The Pipeline Show: December 14, 2018
Another week and another show that runs the gamut of the prospect hockey landscape. There is the broadcaster from the Ontario Hockey League as the CHL Insider. The longtime WHL owner and GM turned VP of Hockey Operations who will soon see the NHL arrive in his backyard. A NCAA head coach with a ton of professional and international bench experience now seeing the fruit of his labour with his college program. Finally, the highly rated goaltender from Denmark who is making a name for himself in North America ahead of the 2019 NHL Draft. (Play Full Show / Download Full Show)
CHL Insider: Mike Farwell
This week’s show begins with a CHL Insider segment with the voice of the Kitchener Rangers, Mike Farwell. Farwell has been a recurring guest on the show for over a decade and provides a balanced and unbiased look at the team he is closest to.
The Rangers are not expected to be a factor come playoff time but I wanted to know from Farwell if that was the plan coming into the season or if it’s been a disappointing year for the OHL club. Several individual players are talked about including 2019 draft eligible Michael Vukojevic and injury-plagued Connor Hall.
Farwell also comments on the Ottawa 67’s acquisition of goaltender Michael DiPietro and what moves the Rangers might make before the deadline.
I asked Farwell for his insight on a bizarre suspension handed out to Owen Tippett who was banished for a couple of games because of an incident involving a foam puck. Mike also predicted one for Rangers forward Riley Damiani that did come true.
And lastly, with the Ontario government’s recent decision to exempt the OHL from labour laws that could have led to players being paid minimum wage, I asked Farwell how he felt about the future of the class action lawsuit started by some former, disgruntled CHL players.
In the Dub: Russ Farwell
The Vice President of Hockey Operations for the Seattle Thunderbirds is my guest for this week’s In the Dub segment. Russ Farwell has been in the WHL for most of the last 35 years (with a little NHL experience in there as well) so he’s the right person to talk to about some changes in the league and the arrival of the National Hockey League to the Pacific Northwest too.
We begin talking about the T-Birds and whether his expectations for his club have been met or not so far this season. That led us into a conversation about the new trade parameters that WHL GMs have to contend with and if Farwell thinks that could lead to more OHL-esque transactions; tons of draft picks as opposed to players as the main commodity.
We talked about several individual players on the team and, with the CHL trade deadline just a month away, if recent activity in the league might influence the direction Seattle could decide to go.
The later stages of the conversation turned toward the newly announced NHL franchise and if the arrival of the team in a couple of years was a concern to Farwell and the Thunderbirds. Farwell insists that hockey has been slow to catch on in the Pacific Northwest and shared some insight as to why that may be and if the NHL will change that.
Lastly, I asked Farwell if he could foresee a day where Seattle (and possibly nearby Everett) could host the IIHF World Junior Championship. With the facilities in place and the relative close proximity to the Canadian border, it seem like a couple of major ‘must haves’ will exist in the near future.
NCAA Campus Report: Andy Murray
One of the hotter college teams heading into the Christmas break is the Western Michigan Broncos who are 6-1-1 in their last 8 games including going 1-0-1 last weekend versus the defending national champion Bulldogs of the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
Head coach Andy Murray is my guest to talk about his team and if there is one thing that he can put his finger on that points to the current hot streak. We discussed the unexpected goaltending performance that senior Trevor Gorsuch has provided and how the coach handles former starter Ben Blacker now that he’s lost his starting job.
With players like 5’10 Colt Conrad (off to the Spengler Cup with Canada) and 5’8 Hugh McGing leading the attack, coach Murray talked about reasons why smaller, skilled players are having more success than ever in the college game.
Coach Murray also talks about the return of Flyers prospect Wade Allison and the impact he makes on the club’s roster.
2019 Draft Spotlight: Mads Søgaard
It’s looking like the 2019 NHL Draft will be a good one for goaltenders and what of the best, if not the biggest, could be Mads Søgaard of the Medicine Hat Tigers.
The 6’7, 190 lbs product of Aalborg Denmark has caught a lot of attention through the first couple of months in the Western Hockey League. With the CHL’s ban on import goaltenders lifted this past summer, the Tigers pounced to select Søgaard 32nd overall. So far, the big goalie has posted 8 wins, a 2.50 GAA and a .925 sv%.
Later this month Søgaard will backstop the underdog Danish squad at the 2019 World Junior Championship. After being the 3rd goalie on the last year’s U20 team, he’s gained valuable experience that he feels will help him in Vancouver/Victoria.
I spoke with Søgaard about the season, how he feels he has performed, the decision to leave Europe, playing in the NAHL with Austin last season and of course the upcoming NHL Draft.
Guy Flaming is the host of The Pipeline Show, a year round, 100% prospect orientated podcast now in its 14thseason. Since 2006, the mandate of the program has been to expose the audience to the future of the NHL and that is accomplished every week by speaking with the top players, coaches, general managers, scouts and media that junior and college hockey have to offer. It is free to subscribe to The Pipeline Show and is available via iTunes, Google Play, Soundcloud, Spreaker, the Podcast App and www.thepipelineshow.com