Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Riders sign Ryan Teslak, Plaquin says goodbye and Seel the deal

The Fernie Ghostriders Head Coach and General Manager Craig Mohr has acquired seventeen year old Ryan Teslak from the Castlegar Rebels.

Ryan Teslak is a 6 foot 180 pound defenseman who was born in Cranbrook but has ties to the City of Fernie. Ryan’s father John is from Fernie and played four years in net with the old Elk Valley Raiders.
Ryan’s Cousin, Michael –Lee, is a goalie who played a few games with the Fernie Ghostriders before moving on to the BCHL with Alberni Valley and Prince George. He also went to Michigan Tech on a scholarship then signed with the Philadelphia Flyers where he played with their AHL team.

Craig Mohr Talks about Ryan listen here

Coach Mohr tells us that Jeff Orser, Brandon Butler, Tayler Sincennes,  Dalton Bouvier, Trevor Broad and Evan Pumphery were all in Elkford for the Wildcat Days Parade, the Board thanks the players for their continuing Community commitment. 

Sam Plaquin played here in Fernie last season as a 20. He recently wrote a letter to the team about his time here in Fernie. It was also featured in the Fernie Free Press last week. Below is that letter.

My name is Sam Plaquin and I spent my final season of junior hockey eligibility playing in Fernie for the Ghostriders. Having spent parts of the previous three seasons on four different Jr.A teams in the AJHL (Bonnyville Pontiacs, Calgary Mustangs, Calgary Canucks and Okotoks Oilers) I came to Fernie expecting it to be a step down.  Boy was I wrong, the Ghostriders as an organization are run at the highest level. It allowed for me to succeed as an individual both on and off the ice as well as elevating our team play to what at times, and more often than not, was the best in the league. 
From the day I decided to come to Fernie I was completely taken care of. Coaches Craig Mohr (HC&GM) and James Ouimet along with Jeff Zmurchyk and Gerry Pang are not only great hockey minds but also outstanding individuals who create talented hockey players while helping shape us as young men.  I can say without a doubt my time in Fernie was the best of my entire life. The memories I have from the community, fans, teammates, staff and my billets are ones that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Whether its 1500 people going crazy as you bury the puck or a fan recognizing you in the local candy shop on main street, the people in Fernie are equally passionate as they are kind. 
My billets are the nicest people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. I always had three delicious meals a day right when I needed them depending on when practice or our game was. They came to every game and always had a big smile on their faces when we got home, win or lose. On road trips we stayed in the best hotels and ate the best meals which is both and enjoyable and a huge advantage when it comes to competing. We traveled in great busses with the best drivers who always got us where we were going safely and efficiently. We also got top of the line equipment all the way from sticks to under gear. 
Most importantly it is fun to be a Ghostrider. Fernie is a great community to be a young adult in off the ice and on the ice there is a long tradition of winning. I will never forget my time as a Ghostrider and I encourage anyone with the opportunity to come out here and give it a try because I promise you won’t regret it.

In other news Stefen Seel who who was identified by former Rider Coach Will Verner a few years ago, played here as a 16 year old then moved on to Jr A in the SJHL and last year in the AJ 

Stefen Seel Commits to NCAA Concordia University - Junior Hockey News

Published: Monday, 22 Jun 2015
By: Kevin Higo

The Grande Prairie Storm are very pleased to announce that Stefen Seel has committed to play NCAA hockey next year for Concordia University. Seel played one year for the Storm and came via a trade from the Kindersley Klippers (SJHL). In 35 games Stefen scored 7 goals and 15 assists.

Concordia University competes in the NCHA and is based out of Mequon, Wisconsin. With Seel committing he becomes the 3rd member of the 2014-2015 Storm to achieve an NCAA opportunity. He will join Jade McMullen (Western Michigan) and Karl El-Mir (Connecticut) in the NCAA for 2015-2016.

