28 July 2010

New in Town

Yet another blogger has decided to attempt to blog about St. Cloud State; Husky Hockey Time started, like, an hour ago. Since I'm on the pulse of all things Interwebby, I'm already letting you know about it.

I hope he doesn't expect me to say anything nice about St. Cloud. I also hope he doesn't burn out right away, ahem, Shortbus...

25 July 2010

Plus One

Another post! Yes!

I learned via Arrows19 on tPB that tUMD has added a third goalie for the season. He posted a link to that hard-hitting bastion of journalism, the Forest Lake Times.

Christian Gaffy rarely let anything by him during his impressive senior hockey campaign for Forest Lake this winter. So it’s no surprise that he has snatched a big opportunity out of thin air.

Gaffy was in the process of trying out for junior hockey teams when Division I University of Minnesota-Duluth recently came calling. Having already been accepted at the school in case hockey did not work out, Gaffy was quick to accept the Bulldogs’ offer.

He will be red-shirting this year as he adjusts to the college game. Welcome, Christian!

24 July 2010

A Serious Post

I am rarely serious here on RWD, but right now I've got to be.

I just learned (and I mean FIVE MINUTES AGO) tUMD equipment manager Chris Garner has been battling a disease called Myelodysplatic Syndrome. If you are not Dr. House (and none of us are), it is a blood/bone marrow disease. According to the National Cancer Insititute,
Myelodysplastic syndromes are diseases of the bloodbone marrow. Normally, the bone marrow makes blood stem cells (immature cells) that develop into mature blood cells over time. A blood stem cell may become a myeloid stem cell or a lymphoid stem cell. The lymphoid stem cell develops into a white blood cell. The myeloid stem cell develops into one of three types of mature blood cells: Red blood cells that carry oxygen and other materials to all tissues of the body; white blood cells that fight infection and disease; and platelets that help prevent bleeding by causing blood clots to form.
In myelodysplastic syndromes, the blood stem cells do not mature into healthy red blood cells, white blood cells, or platelets. The immature blood cells, called blasts, do not function normally and either die in the bone marrow or soon after they enter the blood. This leaves less room for healthy white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets to develop in the bone marrow. When there are fewer blood cells, infection, anemia, or easy bleeding may occur.
There is a Facebook page set up for more information, but if you're not on the Facebook or the link doesn't work or something, I'm going to re-post some of the information here, written by friends of his. Please check the Facebook page for contact information; I'm not posting someone's phone number or address here on RWD.
Chris was diagnosed with [MDS] earlier this year and is currently awaiting a potentially life-saving bone marrow transplant. If Chris does not receive a bone marrow transplant, the risk of his current bone marrow transitioning into AML (Acute Myelogenous Leukemia) would be extremely high. His medical team feels the transplant is needed and can possibly prolong his life.

A donor match for Chris was found in June of 2010. Chris will begin the transplant process at the Mayo Clinic in early August of 2010. Before the actual bone marrow transplant, Chris will undergo large doses of chemotherapy to destroy the abnormal cells currently in his bone marrow. The prognosis for Chris is unknown. Every patient responds differently to a transplant. We hope and pray for a perfect case scenario in which Chris's body will respond perfectly to the treatment and transplant.

When Chris recovers from the treatment he will then work his way back to the hockey arena where he is an equipment manager for the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldog Men's Hockey Team. Chris has had a lifelong love of the sport of hockey. He has been around the game, both playing and working, all his life. He has been an equipment manager at the professional and college level for over 13 years. This disease is prohibiting Chris from working and being around the game because of the treatment and his low immune system (caused by MDS) which cannot fight the germs and bacteria that are common in the hockey arena.

The bone marrow transplant is a very expensive procedure. Chris was told he will bare some of the medical costs associated with the procedure along with the additional costs of relocating to Rochester, MN for the treatment until he gets the okay to begin work and move back home to Duluth, MN.

Your help and support is greatly needed. Costs for this procedure are extremely high and not completely covered by insurance. In an effort to alleviate Chris’ expenses, we are hosting an online auction and are asking for either a cash donation or a donated item to be auctioned. We are in the process of collecting donations and anticipate the online auction in early fall of 2010.

All proceeds will be used to help defray medical and living expenses while Chris receives treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Please note that donations are not tax-deductible.
Chris has kept skates sharp and sticks taped for the Dogs (and this is an oversimplification of all that he does for the team), and he also got us lucky folks the opportunity to buy the bee jerseys last February. I'll keep you folks updated on news about the auction (dates, items, etc), and if you are inclined to make a donation of money or auctionable items, check out the Facebook page for contact information. It seems as though Chris will be missing at least part of the season while he is recovering.

