1. With help from ICE GM Jeff Chynoweth it was great to interview Player Agent Vlad Shushkovsky who is based in Calgary with ties to junior players in Russia. If you missed the interview on the broadcast it was very interesting to hear how they traveled from Moscow to Calgary in less than 48 hours. The plan was to drive to Red Deer to watch the Rebels play the Hitmen, then join the ICE later that night with a chance to play on Sunday. Valiev asked if they could make it to Edmonton in time to play Saturday night. They arrived in Edmonton 45 minutes before the pre-game skate.
2. It’s says a lot that Valiev was eager to play for the ICE and played really good after 2 days of travel, a huge time difference (it was around 4am in Moscow at game time), hasn’t been in game-like action for a month, never had seen a WHL game let alone play in one, didn’t even have one practice with the ICE, never met his teammates until 1 hour before the game, language barrier, new equipment, etc.
3. He is the first Russian to play for the ICE. While in Edmonton they had Ukraine native Dmitriy Yakushin on the roster.
4. Had a great visit with the ICE Fan Club who is arranging the Family Tailgate Party this Saturday. They are working hard to have lots of activities for your kids. Remember these tailgate events are what you the fans make of it and they are always looking for more members to join the Fan Club. As the saying goes, if you are not a part of the solution, you are a part of the problem.
5. As mentioned on the broadcast, the ICE roster is now at 24 and the plan is to be at 22. The long term injury to Tanner Faith probably means they will go with 13 forwards 8 defensemen and 2 goalies for a few weeks. With Jeff Hubic on the blueline they have 9 defenseman.
6. We are getting closer to that time of the year where there are International events. In December Sam Reinhart will be off to Canada’s camp with a strong chance to play in the World Junior Hockey Championships. After Christmas Hudson Elynuik and Troy Murray should be playing in the U-17 tournament.
7. ICE Career Milestone Watch – Luke Philp has played 96 career games, Mackenzie Skapski is at 98 games (5 goalies have played over 100) and is the 6th goalie with over 50 wins, Sam Reinhart is the 16th forward to reach 100 assists, Jaedon Descheneau is the 31st forward to surpass 100 points, Jagger Dirk has 99 points (6 defenseman have over 100 points).
8. Talk about parity, in the East Conference 5 points separates 11 teams.
9. Top to bottom this may be the strongest the US Division has been in a long time. The ICE will host Portland on Friday and in November we will see Spokane, Tri City and Everett.
10. It’s been a yo-yo month for the ICE as they have not won or lost more than 1 game in a row.