Pat King has a great article on Sportsnet.ca:
The Kamloops Blazers are hoping the shot at their roster will be less direct than the one taken on the ribs by their head coach.
Guy Charron, the Blazers' bench boss, sat out practice on Tuesday when the pain to his ribs and back were enflamed following a sudden movement Monday. A week ago, Charron turned away from a puck in practice that connected but left the coach relatively unscathed shortly thereafter.
"I know exactly who it was and he felt pretty bad about it," said Charron, who didn't divulge the shooter. "The guys were joking around 'how can a shot to an older man not hurt him as much as it appeared to be initially' but the way I feel (on Tuesday), that puck did hurt me a little more than I thought it did."
The pain, he described on Tuesday "felt like I almost broke a rib or tore cartilage or whatever it was," should be temporary. The shot taken at his roster, Charron is hoping, won't connect as cleanly.
The Blazers, off to a 3-0-0-1 start, are a trending pick as Western Hockey League contenders this season. But their quick start notwithstanding, the Blazers are a team whose roster composition is still in limbo and as a result, they have yet to name a captain in the young season.
The team is carrying a potential of four overages with the present, Dylan Willick and Jordan DePape, and the departed, Austin Madaisky and Brendan Ranford. Madaisky and Ranford are attending American Hockey League camps this week while the Blazers enter the second half of junior hockey's first month.
Madaisky, a fifth-round pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets, is a signed NHL prospect while Ranford, formerly a Philadelphia Flyers pick, went unsigned and is attending Hamilton's camp as a free agent invite.
The NHL's lockout may actually help matters where the Blazers are concerned. Madaisky is one of nine defencemen the Blue Jackets assigned to their AHL affiliate on Sept. 14, and Charron believes Madaisky's future could hang in the balance of a numbers game.
"The lockout probably will put more players in a position to play for Springfield than there would if there wouldn't be a lockout -- some of them would probably be in the NHL," he said. "It's hard to say. Potentially, if the lockout continues, there may be a better opportunity for him to be reassigned."
Those chances are so slim that the Blazers are no longer listing Madaisky on their roster on the WHL's web site. The Blue Jackets, Charron indicates, have expressed that Madaisky would likely stay in the event he's a top-five defender, while a depth position as a No. 6 or 7 may mean his development would be better served in Kamloops.
The Blazers aren't holding their breath, so to speak, on Madaisky's potential return to junior. Charron is, however, confident he will see No. 19 back in the lineup at some point.
After being drafted ahead of Mr. Irrelevant, the second-last pick in the 2010 NHL draft by the Flyers, Ranford became a free agent when the Flyers opted not to sign him. He was extended an invitation to the Montreal Canadiens' affiliate team camp in Hamilton, though there's little guarantee it will result in a contract given the NHL's current situation.
"It's a great opportunity for him," says Charron after noting Ranford's invitation may only be to serve as a body to fill out a camp. "Obviously we miss him, but any time a player has an opportunity to expose himself to pro hockey, we certainly don't discourage that. But I would question Montreal's intention to bring him just to complete a roster type thing or a camp number. Hopefully it's going to work out for him one way or another."
Ranford's return wouldn't surprise Charron; Madaisky's would. The team named three alternate captains on Sept. 20, the day the regular season began, with the captaincy on hold until Madaisky's future is determined.
But that's not to say Madaisky is a slam dunk to wear the 'C' if he does return.
"There's really no urgency in our team to name a captain," the head coach said. "We have a pretty good idea of our candidate, so we don't see a necessity to do it right away. But once we've solidified the situation with Austin, I think at that time we'll be able to make a decision."
Though they're playing without Madaisky, whom Charron describes as a "pillar on defence" and Ranford, a player that "could have over 100 points," the Blazers are controlling their own destiny rather than focusing on the unknown.
Expectations are high for the three-time MasterCard Memorial Cup champions and the excitement of living up to the hype is motivating. The Blazers' top trio, featuring Tim Bozon, Colin Smith and JC Lipon, could terrorize WHL goalies this season, though the attention they're seeing from other teams, Charron says, has "been an adjustment for them."
Sophomore goalie Cole Cheveldave, a favourite target of the injury bug, played his first full game since the opening round of last year's playoffs in a 3-0 shutout win over Victoria on Sunday.
"He's a real competitor," Charron says. "He never quits on any plays and consequently sometimes makes unbelievable saves."
Not unlike the one Charron inadvertently made in practise.
"I'm surprised more coaches don't get injured in the course of a practice," he said. "It is what it is and that's part of the job."
And an actual link for the click-happy out there:http://www.sportsnet...ng_whl_blazers/
Edited by MaximYapierre, 03 October 2012 - 09:35 AM.