Sunday, July 26, 2015

An alligator in the dugout . . . WHL players turning cheerleaders? . . . Shark survives encounter with surfer







The Toronto Maple Leafs stunned the hockey world Thursday when they announced they had signed Lou Lamoriello to a three-year deal as their general manager. It couldn’t have been that much of a story, though, as the Toronto Sun only did 10 pages on the Leafs in Friday’s paper. . . . Lamoriello never met a media person with whom he wanted to deal. The Maple Leafs are owned by media conglomerates Bell and Rogers, so, like, what could go wrong? . . . There are reports that retired New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and gal pal Hannah Davis — she of the commercials with the talking horse — went Dutch on a pizza while in Italy. Which caused RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com to ask:“What kind of people report on these things? The pizzarazzi?” . . .
“Tiger Woods said he still has his sights on Nicklaus’ record 18 majors,” Currie writes. “It was so inspiring, I mailed another marriage proposal to Anne Hathaway.” . . . One more from Currie: “Ex-Blackhawks defenceman Johnny Oduya has signed with the Dallas Stars — a two-year, US$7.5-million deal. Which is a fine-how-do-you-Oduya.” . . . TC Chong, who blogs out of Richmond, B.C., writes: “Sen. Lindsay Graham posted a video on YouTube of him destroying his cell phone with a bat, chainsaw and golf club after Donald Trump gave out his number. Hope he wasn’t driving at the time.” . . .
“Santa Claus threw a terrible first pitch at a recent Tigers game,” reports Bill Littlejohn, our South Lake Tahoe, Calif., correspondent. “The good news for him is that it wasn't in Philadelphia.” . . . Littlejohn also reports that “an alligator was found in the dugout prior to a minor league game between the Daytona Tortugas and Charlotte Stone Crabs in Port Charlotte, Fla. Animal control reportedly tranquilized the gator and returned him to his natural habitat at the local golf course.” . . . One more from Littlejohn: “In Cooperstown, Reggie Jackson reportedly got into a heated confrontation with a fan who was in line for a second autograph. Reggie reportedly told him, 'Just one straw per drink!’ ” . . .
Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times isn’t too hyped for the release of Creed, the seventh instalment in the Rocky movie series. “Not that Rocky Balboa is showing his age or anything in Creed,” Perry writes, “but the eye of the Tiger now has cataracts.” . . . Forward Josh Smith signed with the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers the other day, getting only the veterans’ minimum. “At the end of the day, you know, I do have a family,” he told the Detroit Free Press. “So it is going to be a little harder on me this year. But I’m going to push through it, you know.” . . . Smith, who has made about US$91 million in his career, and his family will have to get by on $6.9 million for 2015-16. . . .
You may recall earlier this year when Washington legislators voted that the state’s four WHL teams don’t have to pay minimum wage to their players. Well, the state of California is enacting legislation under which professional sports teams must pay at least minimum wage to their cheerleaders. . . . A number of WHL players are said to be considering career changes. . . . Take the worst thing you have ever seen on TV and then multiply that by 10. What do you get? Those horrid attack ads paid for by Stephen Harper and his friends. . . . Never mind Justin Trudeau; those ads just aren’t ready for anything but the garbage. . . .
Taking note of the drought situation in Vancouver, comic Torben Rolfsen points out: “We are at Stage 3 water restrictions in Vancouver (no lawn watering). Stage 4 is no showers in strip joints.” . . . Rolfsen also wondered: “Has PETA complained about that surfer punching the shark yet?” . . . Headline at SportsPickle.com: Shark just grateful to be uninjured after terrifying encounter with surfer. . . .
Brad Dickson of the Omaha World-Herald has a question: “Do we really need the ‘heat index?’ Isn't it bad enough knowing that it's 100 degrees without being told it ‘feels like’ 112?” . . . Dickson, again: “President Obama just became the first sitting president to visit a federal prison. He hasn't seen that many inmates since he welcomed the national-champion Florida State football team to the White House.” . . . “In Idaho,” writes Janice Hough, aka The Left Coast Sports Babe, “a cyclist stopped to defecate in a ravine and decided it would be a good idea to light his toilet paper on fire afterwards rather than littering with it. And he accidentally started a 73-acre wildfire. Talk about a dumb shit.”

