We’re a day away from the start of another WHL season in Swift Current. The Broncos are a team with relatively high expectations this season as they wait to see exactly who will be back in the lineup. If everyone is back the blueline might be the best in the league. There are certainly question marks about the team and moves to make if they’re going to among the elite as some would hope.
I had a chance to chat with Coach/GM Mark Lamb on Tuesday as he gave us insight on what we can expect. This was before we heard that Brett Lernout and Colby Cave are returning from NHL camp in time for the weekend. I also caught up with Landon Bow as he prepares for life as a WHL starting netminder. Bow had an awesome spring and has shown the potential to be a really strong #1 at this level. Only time will tell us if he can get there.
Interview with Broncos Coach/GM Mark Lamb
Interview with Broncos G Landon Bow
The returns of Lernout and Cave are huge for the weekend. It would be nice to get Martin, Heatherington and Honka back as well. However, having at least one of those veterans back is a huge boost as it is. Now the Broncos can send out at least three or four (depending on the health of Jordan Harris) players with WHL experience out against Moose Jaw. You can imagine Lernout is going to be leaned on in a big way this weekend on the top pairing in any situation. I’m curious to see who he is paired with. I wouldn’t be surprised if they gave Lajoie that assignment after he had a great pre-season and then had a couple of veterans manning the second pairing.
Getting Cave back also means the Broncos have their full compliment of forwards… again assuming everyone is healthy. Cole Johnson won’t be ready and we wait to see how many more of the injured guys might be out. Cave steps right into the top six and a vital role in any situation. It’s also rare for this team to have a returning captain. That’s going to help stabilize the leadership for a team hoping to build on what they’ve been doing the last two years.
I’m sure there is some disappointment for Cave in coming back when he had hoped there was a shot at an AHL deal with Arizona. The good news is he has been getting these invites to development camps and rookie tournaments despite going undrafted. That means the door is wide open for him to have a strong season and get an opportunity in the professional ranks once he is done.
Tonight is the AGM and there has been a hint of good news. That’ll be nice to hear. We will have more for you at Swift Current Online.
Today is also five years to the day that I first arrived in Swift Current. It’s hard to believe how quickly time has gone by and how much life has changed since that day. To my pleasant surprise this community has really become my home. I hope you’ve enjoyed the work as much as I have doing it.
Tomorrow the ride begins against Moose Jaw and the Broncos debut their new look. There has been a lot of buzz and I hope there is a great crowd for what is a fun rivalry. Tomorrow we will be seeing an unfinished product, but it’s still regular season hockey and I can’t wait.