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September 30, 2004

Interview With Jeff Hunt

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Jeff Hunt was on the TEAM 1200 SportsCall with Gross and Galley today.

As of 9 am this morning, there were 650 tickets remaining for the home opener tomorrow night. Hunt said they typically sell 800 tickets on game day, so he is optimistic about a sell-out. The overall seat capacity has been lowered by about 500 due to new seats.

Hunt has had the benefit of seeing the team play on the road, giving him a chance to see the rookies play. He is excited to see how well they’re playing, and he is excited about the home opener --- to have the fans see the new team.

Gross said that he talked with Petruzalek after the press conference that was held the other day. Gross asked him if he was going to cut his hair, knowing that Killer doesn’t like the long hair look. Petruzalek told him that his girlfriend was on her way from his homeland for a visit and she is going to cut his hair. Hunt said that if this is true, he was going to go tell Killer right away as that would make his day. Hunt said that maybe Kaspar would also cut his, but Gross said that Kaspar already said that he wasn’t going to cut his hair.

Hunt talked about Kaspar’s *celebration* after he scored his first goal in Sudbury the other night. He said that the way Kaspar reacted was a normal reaction in his home rinks, and it is not considered disrespectful. Apparently Kaspar didn’t realize that it wasn’t part of the culture here, but he sure does now. (I don’t think I’ll ever forget when Petruzlek waved to the crowd after he scored his first goal in pre-season. I think that if Kaspar *celebrated* his goal at home, it would have gone a little better for him.)

Hunt said that the returning players have developed physically over the summer. "You would not believe how developed these guys are after the summer. Especially Elgin Reid." (Read: thick necks.)

He talked about Colbert being captain, and said that it was an easy choice. Colbert is respected by his team mates and is respectful to others. "Killer has his hockey priorities for picking a captain, while I have others, like role modelling in the community." Hunt said at ticket pick-up night that if his boy grows up to be like Will Colbert I couldn’t be happier. He also added, that if his boy grows up to be like Brendan Bell he would also be happy.

Tickets: there is an NHL lock-out, but that doesn’t mean that 67s tickets are sold out. Hunt says that he has 20 conversations a day that go like this: "You must be sold out now that the lock-out is here, eh?" Hunt says this is not true. For instance, there are 5000 tickets available for the next couple of games. He says the hardest thing right now, is getting the message out that there are tickets available.

At an upcoming game they will be honouring Memorial Cup winning teams of the past and many former players will be there (Mark Bell, Gary Roberts, etc.). See link.

September 28, 2004

From Today's News Conference

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On seats remaining for the opening game:
Jeff Hunt said that there were only 1500 tickets left for this Friday's game against Sudbury. I hope that there is a sell-out for the home opener. So far, the OHL hasn't been drawing like I thought they would. StatsGuy has begun to track attendance for each team, and even though there have only been a few games played (and some home games haven't been played yet), there hasn't been a sell-out. (Note that these attendance numbers from the OHL are far from accurate, but that's what we have to work with.) I think that the Knights are the only team that have come the closest to a sell-out in their building. StatsGuy will be posting his cool graph once he has a little more data in it.

He's such a geek!

But he's my geek.

On Captain Colbert:
Brian Kilrea said that the decision to award the captaincy to Colbert was a logical one. He said that Colbert is like the dad of the team, that all the players go to him with problems. Killer said that Colbert is also well respected by the coaching staff and Jeff Hunt. Everyone likes him. He handles himself well. He is hardworking, doing the things on the ice that aren't pretty, etc . . .

First Interview With Colbert

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Colbert had his first interview as Captain on TEAM 1200's Two Dorks with Dean Brown and Gord Wilson. They caught up with him just as he was preparing for practice.

He said it feels great; really exciting. He said he used to come watch the games with his dad (Arnprior native), so to be captain is really exciting. This is his first letter.

When asked if he will change anything now that he is captain, he said that he got the C for the way he plays and played, so he can't see changing too much. He might be more vocal.

Dean asked him if the thought of having to be the go-between with Killer and the team intimidated him. Colbert responded by saying yes, as Killer can be "a little intense".

