It’s a bit late for me to be writing a “Looking Back at 2017” column, but here are four stories I covered over the past 12 months that have really stuck with me, and will for a while:
Can’t wait to see what the local news scene has in store for 2018.
As you may or may not already know… I am taking part in this year’s edition of the Sheraton Celebrity Dance Off.
I’m as shocked as anyone to be considered a “celebrity”… but who am I to say ‘No’ to Lyn Radford (she’s going to be made at me for saying that lol).
This year’s CDO is raising funds for the 2019 Canada Winter Games Celebration Plaza. It’ll be a great facility that will have a tremendous impact in revitalizing part of our city’s downtown core.
In the coming days we’ll have more on the plaza and the lasting impact it will have well beyond the end of the Games next February. In the meantime, if you like to support me in my fundraising endeavor you can visit my pledge page.
The Red Deer Rebels are not having the season they or their fans hoped for.
Heading into the 2017-18 WHL season many expected the Rebels to battle for a playoff spot and maybe even snag home ice advantage in the opening round.
With the Rebels currently 21st in the overall standings (out of 22 teams) that clearly isn’t going to happen.
The focus now shifts from this season to next year and beyond. GM and head coach Brent Sutter has already started the re-tooling process. He sent veteran forward Lane Zablocki to Lethbridge in exchange for hometown kid Josh Tarzwell and some draft picks. Mac’s Tournament MVP Alex Morozoff, a 16-year-old forward from Saskatoon, joined the club on Friday to give the Rebels a first-hand look at one of their most intriguing prospects.
With the trade deadline just a few days away (Jan. 10) there isn’t much more Brent can do in the short-term aside from giving up a player, ex. Grayson Pawlenchuk, Mason McCarty, he probably doesn’t want to. Besides any return Sutter gets for them is unlikely to speed up any sort of rebuilding process. That being said, all bets are off as Brent is not one to just sit around and wait for things to unfold. He's proven time and time again he's willing to wheel and deal if that's what he feels is needed to imrpove his team.
If nothing else, in looking at what positives can come from a tough year on the ice, the Rebels are right in the mix for the first overall pick at the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft.
Speaking of playoffs… looks like Alberta may have to deal with both of its NHL teams being on the sidelines this year. The Oilers, to the surprise of many, are toiling near the bottom of the standings. The Flames, though right in the mix for a wildcard spot, are struggling to find consistency, particularly on home ice. Perhaps the best case scenario at this point is the Flames find a way to sneak into the post-season and the Oilers win another lottery??
It was extremely disappointed, though not entirely surprised, sadly enough, to read some of the comments in response to a story we published this week about giving young immigrants the chance to learn the game of hockey.
Rather than celebrate how great it is to see a whole new generation of Canadians introduced to the game we love so dearly, some people somehow found something to complain about. In particular, they lamented the fact that this particular imitative was specifically for immigrants.
We appreciate our rdnewsNOW audience, we truly do. But sometimes it’s frustrating to see people always focusing on negatives, often without reading beyond the headline of a particular story.
Couple things here…
While the event featured in our story was in fact geared toward immigrant youth, the fact is that the outdoor rink in Riverside Meadows has skating equipment on hand for everyone, yes everyone, to use if they don’t have their own.
The sole purpose of the Hockey Alberta Foundation and it’s Every Kid, Every Community program is to help kids across the province play the game when they otherwise wouldn’t get the chance to do so. To think that they discriminate in any way is foolish and ill-informed. I’m proud to help support them and encourage you to learn more about the great work they do.
Finally, I'm a Rotarian! As a proud member of the new Rotary Club of Red Deer - Urban Spirits, you can look forward to the great things this bright, energetic group has in store for our city in 2018!
Bye for now.
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