Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tuesday . . .

D Michal Siska (Kamloops, 2008-09) signed a tryout contract with Lausitzer Fuchse Weisswasser (Germany 2.Bundesliga). He had two goals and three assists in 29 games with the Slovakian U20 team last season. Slovakia’s U20 team plays a regular schedule in the Slovakian Extraliga. . . .
F Layne Ulmer (swift Current, 1997-2001) signed a one-year contract extension with Asiago (Italy Serie A). He had 12 goals and 16 assists in 38 games last season. . . .
G Riku Helenius (Seattle, 2007-08) has been assigned on loan by Tampa Bay (NHL) to Södertälje (Sweden Elitserien) for next season. He had a 2.75 GAA and a .896 save percentage in 12 games with the Norfolk Admirals (AHL) and a 2.42 GAA and a .923 save percentage in nine games with Södertälje last season.
It’s not like I’m trying to document every single player who played in the WHL before going on to an NCAA school, but the names keep popping out of the woodwork (or the email inbox). Anyway . . .
You can add G Cam McCormick to the list. From Bonneyville, Alta., McCormick played one game with the Kamloops Blazers in 1994-95 and two with the Lethbridge Hurricanes the following season. He then went on to play two seasons with the BCHL’s Cowichan Valley Capitals before ending up at the U of Massachusetts-Lowell for three seasons (1999-2002).
Jared Bednar is the new head coach of the Peoria Rivermen, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s St. Louis Blues. Bednar, 38, replaces Rick Wamsley, who took over as the interim head coach after the Blues moved up Davis Payne to replace the fired Andy Murray during last season. . . . Bednar spent last season as an assistant coach with the AHL’s Abbotsford Heat. . . . He also spent seven seasons (2002-09) with the ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays, working as GM, head coach or assistant coach. . . . A native of Yorkton, Sask., he played two seasons in the WHL (Saskatoon, Spokane, Medicine Hat, Prince Albert, 1990-93).
The Everett Silvertips have signed F Cody Fowlie to a WHL contract. Fowlie, from Airdrie, Alta., played last season for the midget AAA UFA Bisons. He had 45 points, including 16 goals, and 44 penalty minutes in 35 games. . . . A late-1992, the 6-foot-0, 175-pounder was named to the AMHL’s South Division first all-star team. . . . “We’re very pleased that Cody has decided to play with the Everett Silvertips, and we feel that he’ll be a contributor to our hockey club this season. He had options, but decided to play in Everett because of our coaching staff and the guaranteed educational package,” Everett GM Doug Soetaert said in a press release.
There are reports out of Europe that F Roman Wick (Red Deer, Lethbridge, 2004-06) has signed a one-year, two-way deal with the Ottawa Senators, who selected him in the fifth round of the NHL’s 2004 draft. He has been with the Kloten Flyers of the Swiss Elite League through four seasons. Wick played especially well at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, where he had five points in five games for Switzerland.
F Tyler Halliday (Red Deer, Kelowna, Prince George, 2005-10) has returned to his hometown of Kamloops to attend university. He will go to Thompson Rivers University and play for the WolfPack, which plays in the B.C. intercollegiate league.
Scott Arniel, the new head coach of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets, will be bringing in a whole new staff. The Blue Jackets have cleared the way by firing interim head coach Claude Noel, assistants Gary Agnew and Gord Murphy, and strength and conditioning coach Barry Brennan. . . . (There has been speculation that Noel could end up as head coach of the AHL’s Manitoba Moose, the team Arniel had been coaching.) . . . Arniel’s assistant coaches with the Moose were Keith McCambridge (Swift Current, Kamloops, 1991-95) and former NHL goaltender Rick St. Croix. . . . It’s interesting that Arniel, Hockey Hall of Famer Dale Hawerchuk, Marc Crawford and Doug Gilmour, all teammates with the QMJHL’s Cornwall Royals, are in the coaching game. . . . Hawerchuk signed on as head coach of the OHL’s Barrie Colts earlier in the summer. . . . Arniel, Crawford and Hawerchuk won back-to-back Memorial Cups with the Royals in 1980 and 1981. Yes, Cornwall is in Ontario, but the Royals played in the QMJHL through 1980-81. . . Gilmour was a rookie on that 1981 team and now is the head coach of the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs. . . . That 1981 team was captained by Crawford, now the head coach of the NHL’s Dallas Stars. . . . Doug Carpenter was the head coach of the 1979-80 Royals, while former NHL referee Bob Kilger was the GM/head coach in 1980-81. . . . In 1980-81, Carpenter was coaching the AHL’s New Brunswick Hawks.
Rob Daum is the latest victim of the Edmonton Oilers’ house-cleaning. The NHL team won’t renew Daum‘s contract. He spent last season as the head coach of the AHL’s Springfield Falcons, a franchise that will play out of Oklahoma City in 2010-11. Daum also has worked as an assistant coach with the Oilers.
Mark Holick was introduced to the people of Syracuse, N.Y., on Tuesday and Lindsay Kramer of the Post-Standard was on hand. Check out his first impressions right here.
And now, to continue from yesterday, here’s a look at the WHL teams and the number of regular-season victories for each over the last five seasons (with victories for the last three seasons in parentheses). . . . I was somewhat surprised to see that eight teams have averaged at least 40 victories over the last five seasons. That says something about the excellence of those organizations over that time period because 40 victories has long meant that a team is considered a contender.

Calgary (158) 244
Vancouver (147) 239
Tri-City (148) 225
Medicine Hat (120) 219
Kootenay (110) 214
Brandon (140) 211
Everett (112) 206
Spokane (144) 202
Saskatoon (124) 192
Kelowna (120) 190
Swift Current (120) 177
Regina (101) 177
Seattle (96) 168
Kamloops (92) 166
Moose Jaw (89) 161
Lethbridge (100) 160
Red Deer (82) 143
Prince Albert (89) 141
Prince George (57) 125
Portland (74) 123
*Chilliwack (80) 105
*Edmonton (67) NA
(NOTE: Chilliwack has played just four seasons; Edmonton has played three seasons.)
F Fredrik Pettersson (Calgary, 2001-03) has signed a one-year deal with the NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers. He was a fifth-round pick of the Edmonton Oilers in the 2005 NHL draft. He has played with Frolunda HC of the Swedish Elite League since 2007. The 23-year-old had career highs in goals (20) and points (38) in 54 games last season.
Cam Neely (Portland, 1982-84) is to be namemd president of the Boston Bruins at a Wednesday news conference.
G Brent Krahn (Calgary, Seattle, 1999-2003) signed a one-year, two-way contract with the NHL’s Dallas Stars on Tuesday, one day after his Texas Stars dropped Game 7 of the AHL final to the Hershey Bears.
The NHL’s Vancouver Canucks, who have made something of a habit of moving their training camp around B.C., will announce Wednesday that they are off to Penticton in the fall. Camp will open Sept. 12 at the North Okanagan Events Centre, the home of the BCHL’s Penticton Vees.
And now for something completely different. Scott Cacciola of The Wall Street Journal tells the story of the New York Yankees’ long-forgotten mascot. It’s a great read and it’s right here.

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