Hockey is back in Saskatoon Friday night when the Saskatoon Blades will host the Swift Current Broncos in their home opener.
The two sides take the ice at SaskTel Centre at 7:05 p.m.
It has been an exciting off-season for the Blades. From new uniforms, trades and the return of their best player from injury. The Blades are hoping this is the year they make the playoffs for the first time since 2013.
The ‘Pac’ is back
What’s old is new again when the Blades hit the ice in the Friday night clash with Swift Current. The franchise made the permanent switch back to their classic “Pac Man” jerseys for the 2017-18 season. The Blades also unveiled a new third jersey.
— Ryan Brandt (@Ryan_Brandt) August 24, 2017
‘Be Like Bruce’ night honours former captain, police officer
Before the puck drops at SaskTel Centre, the Blades will be honouring Bruce Gordon, a former player who went on to become a police officer.
Gordon, who has terminal cancer, recently became a lawyer despite his fight with the illness.
Many of his former teammates, police partners and family will be on hand at Friday’s game to mark the occasion alongside him. Several fundraisers at the game will go towards cancer research and Blades players will wear “Be Like Bruce” stickers on their helmets all season long.
— Wray Morrison (@WrayMorrison) September 20, 2017
Flodell out, Kubic in
The Blades made a big change in goal just two days before opening night. Gone is 2016 MVP Logan Flodell to Swift Current and in his place will be Ryan Kubic.
Kubic comes over from the Vancouver Giants with 109 games of WHL experience. His 1998 birthdate means he will likely remain in Saskatoon for this season and next. Flodell, 20, is in his final year of eligibility and before the trade, the Blades were one player over the league limit on 20-year-old players. Coincidentally it is Swift Current, the team Flodell was traded to, that visit Saskatoon Friday night.
Overage situation settled
With the Flodell trade, Saskatoon locks in Cam Hebig, Braylon Shmyr and Evan Fiala as the three 20-year-old players the team can dress for any game. Shymr was the team’s top scorer in 2016-17 while Hebig is looking to return to the over one point-per-game pace he set before missing an entire season due to injury. Fiala, a towering blueliner just coming off an invite to the NHL Detroit Red Wings’ training camp, will captain the team.
Rookie Dach worth price of admission
Saskatoon will be home to one of the most exciting prospects in the country in Kirby Dach. The nearly six-foot-four 16-year-old scored 10 points in 19 games after getting special permission from the WHL to join the Blades full-time a year early late in the 2017 season. The returns of Hebig and Shmyr take some pressure off the young centreman, but he will expect to produce in what is his true rookie season.