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Friday, September 19, 2014

My 2014-15 Pats Preview


2014-15 SEASON PREVIEW

WHERE TO START?
To tell you the truth, I am totally optimistic about this year’s Pats. The new ownership group from Queen City Sports and Entertainment Group bring new life to a team that needed a change, let’s call it a reboot. With new owners comes a new coaching staff and a new air about the franchise. The team needs to build off of last seasons’ Pennant winning club and forget about the playoff sweep (but learn from it). This season feels like something to look forward to. GO PATS GO!

THE X-FACTOR
Goal scoring was a factor last season scoring the 5th most goals in the Eastern Conference (7th in the league) with 257 which was actually surprising some players had big years and will need to build on last season’s success. They will need to replace many of those goals due to player graduations. With the apparent youth movement they’ll need to find goals somewhere, whether from within or via trade. Many rookies have stepped in and have looked like players throughout training camp and the preseason so some of those goals will definitely come from those players.

OFFENSE
Of the 257 goals scored by the Pats last season 109 of them are gone via graduation or pro opportunities. The team will be  looking to replace 4 of the top 5 scorers in Stephenson, Stevenson, Leier, and Sinitsyn. Klimchuk looks to be the only returning player that broke the 30 goal and 70 point barrier. Gay and Hunt will be looking to build on breakout seasons in which each player was at or near 20 goals and they have the ability to do that. Steel is the player many people are waiting to see on the ice for the Pats. He’s definitely a top tier talent that will be a star in the league. But can they depend on him to be the leader? Others will have to step up.

DEFENSE
Led by captain Burroughs and Williams the Pats have 2 puck moving defensemen that will be heavily leaned on for much of the backend offense until the younger guys are acclimatized to the WHL. Chase Harrison has the opportunity to step up and be a veteran guy that the team can count on this year to help the younger guys. Zborovskiy seems like a bit of a project at this point. He seems like a player with an offensive upside but has a decent grasp on the defensive end of things as well.

PUCKSTOPPERS
Goaltending will be solid with Wapple and Fuhr manning the nets. Wapple showed that he is a capable goaler with 12 in in 19 games and a 2.83 GAA and 2 SO with the Pats last year until an injury put him out. Fuhr looked good in his only 2 appearances with the Pats last year.  Both put up 2 wins and similar stats in the preseason games they played in. I expect Wapple to carry the load as long as he stay healthy.

THE BRASS
John Paddock brings over 30 years of experience of professional coaching and managing to the Pats, he’s a 3 time Calder Cup Champion and an AHL Hall of Famer to boot. David Struch brings almost 10 years of WHL coaching experience (assistant and head coach) to the Pats. Darrin McKechine is a proud Pats Alumni that has no WHL coaching experience but has been around minor hockey and has scouted in the WHL so the league is not new to him.

GONE ARE
Chandler Stephenson (will play pro in Washington’s system)
Dyson Stevenson (graduated – will be playing hockey in Portland of the AHL)
Boston Leier (graduated – will be playing CIS hockey)
Jesse Zgraggen (graduated – will play pro in Switzerland)
Dmitriy Sinitsyn (will play pro – either with Dallas’ organization or in Russia)
Tye Hand
Griffin Mumby
Dawson MacAuley (reassigned as an overage)
Isaac Schacher (traded to Saskatoon)

NEW FACES
D Sergey Zborovskiy (39th overall in the 2014 Import Draft)
D James Hilsendager (9th round pick 187th overall in the 2012 Bantam Draft)
D Ryan Krushen  (listed player)
D Nathyn Mortlock (listed player – injured but is still with the team)
C Luc Smith (3rd round pick 60th overall in the 2013 Bantam Draft)
LW Jared McAmmond (10th round pick 206th overall in the 2012 Bantam Draft)
RW Rykr Cole (3rd round pick 63rd overall in the 2012 Bantam Draft)
C Colton Kroeker (7th round pick 134th overall in the 2012 Bantam Draft)
C Sam Steel (1st round pick 2nd overall in the 2013 Bantam Draft

OVERAGE CANDIDATES
As of the opening game of the Pats season the team will be set with their 3 overage players, barring any surprising move by either Dallas or Washington. Stephenson and Sinitsyn have all but graduated. I don’t know how they fit with the club as it really hasn’t been said if they are doing a full rebuild or what’s going on for sure. These are the guys:

LW Braden Christoffer
LW Patrick D’Amico
C Logan McVeigh

PLAYER ON THE RISE
This one wasn’t a hard one to pick. Given an opportunity to play I think Adam Brooks could turn his career around. Too many people have wrote him off as a bust, but I haven’t. Give him some ice and I think he will be an asset for the Pats.

