Neate Sager

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Neate Sager is a blogger for Yahoo! Sports.

  • Boland (right) helped the 2014 Petes win the club's  first playoff round in eight seasons (Aaron Bell, OHL Images)Boland (right) helped the 2014 Petes win the club's  first playoff round in eight seasons (Aaron Bell, OHL Images)

    To get that pro contract, Connor Boland will have to make a lot of solid contact. Within the Ontario Hockey League, the Peterborough Petes overage captain has earned respect for playing that uncompromising, no-nonsence game. On Friday, while playing for the Edmonton Oilers rookie team at the Young Stars toiurnament in Penticton, B.C., the 19-year-old made a big impression by laying out Vancouver Canucks hopeful Cordell James at centre ice with a shoulder-to-chest check.

    Two words for that: text book.

    Apparently OHL-seasoned players can still learn how to check cleanly and thoroughly despite the league's strict rules against head contact. Who knew?

    (As an aside, if it's a clean check, why does there have to be a fight afterward?)

    Time will tell what this yields for Boland, who is due to helm a brawny blueline with the likes of fellow 20-year-old Brandon Devlin and 17-year-old NHL draft hopeful Matthew Spencer if the Oilers return him to the OHL's Petes. The 6-foot-3, 198-pound native

    Read More »from Peterborough Petes' Connor Boland throws massive check in NHL rookie camp game (VIDEO)
  • Combing all corners of the country and the blogosphere for your junior hockey headlines ...


    There it is: a comparison between Sam Steel and Jordan Eberle in Regina. Hey, how often does a 16-year-old get held out of a preseason game since he has nothing more to prove until the real games start? (Regina Leader-Post)

    All told, Prince Albert Raiders captain / Winnipeg Jets hopeful Josh Morrissey played 112 games in 2013-14. Hang on to that nugget for a future junior hockey burnout story. (Winnipeg Sun)

    A Curtis Lazar story that contains the word "smiling." Drink! But not before noon local time, okay? (Ottawa Citizen, The Canadian Press)

    Prince George goalie Ty Edmonds is trying to use going undrafted as a rallying point: "My main goal is to get the team into the playoffs and just go from there." (Prince George Citizen)

    The Honda Center, where Tri-City has played for 26 seasons, isn't up to league standards in the team's view. (


    The Arizona Coyotes have made a "concerted

    Read More »from Coyotes' made 'concerted effort' to create space for Max Domi: the coast-to-coast
  • No. 1 star: Tim Wieser, Sherbrooke Phoenix

    Wieser had 15 goals as a rookie last season (Ghyslain Bergeron, The Canadian Press)Wieser had 15 goals as a rookie last season (Ghyslain Bergeron, The Canadian Press)

    The Memorial Cup host Quebec Remparts will surely be solid in a good time. In the interim, before reinforcements from NHL rookie camp drift back, there's much vicarious glee to be gleaned from results such as a 6-1 spanking at the hands of the Phoenix on First Friday.

    Wieser (2G-2A, +4) and Swiss compatriot Kay Schweri (4A, +4) went to work fast for Sherbrooke, which could sorely use consistent scoring from someone other than Montreal Canadiens draft pick Daniel Audette. Wieser got the first two goals of the night, tallying 2:31 before the end of the first period and again 6:29 into the second on setups from Schweri.

    The Swiss tandem assisted on Vincent Deslauriers' 3-0 goal midway through the second. In the second minute of the third, Schweri and Wieser also earned the apples on Julien Bahl's goal that affirmed that it was the Phoenix's night.

    No. 2 star: Evgeny Svechnikov, Cape Breton Screaming Eagles

    Since Ivan Barbashev and Vladimir

    Read More »from Phoenix's Tim Wieser outwits Memorial Cup host Remparts: Friday's QMJHL 3 Stars
  • CFL signature jerseys have radio voices seeing red

    Ricky Ray passes while wearing Toronto's 'signature' jersey (The Canadian Press)Ricky Ray passes while wearing Toronto's 'signature' jersey (The Canadian Press)

    Radio is called the most visual medium. For a football play-by-play broadcaster, presumably means being able to identify any one of 24 players on the vast CFL field at any moment.

    The football fashion trend of wearing an alternate jersey where the traditional front numerals are replaced with a logo has been included in the CFL's signature jersey collection. The Ottawa Redblacks, Edmonton Eskimos, Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Toronto Argonauts' alternates all include a large logo and small numerals. 

    The new look has received an 'F' from all nine of the league's radio voices. While it might amount to a symbolic protest, Toronto Argonauts radio voice Mike Hogan disclosed this week that the Football Reporters of Canada plan to file a formal complaint with the CFL about the unique jerseys. 

    There's a lot of talk going on about the new CFL alternate jerseys. All nine radio play-by-play announcers across the league have agreed to file a formal complaint about the jerseys, which feature logos

    Read More »from CFL signature jerseys have radio voices seeing red
  • Mancina was the backup on the Storm's OHL championship team (Terry Wilson / OHL Images).Mancina was the backup on the Storm's OHL championship team (Terry Wilson / OHL Images).

    The law of supply and demand is why Matt Mancina is a Guelph Storm — Stormer? Stormian? for now but likely not for long.

    One overarching theme to this OHL season ought to be the offensive environment, sorry-not sorry for wonking it up. The league is relatively rich in 17-year-old offensive stars, from Connor McDavid to the next level of the prospect pantheon with Ottawa's Travis Konecny, London's Mitchell Marner, Erie's Dylan Strome and Sarnia's Pavel Zacha (can we get also get Windsor's Luke Kirwan in there too even though he's two years out from reaching the NHL draft floor?). On the other side of the coin, the OHL is entering the second year of the great European goalie embargo.

