Friday, December 23, 2016

Who started Teddy Bear Toss? . . . Kamloops mourns Rozek's death . . . Meet Fred Sasaskamoose


While I quite enjoy Christmas music, this one right here has come to be a favourite over recent years. It’s The Pogues, featuring Kirsty MacColl, with . . . Fairytale of New York.

It is generally believed that the Teddy Bear Toss, something that has become such a holiday tradition with so many hockey teams, originated with the Kamloops Blazers. But . . . maybe not. Tal Pinchevsky of has done up a neat feature on the Teddy Bear Toss and he talked to a former Blazers general manager who thinks it all started with the Regina Pats. . . . That piece is right here.
Pat Rozek, a member of the Kamloops Blazers’ off-ice officiating crew, has died. He was 64. Rozek was the official scorekeeper at Blazers’ games, the person who visited both head coaches before games and got their lineups and scratches. He had worked as a volunteer off-ice official for more than 25 years and was involved whenever there was a Hockey Canada, CHL or WHL event in the area. He also worked as an off-ice official during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. . . . When the Kamloops Daily News was publishing and I was the writer behind their Christmas Cheer Fund, Rozek always approached me with an envelope full of cash before the Blazers’ last home game prior to Christmas. He enjoyed getting the other off-ice officials involved in contributing to the fund. . . . You can bet his smile will be missed.
If you aren’t aware, or even if you are, of the legend of Fred Sasakamoose, you should check it out right here. Marty Klinkenberg of The Globe and Mail takes a look at Sasakamoose, a great Canadian, who survived the tragedy of the native residential schools and went on to play in the NHL. Also, if you ever have the opportunity to hear Sasakamoose tell his story, don’t miss the chance.
Richard Deitsch of puts together an annual year-end look at the sports media. This year is no different and this one, as with the previous ones, is well worth your time. It is right here.
Mark Bomersback, 34, has been hired by the AJHL’s Grande Prairie Storm as their head scout and associate general manager. He will work alongside Matt Keillor, who took over as GM/head coach earlier in December. Bomersback played in the AJHL with the Bow Valley/Canmore Egles (1999-2003) and was the league’s MVP in 2002-03. For the past two seasons, he worked as a scout for the Medicine Hat Tigers.

Dec. 19 through Monday:

No Games Scheduled.

TUESDAY’S GAMES (all times local):

Kamloops at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.
Lethbridge vs. Kootenay, at Cranbrook, B.C., 7 p.m.
Calgary at Medicine Hat, 7 p.m.
Saskatoon at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.
Edmonton at Red Deer, 7 p.m.
Brandon at Regina, 7 p.m.
Spokane vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 7:05 p.m.
Moose Jaw at Swift Current, 7 p.m.
Portland vs. Tri-City, at Kennewick, Wash., 7:05 p.m.
Everett vs. Vancouver, at Langley, B.C., 7 p.m.
Prince George at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.

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