SLEEPER
You know in hockey fantasy pools they have a player that could easily be an under the radar pick as someone you want on your team? That’s what this pick is. My pick for the sleeper has to be Chase Harrison. At times last season he was our best defenseman and presumably having an increased role I feel that he will take the role on and become one of the team’s best players.

SUPER SLEEPER
Similar to the sleeper pick, this one is player that could have tons of value if given the right opportunity. I pick Max Kammerer. Most people will disagree as they had him written off last season. With any sort of increased ice time and regular line mates Max may flourish.

INTANGIBLES
Of the players on the current Pats roster, only 3 have been acquired via trade (Wapple, Hansen and McVeigh). It appears that building from within using our own draft picks and list players has been a crucial part of this years edition of the Pats.

PLAYER TO WATCH
Sam Steel. Just watch him. Enough said.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Pats New Logo Thoughts

First off, the press release....

For Immediate Release 
September 17th, 2014

Pats Announce Refreshed Identity

Regina, Saskatchewan – The Regina Pats Hockey Club is pleased to announce an update to its familiar logo.  The clean new face of the franchise stays true to the Pats tradition, honouring the long, rich heritage of junior hockey in the Queen City.

“With all of the energy and investment being poured into the Pats brand, it was clear our identity deserved a minor re-work to improve its impact, design quality and legibility across a broad range of applications,” says Regina Pats President Todd Lumbard.  The updated logo respects the immense value of the existing brand and repackages all of the elements Pats fans know and love in an energetic new visual.

This upgrade is just one of many still to come for a resurgent new Pats brand and signals a heightened level of pride, professionalism and a relentless commitment to winning working its way into every corner of the organization, sparked by the new ownership group.  “This is not about a quick fix; we are making changes we believe will create long-term stability and success for this franchise and deliver outstanding value for our fans.  We’re in this for the long haul,” comments Regina Pats Governor Anthony Marquart.

The updated design will begin to appear immediately in promotional items, advertising, signage, etc., with ongoing upgrades throughout the upcoming season and will culminate in all-new uniforms, set to appear at the start of the 2015 season.

For media inquiries and more information about the Pats refreshed identity, please contact Daniel Fink at 306-337-1535.



Named for the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, the Western Hockey League’s Regina Pats are the oldest continuously operating junior hockey franchise in the world.  Since their founding in 1917, the Pats have won three Memorial Cup championships and compete in the WHL’s Eastern Division.  To learn more about the Pats, call 306-337-1535 or visit our website at www.reginapats.com.

-30-


New logo introduced Sep. 17, 2014 

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My thoughts:

When I first saw the logo on the pocket schedule I immediately loved it. When my friend and I were told nothing was changing with the logo, that it was just on the schedule. Only to have it officially released in an actual press release, I felt like I was lied to. Stuff happens I guess. On to the logo itself.

In reality I don't think that many noticed the change because it's subtle, yet it's quite different. Did I say I love it? I think it's great. I was pumped when the team released this logo in 2003-04 (might have been 2004-05) that they wore on blue and white Maple Leaf style sweaters that incorporated the PPCLI logos on the shoulders:

This logo was originally known as the Heritage Logo

The clean crisp lines the new logo make it flow and it feels like it brings the logo together. A very nice evolution to the existing logo. It honours the past but recognizes a new future.The darker blue seems to give it more of a grounding. The added red feels like it helps fill out the logo and finishes the outline. I can't wait to see the new jerseys.

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I don't understand the backlash and the some comments over the new logo:

I noticed some comments on a couple blogs about the logo and I want to respond as a fan and someone that follows the Pats tradition.

On Rod Pedersen's blog....

I'm not sure if they are trolling or not....

Anonymous said...
Looks exactly the same. Why send out a press release for this.

September 17, 2014

--->>>Really? Have you actually looked at the logos? Sure.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
There was nothing wrong with the old logo. This is just dumb. Whose idea was this? 20 bucks says it was Mapes!

September 17, 2014

--->>>New owners. New logo. Why not? People always seem to have to have someone to blame.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
DUMB! DUMB DUMB DUMB DUMB DUMB!!

September 18, 2014

--->>>Sure.

The one that really got me and is pretty much the sole purpose of this lengthy post was from Mitchell Blair's blog.... People are allowed to have an opinion, but stating fact that is not true? C'mon man.

Anonymous said...
Did the Habs ever change their logo? NO! Did the Leafs ever change their logo? NO! 

Why the hell would you want to tweak something that is iconic! Epic fail!

9/17/2014

---->>>Where do I start?

Did the Habs ever change their logo? NO!

Wrong! It's been changed/tweaked a few times during their history.

Here's a screen grab from Chris Creamer's Sportslogos.net

The evolution of the Montreal Canadiens logo.


