Monday, October 31, 2011

U20 Reinforcements Needed for Canada

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One defenceman and five forwards. That's the count for players Canada invited to their summer U20 camp in Edmonton who are still playing in the NHL and therefore unlikely to be wearing the maple leaf at the 2012 WJC in Alberta. A couple of others are currently on the shelf with injuries which may be healed in time but may also prove to be a factor before the event.

Regardless, it's apparent that Canada will be on the lookout for guys to invite to their December camp and there are several across the country who are playing their way into consideration.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Campese no longer coaching Raiders: Who's next to go?

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The Prince Albert Raiders have taken the coaching duties away from Bruno Campese. He will stay on as G.M.

Steve Young has been promoted from Assistant. The Raiders are off to a terrible start at 4-11-1-1, they've lost 4 straight and if weren't for the Calgary Hitmen and Lethbridge Hurricanes would be last in the Eastern Conference.

An interesting field in the Calder Chase

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It's early in the season but a few freshman have busted out of the gate and are galloping hard around the first corner. There's a few usual suspects and some refreshing surprises, while other pre-season favourites are pacing themselves. The great thing, and let's hope is stays this way all season, is that no player is running away with it already, and a month from now the top of the list could look totally different.

In the top 6, of which all players have at least 6 points you have a first and second overall pick, a 2nd rounder from 3 years ago, a 4 round pick from 2 drafts past, an undrafted collegiate and a 7th round guy from 2005.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Oil Kings Adding to Blueline

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While nothing has been officially announced by the team, The Pipeline Show has learned that the Oil Kings have added, or are about to add, another defenceman to the mix.

Minnesota high school product Cody Corbett, considered a 'B' level prospect eligible for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft according to NHL Central Scouting, was seen at Rexall Place on Wednesday night taking in the WHL game.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Connolly now a Former Prince George Cougar

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The 9 game struck and Brett Connolly was still around the Tampa Bay dressing room as the Lightning made it official, Brett Connolly had made their club. Once he plays his 10th NHL game (Thursday vs. Nashville) a year of his contract will kick in. Tuesday night we had Al Bristowe from PGTV on the show to discuss whether or not Connolly would stick, and recently Guy wrote a piece about decision time for NHL teams.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

9 Games In; Who Stays and Who Goes?

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The Pittsburgh Penguins are the first team in the NHL to hit the nine game point of the season. The Pens are the only team as a matter of fact but the rest of the league will have caught up to them in the next couple of days. And that's when it gets interesting for a number of rookies around the NHL.

By my count there are 15 players left who could theoretically be sent to the CHL. Many of the 15 are definitely not headed that way as they have come from Europe or NCAA and so would either be assigned to the AHL or simply return overseas.

Still, here's a quick rundown of the 15 players to watch and whether I think they get the red tag in their locker or not.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Martindale/Roy: What's the Rush?

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The Edmonton Oilers have three players currently skating in the ECHL, all three of them still possessing junior eligibility. For an organization that has mentioned several times about their desire to have contract wiggle room, it's interesting to see them not use an obvious out in order to better manage the number that they are carrying this year.

It's more confusing still when you consider the impact and development two of the three players in question could have if they were back in the CHL.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Comrie Stones Cougars Again

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16-year-old Eric Comrie wasn't having the greatest start to his WHL career but it's taken a big turn for the better after he posted back-to-back shutouts against the Prince George Cougars over the last two nights.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Jesse Martin Story

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Saturday on TPS we'll be joined by Mike Chambers, a writer for the Denver Post who's 3 part series on Spruce Grove product and former Denver Pioneer Jesse Martin is a must read.

Be sure to check out Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 and tune in starting at 10 am mst on the TEAM 1260 in Edmonton or online by clicking listen live here.

Major Injuries Hit 2012 Draft

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In 2009 it was Spokane defenceman Jared Cowen (OTT), out the second half of the season with a knee in jury. Brett Connolly (TBY) missed most of 2010 with the Prince George Cougars. Last year both US-NTDP defender Connor Murphy (PHX) and Peterborough Petes forward Matt Puempel (OTT) missed significant time from their draft year.

Unfortunately the trend appears to be continuing in 2011-12 with three potential top-15 prospects on the shelf for what appears to be an extended period of time.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Merrill Visits Plymouth

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Suspended Michigan defenceman Jon Merrill (NJ) was seen taking in a Plymouth Whalers game recently fueling speculation that he may be entertaining the idea of jumping to the CHL. Yesterday the The Michigan Daily had an update on Merrill's situation with the Wolverines and made mention of the OHL stop.

3 Years, 3 Cheers for Lucia

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There's been talk about Don Lucia's future at the helm of the Golden Gophers I think since we started our show. Now we can put that to rest as the Don of hockey signed a new 3 year deal to coach the team.

