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The day before the end of Gregggggate (?)

January 10, 2011

I would be amiss if I didn’t just remind people that tomorrow is Dec. 11, the date for a meeting between the Kamloops Blazers, Kamloops Daily News and Western Hockey League. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, please climb out from under your tree stump and read up here, here, here, here, and, finally, here.

To get you all set, read former Kamloops Daily News scribe Ben Kuzma‘s column in today’s Province.

When asked what it was like to be ground in the Kamloops media meat-grinder, the always-quotable Ken Hitchcock had this summation of crossing WHL swords with certain scribblers.

“You guys,” Hitchcock said with a roll of his eyes. “You not only knew when I went to the bathroom, you knew how much toilet paper I used.”

It was considered a compliment. The Blazers evolved from pretender to contender in the mid-’80s, but in the transition the coach’s decisions were either lauded or loathed by aspiring journalists. Players didn’t escape the microscope and that’s why they called it Little Montreal because success came with scrutiny. However, a fair-but-firm approach was usually the order of the day. And while that perspective helped players transition from the WHL to the NHL, it was the same for Blazer coaches like Tom Renney, Don Hay and Hitchcock. It was the same for Kamloops Daily News alums who graduated to NHL beats, like Scott Cruickshank (Calgary), Robin Brownlee (Edmonton) along with Iain MacIntyre and me in Vancouver.


That’s a pretty distinguished list of journalistic and Blazer alumni.

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