Friday, August 19, 2016

Tigers' Training Camp

Posting For Visibility

Friday August 26th 8:00am – 8:45am Goalie Session
9:00am – 10:00am Practice – Team Black
11:00am – 1:15pm Scrimmage – Team White vs. Team Orange
5:00pm – 6:00pm Practice – Team White
7:00pm – 9:15pm Scrimmage – Team Black vs. Team Orange
Saturday August 27th 9:00am – 10:00am Practice – Team Orange
11:00am – 1:15pm Scrimmage – Team Black vs. Team White
5:00pm – 5:45pm Scrimmage – Team Black vs. Team White
6:00pm – 6:45pm Scrimmage – Team White vs. Team Orange
7:00pm – 7:45pm Scrimmage – Team Black vs. Team Orange
Sunday August 28th 12:00pm – 2:15pm Black vs. White Game

Training Camp is open to the Public this season!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Dahlstrom Commits to the Tigers

Edit: Saturday 23rd - added defence comments & rest of the Ages

Looks like more good news for the Tigers next season as John Dahlstrom has agreed to play for the Tigers. So it looks like both Euro's from the CHL Import Draft are both coming over. Scouting Reports say  Dahlstrom has an uncanny ability to put the puck in the net.

Updated Depth Charts

Schneider 19

Kirichenko 20 Schultz 19
Rubins 19 Quenneville 18
Heid 19 MacPherson 18
Forrest 19
Clayton 16
Matechuk 16


Bradley19 Owre20 Butcher 20
Gerlach18 Shaw18 Dahlstrom19

Rassall19 Fischer19 Jevne18
Chyzowski16 Preziuso17 Haden17

Anderson, 16

Ganie 17

Gotta give props to the scouting department, as they have stocked the cupboards very well the past couple seasons. The Tigers look to have some pretty impressive depth, especially at forward.  Of course you never like to trade guys that can make a whl team, but If I'm an opposition team looking to improve I'm keeping an eye on the Tigers forwards that fall down on their depth charts.  Their could very well be whl calibre rookies not making the team because of the firepower up front. It should make for quite the battles in training camp.

This forward group has the makings & capability of a championship squad that will only get better as the season progresses. They have enough depth where guys like Rassall, and Fischer will be playing 3rd line minutes but could probably play on most teams 2nd lines. Last year the Tigers were in the middle of the pack in terms of scoring, and they didn't loose anyone. They gained another year of experience, and they gained a scoring import. They can score by committee, and I'm extremely excited about their potential for next season.  They could very well sit near the top of the league in goal scoring. Their is potential for 8-9 guys to score 20+ goals.

The defense seems questionable on what their strength will look like. Their top end depth  is unproven to playing 1st line minutes. We will have to wait and see what Rubins can bring to the back-end. I don't expect him to be a #1 guy, as he was projected as a good talent but wasn't drafted. (Similar to Platanov of last year).  I could see the Tigers looking at acquiring a guy that could play first line minutes later at the deadline if they are in a position to make some noise. I think their defence could be anywhere from below average to above average.

WIll Quenneville improve to a point where he isn't a defensive concern against opponents top lines. Will schultz come into his own and prove he can play top line minutes. How will Kirichenko fare with stanton gone. Will Mcpherson step up and become someone you can't take out of the lineup. Forrest has excelled in pre-season, will he turn the corner and become a breakout player. Does Heid become steady eddy on the back-end. He was someone oft overlooked last season, but was decently sound in his own end.  To be honest I'm not 100% sold that clouston is the odd man out for over-agers He brings a lot of intangibles to the lineup. He is big, tough, plays a simple solid game, and is very aggressive with no fear.  Kirichenko might be able to bring a 2nd round pick in return.  If that is the case do the Tigers deal him, knowing they could possibly be looking for a non overager later in the year?  They would need his replacement to play first line minutes, however if Rubins can bring what clouston did last season, perhaps that changes things as well. 

Schneider  was very strong at the end of last season, and ended up with 9 games  of AHL experience. The Tigers will boast a very strong #1, they will need to find a quality backup tender and get him some games so that next season the Tigers aren't going in with issues.

