A little IceDogs business to take care of before we get to the heart of the blog today. There was a buzz around IceDogs rookie camp on Saturday and it was unrelated to the fine talent assembled. Coach/GM Marty Williamson made a surprise appearance at the camp after some well documented and very serious health concerns. Marty was recently in the ICU after some complications around his recent heart surgery. Reading about him being out of ICU and making even the briefest appearance was outstanding to see. Now, get home and rest up Marty! There's no timetable for your return, so you better follow doctors orders! Seriously, lets hope he is on the road to recovery. His surgery sounded like it was not unlike what my dad almost 8 years ago, and it did take him quite a while to recover. The curmudgeonliness of Clark sr. came back right away, the physical effects took a little while to fix. With the CHL season finishing when Oshawa won the Master Card Memorial Cup, the next order of business will be the releasing of the league schedule which normally comes out mid to late June. It will be a schedule of interest this year as new teams Hamilton and Flint will be part of the loop, ironic as Hamilton and Flint have long competed annually in the CANUSA Games. Smart marketing would dictate the two teams tying in the CANUSA Games to the games that they play.
Bill Potrecz of the St Catherines Standard writes about Marty HERE
NIAGARA RIVER LIONS NBLC
It was announced that last Thursday the newest basketball team in the NBLC would be called the River Lions and the new Coach and GM would be long time Niagara Region familiar face Ken Murray. Murray helmed the Brock Badgers for well over twenty years, winning two CIS Championships during that stretch which is mighty impressive considering Brock is a small school. The last one in 2008 was especially sweet considering his son Scott played on the team. The new coach/gm comes out of retirement to embrace the challenge of the newest team in the NCBL. Filling the wonderful Meridian Centre will be one challenge for the new team. Another one will come on the heels of Butch Carter's rival league which will set up shop in Ottawa, Scarborough, Kitchener-Waterloo and Hamilton. The concerns are not necessarily geographical in terms of stealing basketball fans, but there will be competition for sponsorship dollars and media coverage. The NBLC is trying to right the ship and build credibility after their latest season ended with Windsor winning the championship by forfeit over Halifax who no showed game 7 in Windsor sighting safety concerns after a morning dust up during pre game shootaround. To tell the whole story on this would take pages, and pages. The NBLC is trying to turn the corner and the first steps were adding Niagara to the league and installing former Brampton boss David Magley as the new Commissioner.
BULLET NEWS NIAGARA WRITES ABOUT THE RIVER LIONS : HERE
TSN RADIO HAMILTON!
Sports media enthusiasts and/or nerds ( I qualify as both by the way) take note ! There will be a new all-sports radio station and it will be in Hamilton. TSN branded radio will take over the dials previously held for a long time by 1150 CKOC, so unfortunately those who crave their oldies will have to look elsewhere. This is big news for Hamilton as it adds something of a competitor to the venerable 900 CHML, though CHML does mostly current events shows, and some live sports. The bigger news is that the Hamilton Tiger Cats will move from 900 CHML to 1150 as the new station looks to build in some anchor programming. How much local /new talent needed remains to be seen as TSN Radio can simulcast some of their key programming. Hamilton, I've always felt is a fiercely proud local market who wears their Hamilton colours with pride. If I am TSN Radio, I make sure that the local presence is very strong and anything simulcasted is carefully picked. The listening market, to me, for this station stretches along the Golden Horsehoe to the Niagara Region as much as the GTA region, so there is a wide range of listenership in the area. Other key sports properties right now are McMaster Football and Hamilton Bulldogs hockey, both with 900 CHML.No idea what the contract status of either one of those is at this time. Butch Carter's CBL has four franchises signed up for the 2015 season, one of which is in Hamilton, and you have to wonder if he will seek out the new station for some media coverage. McMaster Basketball could also be another viable sports property that already draws decently on local cable channel Cable 14. Right now the Leafs and Raptors game that are not on The Fan 590 will be on TSN Radio , and that includes the Hamilton market. The launch is expected to be for the Fall, so there should be lots of announcements over the summer.
THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR HAS AN ARTICLE ABOUT TSN 1150: HERE
THE OFFICIAL MEDIA RELEASE IS : HERE
By the way, if the new station needs someone who knows their hockey, basketball, football, soccer and pro wrestling (maybe I should leave that part out), I'm available.