Chris, I wish you the best of treatment and the fastest of recoveries!

Design Star

Right now I'm reading Chronicles by Bob Dylan, and an idea for a new banner slammed into my head. Never mind that it's 2:00 in the morning.

Photo credits: left side, News Tribune Attic/Duluth News Tribune; right side, DECC Facebook site.

21 July 2010


So the best part about the Wild's development camp?

quoted in a feature article for Wild.com. (Sorry Uncle Les, I can't make the gold text any darker, I've tried!)

Many fans were talking about the college free agents, including quite a few University of Minnesota-Duluth fans, like Donna Carpenter of St. Paul, who says that the Wild "should sign Justin Fontaine, but NOT until after April,” she demanded, insinuating that she predicts a Bulldog appearance at Xcel Energy Center in April. “Make sure they understand that. After April!"

(Just ignore the part about me living in St. Paul, because I don't.) I'm so bossy!!!!!! Even though that's not a direct quotation. I think I said "In April" about 100 times. I don't want to jinx anything. I also mentioned the drafting of Son of Mikko, but they used "Mini-Mikko" instead.

19 July 2010

The World's Worst Interview

Well, it wouldn't be an off-season if I wasn't interviewing Bruce Ciskie about a new job. Let's hope this is the last of its kind for a long time.
Superior, WI, native Bruce Ciskie has been hired as Sports Director at Duluth’s Red Rock Radio stations beginning August 3, 2010. The current voice of University of Minnesota/Duluth men’s hockey accepted the position on Friday.

Ciskie was chosen out of more than 50 applicants from around the country and will manage and host a daily hour-long noon show on the radio group’s all-sports station, The Fan 1490 AM (KQDS-AM). He will also join the KQDS (94.9 FM) Morning Show with Jason Manning and Frank Befera as the sports personality.

Red Rock Radio Operations Manager Tom Roubik says Ciskie was an ideal candidate for the job. “Bruce has already hosted two sports call-in shows in the Twin Ports and, in our opinion, is one of the brightest hockey play-by-play broadcasters in the country. We are very pleased he accepted the offer.”

Ciskie says he is looking forward to the challenge. “"I am very excited to be making a full-time return to the airwaves after almost two years. Hopefully, we can continue to keep sports fans entertained and informed every day. Bulldog hockey will be a treat this winter, thanks to what should be a very good team and (with) the much-anticipated opening of Amsoil Arena!"

Ciskie is a lifelong Twin Ports resident. He will continue to do play-by-play for UMD men’s hockey in 2010-11. Red Rock Radio announced last week that those broadcasts will be moving from The Fan to 94X (KZIO-FM 94.1 FM in Duluth and 104.3 outside the Twin Ports). The move will significantly increase the listening area of the games.

Ciskie also works as a part-time writer and editor for AOL’s Fanhouse.com

Red Rock Radio operates eight radio stations in Northern Minnesota including KQDS-FM, KQDS-AM, KZIO, WWAX (92.1 FM in Duluth), KBAJ (105.5 FM Grand Rapids), KFGI (101.5 FM Brainerd), WXXZ (95.3 FM in Grand Marais), and KAOD (106.7 FM in Babbitt).
And OF COURSE, here I am with the story, hot off the presses! It's an EXCLUSIVE!

RWD: So this job is something you had done previously for other, nameless radio conglomerates, no?

Bruce Ciskie: Possibly, yes. I will not deny that. [Is this a matter of national security or something?]

RWD: In addition to bossing people around and telling them what to say, what will you be doing on your show and the morning show?

BC: Morning show: Jason and Frank [whoever they are] are the stars. I'm simply there a couple times an hour to give some scores, tell a bad joke or two, and have some fun. The afternoon show will be a talk show. We'll round up some guests [me], talk local and regional sports (primarily), tell more bad jokes, take calls, emails, and (yes) tweets, and have fun talking sports.

RWD: Will you be using your talk show to do the Coaches' Lunch show?

BC: That's not known at this time. I hope so. We'll certainly have regular visits with the UMD coaches, whether there is a formal show or not.

RWD: So the broadcasts from the lunches might not occur? [Apparently all I care about is food. Duh.]

BC: I don't know, honestly. I didn't bring it up in our talks, but I'm sure we'll be doing something.

RWD: But the lunches themselves are not jeopardized? [I'm obsessed. Or unprepared for the interview.]