This team has some great potential for this season. The Central is up for grabs next year, their are no bona fida contenders. The Tigers have potential to make some noise with a very quick turnaround season.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Kristians Rubins

The Tigers 1st round pick 15th overall in the CHL Import draft has decided to Join the Medicine Hat Tigers.

Kristians Rubins  exercised a clause in his contract for the CHL and has decided to Join the Medicine hat Tigers this fall. 
(The article is in swedish)

Rubins will be in his 19 yr old season. The 6'4 216 lb defenceman will be a welcomed presence with the graduation of Ty Stanton in the off-season.

I Imagine the Tigers hope he can fill a 1st line role and partner with Kirichenko on the top line. We will have to wait and see on what he is capable of.

I haven't heard any word yet on John Dahlstrom their other pick.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Quenneville & Import Draft

Quenneville Drafted to NYI
David Quenneville was the lone Tiger taken in the 7th round 200th overall of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.

CHL Import Draft

Round 1 - 15th: Kristians Rubins    6'4 216 lb Latvian Defenceman (19 yr old season)
He has played for Latvia's U18 and U20 program.

Scouting Report
Kristians is listed as a strong Left Handed defensive defenceman with a huge reach, who in the past has put up a few more points than your typical defensive defenceman.  He has an aggressive mean streak and shows sound hockey IQ. He is listed as having an impressive shot and has played on the PP in the past.

Last year in July he was a prospect to keep an eye on in quite a few European players to watch lists. In the Mid-Term rankings he was listed as the 94th European Skater.

He was not taken in the NHL 2016 entry draft.  Last season he had off-season shoulder surgery and missed the first half of the season, so that may be why he wasn't taken in the draft

Twitter Feed:

Round 2 - 76th Overall John Dahlstrom    6'1 194 lb Center  (19yr old season)

John was taken in the 7th round by the Chicago Blackhawks and the last pick in the2015 draft.

 He has played for Sweden's under 18 and under 20 teams.  Last season he played for both Frolunda's Junoir Team as well as 13 games for their 1st Division men's league in Allsvensken. He has a hard accurate shot with a nose for the net. His instincts to score goals is a rare ability.

He has also been mentioned as a player who could improve upon using his size, as well as his defensive game.

Two 19yr old, bigger bodied players. I'm not sure on how likely they are to cross the pond. We will have to keep our fingers crossed. I haven't read anything about their commitments, but in general players who have had tastes of Sweden's elite league are less likely to come over.

 Kristians Rubins  just signed a contract extension 2 months ago with his Swedish team.. I would assume their would need to be an out clause for him to cross.

With John Dahlstrom, Chicago in the past has largely stayed away from the whl. They haven't picked a whl player for 4 years.

I do hope that both picks cross the pond. they seems risky, but hopefully the Tigers have had good indications that they will come over

Rubins could potentially be a 2 year player. Dahlstrom if he comes over likely a 1 year player. I half like these picks. They need a big bodied defenceman on the back-end. They need some size up front. They could easily bolster their 19 yr old age group. So those things were addressed.

I think the reason the Tigers picked both these older players was because their are a lot of young prospects. Picking an import young player may not get a lot of icetime, so they want someone who can put up good numbers this season, to help get them back into the playoffs even if that means their stays will be shorter. Their was also open competition for the 6th slot in the top 6.  This likely keeps rassal, fischer down to 3rd line roles.  If those players continue their good play, and Dhalstrom comes over the Tigers could boast a pretty impressive high powered offense.

It could potentially open up flexibility  for 1 O/A forward  (Owre, Butcher) to be moved. From what I understand the Overage Market is lean this year, but I doubt that's what the Tigers want to do.

Former Tiger Plays Dodgeball in the Off-Season

Found an interesting article on former Tiger Trevor Cox. He is part of a trampoline dodgeball team that qualified for Championships in Vegas. His team is made up of mostly baseball and hockey players.

