Sunday, August 28, 2016

Cougars sifting through resumes . . . Silvertips getting 'Trumped' . . . SJHL to salute Mr. Hockey

The Prince George Cougars are in the market for an assistant coach, general manager Todd Harkins confirmed to Taking Note on Sunday. They have a vacancy after Michael Hengen left the team after two seasons. . . . "We have had quite a few resumes come in and are slowly sifting through them,” Harkins said. . . . A new assistant coach will work alongside head coach Richard Matvichuk and associate coach Steve O’Rourke, both of whom are starting their first seasons with the Cougars. . . . As for Hengen, he told Taking Note that he has “decided to move on from coaching.” It was, he added, “an absolute dream come true to coach in the WHL.” He had to make a “tough decision,” he continued, “but it’s a very necessary choice that I had to make.” . . . Brent Arsenault, who had been with the organization since 2005 and also was the education advisor, has left the Cougars, too. Harkins said that the Cougars have added Mary LaMarre as the education advisor. She “was Brent’s contact and right-hand person at Prince George Secondary School,” Harkins said.
——

With two of the WHL’s Big Three having left for the NHL over the past month, what about the one who remains? Bruce Hamilton, the majority owner, president and governor of the Kelowna Rockets, told Larry Fisher of the Kelowna Rockets: “I’m 59 and I’m not so sure that’s in line for me right now. I’m happy here right now. We want to win again — that’s the most important thing for us, and to continue to have one of the better franchises in the Canadian Hockey League.” . . . Kelly McCrimmon, the owner of the Brandon Wheat Kings, has signed on with the NHL’s Las Vegas expansion franchise as assistant general manager. Tim Speltz, the long-time general manager of the Spokane Chiefs, is leaving to join the Toronto Maple Leafs as a western scout. . . . Hamilton? Well, he added: “If the right thing came along that interested me, yeah, I would listen. You’d be stupid not to listen.” . . . Fisher’s story is right here.
——
The Everett Silvertips are being ‘Trumped’ on Tuesday. . . . Donald Trump, the Republican presidential candidate, has Everett’s Xfinity Arena booked for the entire day, so the Silvertips will be on the outside looking in. Unless, of course, they plan on attending The Donald’s rally, which begins at 7 p.m., although the doors apparently open at 4. . . . The Silvertips wrapped up their main camp with the annual Green vs. Grey intrasquad game on Sunday afternoon.
——
The Saskatoon Blades have signed F Brady Nicholas, who was a fifth-round selection in the 2016 bantam draft. From St. Albert, Alta., the 6-foot-0, 178-pound Nichols had 43 points, 14 of them goals, in 30 games with the bantam AAA St. Albert Saints last season. 
——
The Moose Jaw Warriors announced the signings of four players, each of them taller than 6-foot-0, following their intrasquad game on Sunday night. . . . D Matthew Benson of Surrey, B.C., played last season with the Delta Hockey Academy Elite 15s. The 6-foot-1, 187-pound Benson recorded one goal and 12 assists in 33 games. He will turn 16 on Nov. 24. . . . D Matthew Sanders of Calgary was a fifth-round selection in the 2016 bantam draft. Sanders, 6-foot-2 and 191 pounds, played last season with the bantam AAA Calgary Bisons, scoring seven goals and adding 10 assists in 36 games. . . . F Kale Clouston, 6-foot-4 and 177 pounds, is from Rockyview, Alta. He was a fifth-round pick in the 2015 bantam draft. Last season, with the minor midget AAA Rockeyview Raiders, he had 39 points, including 14 goals, in 62 games. . . . F Brecon Wood of Edmonton also signed. The 6-foot-2, 168-pounder was selected in the seventh round of the 2015 bantam draft. He will turn 16 on Dec. 5. Last season, he had 15 points, four of them goals, in 23 games with the OHA-Edmonton team in the Canadian Sports School Hockey League.
——
When the Moose Jaw Warriors held their intrasquad game on Sunday night, admission was by donation with all proceeds going to the Canadian Mental Health Association in memory of Ethan Williams. . . . It is important that people like Williams not be forgotten. . . . Two years ago, Williams, a Warriors prospect from Winnipeg, took his own life at 16 years of age. . . . Mike McIntyre of the Winnipeg Free Press explored Williams’ story right here.
——
SJHLThe SJHL has announced that all of its players will wear No. 9 patches this season in honour of the late Gordie Howe, who died on June 20, 2016. Born in Floral, Sask., Mr. Hockey grew up in Saskatoon. . . . “As a league from Mr. Howe’s home province, from what he did for hockey in Saskatchewan and the world, the SJHL’s governors wanted to recognize him somehow,” SJHL president Bill Chow said. “It was decided a No. 9 patch would be worn on the sweaters. Mr. Howe meant a lot to hockey and the Saskatchewan people. He is the epitome of what Saskatchewan hockey is all about — heart, soul, character, dedication and commitment.”
——
By now you will be aware of the thief in goaltending gear who hit a beer store in Russell, Man., the other night. All of the publicity this thief has received reminded me of a gem of a book that I don’t think received its proper due when it was published in 2005. The book, by Julian Rubinstein, carries the title Ballad of the Whiskey Robber: A True Story of Bank Heists, Ice Hockey, Transylvanian Pelt Smuggling, Moonlighting Detectives, and Broken Hearts. . . . Seriously, that is the title. . . . It is the story of Attila Ambrus, who moonlighted as a gentleman thief while trying to carve out a career as a professional goaltender in Budapest. . . . This is a truly bizarre story and a worthwhile read, one that will leave you shaking your head in disbelief.
———
Got a tip or some information you feel could be useful to me, feel free to email me at greggdrinnan@gmail.com.
———