He was asked if he was going to learn Czech, and he said no, that he had already learned a few words (= swearing) already and that would be all.

He was also told to start practicing the art of directional swearing when dealing with the refs (e.g., "that's a blank joke" versus "you're a blank joke"). He said he would work on that this week.

Colbert said he was feeling great, and he is looking forward to getting the injured guys back. He is looking forward to the re-match with Sudbury.

Captain Of The 2004-05 67s

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The new captain has been announced, and it will be Will Colbert.

I was rooting for Mancari myself, but he may not have been as motivating as Colbert. We'll find out this season.



Interview With Shawn Williams

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Shawn Williams, the Director of Business & Community Development for the 67s, was on TEAM 1200 today (SportsCall with Gross and Galley).

There will be a press conference at 2pm today, where Jeff Hunt and Brian Kilrea will be announcing the team promotions for the year, talk about the team, ticket sales, and season ticket base. Williams said they will not be announcing the captain until tonight's ticket pick up dinner (even though Gross thinks they will).

Ticket sales were down last year, but Williams said that they have some good news to deliver this afternoon regarding ticket sales. He said that the 67s have been pleased with the growth of their season ticket base.

When asked if he feels that the 67s will have more fans to the games due to the lock-out, he said that they may have an increase, but they cannot be complacent and expect a huge flow of hockey fans to the Civic Centre. He said they were going to work on marketing packets to businesses that won't be able to use Sens tickets.

Gross asked Williams why the attendance decreases so drastically during play-offs. He said that it is related to the quick turn-around time, and not being able to recruit large group packages. He said they were working on ways to address this.

September 27, 2004

Recap - Week 1

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Well, week one of the new OHL season is in the books. Like every year, the 67s opened the season on the road in Sudbury and Sault Ste Marie. On Friday they played the Wolves and were beaten badly. Although it didn't look too bad on the scoreboard (3-1), that was only because 67s net minder Battochio (pictured) was UNBELIEVABLE in goal. The Sudbury native stood on his head, stopping wave after wave of 2-on-1 breakaways. On paper, it looked like the 67s this year would have great offense, decent defense, and the goaltending was the big question mark. But in Sudbury, the opposite was true. Kudos to Sudbury, though. It looks like they'll do well this year. Rookie defenseman Derek Joslin got the only goal for Ottawa. It sounded like he was the best skater on the ice for Ottawa, although Tsimikalis played well too.

The 67s faced the Greyhounds on Sunday. This was more like the 67s I expected. They beat the 'hounds 7-4, even though they were out shot badly again. Kaspar got a hat trick and Petruzalek picked up 3 assists. I hope this is a sign of things to come. After Kaspar's first goal (a flukey deflection off of a Sault defenseman), he danced around the ice in celebration. The Sault fans weren't too happy about that. But then I guess he has the skills to back it up. I don't think Killer's gonna let him do that any more. I seem to remember Petruzalek hamming it up when he scored in Ottawa in the preseason, waving at the fans. On home ice it's cute, and the fans loved it. On someone else's ice it's just bad sportsmanship. We like the goals, but the cockiness is unnecessary. Joslin opened the scoring for Ottawa with his second goal in two games. I think I'm going to like watching this guy too.

Next week the 67s will face Sudbury again as the Wolves travel to Ottawa on Friday. Then the 67s go back on the road to spend the weekend in Barrie and then Toronto to face St. Mike's. Should be some tight battles.

September 26, 2004

Next Up: Pick Up

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Season Ticket Pick Up Night

When: Tuesday September 28, from 1700h to 2000h.

Where: Salons of the Civic Centre.

Full details: Here.

