Archives For November 2012

It certainly came as a surprise to the Kamloops Blazers and the WHL when 20-year-old forward Jordan DePape decided to announce he was leaving the team.

DePape, who has since undergone surgery on a torn labrum in his right shoulder, was originally thought to be taking some time to decide on his future. While the shoulder injury will keep him sidelined for a significant amount of time, DePape told Gregg Drinnan that he’s not ruling out a possible comeback.

However, the injury has almost certainly ended DePape’s WHL career. The former MJHL Rookie of the Year has since told the Winnipeg Sun that he could possibly see coming back to play in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League and has been approached about playing for the University of Manitoba Bisons.

All of this first came to my attention when DePape was listed on EliteProspects.com as being transferred from the WHL’s Blazers to “Time-Out From Hockey.” It’s not often that you see the dreaded “time out from hockey” show up on the site, but it does happen from time to time.

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A Lockout Casualty

November 28, 2012 — Leave a comment

One of the newest casualties of the NHL’s lockout may be the excitement of fans in the league’s newest city.

When the NHL came back to Winnipeg during the 2011 off-season, the city couldn’t have been more electric. Fans crowded the city’s main intersection at Portage Ave. and Main St., and they flocked to tourist destination The Forks for a party that stretched from the time of the announcement until long into the night.

Devon Barker, who was interning in an eighth grade art class when the announcement came down, said her class was stopped to watch the conference live.

“The class was excited,” said Barker, laughing. “It brought a bit of enthusiasm to a rather lackluster art class.”

Barker added the students had been talking about the imminent announcement all morning, and some of the children were even wearing Jets gear from their original incarnation.

Donny Braemer, who isn’t necessarily sour on the Jets, is more than fed up with the NHL.

“I’m more fed up with the Board of Governors,” said Braemer. “I know it’s players and owners, not just the Jets. I would say I’m upset at the league as a whole, it’s not just one team.”

“They didn’t move the team to Winnipeg from Atlanta to be locked out,” added Braemer.

Patrick Williams, who covers the Jets for NHL.com, said Jets fans haven’t really been voicing their displeasure as much as other markets.

“I haven’t really heard that sentiment outside of a handful of people,” said Williams, via email. “However, I have been very surprised by the lack of talk about the lockout in Winnipeg, given the level of fan interest last season. People here seem very non-chalant about it.”

Before his gig with NHL.com, Williams covered the AHL and, being based out of Manitoba, he was able to see first hand the support that the Moose garnered from the hockey community in Winnipeg. Williams did say, however, that the NHL reigns supreme no matter the case.

“For the vast majority of people here, having an NHL team – even a mediocre team – trumps having a winning AHL team,” said Williams.

In a town known for its frivolity, the Moose were a better “deal,” and much more affordable for a family of four. (As a proud Winnipegger, even I can admit that the city is known to spend the extra gas money to drive across the entire city to save a buck.) But Winnipeggers are now paying for a premium product.

While there are the few who would rather have the AHL team back – some who would argue that at this point hockey is hockey, and in this trying time, something is better than nothing – it seems as though the majority of Winnipeggers are steadfast in thinking its NHL or bust.

Courtesy Demonoid

Torrent users, rejoice. File sharing website and BitTorrent tracker Demonoid is back online after being shut down since late July.

A BitTorrent tracker like Demonoid lets its users find torrents – small pieces of a file separated onto different hosts – that can then be downloaded as a complete file.

Often, torrents are hosted by “seeders” – or uploaders – and downloaded by “leechers”.

Though torrent hosting and distribution is illegal in many countries, there are a number of torrent websites, with Demonoid being one of the most notable.

Matt Lischynski, a Demonoid user for several years, said he didn’t expect it to ever come back, but welcomed the news.

“When the website comes back, I’ll be using it,” said Lischynski. “It’s how I get my music – a lot of stuff I can’t find in music stores.”

Lischynski said he uses the service to download roughly 10 to 15 albums a month.

Even with the shutdowns, Bernie Monette, program coordinator for web development at Humber, said Demonoid doesn’t risk losing its large user base.

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Malls run by Cadillac Fairview are hoping to keep Ontario residents north of the border with extended shopping hours for Black Friday.

