Saturday, June 27, 2009

Cents 09-10 Schedule By the Numbers:

Just for fun, I thought I'd show how how the Centennials 2009-10 Regular Season breaks down in terms of the numbers:

60 - games played
44 - games against Interior Conference opponents
30 - games on the road
30 - games on home ice
18 - Saturday night games
17 - Friday night games
16 - games against Coastal Conference opponents
13 - games played in the month of October
12 - games played in the month of January
11 - games played in the month of November
10 - games played in the month of December
9 - Friday night home games
9 - Saturday night home games
9 - Saturday night road games
8 - Friday night road games
8 - games played in the month of February
7 - games against both Vernon and Trail
6 - games each against Penticton, Salmon Arm and Westside
6 - Sunday road games
6 - games played in the month of September
5 - longest stretch of road games (Twice: Nov. 14-22 in Langley, Nanaimo, Cowichan Valley, Victoria and Alberni Valley. Dec. 4-11 in Williams Lake, Quesnel, Prince George, Vernon and Trail)
5 - longest stretch of home games (Jan. 29-Feb 6 hosting Penticton, Salmon Arm, Nanaimo, Vernon and Cowichan Valley)
5 - Tuesday night home games
4 - Tuesday night road games
4 - games each against Prince George, Quesnel and Williams Lake
3 - Sunday afternoon home games
3 - Wednesday night home games
3 - Wednesday night road games
2 - games each against Alberni Valley, Burnaby, Cowichan Valley, Langley, Nanaimo, Powell River, Surrey and Victoria
1 - Thursday night home games
0 - Monday night home and road games

Former Cents Defenceman Curtis Gedig Drafted by New Jersey:

Curtis Gedig

A huge congratulations goes out to all five BCHL players drafted in this weekend's NHL Entry Draft, but a special congrats goes to current Cowichan Valley and former Merritt defenceman Curtis Gedig (91), who was chosen in the seventh round, 204th overall by the New Jersey Devils.

Gedig, who was traded from the Cents to the Captials five days before the BCHL January 10th trade deadline for F Scott Jacklin (90) and D Jimmy Geerin (89), posted 18 points in 46 games as a rookie last season. The Penticton product is on the list of the WHL's Calgary Hitmen, so it remains to be seen whether or not he'll return to Cowichan Valley. I would now think that the Devils will have some say in where "Digger" plays next season.

Here's a complete list of BCHL players selected, and where they wound up:

D Kyle Bigos (89) (fourth round, 99th overall by Edmonton)
F Spencer Bennett (90) (fifth round, 141st overall by Calgary)
F Curtis McKenzie (91) (sixth round, 159th overall by Dallas)
F Cam Reid (91) (seventh round, 192nd overall by Nashville)
D Curtis Gedig (91) (seventh round, 201st overall by New Jersey)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Cents Spring Camp Wrap:

I had the chance to sit down and chat with Cents head coach and GM Joey Bouchard immediately following the team's Spring Camp in Abbotsford yesterday.

Cents Head Coach and GM Joey Bouchard

Click here to download

All audio property of Radio NL (Merritt Broadcasting Ltd.)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Cents 2009-10 Season Schedule:

Here's the Centennials unofficial 2009-10 schedule, game times on the road are still to be determined, but the start times for the home games are accurate. And each game will be broadcast on Radio NL in Merritt with Alex Grebenyuk and on the BCHL Fanzone.

