I, a humble j-school student, interviewed Sidney Crosby

This Friday, I was offered, out of the blue, the greatest opportunity of my young journalism career. I, Alex Hamilton, took a freelance gig for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette to cover the Pittsburgh Penguins’ practice in Banff.

It was a general practice notebook piece about the Pens’ upcoming road trip in western Canada. My lede was Patric Hornqvist and Daniel Sprong being shuffled down the lineup. Read it at post-gazette.com.

I talked to head coach Mike Sullivan, Patric Hornqvist, Daniel Sprong, Derick Brassard, and, yes, Sidney Crosby. No big deal.

I feel like one of those college-level goalies called to be an emergency practice goalie for NHL teams.

SAIT players help Foothills FC take national title

On Aug. 4, 2018, Calgary Foothills FC won the Premier Development League (PDL) national championship in Reading, Pa. On the team were two players from the SAIT men’s soccer team, Dean Northover and William Akio.  Continue reading “SAIT players help Foothills FC take national title”

The Dougie Hamilton trade: too many ifs

Dougie Hamilton. Photo by Alex Hamilton/SAITWell, Brad Treliving finally did it. He did the thing I’ve been dreading for the better part of three years, and traded Dougie Hamilton for magic beans.

The leadup to this deal reminded me strongly of the infamous Taylor Hall and PK Subban trades. It also has shades of another infamous Flames deal, the Dion Phaneuf trade in January 2010. It rests on several massive “ifs” about player performance. It does not, by any objective measure, automatically solve any of the problems with the roster. It is the sort of deal that could, and should, cost Brad Treliving his job if it backfires.  Continue reading “The Dougie Hamilton trade: too many ifs”

Catching up with retired Liberal MLA Harry Chase

Catching up with retired Liberal MLA Harry Chase

He has been officially retired from politics since 2012, but ex-MLA Harry Chase begins the interview at his Calgary home talking about his current efforts against a law in his second home in Parksville, B.C.

After being asked about how much time he splits between the two homes, Chase starts talking about how he’s fighting against a proposed speculation tax in B.C. that he described as “just a cash grab.”

It is an example of Chase’s political career in general: always with the knowledge that being even a lone dissenting voice can be satisfying in and of itself.

Fourteen years ago, Chase, previously a teacher for 34 years, won an upset victory as Calgary-Varsity’s first Liberal MLA. The district was thought to be deeply conservative.

After his retirement, Chase was succeeded by another PC MLA in Donna Kennedy-Glans. But in 2015, the seat was taken in the NDP wave by Stephanie McLean, now the minister for the Status of Women and Service Alberta, proving that his original progressive victory in Varsity was no fluke.

Reflecting on his electoral wins, legislative career, and the current state of Alberta politics, Chase remains proud of his progressive record. He has much he would like to offer young progressives as the province possibly heads towards another conservative government in 2019.

Continue reading “Catching up with retired Liberal MLA Harry Chase”

Working hard, not necessarily hurrying, to kickstart curling at SAIT

Working hard, not necessarily hurrying, to kickstart curling at SAIT

First published in The Weal, March 26, 2018.

This semester, some SAIT students have attempted to grow the game of curling, participating in a post-secondary intramural league at the Garrison Curling Club.

The sport is known for its loud yells (“hurry hard” being a well-known one) by curlers directing shots, as well as surprisingly complex strategy. However, this league was largely for fun and growing the game at the post-secondary level in Calgary.

Jamie Caine, a Business Administration student, has been curling for eight years, and met most of his teammates while in other leagues at the Garrison. He curled on a team with Riley Helston, Joshua Kiist and Jack Mackinnon, who are also in Business Administration.

However, Caine said he was the “least competitive” member of his team, saying he preferred curling for fun.

Continue reading “Working hard, not necessarily hurrying, to kickstart curling at SAIT”

SAIT track team runs over the competition in Edmonton

First published in The Weal, March 26, 2018.

The SAIT Trojans’ indoor track team set two provincial records on their way to a first-place finish at the provincial championships in Edmonton, which took place March 9-10.

The men’s team won gold in all six races they competed in – the 300m, 600m, 1,000m, 1,500m, and 3,000m, as well as the 4x400m relay.

This led to a first-place finish of 96 points, 55 ahead of second-place MacEwan University.

The women’s team also did well, with a second-place finish of 57 points.

Helping lead the charge for the women’s team was Ricki Christopher, who won gold in the 3,000m, 1,500m and 1,000m events. It was the women’s team’s first medal since indoor track began at SAIT in 2014.

Two of the more notable men’s performances belonged to Matthew Travaglini and Brent Stephen, who set new Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC)  records in the 1,500m and 600m races, respectively.

Continue reading “SAIT track team runs over the competition in Edmonton”

March For Our Lives Calgary rally photo gallery

March For Our Lives Calgary rally photo gallery

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting seems notably different than the countless other mass shootings in the U.S. since Columbine. The student survivors are determined to keep gun control in the news cycle for more than a week, and hold politicians directly accountable for their complete inaction and cowardice against the gun lobby. On March 24, 2018, this culminated in the largest student protest in American history. Calgarians turned out downtown to support their southern  neighbour. Global News estimated a turnout of about 200. Click below to view photo gallery.

Continue reading “March For Our Lives Calgary rally photo gallery”

Murphy Beya’s brilliant season

Originally published in The Weal, March 19, 2018.

Much of the credit for the SAIT Trojans men’s basketball team’s success this season goes to Murphy Beya, who has capped off his college career with his best season yet.

The forward won Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) All-Conference honours this season, and was shortly after was named tournament MVP at the ACAC championships in Lethbridge, Alta.

The highlight of the tournament for Beya was his game-tying three-point shot with 2.9 seconds left in the semi-final game against NAIT.

Beya described the shot as a broken play, where he eventually “thought he had an open shot” and took it.

“As soon as I hit that shot, I knew we had them,” said Beya.

Continue reading “Murphy Beya’s brilliant season”

Concrete toboggan team goes downhill fast – in a good way

Concrete toboggan team goes downhill fast – in a good way

First published in The Weal, March 12, 2018.

In late January, SAIT won a unique competition they helped pioneer 44 years ago, winning first place overall at the Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race (GNCTR) in Waterloo, Ont.

The competition involves schools from across the country designing and racing downhill a five-passenger toboggan with a metal frame and concrete running surface that must weigh less than 350 pounds.

SAIT won the King of the Hill race portion in a photo finish over the host University of Waterloo.

However, their overall victory came because they won first-place awards in Excellence in Safety, Best Superstructure Design, Best Braking Performance, and Best Theme Costumes (an Austin Powers theme.)

According to the team, the result came after careful analysis of last year’s team, which took first place in the race but finished fifth overall.

The team also had to overcome the disadvantages of a two-year school competing against more experienced four-year schools.

Continue reading “Concrete toboggan team goes downhill fast – in a good way”