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THE DESERT DOG BLOG: HELLO ICE, SO LONG LOUIE

Tuesday, 09.09.2008 / 8:45 PM / The Desert Dog Blog - by Dave Vest
By Dave Vest
Information, observations and anecdotes about the Coyotes
as told by Dave Vest, the team's V.P. of News Content

Long time, no write!

I just returned from vacation and one thing I can tell you is that time DOES fly when you’re having fun. I can also tell you that time DOESN’T fly when you’re sitting in a middle seat in front of a cranky infant on a nearly five-hour flight from Philadelphia to Phoenix and one of your earphones for your iPod doesn’t work.

But I digress…

I just took a walk over to Jobing.com Arena and was greeted by a chill in the air when I walked through the door. Then came the sight of a freshly painted sheet of ice in place for the upcoming rookie/training camps.

Check back later in the week for a phoenixcoyotes.com video that details how workers transform the empty arena into an NHL rink.


I was saddened to learn that Louie DeBrusk has left the team for a TV gig with the Edmonton Oilers. I worked with Louie only for a few months, but I can tell you he was a lot of fun to work with and that he never said no when I asked him to help us do a video for phoenixcoyotes.com.

Meanwhile, I’m told the team is currently interviewing candidates to replace Louie, and will have the new radio color analyst in place for the first preseason game we broadcast on XTRA Sports 910 on Sept. 27. (The preseason games on Sept. 30 and Oct. 4 also will be broadcast on XTRA Sports 910.)

It will be challenging for whomever the team hires to replace Louie because he and play-by-play announcer Bob Heethuis had such terrific chemistry, on and off the ice, and that was reflected in their broadcasts.

"Louie's departure, for me, is certainly very bittersweet,” Heeter told me in an e-mail. “Over the past three years, he's not only been an outstanding broadcast partner, but also developed into a very close friend. We've shared many laughs and many good times together, and I will dearly miss our day-to-day camaraderie during the hockey season. Above all else, though, I am just so happy and proud for him to get this great opportunity in television. It's been a lot of fun to watch him develop into a very good broadcaster over the last three years, and I definitely feel that he is ready to take this next step in his career. I wish him all of the best in what should be a long and successful career in TV!"

I asked Louie to e-mail me his thoughts on leaving. As always, he obliged.

“My three years with the Phoenix Coyotes as a broadcaster were fantastic. Being paired with Heeter was an absolute pleasure. Bob is truly one of the nicest, hard-working partners anyone could ask for. I'm very appreciative of the treatment the Coyotes organization gave my family and I. It was first class all the way! I'm very excited for my new opportunity with Rogers Sportsnet. But know, I will always be keeping a close eye on the Coyotes. The future is bright for the Phoenix Coyotes. I wish everyone in this organization much success.”


Center Martin Hanzal, who had surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back in July, met with his surgeon last week and was given the OK to start skating this weekend. Hanzal won’t skate with teammates right away, but rather on his own under the supervision of the team’s training staff.

“Everything is on schedule,” Assistant General Manager Brad Treliving told me, “and that’s really good news.”


Thomas Steen, the franchise’s all-time leader in assists (553), has resigned his position as a pro scout to run for political office in Manitoba, Canada. General Manager Don Maloney wishes Steen well.


“Thomas is a good man and I am sure he will excel in this new endeavor,” Maloney said.


Russell Brooks, our Coordinator of New Media, notified me of a recent eye-popping box score from a women’s pre-Olympic qualification tournament game between Slovakia and Bulgaria that I must share. Slovakia won by the score of…gulp..82-0.

Two amazing stats to note:
1. Twelve of the skaters on Slovakia’s roster notched at least a hat trick.
2. Bulgaria had zero shots on goal.

For those who don’t believe me, here’s the link to the box score posted on the International Ice Hockey Federation’s Web site. See for yourself:

http://stats.iihf.com/Hydra/166/IHW166907_74_4_0.pdf

Thanks for reading.

Dave
thedesertdogblog@phoenixcoyotes.com


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