Tuesday, December 9, 2014

2015 Draft Spotlight: Matt Spencer

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 One of the top defencemen available in the Class of 2015 made an appearance on TPS recently. Peterborough Pete's rearguard Matthew Spencer, or Matt as he prefers, was featured in our Draft Spotlight segment in November. 

The 3rd overall pick by the Pete's in the 2013 OHL Priority Selection, Spencer is now in the middle of his second OHL campaign. After a 15-point rookie season, the Guelph native is closing in on setting new career highs already this year. 

If you missed Matt's appearance on the show, we have it for you after the jump. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

2015 Draft Spotlight: Jack Eichel

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BU Terriers phenom Jack Eichel was our guest in the 2015 Draft Spotlight segment last night on The Pipeline Show. His timely, and lengthy, appearance on the show completed the trifecta following similar guest spots by the other consensus top-3 for 2015; Connor McDavid and Noah Hanifin

The Eichel interview was purposely timed to coincide with the release of USA Hockey's WJC camp roster of which he was prominently headlining. We spent a few minutes discussing that tournament and if the New Year's meeting between USA and Canada, and therefore Eichel vs McDavid, holds the same meaning for him as it does for most everyone else.

Of course we discussed the draft, how important going #1 overall is to him, his amazing start to the season at Boston University and the standard questions we put to all players during this regular segment.  What about the recent rumors that he's considering a return to BU for a sophomore season?

We also wanted to know, being a Massachusetts product, playing in Massachusetts as a kid and now as a collegian, how he views the probability of playing much further away from his familiar surroundings. Certainly that's a question many fans of cellar dwelling teams wanted us to ask and so we did, and he answered. 

If you missed the interview live, no worries, we have it conveniently set up for you after the jump. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

2015 Draft Blog: Luke Orysiuk Pt.1

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Our next guest player/writer has submitted his first entry to his 2015 Draft Blog. Following in the footsteps of Joe Colborne who blogged with us while a member of the AJHL's Camrose Kodiaks, Luke Orysiuk introduces himself today to our audience. 

The 17-year-old defenceman skates with the Drayton Valley Thunder and is in his second Alberta Junior Hockey League season. The Edmonton native has both WHL and NCAA options down the path to professional hockey. 

After the jump, the first installment of the Draft Season Blog from Luke Orysiuk.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

2015 Draft Spotlight: Daniel Sprong

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Recently om TPS we featured a hockey pioneer from Holland looking to be just the second player from the Netherlands to play in the NHL. Charlottetown Islanders import forward Daniel Sprong was out guest in the 2015 Draft Spotlight on Saturday. 

According to Hockey Reference, Ed Kea is considered the only NHL player who held a passport from the Netherlands. Daniel Sprong is looking to be the first for a new generation and a further example of hockey's growing footprint on the international stage. 

Although, to be fair, Sprong may not yet hold Canadian citzenship but he's been in the country for a decade and is just waiting for the paperwork the get done. To this point in his career Sprong has not represented either Holland or Canada in international play but for all intents and purposes, when it comes to hockey, he will be considered Canadian. 

If you missed the conversation with the talented forward, no problem because we have it for you right after the jump. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

2015 Draft Spotlight: Jeremy Bracco

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One of the most prolific point producers in the Class of 2015 was featured in our Draft Spotlight last night on The Pipeline Show. I'm referring to Jeremy Bracco from the U18 squad of the US National Team Development Program (US-NTDP). 

Through 19 games this season Bracco has racked up 37 points and leads the U18 team in scoring. Bracco joined us a couple of days after he and team USA returned home from Sweden victorious from the Four Nations tournament. We spoke with him about the event. 

We also asked the forward which competition he prefers playing against: the international teams, USHL squads or the older NCAA programs. His answer was interesting. 

We covered a lot of bases when it comes to the 2015 NHL Draft and also asked the question a lot of Boston College fans were hoping we would. 

Bracco de-committed from his plans to go to Harvard and is now steering in the direction of Boston College. However, the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League currently hold his CHL rights and that is a team that has had a lot of success in the past with bringing American players across the border.

Considering the eerily similar traits to Sonny Milano last summer, another player who stepped back from one college commitment to pledge allegiance to Boston College only to leave for the OHL late in August, we wanted to know exactly how Bracco was leaning about his future. He made it crystal clear what his intentions are. 