    Point totals are just one poor-math-student's data point, but they are cited often. Point being, if one of the league's draft-year dandies puts up a whack of points, it will be important to put it in the context. 

    The OHL, fortunately, does provide a breakdown of individual power-play and short-handed

    Read More »from OHL could see another scoring spike, although it likely won't be as steep as the Tavares/Stamkos era
  • Scherbak to be shopped? The coast-to-coast

    Combing all corners of the country and the blogosphere for your junior hockey headlines ...


    Should the Montreal Canadiens return Nikita Scherbak to Saskatoon, there's a good chance that the 19-year-old Russian's stay with the rebuilding Blades would be short. (Saskatoon StarPhoenix)

    Just as in Ontario, authorities in Washington state are examining working conditions of major junior players. We'll see what comes of it. (TSN)

    No taking runs at one of the bosses: Vancouver Canucks defenceman Dan Hamhuis and Prince George part-owner practised with the team. (Prince George Citizen)

    There is a possibility that the Arizona Coyotes could return Memorial Cup MVP Edgars Kulda to the Edmonton Oil Kings. (Edmonton Journal)

    Brew some coffee and tuck into The Pipeline Show's massive season preview: B.C. Division, U.S. Division, Central Division, East Division and everything else. (Coming Down The Pipe!)


    Craig Button's first 'Craig's List' contains an Erie Otters forward who is not named

    Read More »from Scherbak to be shopped? The coast-to-coast
  • The University of Ottawa suspended its hockey team in March and later called off its '14-15 seasonThe University of Ottawa suspended its hockey team in March and later called off its '14-15 seasonHere is a pro tip: once a Canadian university cancels its men's hockey season due to failure to alert the higher-ups about a sexual assault complaint involving players; once criminal charges have been laid against two players; then, it's long past time for the media to have a sympathetic ear for a former player who is playing the victim.

    Actually, the time for that should be never, but we'll get to that.

    The only victim in the University of Ottawa hockey sex assault scandal is the 21-year-old woman in Thunder Bay, Ont., whom former Gee-Gees players Guillaume Donovan, 24, and David Foucher, 25, are charged with assaulting. One should not have to point out something so stunningly obvious. Nor should one have to point out then-coach Réal Paiement, played both men (and a third player who was initially part of the police investigation) in Ontario University Athletics playoff games before the university learned of the case. Yet here we are, thanks to Alexandre Touchette, whom granted wasn't

    Read More »from Ex-University of Ottawa hockey player says he’s a victim of sexual assault scandal because, 'I bought a condo... and now I have to sell it'
  • Six CHL storylines to watch this season

    Fucale could be on the move at Christmastime if the Mooseheads take a step backFucale could be on the move at Christmastime if the Mooseheads take a step back

    The Canadian Hockey League season starts in stages, with the QMJHL campaign commencing on Wednesday, a full two weeks before Ontario's and the Western League's. 

    With that topmost of mind, here's a look at six storylines for the season ahead. It was supposed to be five, but there was a need for an extra attacker:

    McDavid mania — After three years of buildup, Connor McDavid of the Erie Otters, the Canadian national junior team and (we believe) Planet Earth is finally in his NHL draft season. At Hockey Canada's summer development camp last month, where it played exhibition games vs. the Czech Republic and Russia, there were sequences where McDavid  McJesus, to the Twitterverse —  simply did whatever he pleased with the puck. Other 17-year-olds have the surpassing aptitude to do the same, but they usually don't involve their teammates as well as Erie's No. 97.

    Remparts shoot for a Colisée conquest The sands could shift very soon in the Quebec League if a NHL team is acquired for the new

    Read More »from Six CHL storylines to watch this season
  • The start of Herbst's OHL career was delayed due to a series of hip and knee surgeriesThe start of Herbst's OHL career was delayed due to a series of hip and knee surgeries

    Finally free from the pain that cost him a season and a half in the OHL, Liam Herbst is beginning to show his considerable potential.

    The lanky goalie was beset by hip and knee ailments — including microfracture surgery to each knee — after the London Knights made him their top draft choice in 2012, which led to some speculation about when (and if) he would ever recapture his early promise. After backing up in Ottawa over the second half of last season, Herbst has a chance to be the 67's No. 1 goalie. He looked the part in his first exhibition start last weekend, which included making a cross-crease, diving stick save with 2:22 left in a tie game with the Gatineau Olympiques. There was a slight double clutch on the shot, but it was a denial of a sure goal.

    Not bad for someone who seemed more likely to be profiled in the Journal of Sports Medicine than in The Hockey News.

    Herbst, who turns 18 on Sunday, was eligible for the NHL draft in June but wasn't taken, which is no surprise

    Read More »from Ottawa 67's Liam Herbst on comeback trail with spectacular stick save in first exhibition game
  • Juggling the hockey schedules of several children is challenging for many Canadian families.Juggling the hockey schedules of several children is challenging for many Canadian families.
    Clearly, rep hockey is a higher priority than trying to make the best of a tense family situation. 

    Organized sports mostly take place on weekends, which is often when children whose parents are divorced or separated have a visitation. A collision of those two has created a minor hockey story that probably won't be accompanied by tinkly piano music on a Hockey Day In Canada special any time soon, although it's probably closer to the reality than the former.

    Thinking of young children caught in the middle between their feuding parents is heartbreaking, but a recent Ontario court decision is rather extraordinary for how it illustrates what can happen when children whose parents are separated also have a full schedule of organized sports. It's hard to explain, but last month the Ontario Superior Court of Justice sided with a father — who had been under a restraining order that forbid him to be in the same room with the mother — who filed a complaint stating that his estranged spouse was,

    Read More »from Hockey mom breached court order by scheduling son's games during father's visitation, court rules


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