Minnesota is off to a perfect start at 4-0 and are really filling the net, so maybe we won't see another average to poor season like the last 3 for the GG. He'll also get the chance to coach against his son Mario who will play at Notre Dame next season.

USCHO.COM has the details.

Phaneuf to P.E.I

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The Prince George Cougars released Edmonton Product Dane Phaneuf 2 weeks ago, but now the former South Side Athletic Club member has found a new home out east.

Marcel Vander Wier has the details of the deal here.

It was a depth issue for the Cougars and the young blueliner was waived through the WHL. That has worked out for someone recently, as Jacob De Serres also went through the WHL waiver wire and ended up with a Memorial Cup ring in Saint John.

This fall when Dane played for the Cougars in the Oil Kings pre-season tournament I ran into Dion and we chatted about P.E.I as his family has roots there so the comfort level should be pretty high for Dane.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Rielly Vs. Reinhart at Rexall Place

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The Edmonton Oil Kings pulled out a 2-1 victory over the Moose Jaw Warriors tonight, dominating the tribe 42-18 on the shot clock and jumping into a 3 way tie for first in the central division.

It was a battle of 2012 first round draft prospects, and former D partners as Morgan Rielly went head to head with Griffin Reinhart in front of a ton of scouts. A number of teams sent their head scouts to watch the 2 rear guards.

USHL is Open for Imports

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The USHL's players of the week were announced a couple of days ago and I noticed that two of the three winners are actually Canadian. Lincoln's Kevin Roy was chosen as the Offensive Player of the Week while Dubuque's Michael Matheson was named the top blueliner - both hail from Quebec.

Out of curiosity I explored the rosters of the 16-team league, minus the US-NTDP for obvious reasons, to see just how many Canadians I could find. I noticed a bunch but more surprising to me was the number of European players in the USHL.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

ISS Draft Countdown - October

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International Scouting Services has released their October top-30 rankings for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. A quick look at the names that appear here reveal many that are familiar to listeners to TPS because you've already heard them on the show this season.

It's also a good time to make an announcement pertaining to the independent talent agency and The Pipeline Show.

Coming Down the Pipe...Tonight

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We kick things off tonight at 7 on the TEAM 1260 in Edmonton or online here where you can also vote on our poll question and check out past shows contests.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Oil Kings Stephenson taking a break

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4 Year Oil King forward Colton stephenson is taking some time away from the club while he recovers from a pre-season concussion.

It's been a tough go for the Saskatoon product as injuries have limited him to just 70 total games entering his 4th season. His concussion problems go back a few years ago. In 2009-2010 he was injured in the same game as former teammate turned Oil Kings assistant coach Jesse Pearson. That was Stephenson's only game. Last year he suited up just 50 times.

Pearson's playing career ended because of his concussion and if was a betting man I would lean towards Stephenson following the same path. Whether or not he gets into coaching or not I don't know, but he will receive 5 years of university because his junior career is in fact over.

Hopefully things work out for a really nice kid.

Wheat Kings Shuffle The Deck...Twice

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My inbox buzzed twice in less then two hours today with 2 separate deals that Brandon Wheat Kings G.M. Kelly McCrimmon pulled off. He added stability to the crease and some firepower up front.

Should the OHL Look at Thunder Bay?

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The Ontario Hockey League consists of 17 teams located throughout Ontario, 2 more in Michigan and one other based in Erie Pennsylvania. Like the WHL and QMJHL, the OHL has a remote franchise or two, in this case the Soo Greyhounds who are situated 4.5 hours from their nearest rival in Sudbury. The next stop of the trail is Barrie, another 300 km. past Sudbury so you get a sense of just how far the Greyhounds have to travel during the year.

Listen, the Prince George Cougars, Portland Winterhawks and Brandon Wheat Kings don't have any sympathy for the Greyhounds. I'm sure the same can be said about the QMJHL's teams in Cape Breton, Chicoutimi and Rouyn-Noranda.

We recently received a letter from a fan in Ontario who would love to see the OHL expand to Thunder Bay, a big town that's even further away from the rest of the league than the Soo is. We're talking 700 km. to Sault Ste. Marie, 1000 km. to Sudbury and a staggering 1283 km. to Barrie. And that's just the closest 3 teams!

A road game against the Erie Otters... 1671 km., about 19 hours away. Ottawa? 20 hours and 23 minutes according to Google Maps.

While we're going to share the letter with you, it's not an idea that I personal believe can work (I can't speak for Dean) but we'd love to hear your thoughts on it.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Are They For Real?

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Just about every hockey team in a serious, competitive league is now active for the 2011-12 season, (the ivy league schools don't get going until Halloween weekend), and already we're seeing some surprise clubs at the top of the standings. It happens every year in every league but the question is which of these overachievers can continue on with their success and which ones will eventually come back down to Earth?

