Monday, 30 January 2012

Hurricanes This Week

Well, just 20 games to go in the regular season for the Lethbridge Hurricanes.

The Canes started last week off in style with a comeback win over the Kootenay ICE, but they weren't able to muster much offence this past weekend losing 8-2 to Medicine Hat and then dropping a 6-3 decision the next night to the Prince Albert Raiders on home ice. The Hurricanes got themselves into some penalty trouble in those last two games and paid dearly for it. They're going to have to tighten up defensively if they want to see some success away from the ENMAX Centre in the coming days.

After 52 games, Lethbridge sits with a record of 19-32-0-1. This week the Canes will hit the road for 3 games in 4 nights. They play in Swift Current Wednesday, Brandon on Friday, and Regina Saturday to open the February portion of their schedule. A couple of interesting story lines to follow this coming week as well. On Friday, it'll be the first trip back to Brandon this season for both Liam Liston and Spencer Galbraith since they were traded to Lethbridge back in October in exchange for Brandon Anderson. On Saturday, it'll be the last game for 20 year old Damien Ketlo in Regina, a team he spent the majority of his WHL career with. I'm sure both Liston and Ketlo would love nothing more than to get the start in goal against their former teams.

Captain Brody Sutter currently leads the Hurricanes with 22 goals and 22 assists for 44 points through 48 games this season. Nick Buonassisi also has 22 assists and Phil Tot, who's been playing extremely well since around mid-December has 19 helpers to go along with 10 goals.


It's time to bring back the Hurricanes Media Roundtable. For our last show of the month, Fred Jack and I will welcome back Paul Kingsmith from Global TV and Dylan Purcell from the Lethbridge Herald. The program will air LIVE at 6:00 pm (MST) from Average Joe's Sports Bar on 6th Street South.



  1. My question would be will Gailbraith get a chance to play in Brandon. He was favouring the left ankle pretty good after his fight on Friday night.

    Hopefully it is not a serious sprain or he could be gone for the season. Very reminicent of Taylor Hall's injury last year.

  2. Great show Pat.

    My armchair opinion.

    If the team decides to move on from Rich next season at least the new coach/GM will reap the benefit of all the 1st and 2nd round picks he has acquired.
    RNH was a 16 and 17year old when he was toe dragging around players in the Whl (youth can make a difference and they are usually high bantam picks).
    Rich will have two draft classes and this off season to get this team going. If he doesn't, we should look to replace him at mid season.
    If we only keep one 20yr old d-man, I would keep Albin and take a gamble on a forward in the euro draft. Should we keep two 20yr old dmen, I think we take the same gamble on the forward in the euro draft and only have that one Euro on the team.

  3. Agreed. Good show tonight Pat. I like hearing multiple opinions from people close to the team. Gives me ideas and opinions of my own.

    I'd agree with the general consensus tonight that the GM Preston needs to address some age issues in the off-season (ie. not enough 18 year olds this year for 19 year olds for next year). But I don't think the roster needs too many more 19 year-olds for next year. Maybe 2? 3 max. I really think we will see a LOT of improvement from this year's 16 and 17 year-olds next year. I really do. I think they've gained invaluable experience with all the ice time they've had this year. I think Merkley and Watson will be something to see next year.

    But I agree with Paul and those who said that the 19 year olds are the key and there is some work to do this summer.

    (As the Kevin Lowe and Steve Tambellini are finding out, there's more to being a GM than picking first every year).

    On a side note, I wish I could've been in attendance to see the Native Sons ceremony. I heard it was very cool to see all the alumni at centre ice! I'm including a link to Yahoo Sports who had a write-up on it with some cool pics of Lanny and John Davidson!!,wp6535

  4. My vote would be for Albin to stay and 1 20 year old on defence. That would give a 20 year old Johnston 19 year olds Bloomquist and Galbraith, 18 year old Henry, 17 year old Erkamps and Topping and 16 year old Pilon. Pretty good mix. Upfront if you could get a better scoring threat than one of the two 20 year old forwards coming back then great but where we really need scoring is in the 18 19 year old spots as people have mentioned. Maybe next year we will get lucky with a Euro forward for once

  5. Rich has two 20 year olds and picks to trade for one or two 18/19 year old forwards (as 9:32 mentioned). I don't think the panel was giving our current two 19 year old forward enough credit. Tot and Ramsay should be .8 to 1 point a game guys next season. Not sure what Moline can do?
    Our d-man will be the strongest we have had for eons.
    I still think we need to draft a top end prospect at goal and develop him.

  6. Since we will not make the playoffs, how about give our 4 line some time. Not sure why everyone has given up on Bezuch but I wish they would play him more. He is probably our best puck handler and should be on the powerplay unit. Him and Watson could be a dynamic duo for 2 more years if given the chance. Lets play these kids for experience and for the coaches to see how they play against some of the top lines. AJ

  7. Questions for anyone. Given the roster and roster moves to acquire picks/future prospects, what is our success indicator? Should this team not have moved players to acquire prospects/picks to prevent our current financial loses? Is the Merkley, Duke, Pilon, Erkamps etc. worth the struggles? I don't like looking at the past but did we make the wrong decision to build through the draft? Will all be forgotten should we become a top team and contender for the 14 season and beyond? What will it take to make up $400000.00 of loses? I got mixed emotions/opinions from the program on what direction this team is going (hence round table discussion).

  8. You really Anon 1031 have no choice in this league but to build through the draft since you can't buy players like in the pro's. Teams like Saskatoon, Red Deer , Portland, Medicine Hat, Tri City, Spokane have done a solid job by finding the right players and then developing them. This is a developmental league and you need an organization structure that can do that consistantly. We seem to have been unable to do that in Lethbridge. TD

  9. TD- So are we finally on the correct path/structure to future success?

  10. Not until there is some evidence that young talent can be developed anon 1133. I think Rich and Robson have done a good job drafting, trading and getting talent but there is not a "teaching" coaching staff to develop it. There are not leaps and bounds of improvement that you would expect from Game 1 to today with a young team. The improvement should be noticeable it hasn't. I think Merkely and Watson have gotten better, Erkamps has stayed the same or regressed. Yakowboski and Mckechnie have been consistent and Maxwell has declined year over year despite being deemed a leader.... Personally I don"t think it is lack of talent, skill or drive but rather a lack of direction and motivation...just my two cents...Hopefully all these young forwards will develop into 30 goal scores next year and I will be wrong.TD

  11. TD- I hope you are wrong as well. The promising point of your assessment is we may be just a coach away. That is a much easier fix than a glut of talent away. Perhaps Rich should be our GM only.