Thursday, 23 August 2012

Dixon and Cameron Re-Up With Pats

The Pats continued to lock up the hockey operations department today, announcing contract extensions for assistant coaches Malcolm Cameron and Josh Dixon.  The one year extensions bring Cameron and Dixon in line with the deals of General Manager Chad Lang and Head Coach Pat Conacher with all of the contracts coming up for renewal during the 2014 off-season.

A common thread for the organization when it comes to these extensions is 'continuity'.  Team President Brent Parker mentioned it when talking about signing Lang's extension, and Lang spoke about it when dealing with Dixon and Cameron.  The coaching staff and general manager are all on the same page now for contract length and the idea is it gives them the confidence and freedom to work as a more cohesive unit.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Long, Long Distance Phone Call with Morgan Klimchuk

Admittedly, getting a hold of Pats Forward Morgan Klimchuk after Team Canada's U18 team took care of Sweden 7-5 in Piestany, Slovakia ran into a couple hitches.  Mainly because of my lack of understanding when it comes to phoning different countries.  It's not exactly something I do on a regular basis, though I'm guessing it will happen a little more often in the future.  When I finally figured out what I was doing wrong, I had a good chat with Morgan.  The audio of that conversation is available in its entirety at

Canada picked up its second win at the annual Ivan Hlinka Tournament with the victory over Sweden.  It was also the game Klimchuk picked up his first goal of the tournament.  On his first shift of the game no less. "The hard work payed off for me, I was going to the net and managed to put one home," says Klimchuk, "I'm just trying to do whatever I can to contribute and today that was by scoring a goal."

Klimchuk's early goal actually put the Canadians up two-nothing before the game was two minutes old.  Possible number one overall pick, Nathan MacKinnon, led off the scoring only 32 seconds into the contest.  Klimchuk hasn't exactly been in the conversation for being the top pick at next summer's NHL draft, but he's among the prospects getting a good look for the first round.  This week's tournament gives him a chance to play alongside many of those highly touted prospects.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Pats Extend Lang Through 2013-14

The Pats announced this morning that General Manager Chad Lang's contract will be extended through the 2013-14 season.

The extension comes after Lang has done some pretty good work with the Pats since arriving two years ago.  In the last couple seasons Lang restructured the coaching staff, changed up the scouting department and overhauled the on ice product.

Bringing in Pat Conacher as head coach along with Josh Dixon and Malcolm Cameron as assistants before last season was a big step forward for the club that showed impressive results in only one season with the team returning to the post season after a three year absence.

While not immediately evident, some of the fruits of Dale McMullin's labour should be showing up soon as prospects step through the ranks to become every day Pats.  Speaking of prospects, they'll be on display come Training Camp which opens August 30th (registration) and gets into full swing the next day.

Getting back to Lang, the list players he brought in the last couple years have been impressive.  Guys like Lane Scheidl, Martin Marincin and Colton Jobke have all been impact players for Regina.  He also had to deal with a tough situation last year in what to do with Jordan Weal at the deadline.  Lang decided to keep Weal and go for it with the Marincin acquisition and if a few things go the Pats way, maybe we're talking about them going on a bit of a run in last year's playoffs.

With all of that, Lang earned the right to continue on and know well in advance he'll be back for a further season.  It will be interesting to see, now that this Pats team definitely has his stamp on it, where Lang goes from here.

For more Pats news head over to and remember season tickets are on sale now so check out the website for more info or call 522-5604.


Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Klimchuk Makes U18 Team

Good news for Pats forward Morgan Klimchuk on Monday as he got through the final round of cuts to make Hockey Canada's National Summer Under-18 team.

Klimchuk grabbed a spot on the 22-man roster in a camp of 40 of the top players around the country.  Team Canada heads to Slovakia and the Czech Republic for the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka Tournament coming up August 13th and running through August 18th.

It has been a good month for Klimchuk as he was mentioned on the Central Scouting Service's "A-List" at the beginning of July, labeling him as a player to watch for the upcoming NHL Draft.  A strong summer is always key for a draft eligible player and heading to the Ivan Hlinka tournament will give Klimchuk a chance to build momentum heading into Pats Training Camp at the end of August and into the pre-season.

Expectations are high for the Calgary native after he totaled 36 points (18G, 18A) in his first full WHL campaign.  Along with Chandler Stephenson, Klimchuk will have to handle a lot more offensive responsibility and pressure, not to mention high draft expectations through the year.

The Ivan Hlinka Tournament represents a great opportunity for Klimchuk to start off what could be a very special year for the Pats forward.  It will be great to see him don the Maple Leaf in search of a Gold Medal.

For more on Morgan Klimchuk joining team Canada's Summer U18 team, check out