(Gregg Drinnan is a former sports editor of the Regina Leader-Post and the late Kamloops Daily News. He is at gdrinnan.blogspot.ca and twitter.com/gdrinnan. Keeping Score appears here on weekends, except when it doesn’t.)

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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Goaltender heads for Austria . . . Blades add a scout . . . Portland lands defenceman from Preds








F David Hájek (Spokane, 1998-99) signed a one-year contract with Heilbronner Falken (Germany, DEL2). Last season, with Bad Nauheim (Germany, DEL2), he had two goals and five assists in 12 games, and in 16 games with Löwen Frankfurt (Germany, DEL2), he had two goals and six assists. . . .
F Igor Baček (Tri-City, 2005-06) signed a one-year contract with the Hannover Scorpions (Germany, Oberliga). Last season, with Rostock (Germany, Oberliga), he put up 14 goals and 56 assists in 30 games. He led his team and division (Oberliga North) in assists. . . .
F Grant Toulmin (Swift Current, 2005-07, 2008-09) signed a one-year contract with the Manchester Storm (England, UK Elite). Last season, with Heilbronner Falken (Germany, DEL2), he had nine goals and 15 assists in 45 games.
F Jerred Smithson (Calgary, 1995-2000) signed a one-year contract with Herning (Denmark, Metal Ligaen). Smithson didn’t play last season. In 2013-14, with the Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL), he was pointless in 19 games. He had two goals and nine assists in 51 games with the Toronto Marlies (AHL).
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Another American-born player is headed for Austria and the EC Red Bull Salzburg organization.
On Friday, G Nick Vilardo tweeted: “Excited to announce I've signed with EC Red Bull Salzburg Aus-HLorganization in Austria. Thankful for the opportunity. All glory to Jesus #RedBull”
Vilardo is an 18-year-old from Clarence, N.Y., who played last season with the U-18 Buffalo Jr. Sabres. In 50 games, he was 1.93 and .923. He also was 2.30 and .901 with the U-18 Jr. Sabres. This season, he appeared ticketed for the NAHL’s Topeka Roadrunners, until choosing to head for Austria.
Earlier this month, it was revealed that F Ryan Savage and F Carson Dimoff, both of Scottsdale, Ariz., had agreed to join the Red Bulls organization.
Meanwhile, F Riley Stotts of Winnipeg, a first-round-selection by the Swift Current Broncos in the 2015 bantam draft, is pondering an offer to join Red Bull but apparently has yet to make a decision.
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The Saskatoon Blades have added Cody Nickolet to their scouting staff. This is an excellent more for the Blades and, of course, for Nickolet, but likely not for WHL fans.
Nickolet, whose Twitter handle is @CodyNickolet, had a banner 2014-15 hockey season. An avid WHL follower, he took it upon himself to make available line combinations and defence pairings for both teams in every regular-season game. He also has tweeted all kinds of WHL-related.
And anyone who took a look at his 2015 NHL draft rankings, well, was there anything available to the general public that was more comprehensive?
One day, Nickolet will be working for an NHL team. Bet on it being sooner than later.
In the meantime, the Blades will be the beneficiaries of his expertise.
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The Portland Winterhawks received an enormous boost on Friday with the news that D Jack Dougherty, 19, had signed with the NHL’s Nashville Predators. Dougherty, a second-round pick by Nashville in the NHL’s 2014 draft, played last season with the U of Wisconsin Badgers.
Upon signing Dougherty, the Predators announced that he is expected to start the season in Portland. Because he was drafted off an NCAA team’s roster, and not a major junior team, Dougherty is eligible to play in the AHL at 19.
Dougherty, from St. Paul, Minn., had nine points, two of them goals, in 33 games during his freshman season with the Badgers.
In 2013-14, he was in the U.S. National Team Development Program. In 23 USHL games, he had 12 points, including four goals, in 23 games. In 55 games with the U-18 national team, he had 22 points, including six goals, in 55 games. He is a candidate to play for the U.S. national junior team this time around.
Here’s Future Considerations on Dougherty: “Dougherty is an intelligent defenseman who tries to blend strong positioning while trying to inflict a physical dimension on his opponent. He isn't the fleetest of foot, but does get where he needs to go. He also makes a strong first pass and has solid offensive instincts.”
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Got a tip or some information you feel could be useful to me, feel free to send an email to greggdrinnan@gmail.com.
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Coaching