There has never been a subscription fee for this blog, but if you enjoy stopping by here, why not consider donating to the cause? Just click HERE. . . and thank you very much.
PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Departures in Prince George . . . Rockets sign first-round pick . . . Koep, Matsuba won't be back

The Prince George Cougars have yet to announce it but sources have told Taking Note that assistant coaches Michael Hengen and Brent Arsenault have left the organization. . . . The names of both men have been removed from the Cougars’ website. . . . Hengen had been with the Cougars since July 3, 2014, when he signed on as assistant coach and strength-and-conditioning coach. A native of Surrey, B.C., he had been with the BCHL’s Penticton Vees for four seasons prior to joining the Cougars. He is a former WHL player who split 226 regular-season games between the Swift Current Broncos, Edmonton Oil Kings, Moose Jaw Warriors, Calgary Hitmen and Saskatoon Blades. . . . Arsenault had been with the Cougars since 2005. He signed on as an assistant coach and in 2007 also became the team’s education advisor. . . . The Cougars’ coaching staff now comprises head coach Richard Matvichuk, who is prepping for his first season on a three-year contract after replacing Mark Holick, and associate coach Steve O’Rourke, who also is about to begin his first season in Prince George. He had been on staff with the Red Deer Rebels before leaving after last season.
——
Assuming that the Cougars will hire an assistant coach, by my count there are three WHL teams on the hunt. . . . The Victoria Royals are looking to fill the spot created when veteran assistant Enio Sacilotto was moved up to director of prospect development and scout. That came about after Grant Armstrong, the Royals’ assistant general manager, player personnel signed with the Brandon Wheat Kings as their general manager. . . . The Calgary Hitmen, meanwhile, have yet to replace Trent Whitfield, a one-season assistant coach who now is an assistant with the AHL’s Providence Bruins.
——
D Kaedan Korczak has signed with the Kelowna Rockets. Korczak, the 10th overall pick in the 2016 WHL bantam draft, announced the signing on Twitter. . . . The Rockets traded up at the draft in order to pick the native of Yorkton, Sask. . . . The 6-foot-1, 170-pounder had 15 points, two of them goals, with the midget AAA Yorkton Maulers last season. He will be returning to the Maulers for a second season.
——
F Andrew Koep has decided not to return to the Edmonton Oil Kings for a third season. The 19-year-old from Lloydminster, Alta., has chosen instead to attend the U of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. . . . Koep was a second-round pick by the Oil Kings in the 2012 bantam draft. . . . Last season, he had 22 points, 11 of them goals, in 71 games. In 130 career regular-season games, Koep put up 63 points, including 26 goals.
——
D Mark Matsuba won’t be back with the Brandon Wheat Kings for his 19-year-old season. From St. Albert, Alta., Matsuba has chosen to retire. He was fourth-round selection in the 2012 bantam draft. . . . Last season, he had a goal and five assists in 50 regular-season games. In two seasons, he put up 10 points, two of them goals, in 86 games. . . . He played in only two playoff games during the Wheat Kings’ championship run last spring. . . . If you missed it, Perry Bergson of the Brandon Sun also reported Saturday that D Jordan Thomson, 20, has retired so won’t be returning to the Wheat Kings.
———
Got a tip or some information you feel could be useful to me, feel free to email me at greggdrinnan@gmail.com.
———



There has never been a subscription fee for this blog, but if you enjoy stopping by here, why not consider donating to the cause? Just click HERE. . . and thank you very much.
PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Friday, August 26, 2016

