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Old 09-20-2018, 01:27 PM   #1
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Default WHL Talk - 2018/19 Season

The new season is upon us, opening night is on Friday.

Hopefully there is more life to this thread this season with the Hitmen likely (IMO) to be a playoff team once again.

My standings predictions:

Central

1. Hurricanes
2. Hitmen
3. Tigers
4. Oil Kings
5. Rebels
6. Ice

East

1. Wheat Kings
2. Raiders
3. Blades
4. Warriors
5. Pats
6. Broncos

BC

1. Blazers
2. Rockets
3. Giants
4. Cougars
5. Royals

US

1. Chiefs
2. Silvertips
3. Winterhawks
4. Thunderbirds
5. Americans
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Old 09-20-2018, 02:54 PM   #2
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I'm hoping that you are right about the Hurricane's as it will come down to their goal tending and D. Can they handle the pressure of being ranked #3 in the CHL pre-season? I hope that there is no stock in that as pre-season rankings usually mean nothing.

I'm also looking forward to seeing how they deal with the playoffs which I full expect them to be there and having to go from a 5000 seat arena to one that holds 700. Maybe I'll get lucky on the lottery.
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Old 09-20-2018, 03:18 PM   #3
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I'm hoping that you are right about the Hurricane's as it will come down to their goal tending and D. Can they handle the pressure of being ranked #3 in the CHL pre-season? I hope that there is no stock in that as pre-season rankings usually mean nothing.

I'm also looking forward to seeing how they deal with the playoffs which I full expect them to be there and having to go from a 5000 seat arena to one that holds 700. Maybe I'll get lucky on the lottery.
That is complete crap! The City of Lethbridge is being horribly run right now.

City: "We've booked a major event in the Enmax Centre for April"
Hurricanes: "Uh, we need it to play our playoff games"
City: "Who are you again?"
Hurricanes: "The WHL Team that has been here since 1987....
City: "Oh, well there are other arenas around town, they'll work out nicely for you. Maybe you can play in a venue out of town. Medicine Hat has a nice new arena!"

I wish I could just leave.

Back on topic... Hurricanes have some nice pieces moving forward. I'm not 100% sold on goaltending though. Klassen was backup last year and doesn't have enough games for us to know what he is really all about. Dylan Cozens is going to be an absolute beast. I could see that when he joined the team for the playoffs two years ago and he kept improving throughout last year. Add to him Jordy Bellerive, who should crack 50 goals and 100 points this year, and young giant Logan Barlage who should be close to a ppg player. They have a lot more forward depth. Their defense is light on depth but they have three good work horses on the back end.

Two years ago when Tyler Wong played his last game I thought the Hurricanes were going to rebuild mode and suck again for a few years. The team really stepped up and the young guys they have been bringing in have been developing nicely.
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Old 09-20-2018, 03:34 PM   #4
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That is complete crap! The City of Lethbridge is being horribly run right now.

City: "We've booked a major event in the Enmax Centre for April"
Hurricanes: "Uh, we need it to play our playoff games"
City: "Who are you again?"
Hurricanes: "The WHL Team that has been here since 1987....
City: "Oh, well there are other arenas around town, they'll work out nicely for you. Maybe you can play in a venue out of town. Medicine Hat has a nice new arena!"

I wish I could just leave.
That's not unprecidented. Didn't Moose Jaw have to do that a few years ago when the Scotties were held at the same time?
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Old 09-20-2018, 03:55 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Buff View Post
That is complete crap! The City of Lethbridge is being horribly run right now.

City: "We've booked a major event in the Enmax Centre for April"
Hurricanes: "Uh, we need it to play our playoff games"
City: "Who are you again?"
Hurricanes: "The WHL Team that has been here since 1987....
City: "Oh, well there are other arenas around town, they'll work out nicely for you. Maybe you can play in a venue out of town. Medicine Hat has a nice new arena!"

I wish I could just leave.

Back on topic... Hurricanes have some nice pieces moving forward. I'm not 100% sold on goaltending though. Klassen was backup last year and doesn't have enough games for us to know what he is really all about. Dylan Cozens is going to be an absolute beast. I could see that when he joined the team for the playoffs two years ago and he kept improving throughout last year. Add to him Jordy Bellerive, who should crack 50 goals and 100 points this year, and young giant Logan Barlage who should be close to a ppg player. They have a lot more forward depth. Their defense is light on depth but they have three good work horses on the back end.