Friday September 11 - Trail @ Merritt 7:30 pm

Friday September 18 - Prince George @ Merritt 7:30 pm

Wednesday September 23 - Burnaby @ Merritt 7:00 pm

Friday September 25 - Merritt @ Powell River

Saturday September 26 - Merritt @ Burnaby

Tuesday September 29 - Penticton @ Merritt 7:00 pm

Saturday October 3 - Salmon Arm @ Merritt 7:30 pm

Sunday October 4 - Merritt @ Westside

Tuesday October 6 - Trail @ Merritt 7:00 pm

Friday October 9 - Alberni Valley @ Merritt 7:30 pm

Saturday October 10 - Merritt @ Penticton

Friday October 16 - Merritt @ Westside

Saturday October 17 - Westside @ Merritt - 7:30 pm

Wednesday October 21 - Merritt @ Vernon

Friday October 23 - Quesnel @ Merritt - 7:30 pm

Saturday October 24 - Trail @ Merritt - 7:30 pm

Tuesday October 27 - Merritt @ Salmon Arm

Friday October 30 - Vernon @ Merritt - 7:30 pm

Saturday October 31 - Merritt @ Penticton

Sunday November 1 - Surrey @ Merritt - 2:00 pm

Wednesday November 4 - Westside @ Merritt - 7:00 pm

Tuesday November 10 - Vernon @ Merritt - 7:00 pm

Friday November 13 - Langley @ Merritt - 7:30 pm

Saturday November 14 - Merritt @ Langley

Wednesday November 18 - Merritt @ Nanaimo

Friday November 20 - Merritt @ Cowichan Valley

Saturday November 21 - Merritt @ Victoria

Sunday November 22 - Merritt @ Alberni Valley

Thursday November 26 - Williams Lake @ Merritt - 7:00 pm

Saturday November 28 - Quesnel @ Merritt - 7:30 pm

Friday December 4 - Merritt @ Williams Lake

Saturday December 5 - Merritt @ Quesnel

Sunday December 6 - Merritt @ Prince George

Tuesday December 8 - Merritt @ Vernon

Friday December 11 - Merritt @ Trail

Tuesday December 15 - Victoria @ Merritt - 7:00 pm

Friday December 18 - Merritt @ Salmon Arm

Saturday December 19 - Powell River @ Merritt - 7:30 pm

Sunday December 20 - Prince George @ Merritt - 2:00 pm

Wednesday December 30 - Merritt @ Trail

Saturday January 2 - Williams Lake @ Merritt - 7:30 pm

Sunday January 3 - Merritt @ Westside

Tuesday January 5 - Merritt @ Vernon

Saturday January 9 - Merritt @ Trail

Friday January 15 - Penticton @ Merritt - 7:30 pm

Saturday January 16 - Westside @ Merritt - 7:30 pm

Sunday January 17 - Merritt @ Surrey

Friday January 22 - Merritt @ Williams Lake

Saturday January 23 - Merritt @ Prince George

Sunday January 24 - Merritt @ Quesnel

Friday January 29 - Penticton @ Merritt - 7:30 pm

Sunday January 31 - Salmon Arm @ Merritt - 2:00 pm

Tuesday February 2 - Nanaimo @ Merritt - 7:00 pm

Friday February 5 - Vernon @ Merritt - 7:30 pm

Saturday February 6 - Cowichan Valley @ Merritt - 7:30 pm

Tuesday February 9 - Merritt @ Vernon

Friday February 12 - Merritt @ Salmon Arm

Saturday February 13 - Merritt @ Penticton

Wednesday February 17 - Salmon Arm @ Merritt - 7:00 pm

Saturday February 20 - Trail @ Merritt - 7:30 pm

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Cents Won't Be Compensated for Pistone:

(Tyler Pistone)

It now appears that the Centennials won't receive any compensation for F Tyler Pistone (90) jumping to the Tri-City Storm of the US Hockey League. Pistone was born in Los Angeles and holds dual citizenship, meaning that he can leave the Canadian junior A ranks without his team receiving any compensation. Had he been a Canadian citizen, the Centennials would have received a cash transfer payment in return for him leaving the team to play in the US. You have to think that Nanaimo Clippers G-M Bill Bestwick knew of Pistone's plans when he traded his rights to Merritt as the futures to complete the trade that brought F Matt Betker (89) to Nanaimo.

The Nanaimo Daily News has a great article on the Pistone story here.

The Centennials still own Pistone's Canadian rights, should things not work out for him South of the border.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Cents Coach/GM Bouchard Speaks on Bodger & Pistone:

I had the chance to speak to Centennials head coach and GM Joey Bouchard regarding the acquisition of D Ryne Bodger (89) and F Tyler Pistone (90) as future considerations from trades with Powell River and Nanaimo respectively.

Cents Head Coach and GM Joey Bouchard

Click here to download

All audio property of Radio NL (Merritt Broadcasting Ltd.)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Cents Acquire Pistone from Nanaimo:

Another future considerations trade has been completed by the Centennials, although it may net them a player that will not be on the roster come September.

The Cents received F Tyler Pistone (90) from Nanaimo as the futures to complete the deal that saw F Matt Betker (89) moved to the Clippers.

Pistone may never don a Centennials uniform because he's made it clear to coach and GM Joey Bouchard that he'd like to try to play in the USHL with the Tri-City Storm, who made the Nanaimo product the first pick of the 15th round of the USHL draft last month.

