As mentioned yesterday, Creston Valley coach Joe Martin was on Overtime with our sports director Jon Zacks. Thanks to cell-phone issues, I don't yet have my hands on the broadcasted copy of the interview, but I'll instead transcribe some Coles notes that I thought really stuck out.
"In my opinion it's not enough. Erik Alden is not the type of player that head-hunts, and I don't think he was trying to injure. And I know Steve Junker isn't the kind of person, or coach, to tell a player to do that. I know it was a freak thing."
Martin made reference to the head-shot issue at higher levels of hockey, and intentional or not, "feels this hit is right up there."
"After that hit, I had 15 guys looking at me for revenge. But I don't need 15 guys going out to take out the top goal scorer on Castlegar. That's not how I coach, and I know that's not how Steve Junker coaches. I would like the league to step up the severity on these types of hits, so that players think twice."
"I don't think Erik Alden did it on purpose, it happened, and players need to learn that it's severe. I think it's within our power to decrease [these types of hits]."
Some people have asked me whether I thought one game was enough of a punishment. I wasn't at all surprised to see a suspension handed out, but I was expecting it to be in the three to five game range, more due to the after-effects of the collision rather than any intended malice. That said, two Columbia Valley players each received two games for checks to the head a week ago. I'm with Martin in saying that the issue of head-shots needs to be looked at, especially given new medical research involving NFL players and concussion issues that is starting to come to light. I completely agree as well that Erik Alden didn't mean to inflict any harm on Travis Ludwar. The whole situation is unfortunate: one player is hurt, another has by some been given a reputation as a cheap-shot artist. Even though I don't want to downplay the hit and the wider scope at all, I for one can't wait until Friday to be able to talk about the games themselves again.
Jacklin Out: RiderNews is reporting Kimberley head coach Garry Jacklin has been let go, and that assistant coach Jordan Foreman is being tabbed as his interim replacement. A surprising move to say the least. Kimberley sits 4th in the Eddie Mountain division with a record of 8-11-0-2, but gave the Rebels one of their tougher tests in their current ten game streak. The Nitros did have 4 players leave the team this past weekend, however, in goaltender Tory Caldwell, and forwards Kristian Petit, Brennan Foreman and Soren Hills. A Cranbrook newspaper report pinned Hills' departure to injuries and work commitments, while the other three are reportedly waiting to be traded.
Twitter: I've seen a couple of other teams in the KIJHL do this, so I thought I'd give it a go as well. Follow the Rebels on Twitter at http://twitter.com/KIJHLRebels.
Bits & Bites: Creston Valley have posted the details on how they acquired new players Brandon Parrone and Weston Joseph. Parrone was sent to the T-Cats in exchange for 20 yaer-old defenceman Matthew Guerts, while 18 year-old Cam Reid and futures went to Princeton for Joseph's services.