On one hand, the Prince George Cougars lead the B.C. Division and the Western Conference with just 13 regular season games left.
On the other hand, the Cats just finished a 2-3-0-1 home-stand that bumped them out of the CHL top 10 for the first time in over four months. (They are an honourable mention).
The Cougars still have not lost more than two games in a row all season but doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of concern from a hopeful fan-base about the team’s performance.
It seems most Cougars enthusiasts have an answer to line combinations, which goalie should start, why the power play is struggling and so on.
With a veteran filled team consisting of fifteen 19 or 20-year-olds and three major trades to upgrade the roster, the Cats are “all in to win” which brings about enormous promise, belief and hope.
Greg Pocock leads the EDGEPRO Sports and Entertainment ownership group that includes John Pateman, Eric Brewer, Dan Hamhuis, Ray Fortier and Ernest Ouellet.
Pocock is also the team President/Governor.
He joined the Voice of the Cougars, “Dapper” Dan O’Connor and myself for an extensive interview this week between the second and third periods of Monday’s 4-3 loss to the Spokane Chiefs.
We touched on a wide variety of topics.
“I don’t think there is anybody in the world whose expectations are higher than mine. I take the losses very very hard,” stated Pocock, in reference to the recent chatter heard around the city when the team loses a game or two.
Pocock has seen his profile in the community rise dramatically in the three years since deciding
to devote his time to helping run the hockey team.
“It’s been a real change in lifestyle for me and probably an even bigger change and harder change for my family. We can’t go anywhere without being recognized. This is something I brought on and I chose to do this. We’re not complaining and continue to move forward.”
In 2013-14, the last season before EDGEPRO took over, the Cougars averaged 1,693 fans a game.
With six regular season home games left in 2016-17 that number has more than doubled to an average of 3,467, however, Pocock emphasized that they are still not making ends meet.
“We are happy to see the continued growth of the attendance in our building. It seems to be sustainable growth. It’s not people jumping on a bandwagon that are going to be here today and gone tomorrow.
Having said that, this team is not making money. This team is being subsidized by the ownership group and that is not a circumstance that is going to continue indefinitely. We are behind in projections as far as numbers go. Although we are happy to see where we are it, we’re not satisfied where we are at either.”
Pocock encourages feedback from the fans in order to enhance their enjoyment for going to the games.
“When I do talk to people probably 90 per cent of the comments are positive and favorable. The comments that we have received that are not positive are generally quite constructive and well thought out. The bulk of the things we have received criticisms on are things that are a bit beyond our control. Things like food quality, food services, which is under contract to the City. It’s got nothing to do with the Cougars although it is part of the fan experience in the building.
The second biggest amount of complaints we have received is on the ticket services. That is something we can do something about and there will be some pending announcements coming towards the end of the season.
The third thing is the parking situation in the parking lot, particularly issues around handicapping parking. We have facilitated a number of meetings with the people that utilize that particular part of the parking lot and CN Centre who’s in control of it. I think we have made some progress but I am not satisfied that we are where we have to be in order to keep our fan base happy on that front.”
The full interview with Pocock, which includes his thoughts on General Manager Todd Harkins and Head Coach Richard Matvichuk, can be heard here.
Passion, emotion, dedication and intensity are words to describe Pocock and the
Cougars hockey faithful.
Playoffs start in just five weeks. The expectations of success in the 23 years of the P.G. Cougars have never been greater.
From the Quote Rack:
Question: What’s the difference between a number of Patriots, who plan on skipping the White House visit so as not to be seen with Donald Trump and Myles Garret, who plans on skipping the NFL Draft in Philadelphia so as not to be seen with the Browns?
Answer: About 136 miles
Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California
The Cleveland Browns have reduced prices on 40% of their season tickets. It’s a good start. How long until the team starts paying people to show up?
Comedy writer Janice Hough of Palo Alto, California www.leftcoastsportsbabe.com
Some NFL veterans have volunteered their brains for research. Is there a “Buy One Get One Free” deal available in the Bay Area for both Jed York AND Kyle Shanahan?
Comedy writer TC Chong of Vancouver http://alwaysfunny.com/
And in case you missed it:
A male resident in a Nebraska nursing home punched another resident in his face over a cafeteria-seat dispute. Hmm. So that’s where CFL greats Joe Kapp and Angelo Mosca retired.
Comedy writer RJ Currie www.Sportsdeke.com
Hartley Miller is the sports director and morning news anchor for 94.3 the Goat.
He also is the 94.3 radio color commentator for P.G. Cougars home games.
His column appears Fridays on myprincegeorgenow.com.
Send along a quote, note, or anecdote to firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow him on twitter: @Hartley_Miller