Dave Dupas, 53, has signed on as an assistant coach with the AJHL’s Fort McMurray Oil Barons. Dupas, who is from Burnaby, B.C., was the head coach of the BCHL’s Prince George Spruce Kings for the previous four-plus seasons. . . . In Fort McMurray, he will work with GM/head coach Tom Keca.
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An evening fit for a Hockey Hall of Fame

We were sitting in the Dairy Queen in Armstrong, B.C., when the email arrived.
We were there with our best friends, the female half of whom had donated a kidney in order to allow my wife, Dorothy, to undergo a transplant almost two years ago now.
Three days earlier, our son, an only child, had married Joanna Kwan in Vancouver.
These were special days and the fact that our friends were with us when the email arrived made it that much more special.
It was from Bruce Judd, the executive director of the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame. He was informing me that I had been nominated for the Bernie Pascall Media Award and that the selection committee had decided to honour me.
And so it was that Dorothy and I were in Penticton on Friday evening for the 24th annual B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame induction gala at the gorgeous South Okanagan Events Centre.
Believe me, I was thrilled to play a small part.
On a night when former NHL players Curt Fraser, Markus Naslund and Rob Niedermayer, along with Cam Kerr, a familiar face in B.C. hockey circles, and Team B.C. that won the 1979 Canada Winter Games title were inducted, Pascall handed me the plaque.
(As an aside, the 1979 Canada Winter Games were held in Brandon. While I didn’t cover the hockey, I was at the Brandon Sun at the time and Dorothy volunteered. She spent most of her time in cafeteria, so you can bet she crossed paths with the guys from that hockey team.)
The award recognizes “an individual with an excellent reputation, commitment and dedication” for their efforts aimed at “promotion within the game of hockey.”
The award was presented for the first time last year when it was given to Vancouver broadcaster Dan Russell. He’s a friend and I feel privileged to follow in his shadow.
I have been given a few awards in my time but none more meaningful to me than this one. Considering that my writing hasn’t appeared regularly in a newspaper in more than 19 months, I feel this award validates the work I do right here with Taking Note.
But it’s about more than that.
It’s all about the number of people who approached me on Friday and mentioned that they are Taking Note readers. It’s all about the tweets, retweets and DMs of congratulations from friends and acquaintances. (Thanks to David Michaud for getting that ball rolling.)
It’s all about a couple of Saturday morning phone calls from people who mean a whole lot to me.
Yes, that email from Judd was just the beginning of a beautiful experience.
——
I can’t leave Friday’s extravaganza without mentioning the other award winners.
Jordan Rauser, the captain of the junior B Campbell River Storm, received the Patricia Carter Award, which comes in the form of a bursary. Rauser played out his junior eligibility last season.
Luke Burzan of the North Shore Winter Club was honoured as the Hockey Now B.C. minor hockey player of the year. His WHL rights belong to the Moose Jaw Warriors, who selected him sixth overall. In an on-stage chat with emcee Dennis Beyak, Burzan didn’t let slip anything about his future plans.
The legendary Fred Sasakamoose was on hand to receive the Okanagan Hockey School’s Pioneer Award.
What a wonderful moment it was as a tremendously touching video chronicling Sasakamoose’s life was played and an emotional Sasakamoose made his way to the stage.
If you aren’t aware of Sasakamoose and all that he has done, get thee to Google and prepare to spend an hour or two.
At one point, Sasakamoose talked to what was a thoroughly captivated audience about how lonely it was being an aboriginal — he is from the Ahtahkakoop Cree Nation — on the way to the NHL.
On this night, Sasakamoose was anything but lonely. He was on the receiving end of two emotionally charged standing ovations as he made a roomful of new friends and admirers.
That is the kind of night it was, and I will long remember being a small part of it.


