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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Thursday News

St. Catharines rubs new team in the face of neighboring Niagara Falls. Memo to writer, Niagara Falls didn't want the team anyway. Besides, the team is going to be called the Niagara IceDogs, so get ready for a move if/when Niagara Falls decides to embrace the team with a new arena. Elsewhere, some North Bay folks aren't happy the way things have turned out with the IceDogs, and I can't say as I blame them...

Bowkus ready to go in Wichita Falls.

Waterloo Siskins get some new blood...

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Comments on "Thursday News"


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:19 PM, April 26, 2007) : 

hi any news on the norpac teams in the pacific ? is going to be teams again ? what ever happened to the coach/manager/owner etc. of the team who paid the players ?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:40 PM, April 27, 2007) : 

I think you are going to see a mass exodus from Wichita Falls. I hope his connections are good for new players.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:13 PM, April 27, 2007) : 

Maybe a mass exodus is what is needed for a non-playoff 22-34 team that scored the 3rd fewest goals in the league.
John is a good no-nonsense coach, that typically gets the best out of his players.
I am guessing the mass exodus might be a good thing if those players don't want to put forth the effort.
With johns national connections of players and coachs, you won't have to worry about talent begging to play in WF


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:17 PM, April 28, 2007) : 

Connections? Ok, if you say so. The players that you will see leave will be impact players in the league this year. So if you think that it won't hurt, then you're wrong. This guy sounds like a clown.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:07 AM, April 30, 2007) : 

he is actually sa nice guy, but is kinda a jackass when it comes to hockey...


Anonymous Ray in MI. said ... (12:38 PM, April 30, 2007) : 

Mark, The tone of your post is somewhat disappointing. Are you one of the people who think there is no fighting in amateur hockey?
I know you are familiar with the Texas Tornado team. I have seen their team play in several NAHL games in the last four seasons. The first time I saw them play was back in 2003-04. Tony had big, bad Ben Osborne patrolling the ice, and everyone in the league running scared (except for Brad MacMillan of Fairbanks). The next year, it was Billy Skwarczewski who struck fear into numerous opponents with his ungloved hands.

Well, as a midget coach who has had a lot of success sending players on to juniours, and beyond, John Bowkus knew that if he ever sent a player on to the NHAL unaware or unprepared for what he could face, he would have done them a disservice, just as much if he had never prepared them for all of the other talent- related aspects of the game.

Unfortunately, a grandfather of a very young player just learning how to stand up on skates witnessed one of the sessions where Bowkus's players were learning what was important in
a "fighting practice," and completely misinterpreted the meaning and intent of what he saw. Instead of questioning anyone involved with the team or rink management, he wrote to the local
newspaper columnist who has done a good job over the years helping many people negotiate the red tape of governmental dealings and the like in his articles. As diligent as the reporter had been for years, he for some reason decided to leave all of his bull-dogged tenanciousness in the closet in his reporting of this story. Bowkus wouldn't comment to on advice of his lawyer, and all the college coaches in the area would say was there was no place in hockey for fighting, or that fighting was not allowed.

It shocked all of us who know John, and who had known of the lessons as our sons had progressed thru Midget AAA hockey. It was a lesson my son learned well, for as anything but a heavyweight pugilist, he was able to protect his handsome face and beautiful (and expensively orthodontically straightened) teeth thru several junior tryouts and a two year junior career. His only facial scars came from stick blades which found their way inside his face shield, and into both eyebrows.

You know, speeding in a car is forbidden by law in most states), and yet people get tickets for speeding everyday. Those who fight in amatuer hockey (and in juniors, college, and pro) pay the "fine" after fighting and get on with it, regardless what everyone else thinks. Those who choose to make a habit of fighting are dealt with accordingly. Until season long suspensions become the penalty for fighting, it's not going to go away. Every junior team (and college and pro)carries more players than can be dressed for any one game. If a fighter is out serving a game suspension for fighting, there is always somebody to plug into the lineup. Only in midgets, where the roster is limited by USA hockey to 20 players, will a suspended player actually cause a team to skate with fewer than the optimal number of players. That being said, how many midget team roll full 4 lines on a continual basis? Chances are that the 4th liners can fill in the minutes of any 1st, 2nd, or 3rd liner sitting out without much of a crisis.

I, for one, am thankful for Coach Bowkus's help, teaching, and all his other efforts that got my son to the next level, from where he earned a college scholarship to play hockey. I wish John the best of luck in his efforts to bring winning hockey to the fans in Wichita Falls, and I hope they will reward the players' efforts and success with strong community support.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:21 PM, April 30, 2007) : 

Thanks John, now we know why you did what you did. However, that is the most asinine response I have EVER heard!!! Fighting is part of the game but very rarely, IF EVER, will a player be made to fight at any level, that doesn't want to. To say otherwise is plain hogwash! They don't need to learn how to fight if that isn't their game. I have seen players play an entire junior career, go on to college and never drop the mits.


Blogger Marc Foster said ... (10:04 PM, April 30, 2007) : 

I'm not, nor have I even been, anti-fighting. I'm anti-cheapshot, which combined with my self-regulating philosophy means I am in fact pro-enforcer.

BTW, Ted Thompson wasn't scared of Ozzie, either.

I think there's been plenty of comments both for and against Bowkus since my original post. I've also received additional comments from other coaches. Some support what I wrote, and some don't. I imagine the truth lay somewhere in the middle and I guess we'll find out soon enough.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:51 PM, May 06, 2007) : 

i disagree with everything that ray in mi has to say. yes there are inforcers in the leauge, but they are there for that purpose. the game is no longer about being the biggest and toughest player on the ice. clearly with the new rules the game is about skill and speed. as you can see the role of the enforcer is becoming outdated. look at the buffalo sabers, they win because they are the most skilled team, not because they are the toughest. fighting may happen, but its not the coaches job to push the matter by telling kids they need to fight. the coach should be picking the most skilled players to put on the ice, not meat heads that want to fight on every shift.


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