Viveiros New Coach

Viveiros

Manny Viveiros (photo from scbroncos.com)

The new Head Coach and Director of Player Personnel of the Swift Current Broncos is former Austrian national team coach Manny Viveiros. It’s a very interesting hire and I’m quite impressed with what I hear so far. You can click here for my initial article on the hire. Reaction still to come. I’ll also embed the Broncos YouTube video here so you can watch the introductory press conference.

So what do you think?

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Alumni tournament, Lamb thoughts

13450270_1728763387397835_748497565946965497_n (1)

There are still some spots available in the annual MNP Broncos Alumni Golf Tournament at Elmwood Golf Club this Saturday. You can click here for my article on what is coming up on Saturday.

You can sign up to get one of the remaining spots by e-mailing jeremy.rondeau@MNP.ca. I talked to Jeremy a few weeks ago to get some information on how the tournament had changed.

Interview with tournament co-chair Jeremy Rondeau:

It’s one of the most fun days of the year. There are only a few spots left so check it out.

lamb conference

Mark Lamb

With the news that the Broncos will announce their new head coach in the morning it now actually marks the end of the Mark Lamb era in Swift Current. After Lamb accepted his job in Tuscon he has still been helping in the transition and even did an interview with me on their import draft pick. It felt like nothing had really changed yet.

Now it’s really time to turn the page.

Obviously there will be a lot of remnants of Lamb’s tenure with the Broncos. He has offered repeatedly to help the new management team, there are several years of players here that he helped bring to the Broncos, there are several key staff members that he hired and he was a big part in building the team’s strategic plan. However, a new management team is taking over and they will now put their own stamp on the franchise.

At different times I’ve considered writing a long look back at the Lamb era. I’m not sure that’s really necessary. We’ve been through the state of the organization in our year-end chats pretty extensively. If you care to look at the big picture of what he was able to do in Swift Current you probably already have a pretty good idea. I’ve probably debated it with some of you at different times. Minds are mostly made up one way or another.

I think the biggest thing that stuck with me in Lamb’s departure is how emotional he was at his media conference. What I hope some people took from that was how much he cared and took ownership of this team. I don’t think he and his family ever expected to be here seven years… and yet as they committed to the process of building something here they got more and more immersed in it. You can tell that it is incredibly difficult for him to leave and that even when he does leave he will still feel like a part of the Broncos. This wasn’t just a job.

Fans don’t really see behind the scenes much. They see a coach on the bench or hear him in interviews. That can really lead to some misconceptions. I can tell you whether you were a fan of the on-ice product here over the last seven years or not that the coach behind it gave everything he had to it. I can also tell you that he is someone who cared deeply about the people that worked with him and about his players. I know some of the people that worked for him well and heard many stories about how he would go out of his way even during the busiest times to make sure they were heard. I know some of the players he went to bat for and stayed with during rough times. I know he paid attention and it mattered to him even what my experience was like with the team when I travelled with them. He made the people that worked closest to him see that. I heard that from many staff members and players.

Leaders aren’t always loud showmen. They don’t have to give rousing speeches and constantly wear their emotions on their face. Leadership is being committed to and delivering for the people you lead. I believe Mark Lamb was a true leader here for seven years. Even if you’re a fan who is ready to turn the page you have to respect how much of himself he gave.

I think outside of one big win it’s an ideal ending for Coach Lamb in Swift Current. Obviously everyone would have preferred a long playoff run or even a championship. Failing that he gets to leave on very good terms feeling he has the team in the best position it has been in years with the ability to still contribute some assistance to the Broncos here and there. At the same time after seven years some fans were looking for a fresh start. They’ll get that, but only after a lot of work building a foundation that should give the next coach a head start.

Now fans can only hope the new boss comes to care as much or more about the team he’s taking over. Details of that coming at 9:30 on Thursday morning.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Broncos draft Heponiemi

Suomen Jääkiekkoliitto

Photo from scbroncos.com

The Swift Current Broncos added a dynamic skilled forward from Finland in the CHL Import Draft today. You can click here for my story and scroll down for an interview with Mark Lamb on the selection.

