The Medicine Hat Tigers solved their 20-year-old problem on Friday by named F Joey Frazer as an assistant coach. He joins head coach Shaun Clouston and assistant Darren Kruger. Frazer, a 20-year-old from Brainerd, Minn., played two seasons with the Tigers, but got caught up in the numbers game this week. He cleared waivers Friday and is a free agent, but chose to join the Tigers’ coaching staff.
An emailer responds to the mention here earlier that perhaps the WHL should go to five 20-year-old players, an increase of two from the present maximum.
“For years teams were comprised of a core group from 16 to19, with five others (two Euros and three 20-year-olds). . . . Might not be a bad idea to let clubs make up their five extra players however they want. . . . e.g., two Euros and three 20s, one Euro and four 20s, or no Euros and five 20s.
“Euros are kind of a crap shoot these days anyway and it would be giving some of these older players like Joey Frazer an extra lease on life at little or no cost to the CHL clubs.
“Just a thought.”
And a good one at that. . . .
F Darcy Tucker (Kamloops, 1991-95) has chosen to end his playing career. He made the announcement Friday. Tucker, 35, played 14 seasons in the NHL and now will partner with veteran player agent Carlos Sosa in Turning Point Sports Management. Tucker’s aim is to become a certified agent. " I have always been a guy who needed something to move on to and I'm both thrilled and excited about this opportunity," Tucker told Darren Dreger of TSN.ca . . . Added Sosa: "He's the guy you want next to you in the foxhole. We've been together a long time and neither of us wanted that to end. Darcy will be our primary indentifier of talent all over." . . . Tucker won three Memorial Cup championships while playing with Kamloops.
The Saskatoon Blades have given up the CHL rights to F Andrej Stastny, a 19-year-old Slovakian whom they selected in the CHL’s 2010 import draft. The Blades had been unable to get his release from the Slovakian Ice Hockey Federation. And, with the return of F Marek Viedensky from the NHL’s San Jose Sharks, they found themselves with two import players, which is the maximum. The other import in Saskatoon is Czech F Matej Stransky, another 2010 CHL import selection.
James Poole is the new head coach of the AJHL’s Okotoks Oilers. He has resigned as head coach of the midget AAA Calgary Buffaloes in order to take over as the Oilers’ general manager and head coach. Poolre replaces Garry VanHereweghe, who resigned a couple of weeks ago.
C Neal Prokop, 20, would like nothing better than to finish is WHL career standing up. Prokop had his 2009-10 season come to a crashing halt when he lost and edge and suffered a badly broken left leg while playing for the Tri-City Americans against the Bruins in Chilliwack. It was Game 3 of a first-round playoff series. He needed surgery and spent some time in Chilliwack General Hospital. He later returned home to Winnipeg and that is where he is now, working on rehabbing the leg. Asked how it’s going, Prokop said: “Not too bad. It’s starting to come.” . . . As for the future, he added: “We’ll see how much better I can get in the next couple months.”
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