Brad Larsen has joined the AHL’s Springfield Falcons as an assistant coach. The Falcons are the AHL affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Larsen (Swift Current, 1993-97) will work alongside head coach Rob Riley in Springfield. . . . Larsen enjoyed a 13-season playing career that ended last season after he put up 27 points in 55 games with the AHL’s Portland Pirates. A fourth-round pick by the Colorado Avalanche in the 1997 NHL draft, he played 294 regular-season NHL games, splitting them between the Avalanche and Atlanta Thrashers.
It might be worth dropping by a Saskatoon Blades’ workout once NHL teams start opening their training camps. That’s because the Blades expect to have 15 players off last season’s roster at NHL camps. . . . Three of those players have used up their eligibility — D Sam Klassen (New York Rangers), F Derek Hulak (Phoenix Coyotes) and F Walker Wintoneak (Boston Bruins — meaning there will be 12 Blades with junior eligility remaining who are heading to NHL camps.
This from Cory Wolfe of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix:
“Hulak, winger Darian Dziurzynski and centre Charles Inglis head to Phoenix's camp as undrafted free agents. Wintoneak, meanwhile, earned a free-agent invitation from Boston. The other 11 Blades bound for camps are all drafted players: Centre Gaelan Patterson (Calgary Flames); defenceman Stefan Elliott (Colorado Avalanche); winger Curtis Hamilton (Edmonton Oilers); Klassen, defenceman Jyri Niemi and winger Randy McNaught (Rangers); goalie Adam Morrison (Philadelphia Flyers); winger Curt Gogol and centre Marek Viedensky (San Jose Sharks); defenceman Teigan Zahn (Tampa Bay); and winger Josh Nicholls (Toronto Maple Leafs).”
Niemi, Patterson, Klassen and Viedensky have signed NHL contracts.
Things are going to be interesting in Saskatoon over the next month or six weeks because the Blades also have nine 20-year-olds eligible to return. Of course, they can only keep three of them. In the hunt could be McNaught, Niemi, Patterson, Viedensky and Zahn, all of whom are going to pro camps, as well as G Steven Stanford, F Sena Acolatse, F Jeremy Boyer and F Travis Toomey.
Do you think GM/head coach Lorne Molleken’s phone will be ringing?
D Dalyn Flatt played five seasons (2001-06) in the WHL, seeing time with the Saskatoon Blades and Kootenay Ice. These days he’s in the RCMP. Check out his story right here.
The Regina Pats have hired Russ Kutzak to fill the newly created position of what they are calling “Travelling Scout.” Kutzak has scouted for the Moose Jaw Warriors and Saskatoon Blades over the last 11 seasons. He had been been with the Blades for five years. Kutzak will report to long-time Pats head scout Todd Ripplinger.
Vicki Hall of the Calgary Herald has an interesting story involving Rich Sutter’s departure from the Lethbridge Hurricanes. His story seems to differ from what appeared in a Hurricanes’ news release this week. Hall’s story is right here. . . . If you listen closely, I think you can hear bridges burning.
Jon Keen is leaving the Eagle 94.1 in Swift Current, and his role as the radio voice of the Swift Current Broncos, to join Radio NL in Kamloops and call the play for the Blazers. Keen was the radio voice of the Broncos for seven seasons. He replaces Kirk Fraser, who left after 11 seasons of Blazers' play-by-play and now works for Shaw TV.
F Matt Tassone (Swift Current, 2005-10) has signed with the Texas Stars, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Dallas Stars. Tassone, who turns 21 on Sept. 28, had an injury-filled WHL career in Swift Current but had 36 goals in 52 games in 2008-09. He finished with 187 points, including 73 goals, in 187 games.