BC: The lunches were put on by UMD. The radio show was done there via a separate agreement, as far as I know.

RWD: Aha.

BC: So I don't know what the plan is for the lunches or the radio show. Sorry. I'll probably know more after I get started.

RWD: Although if you do the radio show at the lunches… you might like, force me to ask a question. [Long-time RWD readers {aka no one} know how I am always chickening out on these things... although I participated in the Bordo interview!]

BC: I'd need to use a lot of force. You're pretty shy. [Yes.]

RWD: You know I always chicken out!! [See, I told you.]

BC: I do.

RWD: Although last year I humiliated myself anyway.

BC: Well, it was a cool sweatshirt.

RWD: Er, yes. What percentage of your new show's airtime will be devoted to non-sports activities, such as NASCAR?

BC: Stop it. [This has been going on all day, FYI.]

RWD: Dammit. I'm leaving that in.

BC: No one will get the joke. You need to provide context. [Uh, you don't need context to know NASCAR sucks. Hi Goon!]

RWD: No one reads the site!!!

BC: [Someone] does. Hi, [Someone]!

RWD: Anyway. How did Red Rocks feel about its first year broadcasting tUMD sports?

BC: It's Red Rock [I'm illiterate], if you want [Someone] to know exactly what you're talking about.

RWD: Oh. Not like the outdoor concert venue. [I am an idiot.]

BC: Just so you know. Anyway, they were happy. Listener feedback was good [I wasn't consulted!], and obviously the company listened to the one major complaint that I heard all year, which was the range of 1490 at night.

RWD: Yeah at night. The time when hockey games occur. [Well thought-out.]

BC: Right. Except the Mercyhurst game. That was in the afternoon. And weird.

RWD: But we won!

BC: We don't have that this year, though. So it's good to get these games on FM.

RWD: NO day games?

BC: None, unless we get in the Friday afternoon semifinal at the Final Five, or afternoon NCAA games.

RWD: hm yes. [Dirty knows this is what I say when I’m not paying attention or interested.]

BC: (or the Thursday afternoon play-in game. Forgot about the new format.)

RWD: Right. So tell listeners where they will be able to hear Bulldog hockey next season. [I hadn't decided to include the press release at this point in the interview. I planned well.]

BC: 94.1 FM in the Twin Ports. 104.3 FM outside of the Twin Ports (as far south as Moose Lake, I believe, so good range). KQ 105.5 (Grand Rapids) and KQ 106.7 (Babbitt) will still carry the games, so most of northeastern Minnesota will be well-served.

RWD: And the internets will be streaming? Gallantly?

BC: Yes. www.94xrocks.com or www.umdbulldogs.com.

RWD: Ok, we're covered. Whew. What does this position mean for Bulldog hockey?

BC: Huh?

RWD: [What is this, your first rodeo?] What does you having this new position mean for Bulldog hockey? I will give you some examples to assist. "It will mean more coverage of Bulldog sports!" "It will mean more promotion of Bulldog sports!"

BC: OK. I get your drift now. I think.

RWD: "It will mean the end of life as we know it."

BC: I hope I'm able to pick up the ball from last year. I think [Mark] Fleisch[er] did a great job covering UMD sports and promoting their events. I'm not making any promises for more coverage or anything, but I'd like think I'll do a decent job. It also means you're stuck with me for another hockey season.

RWD: It's just men's hockey and football, right?

BC: The Fan 1490 will do football [sucks to be them], and 94X will cover men's hockey.

RWD: Any planned changes to the hockey broadcast?

BC: Nothing yet. I hope they'll let me continue with the longer pregame show, and I like the way we were able to do some timely and sometimes even newsworthy intermission chats last year [intermission chats that had nothing to do with who played goalie for Edina in 1965, thank you Rik Jordan!].

RWD: Or amazingly witty and urbane ones, like a certain Saturday Mankato intermission... [this sentence was a grammar train wreck at first. But we all know to which one I am referring!!!] I'll edit that later.

BC: lol

RWD: Will our favorite Taco Bell lover be back behind the mic with you? [Must I explain who I mean? It's not hard to figure out.]

BC: That's undetermined. And he does love his Taco Bell.

RWD: Seems like the best meal to eat to stay in shape. [A nutritional role model!]

BC: Well, it works for him. The only shape I'm in is "round," so I can't criticize.

RWD: I suggested his wife make her own workout, Chicks Created By Christyn.

BC: That's awesome.