If you missed the interview live, no worries, we have it for you after the jump. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

WHL Rumor Mill Heating Up

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The Tri-City Americans acquired veteran import Richard Nejezchleb on Tuesday morning and that seems to have stirred up the trade market as teams begin establishing themselves as buyers or sellers. 

In the wake of the deal has come news that another veteran player, Calgary's Greg Chase, has been sent home to await a deal after requesting a trade. And his name to the list of Medicine Hat defenceman Connor Hobbs and Dakota Conroy of Prince Albert who are at home waiting for new teams.

On top of those players, speculation and rumors have other WHL stars potentially on the market. 

I'll tell you what I know and the speculation that has come my way after the jump. 

2015 Draft Spotlight: Kyle Connor

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Recently on The Pipeline Show we featured the top rated USHL player available for the 2015 NHL Draft, Kyle Connor of the Youngstown Phantoms. The Michigan native is now in his third season with the Phantoms and is living up to expectations of league dominance. 

Connor, a 6'1 and 180 lb forward, was given an 'A' rating at the start of the year by NHL Central Scouting. With a league high 15 points (at the time of our interview), he's done nothing to suggest that he wasn't deserving of such acclaim and hype. 

If you missed the interview with Kyle Connor this past Saturday, that's not a problem; we have it for you after the jump. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

2015 Draft Spotlight: Brandon Carlo

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Last night on TPS we introduced listeners to a hulking defenceman with 1st round potential. Brandon Carlo of the WHL's Tri-City Americans was in our 2015 Draft Spotlight segment and was a terrific interview. 

If you missed it live, no worries, we have it for you right after the jump. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

2015 Draft Blog: Matteo Gennaro Pt.1

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The WHL crop of players that make up the 2015 NHL draft class is a strong one. There are a lot of skilled forwards, tough defencemen and quality netminders from the Western League that NHL clubs will have a chance to add to their organizations.

Earlier this week our audience was introduced to Red Deer Rebels forward Grayson Pawlenchuk. 

Today, another Edmonton area product has submitted his first entry to his season long draft blog. St.Albert native Matteo Gennaro of the Prince Albert Raiders is now in year two of his WHL career and took the time to introduce himself. His blog is after the jump. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

CHL on the Legal Hot Seat

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The Canadian Hockey League is facing a pair of lawsuits that could forever change the face of major junior hockey as we know it. 

As written up by Robert Cribb of the Toronto Star, The CHL is facing a class action lawsuit:
An unprecedented class action lawsuit striking at the economic foundations of junior hockey in Canada alleges the Canadian Hockey League and its teams “conspired” to force young players into signing contracts that breach minimum wage laws.
A statement of claim filed in a Toronto court Friday and obtained by the Star, seeks $180 million in outstanding wages, vacation, holiday and overtime pay and employer payroll contributions for thousands of young players given as little as $35 a week for practices, games, training and travelling that could add up to more than full-time hours.
The league and its teams “conspired and agreed together . . . to act in concert to demand or require that all players sign a contract which the defendants knew was unlawful,” the claim alleges. “Such conduct was high-handed, outrageous, reckless, wanton, deliberate, callous, disgraceful, wilful and in complete disregard for the rights of the (players).”
The second lawsuit comes from a former CHL goalie named John Chartrand who appeared in 61 OHL games over the course of three season. As detailed by TSN's Rick Westhead, Chartrand is seeking $12M from the OHL's Barrie Colts for whom he played his first 16 OHL games for from 2009-2011.
John Chartrand is suing his former team for $12 million, alleging in court documents that Colts medical and team officials cleared him to play in games mere days after he was in a violent car accident that required him to be hospitalized.
I highly recommend reading both stories before proceeding with the rest of this blog entry.

Yesterday on The Pipeline Show, Dean Millard and I invited TSN Legal Analyst Eric Macramalla to come on an go through the lawsuits from his expert perspective.  We wanted to know if either case will stand up and if so, what the ramifications for Major Junior hockey and beyond might be. Certainly the CHL won't be the only level of competitive hockey affected and is it possible that other team sports might fall under the same umbrella should players moving forward be classified as "employees"?

That's after the jump.