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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Some European signings and lots of coaching news








F Konstantin Panov (Kamloops, 1998-2001) signed a one-year contract with Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk (Russia, KHL). Last season, he was an alternate captain with Traktor Chelyabinsk (Russia, KHL). He had 12 goals and 12 assists in 59 games. . . .
F Sergei Varlamov (Swift Current, 1995-98) signed a one-year contract with Donbass Donetsk (Ukraine, PHL).Varlamov only played for the Ukraine’s national team last season. He had one assist in three games at the IIHF Division 1A World championship. In 2013-14, with Donbass in the KHL, he had one goal and three assists in 39 games.
D Logan Stephenson (Tri-City, 2001-06) signed a one-year extension with the Tohoku Free Blades Hachinohe (Japan, Asia HL). Last season, he had five goals and seven assists in 43 games as the Free Blades won the league championship. . . .
D Tomáš Mojžíš (Moose Jaw, Seattle, 2000-03) signed a one-year extension with TPS Turku (Finland, Liiga). He had one goal and five assists in 45 games last season.
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Got a tip or some information you feel could be useful to me, feel free to send an email to greggdrinnan@gmail.com.
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Coaching

Jason Christie (Saskatoon, 1986-90) is the new head coach of the ECHL’s Tulsa Oilers. Christie, 46, spent the past four seasons as head coach of the ECHL’s Ontario Reign, winning at least 43 games each season. Christie, who is from Gibbons, Alta., is preparing for his 14th season as a head coach. He has 483 ECHL coaching victories, just nine behind John Marks, who holds down the all-time record. . . . In Tulsa, Christie takes over from Bruce Ramsay, who now is an assistant coach with the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins.
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AJHLShawn Belle’s playing career over. Belle, a smooth-skating defenceman with the Regina Pats and Tri-City Americans (2001-05), has retired and signed on as an assistant coach with the AJHL’s Sherwood Park Crusaders. Belle, a 30-year-old from Edmonton, played the past four seasons in Europe. He and Wendell Hodgson, a veteran coach on the Alberta scene, were named assistant coaches on Thursday.
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Cail MacLean is the first head coach in the history of the ECHL’s Adirondack Thunder. MacLean, 38, was introduced as head coach on Thursday. The Thunder is affiliated with the NHL’s Calgary Flames. . . . MacLean, who is from Middleton, N.S., spent two seasons (2011-13) as an assistant coach with the AHL’s Abbotsford Heat, which also was a Flames’ affiliate. He has previous head-coaching experience in the ECHL with the South Carolina Stingrays (2009-11).
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AJHLThe AJHL’s Calgary Canucks have signed Jay Pylypuik as their new general manager and head coach. He had been the head coach of the midget AAA Calgary Royals. . . . Earlier, he was on the coaching staff of the AJHL’s Canmore Eagles for five years. . . . With the Canucks, he takes over from Ryan Barrett, who was fired as head coach earlier this month, and Chad Shiel, who resigned as GM shortly thereafter. . . . The Canucks have added Adam Redmond as an assistant coach. He had been the head coach of the midget AAA CFR Chemical Bisons, who play out of Strathmore, Alta. The Bisons had hired Redmond on June 28.
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USHLJohn Wroblewski is the new head coach of the USHL’s Youngstown Phantoms. Wroblewski, 34, spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach with the AHL’s Rochester Americans. Prior to that, he was the head coach of the ECHL’s Gwinnett Gladiators for two seasons. . . . Wroblewski takes over from Anthony Noreen, who was there for four seasons and now is the head coach of the ECHL’s Orlando Solar Bears.
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Trevor Heinzerling is the Seattle Thunderbirds’ new equipment manager. Last season, he was the equipment manager with the USHL’s Dubuque Fighting Saints. Heinzerling takes over from Ben Calkins, who left to work as co-equipment manager with the AHL’s San Diego Gulls. . . . The Thunderbirds open training camp on Aug. 24 in their home arena, the ShoWare Center in Kent, Wash.
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In something of an early commitment, D Tyler Jubenvill has decided to attend Bemidji State and play for the Beavers. Jubenvill, who is from Gilbert Plains, Man., won’t turn 16 until Nov. 30. He was a ninth-round selection by the Spokane Chiefs in the WHL’s 2014 bantam draft. . . . Last season, he had eight goals and 21 assists with the midget AAA Parkland Rangers. He is expected to play with the MJHL’s Winkler Flyers in 2015-16.
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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Tigers sign North Dakota commit . . . Blades have company . . . Ast heads to Germany








