that has a license to print money. Their preseason generates 800M per week for goodness sake. It served no purpose to have the league shut down for any length of time, and to their credit they got the job done. The early player transactions made NHL's free agent frenzy pale in comparison as guys like Reggie Bush, Kevin Kolb, Plaxico Burress, Matt Hasselback all changed addresses.
On a personal note, hoping to have some new projects on the go for the fall. Its not easy to fit in media projects with my gig as a high school teacher, a full season of Ice Dog broadcasts and my most important job of all as a father to a 10 week old daughter. It is sure to be a busy fall and winter!