RWD: Since he doesn't read RWD I doubt he knows that. [No one does!!!]

BC: I'll relay the message.

RWD: What are your off-season questions, concerns or hopes? We have so much time to think about what was and what will be.

BC: Wait, we're going to talk about the hockey team now?

RWD: That [other stuff] was team-related. Are there more things about this job you need to discuss?

BC: Questions: Can they play better and more consistent [sic] in their own zone? Will Kenny Reiter be THE MAN? How many freaking points will Jack, Mike, and Justin combine for?

RWD: Mike Seidel, of course.

BC: Concerns: I want the power play to be more consistent. I want the young guys to get better, not get discouraged if they go a few games without cracking the lineup. I want the competition for playing time in practice to make everyone better. I'm concerned that the hangover from JUST MISSING the NCAAs will be an issue.

RWD: Can't be worse than the hangover 9 Notre Dame players have...

BC: Hopes: Well, let's get a Hobey campaign going for No. 37. [Yes] And No. 12. [Next year! Back to back again!] I hope this team is playing into April, because they have the experience, talent, and smarts to make it there.

RWD: We're kind of the Anti-Wisconsin. They've lost so many, and we've kept many that we thought we might lose.

BC: Yeah, because people actually want to stay around and play for us.

RWD: Imagine that.

BC: I'm really looking forward to the season ... awfully excited about the potential of this team.

RWD: We have a new coach, too. What do you think Derek is going to bring?

BC: Smarts. I think he'll work well with the players and fit in well with the staff. Haven't talked to him yet, but will do so soon, I would imagine.

RWD: He's a former NHL player.

BC: Really? Gosh, I didn't know that. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuC1MTwjZeM

RWD: [Ok, Bruce, that was not my point.] I think Lance Pitlick is in that.

BC: Possible [sic].

RWD: That was awhile ago though. [Here's my point!] The NHL is so different now.

BC: Right, but the object [sic] is still the same.

RWD: So you think NHL experience is NHL experience, no matter how long ago it was? [I don't know why I get this idea Derek is like 100 years old. But, let's just go with it.]

BC: Within reason, yes. It's not like Derek played 30 years ago or something. [Or 70?] No offense to people who played 30 years ago. [None taken.]

RWD: They don't read RWD!

BC: According to you, no one does.

RWD: No one does! All the hits I get are for this one post that I wrote about Oberg's broken leg! [Seriously. I could do a damn screen shot of my stats.]

BC: Let me turn the tables. [Hey dj keep playin' that song] How much are you looking forward to that Halloween weekend roadie to your favorite new WCHA city?

RWD: Oh, are we playing UNO on Halloween? I can't wait to go to Omaha. I know that's weird, but my best friend from college just moved there. Plus I can see Seth Ambroz!

BC: Ugh. The other one. [the Unspeakable] We don't go to Omaha this year. Silly.

RWD: Sigh.

BC: On that note, though, next year should be fun for road trips. Omaha and Providence, among others. Are you going to the Superior Showcase?

RWD: No. Stupid MeanEgirl doesn't want to go. [I love youuuuuuu MEg!!]

BC: The worst part about that is going from Sault Ste. Marie to Marquette after Friday's game.

RWD: The worst part is going to the Yoop.

BC: Well, I don't mind the Yoop in early October.

RWD: Maybe I *should* go.

BC: It's kind of a nice drive. Long, but nice. Really, really long. [Er... yes. Hehehe.]

RWD: Did you watch that Stalock video?

BC: Stalock video. [Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh]


BC: No. Probably not.


BC: Settle down. [There really are no words for my facial expression.] I did see your line charts, if that's any consolation. [Because I forced him to look at them.] Well done.

RWD: I didn't make any changes!

BC: I know. That was smart.

RWD: So I read ON YOUR BLOG RECENTLY [HOLY MOTHER WHAT A CONCEPT] that you think Mike Seidel is going to have a breakout year.

BC: I do. But I've said that numerous times before. Said it once to MacGregor Sharp, and he responded with a seven-goal season. So I'd bet Seidel has his breakout as a junior.

RWD: Hey, he still led the team in points!

BC: If that ever happens again, I'm hanging up the headset. [If that ever happens again, I'm hanging myself.]

RWD: Well, I said he'd have a breakout year, too. And I'm right. I said it about Fonz after his freshman year. I made MEg draft him in fantasy hockey.

BC: Good move.

RWD: She was like "Ok whatever." She had Stalock and Fontaine. If Bozak hadn't gotten hurt and she had remembered to start her lineups, she would have won the league. [I am a great fantasy hockey mind.]