Rule Changes
Hybrid Icings will be the new rule. The same Rule that the NHL employs.

Video Replay upgrades

Pucks that go in off players skates will be awarded as goals,  with an exception if the puck is in the crease.

Mental Health education program to be added to the WHL's Player Support Services Program.

Exhibition Schedule
No Home games again. They will play in Taber, Coaldale, Wainright, Regina, Ralston, Red Deer

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Bantam Draft

Last Edit: Friday May 6th
1st Round
5th Overall - Josh Williams 6'0 170lb - Right Wing

Scouting Report:
Yale Hockey Academy Profile:

2nd Round
28th Overall - Daniel Baker 6'2 175lb - Defense
34th Overall - Henrik Rybinski 5'11 150lb - Forward

3rd Round
55th - Ryden Fedyck - 6'3 176lb - Defense
63rd - Jalen Price 6'0 177lb - Forward

4th Round
72nd - Mattie Boonstra 5'10 139lb - Defense

5th Round
94th Kaleb McEachern 6'3  184lb - Goaltender

7th Round
138th Corson Hopwo 5'5 129lb - Centre

9th Round 
192nd- Logan Ganie 5'9 150lb Left Wing

Tigers Are Done Drafting
This years crop so far would be considered Giants compared to the past few years. This draft was considered pretty deep

9 Players
5 Forwards
3 Defenceman
1 Goaltender

Medicine Hat News Comments

While the Tigers have traditionally boasted a small and quick roster, Clouston says Thursday’s series of decisions to draft bigger-bodied players came both as a result of the scouting, and due to the evolving nature of the game.
“The scouting staff did a tremendous job and we were just going off the list. When it’s our turn to pick, we’re picking the best guy on the list,” he said. “The thing that’s changing a little bit is we want to be able to be a fast team and play at a high tempo, a lot of the big guys are real good skaters now too. Even the bigger guys can really fly. You’ll see that in a guy like Josh.”

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Next Season

The Tigers won't loose very much at all going into next season.

Ty Stanton
Brian Williams
Mack Shields
2 Of Last years 19's

Losing Stanton is a big hit to Defense, but the other are replaceable.

Roster For Next Season by Age Group
Steven Owre**
Chad Butcher**
Clayton Kirichenko**
Alex Mowbray
Connor Clouston
**= My Estimate as FrontRunners

IF those that are starred all come back; that would leave Mowbray and Clouston on the outside looking in. Those starred all had "A"s on their jersey's.  Their were earlier rumors about butcher wanting out. It would be a big loss if true, so we will see what happens with that.

I could see a demand for Clouston as he plays a very simple and aggressive game. Clouston would fit in as a 2nd pairing guy. Mowbray brings a solid work ethic, but I could see him being passed because of his lower point totals. He would be a great pickup for a 6/7th pick. Mowbray could be a 40 point 3rd line leader type player

Matt Bradley
Zach Fischer
Mark Rassall
Brad Forrest
Nick Heid
Ty Schultz
Nick Schneider

I would pose the 19 yr old age group as late bloomers. They all have potential, but that potential has been a bit slower in coming out.

Matthew Bradley
 At the beginning of the season I considered Bradley a perimeter player. A player that could skate, but was always skating to the outside. Towards the middle of the season his game evolved. He was a consistent dangerous threat in the offensive zone. I expect him to break-out and have a huge season next year, to go with his improvements at the end of last season. He had 51 points this year. If he can stay healthy I would predict  PPG+ numbers

Zach Fischer
Fischer was an extreme late bloomer. He has had a bunch of injury troubles all season.At the end of the season his game completely changed. He was thrust into the top 6 role, and looked like he had been playing their all season.  Fischer only had 13 points this season, but 10 of those points were in the last 10 games of the season. I see potential in him to surprise and turn into a near ppg player next year. Realistically, he may not reach that, but If he plays in the top 6 I think it is a reachable figure. I think a better conservative estimate would be 40-60 points if he can stay healthy.