If Pistone makes the jump to the USHL, the Centennials will be entitled to some type of compensation, whether it's cash or another player. Or they can hang onto his junior 'A' rights in Canada. The other wrinkle in the story is that Pistone's WHL rights lie with the Vancouver Giants, who may also want him in their lineup. The bottom line is that I wouldn't hold my breath expecting Pistone skating for Merritt any time soon, but then again, this is hockey, stranger things have happened.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Cents Acquire Bodger from Powell River:

(Ryne Bodger)

The January 10th trade between the Centennials and the Powell River Kings is finally complete as it's been announced that the future considerations also include D Ryne Bodger (89). The son of long-time NHLer Doug Bodger has been picked up along with D Derek Hills (90) (as was earlier announced) for Jordan Grant (90).

With these two additions, the fight for spots along the Centennials blueline is likely to be a heated one with nine players with BCHL experience vying for six or seven spots. There is a chance that D Casey Fratkin (89) could move back up to forward, as that's his natural position, but he actually played his best hockey last season as a defenceman.

As I mentioned earlier, D Tyler Miller (91) is officially listed on the Cents roster, but he's made it clear that he wants to try his hand at the WHL. There is a chance that he does come back to the BCHL if he's not successful.

The bottom line is that Cents coach and GM Joey Bouchard definitely has some options for future trades as the logjam at defence is not necessarily a bad thing if he can use the players to acquire some help up front.

According to Bouchard, all players will be at the Cents Spring Evaluation Camp this weekend in Abbotsford.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Former Cents Goaltender Thiessen Hoists Stanley Cup:

A huge congrats goes out to former Centennials, Spruce Kings and Vees netminder Brad Thiessen, who got to hoist the Stanley Cup in Pittsburgh's win in Detroit tonight.

It was great to see the Northeastern University standout accept the Cup from Penguins captain Sidney Crosby!

Thiessen joined the Cents in a blockbuster deal at the trade deadline during the 2005-06 season and went 8-4-0 with two shutouts in his 12 regular season games with Merritt. The Aldergrove product also went 3-3 with one shutout in the playoffs that season as the Centennials lost in the second round to Penticton.

On behalf of all Cents fans, way to go Brad!

Ron Gallo has a great perspective from another of Thiessen's former BCHL teams on his Spruce Kings blog.

Simoes Commits To RiverKings Return:

Former Cents defenceman Simoes Commits To RiverKings Return

June 10, 2009 - Central Hockey League (CHL) Mississippi RiverKings

Mississippi RiverKings (Southaven, MS) --- Mississippi RiverKings defenseman David Simoes will bring his physical style of play back to the Mid-South for another year. The Central Hockey League (CHL) Northeast Division champion RiverKings have announced that the battling Simoes will back for his second season with the team when the puck first drops for the 2009-10 campaign this October.

RiverKings Director of Hockey Operations Kevin Kaminski is happy to have Simoes return and feels the fans will also enjoy having him back. "Simmer brings a lot of heart, character, and a great work ethic, Kaminski said. "He leads by example, brings a lot of toughness which he loves to do, does a great job on the penalty kill, and his defensive game keeps on getting better."

Last season with the RiverKings, Simoes was third among CHL defensemen in penalty minutes with 194, which placed him second on the RiverKings roster for time served. He led the league in major penalties with 30.

On the offensive side of the score sheet, Simoes scored four goals and added 15 assists for 19 points. He did have a three-game point streak with four assists between October 31st and November 7th in games between Colorado and Rocky Mountain and finished the year tied for sixth on the Mississippi roster for plus-minus at plus-18.

In the playoffs, Simoes earned one assist and had 15 penalty minutes, 13 of which came in the last five consecutive games of the RiverKings' post season.

Prior to coming to Mississippi for the start of last season, Simoes played 45 games with the New Mexico Scorpions and the final 18 regular season games and five playoff tilts for the Youngstown SteelHounds during the 2007-08 schedule.

Starting the year with New Mexico, David scored one goal and added five assists with 146 PIMS, and added an assist for the SteelHounds on their stretch drive to the post season with 90 PIMS. He did not score, but collected 19 penalty minutes in the SteelHounds' playoff run.

That year, Simoes was second overall in penalty minutes and led the league in PIMS by a rookie with 236. David also led the CHL rookies in majors with 28. At the same time, David was tied for third among the league's first year players in plus-minus at plus-14.

With Youngstown, Simoes was named the team's "Unsung Hero" at the end of the season.

Simoes came to the CHL from the Canadian collegiate ranks, where he played in seven games for South Alberta Institute of Technology during the 2006-07 season. Before that, he spent five seasons in the British Columbia Hockey League, primarily at Williams Lake, with other stops being at Prince George, Merritt, and Burnaby.

