Lineup in Saskatoon, Friday Post-Game Audio

(Photo by Darwin Knelsen)

One more to go. I’ll miss watching this group play. They have as much hart and fight as any team in the WHL. They should be proud of that and I hope they are. I look forward to seeing the progress they make next fall.



Martin or Walker/Reum

Austin Smith

Scratches: Evans, Howorko, Adam Smith, Lowry, Fleming, Martin or Walker




Johnson (AP)

Scratches: Stipancik, Thrower, Collins, Burns


Highlights of Broncos Hockey on The Eagle 94.1 FM (Download)

Post-Game interviews with Groenheyde, Vause and Hoban (Download)

Post-Game Coach’s Show with Andy Schneider (Download)

Our broadcast tonight starts at 6:30pm from Saskatoon on The Eagle 94.1. Don’t forget the St. Patrick’s Day Bash at the Credit Union iPlex tonight starting at 8pm. Save one for me!


About shawnmullin

Play by Play Broadcaster for the WHL's Swift Current Broncos on 94.1 FM The Eagle.
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19 Responses to Lineup in Saskatoon, Friday Post-Game Audio

  1. Pride says:

    Heart is great, but the game at the whl level is about more than heart and to be perfectly honest, it really isn’t that hard to skate around and play with heart and effort. What other choice to they have? No pressure, no expectations and I will just run around and show everyone I have heart. It beats a lazy and bad team, but let’s not lower our expectations for what is expected at the major junior level. This team has absolutely no hope of making the playoffs for the next 3-4 years unless it does a complete rebuild. There is absolutely no way anyone could convince me otherwise. So if you, as a member of the media, want to be positive and excited about the effort levels, then that is great. But I’ll say what you cannot say and that is simply put, that the Broncos are an absolutely abysmal hockey team, with absolutely no hope of winning any more games next year than they did this year. Sorry to say it but unless you had evything come together perfectly, Swift doesn’t see hockey in April again. And yes, it pains me to say this.

    • Anonymous says:

      they are doing a rebuild where have you been? i don’t think it will take as long as you do but it’s not like anyone thought this was gonna be a p layoff team.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Pride…you are entitled to your opinion, but from now on, please keep them to yourself.

  3. Pride says:

    9:08 pm
    I am sharing my opinion which is in complete reality. The first thing that has to happen is the mess has to be acknowledged. And yes, it is a mess. I am not going to sit back and pretend everything is okay because it isn’t. The team is a mess. If Lamb can get it turned around then good on him. My thought is that there is no hope. If I am wrong, then great. And if I am wrong, then I will be the first to admit it. But there needs to be an acknowedgement of the mess. So, no, I wont keep it to myself.

    • shawnmullin says:

      I had to echo the comments saying “where have you been” in terms of addressing that there have been issues with the club and rebuilding. That started with the Cody Eakin trade.

  4. Pride says:

    Right, I understand. Just because you say you are in a rebuild, that means you are building right? Guys, I’m not a silly bugger here. I think I am probably aware that the Broncos have declared a rebuild. Their last two drafts have netted two top four rounders from the city who will probably not ever be regulars. Can you say ackward? They had a very good draft in 11′ but those 96s are a long ways away aside from the cream of the group. Once again, thanks for clarifying that we are in a rebuild. I would suggest you look 2.5 hours west or 7 hours east for the definition of rebuild. Those are rebuilds. A rebuild in Brandon means having 3 midget eligible defencemen who won’t get you a title, but you still hang on to them as they rip it up with 150 plus points. A rebuild in Medicine Hat means the team decides to get 6th instead of 3rd, so they can get 1st or second the next year. Swift is currently flailing with no hope of anything beyond sub 8th plce finishes for years. That is the truth and the quikcer people stop calling it a rebuld and call it a mess, then reality may actually spark some positive growth. Cause its bad, bad, bad.

    • shawnmullin says:

      I suggest you look at how those same Tigers you talk about had some years in the basement to rebuild their talent base. I suggest you look at what Moose Jaw, Edmonton, Portland and Kamloops got their talent. They all went through a few years of struggles to create their current talent base.