It was a bit unfortunate he struggled to start the season. His game transformed and he became a lot more aggressive in the crease and a lot more mobile. We haven't seen a goaltender since osgood become a consistent NHL tender, but we see a lot of good traits in Schneider and I think he has a real good shot at being a longtime pro.

Mark Rassall
Rassall I expect some big things for him next season. He took a big step in his game earlier in the season; developing, into a power forward type role with above average 1 on 1 skill. I felt he was under-utilized later in the year. He will probably compete with Fischer for top 6 ice-time. The Tigers strategy is not typically geared towards the powerforward role. Rassall will have to force the Coaches hand and become too dangerous too pass up, if he wants a top 6 role.

Nick Heid
Heid reminds me a lot of Tyler Lewington's game. Solid stay at home guy who plays a consistent game. The Tigers will need him to anchor a 2nd line pairing. I hope he has a strong off-season developing some muscle. With the way the Tigers defense is looking, Heid will be looked at to play a physical role and I hope he doesn't go overboard with that early in the season.  Tyler Lewington fought quite a bit early in his 20yr old year and I think that took a large physical toll on him.

Brad Forrest
Forrest was another late bloomer. He has a good set of wheels and can carry the puck, but early in the season he was getting stripped consistently. At the end of last season he has shown he has learned from that. I think he is capable of taking his game to another level next season, as the Tigers will need him too. He could possibly fall on the depth charts otherwise. I expect a 3rd line pairing from from him next season.

Ty Schultz
Schultz maybe thrust onto the top pairing, unless a skilled Defensive import pick is found. Is he ready for it? I'm not sure...he would be more suited for a 2nd line, pushing a top pairing guy for more icetime.

Ryan Jevne
Max Gerlach
Mason Shaw
Caleb Fantillo
Dylan MacPherson
David Quenneville

This is an interesting group. MacPherson will be a late bloomer with his first full whl season as an 18 yr old, but he showed some very strong defensive instincts in his short stints with the Tigers. Great mobility, great body positioning. I see really good potential in him, perhaps following the foosteps of a guy like Becker who was also late comer making the team.

Jevne, Fantillo, Gerlach  - their first season in the WHL, ice-time increasing as the season went on. Gerlach shocked us all with 30 goals, but his production slowed towards seasons end. He has some incredible hands and an ability to snipe without taking much time to get the puck off his stick.

Jevne and Fantillo are taking a lane similar to that of Fischer. Used as depth players but with expected potential to eventually breakout. I would expect them both to take until mid-end of next season before we start to see what they are really capable of. If they can break out earlier that will be awesome

Quenneville is more of an offensive specialist. He grabbed a ton of points, His quick release and shot is very powerful. He has trouble with his positioning when laying a hit, and sometimes hesitates for a second getting his bearings in the D zone.  He can also be prone to getting walked around on the outside by bigger fast players. His defensive game needs to improve, but his offense is greatly welcomed.

Shaw - Almost a point per game player in his 17 yr old year. He plays much bigger than his size. Everyone seems to like his game and knows what he can do being a fan favorite. Shaw/gerlach will be a very fun combo to watch for the 2-3 years.

James Hamblin
Ryan Rommelaere
Tyler Preziuso
Gary Haden

Prezuiso and Hamblin were beneficiaries to the Tigers low depth this season. Both got a head start on their development. Hamblin seems still quite raw in his development, but has some wheels on him. He got pushed around a lot and needs to get stronger. Once he can effectively manage the rougher play we should see his game take a few jumps, although I don't expect to see that until his 18 yr old year. I am hoping towards the end of next year we do see leaps forward in his game.

Preziuso shows some good playmaking skills and didn't look out of place at all. Given a bigger role he is a player that could potentially "surprise" next  season.  Haden isn't as fast on his skates as the usual Tiger breed, but has put up points on his AAA Midget teams. I could see a Prezuiso/Haden/Chyzonski combo that tears it up in a few years.