Recap - 09/26/04 - Ottawa at Sault Ste. Marie

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GAME SUMMARY
Team1st2nd3rdOTTotal
Ottawa (Visiting)322-7
Sault Ste. Marie (Home)220-4
SCORING SUMMARY (BY TEAM)
Ottawa
1 Joslin (Petruzalek, Tsimikalis) PP
1 Kaspar (Petruzalek, Joslin) PP
1 Kaspar (Bickell, Talbot)
2 Kaspar (Petruzalek, Beard)
2 Todd (Van Herpt)
3 Colbert (Beard, Talbot) PP
3 Mancari (unassisted) EN
Sault Ste. Marie
1 Jarrett (Carter, Larsh) PP
1 McInerney (Jarrett) PP
2 Jarrett (Larsh, Carter) PP
2 Tuma (Lawrence, Carter)

NOTES
  • The ref was Peter Kostyk; the linesmen were Scott Thibeault and Jamie Appleton.
  • The attendance was 2256.
  • SOG were 44 to 21 for Soo.
  • The announced 3 stars were: (1) Kaspar OTT, (2) Carter SOO, and (3) Jarrett SOO. The TEAM 1200/580 CFRA 3 stars were: (1) Kaspar OTT, (2) Petruzalek OTT, and (3) Carter SOO.
  • Joslin scored the first goal of the game for the second straight game. He seems to be one of the harder working players.
  • Kaspar and Petruzalek got their games going, with Kaspar getting a hat trick and Petruzalek getting a number of assists. So good to see these two working out the bugs, and getting results.
  • Mancari moved to offence for this game (Van Herpt replacing him on defence).
  • Play-by-play done by AJ Jakubek, and broadcast on 580 CFRA.
  • The OHL game recap available here.

September 24, 2004

Recap - 09/24/04 - Ottawa at Sudbury

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GAME SUMMARY
Team1st2nd3rdOTTotal
Ottawa (Visiting)100-1
Sudbury (Home)012-3
SCORING SUMMARY (BY TEAM)
Ottawa
1 Joslin (Akeson)
Sudbury
2 Hastings (Martynowski, Chaumont)
3 Staal (Puliot, D’Aversa) PP
3 Blaho (Eaton, Dubbin)

NOTES
The ref was Ryan O'Neill, the linesmen were Jean-Yves Maillet and Jamie Clark.
The attendance (as per OHL) was 4417; radio announced just over 5000.
The OHL 3 stars were 1. SBY - 14 Marc Staal, 2. SBY - 8 Jonathan D'Aversa, and 3. OTT - 30 Danny Battochio.
OHL game recap available here
Play-by-play done by AJ Jakubek. He did a good job to keep positive throughout the last minutes of the game, when it sounded like the 67s were thinking more about getting to the dressing room then scoring.
This was Joslin's first OHL goal.
Disappointing that with all the hype surrounding the 67s potential for offence, the only scoring came from a defenceman.
Didn't sound like Van Herpt played much. Sounded like Battachio stood on his head.
Next game will be broadcast on CFRA 580 on Sunday at 1400h.
Rogers will have the first game broadcast on Friday October 1.
The most telling of all, however, is the SHOTS ON GOAL, which were 38 to 19 for Sudbury!

Notes On New Captain

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Saw these two posts on the 67s bulletin board today:

According to Killer, who was on the Team 1200 this morning, Jeff Hunt will be announcing the new captain at the season ticket holders bbq. Until then he will rotate the "A" among several players.

According to the New RO the "A" will be worn by Mancari, Wharton, Colbert, and Akeson.

I think it's great that Wharton made the list. He's a future Captain. No one else seems to realize that yet.

Update On New D-Man

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Due to the lack of healthy veteran defence, the 67s have acquired 19-year-old defenceman Nick Van Herpt from the Mississauga IceDogs in exchange for a 5th round pick in 2007. Posted on the official 67s website yesterday (link):

The 19-year-old defenceman split last season with the IceDogs and the Kingston Frontenacs where he spent the first two seasons of his Ontario Hockey League career.

Van Herpt tallied 5 goals and 8 assists along with 62 penalty minutes in 54 games last season which was split between Kingston and Mississauga.

“We are happy to have an experienced defenceman like Nick join our team,” said Brian Kilrea while en route to Sudbury for the 67’s regular season opener Friday night.

Van Herpt is expected to join the team on the road this weekend.

OHL = Only Hockey Left!

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The following notes are taken from an interview with Jim Cressman on TEAM 1200 (Sportscall) with Dave Gross and Garry Galley. Cressman is the junior hockey reporter for London, and writes for the London Free Press.

