I have been asked by the Oil King trainers, Rogan Dean and Brian Cheeseman to publish the results of an informal poll of WHL Eastern Conference trainers. Basically it is a best of the east amongst the guys who put in the longest hours in junior hockey. The results are theirs, the comments are my own. Without further ado, here is the WHL Eastern conference Trainer's Poll.
Best Pre-Game Meal: St. Eugene's Resort, Cranbrook, BC. This was a very tight vote, with Chianti's in Saskatoon finishing a close second. Hard to argue with St. Eugene's they have an excellent spread for pregame.
Best Post-Game Meal: Tony Roma's, Red Deer, Alberta. Another close vote, but with lots of places suggested. No runaway winner in this one.
Best Hotel: Delta Bow Valley, Calgary, Alberta. A clear choice here, and a good one. Personally don't stay there often as the Oil Kings day trip Calgary usually, but did enjoy it when I had the chance. Any hotel with a full Starbucks in the lobby gets my vote. CanadInn in Brandon was second, I would imagine the convenience of a hotel attached to the rink would be a huge plus for trainers.
Best Warm Up Music: Rexall Place, Edmonton, Alberta. Only two rinks received multiple votes, Edmonton and Calgary.
Best Goal Song: Rebel Yell, Red Deer, Alberta. A wide variety of responses, but Red Deer edged out the other eastern rinks. Some nice responses including ``Is there really a good goal song on the road?"
Worst Goal Song: Barbra Streisand, Edmonton, Alberta. Not much doubt about this one, although there were some votes for others. I can tell you this has been a bone of contention from most who cover the Oil Kings on a daily basis. The highest scoring team has the worst goal song, too much Duck Sauce, I'm just glad we have headsets on in the booth.
Best Facilities for a Visiting Team: Tie- Moose Jaw and Edmonton. Another tight vote with a lot of different places receiving votes. Makes me think teams are treated pretty well everywhere in the league.
Best Media Room- Red Deer. No doubt about this one, the largest margin of victory here. Red Deer received over half of the vote. The other rooms that had votes were Calgary and Swift Current.
Best Watering Hole- Champ's, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. The only establishment to receive more than one vote. I guess the trainers like to get out and explore the road towns a bit after a long day at the rink. Can't say I blame them! Best response was "Anywhere the GM pays!!"
Best Atmosphere in Rink: Medicine Hat Arena. The Arena narrowly edged out Red Deer and Calgary. Always fun with 4006 packed into the old barn, and I think other play-by-play guys would agree it has the best location for visiting broadcasters. Now if they could only get a screen in! The hot tub in Regina also received a vote.