NHL camps to cut into opening night WHL rosters . . . Blades lose two vets . . . Brandon d-man retires


Fans of the WHL should be prepared to have some of their favourite players missing for the first couple weeks of the regular season, or perhaps even longer. . . . Because of the World Cup of Hockey, the NHL’s regular season won’t begin until Oct. 12, five days later than a season ago. With so many
players involved with the WCOH, NHL teams are going to need bodies to fill out training camp rosters, which could mean major junior players will get longer looks. . . . NHL rookie camps open in mid-September, about when WHL teams are wrapping up the exhibition season. . . . As Matthew Gourlie of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald reports, the top two goaltenders on the Warriors’ depth chart — Zach Sawchenko (Nashville Predators) and Brody Willms (Los Angeles Kings) — will attend NHL rookie camps as free-agent invitees. . . . As Warriors GM Alan Millar told Gourlie: “We're going to have to expect that we're going to be missing guys opening weekend. We're going to be have to be on our toes in terms of what is going on with Willms and Sawchenko and managing our goaltending situation if it gets to be the start of the season.” . . . The Warriors also will have four of their top skaters — F Brett Howden (Tampa Bay Lightning), F Noah Gregor (San Jose Sharks), D Dimitri Zaitsev (Washington Capitals) and F Tanner Jeannot (Minnesota Wild) — at NHL camps. . . . Of course, every one of the WHL’s 22 teams and their fans will be in the same boat as opening night approaches — watching and waiting to see who will be back from the NHL.
——
If you haven’t yet seen the story from Taylor Rocca of the Cranbrook Townsman in which Kootenay Ice president and general manager Jeff Chynoweth points an accusing finger at many of those involved with the CHL import draft, it is right here. . . . Among other things, Chynoweth told Rocca: “Right now, to me, it looks like the commissioners of the OHL and QMJHL look the other way and are ignoring a serious problem when it comes to the import draft. It's broken. It's the haves and the have-nots. It's not a level playing field. Something has to be done about it.” . . . This is serious stuff.
——
Taylor Rocca is one of the best young sports reporters to surface in Western Canada in a while. Unfortunately, he won’t be plying his trade in the newspaper business for much longer. The WHL has hired him as its communications co-ordinator. Rocca will spend most of his time on content creation and keeping new material, much of which he no doubt will produce, flowing to the WHL website.
——
The Saskatoon Blades were without a couple of veteran players as training camp opened. . . . F Terrell Draude, 19, apparently will go to school. From Warman, Sask., the 6-foot-3, 220-pounder
played two seasons with the Calgary Hitmen before being dealt to the Blades early last season. He had 15 points, including nine goals, in 47 games with the Blades. In 167 career regular-season games, Draude put up 54 points, 24 of them goals. . . . D Duane Perillat, 19, chose to retire. Perillat, from Saskatoon, played 53 games with the Moose Jaw Warriors in 2014-15 and 11 last season. He finished the season by playing 31 games with the Blades, recording 16 points, including 11 assists. In 95 career games, he had 46 points, including 13 goals. . . . Meanwhile, Darren Zary of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix also reports that D Chance Patterson, 19, is with the Blades after being released by the Edmonton Oil Kings. Patterson is from Foam Lake, Sask., and played midget AAA with the Saskatoon Blazers. With the Oil Kings, the 6-foot-3, 190-pounder played in 28 games in 2014-15 and 30 games last season. He was pointless as a freshman and had a goal and an assist in his sophomore season.
——
After playing in 237 regular-season games with four teams, D Jordan Thomson has chosen to retire rather than return as a 20-year-old. He would have been one of five 20s in camp with the defending-champion Brandon Wheat Kings, the others being G Jordan Papirny, F Duncan Campbell, F Tyler Coulter and F Reid Duke. . . . A native of nearby Wawanesa, Thomson now is working for Brandon Maintenance Services while deciding whether to go to school at Assiniboine Community College. . . . “I think of the situation I had with Brandon and ending it off on such a positive note,” Thomson told Perry Bergson of the Brandon Sun. “There are so many 20-year-olds coming back, high-calibre players, I might as well end my career off on an absolute high.” . . . The Kamloops Blazers selected Thomson with the fourth overall selection in the 2011 bantam draft. They later traded him to the Saskatoon Blades, who moved him to the Swift Current Broncos. Brandon acquired him from Swift Current on Nov. 25. . . . In 237 regular-season games, he totalled 69 points, including 16 goals.
———
Got a tip or some information you feel could be useful to me, feel free to email me at greggdrinnan@gmail.com.
———
Coaching

