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Shew's Views

About James Shewaga:

James Shewaga is the Brandon Sun’s sports editor.

  • Next Wheat King coach could be a familiar face

    It’s just over six weeks until the Brandon Wheat Kings open training camp and the question remains: Who will be the WHL club’s head coach? If you read between the lines, it appears the Wheat Kings may go with a familiar face.
  • SHEW'S VIEWS: Wheat City on course to finally open nine holes

    It’s hard to look at damage on the front nine at the Wheat City Golf Course and wonder if it will ever be the same again. But course manager Bryce Wilson says they are indeed making significant progress in the recovery from the devastating effects of last year’s flood of the century — or centuries, if you prefer.
  • Canada Day tourney draws cream of the crop

    If you’re not up at the lake or out on the golf course this weekend, Simplot Millennium Park will be the place to be. Some of the most talented young baseball players on the Prairies will be in Brandon to compete in the annual UCT Canada Day Classic, a veritable smorgasbord of baseball featuring 25 teams from Manitoba and Saskatchewan playing a total of 50 games, starting this evening.
  • Clouston to Kootenay possible, but no sure thing

    Cory Clouston is heading home to Cranbrook, B.C., in a couple of weeks. The million dollar question is, will he be staying there? After being fired by the Brandon Wheat Kings last month, Clouston’s name has been bandied about as a natural fit to return to his former WHL team, the Cranbrook-based Kootenay Ice.
  • Salvador stealing playoff spotlight

    Brandon’s Bryce Salvador has done it again. The 36-year-old New Jersey Devil continued his remarkable post-season run with his fourth two-point performance of these NHL playoffs, helping to open and close the scoring with assists in a 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday night to stay alive in the Stanley Cup final.
  • Wheaties, Winter Fair willing to talk

    The Brandon Wheat Kings have been forced to stickhandle around the issue for years, the only team in the WHL forced to play money-losing playoff games away from home. There may be no easy solution to the problem, but at long last the Wheat Kings and the Provincial Exhibition are actually going to sit down and at least discuss the possibility and ramifications of moving the dates for the annual Royal Manitoba Winter Fair up just two weeks to allow first-round playoff games to be played here.
  • Keystone Centre upgrades key to deal

    It’s a rare deal that’s viewed as a win-win-win by all parties involved, but the Brandon Wheat Kings’ new five-year lease agreement with the Keystone Centre has the potential to be just that. Emphasis on the word potential. It will be up to local MLA Drew Caldwell and his provincial NDP government to make this deal really work. But more on that later.
  • Clouston's out, who's in?

    Coach Cory Clouston said that he understood Kelly McCrimmon’s rationale for firing him Tuesday. In the post-mortem of this season, that in itself is a little ironic considering they didn’t see eye-to-eye on much else when it comes to evaluating the Brandon Wheat Kings’ 2011-12 WHL campaign.
  • Clouston, McCrimmon don't see eye-to-eye

    (EDITOR’S NOTE: A week after this column was written, McCrimmon fired Clouston on May 15.) The difference in opinion couldn’t be more striking for Cory Clouston and Kelly McCrimmon.
  • Draft-day deal leaves hole in Wheat Kings' lineup

    In essence, Brandon Wheat Kings general manager Kelly McCrimmon traded Brenden Walker for Darian Dziurzynski on Thursday. And left a gaping hole in his lineup in the process.
  • Season disappointing for Wheat Kings' boss

    The Brandon Wheat Kings made the playoffs for the 12th straight season and pulled off a first-round upset of the Calgary Hitmen. But in the end, owner/general manager Kelly McCrimmon was far from satisfied.
  • Shame on Shanny for allowing hockey havoc

    Brendan Shanahan lost all credibility — not to mention any semblance of control of law and order in the game — on the opening night of this year’s NHL playoffs. And the results haven’t been pretty.
  • Moves didn't put Brandon over the top

    One thing you can say about Brandon Wheat Kings general manager Kelly McCrimmon this season: He wasn’t afraid to make big, bold moves to improve his team. In the end, however, McCrimmon’s moves — hiring former NHL coach Cory Clouston, acquiring top overager Darian Dziurzynski and landing 19-year-old NHL prospect Kevin Sundher — couldn’t help the Wheat Kings get past the hottest team in the WHL.
  • Is moving up fair week out of the question?