BC: Wow. Bozak.

RWD: Blast from the past!

BC: Anyway, I gotta go.

RWD: Oh [consarn it]. [There are not enough hours left in the future of the universe to fix this interview, but I was going to try.]

BC: So wrap this shiz up. [Word.]

RWD: This is the worst interview ever.

BC: No. The old one was much worse.

RWD: Which one?

BC: The first one you did.

RWD: That one was great!

BC: When you asked me about seeing guys in the shower. Sucked. [I fail to see the problem. Do you know how many people come to this site looking for shirtless people?]

RWD: It sucked that you didn't have an answer.

BC: [WifeofBruce] and [SonofBruce] are [chagrined] you didn't ask them anything.

RWD: Did they get new jobs? [I really am the meanest person alive.]

BC: [SonofBruce] did. He helped me mow the lawn last week. I hired him.

RWD: Ask [SonofBruce] who he thinks is going to score the first goal of the year?

BC: [SonofBruce] says "Chad Huttel."

RWD: [Momentarily speechless] Did he really? Er. DHG once said Otten would score the first goal of the season. AND HE DID.

BC: That's funny. I'm taking Dylan Olsen. [I am so winning this non-bet.]

RWD: Okay. Who is [WifeofBruce] taking? [I'M GOING TO BLOW YOU ALL AWAY WITH MY SURPRISE PICK!] I'm taking My Jacky. [The Aaaahj said Fontaine.]

BC: [WifeofBruce] says MCon.

RWD: Who is going to take the first penalty?

BC: [WifeofBruce]: Dylan Olsen [SonofBruce]: Dylan Olsen.

RWD: Right after that goal.

BC: me: Jack Connolly.

RWD: HAHAH probably! Me: Um... Lamber. [Aaaahj says Huttel.]

BC: Good one. Any more real questions? [A real question was asked at any point?]

RWD: How about we wrap it up with one more prediction? WCHA finish and the final game we play?

BC: [WifeofBruce] says we finish 3rd, lose in the regional semis. I say 2nd place finish, regional final.

RWD: Does [SonofBruce] have an answer?

BC: No. He's playing with the [stupid Steve Jobs brainwashing machine]. I'm sure he thinks we will win it all.

RWD: With Huttel leading the charge. I’m going to say we win the WCHA, and I think we will lose in the frozen 4 semis. [Aaaaaaahj says 3rd, losing in regional championship.]

I'm going to regret doing this, because every time I ask for reader participation, freaking tumbleweeds blow through this site, but do any readers out there want to make their own predictions for 1. the first goal 2. the first penalty and 3/4. tUMD's WCHA finish and the final game they play?

18 July 2010

Campin' Out

I have a crappy camera, so here are some crappy photos from this morning's scrimmage. Justin did not have any points after his 2-goal showing yesterday. The score was 3-1 White (Fonz's team) (including an empty net goal) and the game itself was relatively lackluster. I guess they were told to do a better job for the season ticket holders? Suckmidji's Matt Read had the first goal of the game, which was... probably not the best goal he's ever scored. Someone named Brandon Buck from the ECHL got the second goal, and then Cody Almond, who might actually be in the Wild's lineup this fall, got the goal for green. CC's Chad Rau had the empty net goal. There were really no stoppages of play except for occasional offsides and a few icings, so the goalie-pulling was somewhat... odd. The game had strange rules, with two 30-minute halves, and instead of penalties, they just had penalty shots, with a trailer from the defending team to... I don't know, give the puck to the ref after the save was made? They didn't do anything else.

In case you were wondering, the Wild's first-round pick, whose name is Mikael Granlund but who I call Son of Mikko, was not present. Disappointing!!!!

Fontaine, Jared Spurgeon (a midget from Spokane, WHL), Jarod Palmer (formerly of Miami-Ohio, a recent FA signing of the Wild), Cody Almond (Houston, AHL), and other unknown players follow the play up ice.

Justin Fontaine waits for a pass, or has just completed a pass, or something.

The Wild's 2nd round pick and incoming DU freshman, Jason Zucker (#62). Green was trying to break out of their defensive zone, where they spent a good portion of the game. Fonz is not in this photo but I thought I'd get at least one with Zucker for Vizoroo.

Colton Gillies (Houston, AHL) and Fonz try to prevent green from getting the puck out of the zone. Fonz and Gillies were almost always on the ice together. I take this as a good sign.

Fonz tries to position himself for a rebound. #67 is former Vermont Catacheat, Kyle Medvec.