Interview with outgoing Broncos Coach/GM Mark Lamb:

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ottawa drafts Lajoie, Porter interview

Broncos Wheat Kings Lajoie (1024x683)

Max Lajoie (photo by Darwin Knelsen for scbroncos.com)

Congratulations to Swift Current Broncos defenceman Max Lajoie! The Calgary product is now property of the Ottawa Senators after they nabbed him in the 5th round, 133rd overall. It’s lower than most had him projected to go, but it’s a foot in the door and it doesn’t really matter when it came. Lajoie faced some challenges this year going from being insulated with veterans like Heatherington and Lernout as a rookie to becoming the go-to guy on a young blue line as a sophomore. He played his best hockey as the season went on and was excellent when the Broncos made a big push in January/February. Mono derailed that and maybe hurt his momentum. Again it really doesn’t mater. Ottawa saw enough to draft him and regardless of where he was picked what happens now is up to him. It’s a great day for Max and his family after years of hard work. He was a 5th round bantam pick and today he was drafted to the NHL in his first year of eligibility. That is a very impressive result and something he should be really proud of. Now the work continues.

I had a chance to quickly chat with Jamie Porter as he hit the airport to leave the draft. Here was his reaction to that, the Broncos who didn’t get drafted and the situation for the team with an import draft coming up on Tuesday.

Interview with Broncos assistant GM Jamie Porter:

It sounds like a plan is in place for Tuesday and the Broncos shouldn’t have any issues despite Mark Lamb’s upcoming departure. Now we wait to see if they can find another diamond like Nedomlel, Laurikainen, Honka or Minulin. Here’s hoping!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Lamb departure links & audio

lamb conference

Mark Lamb (photo from scbroncos.com)

It’s been a couple days now since the departure of Mark Lamb to Tucson became official. Here are some links to articles I’ve written and some from elsewhere also.

Full Media Conference audio with follow up questions:

Arizona Coyotes GM John Chayka on Lamb:

It’s past due for me to offer any further thoughts here but I haven’t had the time to write it all out yet. It’s also NHL draf ttime tonight and tomorrow. It’s late June and hockey sure is on the front burner in Swift Current right now.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Lamb leaving for AHL

mark lamb

Mark Lamb (photo by Darwin Knelsen for scbroncos.com)

After seven seasons as Coach/GM in Swift Current, Mark Lamb has earned the call back to the professional ranks. He is the new head coach of the new AHL team in Tuscon, an affiliate of the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes. You can click here for my quick story on the move. I will have a lot more to say about this moving forward and will report from the media conference the Broncos are holding tomorrow morning.

I hope you will all join me in congratulating Coach Lamb for this tremendous opportunity. Like any coach he had detractors, but all Broncos fans should be glad to see one of their own get this kind of chance.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Broncos News Update (Barlage, pre-season schedule & more)

Logan_Barlage

Logan Barlage

The Swift Current Broncos made sure to get their top pick from the recent WHL Bantam Draft signed last week as they announced the inking of Logan Barlage. I had a chance to chat with Assistant GM Jamie Porter on that and the status of some others on the list…

Broncos AGM Jamie Porter:

There was a lot of other news to report for the team as well…

At the same time all of this was going on I was changing jobs (back to the radio station in sales) and getting married. It’s been busy! Apologies for not getting more of that on the blog, but you can generally catch my updates and reports on Swift Current Online and/or on my twitter account. Hopefully I’m able to keep the blog up a little better the rest of the summer. I am going away to Ottawa for a second reception in early July. The next big dates for Broncos news are the NHL Entry Draft with guys like Lajoie, Steenbergen, Pederson and others as possible picks. The CHL Import Draft is on June 28th and that could be a big one for the Broncos if they can add the right piece to a team with a lot of returning guys that needs some offensive help.

Hopefully if any other big news breaks I’ll be around to stay on top of it instead of on holidays… but it never stops in hockey! Someone at Swift Current Online will have it covered for you.

sheldon hof

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment