10 questions with former NHL defenseman Jason Strudwick

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Sept 3rd, 2016

By Dane Frizzell

This week we have former NHL defenseman Jason Strudwich joining us to talk about his career in the big league, life after hockey and what it’s like to host his own TV show.

Dane – “Thanks for joining us today

Jason – “Great to chat with you!”

Dane – “You played your first NHL game on March 30 1996. You ended up fighting Kelly Chase. What was it like fighting a guy like Kelly in your first game in the league, and what emotions were going through your head at the time?”

Jason – “At that point I didn’t know if I would play in the NHL again. I really wanted to have a memory if it was my only game. The easiest way was to get into a fight. I knew of Chase’s reputation and that he would make it happen for me!”

Dane – “You scored 13 goals in your NHL career including an overtime beauty. What was your most memorable goal in your career?”

Jason – “Was it 13?! Not to shabby! I didn’t score many but I had some fun ones. My first would be the most special. Scoring in LA was very cool. I remember all my teammates being as excited or more excited than me!”

Dane – Over a span of 15 seasons you played on 5 different NHL teams. Where was your favorite place to play, and where did you most feel at home?”

Jason – “All 5 cities were special in their own way. It was special to play at MSG in New York. Very cool building in the middle of a great city. Coming home to finish in Edmonton was great. We did not have the best team in the league but playing in front of family and friends that supported me on the way up was great.”

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Madison Square Garden

Dane – “You fought 195 times over your career including your days in the WHL. Who is the toughest player you fought, and who what was your most memorable fight?”

Jason – “I didn’t know it was that many! wow. I was a busy guy. I never felt I was a fighter. I was a guy who could fight if needed. There was a big difference in my mind. There were some tough guys but Laraque is still at the top the list. So strong it was hard to get anything going on him.”

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Georges Laraque

Dane – “You played on one of the best junior teams in the history of hockey, the Kamloops Blazers. What was it like to play on such a dominant team and to play with future hall of famers?”

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1994-95 Kamloops Blazers 

Jason – “At the time we did not know how good of a team we were. Young guys coming together that loved spending time with each other and wanted to compete. There were so many competitive players. It really made the difference. Don Hay was the perfect coach for that group!”

Dane – “You are now a radio host in Edmonton. What made you pursue a media job after you retired from the game?”

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Jason – “I am now actually hosting Dinner Tv on City. I made the move in May of 2015. Really enjoyed the radio. My good friend Jason Gregor invited to be a part of his radio show. It evolved into a career!”

Dane – “Who was the most agitating player you ever played against? What made him such a pain to play against?”

Jason – “I never really got too rattled by pests. I could see through their games! I would get more into it when they went after our top player. I played with Sean Avery and I couldn’t believe how rattled he would get the other team. I remember the Devils going crazy when he was on his game. They would lose focus and make it much easier for the rest of us!”

Dane – “You played a couple seasons overseas. What was the experience like and how big is the game over there compared to North America?”

Jason – “I really enjoyed my time in Europe. I loved living there and being a part of the country instead of just visiting. I recommend it to all my friends. The hockey was a lot to play as well. I know I improved after playing in Switzerland. The big ice and my bigger role got me making plays again! I played quite a few more NHL seasons after that year.”

Dane – “There are fewer fights in NHL games these days. Do you think fighting still plays a role in our sport?”

Jason – “Fighting has and will continue to go down. I can see the day where there is no fighting at all. I do think it is a good way to calm a game down. I like hard, fast hockey that drives up the intensity.”

Dane – “Over your career, who was your most influential coach? How did he support you and make you a better and stronger player?”

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Jason – “In the NHL is was Marc Crawford. From his first practice with us he was all over me every practice. At the time I didn’t understand he was trying to make me better. Looking back I really appreciate him taking the time. He understood what type of player I was destined to be and pushed me well into that style. It served me well.”

Dane – “Thanks for doing this, hope to do this again sometime.”

Jason – “Thanks for having me!”

Top Prospects put on a show in Vancouver!

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January 29th, 2016

By Dane Frizzell

 

The coliseum was alive thursday night as Team Orr defeated Team Cherry 3-2 at this year’s CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. Ty Ronning of the Vancouver Giants opened the scoring at 3:09 of the first period.

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Credit to Kevin Light Photography

The game would remain 1-0 after one period of play. Goaltenders  Evan Fitzpatrick of the Sherbrooke Phoenix and Carter Hart of the Everett Silvertips would prove to be the difference makers in the first half of the game. Both made fantastic saves and proved why they were Top Prospects. Just after the ten minute mark of the second period, the goaltenders would switch.  Fitzpatrick was replaced by Zach Sawchenko of the Moose Jaw Warriors, while Hart gave way to Dylan Wells of the Peterborough Petes. At 17:09 of the second period, the game would see its second goal. Pascal Laberge of the Victoriaville Tigres would finish after a great move. Team Cherry held a 22-20 edge on the shot clock after 40 minutes.

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Credit to Kevin Light photography

With 10:20 remaining in the third period, Laberge would score another one. After a quick pivot, the Team Orr forward snapped a puck past Sawchenko for a 2-1 lead. Team Cherry wasn’t done there. Just minutes later, Logan Brown of the Windsor Spitfire would finish on a great pass from Jordan Kyrou of the Sarnia Sting.

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Credit to Kevin Light photography

The tie wouldn’t last for long. Right off the face off and 11 seconds after Team Cherry tied the game up, Pierre-Luc Dubois of the Cape Brenton Sreaming Eagles would score off a great pass from Laberge making it 3-2 for Team Orr.

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Credit to Kevin Light Photography

Team Cherry would throw everything on net in the tail end of the game but goaltender Dylan Wells would put up a brick wall to secure a victory for Team Orr.

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Credit to Kevin Light Photography

Laberge earned Team Orr Player of the Game honours, while Michael McLeod of the Mississauga Steelheads received the recognition for Team Cherry. The game was enjoyed by over ten thousand fans in an extremely loud and energetic Pacific Coliseum.

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Credit to Kevin Light photography

The prospects are coming!

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January 23rd, 2016

By Dane Frizzell

 

We are less than a week away from the 2016 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Vancouver, BC at the Pacific Coliseum.

On Thursday night it will be Team Cherry VS Team Orr. This will be the 24th CHL Top Prospect game and the 15th time Team Cherry and Team Orr have faced off against each other.

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The game will feature players from the Western Hockey League, the Ontario Hockey League, and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Players will be eager to put on a good show as this game will be a great chance to showcase their skills to NHL scouts and teams.

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Tyler Benson of the Vancouver Giants will captain Team Cherry. Other notable names playing for Grapes include, Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters and Sam Steel of the Regina Pats. Team Cherry will be up against an extremely strong Team Orr.

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Matthew Tkachuk of the London Knights will captain Team Orr. His team will also feature Alexander Nylander of the Mississauga Steelheads and Carter Hart, goaltender for Everett Silvertips.
The game itself will be played at the legendary Pacific Coliseum is Vancouver, BC, home of the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League. The game was last played there in 2005. Team Cherry beat Team Davidson 8-4. The complete rosters for both teams are below.

 

2016 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game Rosters:

 Team Cherry:

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Goaltenders:

Evan Fitzpatrick (Sherbrooke Phoenix)

Zach Sawchenko (Moose Jaw Warriors)
Defencemen:

Jakob Chychrun (Sarnia Sting)

Kale Clague (Brandon Wheat Kings)

Sean Day (Mississauga Steelheads)

Samuel Girard (Shawinigan Cataractes)

Lucas Johansen (Kelowna Rockets)

Markus Niemelainen (Saginaw Spirit)

 

Forwards:

Vitalii Abramov (Gatineau Olympiques)

Tyler Benson (Vancouver Giants)

Logan Brown (Windsor Spitfires)

Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)

Dillon Dube (Kelowna Rockets)

Julien Gauthier (Val-d’Or Foreurs)

Tim Gettinger (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)

Noah Gregor (Moose Jaw Warriors)

Max Jones (London Knights)

Jordan Kyrou (Sarnia Sting)

Michael McLeod (Mississauga Steelheads)

Sam Steel (Regina Pats)


Team Orr:

The great Bobby Orr loving it

Goaltenders:

Carter Hart (Everett Silvertips)

Dylan Wells (Peterborough Petes)
Defencemen:

Jake Bean (Calgary Hitmen)

Luke Green (Saint John Sea Dogs)

Libor Hajek (Saskatoon Blades)

Olli Juolevi (London Knights)

Mikhail Sergachev (Windsor Spitfires)

Logan Stanley (Windsor Spitfires)

 

Forwards:

Nathan Bastian (Mississauga Steelheads)

Will Bitten (Flint Firebirds)

Pierre-Luc Dubois (Cape Breton Screaming Eagles)

Brett Howden (Moose Jaw Warriors)

Boris Katchouk (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)

Jack Kopacka (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)

Pascal Laberge (Victoriaville Tigres)

Alexander Nylander (Mississauga Steelheads)

Taylor Raddysh (Erie Otters)

Otto Somppi (Halifax Mooseheads)

Simon Stransky (Prince Albert Raiders)

Matthew Tkachuk (London Knights)

Tickets are still available and can be bought at http://ticketleader.ca.
Don’t miss this once in a lifetime chance to see Don Cherry and Bobby Orr coach tomorrow’s NHL stars. It’s going to be something special.
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