This is either of Fontaine (second from left, if it is him) or Zucker (left, if this is a picture of him). I am pretty certain it is Fontaine.

Fontaine lines up with Colton Gillies and someone else. He was on the first line out to start the game. (This is not the opening face-off, however.)

Fun times! There were lots of Bulldogs fans there, including Jeremy from Minny View, Faribobulldogguy, who posts on the Penalty Box, a guy in a Wellman game-worn jersey and tUMD hat, and some others. I wore my bee Seidel jersey to make sure I stood out.

17 July 2010


Hello there. I don't want anyone to take this the wrong way, but damn, I still miss Al.

13 July 2010

New Developments

As you all know because you diligently read RWD, Justin Fontaine is here in Minnesota for the Wild's development camp.

Over at the Wild site, they had a little write-up on college free agents invited to the camp. The only one who matters, of course, is Fonz.
This is Fontaine's first development camp and he said that after two days, its been an eye opening experience.

"It's been a great experience so far," Fontaine said. "They treat you well. You just have to try and ask a lot of questions to the guys that have been to these."

There is little doubt Fontaine will receive an opportunity at a professional contract following his senior season. He's scored more than 40 points each of the last two seasons and will likely be a first team forward selection in most preseason WCHA polls.

"I want to get faster and just improve in all areas of the ice," Fontaine said. "I want to work on everything and hopefully it will show when I get back to Duluth."

10 July 2010


So, things have changed.

Brady Hjelle has left tUMD to go back to juniors. Chris Stafne has been dismissed from the team due to allegedly assaulting his girlfriend. I'll probably post a bit more about both incidents (or not, I am lazy), but I'm going to take another crack at lines and pairings. You can see the first attempt here.

Jack Connolly (Jr)
Travis Oleksuk (Jr)
Danny DeLisle (So)
Max Tardy (Fr)

Left Wing
Mike Connolly (Jr)
Kyle Schmidt (Sr)
Cody Danberg (Sr)
Jake Hendrickson (So)

Right Wing
Justin Fontaine (Sr)
David Grun (Jr)
Mike Seidel (So)
Keegan Flaherty (So)
Joe Basaraba (Fr)
J.T. Brown (Fr)

Left Defence
Dylan Olsen (So)
Scott Kishel (Jr)
Wade Bergman (So)
Drew Olson (So)
Trent Palm (rs-Sr)
Luke McManus (Fr)

Right Defence
Brady Lamb (Jr)
Mike Montgomery (Sr)
Chad Huttel (Sr)
Chase Ryan (rs-Sr)
Justin Faulk (Fr)

Kenny Reiter (Jr)
Aaron Crandall (So)

I still want to move Flaherty to centre. The glut of right-wingers still requires a move. Centres are Jack Connolly, Travis Oleksuk, Danny DeLisle, Keegan Flaherty and Max Tardy. Left wingers are Mike Connolly, Kyle Schmidt, Cody Danberg and Jake Hendrickson. Right wingers are Justin Fontaine, David Grun, Mike Seidel, Joe Basaraba and J.T. Brown.

What sort of sucks now is that there is not a full practice line for the 5th liners. I wonder if a defenceman could play up? Although unless that's going to happen in games there's no reason for it to happen in practice. I wonder if anyone would be amenable to reverse-Montgomerying?

Defensive changes are the same as I previously made. Left defencemen are Dylan Olsen, Scott Kishel, Wade Bergman, Drew Olson and Luke McManus. Right defencemen are Brady Lamb, Mike Montgomery, Chad Huttel, Trent Palm and Justin Faulk.

Goalies are Kenny Reiter and Aaron Crandall. No word on a new goalie. Stay healthy, guys!

Lines? Lines. ((c) Bruce Ciskie)

Top line: Mike Connolly – Jack Connolly – Justin Fontaine
Nothing has caused me to change this.

Second line: Kyle Schmidt – Travis Oleksuk – Mike Seidel
I'm still fighting with this idea. I know it's probably my own bias, but I'm keeping this line here. There's no doubt about Smitty and Ole, but Seidel... I don't know how long he'll stay in this spot. HOWEVER, Sandy likes to make guys pay their dues, so I'm keeping this line together.

Third line: Cody Danberg – Danny DeLisle – David Grun
Gonna keep Murderer's Row intact, certainly.