F Carter Ashton (Lethbridge, Regina, Tri-City, 2006-11) signed a one-year contract with Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod (Russia, KHL). Last season, he was pointless in seven games with the Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL), had four goals and four assists in 12 games with the Toronto Marlies (AHL), and had three goals and 11 assists in 29 games with the Syracuse Crunch (AHL). . . .
F Stanislav Gron (Seattle, Kootenay, 1997-99) signed a one-year contract with the Manchester Phoenix (England, Premier). Last season, with Cortina (Italy, Serie A), he led his team with 44 points, including 20 goals, in 30 games.
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The Medicine Hat Tigers have signed F Max Gerlach, a 17-year-old from Flower Mound, Texas, who had committed to North Dakota. Of course, in signing with the Tigers he gives up his NCAA eligibility. He had 42 points in 21 games with the U-16 Colorado Thunderbirds last season. Gerlach was a sixth-round selection in the 2013 bantam draft. . . . Gerlach is about 5-foot-10 and 160 pounds, so should fit in well with the Tigers’ offensive game plan, which has been centred on smallish, speedy forwards. . . . The Tigers also signed F Tyler Preziuso, 16, who was a third-round selection in the 2014 bantam draft. Last season, with the South Island Royals of the B.C. Major Midget League, he put up 40 points in 40 games.
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The WHL’s Saskatoon Blades have company in the SaskTel Centre, what with the National Lacrosse League’s Edmonton Rush having relocated and morphed into the Saskatchewan Rush.
The much-rumoured move was made official Tuesday at a news conference at Saskatoon’s Delta Bessborough Hotel. Rush owner Bruce Urban was on hand, along with the NLL’s championship trophy.
The two teams’ schedules will overlap, for sure. The 2015 NLL regular-season schedule ran from Jan. 2 through May 2, with the playoffs concluding June 5.
Colin Priestner, the Blades’ managing partner, moved to Saskatoon from Edmonton when his father, Mike, purchased the Blades almost two years ago. Colin told Taking Note he is looking forward to working with the Rush.
“We don’t have any ties to them from Edmonton,” he told TN, “but we’re always open to anything that could benefit our fans. I’m sure we will find time to have a conversation with them at some point when they are up and running, to see if there’s anything we could potentially do together.”
——
The U of Lethbridge Pronghorns, under head coach Spiros Anastas, added three more players to their 2015 recruiting class on Tuesday. D Evan Wardley, F Zane Jones and F Mitch Makin all have committed to the Pronghorns, bringing the number of newcomers on the roster to 15. . . . Wardley, from Vulcan, Alta., played four seasons with the Seattle Thunderbirds, putting up nine goals and 31 assists in 208 games. He finished the season by playing nine games, six of them in the playoffs, with the ECHL‘s Wheeling Nailers. . . . Jones, from Olds, Alta., played four seasons in the WHL, having stints with the Victoria Royals, Calgary Hitmen, Everett Silvertips, Lethbridge Hurricanes and Vancouver Giants. In 260 games, he scored 77 goals and added 72 assists. . . . Makin, 21, from Lethbridge, played three seasons with the BCHL’s Alberni Valley Bulldogs, finishing with 42 goals and 58 assists in 141 games. . . . Wardley, Jones and Makin all have used up their junior eligibility.
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Dickson Liong (@DLLiong) tweeted Tuesday afternoon that F Anthony Ast “will play in Germany next season. The team that he has signed with will make an official announcement soon.” . . . Ast, 20, is from Richmond, B.C. He was a first-round selection, 19th overall, by the Vancouver Giants in the 2010 bantam draft. His WHL career was hampered by illness and injury. He played 109 games with the Giants over four seasons (2010-14), scoring 15 goals and adding 26 assists. He was dealt to the Medicine Hat Tigers and played 27 games with them in 2013-14 and 21 last season, picking up 16 goals and seven assists.
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Got a tip or some information you feel could be useful to me, feel free to send an email to greggdrinnan@gmail.com.
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Coaching Game

