Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tigers Deal For Goaltender


 In what should be a busy offseason, the Medicine Hat Tigers made their first deal, acquiring 19 year old goaltender Evan Johnson from the Portland Winterhawks over the weekend.


This likely solves the "2nd goaltender spot". ( Notice I didn't say backup) I would imagine that Johnson will push Nick Schneider for the starters job.

 This does create more competition, depth and provides a solid position in the net for a pretty cheap price.  Incoming goal-tending prospects may be hard pressed to make the team this upcoming season.

Monday, May 18, 2015

The New Arena Kurfuffle

The introduction to the new arena seems as confusing as the initial talks to actually build the new building.

News Article

I've bolded 3 key parts of that article

City hall cannot get involved in lease negotiations between the Medicine Hat Tigers and SMG-Canada without breaking its contract with the Event Centre’s private operator, according to the head of the public service committee

Further, she said, a key factor in choosing SMG was its North American network and ability to attract major concerts and other events to bolster profits.

“They have a wealth of experience in running buildings such as these,” said Friesen.
Senior team officials also said that in years past, negotiating with council had led to deals that accounted for the team’s financial position.

I'm not exactly sure what the role of the operator entitles, but I believe how the business is handled on a day to day business will be very different compared to their old lease with the city of medicine hat.  

From what I've been told ticket prices, concessions, parking, hiring, security plus a lot more will be handled by the 3rd party SMG group. The Tigers will want to make a profit, as well as the SMG group who operates the Arena. I wouldn't be surprised if the Tigers largely controlled a lot of these aspects when the city was the operator. Now new building's operator SMG in contract with the city will be potentially handling large parts of that.  I'm largely speculating here but I would guess the Tigers are uncomfortable with giving up this control, and want the city involved to re-negotiate some of this control from the contract they signed with SMG.

With the New arena also comes more possible ticket sales. Last season the Tigers had "sellouts" every game, however I think we would both agree that their were only about 3200 in the seats.
SMG saw sellouts and the Tigers still made money with lots of tickets being dumped in the fans hands. I think that could also play a big part of the discrepancy of the negotiation process.

Investigating the SMG Group
With So Many Questions being un-answered heading into a new season, I decided to do a bit of research. SMG operates 3 other Arena's within canada, the OHL Niagra Icedogs. Mississauga Steelheads, and the Kingston Frontenacs.

Season Ticket Prices
Niagra (NEW in 2014) (399,499,569)    (pay, and free parking, downtown)
Mississauga (399 ends) (459 middle) (609 middle+lounge)    (free parking)
Kingston  (496,544,612,685)  (paid and free parking)

Note: Those teams have 2 less home games than the WHL. (add $20-$30 to each numbers for whl)

All 3 teams have a pricing that is different compared to where you are sitting in the Arena. So I guess we can expect the same thing at the New Arena. Niagra's building is brand new in 2014, and they also had the Tragically Hip  for the first concert.  Niagra has glowing reviews of their building with amazing sight lines, comfortable seats, restaurants, an enjoyable atmosphere, with the exception of concession pricing.

Concessions and Parking
Cost for parking? It is unknown at this point. In all 3 places above their are free parking spots, and paid lots but I'm unsure if these spots or 3rd party or not.

Looking at reviews for concessions, Medicine Hat is likely looking at an increase. $8.50/9.50 beer for playoff game in Niagra. It was noted that food was comparable to an NHL game, as well as "pricey" in Kingston.  In Mississauga,1998 built, and low attended, food/drink was a little lower $6 a beer. either way expect the price of food/drink to increase.

SMG will probably bring in a bunch of other events to the Arena. The Tragically Hip also opened up in Niagra's new building for this season. My opinion is I would  pay more money for concession prices if it means this group will bring in high quality entertainment to the hat.

Their are many different factors into this type of lease situation so speculating without knowing is hard to do.  I've speculated above but i could be dead wrong so please do not take that info as fact.

Regardless a deal should have been done at this time. I wonder if the Tigers currently have years remaining on the current Arena's Lease? If they do I wonder if they could choose to stay at the Current Arena?

My guess is that this would not be the case as their have been no mention of this in the news articles, and business wise it would make sense for SMG to have in their contract with the city that the city wouldn't be allowed to compete with them @ the old arena.

