Saturday, July 11, 2009

Friday . . .

So . . . it would seem the WHL gathered its pooh-bahs in a closet and held a draft of some sort to decide for whom D David Musil, the 16-year-old son of former NHLer Frantisek Musil, should play.
Even though I’m thinking it already had been decided that he would play for the Vancouver Giants and only the Vancouver Giants.
Even with the decision having already been made, it would seem that there was more clandestine activity around this draft than in any of the Jason Bourne movies.
Anyway . . . the Kootenay Ice — as reported by radio voice Jeff Hollick — won the draft, which means, one supposes, that they got the short straw.
But wait . . . there’s more.
The Musil family, wanting their son playing major junior hockey, apparently has relocated from Czech Republic to the Lower Mainland area of B.C. Which, if you check a map, isn’t in close proximity to Cranbrook, which is in B.C., but isn’t quite what the Musils had in mind for David, who is said to be one of the top prospects for the NHL's 2011 draft.
So . . . enter the Giants.
The Giants apparently have traded a 2010 fifth-round bantam pick and a 2011 first-round bantam pick to the Ice for Musil’s rights.
David Musil, who grew up in Edmonton, stands 6-foot-5. He had one assist in 14 games with Dukla Jihlava in the Czech Elite League. Yes, he was the youngest player in the league. He also had six points in nine games with Dukla Jihlava’s junior side. He also had three points in four games with the Czech U-17 team and two in 13 games with the U-18 team.
But, as a 1993-born player, he wouldn’t have been eligible for the CHL import draft until 2011. Thus, one supposes, the need to hold this special draft, what with the family having relocated to North America.
Still . . . it appears that no one has yet issued a press release concerning this matter. As of Saturday, 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time, there was nothing on the WHL website, the Ice’s website or the Giants’ website.
So . . . with all the apparent secrecy around this entire matter, it would seem that maybe, just maybe, we haven’t heard the end of this yet.
Or maybe we haven’t even heard the start of it yet.
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Congratulations a day late to old friend Craig Heisinger of the Manitoba Moose on his having been honoured as the recipient of the AHL’s James C. Hendy Memorial Award. This award goes annually to the league executive determined to have made the most outstanding contribution to the league. . . . At one time, Heisinger was the equipment manager for the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Heisinger’s Moose lost out to the Hershey Bears in the AHL’s Calder Cup final last month. . . .
There is a bit more on the death of former Medicine Hat Tigers head coach Ron Kennedy right here.
The Portland Winterhawks announced three interesting signings on Friday, including one player who chose them over a USHL team and another who was selected by the Calgary Flames in the 2009 NHL draft. . . . D Taylor Aronson, 6-foot-1 and 188 pounds, is from California and played last season with the midget AAA Los Angeles Jr. Kings. He had 25 points, including nine goals, in 45 games with the Kings. Aronson, 18, chose the Winterhawks over the Tri-City Storm, which picked him in the first round of the USHL draft. . . . LW Spencer Bennett, 19, was selected by the Flames in the fifth round, 141st overall, of last month’s NHL draft. The 6-foot-3, 185-pounder spent last season with the BCHL’s Surrey Eagles, scoring 20 goals and setting up 21 others in 60 games. He turned down a scholarship offer from the U of Alaska/Anchorage in order to join the Winterhawks. . . . RW Seth Swenson, 6-foot-0 and 187 pounds, was a 10th-round pick by Portland in the 2008 bantam draft. Swenson, 16, played last season for the midget AAA Colorado Thunderbirds, picking up 89 points, including 48 goals, in 72 games. According to the Winterhawks, he chose them after being offered a spot with USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program.
Former Kootenay Ice D Steve McCarthy is getting another crack at the NHL. McCarthy, who spent last season with Ufa Salavat Yulayev of the Continental Hockey League, has signed a one-year deal with the Anaheim Ducks. . . .
Former Spokane Chiefs C Trent Whitfield is leaving Peoria after four seasons with the AHL’s Rivermen. He has signed a two-year, two-way contract with the NHL’s Boston Bruins. If he doesn’t stick with Boston, he’ll play for the AHL’s Providence Bruins. . . .
F Ryley Grantham, who played out his WHL eligibility with the Kelowna Rockets last season, has signed a three-year deal with the NHL’s Calgary Flames. The Rockets acquired the 6-foot-4 Grantham from the Moose Jaw Warriors in January and he helped them win the WHL title, scoring four times in 22 playoff games. The Flames drafted Grantham in the sixth round of the 2008 NHL draft. . . .
A couple of tidbits courtesy of Tim Wharnsby at The Globe and Mail: He reports that LW Jerome Flaake of Guben, Germany, was the biggest surprise of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ prospects camp that wrapped up Friday. “The 2008 fifth-round selection can skate and showed a pair of hands that weren’t reflective of his low five-goal production in 43 games with Cologne last season,” Wharnsby writes. “But Flaake is only 19 years old and playing with men. He was the youngest player on Cologne. . . . The Leafs would like to have him playing with the Toronto Marlies of the AHL this season, but he has one more season remaining on his contract with Cologne.” . . . Flaake’s WHL rights belong to the Prince George Cougars, who continue to hold out hope that he will end up with them. . . . Meanwhile, Wharnsby reports that Dallas Eakins, 42, is expected to be the Marlies’ head coach next season. Eakins has been in the Leafs’ organization for a while now, last season as director of player development.
The streak is over!
Outfielder Jamie McOwen of the Class A High Desert Mavericks went 0-for-3 with a walk on Friday night as his hitting streak was halted at 45 games.
The Mavericks lost 2-0 to the host Modesto Nuts, who snapped a five-game losing streak. McOwen struck out swinging in his final at-bat in the ninth inning.
In the first inning, McOwen bunted into a forceout. He walked into the fourth and grounded into a double play in the sixth.
McOwen’s streak is the eighth-longest in minor league baseball history. It was the longest in the minors since Roman Mejias of Waco hit in 55 straight in 1954. The minor league record (69) was set by Joe Wilhoit of Wichita in 1919.

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