      Look I can’t promise you it will work. The coaching and scouting staff still have to pick the right guys and develop them properly. I believe they can but not every rebuild works the same way.

      What I can say is 4 of the top 5 teams in the league did it this way. You think it’s a mistake?

      Meanwhile I believe their core of 93s is very strong and should have them in the playoffs next year if they get some goaltending and other guys progress well. I might be wrong but I don’t think it’s a crazy suggestion.

      The big picture rebuild? Ya it probably takes longer than two seasons to become a title contender.

  5. Pride says:

    Tigers under old man Mazer were a mess and that had nothing to do with a rebuild, that as a mess. Moose Jaw was a political mess, and if you thought the rink in moose Jaw caused problems, their infighting at the local board level was a mess. Edmonton was an expansion team, so I put them in a completely different petre dish. Portland was as big a mess as you can find with one set of dysfunctional and bizarre owners followed by another weirdo. Kamloops was dysfunctional on a board, and a hockey ops level. I am not sure what your point is by comparing these teams to Swift. The Tigers’ owner died and his sons were savvy enough to transition form Rick Carriere into Willy Desjardins and to allow a very talented staff to grow. They also have an outstanding scouting staff that came into play. Moose Jaw had to make massive organizational restructuring strides. Which Swift has not done, as they allow the same old boys to run it. Portland is privately owned, and once again, completely restructured absolutely everything from soup to nuts. Something Swift has not done. You get Gary Davidson and Mike Johnson to Swift and Ill eat my computer. Kamloops brought in excellent hockey people to take charge, put the caching into the hands of a very experienced and level headed coach and surrounded hi with a througly experienced assistant staff. Their GM is ultra experienced as well. Now you look at the direction that the above organizations did to snap themselves out f their malaise, and tell me one synonymous move made by the Broncos in any of those areas. You didn’t follow the league over the periods you are speaking of, and that doesnt mean you cant have an opinion. But arguing to support and be loyal will leave you beaten on this one becuase any way you look at it, the Broncos take several of the characteristics of those organizations at their worst point, and they show no intention of doing anyo of the thingsthose teams did to end the misery. Ill go as long as you want on this. The on ice product is in huge trouble and Brndon, PA, MJ. Saskatoon, Regina and the Hat are guaranteed to elevate many times over next year. It could get real ugly.

    • shawnmullin says:

      First of all I’m not arguing to support and be loyal. Just because I won’t simply nod and agree that the team is doomed and a huge mess doesn’t mean I’m blindly loyal to people that don’t employ me.

      I wasn’t in the WHL then that doesn’t mean I didn’t follow it that doesn’t mean I haven’t learned about the history of those teams. I’m not trying to pick a fight with you I just don’t agree with you.

      I don’t know why explaining why those other teams were a mess negates the point that those teams built from a few years at the bottom through the draft and it paid off. Is it just a co-incidence that it happened with all four of the top five teams?

      No being a non playoff team alone doesn’t fix things. People say the broncos are just being run by the same people but there have been new faces on the board… There is a new chair… And they just brought a consultant in for a two year process of creating a new strategic plan. Is that not organizational review?

      They are also going to sell shares again likely within the year and they are including people from the community in their brainstorming committees. Again new voices who will have stakes.

      Lamb has only been the GM for two drafts. He talked last year on our post season podcast about how they have to re evaluate every aspect of their drafting. He hired two new assistant coaches since he took charge.

      Again I’m not saying it will work. I can’t guess that. I know he is very confident it will all pay off in the end but again who am I to say for sure.

      So far they went from having one NHL draft pick on the team last year to having three this year and likely either four or five by next fall. I saw a team that was far more competitive and consistent in covering them from last year to this year. I expect better things next year but it won’t be easy and there are key holes to fill.

      I find it interesting you think all those teams will make major leaps forward when Brandon and Regina in particular lose several more of there key players than the Broncos will. Moose Jaw also. Every team has key holes we’ll see how they fill them. I’m sure the division will be competitive again and I know Saskatoon will make sure they are great when hosting the memorial cup. But with the right additions I believe the Broncos will be in the playoff mix. I’m hardly the only one that thinks that. But if you think it’s from blind loyalty that’s fine.

