Friday, September 3, 2010

Thursday . . .

THE MacBETH REPORT:
F Kirill Starkov (Red Deer, 2006-07) signed a one-year contract with Esbjerg (Denmark AL-Bank Liga). He had two goals and two assists in 55 games for Timrå (Sweden Elitserien) last season. . . .
F Martin Ruzicka (Everett, Lethbridge, 2003-05) signed a two-year contract with Trinec (Czech Republic Extraliga). He had 23 goals and 24 assists in 51 games with Trinec last season. . . .
F Duncan Milroy (Swift Current, Kootenay, 1998-2003) signed a one-year contract with Mlada Boleslav (Czech Republic Extraliga). He had 12 goals and 24 assists in 74 games for the Houston Aeros (AHL) last season. Milroy becomes the eighth individual in Mlada Boleslav with a connection to the WHL. The others are sports manager Milan Hnilicka (goalie in Swift Current, 1992-93), assistant coach Leo Gudas (father of Everett D Radko), and players G Marek Schwarz (Vancouver, 2004-05), D Darrell Hay (Tri-City, 1996-2000), F Jordan Krestanovich (Calgary, 1997-2001), F David Vrbata (Calgary, 2000-01), and F Zdenek Bahensky (Saskatoon, 2004-06). . . .
F Petr Dvorak (Regina, 2002-03) signed a one-year contract with Cracovia Krakow (Poland). He had 20 goals and 45 assists in 42 games for Valasske Mezirici (Czech Republic 2.Liga) last season.
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The Everett Silvertips have signed F Ryan Chynoweth, who was their first pick, 24th overall, in the 2010 bantam draft. From Cranbrook, he had 60 points and 78 penalty minutes in 32 games with the bantam AAA Lethbridge Golden Hawks last season. . . . He is the son of Jeff Chynoweth, the president and general manager of the Kootenay Ice, and the grandson of the late Ed Chynoweth, the former WHL commissioner.
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Outside of Kelowna, not much has been said or written about Zach Franko, a 17-year-old forward out of Winnipeg. He apparently had made a commitment to Bemidji State, but decided to attend the Rockets' camp and check things out. He liked what he saw and chose to stay. . . . The Rockets had picked him 32nd overall in the 2008 bantam draft. Last season, with the MJHL's Winnipeg South Blue, he put up 54 points in 51 games. . . . Lorne Frey, the Rockets' assisant GM, head scout and director of player personnel, told the Kelowna Daily Courier that Franko "isn't an overly big guy yet, but he’s got great skill, great speed and he competes, which is what we're looking for." . . . The Daily Courier story referred to Franko as being 5-foot-11 and 160 pounds. . . . There's a bit more right here from the Western College Hockey blog.
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The Vancouver Giants held their intrasquad game and the top story had to be F Brendan Gallagher scoring four goals. I had someone tell me, however, that F Craig Cunningham, who turns 20 on Friday (Sept. 3), was the best player on the ice. Cunningham will go to camp with the Boston Bruins, who selected him in the fourth round of the 2010 NHL draft, in search of a contract. . . . "Cunningham was head and shoulders above anybody else," an observer told me. . . . The long-time WHL observer also told me that the Giants look to be "bigger and faster than last season." Which can't be good news for the rest of the teams in the B.C. Division and Western Conference.
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The Tri-City Americans have signed three 16-year-old players to WHL contracts — D Justin Hamonic, F Dylan Fluter and F Gage Rapitta. . . . Hamonic, from Winnipeg, was a fifth-round pick in the 2009 bantam draft. The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder had 21 points and 54 penalty minutes with the midget AAA Winnipeg Monarchs last season. . . . The 5-foot-11, 170-pound Fluter, from Saskatoon, was an eighth-round pick in 2009. He had 25 points and 43 penalty minutes in 43 games with the midget AAA Battlefords Stars last season. . . . Rapitta, a list player, is from Regina. The 5-foot-11, 190-pounder had 15 points and 56 penalty minutes with the midget AAA Yorkton Harvest last season.
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D Dallas Jackson (Regina, Red Deer, Prince George, Kelowna, 2007-10) has signed with the ECHL's Reading Royals. Jackson, from Edson, Alta., split last season between Prince George and Kelowna, picking up 45 points in 45 games. He totalled 102 points and 173 penalty minutes in 174 regular-season WHL games over three seasons.
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F Willie Coetzee scored four goals Wednesday night to help Team White to a 9-8 shootout victory over Team Black in the Red Deer Rebels' intrasquad game. Coetzee, 20, has signed with the Detroit Red Wings. He leaves for their camp next week and is expected to play in the Detroit organization.
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You know what they say about one man's misfortune being another man's opportunity, or something like that. Well, D Hubert Labrie has a knee injury so won’t be able to play for the Dallas Stars’ team at the NHL prospects tournament in Traverse City, Mich., Sept. 11-15. So . . . the Stars have added 19-year-old F Cole Grbavac (Kamloops, Medicine Hat, 2008-10) to their roster.
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The Spokane Chiefs have reassigned four players as they prepare to head for Everett and the Silvertips’ tournament this weekend. D Boomer Rooney, 16, and D Cole Wedman, 16, will play midget AAA or junior A in Alberta, while D Jordan Swenson, 17, will play midget AAA or junior A in Saskatchewan, and F Josh McEwan is to join the BCHL’s Trail Smoke Eaters. . . . The Chiefs go into Everett with a 31-man roster — four goaltenders, nine defencemen and 18 forwards.
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Kevin Heise, who has worked in the WHL with the Tri-City Americans and Seattle Thunderbirds, has signed on as the ECHL-Victoria Salmon Kings’ athletic therapist. He spent last season with the Central league’s Amarillo Gorillas.
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A former WHL head coach and a former star player are among those the NHL has announced as recipients of the 2010 Lester Patrick Trophy for outstanding service to hockey in the U.S. David Andrews, the president of the American Hockey League since 1994, and Cam Neely, the president of the Boston Bruins, will be honoured, along with Jack Parker, the longtime coach at Boston University, and Jerry York, the coach at Boston College. . . . Andrews was head coach of the Victoria Cougars for two seasons (1982-84), while Neely starred with the Portland Winterhawks during the sdame two seasons.
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F Quinn Peplinski, whose father, Jim, had a pretty good run in the NHL, is in camp with the Calgary Hitme. The Calgary Herald has that story right here.
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Here’s something from the Winnipeg Sun that will be of interest to fans of the late, great Winnipeg Jets (and the early Phoenix Coyotes):
Curt Keilback is going back behind the microphone.
The former voice of the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets will call 10 Manitoba Junior Hockey League games this season on NCI-FM radio.
Keilback spent more than two decades calling Jets games. His first MJHL contest will be on Sept. 23, when the OCN Blizzard visits the Winnipeg Saints.

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