 I wonder if a 3rd party operator could take over the cities role as operator of the current Arena?, but that is likely a venture that wouldn't be profitable with an old building, so I highly doubt that happens, and the Tigers will need to find an agreement at the new centre.

Season Ticket Holders
The last few seasons the end of June has been the deadline to purchase season tickets, but I have not received a notice yet.  The lease negotiation have a Huge effect on the prices of season Tickets. So looking at the other 3 Arena's SMG controls, One would expect a similar price structure, in the 420-640 range as mentioned above but taking into consideration a 36 game schedule.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Reviewing the 2008 & 2009 Bantam Draft

These 2 drafts have finally filtered through and graduated from the WHL, so lets take a look at how the Tigers did! Willie Desjardins last year was in 2010 he was still the GM during these drafts.

I'm going to leave a summary at the Top, then individual picks down below.

Hunter Shinkaruk
Jayden Hart
Kyle  Becker
Dawson MacAuley

4 WHL Players albeit 1 of them didn't make it till after leaving the Tigers, so we will count the group as 3 players. 3 WHL players out of 1 draft would be considered a pretty average draft. 

Dylan Busenius
Dylan Bredo
Boston Leier
Todd Fiddler
Reid Petryk

The Tigers only had 8 selections (3 in the 3rd round). They traded their 7th rounder, and passed on selections after that. 5 players turned out to be great WHL Players.  You could consider this year as an exceptional draft year, considering the Tigers were picking in the 16th spot.  4/5 players didn't finish their whl careers with the Tigers. 


1st Round
14th overall Hunter Shinkaruk

                               Regular Season                                                   Playoffs
Year        Team                          League    GP   G    A   PT PM|   GP G  A  PT PM
2010-11  Medicine Hat Tigers         WHL    63   14   28   42   24|  14   4   5   9   0
2011-12  Medicine Hat Tigers         WHL    66   49   42   91   38|   8   2   9  11   6
2012-13  Medicine Hat Tigers         WHL    64   37   49   86   44|   8   3   3   6   8
2013-14  Medicine Hat Tigers         WHL    18    5   11   16   29 | --  --  --  --  --

The Tigers did very well with this pick. Overall the first round was laden with WHL stars, The Tigers snagged a very good offensive player at the 14th position.

2nd Round
36th Overall  Dawson MacAuley

MacAuley only appeared in 7 games as a Tiger. He was released in 2012, and picked up by calgary. The Hitman then traded him to Regina for a 4th round draft pick. MacAuley then played 50 games for the pats as a 19 yr old racking up an .899 save percentage and 3.24 Goals against average.

Goalies are largely hit and miss. It's why prior to the CHL Import goalie ban, very few goalies were ever taken in the first 2 rounds. The import goalie ban has started to change that. This pick didn't turn out for the Tigers and they missed picking up a 4th rounder in compensation by dropping him early.

3rd Round
58th overall Jayden Hart   5'7 145 lbs

Hart  turned into a 6'2 205 lb player, quite the growth spurt after getting drafted. Hart played in 85 games and racked up 42 points before demanding a trade. Hart was shipped off to PA with Dylan Busenius for Zach Hodder, Logan McVeigh, and Connor Hobbs, 2nd in 2013 (ryan Jevne)

So Jayden Hart didn't work out in Medicine Hat, but the Tigers were later able to gain significant resources from his services. Interestingly enough one of the players they traded for also later demanded a trade a few years later in Hobbs. Overall the Tigers received good value for this pick.

5th Round
Luke Johnson C

Luke played in the ushl, went to the University of North Dakota, and was drafted in the 5th round in the 2013 by Chicago. So this flyer pick on a good player didn't work out.

7th Round
146th Kyle Becker   6'0 151    Ended up 6'1 213 lb

Becker was a big kid played in 11 games as a 17 yr old, and cracked the roster full time as an 18 yr old. 

For a 7th round pick, the Tigers found themselves a pretty good player. 3 full seasons from Becker was picking up great value for the 146th selection.

8th, 9th, 10th Rounds
These rounds are really hit and miss. 

8th (168) Mark Foster
9th (187) Austin Ho  (played college hockey)
9th (190) Connor Garden   (ajhl/sjhl)
10th (202) Nick Anderson   (us flyer pick)

Unfortunately none of the above picks worked out. 