The NHL’s Edmonton Oilers have announced that Gerry Fleming will be the head coach of their AHL affiliate, the Bakersfield Condors. The franchise has relocated from Oklahoma City where it was the Barons. . . . Fleming, a 48-year-old native of Montreal, had been an assistant coach with Oklahoma City until being promoted to head coach when Todd Nelson moved up to the Oilers to replaced the fired Dallas Eakins as interim head coach.
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The ECHL’s Norfolk Admirals, who are affiliated with the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers and the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors, have signed Eric Veilleux as their head coach. Veilleux, 43, was an assistant coach with the Admirals last season when they were in the AHL. Prior to that, he spent nine seasons in the QMJHL. He guided the host Shawinigan Cataractes to the 2012 Memorial Cup title. He then worked as head coach of the Baie-Comeau Drakkar for two seasons.
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Last night, in mentioning WHL commissioner’s July 14 visit with the guys at The Pipeline Show, I meant to include a link to the interview. A day late, here it is right here.
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The Vancouver Giants have signed D Kaleb Bulych, who was a second-round selection in the 2015 WHL bantam draft. Bulych is from Yorkton, Sask. Last season, he had 33 points, including 13 goals, in 31 games with the bantam AA Yorkton UCT Terriers.
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F Trent Lofthouse (Everett, Victoria, Vancouver, 2011-14) has decided to attend the U of Regina and play for the Cougars. Lofthouse, from Surrey, B.C., played out his junior eligibility last season with the AJHL’s Fort McMurray Oil Barons.
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Monday, July 20, 2015

Hamilton still hunting for coach . . . 3-on-3 coming to WHL? . . . Kessel won't play this season








