Three words were uttered repeatedly over Sault Ste. Marie airwaves the past two days: Winter storm warning.
How bad was the weather up here? My daughter was scheduled to fly home to Sault Ste. Marie from Toronto on Tuesday. But her airplane couldn't touch down on the runway here and ended up having to fly back to Toronto.
Then there was the Hockey North Show that I host on Tuesdays at 6 p.m. on ESPN Radio. Concerned for the safety of guests who were scheduled to be on the HNS, we cancelled the show two hours before air time when the wintery weather became worse than it already was.
On a lighter side, there came a few e-mails from a certain JuniorHockey.com columnist who is stationed in sunny Mexico. Concerned chap (ya, right) that he is, our man Steve Heisler wanted to make sure we were safe and sound indoors from the wilds of winter.
Not to worry, I told Steve. It's hockey weather.
Apropos, after putting my Coulee Region Chill hockey jersey on over my pyjamas, I settled in for the night with my wife and our dog, drank a few beer and thanked God that the family was all safe.
Just another day in Hockeytown.
I have met and interviewed more than a dozen players from the Soo Eagles of the North American Hockey League this season.
And with each player I meet, it becomes more and more obvious that Eagles coach-general manager Bruno Bragagnolo and his assistant Gerry Fraser went for character as well as ability in putting their team together.
Really and truly, I have yet to meet a an Eagle who isn't nice, polite, respectful, friendly and down-to-earth.
If the Eagles have a prima donna on their team, I either haven't met him or he's been traded or released.
The Eagles, to be sure, are in first place in the North Division because they are seasoned, skilled and smart.
But character makes for team chemistry and the Eagles have plenty of that.
They also have a firm, solid ownership led by the self-made Ron Lavin, who has complete trust and faith in Bragagnolo and his program.
TALK OF JAMESTOWN
A transfer in ownership of the Jamestown Ironmen from Kenji Yamada to Michal Ovsjannikov is in the works, I am told.
It's a pending transaction, a story that we were in on from the opening line and a story that we will continue to follow as long as there is one.
As noted in previous columns, David Cole, a veteran junior hockey coach-general manager who has vast experience on both sides of the Canada-United States border, is involved with Ovsjannikov as a consultant. Previously, Cole worked for Yamada for two years before being abruptly dismissed before the start of the 2011-2012 season.
At any rate, bygones have apparently become bygones and Cole is part of the Ovsjannikov group that is working on a deal to purchase the Ironmen from Yamada.
Business is business, as they say.
Adding one plus one as easy arithmetic, I am thinking that Cole will be the next general manager in Jamestown should the sale of the team from Yamada to Ovsjannikov go through.
But what about Dan Daikawa, the current, second-year coach-general manager of the Ironmen who has taken the team from last place in the NAHL North Division in 2011-2012 to a first-place contender in 2012-2013?
Conventional wisdom suggests that, with Daikawa's two-year contract with Yamada set to expire after this season, that he won't be offered a new contract if Ovsjannikov buys the Ironmen and installs Cole as GM.
But if Cole is GM and not head coach, why would that position not be offered to Daikawa?
Daikawa has done an outstanding job in Jamestown under trying conditions. I say that if the Ironmen are sold that Ovsjannikov and Cole would be wise to at least seriously consider holding on to Daikawa.
From what I know of him, Daikawa is a good coach, a good guy and a good family man.
WINTER IN ABERDEEN
Through 46 games this season, Aberdeen Wings have a record of 12-28-6 and are in last place in the six-team Central Division of the NAHL.
Travis Winter is Aberdeen's third coach this 2012-2013 campaign and the 28-year old, who was an assistant in the United States Hockey League for parts of four seasons in Cedar Rapids, has the Wings at the .500 level through the 10 games that he has been in charge of hockey operations.
The Wings have a 4-4-2 record under Winter after having gone 8-16-4 under Pete Sauer and 0-8 with Garrett Strot at the helm.
Of note, Winter, a former captain during his Division 1, National Collegiate Athletic Association playing days at Bemidji State, was also an academic standout, making both the President's List and the Dean's List.
In other words, Winter appears to both hockey smart and book smart.
Looking ahead, while Aberdeen appears destined to miss the playoffs this season, it can return every player on its current roster for 2013-2014.
Scoring leader Justin Parizek is the only 1992 birth year player on the Wings, which means the likes of top-line forward Peter Krieger, top-four defenceman Jake Horton and goalies Chad Catt and Zach Nagelvoort are all eligible to return next season.
It's Winter time in Aberdeen.