Showing posts with label Former Fighting Sioux hockey players. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Former Fighting Sioux hockey players. Show all posts

Monday, May 02, 2011

Doug Smail interview on the Illegal Curve

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 David Minuk from the Illegal Curve hockey blog has a nice interview on former Fighting Sioux forward Doug Smail. Doug was a member on UND's 1980 NCAA championship team.
He played over ten seasons with the Winnipeg Jets from 1980/81 until the 1990/91 season when he was traded to the Minnesota North Stars. He came to the Jets undrafted from the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux where he played 3 years in the WCHA, ending his collegiate career with the 1980 Frozen Four tournament. He helped the Sioux win the National Championship (breaking a 17 year drought), as they won the Tournament with a 5-2 victory over Northern Michigan University.

While playing for the Jets he was known for his exceptional speed. He was a gifted two-way hockey player, who was often used in a penalty killing role by Winnipeg. For those IC readers who may not be old enough to recall the 80′s, if I had to compare him to a current NHL player, you could draw a parallel to St. Andrews Manitoba’s Darren Helm, a center for the Red Wings, who has speed aplenty and is often used by the Wings to kill penalties.

Doug currently resides in Colorado where he is the head coach of the Rocky Mountain Roughriders U-15 AAA squad. He was nice enough to take some time to answer some questions for fans of NHL hockey in Winnipeg.

IC: You came to Winnipeg as an undrafted free agent straight from college after winning a National Championship with UND and joined the Winnipeg Jets who only won 9 games that year. How difficult was that first year of pro hockey for you?

Doug: It was thought of as a horrific year by many…and believe me it was not fun. But Fergie and Mike Doran thought they had to begin to gut the organization from a player standpoint and totally rebuild it. I knew it would be tough the way they threw some of us rookies to the wolves in a baptism by fire means, but we also lost a ton of games that year by only a goal…and were quite close to having a pretty decent record if the one goal games had just a little bit more maturity in the lineup. [read the rest of the story]

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wilson will help the defense.

I found this blog post over on MVN.COM ; first off I wouldn't call it a rift but a smart hockey move by the Minnesota Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher. Hiring Former Fighting Sioux defenseman Rick Wilson who is a proven assistant coach in the NHL was an awesome move and his defensive philosophy can help a team that was horrible defensively last season. I don’t think it it’s a stretch to say that last season the Wild defense looked like a bunch of orange pylons or road cones and it was almost like they had forgot everything that the previous coach had taught them.
Is the hiring of defense-guru Wilson a sign the team has lost a little faith in Richards' and his system to win games? Mike Ramsey, who was the outgoing defensive guru noted philosophical differences as part of the reason for deciding to step away as part of the Wild's trio of coaches. So far nothing public has been stated that really points to a rift but Fletcher clearly is willing to place who he wants above the desires of the head coach. I know that many Wild fans steadily began to question Richards' decision-making especially after holding an optional practice after a particularly paltry effort the night before. So could upper management be wanting Richards to be on the hot seat unless the team shows some real improvement? Maybe, because the franchise is finally feeling a bit more pressure from hockey-mad fans as demonstrated by the struggles to sell season tickets, especially in the lower bowl where you can now purchase 10, 20 and 30 game season ticket packages for the first time in the history of the team. The best cure for those sorts of woes is winning and I think Richards would be foolish to think he would not catch some flak from the ownership if the team again finds itself mired in a mediocre season. The fact of the matter is the team is spending near the cap ceiling, and Wild owner Craig Leipold is going to want to see some return on that investment. I think many Wild fans are wanting the same thing, and they're hoping to avoid a complete rebuild even if that really may be the best solution in order to achieve long-term success.
[State of Hockey]
I think we need to give Chuck Fletcher the benefit of the doubt here and I also think Wild fans need to be a little patient when it comes to the Wild Coach Todd Richards, the former general manager Doug Riesbrough left the Wild hockey in shambles and it’s going to take a long time to correct the mess that was left behind.
BallHype: hype it up!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

City to fete Stanley-Cup-winning local Jonathan Toews this Sunday

s/t Puck Daddy, Former Fighting Sioux forward Jonathan Toews will be bringing the Cup to Winnipeg. Sounds like he is going to have a lake name after him as well. I was kind of hoping he was going to bring the Stanley Cup back to Grand Forks, ND as well. However, I have heard nothing to leads me to believe that it's going to happen.
WINNIPEG - The City of Winnipeg will honour Chicago Blackhawks Captain Jonathan Toews on Sunday with an event at city hall, a parade in St. Vital and a party at Dakota Community Club.

Mayor Sam Katz will host the leader of the Stanley Cup-winning ’hawks at city hall at 11 .m. on Sunday, July 11.

A parade will then run from Ecole Christine-Lesperance to Dakota Community Club from 1 to 2 p.m., followed by a celebration at the community centre.

"It’s no secret I’m a big fan of Jonathan Toews," Katz said, calling the Conn Smythe trophy-winner a hero and a great role model.

The mayor said Premier Greg Selinger and senior Manitoba MP Vic Toews – no relation to Jonathan – will also be invited.

The Stanley Cup will be here with Toews.

BallHype: hype it up!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Chicago Moves on in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

I will have to admit that the Chicago Blackhawks have grown on me. I am a Bruins fan by heart and have always respected the Chicago Blackhawks. Being a Fighting Sioux hockey fan I have enjoyed watching former Fighting Sioux star Jonathan Toews playing a big role in the Blackhawks success. Toews is leading the NHL in points with during the Stanley Cup Playoffs (7g-18a-28pts) in 15 games. Toews is probably going to be the Conn Smythe Trophy if keeps up his torrid place in the finals.

At the beginning of the season I had predicted that the Bruins and the Blackhawks would be playing for the Stanley Cup Final. I guess I am half right. I would like to see another Ex-Fighting Sioux players name on the Stanley Cup.
BallHype: hype it up!