The SJHL’s Notre Dame Hounds have hired Taras McEwen as their new assistant coach. He will work alongside Clint Mylymok, the Hounds’ general manager and head coach. . . . McEwen takes over from Bear Trapp, who left after two seasons. Trapp is the son of former WHL F Doug Trapp and the grandson of Barry Trapp, a former WHL GM, assistant coach and head coach, and a long-time scout. . . . In the same vein, McEwen is the son of Brad McEwen, who is a scout with the NHL’s Calgary Flames after working for the Medicine Hat Tigers and Swift Current Broncos in various roles for a number of years. . . . Taras, from Whitewood, Sask., most recently was head coach of the junior B Fort Knox entry in the Prairie Junior Hockey League. He also will be the hockey operations assistant in Notre Dame’s hockey office. . . . The Hounds’ main camp opens Aug. 30 and is open to the public.
———



There has never been a subscription fee for this blog, but if you enjoy stopping by here, why not consider donating to the cause? Just click HERE. . . and thank you very much.
PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Chynoweth blows whistle on import draft . . . Royals make front-office move . . . Chiefs goaltender retires



F Grant Toulmin (Swift Current, 2005-07, 2008-09) has signed a one-year contract with Katowice (Poland, PHL). Last season, with the Manchester Storm (England, UK Elite), he had 53 points, including 35 assists, in 61 games. This summer, he played with the Sydney Ice Dogs (Australia, AIHL), putting up 15 goals and 16 assists in 21 games. The AIHL regular season ended on Sunday; the Ice Dogs missed the playoffs. . . .
F Adam Courchaine (Medicine Hat, Vancouver, 2001-05) has signed a one-year contract with Székesfehérvár (Hungary, Erste Bank Liga). Last season, with Hradec Králové (Czech Republic, Extraliga), he had 17 goals and 13 assists in 48 games. He tied for the team lead in goals. Courchaine signed a two-year extension with Hradec Králové in January, but terminated the contract prior to signing with Székesfehérvár.
-——
Jeff Chynoweth, the president and general manager of the Kootenay Ice, has had enough of the CHL import draft as it presently exists. Chynoweth, the son of the late Ed Chynoweth, the long-time head of the CHL and WHL, told Taylor Rocca of the Cranbrook Townsman on Thursday that too many
CHL teams cut deals with player agents before the draft is even held.
“Until the CHL changes the rules of the import draft, nothing is going to change,” Chynoweth told Rocca. “I know when my dad was in charge of the CHL, he would recognize and strive to address the issues. Right now, to me, it looks like the commissioners of the OHL and QMJHL look the other way and are ignoring a serious problem when it comes to the import draft. It's broken.
“It’s the haves and the have-nots. It’s not a level playing field. Something has to be done about it.”
Chynoweth claims that “the Western Hockey League polices itself against the backdoor deals that go on with the import draft.”
The Ice had the first selection in this year’s import draft and took Russian F Klim Kostin, a 17-year-old who is projected as an early selection in the NHL’s 2017 draft. Originally, Chynoweth had high hopes for landing Kostin, but he has signed with the KHL’s Moscow Dynamo.
(The Ice’s other import pick, Russian D Nikita Radzivilyuk, 17, is expected to arrived in Cranbrook this weekend, in time to take part in training camp.)
It long has been known that player agents drive the annual import draft, oftentimes picking and choosing to which teams clients will report. It has been suggested at times that the CHL needs to go to a system in which a player has to opt into the draft and, in doing so, agrees to play for the team that selects him.
Chynoweth has come around to agree with that line of thinking.
“Critics will say an opt-in doesn't guarantee a player is coming,” he told Rocca. “Absolutely it doesn't. But at least you know that Kootenay or London have the same list of players to choose from.
“Until we do that, it's not a level playing field.”
——
Enio Sacilotto has moved from the bench to the front office with the Victoria Royals, Sacilotto, a veteran coach, had been a Royals’ assistant coach for  six seasons, going back to their days as the Chilliwack Bruins (remember them?). . . . Sacilotto, 58, has been named the Royals’ director of prospect development and also will work as a scout. . . . A vacancy was created earlier in the week when Grant Armstrong, the Royals’ assistant GM, player personnel, signed on with the Brandon Wheat Kings as general manager. . . . The Royals now are looking for a head coach to work alongside Dave Lowry. . . . Sacilotto ran the Royals’ bench at times last season, going 5-6-2 while Lowry was tending to duties as the head coach of Canada’s national junior team.
——
If you were wondering why Tim Speltz, then the Spokane Chiefs’ general manager, acquired G Jayden Sittler, 20, from the Lethbridge Hurricanes earlier this summer, well, you have your answer. . .