Next: Did the Leafs ever change their logo? NO!

Wrong! It too has been changed a few times during their history. They have also gone through 2 name changes. The team started out as the Toronto Arenas for 1917-18 and 1918-19 seasons. they changed their name to the Toronto St. Pats for 1919-20 until 1926-27. They were once green. Hasn't changed? Hmmm.

Here's another screen grab from Chris Creamer's Sportslogos.net.

The evolution of the Toronto Maple Leafs logo.

Why the hell would you want to tweak something that is iconic! Epic fail!

--->>>I'm not sure how to really talk about the previous Pats logos other than it has evolved from a printed text to a written script back to a printed script and back again to the written script. It has changed and has been tweaked many times during the teams history. Here's some examples:

That's where it started 1917-18

1918-19 appears to be the first time that the script is used. This
picture is from the 1917-18 and 1918-19 Provincial Champs
and Western Canada Champs
Back to the printed PATS "logo" in 1924-25
In 1929-30 still printed different striping

When the Pats reformed in 1946-47 they went to a full out script logo

1951-52 similar style, just a little more crisp
1960-61 I think this was the inspiration for the Heritage logo
1970-71 tweaked a bit again. I like the red outline
1974-75 look at the slant on that logo

1981-82 logo has been made smaller
skinnier and has been straitened out
as it shows on Garth Buther's jersey

1983-84 another change as Bobby
Lowes models
Rob McKinley modeling the 1986-87
jersey. The logo was used for the Pats
up until the Heritage logo was brought
in. The logo that the Pats used up until
recently in the background for the player
photos and interviews is basically the
same logo just given a more 3d look
and has Regina in the S's tail.

Like I said in the previous picture.
The background image still has that
iconic logo. This was Matt Hewitt
in 2011-12
That's all I have for now.

I'm working on a season preview and I'll have that posted soon.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Pats mourn passing of Alumni Rick Uhrich

http://www.leaderpost.com/sports/hockey/pats-hockey/Pats+mourn+passing+Memorial+winner+Rick+Uhrich/10176331/story.html

Pats mourn passing of Memorial Cup winner Rick Uhrich

BY GREG HARDER, THE LEADER-POST SEPTEMBER 5, 2014


Kim MacDougall and Rick Uhrich had been in touch several times over the past year about the upcoming reunion of the 1974 Memorial Cup-champion Regina Pats.

Little did MacDougall know their most-recent conversation would be the last. Uhrich, a 60-year-old Regina native, passed away suddenly on Thursday morning near his home in Toronto, leaving MacDougall and other former Pats teammates "at a loss."

"I sent an email out today to all the guys (to inform them of Uhrich's passing)," said MacDougall, who's organizing the 40th anniversary celebration.

"The respect that everybody has for him is amazing. He's one of the nicest guys. I don't know if I've ever heard anybody say anything bad about him. The unfortunate part is I'll never have another telephone conversation with him. In today's world they email and stuff. We phone each other. I'm certainly going to miss those calls."

Uhrich played four season with the Pats, the final being in 1973-74 when they captured the Memorial Cup. That championship season was the basis for a lasting bond.

"I remember our 25th reunion, our 30th reunion, it's just like you were playing hockey together two weeks ago," noted MacDougall. "You don't miss a beat. It's hard to describe but there is definitely a special bond when you go through and win a championship like that. You look at the Memorial Cup, it has to be pretty special. The Pats haven't won it for 40 years."

It was also special because of the group that won it - Uhrich included.

"You look at our Memorial Cup team, we really only had three guys from outside the province of Saskatchewan," noted MacDougall. "You won't find that very often anymore or at all. The 12 guys from Regina all went to school or played minor hockey with and against each other, knew each other for a long, long time."

Uhrich was the fourthleading scorer on the Pats' star-studded team, recording 35 goals and 87 points in 68 games. He spent the next season with the IHL's Fort Wayne Komets before retiring to get into the computer business.

Uhrich met his wife Jill while playing for the Pats. Uhrich and his wife Jill had two children: Son Jesse, 20, and daughter Clare, 17.

"He's our first player (to pass away)," said MacDougall, noting that head coach Bob Turner died in 2005. "(Uhrich) was a very, very good friend. I talked to him a month ago about the reunion stuff and he was coming back for some business and wondered when we were having it.

"We didn't get it off (in the spring due to some scheduling conflicts). We're doing it on Oct. 10. You always have regrets about everything. Now I regret we didn't do it earlier."

gharder@leaderpost.com

© Copyright (c) The Regina Leader-Post

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His obituary can be found here: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/leaderpost/obituary.aspx?n=richard-uhrich&pid=172375743