Friday, September 24, 2010

Thursday . . .

Bruce Hamilton, the president and general manager of the Kelowna Rockets and the chairman of the WHL’s board of governors, has been named Kelowna’s 2010 Business Leader of the Year. . . . He will be honoured at the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award dinner on Oct. 21. . . . Hamilton moved the Rockets to Kelowna from Tacoma in time for the 1995-96 season and the franchise now is one of the best in the 60-team CHL.
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D Josh Caron of the Kamloops Blazers attended the Minnesota Wild’s camp on a free-agent tryout deal and came away with a three-year NHL contract. The Wild announced Thursday that it had signed Caron, 19, who is from Campbell River, B.C. Last season, Caron had six points and 190 penalty minutes. He has returned to the Blazers and will be in their lineup Friday against the visiting Prince George Cougars. . . . The Wild also signed D Colton Jobke, 18, from the Kelowna Rockets, and D Jared Spurgeon, who completed his WHL eligibility with the Spokane Chiefs last season. . . . Jobke had eight assists and 71 penalty minutes in 69 games with Kelowna last season. Like Caron, Jobke was on a free-agent tryout deal with the Wild. . . . Spurgeon had 51 points with the Chiefs. He was a sixth-round pick of the New York Islanders in 2008.
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D Mike Reddington has been named the 19th captain in the history of the Lethbridge Hurricanes. He takes over from F Carter Bancks, who has graduated. Reddington was acquired a year ago from the Spokane Chiefs.
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As was reported earlier, G Brandon Anderson of the Lethbridge Hurricanes has signed a three-year contract with the NHL’s Washington Capitals after attending their camp on a free-agent tryout deal. . . . CapGeek.com reports the contract is worth a maximum of US$1.62 million. . . . Anderson, 18, will get $50,000, $55,000 and $60,000 in the AHL over the three seasons, with NHL salaries of $535,000, $560,000 and $525,000. . . . The signing bonus is $35,000 this season and another $35,000 next season.
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You may recall that Kelly McCrimmon, the GM/head coach of the Brandon Wheat Kings, got the ol’ heave-ho from a WHL exhibition game last weekend. But, if you’ve been paying attention, his name has yet to show up on the WHL’s list of those who have been disciplined. Well, it turns out he has escaped unscathed. When it was suggested to one WHL official that perhaps McCrimmon hadn’t shown enough “truculence” to warrant discipline, the official replied: “Well, there are different levels. . . .” . . . McCrimmon, who missed the third period of a game with the Moose Jaw Warriors after losing a debate with on-ice officials, apparently didn’t go far enough to get even a fine.
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F Landon Ferraro has been named the captain of the Everett Silvertips. Ferraro was acquired from Red Deer over the offseason; he wore an ‘A’ with the Rebels last season. Ferraro, 19, was a second round pick by the Detroit Red Wings in the 2009 NHL draft and has just returned from their camp. He is the eighth captain in franchise history. . . . Named as alternate captains were D Rasmus Rissanen, 19,  Clayton Cumiskey, 20, F Kellan Tochkin , 19, and D Ryan Murray, 17.
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C Tyler Johnson, 20, is back for a fourth season with the Spokane Chiefs. Johnson, one of the WHL’s top faceoff men, had been in camp with the NHL’s Minnesota Wild. He returned with an “upper body injury,” according to the Chiefs, so many not play Saturday when Spokane opens against the Tri-City Americans in Kennewick, Wash. . . . D Jared Cowen, 19, is the lone Spokane player in an NHL camp. He is with the Ottawa Senators and is expected to start the season there. . . . The Chiefs have assigned G Chris Sharkey and F Skyler Hladun to unnamed junior A teams, leaving their roster at 24, including two goaltenders and 14 forwards. . . . Spokane opens the season with veteran James Reid, 20, and freshman Mac Engel, 17, as its goaltenders. Reid put up a WHL-high 38 victories with a 2.41 GAA and a .920 save percentage last season. Engel was with the midget AAA Red Deer Optimist Chiefs.
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Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post reports that C Jordan Weal should be in the Regina Pats’ lineup when they open Friday in Brandon against the Wheat Kings. Weal has been in camp with the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings. He had 102 points with the Pats last season. . . . That leaves F Carter Ashton (Tampa Bay Lightning) as the only Regina player still in the NHL.
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The Wheat Kings will open without D Mark Schneider (hip flexor) and RW Jens Meilleur, who will miss up to six weeks with a broken hand. . . . Brandon continues to carry five goaltenders and GM/head coach Kelly McCrimmon hadn’t named a Game 1 starter as of Thursday night.
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D Tyson Barrie is the new captain of the Kelowna Rockets. Barrie led the Rockets in scoring last season, with 72 points. . . . The alternates are D Colton Jobke, 18, D Kevin Smith, 19, and F Evan Bloodoff, 20. . . . Barrie has been out with a partially torn hamstring since Sept. 2 and may not be ready when the Rockets open Saturday against the visiting Prince George Cougars. . . . He succeeds F Lucas Bloodoff as team captain. Bloodoff graduated after last season. . . . The Rockets will be without RW Shane McColgan, who had 69 points as a 16-year-old last season. He had his tonsils out earlier this month and needs more time.
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F Spencer Edwards has been named captain of the Moose Jaw Warriors. Edwards, who turns 20 on Nov. 16, wasn’t even on the team’s 50-player list a year ago. But he earned a spot on the roster and put up 40 points in 72 games. . . . Alternates will be D Collin Bowman, F Quinton Howden, D Kendall McFaull and D Dylan McIlrath.
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The Swift Current Broncos are down to 26 players after re-assigning D Brody Luhning, 18, who played 30 games with them last season, and F Robbie Newton, 16. . . . Luhning had one assists in those 30 games. He was a seventh-round pick in the 2007 bantam draft. . . . Newton was acquired last season from the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Both players may join the SJHL’s Battlefords North Stars, who hold their junior A rights. . . . Swift Current F Cody Eakin, 19, remains with the NHL’s Washington Capitals, while the Broncos have placed F Dillon Wagner (knee surgery) on injured reserve.
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The Kootenay Ice had assigned G Mackenzie Skapski, 16, to the junior B Ridge Meadow Flames, meaning Brett Teskey, 17, will be the No. 2 goaltender, behind either Todd Matthews, 20, or Nathan Lieuwen, 19. . . . Ice D Brayden McNabb, 19, remains with the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres. . . . The Ice is down to 25 players (three goaltenders, seven defencemen and 15 forwards). That number includes MacNabb.
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The Tri-City Americans will have an interesting decision(s) on their hands now that the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins have returned Russian G Alex Pechurskiy, 20. He becomes one of four 20-year-olds on their roster, along with D Tyler Schmidt, F Mike Brown and F Kruise Reddick. . . . Pechurskiy is one of two imports on the roster, with D Nikita Kardashev, 18, being the other. However, Russian D Nikita Nesterov, another 2010 import draft selection, is still working to get clearance to play over here.
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The latest players to rejoin WHL teams from NHL camps: F Emerson Etem, to Medicine Hat from Anaheim; D Colton Jobke, to Kelowna from Minnesota; F Tyler Johnson, to Spokane from Minnesota; D Ricard Blidstrand, to Regina from Philadelphia; D Josh Caron, to Kamloops from Minnesota; D Austin Madaisky, to Kamloops from Columbus.
gdrinnan@kamloopsnews.ca
gdrinnan.blogspot.com
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