. Tyson Verhelst, a 19-year-old native of Brandon, has chosen to retire. Verhelst played in 81 games for the Chiefs over the past two seasons, including 55 in 2015-16 when he was 23-22-5, 3.16, .892. . . . “It’s a tough one,” Speltz told Thomas Clouse of the Spokane Spokesman-Review. “(Verhelst) had an injury. He suddenly lost his passion. When we traded for Sittler, I knew we were in trouble.” . . . . As things now stand, Sittler will open the season as the Chiefs’ starter. The backup is expected to be either Matthew Berlin or Donovan Buskey. Berlin, 18, is from Edmonton and was a seventh-round pick in the 2013 bantam draft. Buskey, 16, is from North Vancouver. He was a third-round pick in the 2015 bantam draft. . . . Speltz stepped down as GM earlier this month in order to join the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs as head western scout. However, he continues to help the Chiefs through the transition.
——
F Massimo Rizzo hasn’t signed with the Kamloops Blazers, who selected him 15th overall in the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft, but he will be in their rookie camp when it opens (today) Friday at the Sandman Centre. . . . Rizzo, from Burnaby, B.C., played for the Penticton Vees as they beat the West Kelowna Warriors 2-0 in a BCHL exhibition game on Wednesday night, then left for Kamloops on Thursday. . . . During an appearance on Radio NL’s Jim Harrison Show earlier this month, Blazers majority owner Tom Gaglardi indicated that he didn’t foresee a problem in signing Rizzo but acknowledged that the family had said it wanted time to consider the options. . . . One WHL insider told Taking Note on Thursday that the family “told everyone they were thinking college” prior to the draft. . . . After watching Rizzo on the ice and then in Wednesday’s game, Penticton assistant coach Jason Becker, a former WHL player and assistant coach, told Taking Note: “He looked pretty good . . . he’s a special player.” . . . Last season, with the bantam AAA Burnaby Winter Club Bruins, Rizzo had 137 points, including 60 goals, in 61 games.
——
F Nick Merkley, who had his 2015-16 season short-circuited by a knee injury that required surgery, won’t attend the Kelowna Rockets’ training camp. Merkley, 19, is skating but hasn’t been cleared for contact. He was a first-round selection by Arizona in the 2015 NHL draft and is expected to rejoin the Rockets at some point. . . . Larry Fisher of the Kelowna Daily Courier also reports right here that the Rockets are expected to begin with F Rod Southam, their captain, G Michael Herringer and F Riley Stadel, a former defenceman, as their 20-year-olds.
——
In an intriguing move, the Regina Pats have offered F Nick Henry, 17, a roster spot if he signs a WHL contract. Henry was the MJHL’s rookie of the year last season after putting up 61 points, including 26 goals, in 50 games with his hometown Portage Terriers. . . . Henry, whose rights the Pats acquired from the Everett Silvertips, has made a verbal commitment to attend Western Michigan U, but has agreed to attend the Pats’ training camp. . . . Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post has that and more right here.
——
According to Perry Bergson of the Brandon Sun, F Bradly Goethals is expected to be in the Brandon Wheat Kings’ training camp when it opens on Wednesday. Goethals, 18, won the Manitoba Midget AAA League scoring title with 74 points, including 41 goals, in 43 games with the Eastman Selects. He is from Iles-des-Chenes, Man., and had made a commitment to Bemidji State. . . . Bergson also reported that F Tak Anholt also is expected in camp. Anholt, 18, reported to the Wheat Kings last season but didn’t get into any games, then left for what the team said was personal reasons. He was a second-round selection by the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the 2013 bantam draft. The Wheat Kings acquired Anholt, along with F Reid Duke and D Macoy Erkamps, from the Hurricanes for D Kord Pankewicz, F Brett Kitt and F Ryley Lindgren on Sept. 30, 2014.
——
NHLFormer WHLer Jared Bednar is the new head coach of the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche. He replaces Patrick Roy, who quit earlier this month. . . . According to Mike Chambers of the Denver Post, Bednar and the Avs agreed to a three-year contract. . . . Bednar had been head coach of the Cleveland Monsters, who won the AHL championship last season as the Lake Erie Monsters. Interestingly, Bednar has never played or coached in the NHL. . . . The other finalist was Lane Lambert, a former WHL player and coach, who now is an assistant coach with the NHL’s Washington Capitals. . . . Colorado general manager Joe Sakic made the final decision while in Seattle where his son, Chase, is in the training camp of the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds. Chase, a forward, will turn 16 on Oct. 14. . . . Bednar, 44, played three seasons (1990-93) in the WHL, with the Saskatoon Blades, Spokane Chiefs, Medicine Hat Tigers and Prince Albert Raiders. . . . A native of Yorkton, Sask., Bednar has been in the coaching game since 2002-03. . . . Reports that Travis Green, the head coach of the AHL’s Utica Comets, was in the running for the Colorado position weren’t accurate. A source has told Taking Note that Green, a former Portland Winterhawks assistant GM and assistant coach, doesn’t have an out-clause in his contract that would allow him to leave at this time. The Comets are the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks.
——
The NHL’s Las Vegas franchise, which is to begin play in 2017-18, has added yet another WHLer to its front office. Erin Ginnell, who played for five teams (New Westminster Bruins, Calgary Wranglers, Seattle Thunderbirds, Regina Pats and Swift Current Broncos) over two seasons (1985-87), has joined Las Vegas as an amateur scout. . . . Ginnell, the son of the late Pat Ginnell, has been an NHL scout since 2000-01, working with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Colorado Avalanche and Florida Panthers. He spent 14 seasons with the Panthers, the last five as their director of amateur scouting. . . . Ginnell’s son, Brad, is in camp with the Portland Winterhawks.  He was a fifth-round pick in the 2015 bantam draft. . . . Las Vegas also has added Scott Luce as its director of amateur scouting. He had been Florida’s director of player personnel. . . . Luce and Ginnell both found themselves unemployed when Florida shuffled GM Dale Tallon upstairs and put Tom Rowe in charge. . . . In recent days, Las Vegas has signed at least four other people with WHL experience — Murray Craven (senior vice-president), Kelly McCrimmon (assistant GM), Vaughn Karpan (director of player personnel) and Bruno Campese (amateur scout).
——
The Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) announced this week that — wait for it! — each of its regular-season games will be worth three points. . . . Here’s how it will work. . . . If a team wins in regulation time, it gets three points. . . . If a team wins during a five-minute sudden-death OT period, it gets three points. The loser doesn’t get a thing. . . . If a game is decided in 3-on-3 OT, which occurs if the five-minute period doesn’t settle things, the winner gets two points, with the loser getting one. . . . If the game needs a shootout, the winner gets two points and the loser gets one. . . . It is going to be interesting to watch the in-season reaction to see if teams push harder to win in regulation or the first OT period.
There also was this paragraph in the news release: “The 3-on-3 overtime and shootouts will only affect the WCHA standings, while any game that is tied after the 5-on-5 overtime remains officially a tie for NCAA purposes. Thus, the WCHA standings will show Wins, Losses, Ties and 3-on-3/Shootout Wins (W-L-T-3/SW). In this format, W-L-T will add up to games played, with the Tie column signifying how many times a team has been to a 3-on-3 overtime or shootout; and, the 3/SW column representing how many games a team has won in that fashion.”
———
Got a tip or some information you feel could be useful to me, feel free to email me at greggdrinnan@gmail.com.
———
NOTE: There has never been a subscription fee for this blog, but if you enjoy stopping by here, why not consider donating to the cause? Just click HERE. . . and thank you very much.
PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Sutter: 'There were some issues' . . . High praise for Chiefs' prospect . . . Warriors to fund improvements