      You act like nothing has changed but the basic philosophy and goals the board is setting have changed. The way they do business is evolving. The style of play has changed. Is if enough? Clearly you don’t think so. I guess we’ll see! But I sure don’t get the feeling they have just carried on business as usual.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Pride…if you are so knowledgeable about the game and how to properly rebuild a team, why don’t you start telling us how to do it. So far, all you’ve done is complain about how it’s being done. I’m not saying I would be able to do it, but I’m not the one bitching about it…so let’s hear your plan…I’m sure all of the coaches and GM’s are looking forward to seeing your ideas.

  7. Pride says:

    I am not complaining. I am stating facts. As for Shawn, you are missing the point. The teams you mentioned, except edmonton, did not have a calculated rebuild. They were in a holding pattern of bad hockey decisions, off ice chaos, poor fan support, and poor success on the ice. How close did yo is eitehr loyal to the pointu follow the league in the 1990’s? Are you trying to say you followed the Mazur fiasco in Medicine Hat? Are you saying you followed the bizarre culture in Portland dating back to the 1990’s that finally caught up to them? Are you saying you know what went on in board meetings and public fiascos in Moose Jaw? You followed Kamloops when they unceremoniously dumped Bob Brown and went through the dynamics of off ice issues that were behnd the scenes. Once again, I am not trying to be hard to deal with. But anyone who argues that the Broncos are a complete mess right now is either blindly loyal or unaware of the dynamics that go into a rebuild. I mean a true rebuild. I am not and I have never blamed this on anyone who is here now. This demise did not happen in 2 or 3 years. As for me volunteering my ideas, I work for the team with my check book and can assure you my commitment has been very high. It will continue to be so. But I do not have to sit back and watch the mess without saying it is a mess. I am not sure what you gusy are arguing here. Obviously 14500 ther fans who don’t go to the rink very often agree something is wrong. The first step in getting better is not attacking people who care enough to say things are wrong.

    • shawnmullin says:

      I think we’re going in circles a bit here. I don’t care what the context is for why the team had to rebuild I’m saying the best teams in the league were in a down cycle and built through the draft to get where they are. I’m not saying any of them chose it.

      The Broncos didn’t choose to do a rebuild just for fun. They did it because despite being in the playoffs before the trade deadline last season management realized they didn’t have a strong enough system and it made sense to start the rebuild then. At least this time the board and GM agreed something had to be done instead of just patching the dam enough for a first round exit.

      You act like no one realized there is a problem and think everything is fine. If that’s the case why did they publicly start a rebuild? If that’s the case why did they do a large organizational revue with their consultant? They recognized things were not fine as they were and are trying to correct that. You don’t see that at all?

      Yes the rebuild that started last January will probably not pay off for several years even still. The key young guys involved are just turning 16 now and the important draft this spring won’t even be here until fall of 2013.

      But I simply disagree with you on the prospects for the roster coming back next fall. I think there is more potential in that group than you do and that’s fine. Your tone seems to suggest anyone who disagrees is crazy… which I think is silly and unnecessary… But I respect your right to an opinion. I don’t have some false perception that mine is the only valid one.

      You also implied there were no major organizational changes going on here in response to the declining on ice product and the need for a rebuild and I suggested there were. You can argue you don’t believe they’re doing the right things but there will be no way to know that for some time yet.

      I believe things are headed in the right direction and I think there’s more reason for optimism on next year’s team than you do. If you think that’s crazy and misinformed c’est la vie. I have never attacked you though. I’d say I’ve been pretty respectful.

  8. Pride says:

    As well, to the poster who said that I am responsible for educating the Broncos staff on what to do because I am bitching, that is a ridiculous comment. I have the right to share my frustrations without holding a symposium with the staff. You saying that is like me saying you do not have the right to call a sink hole in to the city if you see one. Your logic would mean that you actually are not allowed to report or talk about it. Your logic says you have to get out the shovel and pavers and ashphalt and fix it yourself. Or better yet, stand there and tell the city workers what to do. First, I am not qualified to coach or manage a hockey team but I can certainly spot a sinkhole. The argument that ‘maybe you could do better so why don’t you coach’ is ridiculous. I will give Liam Choo Foo and some of the directors credit and the town hall was great rhetorically. It means nothing when your team is weak with no hope of improvement, and that is where they are right now. Like I said, if this town sees april hocey before 2016, I will be shocked.

