Last week I commented on the Prince George Spruce Kings decision to hire Nick Drazenovic as their Skills and Development Coach.

This week, the Northern Elite Hockey Head Instructor, Owner speaks out about staying in his hometown but leaving the Prince George Cougars and turning his attention to the Spruce Kings.

Did the Cougars offer him a contact and if so why turn that down and later accept an offer with the Spruce Kings?

“They (Cougars) did. I guess most importantly this was not even a consideration when negotiations came to an end. Upon parting ways, I was shocked about other opportunities that came up that took some long consideration. Then Alex (Evin, Spruce Kings head coach) called me about potentially doing something with them this year. It’s a perfect fit for both parties and provides me with an opportunity to continue helping my favourite city.”

The 32-year-old Drazenovic spent the past couple of years as the Cougars Director of Player Development. How is that role different, if at all with the Spruce Kings?

“The role with the Kings will be very similar to the Cougars. Potentially it is a little more skill-specific and less time requirement enabling the growth of Northern Elite Hockey.  My goal is to help young athletes reach their goals. I want to be the difference that I needed growing up in northern BC.”

Running Northern Elite Hockey and helping the Spruce Kings should keep Drazenovic in his hometown long-term, right?

“I hope so! It’s extremely sad to me that I’m no longer with the Cougars as I’ve confidently and publicly stated the whole mission was to put multiple banners up with them and be their long term. That obviously didn’t work out but now it is my goal to help athletes reach their goals. I think there is a massive hole in the north regarding hockey development that I’d love to be a part of the change.”

Drazenovic, who played 12 games in the NHL as part of a 9-year pro hockey career, has stated he has no desire to take a hockey job outside of PG. Is his door still door open for a return one day to the Cougars or a WHL position in another city?

“Doors will always open and close. If I’ve learned anything from my playing days it’s that doors always open and close. The key is to stay positive and believe in yourself. If the door opened back up and under the right circumstance, sure I think it was naive of me to be so set on helping my home town team, so, yes, I have changed my mind and will consider all future options.”

Drazenovic has been very appreciative of the backing he has received throughout his hockey career.

“I’d love to say thank you to all the fans. I say this all the time and it might sound so cliché but the support in this city has been so tremendous from day one.”

Drazenovic always seems upbeat. He is highly motivated to succeed. The many ups and downs of his hockey career have helped him put into perspective his goals going forward.

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On a personal note, I just reached the 40-year mark in Prince George broadcasting.

August 16th, 1979 is when I first came on the airwaves at CJCI (620), two years after beginning a broadcast career in Smithers.

I would like to extend a big Thank-You to the many that have reached out and the many more that have either listened on the radio and/or read this column which began in 2005.

While the media business (and my job description) has gone through some changes over the years, I have been fortunate to have been given the opportunity to be employed by the same company for this long duration of time.

As individuals, we all look to the future for more in terms of career advancement and personal growth.

Today, I reflect back and appreciate how fortunate I have been.

Here’s hoping that your goals and desires come true.

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FROM THE QUOTE RACK:

Rosie Ruiz, who was busted for cheating in the Boston and New York Marathons has died at 66. Her funeral will be the one where the hearse gets to the cemetery first by taking a shortcut.

*Comedy writer Jim Barach http://jokesbyjim.blogspot.ca/

1980 Boston Marathon “winner” Rosie Ruiz has died. Most people take a stairway to heaven, but old Rosie will probably jump onto an escalator 3/4 of the way there.

*Contributor Marc Ragovin 

Sheepish authorities announced they won’t pursue a possession case against Georgia Southern QB Shai Werts after police mistook some bird poop on the hood of his car for cocaine. Dropping the charges? No kidding (but he’s still on the hook for speeding).

*Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times http://www.seattletimes.com/author/dwight-perry/

Apparently SF 49ers Jimmy Garoppolo threw interceptions on five straight pass attempts at practice today. Who does he think he is, an ageing Brett Favre?

*Comedy writer Janice Hough of Palo Alto, California www.leftcoastsportsbabe.com

Word is that Oakland Raiders coach Jon Gruden is getting antsy over Antonio Brown’s recent practice no-shows. Looks like Chucky is experiencing more ‘Child’s Play.’

*Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Historians say the practice of setting figures a penny short of one dollar began roughly a century ago. It continues today with 99-cent stores and Canadian Football League salaries.

*Canadian comedy writer RJ Currie www.Sportsdeke.com

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Hartley Miller is the news and sports supervisor and morning news anchor for 94.3 the GOAT and Country 97.
He also is the 94.3 radio colour commentator for P.G. Cougars home games.
His column appears Fridays on myprincegeorgenow.com.
Send along a quote, note, or anecdote to hmiller@thegoatrocks.ca