I'm back after one final holiday break before Saturday's start to the season! I know this news isn't anywhere near as exciting as what I'm about to write about, but I am jacked to be back and can't wait for Game 1 of 72. Then again maybe I should stay away. Afterall the Hitmen beat Kootenay 10-0 on Saturday. IMPRESSIVE!
I returned to work today to learn of two major NHL Camp returns for the Hitmen. Brooks Macek is back in the fold after attending Detroit Red Wings camp. Macek should prove to be a HUGE part of the Hitmen offence this season after piling up 138 points through his first three seasons in the Western Hockey League. Later in the day news broke Victor Rask is being sent to the Hitmen from Hurricanes camp. The talented Swede was a second round pick by Carolina in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. The Hitmen then scooped him up third overall in June's 2011 Canadian Hockey League Import Draft. I remember Rask telling me at Hitmen training camp "things happen a lot quicker on the smaller ice" after a session Don Hartman Sportsplex. Clearly indication he's sees the benefit playing in the Western Hockey League and smaller North American ice will have on his game. There's no question he's going to get the needed ice time in Calgary to develop his game. He's an elite player......numbers don't lie. He had five points (2g 3a) in six games helping Sweden win a Silver medal this past April at the 2011 World Under-18 Championship. Welcome to Calgary Victor!
Nice to see Hitmen Alumnus Paul Postma had a HUGE night for the Jets last night. Click here to watch an interview with Paul
OPENING NIGHT: The Hitmen open their 17th season in the Western Hockey League Saturday night in Cranbrook against the Kootenay Ice. Internet Broadcast on fan960.com starts at 7 p.m. Lifetime the Hitmen have 9 wins, 3 losses, 3 overtime losses and 1 tie in season openers.
PRE-SEASON PLAY: The Hitmen finished their six game pre-season schedule with a record of 5-1, second only to the Moose Jaw Warriors in the Eastern Conference who went 6-1. After dropping their opening game the Hitmen rattled off five straight victories including a 10-0 win over the Kootenay Ice Sunday afternoon in the Crowsnest Pass.
POINT PARADE: Justin Kirsch led not only all Hitmen, but the entire Western Hockey League in pre-season scoring with 11 points (6g 5a) in five games. Brady Brassart was next on the club with eight points (3g 5a) while Alex Gogolev rounded out the top three with seven points (3g 4a).
STILL CAMPING: Alex Roach (Los Angeles Kings).
AHL TRYOUT: Hitmen 20-year-old defenceman Ben Wilson leaves Saturday for an American Hockey League tryout with the Lake Erie Monsters.