Cressman’s predictions for the East are Mississauga and Ottawa. He feels that the West remains stronger than the East (“the power is in the West, with a few in the East like last year”).

Brian Kilrea really relies on his scouts. He trusts their decisions. He also relies on his network to bring in European players. Cressman said that you can count on one hand the number of times that Ottawa has been at the bottom. It is remarkable. Most are looking forward to getting a look at the two new European players, Petruzalek and Kaspar.

Cressman said that the defence position has become the ultimate position in the OHL. He said this is why we have stopped seeing such large scores; there will be no more big shoot-outs in the OHL.

The NHL lockout has been good for the OHL in at least one regard. All players who would have been involved in NHL training camps and pre-season games are back with their OHL teams. Some of the OHL teams would be missing 4,5,6, up to 7 of their big guns, and then they have to work them in to existing line-ups 3 weeks into the season. This hasn’t happened this year.

The Knights will host the Memorial Cup this year. It finally hit Cressman the other day: There is a 1 in 4 chance that the Knights will win the Memorial Cup. Because they are hosting. This is the 40th season for the Knights in the OHL, and the first time the Knights will go to the Memorial Cup. Fans still stop him on the street and ask him if he thinks the Knights will make it to the Memorial Cup this year, because they can’t believe it yet that it’s guaranteed they will get to play for Cup.

Even though Cressman thinks that Mississauga will be a contender this year, he still feels that the owner, Mario Forgione, will screw it up as he has decided to be the general manager this year.

Cressman said that what Jeff Hunt has done with the Ottawa 67s is incredible. He said that other owners should have to talk with him to get some ideas on how to improve their businesses.

Hunter has done a great job to immediately replace any players they lost. They are really excited about Brian Rodney.

Rob Shremp seems to be happy. Need to wait and see though. Cressman said he is a good kid, he can play the game, and he may have been humbled by his draft experience.

Dale Hunter has been suspended for 4 games, so he will not be on the bench for the first 4. Apparently, he was awarded the suspensions as follows: 2 games for a player leaving the bench to initiate a fight on the ice, 2 games for being awarded a game misconduct during a game for mocking a referee (Dave Branch got fed up after hearing about the misconduct that he gave Hunter another 2 games). Galley mentioned that he used to room with Hunter, and said he was never that abrasive, vocal back then.

The first game of the season for the 67s is tonight. They 67s are in Sudbury. The game will be broadcast on the TEAM 1200.

September 19, 2004

Recap – 09/18/04 – Ottawa at Belleville

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GAME SUMMARY
Team1st2nd3rdOTTotal
Ottawa (Visiting)010-1
Belleville (Home)102-3

SCORING SUMMARY (BY TEAM)
Ottawa
2 Colbert (Tsimikalis, Talbot)
Belleville
1 Thornton (Kelly, Rancourt)
3 Roelofsen (Rancourt, Beleskey) PP
3 Rancourt (Roelofsen) EN

NOTES
(Summaries and notes from NOOF.) Battachio started in net and let in one goal. Guadagnolo came in for the second half, also let in one goal. (One empty net goal.)

September 17, 2004

Update On Ryan Graham (Rookie)

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Graham has been sent to play with the Gatineau Olympique (QMJHL). He had been playing for the 67s (had an assist last week in the September 10th game vs Belleville). (Reported on the TEAM 1200 today.)

Recap - 09/17/04 - Ottawa vs Kingston

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GAME SUMMARY
Team1st2nd3rdOTTotal
Ottawa (Home)012-3
Kingston (Visiting)001-1

SCORING SUMMARY (BY TEAM)
Ottawa
2 Petruzalek (Kaspar)
3 Akeson (Petruzalek, Battachio) PP
3 Mancari (Lawrance, Tsimikalis) EN
Kingston
3 Emmerton (Pronk, C. Stewart) PP


NOTES

  • The ref was #9 (Cox) and the linesmen were Coleman and Mainville.
  • The attendance was over 7000.
  • Too many penalties, which led to a very choppy and drawn-out game.
  • Battachio did a great job in the net and played the entire game - plus he got an assist and made first star.
  • Corey Locke was in the stands watching the game.
  • The three stars (in-house) were:
  1. Danny Battachio - OTT,
  2. Jakub Petruzalek - OTT, and
  3. Dayne Davis - KIN


September 16, 2004

Locke Signs With Canadiens

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Corey Locke yesterday signed a three-year deal with the Montreal Canadiens. Good for him! He'll play for the Hamilton Bulldogs this season, and hopefully he can make the leap to the NHL if/when they return.