Fourth line: Jake Hendrickson – Flaherty – J.T. Brown
Yes, I am keeping J.T. in over third-rounder Basaraba. J.T. is almost two years older than Joe, and he has experience playing against older players (at first, I mean, this past year he was one of the older players), and Joe has played at a high level, but against other people his age and younger.

Et al: Tardy, Basaraba

Top defensive pairing: Dylan Olsen – Mike Montgomery

Second pairing: Wade Bergman – Brady Lamb

Third pairing: Scott Kishel – Justin Faulk

Fourth pairing: Drew Olson – Chad Huttel

Fifth pairing: Luke McManus – Trent Palm

I kind of want to make some changes here, but I don't see where. Unless some guys switch from L to R, then there's no one I can move up. And I really really really want to move Faulk up.

Starting goalie: Kenny Reiter

Backup: Aaron Crandall

Ok, so it looks like I didn't change anything. But, whatever. I probably won't make another list unless something changes, but I think next I'll try to take a stab at special teams.

07 July 2010

Summer Camp

While most students are on vacation, some of our favourite Bulldogs are hard at work at NHL Prospect Camps.

**edit** Kevin Pates has posted some more folks on Rink and Run

Rob Bordson
MacGregor Sharp

Justin Faulk

Jack Connolly
Dan DeLisle
Dylan Olsen

Drew Olson

Mike Connolly

Justin Fontaine

Scott Kishel

Brady Lamb

St. Louis
Max Tardy

San Jose
Alex Stalock
(note: I am just assuming this)

Tampa Bay
Adam Krause

Evan Oberg

Caleb Herbert

Make us proud, boys!

01 July 2010

Duck Tales

Everybody sing! "Duck Tales, A-WOO-HOO!"

This afternoon, Jimmy Bellamy from the Duluth News Tribune hosted a live chat with Rob Bordson, our favorite rags-to-riches (relatively speaking, I mean he did go to Marshall) Bulldog-turned-Duck. Since it wasn't my chat, I'm not going to provide a transcript, but I will give some of the highlights (with my own commentary, of course.)

"Dawn": Which former teammate are you most looking forward to playing against?

Rob: I am looking forward to playing against Jason Garrison and Evan Oberg. I played at UMD with those guys [yes, we know] and I got to know them pretty well when we played together.

Jimmy: Who on the Ducks did you get to know the most in your short time with Anaheim this year?

Rob: I got to know Dan Sexton pretty well. [Dan Sexton is my enemy because he prevents MacGregor Sharp from playing in the NHL.] We were both staying at the hotel together as we were both rookies. He is also from Minnesota and played high school at Apple Valley. He was a very nice guy and I learned a lot from him about how everything works and what it's like to play in the NHL. [Still my enemy.]

RWD: [That's me! Holy smokes!] Hey Rob! Congratulations on a great year with the Bulldogs and your pro contract! [I'm nice.] There's a lot of talk [on USCHO, where losers matriculate en masse] about college vs. major juniors as the right route to the NHL. Do you think that the Ducks' organization respects the college game or are they biased toward MJs? [I asked a question! I didn't chicken out! Like I always do at the Coaches' Show. Except when I won a sweatshirt and screamed.]

Rob: That's a good statement. [Which one?] I think both college and major juniors is [sic] great hockey. A lot of good players come from both leagues. The Ducks definitely respect the college players because they have a history of signing college free agents. Guys like Dustin Penner [Maine], Andy MacDonald [Colgate] [Wait, what???] and Chris Kunitz [Ferris State]. I think a lot of teams are starting to look at the college players as much as major junior players.

RWD: Don't forget MacGregor Sharp... :) [!!!]

Rob: I will actually probably be on the same team as MacGregor. I am very excited. [Me too.]

Jimmy: Have you had a chance to check out the almost-completed Amsoil Arena yet?

"Jamie": Are you disappointed you won't get to play in the new arena?

Rob: I have not seen the new rink since our team took a tour during the year. I am a little disappointed I won't get to play in it, but it was one of the things I had to give up to sign pro. [Also given up: a 2011 NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Champions ring.]

Bruce C.: [A CLEVER DISGUISE!!! Why not B. Ciskie?? Oops, gave it away.] How cool would it be to get to play on Sharpie's line, since you didn't do that much -- if at all -- at UMD? Oh, and did you get to meet the Ducks radio guy? Is he nearly as cool as I am (probably not)? [Good lord. And we were worried I would be the one to make an ass of myself.]

Rob: I would definitely like to play with Sharpie. He is a great player and since we didn't get to play together at UMD I think it would be a lot of fun. And no, I didn't get a chance to meet the radio guys yet. Haha.