Brent Sutter, the owner, general manager and head coach of the Red Deer Rebels, is looking forward to a new season with some new faces on his roster. The Rebels were the host team for the 2016
Memorial Cup and it seems that the ship wasn’t always sailing on calm seas.
“Obviously it was a Memorial Cup year and we had some good players on our team, but they were older players,” Sutter told Rebels writer Greg Meachem. “There certainly were some issues with some of our older players . . . trying to get them to stay on page, to get them to play at the level we needed them to be at every night and trying to get them to be team players.
“The kids who are coming back, they certainly saw that. They saw what the guys who are moving on to pro hockey with signed contracts . . . what they were like. Hopefully, the returning guys learned from that. Hopefully, they can be better players for it and lead these younger guys and show them how things have to be done.
“I’m certainly hoping from a management and coaching perspective that some of the issues we had to deal with last year we won’t have to deal with this year.”
Meachem’s complete story is right here.
——
“He's one of the best prospects I've ever seen. He's got a terrific stride, skates like (Sidney) Crosby. Hard to knock off his feet, just cutting around the defense and accelerating.” . . . According to Adrian Dater of bleacherreport.com, the speaker was Scotty Bowman, and he was referring to F Luke Toporowski after watching the U.S. National Development camp that was held recently in Buffalo. . . . Toporowski is the son of former Spokane enforcer Kerry Toporowski and was taken by the Chiefs with the eighth overall selection in the 2016 bantam draft. . . . Dater has more on the Toporowskis right here.
——
The Moose Jaw Warriors announced Wednesday that they will spent $520,000 to improve the lighting and sound in Mosaic Place. . . . According to a news release: “The Warriors investment includes the purchase of a new lighting system featuring 48 independent LED (light-emitting diode) lighting units including colour, as well as a JBL Powered Sound System that will bring a clearer, richer quality arena level sound to Mosaic Place and Warriors games.” . . . The upgrades are scheduled to be ready to go when the Warriors stage their home-opener, on Sept. 23, against the Brandon Wheat Kings.
——
The U of Saskatchewan Huskies unveiled their 2016-17 recruiting class on Wednesday and it includes 10 former WHL players -- F Alex Forsberg, F Connor Gay, D Colby Harmsworth, F Wyatt Johnson, D Tanner Lishchynsky, F Elliott Peterson, F Carson Stadnyk, F Colton Stephenson, F Jordan Tkatch and G Daniel Wapple. . . . The complete news release is right here.
——
Craig West, the veteran radio voice of the Tri-City Americans, wants you to know that, like Prince Albert Raiders play-by-play man Drew Wilson, he’s ready for another season.
While Wilson prepared by competing in triathlons and 140-km cycling events, West says he got ready
by joining his old pals on the Spokane Oldtimers and playing in the 41st annual Snoopy Seniors tournament last month in Santa Rosa, Calif.
The Spokane gang successfully defended the gold medal that it won a year ago in the 60 and over division. Spokane, with West in goal, opened with a 2-1 victory over San Jose; beat Long Island, N.Y., 11-3; and ended the tournament with a 6-2 victory over Anchorage in a game that began at 6 a.m.
One day later, West was back in the press box calling a baseball game — the Tri-City Dust Devils scored a 3-2 10th-inning victory over the Boise Hawks in a Northwest League game.
West encountered some familiar names at the Snoopy tournament, including former Portland Winterhawks G Peter Fry and former NHLers like Benoit Hogue, who was in goal for a Phoenix team, Rod Buskas and Terry Harper.
West says playing all the time is his “golf game” and keeps him “forever young.”
——
While we’re on the subject of goaltenders . . . did you hear the one about the goaltender who walked into a beer store in Russell, Man., the hometown of Theo Fleury, and helped a partner walk off with “several cases of beer,” according to the RCMP. . . . David Larkin of the Winnipeg Sun has more right here.
———
Got a tip or some information you feel could be useful to me, feel free to email me at greggdrinnan@gmail.com.
———
Coaching

