Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tuesday . . .

For what it’s worth — and I don’t know where this is headed — but I’m now on Twitter . . . tweeting as gdrinnan. So . . . if you are so inclined, you can follow me around over there, too.
F John Lammers (Lethbridge, Everett, 2001-06) signed a one-year plus option contract with Plzen (Czech Republic Extraliga). He had 20 goals and 15 assists in 25 games for the Alaska Aces (ECHL) and nine goals and 13 assists in 46 games split between the Manitoba Moose (AHL), Providence Bruins (AHL), and Abbotsford Heat (AHL) last season. . . .
F Vaclav Varada (Tacoma/Kelowna, 1994-96) signed a one-year plus option contract with Trinec (Czech Republic Extraliga). He had six goals and 12 assists in 33 games split between Vitkovice (Czech Republic Extraliga) and Kometa Brno (Czech Republic Extraliga). . . .
F Tyler Spurgeon (Kelowna, 2001-06) signed a tryout contract with Klagenfurt (Austria Erste Bank Liga). He had 26 goals and 39 assists in 48 games for the Idaho Steelheads (ECHL), one goal and two assists in 20 games with the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins (AHL) and one goal and four assists in eight games with the Abbotsford Heat (AHL) last season. . . .
F Kyle Bruce (Kamloops, Prince Albert, Vancouver, 1999-2004) signed a one-year contract with Braehead Clan (UK Elite). He had one goal and two assists in 17 games with the Wichita Thunder (Central Hockey League) last season.
There were a couple of reports Tuesday claiming that Tri-City Americans head coach Jim Hiller has been talking about an assistant coaching position with the NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers. Neither report offered anything in the way of attribution or sourcing. . . . When I asked Tri-City GM Bob Tory if Hiller was talking with Atlanta, the response was quick: “No.” . . . Hiller is an assistant coach with the Canadian U-18 team that has left for Europe and the Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament that opens Monday in Breclav, Czech Republic, and Piestany, Slovakia.
The Portland Winterhawks have signed F Sven Bartschi, 17, their first pick — seventh overall — in the 2010 CHL import draft. According to a Portland news release: “Bartschi split last season between the Zug Under-20 team in the Swiss Elite Jr. A League and Langenthal with the Swiss National League. With Zug he registered 10 goals and 13 assists for 23 points in just nine games. Upon joining Langenthal he totaled six goals and five assists for 11 points in 37 games, then added three assists in seven playoff games.” . . . He also played for the Swiss U-18 team in 2009 and 2010, picking up three points in each world tournament. . . . Yes, Bertschi and F Nino Niederreiter, who took the WHL by storm last season with the Winterhawks, have played together.
Ryan Walter (Kamloops, Seattle, 1974-78) has been dropped from the coaching staff of the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks. He has been replaced by Newell Brown, who had been with the Anaheim Ducks. He is the father of Kelowna Rockets G Adam Brown. . . . Walter, 52, was on the Canucks’ staff for two years.
The WHL appears poised to announce the first outdoor game in its history. The WHL and the Calgary Hitmen have called a news conference for Wednesday afternoon at which they are expected to reveal that the Hitmen and Regina Pats will play at McMahon Stadium on Feb. 21. . . . The Montreal Canadiens and Calgary Flames are to play an NHL game at McMahon Stadium on Feb. 20, so it only makes sense for the WHL to piggyback on that event.
The Everett Silvertips have hired Jordan Sigalet as their new goaltending coach. Sigalet, 29, attended Bowling Green University and was selected by the Boston Bruins in the seventh round of the NHL’s 2001 draft. He played three seasons in the Bruins organization. . . . From the Silvertips’ press release: “Sigalet was a 2005 Hobey Baker Award nominee as well as a 2005 ESPY Award finalist for the Comeback Player of the Year in a hockey season in which he posted a 16-12-3 record, 2.89 GAA and .915 Sv% for Bowling Green while battling multiple sclerosis. His charitable work, including “Shutout MS”, an annual fundraiser to support MS research, along with his support of The National Multiple Sclerosis Society and The MS Cure Fund, led to his acceptance of the 2008 Fred T. Hunt Memorial Award, presented annually to the American Hockey League player best exemplifying sportsmanship, determination and dedication to hockey.”
The Tri-City Americans have hired Scott Beattie as associate coach, replacing Terry Virtue, who resigned last week. Beattie and Tri-City head coach Jim Hiller played three seasons together at Northern Michigan. Most recently, Beattie has served as an assistant coach with the Kootenay Ice. Before that, he was Gm and head coach of the junior B Kimberley, B.C. Dynamiters for three seasons. . . . Beattie will join the Americans on Aug. 15.
It’s official. The Lethbridge Hurricanes have appeared in front of Lethbridge City Council to “formally present a letter of intent to bid on the 2013 Memorial Cup.” . . . Brian McNaughton, the Hurricanes’ president, headed up a delegation that presented the letter to City Council on Tuesday afternoon. . . . "The presentation of this letter is an important step in what will be a long and competitive process for us as an organizing committee and a hockey club," McNaughton said in a news release. . . . The ENMAX Centre, the home of the Hurricanes, is undergoing extensive renovations — they began a year ago — and their completion would coincide with the 2013 Memorial Cup, which is the next one that will contested in a WHL city. . . . The WHL will hear the official bids in October 2011. It has been speculated that the Everett Silvertips and Saskatoon Blades also may entertain bidding.

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