I may have missed it, or perhaps it’s on the agenda for today, but I haven’t seen anyone talking about the state of officiating during the World Hockey Summit in Toronto.
From where I sit, the shortage of quality officials may well be hockey’s biggest problem, at least when it comes to the on-ice product at the junior level.
It isn’t that there aren’t good officials out there. It’s just that there aren’t nearly enough of them.
And there hasn’t been ever since the NHL went to the two-man system a few seasons ago.
The WHL, for example, has been struggling to develop on-ice officials since then, and the struggle continues today.
It would be nice if there was some meaningful discussion on how to work towards a solution.
If you missed it, the WHL posted a training camp list on its website on Wednesday. It includes the starting dates and location for each team’s rookie and main camps.
The Prince Albert Raiders are without F Igor Revenko, who is from Belarus, as they open training camp. Revenko, 20, has had visa-related complications and should be there by Sept. 3. “It’s certainly not Igor’s fault,” Raiders GM/head coach Bruno Campese told John MacNeil of the Prince Albert Daily Herald. “It’s a little bit unfortunate, but we don’t have to make any (final) decisions on our 20-year-olds until the first part of October.” . . . As a 20-year-old import, Revenko is a two-spotter.
D Jesse Dudas (Lethbridge, Prince George, Swift Current, Regina, 2003-09) has signed with the AHL’s Adirondack Phantoms. Dudas, 22, split 24 games last season between the IHL’s Bloomington Prairie Thunder and the Central league’s Corpus Christi IceRays. . . . The Phantoms also signed D Logan Stephenson (Tri-City, 2002-06). Stephenson, 24, is entering his second season with the Phantoms. He had eight points and 140 penalty minutes in 62 games last season.
The Spokane Chiefs have welcomed a former player back into the fold. Curtis Kelner, who played on the team that won the 2008 Memorial Cup, has signed on with the Chiefs as a scout. "We were looking for a guy who could be in Arizona on a part time basis," Chris Moulton, the Chiefs’ director of player personnel, said in a news release. "He's a full-time student and when talking with him we thought it was going to be a good fit. He's a great choice and a perfect example of a kid who played in the league, had success and used his WHL education package to further his life after hockey." . . . Kelner is in his third year at Arizona State, studying towards a degree in construction management. . . . Kelner will be in Spokane during the Chiefs’ camp. Veterans reported Tuesday, with rookies checking in Wednesday. On-ice sessions begin Thursday.
F Garet Hunt (Vancouver, 2004-08) has re-signed with the ECHL’s Stockton Thunder. Hunt, 22, is preparing for his third season with the Thunder. He has won the team’s Fan Favorite award each of the last two seasons. He has 28 points and 463 penalty minutes in 115 career games. . . . The Thunder also signed Hunt’s brother, D Trevor Hunt, who is entering his first full seasons as a professional after playing at the U of Alaska/Anchorage.
I stumbled on a blog entry that details the Rich Sutter-Lethbridge Hurricanes situation. I’m not sure who wrote this but it’s from Global Lethbridge and it’s right here.
G Mark Guggenberger (Swift Current, Portland, Kelowna, 2007-09) will attend the U of Prince Edward Island and play for the Panthers this season. Guggenberger, who completed his junior eligibility in Kelowna last season, was the Rockets’ starting goaltender when they won the WHL title in 2008-09. He is from Richfield, Minn. He had surgery for a sports hernia a year ago and missed part of the season.
Steve Ewen of the Vancouver Province reports at the Dub Hub over there on the left that the Giants have some injury problems. . . . GM Scott Bonner has told Ewen that D Zach Hodder (shoulder) won’t play until after the Christmas break, F Nathan Burns (knee) is out until at least November and F Connor Redmond (shoulder) is soon to have surgery and may not play until January. . . . Bonner also told Ewen that D Dillon Scholten, 20, won’t be back for another go-round. . . . Oh, and F Brandon Scholten, Dillon’s younger brother, has asked to be traded. . . . Hmm, could he be headed for Kamloops? Hey, I’m kidding. . . . I’m kidding! . . . There’s more on the Giants, including the status of F Craig Cunningham, at The Dub Hub over there on the left.
I have heard the name Robb Hunter mentioned in conjunction with the vacant play-by-play job in Swift Current. Hunter has been the radio voice of the AJHL’s Bonnyville Pontiacs since 2006-07. He also has worked at 900 CKBI in Prince Albert. . . . That is going to be an interesting hire because, assuming that the person hired in Swift Current presently has a play-by-play gig, it’s going to leave another radio station/hockey team in a tight spot. . . . Yes, these are interesting times when the end of one hockey season now seems to run into the start of the next.