The NHL’s Arizona Coyotes announced Wednesday that they have hired Dawn Braid as their skating coach, making her the first full-time female coach in NHL history. . . . She worked part-time with the Coyotes last season, and also has worked with the Anaheim Ducks, Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames and Toronto Maple Leafs. . . . While Braid may be the NHL’s first full-time female coach, as Sunaya Sapurji points out in the above tweet, women have long been coaching hockey players in skating technique. . . . Liane Davis of Regina, for example, has operated Liane Davis Power Skating for longer than she likely cares to remember. According to her website, “Players from each of the 30 NHL teams, all 22 WHL teams, various OHL, QMJHL, NCAA, European teams and every Junior A league in North America have participated in my program.” . . . There is more on Braid’s hiring right here.
———


NOTE: There has never been a subscription fee for this blog, but if you enjoy stopping by here, why not consider donating to the cause? Just click HERE. . . and thank you very much.
PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Raiders show profit for 2015-16 . . . Wheaties get their GM . . . Ice adds coach . . . Veteran scouts on move








F Ned Lukacevic (Spokane, Swift Current, 2001-06) has signed a one-year contract with Katowice (Poland, PHL). Last season, with the Coventry Blaze (England, UK Elite), he had four goals and nine assists in 21 games. He also had nine goals and 12 assists in 25 games with the Edinburgh Capitals (Scotland, UK Elite). . . .
D Kirill Vorobyev (Portland, 2012-13) has been assigned by CSKA Moscow (KHL, Russia) to Zvezda Chekhov (Russia, Vysshaya Liga). Last season, with CSKA Moscow, he had three assists in 28 games. He also had two goals and six assists in 16 games with Zvezda Chekhov . He had one assist in two games with Krasnaya Armiya Moscow (Russia, MHL). MHL (Molodezhnaya Liga) is Russia's top junior league.
-——

