View From the Booth...Tune In All Season!

Hello again hockey fans and welcome to another edition of "The View From the Booth". The summer is over, the calendar officially turned to fall this past week, and that means it's time for hockey season to get underway, the best time of the year! For the Monsters, the season actually started in mid September in suburban Denver, with rookie camp and then training camp last weekend. I was fortunate enough to be on hand for a couple days of training camp, my first experience at an NHL camp. It was awesome to be on hand, and I am already looking forward to my next opportunity to be able to attend camp. The energy level is so high, the excitement level is so high, and the anticipation of what everyone hopes will be the most successful season in Monsters history is at a high level. I can tell you from talking to many people in the Monsters organization and some folks with the Avalanche, the system is full of talent and depth, two things that are vital in making the big club and the AHL club successful.
While I was in Denver with photographer Dan Klamert from QTV, I was extremely impressed by everything about the Avalanche. Their staff was awesome to work with and extremely accommodating. Their facilities are great and the fans in Denver really turned out for the training camp practices and scrimmages at the Avs practice facility in Centennial, which is a great facility. My thanks go out to the Avalanche folks for their great hospitality on the camp trip.
Monsters training camp starts next week in Strongsville at Hoover Arena, and I will be on hand for each and every practice, in fact, on our website starting next Tuesday, I will give you the "Monsters Daily Training Camp Report". It will come to our website in video fashion with practice clips and interviews with our players and coaches. Camp is such a great time, it means the start of the regular season is just around the corner, and it's when players give everything they've got to earn a spot on our team.
Our radio and TV schedule was finalized this past week; you can read more about that on our main page of our website. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, big things were on the horizon in regards to that. The big thing is the fact that for the first time in the history of our franchise, every one of our games will be broadcast live over the airwaves. We are continuing are relationship with Cleveland sports talk power, ESPN 850 WKNR. They will air 40 of our games and joining our broadcasts this season will be WHKW, 1220 AM The Word. They will also air 40 of our games this season. This is terrific news for our great fans in and around Cleveland. Our management staff did a great job of making this work out for all parties involved. On the TV side, we will produce 15 games this season, 14 of them will take place at The Q. The one road game will be broadcast from Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, a North Division match up the day after St. Patrick's Day with the Griffins. I think our schedule has great balance from start to finish, and the second half of the schedule is very strong with several home games in the 2011 calendar year.
Sean Ritchlin, a former AHL, ECHL, IHL and NCAA player will be back on some of our TV broadcasts this coming season. This will mark the 7th season I've worked with Sean, we started out together in 2004 doing college hockey games in the CCHA, and for the last 4 years we've also worked the NCAA hockey regional’s for ESPN. Cleveland hockey legend Jock Callander will join me for some of our games as well. Jock is a great hockey mind and extremely knowledgeable about our great game of hockey. In the year I've been with the Monsters, I've got to know Jock more and more. He loves the game, and he's excited to be a part of our broadcast team.
On opening night, October 8th, we will have a two part feature on Cleveland hockey history on our TV/radio simulcast. We are doing this in honor of the 75 year anniversary of the AHL. Cleveland was one of the founding cities in the AHL and we are looking forward to a special night in the arena, and on our TV/radio simulcast. Among those that will a part of the features are, Bill Needham, Wayne Muloin, Ron Ward, Jock Callander and Phil Simon. The game will air on FOX Sports Ohio that night, and on the radio side, AM 1220 WHKW will air its first game of the season.
On the TV and radio broadcasts this season, will we bring back our "10 Questions" segment, and we will also be introducing a new segment called "Get to Know Your Lake Erie Monsters". These are great ways for everyone to learn about every player on our team. We are looking forward to both segments and we hope you are as well.
So make sure you continue to check in on our website each and every day for videos, news and features from Monsters training camp. Thanks for your great support of our team and we are all extremely excited to get the 2010-11 season rolling! Until next time, go Monsters!!!
Ben Holden  

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