Soo Greyhounds / Soo News, St. Joseph Islander Review

Interview; Is Kyle Raftis Leaving the Greyhounds?/Why is Barry Elliott Running for Mayor ?

Thursday September 8

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Crystal Shawanda Interview Went Great !

My interview with Crystal Shawanda went really really well. She was actually on Manitoulin Island spending time with her family between shows when we chatted via Zoom. The interview will be posted on my YouTube channel Border City Rock Talk tonight. 

Interview with Kyle Raftis

I spoke with Kyle Raftis yesterday and I will recap our conversation for you. The first question I asked was in regards to the import situation. All of us that follow junior hockey understand that you are allowed to carry 2 players from overseas….Imports. This year obviously the team will have Russian D man Kirill Kudryavtsev to keep the team in contention but the other spot has not been filled as of yet. A year ago the Hounds drafted German left winger Julian Lutz who obviously has not reported or signed. Raftis said his status is that he is coming off an injury and should be reporting to the Arizona Coyotes camp and that they continue to correspond regarding him playing here in the OHL  How good is this kid? Well the hockey writers referring to German bread players consider him in the “golden generation” of high end players. 

The other player the Hounds are trying to wine and dine is 2022 import pick Noel Nordh. Kyle spoke of discussions with his handlers but nothing concrete at this time. The General Manager is hoping to slot one of the two in the lineup “at sometime during the season”

I asked Kyle if he thinks there will be bit a hiccup as the new coaches have to adjust and get to know each other. He responded that there may be a bit of adjustment but as seasoned professionals they have been working really well together and he doesn’t figure that will be an issue this year. 

In regards to the fact that I mentioned that once again the London Knights and their writers are suggesting that they could be contenders again with the recent acquisition of Sam Dickinson and the possibility of Brett Brochu returning;…where does he stand with the Hounds in the pack of teams. Would he consider the Hounds as rebuilding given the fact that the team has lost it’s core of sophomore talent due to graduation? Kyle said he doesn’t like to label the team in that way ever. He mentioned that last year the team was looked at as one that would be looking in instead of looking out and they surpassed all expectations. So I guess the answer is pretty much…we’ll see how the kids respond….and that makes sense. A great coaching staff gets the best out of each player and if that happens…anything can happen. Like him or not…..Dale Hunter has that ability and from what we have seen……so does John Dean. 

Usually when I talk to Kyle and ask for a name of a kid that stands out at camp he is reluctant to just give one. I understand the philosophy behind that but this time I really pushed him…. and he said that Kalvyn Watson on and off the ice has come into camp with a very high bar set for himself. Coming off a great second half last year really must have motivated the forward over the summer the GM responded. 

The last question was kind of one that I wanted confirmation on as per my hunch that Kyle and John Dean have probably received offers to move up the hockey ladder per se. I thought Raftis was going to give a “no comment” on this one but he affirmed that he has been reached out to by other organizations and that he wasn’t ready to accept a move as per the fit, and/or the timing wasn’t right. It is fair to say that Kyle will eventually move on but he is happy here in the Soo as he has already turned down potential offers. Great news if you’re a Hounds fan for sure !!

That's All Folks !

Hey guys/gals; I know this is another short publication but I have been a busy boy with my editing of Crystals interview yesterday. I would  however like to announce that I will be interviewing mayorial candidate Barry Elliot in the very near future so you will know his platform and why he thinks he would be best suited for the position of Mayor of St Joseph Township. Anyway…..have a super day. 

Joke of the day

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