G Kevin Nastiuk (Medicine Hat, 2001-05) signed a one-year contract with Eisbären Berlin (Germany, DEL). Last season, with Dresdner Eislöwen (Germany, DEL2), he had a 3.29 GAA with two shutouts in 33 games. . . .
D Juraj Valach (Tri-City, Vancouver, Regina, Red Deer, 2006-08) signed a tryout contract with Medveščak Zagreb (Croatia, KHL). Last season, with Slavia Prague (Czech Republic, Extraliga), he had six goals and seven assists in 43 games. . . .
F Robin Soudek (Edmonton, Chilliwack/Victoria, 2008-12) signed a tryout contract with Olomouc (Czech republic, Extraliga). Last season, with the Stockton Thunder, Rapid City Rush and Evansville Icemen (all ECHL), he had 18 goals and 21 assists in 62 games. . . .
F Jan Eberle (Seattle, 2006-08) signed a tryout contract with Olomouc (Czech Republic, Extraliga). Last season, with Kladno (Czech Republic, 1. Liga), he had 18 goals and 19 assists in 52 games. He was an alternate captain.
D Mitch Versteeg (Lethbridge, 2006-07) signed a one-year contract with Kaufbeuren (Germany, DEL2). Last season, with the Nikko Icebucks (Japan, Asia HL), he had four goals and 10 assists in 40 games. . . .
F Mark Derlago (Brandon, 2003-07) signed a one-year contract with the Nikko Icebucks (Japan, Asia HL). Last season, with Esbjerg (Denmark, Metal Ligaen), he had 65 points, including 25 goals, in 36 games. He finished third in the league’s scoring race and was a first-team all-star. He also was an alternate captain.
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Bruce Hamilton, the president and general manager of the Kelowna Rockets continues to go through the process of hiring a head coach to replace the one-and-done Dan Lambert.
“I’m still waiting . . . there’s one particular individual that I’m waiting to see what he wants to do,” Hamilton told Larry Fisher of the Kelowna Daily Courier. “If he’s interested, then I would bring him in (for an interview) right away. . . .
“I’ve reached out to this guy. Someone who knows me contacted me and said ‘hey, this guy might be interested or might be looking.’ . . . A lot of times you’re dealing with guys who are in jobs right now and trying to decide whether they want to stay there or not.”
Lambert now is an assistant coach with the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres. He spent five season as an assistant coach with the Rockets, under head coach Ryan Huska. Last season, Lambert helped guide the Rockets to the WHL championship.
Fisher’s story is right here.
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On Monday evening, I posted a ‘Scattershooting’ piece here in which I wrote: “The WHL hasn’t announced it yet, but you can bet it will be going to 3-on-3 overtime in the upcoming season. Why? Because it mirrors the NHL, that’s why.”
It wasn’t long after that piece was posted than a couple of readers were in touch to inform me that WHL commissioner Ron Robison recently was on The Pipeline Show and said that the WHL was going to 3-on-3 OT this season.”
Robison appeared with The Pipeline Show guys on July 14. Asked about “changes on ice” that fans can expect to see, Robison responded:
“We have to take the time to make sure we all are on the same page and want to move forward with what the NHL has adopted. Our agreement with the NHL calls for us to mirror their playing rules. We really like the 3-on-3 overtime rule. I think there are some other areas that we will have some further discussion on. We still have the ability to determine at what stage we implement those new rules, but our thoughts are certainly to move forward for the upcoming season and we’ll take those steps in consultation not only with the general managers within our league but obviously the CHL as well to make sure we’re as consistent with our playing rules across the country as possible.”
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Got a tip or some information you feel could be useful to me, feel free to send an email to greggdrinnan@gmail.com.
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Coaching

OHLGreg Ireland has resigned as head coach of the OHL’s Owen Sound Attack in order to accept a coaching position elsewhere. However, no one is saying just where that position is. . . . Ireland had been with the Attack since 2011-12. . . . Ireland’s departure leaves the Attack with at least three vacancies on its coaching staff. Earlier this summer, assistant coach Drew Bannister left to become head coach of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and assistant coach Daniel Tkaczuk now is on the Kitchener Rangers’ coaching staff.
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OHLDave Brown is the new general manager of the OHL’s Erie Otters. He replaces long-time GM Sherry Bassin, who was moved out as the franchise changed hands. . . . Brown has been with the Otters for four seasons, serving most recently as director of hockey operations. . . . The Otters also are working on a contract extension with head coach Kris Knoblauch, whose current deal runs through 2015-16.
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Concussion Report

Amanda Kessel, who hasn’t played hockey since the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, won’t play again this season thanks to post-concussion syndrome, meaning her college career is over. Kessel, the sister of Pittsburgh Penguins F Phil Kessel, suffered a concussion while with the U.S. women’s Olympic team. She was injured before the Games, but was cleared to play in the Games. . . . A star with the U of Minnesota Golden Gophers, she didn’t attend school after the Olympics. She won’t return to hockey in the upcoming season, although she may attempt to attend school. . . . Brad Schlossman of the Grand Forts Herald has more right here.
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