Two years ago when Tyler Wong played his last game I thought the Hurricanes were going to rebuild mode and suck again for a few years. The team really stepped up and the young guys they have been bringing in have been developing nicely.
The Canes also added Akira Schmid in net with the 2018 import draft, he's a 2018 NHL draft pick of the New Jersey Devils. 6'5 with pedigree, hopefully he can tandem with Klassen while he gets used to the dub. Klassen also had a stellar pre-season to boot.

The Canes top end at forward and D is very potent. It's how the depth players develop that will be key for the team.

Barlage, Jeri-Leon, Joseph, Shepard and Blocker need to step up. Losing Vandervlis really hurts, but hopefully Ross (who had an outstanding second half and playoffs last year) steps up to fill the OA void at forward.

They are solid on D with Addison, Merezkho, Stanley, Wilson and Prefontaine returning, plus they have three guys I'm really excited to see how they look at the WHL level. Three 2001's in Cotton and Jones, as well as imported Belerussian Palivko.

Hopefully they can live up to their 3rd place CHL ranking right out of the gate here.
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Old 09-21-2018, 07:46 AM   #6
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That's not unprecidented. Didn't Moose Jaw have to do that a few years ago when the Scotties were held at the same time?
The Wheat Kings have frequently played games Winnipeg because of conflicts.
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Old 09-21-2018, 10:19 AM   #7
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The Wheat Kings have frequently played games Winnipeg because of conflicts.
That would suck. At least Winnipeg isn't their heated rivals building. I can't see the 'Canes going to play their home games in their rival's building, especially when their rival could potentially be playing at the same time... maybe even against the Hurricanes! I can't believe it was suggested to go to Medicine Hat. The other options are local arenas, of which the largest one is 700 seats which is about 4300 seats less than the Enmax.

What is troubling is they spent a lot of money on a new rec center that has twin sheets of ice for hockey that has limited seating, and a new curling rink. The new curling rink, we were told, is going to attract large events like Scotties or the Brier. The problem is that it isn't large enough to host those events!

It is one thing to go on a long road trip in the regular season because the Scotties is in town. It is horrible to have to find somewhere else to play home games for the playoffs. Doesn't matter which team is in that situation, it shouldn't happen.
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Old 09-29-2018, 09:16 PM   #8
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Dylan Cozens off to a red hot start with 5 goals and 10 points in his first 4 games. Living up to that early 2nd overall ranking he was given before the season started.

Goaltending is also living up to its pre season billing for the hurricanes as well but in this case thats not a good thing. Akira Smid finally played his 1st game tonight and got lit up by the Wheaties for 8 goals in an 8-4 loss despite the canes controlling the play and outshooting Brandon 45-29.

Canes are off to a 2-2 start but goaltending is probably the biggest reason they arent 4-0.
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Old 09-30-2018, 01:48 AM   #9
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Klassen came in relief of Schmid in the 1st, stopped one shot and then Schmid came back in to continue sucking.
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Old 10-03-2018, 05:28 AM   #10
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Klassen came in relief of Schmid in the 1st, stopped one shot and then Schmid came back in to continue sucking.
Schmid has been waived.

The other day, I looked at the Raiders' roster and all the goals they scored and said 'just imagine this team with Noah Gregor on it. Jesus Christ thats going to be an even more impressive/scary hockey club.
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Old 10-22-2018, 07:43 PM   #11
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The Rockets have relieved head coach Jason Smith of his duties. No replacement named.

#Interesting. After two 40+ win seasons, I'd have thought Smith would have a little more cushion for a bad start than this.
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Old 10-23-2018, 10:38 AM   #12
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Especially when they are 3-3 in their last six. Really odd to jettison a guy who was 44 games over .500 the past two years.


In other news, the Calgary Hitmen finally got this hockey thing figured out a little. 4-1-1 after a start that had me wondering if this was going to be a season that challenged the expansion years for ineptitude.
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Old 10-23-2018, 12:42 PM   #13
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Edmonton started off 5-0 but then lost 8 straight before winning again.

PA looks unreal. Only one loss and their goal differential is nuts.