Black Friday, which falls on the day after American Thanksgiving this week, is one of the busiest shopping days of the year in the U.S., and Cadillac Fairview wants that business to stay close to home.

“It’s certainly a hope to keep shoppers within Canada,” said Meredith Vlitas, the senior marketing director at Toronto’s Eaton Centre. “We wanted to help Torontonians avoid long lines, the commute, and be able to find deals in the comfort and convenience of their own back yard.”

Canadians saw an increase in duty-free exempt goods on June 1, raising the amount from $50 to $200 on 24-hour trips south and from $400 to $800 on stays of 48 hours or more, making shopping trips to the U.S. far more enticing for Canadians.

Deloitte, a Canadian professional services firm, released a survey saying nearly 40 per cent of Ontarians plan to head south for their holiday shopping.

While Cadillac Fairview said in a release that the extended shopping hours aim to keep shoppers spending their money in Ontario, a separate Deloitte survey shows store hours may not have anything to do with where or why shoppers spend. Continue Reading…

Courtesy Earl Hotrum

For Humber business professor Earl Hotrum, awards and accolades come second to letting people know about the academic and community-based work he is doing in China.

Hotrum received the West Lake Friendship Award from China’s Zhejiang province in part for his work with Humber’s exchange program with Ningbo University.
The award means more to the university than it does to him personally, said Hotrum.

In his four years working full-time at Ningbo –located in Zhejiang on the east coast of China – Hotrum has been as much involved with outreach at the school and broader community issues, something he said the award recognizes.

“They take into consideration other things,” said Hotrum, via VoIP from his home in China. “I’ve been involved with visiting other schools that have to do with the (Ningbo) university, and I coached the public speaking team for the university.” Continue Reading…

Out of curiosity, I looked into the Greater Toronto Hockey League, and the players that have made it from Toronto’s minor hockey system and to the National Hockey League.

After the rant earlier this year by Don Cherry regarding the absence of any GTHL players on the Maple Leafs, I thought it’d be interesting to see how many GTHL players are actually in the NHL. Joining the Leafs in being GTHL-less are the Blue Jackets, Wild, Jets, and Lightning.

It’s quite remarkable that, of all the minor hockey leagues in all of North America, the GTHL has a player on 25 of the 30 NHL rosters.

Some fast facts about the GTHL alumni:

  • There are 54 former GTHL players currently belonging to NHL teams
  • Chicago Blackhawks forwards Bryan Bickell and Dave Bolland played together with the Toronto Red Wings, and are now teammates at the pro level.
  • Tyler Seguin — the second overall pick of 2010’s NHL entry draft — played alongside 2010-11 NHL Calder Trophy Winner (Rookie of the Year) Jeff Skinner on the Toronto Young Nationals.
  • The Chicago Blackhawks have the most players from the GTHL on their roster (6)
  • There are GTHL alumni in every division in the NHL
  • The Pacific and Atlantic division teams each have at least one GTHL alumni
  • Winnipeg and Tampa Bay not having GTHL alumni make the South East Division the division with the least teams featuring GTHL alumni

Alumni per NHL team:

  • 6: Chicago Blackhawks
  • 4: Calgary Flames, Anaheim Ducks, New York Islanders
  • 3: San Jose Sharks, Florida Panthers, Boston Bruins
  • 2: Detroit Red Wings, St. Louis Blues, Vancouver Canucks, Washington Capitals, Carolina Hurricanes, New York Rangers, Buffalo Sabres, Montreal Canadiens
  • 1: Nashville Predators, Edmonton Oilers, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, Phoenix Coyotes, Los Angeles Kings, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, New Jersey Devils, Ottawa Senators

Grail Noble, the president and founder of Yellow House Events, is nominated for the RBC Momentum Award.

The Royal Bank of Canada has named the finalists for the 2012 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards.

There are 19 finalists in total, divided into six different cateogries.

Among the finalists are three Torontonians – Clara Angotti, Grail Noble, and Corrine Sandler.

Noble, the president and founder of Yellow House Events, said being named a finalist is an honour. Noble is nominated for the RBC Momentum Award.

“Momentum is a great word,” said Noble. “What I love about it, is it does speak to a company that is growing, that is moving in the right direction, and has a solid business plan for its next step.” Continue Reading…