September 15, 2004

Notes From The QMJHL

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The QMJHL will institute random drug testing this season.

The Gatineau Olympiques host the Acadie-Bathurst Titan in the league season opener on Thursday, September 16 at 7:35 p.m.

Written on the board in Team Canada's dressing room . . .

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Practice closed tomorrow. No one left to beat.

Update On Corey Locke

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They are reporting on the TEAM 1200 20/20 updates (1000h broadcast) that it looks like Corey Locke is close to signing a deal with Montreal. He will likely play in the AHL, with the Hamilton Bulldogs.

** UPDATE by Sid (09/15/04) **
Just heard on the 20/20 update (1400h broadcast) that the Habs have offered Corey Locke a deal, and he now has until midnight to sign. If he does not, he will return to Junior.

September 13, 2004

Recap - 09/10/04 - Ottawa vs Belleville

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GAME SUMMARY
Team1st2nd3rdOTTotal
Ottawa (Home)410-5
Belleville (Visiting)142-7

SCORING SUMMARY (BY TEAM)
Ottawa
1 Petruzalek (Akeson, Lawrance)
1 Johnston (Graham, Aitcheson)
1 Petruzalek (Ouellette, Lawrance)
1 McGinn (Johnston, Joslin)
2 Mancari (Lawrance, Ouellette) PP
Belleville
1 Lombardi (Hughes, Berard)
2 Thornton (Roelofsen, Stach)
2 Lombardi (Thornton, Killing) PP
2 Roelofsen (Thornton, Lombardi)
3 Sonneburg (Beleskey, Berard) PP
3 Dewar (unass.)
3 Edgeworth (unass.)

Notes

The ref was #7, the linesmen were #75 and #84.
The attendance was 6141.
Akeson took 4 penalties.
Petruzalek is speedy.
Seats are good.

The Ottawa Sun has a game recap available.


September 09, 2004

Recap - 09/08/04 - Ottawa at Kingston

No comments:
GAME SUMMARY
Team1st2nd3rdOTTotal
Ottawa (Visiting)n/an/an/a-3
Kingston (Home)n/an/an/a-3

Game Summary
Final score: Tie (3/3)
Goals scored by: Bryan Bickell (2), and Jeremy Akeson (1)
Injuries to: Elgin Reid (separated shoulder; out 3-4wks)
Next game: Exhibition Game #2, 09/10/04, Ottawa vs Belleville.

Game Notes
Post-game interview on TEAM 1200 (Sportscall/Garry Galley) with Killer:

  • this was the first game for the 67s, the fourth for the Frontenacs;
  • Frontenacs started training camp 1 week earlier than other OHL teams due to ice constraints (and by special permission from the league), while the 67s had to wait for the Ottawa Ex to clear out of Lansdowne Park;
  • the 67s were outplayed, but Battachio played great in the first half allowing no goals (Guadagnolo played the second half);
  • the 67s dressed only 15 players, 8 of them rookies;
  • the rookies skated and played well, and credit given to them for working until the end;
  • Dave Leger (from University of Ottawa) loaned a player (David Shillington) to the 67s;
  • Petruzalek played without Kaspar (training camp at San Jose) on a line with Bickell and Akeson (which scored all the goals);
  • there were numerous penalties in the game;
  • the toughest part was the injury to Reid (who was tripped into the boards and suffered a shoulder separation), and may miss 3-4 weeks;
  • there is a chance that Wharton will be healthy to play the home opener, but most likely not Reid;
  • expecting the 7 players who are currently at NHL training camps to be back, and is pleased that the schedule does not get heavy until October;
  • feels that this is a real good team, with potential (goaltending is fine, defence - when healthy - is fine, Locke returning possibly); and
  • nothing is proven, may require tweaking, but he believes they have all the pieces.