During his final BCHL season at Burnaby, Simoes scored six goals, adding 30 assists for 35 points to go with 226 penalty minutes. His team went on to win the Canadian National Junior "A" championship, the RBC Royal Bank Cup. Simoes earned the "Most Popular Player" Award in the Express' post-season honors.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

2009-10 Cents Schedule Highlights:

Although the exact dates haven't been confirmed yet by the Centennials or the BCHL, here's what I do know about the 2009-10 schedule for sure.

The Centennials will open their 37th BCHL season on Friday September 11th at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena against the Trail Smoke Eaters.

The two teams in the Interior Conference that the Cents are paired up with this season are Trail and Vernon, meaning they'll play the Smoke Eaters and Vipers seven times each. No word yet on which teams will have the four home games. (14 total games)

Merritt will face Penticton, Salmon Arm and Westside each six times, three at home and three on the road. (18 total games)

The Centennals meet Prince George, Quesnel and Williams Lake each four times, twice at home and twice on the road. (12 total games)

And since the BCHL is returning to a full interlocking schedule this season, the Cents will face Burnaby, Surrey, Langley, Alberni Valley, Cowichan Valley, Powell River, Nanaimo and Victoria twice each. (16 total games)

I should have the thoughts of head coach and GM Joey Bouchard on the schedule posted sometime tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Cents Trade With Powell River, Westside and St. Albert:

Cents head coach and GM Joey Bouchard has confirmed the acquisition of three more players as future considerations from trades made last season.

(Derek Hills)

Firstly, D Derek Hills (90) and futures have been picked up from Powell River to complete the January 10th deal that saw F Jordan Grant (90) join the Kings. Hills is a big d-man (6'2" and 205 lbs) who posted two goals, three assists and 70 PIM in 40 games for Powell River.

(Stephen Wall)

Secondly, the Cents acquired F Stephen Wall (90) from the St. Albert Steel of the AJHL. This trade is kind of a strange one, as Merritt was owed future considerations from Spruce Grove when it traded F Tyler Barr (88) to the Saints back in October, but those futures have ended up being Wall. The only thing I can think of that happened is the futures were agreed upon in October between the Cents and Spruce Grove, and then when the Steel acquired Wall in January, they knew full well that he'd be Merritt-bound after the season.

Here are Bouchard's thoughts on the acquisition of both players:
Cents coach and GM Joey Bouchard

Click here to download

All audio property of Radio NL (Merritt Broadcasting Ltd.)

(Tyler Miller)

Thirdly, the Centennials acquired the junior 'A' rights to D Tyler Miller (91) from Westside to complete the trade that saw F Chad Gehon (88) join the Warriors. It remains to be seen if Miller will ever don a Cents sweater as he's made it clear to the team that he has his sights on making it this season in the WHL. He's been close to making the Moose Jaw Warriors in past years after attending their training camp. However, if Miller decides to return to the BCHL or any other CJHL team, the Centennials hold his rights and he'll either join the team or be moved elsewhere.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Cents Attend BCHL AGM:

With the BCHL AGM underway in Surrey this weekend, I had a chance to chat with Centennials Director of Hockey Operations Brian Barrett shortly before the meetings started yesterday at 12 Noon.

Cents Director of Hockey Operations Brian Barrett

Click here to download

All audio property of Radio NL (Merritt Broadcasting Ltd.)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

***UPDATED*** Cents-Prince George-Burnaby Trade:

Cents head coach and GM Joey Bouchard has confirmed that the team has acquired F Thomas Hardy (91) from the Burnaby Express.

The way the trade breaks down is that Merritt picked up F RJay Berra (90) from Prince George as the future considerations to complete the deal that sent F Alex Goodship (89) to the Spruce Kings in January. Bouchard then flipped Berra to the Express for Hardy.

It looks like not a bad deal from the Centennials point of view as they not only get F Michael Nardi (89) from PG, but now a young forward with potential in Hardy from Burnaby for a player that had locked up a scholarship and wasn't going to return next season.

Hardy didn't post a lot of points with the Express this past season (3g, 5a in 30 games) after joining them midway through the year from the Aldergrove Kodiaks of the PIJHL, but he did put up 35 points (15g, 20a) and 69 PIM in 40 games during the 2007-08 season with the West Valley Hawks of the BC Major Midget League.


Here's Bouchard on the deals:
Cents coach and GM Joey Bouchard

Click here to download

All audio property of Radio NL (Merritt Broadcasting Ltd.)