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Second Prince George Cougars’ virtual panel puts fans in general manager’s chair

Cats’ hockey operations asking public to submit more questions
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General Manager and Head Coach Mark Lamb talks to his players during a timeout against the Victoria Royals at the CN Centre (via Prince George Cougars/Brett Cullen Photography)

Calling all armchair general managers and athletes in Prince George!

If you missed the Cougars’ town hall earlier this month, the team is set to host a second virtual panel made up of its hockey operations staff.

The goal of this ‘Hockey Hot Stove’ is to once again hear questions, comments and concerns from fans in the city, and across northern B.C., about the on-ice product future of the team moving forward.

Questions of the same nature were also addressed on May 7’s town hall meeting, which switched to online rather than in-person as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Everyone wants to win a championship and you can’t just automatically put a couple players in that lineup and you’ll win a championship,” said General Manager and Head Coach Mark Lamb when asked how long it’ll be before the Cats endure a deep postseason.

“You know, a lot of factors come into play. But, I’m really excited about the direction of this time. We’ve got lots of good prospects and I think in the next two to three years, we can be a really good team.”

In late April, Prince George selected three first-round picks in the 2020 WHL Bantam Draft.

Riley Heidt, Caden Brown and Ryker Singer respectively have assets, Cougars’ scouting staff has said, that can benefit the organization as it sets new playoff goals over the next several years.

Scouting Director Bob Simmonds told PrinceGeorgeMatters in an earlier interview the team has a bright outlook on where it’ll be down the road.

“We wanted to get players that could score goals, we wanted to get players that could set up players to score goals and, you know, notionally, I had it in the back of my head that our first couple of picks would be forwards,” Simmonds explained.

“Of course, Riley Heidt was an absolute no brainer and to start from that point was tremendous. Even when Ryker Singer was there for our third pick in the first round, we looked at each other and we were very very happy and pleasantly surprised that he was even there as an option.”

The upcoming hot stove will include the long-time scouting director for Prince George’s WHL franchise.

Simmonds and Lamb will also sit alongside Associate Coach Jason Smith and Cougars’ Co-Owner and alumni Eric Brewer for the panel, while team broadcaster Fraser Rodgers hosts.

Fans have until 5 p.m. on Friday, June 12 to submit a question and the hot stove is scheduled to be published online the following Wednesday, June 17.

You can submit questions and find more information on the Prince George Cougars’ website.




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Kyle  Balzer

About the Author: Kyle Balzer

Kyle Balzer graduated with distinction from BCIT's Broadcast & Online Journalism program in 2016. Since moving to Prince George, he has covered a variety of stories from education & Indigenous relations, to community interests & sports.
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