September 08, 2004

Ottawa 67s Update On TEAM 1200

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Dean and Gord spoke with AJ Jakubek, who is travelling with the team to tonight's game (to watch only, no play-by-play). Comments included:
  • looking at the players from the training camp everyone is predicting another great year;
  • there are 15 returning veterans (if Locke returns) so the team is shaping up to be a very verteran one with the potential to do some damage in the Eastern conference;
  • the two Czech players (Kaspar and Petruzalek) have great chemistry and are a treat to watch, they are going to be all stars in the league, suspect that they will play for the Czech team at Christmas, and even if Locke is not back the marquee aspect of these two will make up for it;
  • there are 7 returning forwards, 6 returning defencemen, plus the two goalies from last year;
  • Kyle Wharton should be ready for the home opener against Sudbury, and it should be a big season for him;
  • Will Colbert will be back and should be a top-two guy;
  • Elgin Reid played really well during camp, he doesn't take a shift off and is an ornery guy that will hopefully replace Pierre Mitsou;
  • goaltending is shaping up to be strong even though Mensator will not be back (he is playing in Czech Republic);
  • both Battachio and Guadagnolo had great camps, in fact Guadagnolo looked better at this camp than he did during last season, suggestions made that they will push each other to be better; and
  • the team that is going to lose big this year is an obvious one -- Guelph Storm -- who lost their head coach Shawn Camp along with a number of key players (including Paille, Jansen, Parise, and Kline).

67s Exhibition Roster Released Today

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The 67s released their 2004-05 Exhibition Roster today. There are no real surprises. Most of the good players will be at NHL training camps, but we can at least see how the rookies look.

Locke Wants More Money

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The Ottawa Citizen is today reporting that the Montreal Canadiens have offered Locke a deal commensurate with his 4th round pick draft position, but he's apparently holding out for more money. I think he has yet to prove that he can play at the NHL level. He should take the money and run. If he does, I assume this means he'll be playing with the Hamilton Bulldogs this season.

Hockey Game Rained Out?

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The 67s are opening the pre-season tonight with a game in Kingston versus the Frontenacs. Environment Canada is forecasting heavy rain for Kingston this evening from remnants of hurricane Frances. The Kingston arena is known to leak when it rains. Is it possible for a hockey game to be rained out?

Locke Out?

1 comment:
Today's Ottawa Sun is reporting that if Locke stays with the 67s this year, he'll play with the two new Czech imports Petruzalek and Kaspar. It also sounds like he'll really have to work hard to prove he's as good as they are. That could cause a lot of tension, and Locke is already displaying a lot of frustration. Someone on NOOF even said that maybe the 67s would be better off without Locke this year. They have enough depth - they probably wouldn't miss him.

Also interesting - it sounds like a lot of other teams are much better than expected this year, due in part to the possible NHL lockout. Maybe the 67s won't dominate as overwhelmingly as we thought?

September 02, 2004

More On Corey Locke, Training Camp Notes

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Today on the TEAM 1200 20/20 updates they are reporting that it is likely Corey Locke will be back with the 67s this season if no deal is signed with the Montreal Canadiens.

Brent Boschman, the 17 year-old son of ex-NHLer and former Ottawa Senators captain Laurie Boschman, is attending the 67s training camp. His father, who was interviewed on TEAM 1200 (afternoon show with Dean Brown and Gord Wilson), said that his son has been drafted by the 67s, but he's not sure of his chances on making the team due to his smaller stature compared to some of the other boys at the camp.

Kaptain Konopka Inks NHL Deal

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Former Ottawa 67s Captain Zenon Konopka yesterday signed a two-year deal with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. For his sake, I hope there is a season this year because he deserves a shot in the big leagues.








**Comment from Sid, Sep 2/04**
Wow. This is great news. Hopefully we'll get to see him play at some point, despite the NHL lockout and the fact that Anaheim is in the west.