Ryan Chyzowski
Baxter Anderson
Cole Clayton D
Josh McNeil
Dawson Heathcote
Layne Matechuk D

Duncan McGovern G  Put up .919 save percentage in midget AAA which is quite impressive
Everyone except Matechuk and McGovern received playing time with the Tigers this season. Judging from what we saw from the call-ups this season, these 16's will be extremely competitive. I would not be surprised to see 3 of them make the team.

Roster By Line Combos
Fischer Owre Butcher
Gerlach Bradley Shaw
Rassall Fantillo Jevne
Chyzowski Preziuso Haden

Anderson, McNeil, Heathcote

Kirichenko Schultz
Heid Quenneville
Forrest  MacPherson
Clayton Smith

New Prospects

Import Selections
The Tigers also have 2 Import Picks available. I think they will try for at least 1 defenceman, but they are potentially flexible with the second pick. In general it is good practice to stagger the Import Picks, so your picking up 1 every year, and always picking in the first round.

Forwards - While they are still a bit smaller, their size on average is looking a bit better up front, As they may have a guy that is 6 feet on every line.

They lost some size on Defense however they still maintain decent size.    Heid and Mchperson are both 6'2, kirichenko and schultz are 6'0 and 6'1. If cole clayton makes the team he was 6'2 as a 15yr old.

The Stockton Heat are using Schneider as their #1. He has put up an .896 save percentage in 6 games as the heat push for the playoffs. The Tigers will have a very capable goaltender. The only negative of schneider doing so well is that, It may elevate the requirement to find a good quality goaltender this season. Judging by the flames Depth at goaltender, they will urgently have a spot for him @ 20.

Season Expectations & Notes
Their overall depth should be a lot better. They don't loose very much, and they have had quite a few prospects who played games last season. Their should be quite a bit of competition in camp.

I expect this team to blossom towards the end of the season. They have some talent up front that have potential and project to become bigger threats. (I think 4 of their top6 will hit the PPG mark if they can stay healthy) The other two hopefully will be close.  Their bottom 6 will push the TOP 6 for ice time and laden with upcoming talent.

Defence - I am hoping they find a gem of an import. If they can find a #1 defenceman as their import selection, I almost expect a"surprise season"  A season where the WHL critics won't really mark them as dangerous, but they come from nowhere and lay out beatings, getting better as the season goes on.

Forwards & Defence
Their goaltending and forwards look to be strong points. Their defense was quite reliant on Stanton last season, but as a whole they have improved and a year older.  Still they do not currently have that #1 defensive presence

If they can't find a #1 Dman as an import I think they should still do well. Defence will be a question mark. I think I would expect a near .500 record until late october, and then see a climb up the standings. This team with all their young talent, should get better as the season progresses.

Conference Projections
Still to be researched. Initially the division looks like it will be really competitive. Lethbridge, Calgary should still ice strong teams. Red Deer will have a bunch of losses. Swift Current had a really young team and could make a big jump.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Tigers & SMG/ Come To Terms

The Medicine Hat Tigers have been working hard to get a deal done with SMG over the last year and a half. It was unfortunate that a deal was not in place before construction began on the Canalta Centre, but the Tigers are very happy to have this process completed.

Phew! I think the whole of Medicine Hat is glad to have this process completed.

Edit: This deal is subject to a budget amendment from the City. At this time it is unknown how much the City is on the hook.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Canalta/SMG/Tigers/City Lease Situation

The Miscommunication Continues

Tigers Release on their Facebook Page
SMG & Tigers reach deal on Fri. Apr. 1st. WHL, SMG & Tigers reviewed & agreed to written contract Mon. Apr. 4, document awaiting signatures
Tigers will make further comment at the appropriate time