A quick look at four surprises: the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs, the Peterborough Petes of the OHL, the WHL's Kamloops Blazers and the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Pats Put Away Oil Kings in 3rd

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And just like that the Oil Kings have company on top of the standings after Regina, thanks to 3 goals in the final 5 and a half minutes, skated away with a 6-3 win. Couple that with Saskatoon beating Swift and it's 3 teams with 14 points.

The Pats/Oil Kings game was great, best of the year so far easily. 9 goals on 72 shots, 4 lead changes and 3 times the game was tied. Some big hits and sweet goals. What more could you ask for?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Warriors helping to Stick It To Cancer Tonight

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If you're in the Moose Jaw area tonight then you should check out the Warriors-Swift Current Broncos tilt. Not only will you watch a talented Warriors club play in one of the nicest facilities in the league, but you can also help 'Stick it to Cancer' by snapping up some Stylish head gear.

TPS is happy to spread the word about the fund raiser that will leave you looking cool at the rink this year. All the details can be found here.

You'll be able to pick up your Stickhead lid at the Warriors home tilt with Speedy Creek tonight.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Stuff You Should Know: WHL

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It's been an interesting time in the WHL so far this young season. Here's some stuff you may or may not have heard already.

Back to Junior: Strome, Saad & Murphy

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3 OHL skaters were returned to their junior teams in the past couple of days allowing fans, players and coaches alike in Niagara, Kitchener and Saginaw exhale.

CIS Outperforms AHA Against NCAA Opposition

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The annual tradition of CIS schools crossing the border to be slaughtered by NCAA opponents wrapped up last weekend. As usual, the Canadian University clubs, many playing 3 games in 3 nights and all on the road, came away with very few wins and a lot of losses. Some of our friends south of the border might be inclined to pound their chest and continue to look down on the level of CIS hockey because of the results but I'd argue that they should pause for a minute and consider one thing.

Despite a combined lopsided record of 5-28-4, CIS clubs fared better against NCAA competition than their counterparts in the Atlantic Hockey Conference have so far this year.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Saskatoon to Host 2013 Memorial Cup

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Just announced by the WHL, the Saskatoon Blades have beaten out bids from Red Deer and Kelowna and have been granted host status for the 2013 MasterCard Memorial Cup.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Foster and Oil Kings Reaching New Heights

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Don't look now but the Edmonton Oil Kings are tied for first place in the WHL. Yes it's extremely early in the season and yes, they've played more games than any other team in the league but for a club that has never seen the top of the standings before, you take your victories when and where you can.

Like the franchise, a player enjoying unprecedented early season success is veteran forward T.J. Foster. The Slave Lake product is second in team scoring with 4 goals and 9 points in as many games thanks to a new level of confidence and a big chip on his shoulder.

One on One: Nathan Lieuwen

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He was one of WHL's best goaltenders last year and is picking up this season right where he left off in May. Nathan Lieuwen has stopped 95.3% of the shots he's faced and is sporting a miniscule 1.30 GAA after his first six appearances. Not bad for a guy who didn't get drafted until he was 19-years-old.

I had a chance to chat with the Buffalo Sabres 6th round pick about finally getting selected, what his impressions of the NHL organization were and where he fits into their big picture plus just what he thinks about returning to the WHL again.

Friday, October 7, 2011

2012 Draft Blog: Cody Ceci

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He was the youngest player at Canada's U20 summer camp this past August in Edmonton but Cody Ceci didn't look out of place. The Ottawa native is a 6'3, 210 rearguard who is now entering his third season in the OHL. The late '93 birthdate could work to his advantage on draft day as NHL teams will view him as a prospect slightly closer to the NHL than his counterparts born in 1994 who only have two years in the CHL under their belt.

It was in Edmonton where we first spoke with the potential 1st round pick but today we get the first entry to Ceci's 2012 Guest Draft Blog here with us. It's brief but wets the appetite for us to hear more from the 67's defender as he and his teammates begin their quest for the CHL's top prize.

Here is the first contribution this year from Cody Ceci...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

2012 Draft Watch: Charles Hudon

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He was the QMJHL's Rookie of the Year in 2010-11 after nearly being a point per game player, he suited up for Canada as an under-aged forward at the U18s in Germany this past April and led Canada in scoring at the Ivan Hlinka tournament as well. It's odd that few are talking about him yet for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

Make no mistake, by the end of the year general hockey fans will not only recognize the name Chalres Hudon but they'll be wanting their favourite NHL team to be calling it out in June.

Wheat Kings on Royal Roll

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The Brandon Wheat Kings have gone through quite a few changes on and off the ice in the last year. They dealt franchise forward Brayden Schenn at last year's deadline, and this off season watched Kelly McCrimmon step down as Head Coach and hire Cory Clouston to coach the club. But the Wheaties haven't missed a beat early in the season as heading into Thursday nights action they sat a point out of first place in the East Division.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Great Gernat ices Kootenay for Oil Kings

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The defending WHL champions rolled into Rexall Place tonight to face the Oil Kings and a very small crowd watched one of the least exciting games of the year.

