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Last updateTue, 23 Jul 2024 1pm

Nill named back-to-back NHL General Manager of the Year

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Twice is a charm for Hanna native Jim Nill as he won a second consecutive NHL General Manager of the Year award.
The NHL announced that Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill has won the 2023-24 Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year Award.
Nill has been at the helm of the Dallas Stars for 11 seasons. He is only the second General Manager to win the award twice. The other is New York Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello.
The General Manager of the Year is voted on by a 42-member panel, that includes all 32 general managers in the league. Nill secured 17 of these votes.
Under Nill’s leadership this year, the Dallas Stars made it to the Conference Finals, only to fall to the Stanley Cup finalists Edmonton Oilers. His fingerprints were all over this team, including signing Matt Duchene, who had 65 points in 80 games. He has also maintained a strong core of young players.
Nill started his hockey journey in Hanna and was playing Junior B right out of Bantam.
He was a member of the 1974-1975 Drumheller Falcons and averaged over a point a game. He played alongside players like future NHLer Merlin (the Magician) Malinowski, Ron Rose and Ryan Wecker.
After suiting up for the Medicine Hat Tigers and a year at the University of Calgary, Nill joined the Canadian National team and played in the 1980 Olympics.
Nill made his NHL debut in 1982 and through the decade, spent time in St. Louis, Vancouver, Boston, Winnipeg, and finally Detroit.
On the management side, he was a scout for the Ottawa Senators and then joined the front office in Detroit for 19 years before going to Dallas.
In April of this year, Nill was named to the management groups for the NHL Four Nations Face-Off. He, along with Don Sweeney of the Bruins have been named assistant general managers of Canada’s Men’s Olympic Teams for the 2026 Winter Olympic games in Italy.


Big Valley’s Zeke Thurston leads Pool A at Stampede

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Big Valley Cowboy Zeke Thurston is on the road to make Stampede history, and judging by the pool results, he could make it happen.
Thurston is competing at the Calgary Stampede in the Saddle Bronc. He also has three Stampede crowns under his hat, winning in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
His results in the first three days of the competition put him on track for making it a possible four.
On Friday, June 5, he scored an 83, and then on Saturday, he scored the day’s best with an 85.5 on Cloudly Skys. He rounded out the Pool A competition on Sunday, July 7 with a score of 88.5 riding After Party.
So far this Stampede, he has earned $15,500 and has earned his spot in the finals.
Thursason, 29, has been riding professionally since 2013. He finished first in the 2023 world standings and has four world titles to his name.

1,500 mile road trip to Badlands Science camp

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    The Badlands Science Camp at the Royal Tyrrell Museum is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for youngsters to live out their palaeontological dreams.
    For one family it also turned out to be the road trip of a lifetime.
    Jason Howe and his husband Adrien Perez Boluda registered their twin daughters Olivia and Clara for last week’s Science Camp and were set to board a plane from Los Angeles to Alberta to make that happen. The labour dispute at WestJet however certainly made that a little tougher.
    “It wasn’t just for them exactly, we had also planned a trip already, and we had hotel rooms booked,” said Jason.
    The family was through Drumheller last year and that’s what sold them on the Science Camp.
    “When we got the message our flight was cancelled, it was around 10 a.m. on Saturday morning. We were due in Drumheller at the museum at 6 the following evening, so we just had barely enough time to drive,” said Howe. “One of my twins flopped down on the bed and said, “This was going to be the worst summer ever.’”
    There wasn’t much WestJet could do.
    “They (WestJet) were caught with their pants down. It seems like they hadn’t done anything to deal with the possibility,” he said.
    The only option WestJet gave them was to cancel the flight. With bags already packed, they opted for the family truckster.
    “‘I said, “throw the bags in the car, we’re going”,” laughs Jason.
    They hit the highway, and after 1,500 miles, a 3-hour nap in Salt Lake City, they arrived at camp, and on time.
    He said his daughters were looking forward to the camp and one is a budding palaeontologist. When speaking to Jason they were halfway through camp and so far, enjoying it.
    “They were in a fantastic mood on the way up, and we earned our brownie points as the best dads ever.”
    And the dads also got a break and headed to the mountains while the twins were at camp.
    As for the ride home, they are able to take it a little easier, however, it did open their eyes to possibly taking more road trips.
    “My husband is from Spain and we talked about doing road trips in Europe but it’s not really a European thing,” he said, noting it seems like the distances are too far. “But now we realize we drove the distance from where my husband is from in Spain, to Poland.”


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