Hurricanes can fill the net pretty good, but struggle to keep it out of their own net as well.
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Old 10-23-2018, 01:59 PM   #14
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For those that are interested, on Friday the Hitman are playing the Canes in Calgary and they are treating it like a Roughnecks game. Music playing throughout, dancers and loud announcers. Really curious to see how this is received by the fans as well as the players
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Old 10-30-2018, 05:36 PM   #15
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Brett Leason continues to lead the WHL in scoring. Has certainly taken his game to a higher level & shows no signs of lowering it. When scouting kids you have to keep a open mind some take longer to develop than others, sometimes they don't develop. Hes going to have his name called in the June draft after being passed over twice.

Still don't think there's a Broncos fan who would/should trade last year's championship for anything, but even with 13 combined games left against REG, KTN & CGY, seems to be a legit case they might challenge the 89-90 Victoria Cougars for fewest wins (5) in a season. Yikes.
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Old 11-15-2018, 07:38 AM   #16
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Kootenay rumoured to be moving to Winnipeg for next season. That would create a bit of a domino effect in that another team would need to move from the east to the central/west division, which would probably be Swift Current.

https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/sp...498077991.html
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Old 11-21-2018, 05:18 PM   #17
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Didnt know where else to put this but did anyone catch this trade in the OHL yesterday???

Holy crap.

Quote:
Niagara acquired two-time 40 goal scorer Jason Robertson and defenceman Jacob Paquette.


Going back to Kingston are defenceman Billy Constantinou and forward Ian Martin as well as the following draft picks:

Sarnia’s 2nd in 2019
Windsor’s 7th in 2019
Windsor’s 3rd in 2020
Niagara’s 13th in 2020
Peterborough’s 2nd in 2021
Niagara’s 5th in 2021
Niagara’s 11th in 2021
Niagara’s 2nd in 2022
Kitchener’s 3rd in 2022
Niagara’s 2nd in 2023
London’s 3rd in 2024
LOL....video games probably wouldnt allow such a deal!

https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/juni...kbuster-trade/
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Old 11-21-2018, 05:31 PM   #18
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Didnt know where else to put this but did anyone catch this trade in the OHL yesterday???

Holy crap.



LOL....video games probably wouldnt allow such a deal!

https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/juni...kbuster-trade/
Wow, 11 draft choices. Someone’s making a run for it damn the future.
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Old 11-21-2018, 11:36 PM   #19
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Sad to see the Ice leaving but no shocker.... 25k population in Cranbrook and not a real prosperous area economically... makes more sense to have had them in Nanaimo or Fort McMurray IMO. They lasted longer than I would have expected TBH.

Winnipeg will make money but to me, seeing WHL teams leave small towns to become 2nd or even 3rd fiddle in big cities saps the league of some of its character, seeing teams like the Oil Kings win kind of felt like watching Anaheim or Carolina win the cup... most people don't care whereas it's a big deal in a small or medium city.
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Old 11-22-2018, 09:14 AM   #20
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Sad to see the Ice leaving but no shocker.... 25k population in Cranbrook and not a real prosperous area economically... makes more sense to have had them in Nanaimo or Fort McMurray IMO. They lasted longer than I would have expected TBH.

Winnipeg will make money but to me, seeing WHL teams leave small towns to become 2nd or even 3rd fiddle in big cities saps the league of some of its character, seeing teams like the Oil Kings win kind of felt like watching Anaheim or Carolina win the cup... most people don't care whereas it's a big deal in a small or medium city.
It is sad and makes me wonder about the long term viability of teams like Swift Current which is much smaller than Cranbrook.

Places like Nanaimo and Ft Mac are interesting studies (Grande Prairie would also fit into this category). Large population centres that on paper should be a good fit for a major junior team however in all three cases I think it's their relative isolation that keeps the league away. That is a tough road trip to get to any of those places. Even Ft Mac or GP would 5 hours from the next nearest team. Prince George is a perfect example of this, they must have the hardest travel schedule in the WHL and I'm sure it affects their record. Nanaimo or anywhere else on the Island is hostage to ferry schedules meaning teams cannot bus out after a game and have to remain overnight when they come to play (or bus in late at night after a game elsewhere). Victoria deals with it I suppose and if you added another team on the island then you could combine a road trip to hit both cities making it simpler.

But yeah, I hate seeing small (er) places lose teams to the large cities. I agree the league loses some of it's character when thsi happens.
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