SMG/City Reponse

A late afternoon response from acting chief administrator and public services commissioner Karen Charlton briefly described talks between the Western Hockey League team and SMG-Canada, the facility operator and lead city negotiator.
It seemed to contradict the statement from the team that “a deal had been reached Friday, April 1,” between SMG and the team.
“The Medicine Hat Tigers have presented a final proposed licence (lease) agreement to SMG,” Charlton’s brief statement read.
“SMG and the city are currently reviewing the document to ensure the agreement is fair to both the team and city taxpayers and accurately reflects discussions since last week.”
 I find it odd that the Tigers are drafting legal documents and having Canalta Review and sign. If your leasing a place, whether it's a car, or renting a building, it usually goes the opposite direction.
Nonetheless reading between the lines patterns are emerging here. I would put money on it that the Tigers past "agreements" in (June 2015), and (a couple weeks ago) followed a similar process. Verbal talks, Tigers draft a document, the City/SMG reviews their proposal and deems it not acceptable. The Tigers balked saying they had a deal in place. SMG says no that was a proposal we can't accept.
Seeing as the deadline is(Tomorrow) Thursday, if we don't hear a signed lease agreement by the end of thursday. We may see this turn into a nightmare situation, which I really hope doesn't play out.

This Pre-Release also seems like a political move to gain favor of the public. Announcing contract deals before they are 100% completed is poor manners.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Evicted! Edited With the Tigers Reponse Below

Re-Edited: With the Tigers Reponse

The City served the Medicine Hat Tigers an eviction notice today.  They have repeated numerous times on their facebook page that this is not an April Fool's Joke.

A quote from the article above

Right before training camp started in August, a temporary access agreement was signed by SMG and the team. The city says over the course of the season, that agreement was renewed 11 times, with the last such agreement expiring March 24. Clugston says they hoped there would be a last minute deal, but the majority of council is on board with this decision.


The Medicine Hat Tigers Response

The financial terms of the agreement were settled in June 2015; however the City of Medicine Hat and SMG have been continually looking to claw back what was originally agreed upon. The Medicine Hat Tigers have been dealing with SMG almost daily for months to finalize this deal. On a conference call last week both parties agreed to the final issues. The Tigers then signed the contract on March 24th, 2016 believing the matter was concluded. However, once again the City and SMG decided to make changes and not to honor what was agreed to earlier that week, a trend that has become too common in these negotiations.

Although the team is not obligated to do so, in a gesture of good faith, the Tigers have paid their rent at the Canalta Centre earlier this season. Meanwhile all revenues that are owed to the team have not been paid by SMG.

So It appears the WHL has been working with both sides and an agreement is still not in place. Previous comments on this blog have stated one of the biggest disagreements causing an issue is: Who pays for the dressing rooms? It is a significant chunk of change.

The Tigers position says they have had agreements, but the agreements have been changed multiple times at the last minute.

I find it hard to beleive that if your talking everyday to each other, that each side still has communication issues. Sounds fishy from both sides...

Good News

Nick Schneider
Nick Schneider made his pro debut yesterday night with the Stockton Heat of the AHL.  Starter Kevin Poulin had an injury and the flames decided to go with the young 18yr old callup.

Here is the Game Boxscore

Here is his aftergame interview

Schneider was listed as the Games 3rd star, stopping 34 of 37 shots in a 4-2 Loss to the San Diego Gulls.  The gulls have a .600 winning percentage, while Stockton dropped down to .500.

Hunter Shinkaruk
Shinkaruk scored his first goal in the NHL. He deflected a puck into the net. The Flames lost 8-3. Here is the video

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Tiger Season Comes To An End

A 6-4 Loss to the Oil Kings in Game 73.

A Disapointing Ending.  6-0 Dominance in the regular season. One Game, Winner take all loss.

I guess the game tonight seemed kinda similar to how their overall season played out. A quick 2-0 lead to start the game. Followed by some goaltending and Special Teams troubles. A valiant comeback that had the arena rocking. Then a PP goal did them in

13 Season Playoff Streak
The Loss tonight ends the Tigers 13 season in a row playoff streak. It's been 13 years since their was no playoff hockey in April.  It will be only the 3rd time in 13 years the Tigers haven't advanced to Round 2 of the WHL playoffs.

Draft Lottery
The Tigers have a 95% chance at the 5th overall pick. They have a 5% chance at the 3rd pick and can only move up if they win the lottery.

Good Luck to the 20 Year Olds who are moving on in Ty Stanton, Mack Shields, Brian Williams, as well as Austin Lotz

More Later