Overall Thoughts

4 WHL Players albeit 1 of them didn't make it till after leaving the Tigers, so we will count the group as 3 players. 3 WHL players out of 1 draft would be considered a pretty average draft. 

2008   (Heights/Weights not listed)

1ST Round - 16th overall
Dylan Busenius - January 30, 1993 - D - Sherwood Park, AB

Played 3.5 seasons for the Tigers. The first round in 2008 was hit and miss.The Tigers had 3.5 seasons where Busenius was  on the top pairing by his last season, although is overall development was a bit slow for the first couple years. With such a hit and miss draft I think the Tigers did OK in this position with the late pick.

2nd Round - 38th overall
Dylan Bredo - June 25, 1993 - LW - Edmonton, AB

Their were some hidden gems that came out of the draft in the 2nd round and the Tigers nailed it selecting Dylan bredo. A very smart defensive player who not only played on the top line with Emerson Etem, but played on the top pairing Defense unit a couple years later.  Bredo played in 5 seasons, and didn't miss a game for 4 straight years. The Tigers made out very well with this selection.

3rd Round - 47th overall
Boston Leier - July 9, 1993 - Saskatoon, SK

Was the steal of the 3rd round. Leier  played in 3 full seasons, and was a top line forward at the end. The Tigers also recovered a 2nd round pick trading him to Regina. This pick turned out to be one of the steals of the draft.

3rd Round - 60th Overall
Sean Collins - January 21, 1993 - D - Winnipeg, MB

This pick didn't turn out. Collins played 4 seasons in the MJHL.

3rd Round - 65th Overall
Todd Fiddler - July 13, 1993 - C - Meadow Lake, SK

Fiddler turned into quite the dynamic scorer. The Tigers used Fiddler and Austin Bourhis to Aquire Ryan Harrison from PA(who was later traded to everett) Fiddler was later traded to Spokane, Moose Jaw, and Prince George. He had 2 PG seasons. So the Tigers got decent returns for this selection.

4th Round - 70th Overall
Reid Petryk - February 2, 1993 - C - Edmonton, AB

Petryk played in 2.5 seasons with the Tigers before being traded to Everett for Miles Koules. Petryk later won a memorial cup with Edmonton. 5th round and later anytime a player makes it would be considered a good selection.

5th Round - 93rd overall
Colin Mospanchuk - July 21, 1993 - RW - Winnipeg, MB

Mospanchuk was one of the last cuts the Tigers made in his 16 yr old year. He dressed for 2 games, but didn't end up back in the WHL.

6th Round - 126th overall
Victor Newell - February 23, 1993 - D - Burnaby, B.C

Victor played in the BCHL, USHL and is now playing hockey for Harvard University

Dylan Busenius
Dylan Bredo
Boston Leier
Todd Fiddler
Reid Petryk

The Tigers only had 8 selections (3 in the 3rd round) 5 players turned out to be great WHL Players.  You could consider this year as an exceptional draft year. 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

WHL Bantam Draft

1st Round
18th Ryan Chyzowski C/LW  Kamloops BC 6'0 175 lb

Father is director of marketing for the Blazers and played in the NHL for the Islanders.

Ryan's Twitter: https://twitter.com/ryanchyz

Scouting Report: Hard shot, Good Hockey IQ, and work ethic
Tigers Website Article: www.tigershockey.com

2nd Round
40th Layne Matechuk D  Colonsay Saskatchewan  5'10 150 lb

3rd Round
46th (Zac Robidoux trade)
Cole Clayton Defenseman Strathmore ALberta  6' 167 b

4th Round (Garret Haar Trade to Portland)
83rd Baxter Anderson C Burnaby BC  5'9 145 lb

5th Round (91th for Kale Kessy trade to vancouver)
91st Duncan McGovern G Winnipeg MB   6'1 190lb
106th Michael Johnson RW  Calgary AB 5'10 180 lb

6th Round
128th Trevor Longo D North Vancouver BC 5'11 165 lbs

7th Round
150th Dawson Heathcote LW Nanaimo BC 5'10 155 lb

8th Round
172nd Josh McNeil C Sylven Lake AB  5'8 150 lb

9th Round
191st Brennan Davis D 5'10 140lb
194th Tucker Zdunich LW High River  5'8 145lb