Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wednesday . . .

F Jay Henderson (Red Deer, Edmonton Ice, 1994-98) has been released by the Nottingham Panthers (UK Elite) due to injury. According to the Panthers’ website, Henderson has been receiving treatment for a neck/back injury since the start of training camp and has been told by a specialist that it will be at least another two months before he is able to play. . . .
F Chris St. Jacques (Medicine Hat, 1999-2004) signed a one-year contract with the Edinburgh Capitals (UK Elite). He had 50 goals and 49 assists in 45 games for the Tilburg Trappers (Netherlands Eredivisie) last year, leading the league in goals.
If all goes well, Luke Boechler, a goaltender with the SJHL’s Yorkton Terriers, will have a blood stem-cell transplant on Friday in Calgary. Ian Hamilton of the Regina Leader-Post reports that Boechler, who turned 20 on Sunday, was to have had the transplant in late May or early June but has been postponed and delayed for various reasons. Boechler was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia on Feb. 4.
“It seemed so far off when we arrived back in Yorkton (after the July transplant was postponed),” Brian Boechler, Luke’s father, told Hamilton on Wednesday from Calgary.
“Luke and I were talking the other day and it has come so quickly. It’s a very serious procedure and mostly good things come out of it. But it doesn’t always work out that way, so there’s tremendous anxiety that goes along with it. That’s where we are right now.
“On the other hand, Luke knows that without (the transplant), his chance of surviving is about 10 per cent. He knows the opportunity that he has.”
According to Hamilton, “The younger Boechler currently is receiving a final round of chemo and will have a session of total-body radiation before the transplant. On Friday,
he’ll receive two separate transfusions of blood stem cells.”
If all goes well, he’ll be released from hospital late in October. And if things go really well, he’ll be home in Yorkton for Christmas.
Here’s hoping for a Merry, Merry Christmas for the Boechler family.
Who says things don’t get heated in exhibition games? It seems the Vancouver Giants and Chilliwack Bruins staged something of a line brawl during a Saturday game in Chilliwack. . . . The WHL, it seems, doesn’t like such outbreaks of pugilistic activity. And so it came to pass that both teams were fined $250, and both head coaches were suspended for — GASP! — one exhibition game. . . . Vancouver’s Don Hay will miss his club’s Saturday game against the Everett Silvertips in Ladner, B.C. Interestingly, Vancouver assistant coach John Becanic, the former Everett coach who is in his first season with the Giants, will run the bench. . . . Chilliwack’s Marc Habscheid will have to skip his club’s Friday game against the visiting Kelowna Rockets.
The Vancouver Giants got their roster down to 26 players by re-assigning F Anthony Ast, the 19th overall pick in the 2010 WHL bantam draft. He will play for a team in the B.C. major midget league. . . . The Giants also dropped D Zach Hillhouse, 17, an eighth-round pick in the 2008 draft. He was ill through much of training camp.
The Everett Silvertips have signed D Darian Henry, 16, to a WHL contract. Henry, from Strathmore, Alta., was a seventh-round pick in the 2009 bantam draft. He had 15 points and 68 penalty minutes in 32 games with the Keystone Raiders minor midget team that plays out of Chestermere, near Calgary.
The Edmonton Oil Kings re-assigned D Ashton Sautner, 16, to the midget AAA Moose Jaw Generals. Sautner, from Wolseley, Sask., was an eight-round selection in the 2009 bantam draft. . . . The Oil Kings’ roster now is at 26, with four of those at NHL camps — F Cam Abney (Edmonton Oilers), G Cam Lanigan (Calgary Flames), F Kristians Pelss (Edmonton) and D Mark Pysyk (Buffalo Sabres),
The Central league’s Arizona Sundogs have signed D Clayton Barthel (Seattle, Kelowna, 2002-06). Barthel, a third-round pick by the Washington Capitals in the 2004 NHL draft, played last season in Italy, totaling 19 points and 50 penalty minutes with Vipiteno of the Serie A2. In 2008-09, Barhel, 24, played in Germany.
There was an interesting tidbit in a story by Matthew Gourlie of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald about Slovakian F Michal Hlinka. Hlinka, 17, is preparing for his first WHL season. . . . Gourlie reports that Hlinka’s father, Milan, “is still an active player, finishing his 20th season in a long career in Europe. Miroslav has played for Slovakia at the 2004 World Cup and three IIHF world championships.” . . . The younger Hlinka is looking good, with three goals in five exhibition games. . . . Gourlie also reports that G Jeff Bosch (ankle) left practice early on Wednesday and remains day-to-day.
Stuart Hyman has four hockey-playing sons, all of whom have played on hockey teams that he has owned. And now he owns a hockey scouting service. Robert Cribb of the Toronto Star has that story right here.
The Kelowna Rockets are keeping their fingers crossed and hoping that F Shane McColgan, their second-leading scorer last season, will be ready for their season-opener against the visiting Prince George Cougars on Sept. 25. McColgan, who had 69 points as a 16-year-old, has battled tonsil problems for a while now. He went home to Manhattan Beach, Calif., last week and had the tonsils removed Thursday. If all goes well, he will be back in Kelowna on Monday. . . . D Tyson Barrie, who is out with a partially torn hamstring, was not one of the 18 defenceman on the main camp roster released last night by the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche. He continues to rehab in Kelowna and the Rockets are hopeful that he, too, will be ready for the opener.
Bill Meltzer of has an interesting piece right here on the Boston Bruins signing a working agreement with JYP Jyvaskyla, a team that plays in the SM-Liiga, which is the Finnish elite league. This may well be the way of the future.
Alain Vigneault, the head coach of the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks, knows his way around the QMJHL. And he has told Iain MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun that there are QMJHL cities that need new arenas before Quebe City. That piece is right here.
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