It isn’t much, but it’s a profit, and that’s important to the community-owned teams in the WHL. The Prince Albert Raiders held their annual meeting on Monday and reported a profit of $3,892 for the 2015-16 season. . . . The Raiders showed a profit despite that fact that their attendance dropped 62 fans per game from 2014-15, when the franchise reported a loss of $61,365. In 2015-16, the Raiders averaged 2,369 fans per game. . . . The Raiders definitely would appear to be headed in the right direction; after all, they reported a loss of more than $262,000 for the 2013-14 season.
——
The Brandon Wheat Kings, the WHL’s defending champions, announced Tuesday that they have signed Grant Armstrong as their general manager. He replaces Kelly McCrimmon, the franchise’s owner and governor, who is joining the NHL’s Las Vegas franchise as assistant general manager. McCrimmon had been the GM since 1989, when he took over from Bill Shinske. . . . Guy Flaming of The Pipeline Show was the first to suggest that Armstrong could be headed to the Wheat Kings. . . . “I think it’s time,” Armstrong told Taking Note. “Hopefully, we’ll provide Kelly with a team he’s going to be proud of.” . . . . Armstrong, 54, from North Vancouver, had been with the Victoria Royals for four seasons, the past two as assistant GM, player personnel. Before that, he was the director of player personnel for two seasons. . . . Prior to that, Armstrong spent four seasons as the Portland Winterhawks’ head scout. . . . He has been a familiar face in Lower Mainland hockey circles, having coached the junior B North Delta Devils, while serving as the North Vancouver Minor Hockey Association’s director of hockey operations. He also has been involved with the North Delta Minor Hockey Association as a coach and development co-ordinator. He was honoured with the Pacific Coast Amateur Hockey Association’s Coaching Development Award in 2003. . . . The Wheat Kings also announced that Mick McCrimmon, 30, will be the team’s assistant GM. McCrimmon, Kelly’s son, has a law degree, and will assist in hockey and business operations.
——
The Kootenay Ice has signed Roman Vopat as an assistant coach. He spent the previous two seasons as an assistant coach with the Prince George Cougars. . . . Vopat played two seasons in the WHL, with the Moose Jaw Warriors and Prince Albert Raiders, before going on to a 16-year professional career that included 133 NHL games. A native of Litvinov, Czech Republic, Vopat and his family reside in Cranbrook. . . . With the Ice, he’ll join head coach Luke Pierce and fellow assistant Gordon Burnett behind the bench.
——
With WHL training camps about to open, or in some cases having already started, Alan Caldwell has come through again. His annual numbers-filled look at WHL teams and their prospects is right here.
——
Vaughn Karpan, a native of The Pas, Man., has joined the NHL’s Las Vegas franchise as its director of player personnel. He had been with the Montreal Canadiens since 2005, most recently as director of pro scouting. He also worked with the Winnipeg Jets/Phoenix Coyotes for 13 years, five as director of amateur scouting. . . . Karpan played for Canada’s national men’s team (1983-88), playing in two Olympic Winter Games. He captained the U of Manitoba Bisons while playing there and also played one season (1979-80) with the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Las Vegas also confirmed something that was reported here yesterday — former Prince Albert Raiders general manager Bruno Campese has been hired as an amateur scout.
——
Bruce Franklin, a longtime scout with the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks, has moved to the Anaheim Ducks to fill the new position of director of player evaluation. Franklin spent 23 years with Chicago, the last six as chief amateur scout. . . . He cut his scouting teeth in the WHL, where he was part of two Memorial Cup champions. He was a scout with the 1984-85 Prince Albert Raiders and the director of player personnel with the 1988-89 Swift Current Broncos.
——
Scott Galbraith, a fan of the OHL’s London Knights, has filed a civil statement of claim asking for $100,000, including $80,000 for aggravated and punitive damages, after he says he purchased a game-used sweater but wasn’t given the one that he had bought. The suit also names the Canadian Hockey League and the Hockey Hall of Fame. . . . Robert Cribb of the Toronto Star has more right here.
———
Got a tip or some information you feel could be useful to me, feel free to email me at greggdrinnan@gmail.com.
———
Coaching

Billy Keane is the new head coach of the MJHL’s Winnipeg Blues. He had been their assistant coach, so steps up to fill the spot created when Don MacGillivray joined the Brandon Wheat Kings as an assistant coach. . . . McGillivray had been the GM/head coach of the Blues for seven seasons. . . . Keane had been an assistant coach with the Blues for three seasons. He played for them for two seasons (1982-84). . . . Tim Schick will be the Blues’ director of hockey operations and head scout, with Wayne Bartley on board as assistant coach. . . . Keane is the brother of former NHL/WHL F Mike Keane.
———







There has never been a subscription fee for this blog, but if you enjoy stopping by here, why not consider donating to the cause? Just click HERE. . . and thank you very much.
PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Stories from NHL.com

Stories from ESPN.com

  © Design byThirteen Letter

Back to TOP