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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thursday . . .

The Saskatoon Blades hope to have D Jyri Niemi back in their lineup Friday night when they open a home-and-home series with the Prince Albert Raiders. They’re in P..A. on Friday and back in ‘Toontown on Saturday. Niemi (shoulder) has missed six games. He leaves after these two games to join Finland’s world junior team. . . . Saskatoon F Travis Toomey (charleyhorse) is shown as questionable for Friday’s game.
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The Regina Pats have lost five straight games, two of their best players — F Jordan Eberle and D Colten Teubert — are with Canada’s national junior team and now the injuries are starting to mount. . . . D Brandon Davidson and D Cody Carlson both have knee injuries. F Hampus Gustafsson played defence during the Pats’ two most-recent games but went down Wednesday in a 3-1 loss to the host Edmonton Oil Kings. He has a lower-body injury and is uncertain for Friday’s game against the host Calgary Hitmen. . . . As if that isn’t enough, G Damien Kelto is gone with a shoulder injury and won’t play again until after the Christmas break. Dawson Guhle will start in Calgary, with Cory Nygaard, 16, a sixth-round pick in the 2008 bantam draft from Winnipeg, backing up.
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If you haven’t seen this already, things did get a little batty in a USHL game the other night. The video is right here.
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The Central league’s Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs have acquired D Clay Plume (Lethbridge, Prince George, 2001-04) from the Rapid City Rush. Plume, who in his sixth pro season, was acquired for freshman D Kirk Medernach and future considerations. In 18 games with the Rush, Plume had eight points and 19 penalty minutes, and was a plus-4.
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The Minnesota Wild has recalled D Clayton Stoner (Tri-City, 2002-05) from the AHL’s Houston Aeros. Stoner, 24, had 10 points and 52 penalty minutes and was plus-14 in 26 games with the Aeros. He has played parts of five seasons with the Aeros. Stoner has yet to appear in an NHL game.
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The Versteeg boys — Kris (Lethbridge, Kamloops, Red Deer, 2002-06) and Mitch (Lethbridge, 2006-08) — both played in the WHL. There’s a story on them right here.
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The Vancouver Giants are welcoming Mr. Hockey on Friday night as they play host to the Chilliwack Bruins. Yes, Gordie Howe, a family friend of Giants owner Ron Toigo, will be in the building. . . . The Giants may be without F Milan Kytnar (shoulder), F Brett Lyon (infected hand) and F Connor Redmond (concussion). F Dalton Sward, the 21st overall selection in the 2009 bantam draft, practised with the Giants on Thursday. He plays for the major midget Fraser Valley Bruins and was on the team bus that crashed on Dec. 11.
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F Levi Nelson (Swift Current, 2004-08) has been assigned by the Boston Bruins to the AHL’s Providence Bruins. Nelson, 21, has yet to play this season due to injury. Last season, his first with Providence, he had seven points in 59 games.
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The AHL’s Houston Aeros have assigned G Barry Brust (Spokane, Calgary, 2000-04) to the ECHL’s Florida Everblades. Before his brief stay in Houston, Brust was 3-2-2 with a 2.91 GAA and a .906 save percent with the Everblades.
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There is a lot of talk these days about head injuries in all sports, including hockey. Here is the first paragraph from a New York Times story: “A deceased professional hockey player has been found to have had brain damage associated with repeated head trauma, connecting hockey for the first time to health risks linked to boxers and, most recently, football players.” . . . That story is right here.

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