Head Coach Jasen Wise, "We are very excited to add Stefen to our hockey program. We have had our eye on Stefen for the past couple of years. Stefen's skill set, high hockey IQ, and tremendous work ethic will make him not only an excellent addition to our program, but a dominating force at the Division III level. Concordia has taken a major step forward adding Stefen and we look forward to seeing him in a Falcon's jersey this Fall."

Saturday, 13 June 2015

30 Days in the Hole

30 Days in the Hole
So the KIJHL decided that they will suspend any player who won't report to his new team after he gets traded for 30 days. This means that the player can't play any organized hockey for 30 days. He can't even go back to his midget team if he is eligible to either. BC Hockey may intervene on that, but they sure turned their heads away like the girl in the movie the "Exorcist" when the Trail Smoke Eaters suspended Ryan Edwards and would't let him go back to Beaver Valley  couple of years ago.

Don't remember that story... well you're in luck click right here for all the gory details... it's a bus stopping beauty and well worth reading !

Also...as I remember it ... there were several KI coaches and managers who were outraged at the time... how soon they forget.

So for the uninitiated... this means a player who is playing in say  Fernie or Kimberley, and lets say for the sake of argument he's from the area, gets traded to one of the furthest teams like Princeton or 100 Mile House, he has no choice in the matter, he is forced to move like it or not.

That was fine a few years ago when teams held a heavy hammer but now the world is different, players are starting to know about their rights, or at least they should. It's worse in the BCHL who are part of the CJHL Jr "A" league, they  can trade a player clear across the country then suspend him if he doesn't report. How's that right.

And Hockey Canada does the same "Exorcist" turn your head act as we talked about a couple of paragraphs ago as well by allowing the CJHL teams the right to run roughshod over their players if they so chose. For the record, not all teams do this.

Hockey Canada's Mission Statement 
"Lead, Develop, and Promote Positive Hockey Experiences " Huh?

The KIJHL argument is that it will help the "Small Market Teams" that often see players not report then have to trade them for little or no return. Yet at the same time the KI , with a fair bit of fanfare from the media,  is entertaining the idea that Williams Lake and Quesnel may want to join the league. Two more big market teams coming up to bat. The small market teams will be under fire for a while, but some player, some day, with money, will challenge this one in court, "Charter of rights" maybe... I ain't a lawyer but I think I know a wrong when I see it.. But Who Am I click and find out

Friday, 5 June 2015

Money Money Money

Well if you missed it, the Washington based Wenatchee Wild just paid 1.2 Million to become the 17th BCHL team. I wonder what kind of attendance a team needs to pay down that kind of debt. The Wild fans who showed up at the press conference were not impressed when they were told there is no fighting in the BCHL either. 

“They had a luncheon outside with pulled pork sandwiches and we answered questions for about two and a half hours. The biggest concern from the fans was, ‘Whaddya mean there’s no fighting?’ When we told them you were ejected for one fight, they weren’t too happy about that either.” Read Kevin Mitchell's story here

So each BCHL team gets about $75,000 each in expansion fees, it may be enough to carry them for a few months in that league.

The Wild will probably make it in the BCHL, after all they survived in the NAHL for the last several years where their shortest road trip was 2,700 KM. If you can pay those travel costs you should be OK in the BCHL. For the record, the Ghostriders played 1 season in the aforementioned NAHL but the extreme travel to places like Chicago, Minnesota North Dakota etc made it impossible to stay in that Jr "A" Circuit .

In other news, our neighbours, the Kootenay Ice, are in trouble because of low attendance.
WHL President Robison “It’s reached a very critical stage. I think it’s something we’re going to have to determine this year. If things aren’t improving, I don’t believe ownership or the league will be in a position to continue to support the franchise remaining in Cranbrook. It’s a very critical season coming up. We need to see more support in order to get us to a position where we have confidence in the market moving forward, but at this stage, we’re very concerned about the future of the franchise.

Read Taylor Rocca's story here

We have heard the "Were Movin" stories for years now, is this the final straw ? If they do move what happens to their great rink... Will someone pay 1.2 million for a BCHL franchise... The KIJHL... in that $20 something million dollar rink .... would be a travesty for the people of Cranbrook.