    Two weeks would make all the difference in the world for the Brandon Wheat Kings. And if the dates for the annual Royal Manitoba Winter Fair were moved up by just 14 days, it could be a win-win-win-win scenario for not only the Wheat Kings, the Keystone Centre, the City of Brandon, and possibly even the Winter Fair itself.
  • SHEW'S VIEWS: The long and winding road for Brandon

    It’s a task that will require the Wheat Kings to win a playoff series without playing a single game in Brandon. But so far, so good for the Wheat Kings.
  • Canada Games could be a big boost for Brandon

    Nothing comes for free, but the Canada Summer Games are about as good as it gets. Backed by generous federal and provincial government funding and national sponsorship dollars, the Canada Games are not only a major national sports spectacle, but also a huge financial windfall for any community lucky enough to host them.
  • Brandon team putting on a show in Saskatoon

    There were some doubters — mainly Winnipeggers suffering from a bad case of Perimeteritis — who questioned Rob Fowler’s ability to compete with the best at the Brier this week. But Fowler’s foursome from the Brandon Curling Club has certainly answered the naysayers, brushing aside some early shaky shots to post an impressive 8-3 record and clinch one of the four playoff spots at the Canadian men’s curling championship in Saskatoon.
  • Head shots still an issue despite WHL crackdown

    It appears the WHL’s new crackdown on head shots to limit concussions has yet to have the desired effect. While the league refuses to release the number of concussions suffered by players until the end of the season — totals hidden by the WHL’s nebulous new injury list that limits reporting to upper- or lower-body ailments only — commissioner Ron Robison admits the number of head injuries has remained roughly the same as last season.
  • Schedule sets up well for Brandon's playoff push

    With January’s struggles seemingly behind them, the Brandon Wheat Kings’ recent run has at least given them a real opportunity to climb the WHL standings and avoid a first-round playoff matchup with either the Central Division-leading Edmonton Oil Kings or the East Division-leading Moose Jaw Warriors. Now 7-1-0-1 in their last nine games — and 3-0-0-1 in their last four on home ice — the Wheat Kings (32-26-1-3) will play seven of their final 10 games at Westman Place, with their only three road dates all quick trips to Regina to face the Pats (32-23-5-1), who sit two points up on Brandon with a game in hand. Meanwhile, the sixth-place Saskatoon Blades (25-25-0-1) are just three points ahead of Brandon with a game in hand, giving the Wheat Kings a legitimate chance to make a move up the standings down the stretch.
  • Fowler puts Brandon back in the curling spotlight

    For years now, Brandon has been producing elite curling talent, but for a quarter of a century one thing eluded local teams — a provincial men’s title. On Sunday in Dauphin, Brandon’s Rob Fowler finally ended that 25-year drought when he skipped his Brandon Curling Club foursome of Allan Lyburn, Richard Daneault and Derek Samagalski to a 10-6 triumph over former Brandonite Mike McEwen to clinch the Safeway Championship title and a berth in this year’s Brier.
  • Top line leading way in Wheat Kings' revival

    Some news, notes and quotes, and the latest edition of the good, the bad and the ugly with the Brandon Wheat Kings: The good:
  • The BU gym: The House that Hemmings built

    After 47 years of hoops history, this weekend will mark the end of an era at Brandon University. When the Brandon Bobcats battle the Lethbridge Pronghorns on Saturday night, it will be the final university basketball game ever played in the storied history of the BU gymnasium. The venerable old building has been the site of many memorable moments and unforgettable players, a history told through the championship banners that signify 19 Great Plains Athletic Conference men’s basketball titles, one Canada West championship and four national titles.
  • Wheat Kings search for answers, BU searches for a coach

    How critical of a weekend is this for head coach Cory Clouston and the Brandon Wheat Kings? By Saturday night, the struggling Wheat Kings (24-23-1-2) could find themselves tied with the Red Deer Rebels for the eighth and final playoff spot in the WHL’s Eastern Conference, with Red Deer holding all the cards with three games in hand.
  • Time for Sundher to break out for Wheat Kings

    Observations and notations while wondering which team is having the tougher January, the Brandon Wheat Kings or the Winnipeg Jets? (Trick question: Both teams were 2-6 heading into Thursday night’s Jets game).
  • McCrimmon gambles on this season's success

    I don’t know if Kelly McCrimmon is a big fan of blackjack, poker or playing the slots, but he sure has bet heavily on his Brandon Wheat Kings this season. The Wheat Kings owner/ general manager has gone against the odds and gambled a sizeable chunk of the future of his club to land a pair of signed 19-year-old NHL prospects in new centreman Kevin Sundher and previously acquired goaltender Brandon Anderson, as well as 20-year-old power forward Darian Dziurzynski — the best player moved at this season’s Western Hockey League overage deadline.

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