Jimmy: No one tops you, Bruce. Ciskie is Spanish for "cool." [THAT'S NOT TRUE, JIMMY! YOU LIAR!!!] Did it take you a second to get over the fact that you were sharing a locker room in practice with Teemu Selanne and the now-retired Scott Niedermayer?

Rob: Yeah, I was in shock for a few days before I actually realized who I was skating with. It was pretty unbelievable to skate with those guys after watching them for years. It is unreal how much skill they have and how well they know the game.

RWD: [I'm monopolizing this chat.] Who are you working out with this summer? [RESTRAINING ORDER ALERT!] You're in Duluth now, right?

Rob: Yes, I am in Duluth for the summer. I am working out with the UMD strength coach Justin May. It is a good place to workout because there are a few current Bulldogs there and some other guys around the area that play Division 1 elsewhere around the country or juniors. It's a good workout. [Men Made By May! Isn't that sexist? Your wife should totally have Chicks Created by Christyn.]

Jimmy: When does training camp begin? Do you have to report earlier than vets?

Rob: I actually have to report next Monday for rookie camp. That will be for a week. And the main training camp begins in September. I am not sure if the veterans will be there right away.

Jimmy: You came from the WCHA, which is arguably [though I don't know why people even bother to argue, it's true] the best conference in college hockey. How much of a speed difference is there in the pro game from what you saw this year?

Rob: It is a bit of a difference. The players are faster and stronger and the puck moves very fast. Everyone is a good passer so the puck zips around pretty good. I felt I could keep up pretty good when I practiced with the team.

[Celebrity guest alert! I mean, other than me. And "Bruce C."]
Sean Avery: What is your take on enforcers? Do you think you could have the mindset to be one in the NHL or have ever taken on that role at any level?

Rob: I think every team needs enforcers. You have to have skilled players and role players to make up a good team. I don't think I will play the role as an enforcer because Anaheim sees me as a skilled forward, but I will definitely learn to play tougher at the pro level.

Bruce C: How ready are you for a gig in the AHL, Rob? Do you think you'll fit in there right away?

Rob: It will definitely be an adjustment. But I think I will learn how to play at the pro level. It might take a few months, but I hope to pick it up fast.

"Tom": Hey, Rob. It's no secret that the Ducks have a lot of great veteran players on their roster. Is there anyone in particular that you're really excited to play alongside?

Rob: Anaheim has a great group of veterans. They have guys that have won the Stanley Cup and medals at the Olympic Games. I think if I made the team I would enjoy every day. It was pretty awesome skating with Teemu Selanne during practice.

RWD: [Yes!!!] Rob, you helped win me 2nd place in my WCHA fantasy hockey league, so thank you. What are some of your personal highlights from last season or your college career?

Rob: Haha. Well, I had a rough couple years to start out my college career, but last year was full of memories. I had a couple 4 point games that were pretty awesome. I think the sweep down in Minnesota [UMTC] was awesome. It is always nice to beat the Gophers and we beat them twice in their barn. As a team that was one of our better weekends. [It was also one of my better weekends for being a total hag to opposing fans.] It was also fun beating CC in the playoffs to get to the Final 5.

Bruce Ciskie: [Whoa, wait! Was that Bruce C. another person??] How about your boy Alex Stalock maybe getting a shot in San Jose this year? [Well if that NNIITTYYMMAAKKII person doesn't get it] Even if he doesn't, how cool is it going to be to face him in the AHL or NHL? [Uh, well, if he doesn't get a shot, then he won't be in the NHL, Bruce.]

Rob: Yeah, Al has a great chance at playing in San Jose. I think the GM of San Jose said it was pretty much wide open. I think Al has a great shot as he played well all year and tied an AHL record for wins as a goalie. It would definitely be fun to play him again.

Bruce C: [See!!! What is going on here???] Where do you shoot on him?

Rob: That's a tough call. He is good all over. He is quick down low so maybe up high.

Jimmy Bellamy: Do you know much about the incoming freshmen at UMD? How do you think the 'Dogs will fare this season?

Rob Bordson: I think UMD will have a good year. [WE DO NOT WANT A "GOOD" YEAR. WE WANT A FANTASTICAL YEAR!] I think they have some good recruits coming in. I know Faulk will be good as he was just drafted in the 2nd round. [Er, yes, that is correct, second round draft picks are always... oh right.]

Fffff. I prepared a question LAST WEEK, I was going to ask if he had experienced any rookie hazing, but I FORGOT. Ugh. Swear words.