  9. Anonymous says:

    2016 until April hockey? Wow!…can you please tell me what the stock market will do this year?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Are you saying that YOU have knowledge of what happened in Med Hat, Portland, in the board rooms in Moose Jaw, etc,…what are you? some kind of WHL wizard?

  11. Pride says:

    no, but those situations were very well documented. shawn, if you believe the 93 group is a good one, i will be optimistic along side of you and here is hoping for the best. one thing moose jw, medicine hat never stopped doing was drafting well. if the broncos have been dong that, the tale will be told. PS The strength of a team’s ability to rebuild almost always excludes 19 year olds. if the 19 year old crop is as good as you say, the it should be turned into more draft picks and elite young guys. if they ride the 19 year olds AGAIN like all through the mid 2000’s, then we will be starting all over again. At some point they have to say ‘we are goin to win 30 games no matter what we do with an older team, lets completely gut it and win 20 with all yong guys. Moose Jaw did it, Portand did it, everett did it iin the past, Saskatoon did it before olleken got there, Brandon always is young. The 19 year old class may be good next year, but the strength of a team is its 16, 17s and 18s. As for being a wizard, rude comment. It’s not that hard to pick up a newspaper, watch the tv and pay attention. There is life outside the gates of the city.

    • shawnmullin says:

      Well I didn’t say the wizard comment.

      But I wouldn’t disagree with you. If come late December/early January the organization doesn’t believe they have what it takes to make a real run they again might have to make a tough decision with their best 19 year olds. If the goal is to be an elite team and gun for a championship that is always something you have to consider.

      I don’t think you should ever be all young guys though. Enough coaches have told me over the years you need a mix of strong veterans so you can bring young guys along at a natural pace and so they can have guys to learn from. That doesn’t mean you don’t maximize those assets via trade if you can though.

  12. Pride says:

    Those 93’s, if the team isn’t in it by Christmas, will be worth a lot. Having said that, if the team purges its 19s (or isn’t in it by Christmas with a top end 93 group), does 2016 not seem realistic as the next playoff year? It’s not that far off when you consider guys don’t start contributing on the whole, until 18 and don’t imapct until 19. So, the 1996 draft will be the key one. I would say outside of Moose Jaw, Swift had the best draft last year. Regina had the best 1995 draft. If they can keep going and build around their 1996s and have a good 1997 group this year, you may see playoffs by 2015. But she will be tough to make it any earlier, a much as that pains me.

    • shawnmullin says:

      I suppose that depends how deep the conference is next season… hard to imagine the top 8 teams are all as good as they were this year. Also depends how many of the guys they would consider selling off and other things like what kind of goalie they end up going with and if the guys I think can take big steps forward next season actually do.

      I mean if they’re a playoff team but deal someone like Lowry for a big haul because they don’t believe they’re a contender, I don’t necessarily believe the playoffs are out of the picture. But if they traded 2 or 3 of Lowry, Scarlett, Nedomlel, Black and Craig… yeah that’s different.

      I think if Lamb made those deals he would be targeting players that fit into his championship cluster. So we’d be seeing 16 or 17 year olds coming back instead of just picks and prospects. If you’re building around Martin and his draft you wouldn’t be looking to 2016 would you? Because that would be his 19 year old season. He might be gone pro by then depending how good he turns out. I’d think you would at least want that cluster in the playoffs in his 17 year old season to give them that taste before hoping for more out of them. Ideally they get there next year even if they did do some deadline selling, but we’ll see. There are lots of dominos still to fall.

      Martin and his class will be 17 in the 13-14 season. Heatherington will be 18. Gordon, Howorko, Bews and Cave will be 19. Who knows what their development curve will look like. The 94 class looked for a while like it might not be deep but those additions by trade or list have helped. The thing that stands out in those age groups is finding a way to strengthen the 95 group. Hopefully Mackay and Bosc turn out or they can find something else there. Not having a pick in the 2nd and 3rd rounds that year hurt.

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