Sunday, September 12, 2010

Saturday . . .

F Shayne Toporowski (Prince Albert, 1991-95) signed a one-year contract with Tappara Tampere (Finland SM-Liiga). He had 22 goals and 20 assists in 57 games for SaiPa Lappeenranta (Finland SM-Liiga) last season.
My last chapter (I think) on Red No. 23 . . .
The debate on the Winterhawks’ forum has been terrific and hugely entertaining.
An online dictionary describes ‘fanatic’ as: “marked by excessive enthusiasm and often intense uncritical devotion.”
Which describes precisely the debate on that forum.
However, I find it amazing that some Portland fans are upset, not because their beloved team has been disciplined, but because it got caught doing whatever it was doing that was against the rules.
Some of those fans are blaming other fans, saying that if there had been a conspiracy of silence and no one had found out, the Winterhawks may have ended up with this player in 2011-12.
All of which is, of course, so much silliness.
But after having followed the discussion for the last few days, I have one question:
What kind of discussion would be taking place on the Winterhawks’ forum had it been the Seattle Thunderbirds who had won 44 games last season and who had had an undrafted and unidentified import player score three goals in one of their scrimmages?
By the way, F Sven Bartschi, the Winterhawks’ lone pick in the 2010 import draft, had four goals Saturday as Portland dumped the Kootenay Ice 6-2 at a tournament in Kennewick, Wash., The Winterhawks now are 4-0-0-1 in the exhibition season. . . . Bartschi, from Switzerland, was the seventh overall pick in the draft.
The Tri-City Americans have announced that D Justin Hamonic is being reassigned to the midget AAA Winnipeg Wild. He will leave following the conclusion of the tournament in Kennewick. Hamonic, 16, was a fifth-round pick in the 2009 bantam draft.
The Vancouver Giants are celebrating their 10th anniversary this season. Elliott Pap of the Vancouver Sun looks at how it all began and how far the franchise has come. That story is right here.
Ed Stelmach, the premier of Alberta, said this week that there won’t be any public money going into the funding of new arenas. Which isn’t good news for the sporting fans of Medicine Hat and area. The Medicine Hat News has that story right here. . . . But, hey, if Stephen Harper is thinking about throwing some of our money into a new arena for Quebec City, well, isn’t the prime minister from Alberta?
Jason Herter is the new head coach of the USHL’s Fargo Force. He takes over from Steve Johnson, who left to sign on as an assistant coach with the St. Cloud State Huskies. . . . Herter was an assistant with the Force in 2008-09, under head coach Dean Blais. From Hafford, Sask., Herter played three seasons at North Dakota and was selected eighth overall by the Vancouver Canucks in the NHL’s 1989 draft. He only played one NHL game, that with the New York Islanders, in 1995-96.
As you no doubt have noticed, the WHL and its teams are having a tough time with the switch over to their co-ordinated websites.
An employee of one team has told me that he has never been more frustrated over a three-day period in his entire life than he was earlier this week. By now, that likely is up to four days, or maybe even five.
One WHL fan emailed me with this:
“I would call the sites a disservice to the teams, fans and the leagues. I have been building websites since 1996 and would have been embarrassed if my company, or any I contract with, rolled out something like that. I feel bad for the teams as it is obvious they are having issues using the interface to get their content online and there seems to be a disconnect in service to the teams in that regard. Every team now has pixelated images on their website when they never used to? Did the teams not get a manual?”
Gotta love the Kamloops Blazers’ website which carries this message: “The . . . website is currently being improved. Please be patient over the next few weeks.”
You know what they say about the best laid plans . . .
The Central league’s Wichita Thunder has signed F Chris Falloon (Prince George, 1998-2004). Falloon had 35 points in 36 games with a team in Demark last season, although he finished up over her with the Central league-champion Rapid City Rush. Two seasons ago, he played in Germany. Before going to Europe, he played four seasons with the U of Manitoba Bisons. He had 227 points, including 100 goals, in 336 regular-season games with the Prince George Cougars.
Nick Patterson of the Everett Herald reports that the Everett Silvertips are down to 15 forwards after reassigning Jordyn Boyd, 16, to an unnamed MJHL team. He was a sixth-round pick in the 2009 bantam draft.
A couple of notes from Saturday exhibition games:
In Saskatoon, F Riley Reinbolt, who has two goals in 116 regular-season games, scored twice in the third period to lead the Moose Jaw Warriors to a 4-2 victory over the Blades. . . . He had two goals in 64 games as a rookie and zero in 52 games last season. . . . The Blades had F Darian Dziurzynski (minor surgery on his nose) and Czech F Matej Stransky (concussion) back for this one. . . . In Brandon, F Shayne Wiebe, who is in a six-player battle for one of the Wheat Kings’ three 20-year-old spots, scored three times in a 7-3 victory over the Regina Pats. . . . In Kelowna, Kamloops F Jake Trask was taken to hospital with what appeared to be a chest injury after taking a first-period hit from Rockets’ F Codey (Judge) Ito. Trask was cleared at hospital and was on the bus when the Blazers, who lost 4-2 on three third-period goals, headed for home.

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