When you take over as the head coach of a WHL team, there are big, big moves that have to be made. Take the case of Kris Knoblauch, the first-year head coach of the Kootenay Ice. The team is on its first road trip with Knoblauch in control, which means . . . Well, as Matt Coxford of the Cranbrook Daily Townsman reports, it means that Knoblauch now has control of the “prestigious front-right pair of seats on the bus.”
“It’s going to be weird seeing him up there,” defenceman James Martin told Coxford with a chuckle. “We’ll see if he can pull it off or not.”
Knoblauch didn’t sound too sure about the move.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I will be sitting there, but I’m not sure I’m looking forward to it because (former head coach Mark Holick) always whined about how cold and drafty it was up there. We enjoyed giving him a hard time about it, but now if I’m the one complaining about it that will be different.”
The Ice left Friday morning for Kennewick, Wash., where they are taking part in the seven-team Red Lions Hotel tournament.
The Edmonton Oilers are scheduled to skate at Kelowna’s Prospera Place on Saturday as they travel to Penticton for a prospects tournament that opens Sunday. The bad news for hockey fans, however, is that the Oilers’ practice won’t be open to the public. . . . That’s a shame because the Edmonton roster includes Saskatoon Blades F Curtis Hamilton, who is from Kelowna and whose father, Bruce, is the president and GM of the Kelowna Rockets. . . . That’s rather different than the Detroit Red Wings, who spent a couple of days in the Little Apple last season, taking time to sign a ton of autographs and help out the local food bank at the same time. . . . As Doyle Potenteau wrote over at DubNation: “Go Flames!”
The Regina Sports Hall of Fame will honour the PUP line -- Jamie Heward, Frank Kovacs and Mike Sillinger -- when it holds its 2010 induction ceremony next month. As 16-year-olds the three played on a line together with the Pats. Rob Vanstone of the Regina Leader-Post has a story right here.
Craig Bedard, an assistant coach with the Prince Albert Raiders, has been named an assistant coach with Team Pacific, that team that will represent B.C. and Alberta at the U-17 World Hockey Challenge in Winnipeg, Dec. 28 through Jan. 5. Bedard replaces Kris Knoblauch, who stepped aside after being named head coach of the Kootenay Ice. Former Regina Pats D Robert Dirk is Team Pacific’s head coach.
F Ryan Johansen of the Portland Winterhawks has signed with the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets, as was reported Thursday. He was the fourth overall pick in the 2010 NHL draft. . . . Capgeek.com reports that the three-year entry-level contract could max out at US$5.925 million. Johansen’s salary in the AHL would be $67,500 for each of the three seasons; in the NHL, it would be $900,000. Performance bonuses are $1.075 million per season and there is a $270,000 signing bonus, payable in annual $90,000 increments. . . . For all you need to know, and then some, about NHL salaries, the salary cap, etc., check out capgeek.com.
The Regina Pats have signed G Adam Beukeboom, 16, to a WHL contract. From Sundre, Alta., he played for the midget AAA Red Deer Northstar Chiefs last season. He is scheduled to start tonight against the visiting Brandon Wheat Kings.
The Medicine Hat Tigers are down to 29 players after reassigning F Uriah Machuga, 18, to junior A. He is expected to play somewhere in the BCHL. Machuga, who is from Norco, Calif., played last season with the junior B Spokane Braves. He also played with the Kamloops Blazers as a 16-year-old.