The OK kids had a ton of trouble getting in sync early on with passes off the mark and to many giveaways. The Ice could only take advantage once on the miscues when Max Reinhart lifted one over Laurent Brossoit's shoulder to open the scoring. It stayed that way until 6 minutes into the 3rd period. Not because of stellar goaltending from Nathan Lieuwen, although he did make one super stop in the second, but rather because neither team had much going.

On a 3rd period power play, Martin Gernat unloaded a blast from the point that went wide, but rebounded right on the stick of TJ Foster who put away his 3rd of the season, tying him with Gernat for the team lead. The Oiler draft pick wasn't only picking up assists, but he delivered a wicked hip check on Sam Reinhart during the second period, and then scored the game winning goal in the shoot out on a 'Peter Forsberg' type goal. Expect to see it on the WHL plays of the week.

Other then that, not very eventful, although all 3 Reinhart brothers had some sort of impact. Max scored, Griffin was kicked out for a kneeing major, and Sam went for a ride courtesy of Gernat.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

TPS Predictions: Calder Trophy

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Tuesday night on TPS we pulled out the Crystal Square and gazed deep into it for some predictions. We welcomed in Rogers Sportsnets Jamie Thomas (jamie_thomas71 on Twitter) to find out who will come out on top in the race to be the rookie of the year.

Last year I don't remember anyone having Jeff Skinner, Logan Couture and Michael Grabner in their final three, and this year things could be even more wide open. There are so many surprises in NHL training camps, (Guy has a rundown here) that someone might pick a player to win the Calder that others don't think will even play a full season. That actually is the case with Guy's pick.

Inglis gets 10: Video

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It's not just Brendan Shanahan or the OHL that are ruling the roost when it comes to lengthy suspensions, as WHL discipline dude Richard Doerksen has slapped 10 games on Prince George leading scorer Charles Inglis for a head shot over the weekend.

Here is the video courtesy of CKPG and our good friend Allan Bristowe. 10 games is a nice round number for what seemed to be a player targeting another players head.

However unlike the NHL and OHL's suspension you had to dig a little on the WHL's website to find info on it. It's under the NEWS and WHL DISCIPLINE section, and only this was written.
0/04/11 Charles Inglis Prince George 10 games for match penalty for checking to the head versus Victoria on October 1
We've all seen "The Shanny Show", and the OHL is doing something similar, although without a former NHLer hosting it. The QMJHL also gives a detailed explanation, although I haven't seen any video evidence with their rullings.

What I liked about the OHL's version is it was front and centre on their website. Not hiding it a few mouse clicks away. Junior leagues need to be transparent and totally open with their rulings. The WHL should follow suit and give more then one line about a suspension. As for the latest one handed down by Doerksen. I think it sends a strong message and hopefully it means he has to hand out fewer suspensions this year.

Broncos and Oil Kings Swap

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Swift Current and Edmonton have completed a one-for-one trade of 20-year-olds that sees netminder Jon Groenheyde join the Broncos with forward Jordan Peddle coming to the Alberta Capital.

My thoughts after the click.

Monday, October 3, 2011

2012 Draft Blog: Mike Matheson

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He's considered an "A' level prospect by NHL Central Scouting. He's ranked by ISS, HockeyProspect.com, TheScoutingReport.org and FutureConsiderations.ca as a 1st rounder for 2012 and the season has just barely begun.

Michael Matheson is a native of Quebec but has taken his skates to the USHL where he plays for the defending champion Dubuque Fighting Saints. The 17-year-old has agreed to keep in contact with us and hockey fans this season by contributing to an ongoing series of blogs. Mike won't be the only 2012 eligible player to do so this year but he is the first.

Today we learn some of his back story as Mike introduces himself to our audience and readership. We first got to know him a little a few weeks back when he appeared on The Pipeline Show and it was that conversation which eventually led to the blog you are about to read.

Without further ado, here is the first installment of the 2012 Guest Player Blog written by Michael Matheson...

Sunday, October 2, 2011

2012 Guest Player Blogs

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Back in 2008 we came up with the idea of asking a couple of players in their NHL draft year if they'd like to blog with us. It was meant to be an outlet for the players to share some insight into their lives during a very important stage. Where they came from, how they got to be where they are, highlights of their hockey careers, tales from the road, experiences at international tournaments, the NHL combine and of course, the NHL draft.

Well, we're very pleased to be able to say that we have another group of players who have agreed to do the same again this year. This season you'll be able to get a look behind the curtain courtesy of 4 or 5 guys who are eligible for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft in Pittsburgh.

And it starts on Monday!